Our home is often our biggest investment. We have to work diligently to ensure that our investment is taken care of or it will fall to ruin within the 30 years it takes to pay it off. Today we’re going to talk about basic home maintenance steps and how you can turn home maintenance into a regular routine that becomes second-nature over time.
Exterior Inspection and Maintenance
- Siding – Vinyl siding is made to withstand the rigors of Mother Nature for up to 20 years. You may be able to extend the life of your siding through regular maintenance and cleaning. Don’t use a pressure washer on your siding. Use a bucket of water with cleaner, hand wash it, and rinse it with the water hose. Pressure washing vinyl siding can damage the siding over time.
Stucco siding can last for the duration of the home if it is properly maintained. Stucco maintenance isn’t terribly difficult. Hose it down with the water hose from time to time to wash away the dust and pollen that accumulates over time. You can paint it or seal it regularly to keep it looking new. Cracks are common in stucco and should be repaired if they’re wider than the thickness of a credit card.
- Trim – Trim, such as that around windows and doors, should be painted regularly to maintain the appearance and protect the wood from rain and the sun’s harsh UV rays.
- Painting or Staining – The privacy fence and all other wooden structures need to be protected from the elements as well. Stain, paint, or otherwise seal them as needed to maintain the beautiful appearance and structural integrity.
- Power Washing – Keep masonry and concrete clean and looking amazing by power washing it once a year.
Interior Inspection and Maintenance
- Appliances – Clean appliances run more efficiently. Make sure to keep all appliances and associated filters cleaned.
- Smoke Alarms – It’s pretty amazing that something as simple as batteries can save your life. Make sure all smoke alarms are working properly and replace the batteries once a year.
- Carbon Monoxide Detectors – Change the batteries in the carbon monoxide detector at least once a year, too, especially if you have a fireplace or gas appliances.
- Fire Extinguisher – Every home needs a working fire extinguisher. Examine it for signs of physical damage, confirm the pressure gauge is in the operable range, and lift it to make sure it feels full. If you’re not sure whether your fire extinguisher is in working condition, buy a new one.
- Granite Countertop Sealing – Granite countertops often make or break a home deal. They’re beautiful and easy to maintain, but they do require sealing on occasion.
- Dryer Vent Cleaning – Clean the dryer vent at least once a year to ensure that the dryer will continue to work as intended.
- Filters – HVAC filters, water filters, and air filters get clogged up with gunk as they work to clean the air or water. Change them on a regular basis to ensure proper functionality.
- Light Switch Face Plates – Face plates become dated and go out of style over time. Metal plates may fall prey to corrosion and need to be cleaned occasionally.
- Electrical Outlet Face Plates – Electrical outlets take damage from daily use, especially if you use the same outlet for different appliances throughout the week. Replace them when they begin to show signs of wear.
- Doorbell – We all like to change the doorbell from time to time whether we’re updating the style or repairing a damaged doorbell.
- Drywall – Drywall is relatively easy to patch as needed to cover nail holes from hanging pictures or other artwork. Painting the walls throughout your home will give it an entirely new vibrance and attractiveness.
Home maintenance doesn’t come naturally to most homeowners. Many have to create a schedule for all home maintenance needs. A lot of area homeowners even call a handyman service to perform home maintenance tasks because they simply don’t have time – and that’s okay, too. Paying to protect your home, your investment, is just as responsible as doing the maintenance yourself.
Give us a call at PrimeSpec Consulting at 480-570-5615 if you’re in the Gilbert or East Valley area and in need of a qualified, licensed home inspector. We have experience in construction and home repair as well. We feel that this gives us a leg up on an inspector without actual building experience.