Your home is more than a residence: it’s also an investment and asset. All homes need regular maintenance and repairs to ensure something like a slight leak doesn’t turn in to a flooded basement or damaged insulation. Providing regular maintenance on your home helps ensure that it not only maintains its value but appreciates over time.
Neglecting maintenance is one of the most common reasons properties can take longer to sell. Additionally, regular maintenance preserves your homes structural integrity and can prevent major damage, as well as lower your future expenses.
Ensuring that your home is properly sealed and insulated effectively can drastically reduce utility costs that pile up on top of your reoccurring mortgage or home loan.
Below are 5 maintenance tips that can help you save money in the future.
1. Check the Outside of Your Home
Regularly inspect the exterior of your home for damage. Missing or damaged house siding can expose house wrap, which prevents moisture from building up inside your walls. When your walls or your homes framing is exposed to water, significant damage can occur. The moisture can cause mold to grow in your insulation, forcing potentially expensive repairs. If the framing becomes exposed to excessive moisture, it can begin to rot.
Damaged siding can also expose your home to infestations. If only a few pieces of siding are damaged, repair costs will likely be minimal. Also check to see if any exterior wood, such as window sills, are dry rotted. Dry rotted windows can create increased energy costs and prevent windows from properly shutting. While overlooking the exterior of your home, check for any signs of termites.
Early infestations can be treated successfully, but if you delay addressing termites, it can lead to significant damage.Checking to see if there are cracks in your foundation is a prudent way to prevent serious structural damage. Although minor cracking is common in older homes, major damage or cracks should be addressed immediately. Repairing damage quickly can prevent serious foundation issues.
2. Look Over Your Roof
Inspect for roof for any obvious signs of damage. The most important things to look for are loose or missing shingles, curled or damaged shingles, whether flashing needs replaced, and for holes or damage. Addressing issues with your roof as they come can save you from having to replace your roof. Issues with your roof can also create higher energy costs and potentially water damage, so noticing abnormalities before they become damaging can save you several thousand dollars. Regular maintenance of your roof can ensure that it lasts longer.
While looking over your roof, check your gutters to see if they need cleaned out, repaired, or replaced. Gutters help ensure water is directed away from your homes basement and foundation. Over time, gutters can start to pull away from the roof, which creates drainage issues because water will start to run down the sides of your home.
3. Proper Insulation
Insulation helps decrease energy costs, especially heating costs in the winter. Not all homes are properly insulated, and older homes tend to lack insulation in areas of the house other than the attic. Having too much or not enough insulation can impact how effectively your house holds heat. You may want to consider adding insulation to your HVAC system, walls, and crawlspace to improve your homes energy efficiency.
4. Caulk Doors and Windows
Caulk helps prevent mold and water damage and helps you weatherize your home properly. Using caulk and insulation around your doors and windows can decrease your energy bill by 3% annually and addressing gaps in your windows and doors can decrease your energy expenses by 20%.
When gaps and leaks are present, up to 30% of your heated or cooled air escapes your home. This not only impacts your energy bill but can cause your furnace or air conditioner to be overworked to compensate for the lost efficiency.
Putting additional pressure on your furnace or air conditioning systems can decrease their life expectancy. Properly sealing and addressing leaks and gaps between windows and doors can help prolong the life of your HVAC system while significantly decreasing your annual energy expenses.
5. Look for Leaks
Plumbing leaks can cause water damage and increased utility bills. Even small leaks can create excessive water bills when water and sewage costs are based on use. Leaks can damage cabinets, destroy drywall and plaster, cause mold, and ruin flooring.
Regularly checking your pipes and plumbing system for damage or leaks can prevent systemic failures in your plumbing system. While you’re at it, also make sure that your drainage are functioning well. If there are any problems, especially when it comes to outdoor drainage like patio drainage or landscaping drainage, get someone to fix it right away to avoid flooding in your yard.
The sooner plumbing issues are addressed, the less likely they are to spread. A small leak could be fixed with a toilet or sink supply line, but if it's left unchecked, can cause water damage and impact other parts of your plumbing system.
6. Hire a Professional Home Inspector
According to Corey Tyner of Phoenix Home Buyers, one of the best decisions that homeowners could make is hiring a professional to do the inspections for them. This is important especially for homeowners who don’t have time to do a regular home inspection by themselves. Aside from that, professional home inspectors are well equipped with the expertise on what to look for and can provide solutions for any home problems they might detect.