You change the oil in your car, get a haircut every couple weeks, deposit a portion of every paycheck into your savings account, and maybe try to read a novel each month. We all try to implement habits to maintain our physical, mental, and financial health, but what if we told you there is one big way to supplement all three? The big secret – maintaining your home. It is likely your largest personal asset and affects the way you and your family feel, think, and interact. Taking good care of it translates to taking good care of yourself and the ones you love.
Whether you have an old home that needs lots of love or a newer one that needs more occasional attention, here are some general tips from REcolorado to help keep your home in better shape than the day you bought it. You can also check out Better Homes & Gardens Home Maintenace Checklist for more.
1. Make a schedule. Home maintenance should appear on the same calendar that you log appointments and meetings. It can be easy to forget something important, let months go by, and develop problems or irreversible wear and tear over too much time.
2. Control air quality. This is multi-fold. Is air ventilating and circulating properly throughout your home? Strange noises or drafty areas likely don’t mean anything supernatural, but just need to be cleaned out or looked at by a professional. Dust or other debris can collect in vents and filtration systems, blocking and contaminating air flow, not to mention increasing your energy bill.
3. Annually inspect with a professional. The same way we trust a doctor to do our checkup or a dentist do our teeth cleaning, there is nothing wrong with having a professional help us monitor the health and well-being of our most valuable assets. Inspections or professional help can be essential for pest control, roof repair, heating and cooling systems, plumbing, etc. Especially if you suspect there might be an issue, but even if you don’t. Unaddressed or unrecognized problems could fester and end up costing much more money in the long run than a simple inspection once a year.
4. Clean your gutters. It’s a possibly dreaded but necessary chore. Proper drainage of weather and moisture from your home ensures the longevity of so many other parts of your home including your roof, siding, and even foundation.
5. Maintain appliances. Regularly clean refrigerator/freezer coils, empty drip trays and change the water filter. Flush out your hot water heater on occasion to avoid sediment build up. Clear lint traps and vents to your washer and dryer. Clean out your garbage disposal. The more you maintain these expensive bits and pieces of your home, the more valuable it is as a whole. Also, the less often you should have to seek expensive repair or replacement.
6. Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are in proper working condition. Your family and home’s safety is paramount.
7. Perform seasonal-specific maintenance. Certain things should be done at certain times of the year. Spring cleaning and gardening, summer mowing and lawn work, fall leaf-raking, and winter sprinkler drainage. Transition seasons, spring and fall, are good times of the year to check your heating and cooling systems because they aren’t being relied on as much to heat and cool.
8. Deep clean. This is where a schedule comes in handy. Clean your window coverings, carpets, walls and baseboards, hard to reach light fixtures, etc. There are so many nooks and crannies in your home that need your attention every few months, not to mention the high traffic areas that need it much more often. Spreading the work out over a schedule makes it feel less overwhelming.
9. Power washing your exterior once a year will greatly improve curb appeal in the short and long term.
10. Fertilize/water your lawn and prune your trees and shrubs. A healthy, robust, bright green lawn is hard to come by but oh so envied. Robust foliage on the other hand, can easily become hazardous and haggard, if growth goes unmanaged.
11. Routinely check for leaks around showers, sinks, tubs and other water sources. Even minimal water damage or clogging deserves special attention. It could be the beginning of what could become an expensive issue.
12. Keep up appearances. Mend cracks in the driveway, recaulk moldy grout, reseal pealing window sills. Touch up your interior and exterior paint. Make necessary repairs and purchase necessary replacements. Maybe even consider, based on your evolving desires and budget, making bigger updates or renovations. Any work you do while you are living in and enjoying your home now, is one less thing on your checklist when you decide to sell. It could also help increase the value of your home. (Learn more about our suggested renovations for resell in our two-part blog series.)
If we learned anything in 2020, it’s the unparalleled value of our loved ones, our health, and our financial security so let’s make the focus of 2021 on all three. At Corken + Company, we cherish this value and will always work to guarantee you find comfort and assurance in each. It all starts right at home with clean gutters and a mowed lawn.