Although owning a home is a tremendous accomplishment, it also carries obligations such as home maintenance.
Keeping up with home maintenance is essential if you want to keep your property’s worth, appearance, and functioning intact. Neglecting upkeep can increase the expense of repairs and lessen how comfortable your home is overall. We’ll look at important home maintenance activities that every homeowner needs to be aware of in this complete guide.
Your roof should be one of your primary areas of attention.
Routine inspections can stop small problems from becoming more serious ones. To avoid water damage, leaks must be quickly located and fixed. Cleaning gutters and downspouts and looking for damaged shingles will also help your roof last longer.
If your roof tends to collect icicles or ice dams, purchase a roof rake and clear snow before it can melt or freeze into ice causing serious damage to your roofing.
HVAC systems require regular maintenance to provide a comfortable indoor environment and occupant experience.
Consider your air conditioning serviced to get your air conditioning system ready for summer. Replace dirty filters to help improve indoor air quality and help the heater/air conditioning unit run more efficiently. Moreover, cleaning your vents and ducts regularly can further improve your home’s air quality.
This one really depends on your individual home and even which part of the country you live in. Some places mostly just use window air units, while other places use a centralized air conditioning system.
In Florida, we have central electric HVAC systems. The air handler is located in the attic, the garage, or inside of the home in a closet. The compressor is located outside the home on a concrete pad elevated above the base flood elevation. Typically it is on the side of the home where the guest bedrooms are located so that the owners are not listening to the humming of the condenser outside while they’re sleeping. HVAC systems last 7 to 12 years in Florida, typically. Energy calculations are used to determine the size of the unit that is needed to cool the home and we will often have two or more units for homes that are larger than three-bedroom.
Any home needs a working plumbing system to function properly.
Further water loss and damage should be reduced by identifying and repairing leaks immediately. Flushing water heaters on a regular basis reduces silt buildup, extending their longevity. Sometimes, a plumber is necessary to properly clean the plumbing system.
New homes are being built with PEX plumbing, which is easy to identify with the red and blue plastic waterlines. Prior to PEX plumbing, PVC was the best option. Homes with polybutylene plumbing are uninsurable and will require a re-plumbing of the home upon purchase in order to ensure the structure.
Your home’s exterior is exposed to a variety of elements, making care essential. Most concrete block homes in Florida are finished with stucco. It is normal for stucco to crack because it is concrete and it will expand and contract. When a home is repainted, the painters will first prep the surface by filling in any stucco cracks with an elastomeric caulking design for the spaces. it’s important to take care of any stucco cracks right away because if they become large enough to allow water intrusion, it can cause structural damage to your home which is irreversible.
Some homes have Hardie Board exteriors, which is a brand name for a concrete fiberboard, which is molded in the shape of a wood plank. These boards have a long life expectancy and are not subject to wood-destroying organisms like traditional wood is.
Vinyl siding is the most cost-effective option and is predominantly used in wood-frame homes. The benefit of vinyl siding is that the color is baked into it, so it saves you money because you do not need to repaint your home as you would with Hardie Board or stucco finish.
Siding maintenance increases curb appeal and stops deterioration. Your property looks its best when you maintain the landscaping regularly, such as by mowing the lawn and trimming the bushes. In some circumstances, letting weeds grow freely, or dead leaves and debris to collect, such as in flower beds, can actually create risk to your property; it can attract pests and even be a fire hazard.
Floors experience constant foot traffic, making their maintenance essential. In Florida, hardwood floors are not common because of the humidity and the risk of water intrusion. However, we do have some specially engineered wood floors that can withstand our climate. The most popular option right now is LPV or luxury plank vinyl. This product has come a long way in recent years and is a beautiful and durable option. It allows you to extend the wood-look floors throughout the entire home, even into the wet areas of the kitchen and bathrooms. It is also better for your feet and your joints as compared to walking on porcelain tile floors.
