Let’s face it: your home’s not getting any younger.
So as a homeowner, it’s important that you do everything in your power to keep its value up as long as possible. After all, it is one of the biggest investments you’ve made in your life.
Fortunately, there are lots of preventative maintenance tasks you can perform to protect your home’s value. And if they become routine, you can prevent much worse damage and depreciation down the road.
Sounds like it’d be worthwhile, doesn’t it?
I thought so too. Here are 10 preventative maintenance tips to keep the value of your home up!
Keeping Your Home Young Through Preventative Maintenance
1. Protect Your Foundation
This one’s at the top of the list for good reason.
If something goes seriously wrong with your foundation, you might be in for the most expensive maintenance costs of your home-owning life.
That’s why you need to check to make sure the soil around your house slopes away from your foundation walls at least 6 inches over 10 feet. If it doesn’t, it may be a sign of a much worse problem.
2. Keep Out Moisture
Water damage is really the silent killer when it comes to your home.
Persistent leaks can lead to mold, mildew, rot, and even pests like termites and carpenter ants. But if you can stop a leak in its tracks soon after it starts, you can prevent long term damage.
Simply keep your eyes peeled for dark spots under your piping and cabinets. Watch for stains on ceilings, rocking toilets, and listen for drips.
It’s no joke. Constant vigilance against moisture can mean the difference between going on vacation and spending that hard-earned money on preventable repairs.
3. Value Your Weather Stripping
As your house gets older, it can expand and contract from changes in temperature or humidity. When this happens, the little gaps left over can open and allow moisture to spread.
So if you see light around your doors or windows or feel a draft, you need to seal as many areas as possible with weather stripping or caulk.
Weather stripping is usually a narrow piece or felt, foam, metal, rubber, or vinyl than seals the space between doors, windows, and their frames. Applying it to your house is a minor preventative maintenance task that can make a huge difference down the road.
4. Fight Off Debris
Sometimes, our homes seem like huge magnets for all sorts of debris. Everything from leaves and twigs to toys and trash can collect all along the outside of your house, so make sure you have working systems in place to fight them off.
For one, you should always keep your gutter drainpipes unclogged. Flush all that debris down them with a hose, or use a plumber’s snake to free the debris from the drainpipe.
Your window wells and even the foundation of your home can also attract debris. So make sure you clean leaves and other items out of these and rake anything collecting clear away from your house and other structures on your property.
5. Maintain Safety Systems
An extremely important preventative maintenance task is to keep your safety and alert systems up to date and working properly.
Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors regularly. Keep replacement batteries around all the time just in case one stops working suddenly.
Make sure your fire extinguishers are working as well. If you have a fire, the last thing you want is for your strongest line of defense to stop working.
And one more thing: preventative maintenance can also mean protecting your home from forces other than nature. If you use the right security lighting around the outside of your home, you can prevent things like costly vandalism or burglary.
6. Check Your Heat and Cooling Systems
One of the most important functions of a house is to keep you comfortable – always.
And because a faulty heating or cooling system can spell the opposite, you should definitely take care of any problems in advance through preventative maintenance.
Here are some steps you can take to ensure your air conditioning stays strong:
- Have a qualified serviceperson check your heating and cooling systems once a year according to manufacturer’s warranty and service recommendations.
- Clean and replace your filters regularly.
- Clean out your fireplace ash pit.
- Remove dirt from furnaces, grills, and ducts.
- Check your chimney before you use it. Creosote build-up can be dangerous.
7. Make Sure Your Appliances Are Up-to-Date
According to Consumer Reports, more than 15 million appliances have been recalled in the past five years for defects that could cause a fire. But that doesn’t stop millions of people from installing their appliances and forgetting about them.
If you aren’t sure about whether your appliances are up for recall, write down all of their model and serial numbers. Then, head over to www.recalls.gov to see what actions you can take if any of your appliances need to be replaced.
Even if they aren’t up for recall right now, you should still hold onto your list of serial numbers. It could be years before problems with a specific model become evident – so check it as often as possible.
8. Keep Your Floors Clean and Fresh
If your old finish wears through, you might end up damaging your hardwood floors.
That’s why the trick is to get to them before that happens. Apply a fresh coat without having to do any sanding (which wears away some of the wood) and you might just extend the life of your floor.
You should also keep your carpeting vacuumed and stain-free. Don’t put off cleaning your carpeting until the last minute – clean it regularly to ensure there’s no buildup of grime that could force you to dig deep into your pockets to tear it all up.
9. Watch Your Roof
You really don’t want your roof giving you any problems. Ever.
So, here are some steps you can take to make sure it’s always in tip-top shape:
- Trim back tree branches that hang on and scrape the roof. Keep all branches far away from your chimney.
- Keep an eye out for damaged or missing shingles.
- Watch the lower edge of the roof for water damage.
- Make sure your vents allow for free air movement. Clean your screens and remove bird nests, insects, and dust build-up.
- Maintain clean gutters, downspouts, hangers, and strainers.
10. Maintain Your Drains
Last but not least, here’s an easy one: keep your plumbing working perfectly.
Check your faucets and hose connections for leaks at shut-off valves, and always ensure your drains run freely.
You can simply pour boiling water down your drains to break up clogging. Or, if they become severely clogged, you can pour a cup of baking soda and vinegar down them and flush with three cups of hot water.
If that doesn’t work, you should go to your nearest hardware store and pick up some heavy-duty drain cleaner.
See, it’s not that hard to keep your home in great shape. Not only will you keep its value as high as possible, you also won’t have to worry about huge repair bills – or the stress of a home that’s literally falling apart around you!
If you have any further questions about maintaining the value of your home – or if you have other concerns about real estate in general – consider getting in touch with a professional. As a real estate agent in the Austin, Ft. Hood, and Killeen area, I know all the ins and outs of your home’s value. So contact me today!