By Matt D Cottenham
We all know we should take our car in to have the oil changed every three thousand miles or so, and that we should go to our doctor yearly for our annual check up, but what about your home? Do you have a maintenance plan? In this article we will talk about how to create a home maintenance plan and just how important it is to not only have one, but also how important it is to follow it.
Let’s start with an example. Say you notice that some of the wood around the windows of your house is peeling. You decided you would let it go since it isn’t that bad. You go about your usual business and a couple of months later you decide you better go scrape and paint the wood. When you get to the wood you notice that the wood has rotted, and the job just became a major task of replacing the wood.
Let’s look at one more scenario. You notice walking in one day, in the rain, that the gutters are overflowing and probably need to be cleaned and you make a mental note that when it stops raining you will clean the gutters. The problem is you forgot to clean the gutters and the next time it rains you are in your basement, and notice water coming in. This delayed maintenance just turned into a major repair because all of the water that was overflowing your gutters was being placed right next to your foundation. In these two examples we can see how deferring the maintenance on your home can turn into bigger and more costly repairs.
So, what could you have done differently? By developing and following a home maintenance schedule tailored to your homes needs you could have prevented these major repairs from being needed. So, what is the best way to develop a home maintenance plan? It is usually best to create a plan developed according to the seasons. Below is a list of items to make sure you have on your list.
- Inspect and clean your gutters four times a year.
- Check your furnace filter every three months (minimum).
- Inspect and test your smoke alarms every six months.
- Operate all water shut off valves twice a year.
- Inspect your water heater twice a year.
- Check the grade of your yard twice a year.
- Inspect for peeling paint or rotted wood twice a year.
- Have your furnace professionally cleaned annually.
- Have your air conditioner professionally cleaned annually.
- Inspect and test your carbon monoxide detectors twice a year.
- Inspect all concrete surfaces for cracks and trip hazards twice a year.
- Inspect all guardrails and handrails twice a year.
- Inspect all caulking twice a year.
- Check for deteriorated siding twice a year.
- Inspect your roof twice a year.
- Inspect your foundation twice a year.
- Have your chimneys cleaned annually.
- Have your fireplace and chimney inspected annually.
Some of the items above you may not feel comfortable doing, and you should never perform a task you feel is a safety hazard. Some of these things you may want to hire a professional to perform. This is a basic guideline of things to inspect, and develop a home maintenance plan, but by no means is this everything that may need to be included on your list. Every house is different and may have different things that need to be on your list. It doesn’t matter how well of a list you put together or how well you perform the tasks on your home maintenance schedule, if you don’t make sure to set aside the time needed to perform the maintenance items you identified that need servicing during your inspections.
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