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Congratulations! You’ve spent years planning and saving, months looking at homes on the market, and finally, you are a new homeowner. Now that you own a home, you are responsible for the care and maintenance of every part of your new investment. However, there are many elements of home maintenance that new homeowners don’t think about, and the list can start to feel overwhelming. Here are the top 15 maintenance tips that new homeowners need to know:
Your HVAC filters are one of the most important parts of keeping your home’s heating and cooling system functioning well. They prevent dust and other debris from getting inside the system and clogging it. It is recommended to check and change your filters every 1-3 months.
Caulking your windows gives them a finished look and also seals them, which prevents air inside your home from escaping. This can have a huge impact on your heating and cooling bills. While this is a fairly common DIY task, make sure you know the do’s and don’ts before you start the project.
Making sure your weather stripping around the doors of your home will also prevent leaks and drafts, and help keep your heating and cooling bills low. Replacing worn out weather stripping is a fairly simple task that will increase the seal of your home.
Moisture in your crawl space can quickly turn into mold and begin to spread throughout your home. If you notice moisture in your crawl space, you should act quickly in order to minimize the damage that may occur.
With good care and maintenance, a deck can last for several decades without cracking or deteriorating. Resealing is an important deck maintenance task, because it protects the deck from sun damage, moisture, and mildew. A good rule of thumb is to reseal your deck every 1-3 years. If the deck is cracking or splitting, or you notice that moisture is consistently soaking into the deck, those are telltale signs that resealing is necessary.
The paint on your home’s exterior blocks moisture from soaking into your home. If you notice the paint chipping, peeling or cracking, make sure to touch it up as soon as possible in order to keep your home sealed and protected.
The caulking in your bathroom helps to create a watertight seal around the tub, sink, and other bathroom fixtures. If you notice missing or cracked caulk or any discoloration around the seams, performing a quick touch-up will go a long way in maintaining the watertight seal around your bathroom fixtures and preventing mold and mildew damage down the road.
Cleaning out your gutters is another important part of home maintenance. Falling leaves, twigs, and other natural debris get caught in your gutters, and if they’re not cleaned out regularly, that debris will build up and cause clogs. Regularly cleaning out your gutters (the suggestion is twice each year) is a good way to keep them functioning properly.
The roof plays an important role in the protection of your home. Regular roof maintenance doesn’t have to be hard. An easy first step is to inspect your roof from the ground once each season to monitor any changes or damage that may be visible. If you notice any water damage, streaking, cracked shingles, or missing roofing materials, schedule a professional inspection with a roofing company. Many companies, like the Fredericksburg roofing company, offer free inspections.
As the weather fluctuations throughout the seasons, the ground expands and contracts with the freeze-thaw cycle. This can take a toll on your driveway, and eventually it will begin to crumble and crack. It’s recommended to reseal your driveway every 1-3 years to keep it in good condition.
Cleaning out your garbage disposal is a smaller maintenance task, but it can make a huge difference in the smell and functionality of your kitchen. Food and other debris often gets stuck and builds up there and can cause odors and clogs. There are several easy methods to clean out the garbage disposal to keep it fresh.
Lint can clog your dryer vent and prevent it from functioning properly. Cleaning the vent once or twice a year is a great way to keep everything clear and functioning well.
Your gutter downspout is one of the most important parts of your gutter system. Its job is to direct the water that flows off of your roof to a drainage location away from the foundation of your house. If your downspout isn’t long enough, the water will pool near the foundation of your home, and cause water damage. Extending the downspout allows the water to drain safely.
Your smoke detectors are crucial parts of your home in the event of a fire. Regularly checking your smoke detectors to ensure the batteries haven’t died is a simple step that could save your life.
In the event that an emergency occurs, you may need to quickly shut off the water, gas, or electricity in your home. Make sure you know exactly where each shut-off is located, and how it works. This way if the need arises, you feel confident in your ability to respond quickly.
When you buy your first home, the list of maintenance tasks that you are responsible for can be overwhelming. However, most maintenance items only need to happen once or twice each year. One way to simplify the maintenance process is to create a calendar or a schedule that spreads tasks out over the year. This way you can maintain your home consistently, without becoming overwhelmed.