Maintenance costs are one of the many burdens homeowners face. However, ensuring these tasks are done properly prevents homeowners from incurring higher costs in the future.
When facing conflicting responsibilities and a limited budget, choosing which maintenance tasks to prioritize can be a challenge. Here are five home maintenance tasks to put at the top of your list, based on the return on investment and mitigated long-term costs.
Schedule Annual HVAC Tune-Ups
One of the most overlooked annual maintenance tasks is scheduling a tune-up for your HVAC system — heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Scheduling semi-annual check-ups ensure you have time to plan for any furnace or AC Repair calls before they’re needed. This affordable visit also prevents the system from failing at the worst possible time; the only thing worse than the air conditioning failing on the hottest day of the year is the heat cutting out during a winter storm.
Scheduling an annual HVAC tune-up limits the wear-and-tear on your various systems, so they last longer. It can also prevent expensive repair costs. If you’ve been scrimping on this home maintenance task to save money, it’s time to invest in this cost-saving service.
Find and Seal Drafts
It’s common for both homeowners and renters to only address drafts when they notice them naturally— i.e., feeling a draft as they walk past a window or door. In reality, your home shifts and materials degrade over time. Your home may develop more drafts with each passing year.
Take the time each fall to find and seal drafts in your home. Consider renting a draft detector to determine where the drafts are, so you can add caulking and weather stripping to correct the issue before the cold season. It’s also worth reaching out to your local power providers or government to conduct an energy audit. Many areas offer this service for free to encourage eco-friendly practices.
Clean and Repair Your Roof and Gutters
Replacing a roof is one of the highest costs homeowners incur. Fortunately, there are several maintenance tasks that can extend the roof’s lifespan to get the highest possible return on investment. Inspecting the roof every spring and making minor repairs to the flashing and missing shingles will help prevent costly leaks. It’s also wise to remove debris and treat any moss growth to prevent shingle degradation.
Clearing debris from the gutters will also help extend the lifespan of the roof and prevent mold growth and water damage in the attic. Having clean gutters is a must in areas with high amounts of snowfall to prevent extensive roof damage. It’s worth the extra expense of having a professional roofing company provide these services, as they know what to look for and can safely make the necessary repairs.
Flush Your Water Heater and Appliances
Flushing your water heater is a simple annual task that helps extend the tank’s lifespan. Over time, sediment and debris will settle in the tank, creating inconsistencies in temperature and accelerating the breakdown. To flush the system, drain the water and sediment into a bucket then refill the tank. When it comes time for an upgrade, consider replacing your existing tank with a tankless alternative.
It’s also wise to flush your washing machine and dishwasher once per year. Use an appliance-friendly cleaning solution to flush the system and keep your appliances running efficiently, for longer.
Schedule a Pest Inspection
Scheduling a pest inspection (and potentially a treatment) is another maintenance task that gets overlooked until an issue becomes apparent. However, it’s worth scheduling an appointment at least once per year. Many pests work within the walls or in small, unnoticed areas. Some signs of pests are hard to detect unless you know what you’re looking for, yet they can cause extensive damage.
Consider adding an annual pest inspection to your home maintenance line-up to protect your home’s structure, electrical, plumbing, and ensure a healthy environment for you and your family.
The key to home maintenance is ensuring the small problems are dealt with before they become big problems. Add these five tasks to your list to protect your biggest investment.