Thursday, October 24, 2019

Home ownership is new to me; what things require ongoing maintenance?

I'm glad you asked; I just happen to have a list of maintenance items for you to keep on hand.  Probably the one thing I see most often that reduces the value of a home is the lack of simple maintenance.  Keeping your home's components in good working order is the best way to retain the value of your home and avoid costly repair bills.

Here in the state of Texas, we have to worry about many things that affect our homes, like dramatic shifts in weather, from an extremely hot & dry summer to a wet spring and fall which have a profound affect on the soil surrounding our foundations.  Our water supply tends to be calcium rich and hard; this can negatively affect our plumbing components.  Pollens and dust seem out of control in certain times of the year, requiring vigilant replacement of HVAC air filters.  There are a lot of maintenance items to keep track of - here's a list for you to keep handy...

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Home Maintenance Schedule

Preventive maintenance is the very best way to keep your house performing as intended.  It maintains a safe environment, reduces surprises, and controls expenses.  In the long-run, it improves the odds of selling your home at fair market value, when it comes time to move on.
Take care of your home; you’ll be taking care of yourself!


Upon Taking Ownership
Change locks of all exterior doors
Replace batteries in all smoke/CO detectors; then test
Create a plan of action in the event of a fire in your home
Review your home inspection report for all safety related issues to be addressed
Investigate the location of the main shut-offs for plumbing, electric, heating, and water

Spring and Fall
Replace HVAC air filters, or clean if reusable
Have HVAC system(s) inspected and cleaned
Clean humidifiers / electronic air filters
Clean gutters, downspouts, window wells
Replace batteries in all smoke/CO detectors; then test
Inspect attic for evidence of leaks, condensation, or vermin activity

Annually
Inspect faucets, toilet flappers, water valves at sinks and toilets
Inspect shower enclosures for grout repair needs
Trim back vegetation from foundation and exterior walls
Have chimney(s) inspected and cleaned
If home has hot water heating system, bleed radiator valves
Clean/replace exhaust fan filters in kitchen
Examine roof for damage to roof covering, flashing, chimney(s)
Ensure fire extinguishers are fully charged -- Recharge if necessary
Inspect exterior walls and foundation for evidence of cracks/movement
Test all ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets
Flush water heater(s) sediment using bottom valve; ensure no leakage
Carefully test breakers in electric panel (flip off/on) for functionality (AFCI's have a test button)
Carefully test garage door opener safety features; both electric-eye and resistance auto-reverse
Inspect and clean windows/sills inside and out; check operation, weather seal, protective paint needs
If wood-destroying insects are common in your area, get inspected by a licensed (WDI) specialist
In summer, ensure a soaker hose (or irrigation line) surrounding the foundation keeps soil moist
In winter, shut off isolating valves for exterior hose bibs (if present) or cover with insulating shield



Where Details Matter!

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