Clutter can also create a sense of chaos in your living spaces. Declutter by organizing and getting rid of items you no longer need. Proper storage solutions, such as shelves, cabinets, and storage bins, can help you keep your home organized and serene.
Electrical issues can be hazardous if left unchecked. Inspect your electrical outlets and switches for any signs of damage, such as scorch marks, loose connections, or flickering lights.
Home appliances should be well maintained because they add to your daily convenience.
Fire risks can be avoided by cleaning the dryer vents of lint and I recommend this be done every two years.
Anytime, you notice some corrosion or buildup or error on your home equipment and appliances, take a media attention to remedy the problem because they can build up and become a much larger problem.
Painting and Finishing
Your interiors need a fresh lease on life by having the walls and ceilings painted. Some of the best colors for interior paint today are accessible, beige, greige, white, and off-white, and very light tan colors. Dark colors, especially red and green, should be avoided.
The exterior of a Florida home should be repainted every 5 to 7 years. A new home will probably need to be repainted sooner than five years if the builder has used a lower-quality paint. Also, homes that are dark on the exterior, like brown and green and terra-cotta, will require repainting sooner than those homes which are light on the exterior because the sun fades the paint and gives it a chalky appearance.
Windows and Doors
Properly sealing your windows and doors can improve the comfort and energy efficiency of your home.
Routine examination of weatherstripping and caulking can help you avoid leaks and drafts to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Windowpane maintenance and cleaning ensure clear views. Squeaks and jams are avoided by lubricating the hinges and locks on doors.
One of the most common repairs for windows in Florida is the window sashes, which are those long bars and springs on the sides of a window. This is one of the most common things we see in home inspections for windows that are older than 10 years old. If you call a window repairman, it will be an expensive repair that will take plenty of time to wait for them to come to the house. But you can watch a YouTube video and order the parts online and do it yourself.
Pests can cause problems and even be dangerous to your health.
A great way to improve your home maintenance is by finding infestations early through conducting routine pest inspections. Sealing entrance sites, such as gaps around doors and windows can prevent pests from entering your home. Choosing eco-friendly pest control techniques reduces the influence on the environment.
In Florida, it’s important to trim back the trees which are close to your home so that the branches do not touch the roofline. Branches touching the roofline of your home will lead to an easy access point for palm rats. You definitely do not want rats in your attic.
another past you want to be careful with in Florida is termites. These wood-destroying organisms swarm or attack your home under the ground. It is common in Florida to have termite bait stations around your home in order to prevent an infestation.
Putting safety first is crucial.
To make sure your home security systems are operating properly, test them frequently. Installing motion-sensor lighting in strategic locations can improve home security.
A smoke and carbon monoxide detector test protects your home’s security. Replace your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Even if your detectors seem to be working properly, err on the side of caution and replace them at the ten-year mark. It’s a small investment that could save your property or even your life. Check the expiration date on your fire extinguishers to confirm they’re ready in the event of an emergency. Establish a well-strategized family fire escape plan and teach them how to use it.
Both the environment and your wallet gain when you increase the energy efficiency of your home.
Switching to energy-efficient appliances can reduce energy usage and your monthly bill. By installing programmable thermostats, you can effectively control the temperature within your home. Improving your insulation at home can stop energy loss and aid you in further decreasing your overall electricity bill.
DIY vs. Professional Help
While many activities can be completed on your own to save you from costly repairs, some should be left to the experts.
Before making a choice, evaluate the task’s difficulty and your level of expertise. Always hire professionals to complete any complicated electrical or structural repairs.
Regular home maintenance is a responsibility that pays off in the long run. Continual checks on your exterior, appliances, heating and cooling, plumbing, security, and electrical systems will help prevent breakdowns, save money, and keep your home looking its best.
Remember, a well-maintained home is a happy and safe home. If you want to have a copy of a comprehensive home maintenance guideline for your home, click here.