Whether it’s your first home or you have tons of experience as a homeowner, knowing how to maintain your house is a must. Correct maintenance not only means that your home always looks appealing inside and out, though. It also means that it will last longer, need fewer repairs, and be a healthy environment in which to live.
From installing gutter guards or another type of leaf guard for gutters to sticking to a routine cleaning schedule, there are many things you can do to make your house thrive. Here are five key actions you can start taking right now:
1. Keep a Clean and Tidy Space
Cleaning does a lot more than provide an uncluttered and relaxed environment for you to enjoy. From the perspective of home maintenance, regular cleaning prevents the buildup of dust, pet fur, and fine particles that can aggravate allergies and asthma.
Regular vacuuming will take care of most of this, but make sure to do routine deep cleaning at least once a year, as dust and fine particles can also damage fixtures and surface finishes throughout your home. Picking up your belongings and keeping a tidy space also reduces the chances of tripping on something and either injuring yourself or putting a hand through the drywall.
2. Take Care of Your Home’s Drainage System and Roof
Your home drainage system is like veins are to the body — it keeps your home working as it should. While it is a great idea to regularly schedule an annual or biannual drainage cleaning with a professional plumber, there are a few things that you can do as well.
You likely don’t enjoy cleaning out the gutters every few months when they become full of leaves and organic material, so consider installing leaf guards for gutters, or gutter guards. Any type of gutter cover will help prevent your gutters from filling up with material that then travels to your downpipe. This material can block your pipe and allow water to back up and go where it is not supposed to.
Also, keep an eye out for any leaks that come through your ceilings when there is rain, and do a cursory check for any roof damage after a strong storm has passed through. If you have internal drains, such as in a basement, try pouring a bucket or two of water down the drain once a year to check for blockages so that if flooding does occur, the water has somewhere to go and the damage is kept to a minimum.
3. Regularly Clean and Touch Up Your Home’s Exterior
Your home’s exterior is not just what people on the street get to see — it is the barrier between the elements and your cozy, dry interior. Neglecting to clean and touch up your home’s exterior can give rust, moss, or mold the opportunity to slowly eat away at it, damaging the surface and allowing in air and moisture.
This can also affect your energy bill, since your climate control system will be doing more work to regulate the interior temperature when there is air freely coming in through a damaged exterior.
Every six months, clean the exterior surface following the guidelines for whichever cladding material you have. You can usually do this with a low-powered power washer, just be careful not to use so much pressure that it damages the exterior cladding.
You also need to repair any damage to the exterior’s paint quickly. And a full repainting should take place every seven to 15 years based on your region and the exterior materials of your home.
4. Restore Dead Power Outlets and Maintain Your Electric System
Keep your electricity system working properly by calling a qualified electrician if you discover any power outlets that are not working. You should check each outlet annually to identify any issues. Additionally, you will need to check every six months or so that your GFCIs (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters) are fully functioning. You will find these receptacles next to plumbing fixtures with the “Test” and “Reset” buttons.
Unless you are a qualified electrician, we recommend that you leave the electrical work to the professionals. However, understanding how the system works is important for communicating issues to an electrician and determining what needs to be done.
5. Regularly Clean Your Ventilation System, Filters, and Exhaust Vents
Mold and fine particles can build up in the ventilation filters and exhaust vents throughout your home and will continue to circulate in the air until they are removed. In order to improve indoor air quality in your home, try the following:
- Clean or replace filters in your ventilation system as well as in appliances throughout the house
- Fix any leaks to prevent moisture from building up and mold from establishing a presence
- Add some indoor plants as natural air cleaners that also improve your home’s aesthetic
- Keep all fans and ventilators in working condition
- Buy a dehumidifier or additional air purifier
By maintaining your home in a clean state and fixing any damaged or broken parts as you see them, you will be well on your way to preserving, or even increasing, the value of your home. Something as small as installing gutter guards on the exterior of the house can save you a lot of time and hassle.
If sticking to a regular cleaning schedule seems difficult at first, remember to break it all down and tackle different parts throughout the year. You can reserve Fall and Spring as your cleaning months, with a list divided between interior and exterior cleaning work.
You don’t have to do it all at once — maintaining your house is much easier if you chip away at it on a regular basis.