If you have got a home, whether it is a fancy apartment, a two-up, two-down red brick house in the middle of a city, barge on a canal, or a cottage in the country, maintenance is a vital part of being a homeowner. It is not something most people enjoy, and it is definitely not a favorite topic of conversation.
There are, however, a significant number of home maintenance jobs that you need to keep on top of. Just like your body and your car, your home needs regular maintenance to keep it in tip-top condition. The tasks required vary in size, scale, and regularity, but it is vital you invest time, money and energy in the care of your home. If you are wondering why it is so important, here are some of the benefits of keeping to a regular maintenance schedule.
It Saves You Money
Take the maintenance of your roof as an example. It is going to be an awful lot cheaper to replace tiles when they fall off or fix the drain pipes or guttering than wait until the whole roof collapses into your home. Not only will you have to pay to have a new roof, but you will also have to cover the cost of the damage that happens inside your home. Maintenance, repairs, and cleaning are vital tasks to perform around your house and easily prevent more expensive repairs or replacement.
It Reduces Your Consumption of Energy
Your home uses a lot of energy keeping you warm, cosy and comfortable. There are ways to reduce your consumption, and one of these is regular maintenance. Once a year, take a good look around your home for draughts caused by gaps and cracks. Check all your appliances on an annual basis to ensure they are working at optimum efficiency. This means you will be saving money on energy costs, as well as doing your bit for the environment.
It Maintains or Increases the Value of your Home
You might not be planning to live in your home forever, which means that at some point it is going to be put up for sale. Your home is one of the most significant investments you are ever likely to make, so you want to get the best return on that investment. The value of homes can rise and fall, but there is one factor that can influence the price in a positive way; however, the market is moving, and that is if a home has been looked after and is in excellent condition. The more effort you put into maintaining your home, the better return you will get. If you do not look after your home, it will very quickly deteriorate and impact on its value. Fixing small issues before they become much more significant problems is cost-effective.
It Reduces Stress
Ask any homeowner whether they have got a list of jobs to do and most will say yes. There is an endless number of jobs that need to be done to keep a home in good order. However long your list is, make a plan and prioritise your home maintenance projects. You really do not need to be stressed about doing them all at once. There is always the option of hiring some help if you are feeling swamped. Wherever you live, there are going to be local handymen who can help you and local online directories which can find the right professional for your next home maintenance project.
It Keeps Your Home Safe
Your home is full of dangers and these increase when a home is not maintained. The threats can be subtle, such as mould growth. They can also be more significant such as electrical failures that result in fires. If you keep on top of the maintenance in your home, you’ll be doing all you can to keep your family safe.
Now you appreciate the importance of home maintenance, you are probably wondering what kind of jobs this entails. Here are a few examples:
Roof – Look out for missing or cracked tiles, and cracks in your chimney. Keep an eye out inside as well for any suspicious looking marks that might suggest a leak. Make sure your roof is cleaned regularly if it is a flat roof, as leaves and other debris can trap water. Sloped roofs are easier to keep clean, as their shape does not allow much in the way of debris to pile up. If there are any trees near to your property, keep them cut back and do not let the branches to touch the roof. These can damage your roof, particularly in bad weather, and can also act as a bridge, allowing unwanted pests to get into your roof.
Guttering and drains – These are an essential part of your building, keeping water away from the foundations of your house and maintaining your homes integral structure. Make sure that you regularly remove leaves and debris and check for cracks and leaks. This is best done in a heavy downpour as you can see any rain coming through leaky joints, but in the drier weather, look for stained patches of brickwork. You can also fit leaf or bird guards to the top of pipes to prevent any blockages.
Patio or decking – If you have wooden decking, check for any damaged planks by pushing a screwdriver into the timber. Any that appear to be soft or weak need replacing to keep it safe. Keep on top of any algae – it is much easier to get rid of it if you do it before it is too established. Pressure washers make this a quick and easy job, but a stiff brush and hot water will also do the trick. Sand down any rough spots on decking, and handrails, particularly if you have pets or children who may be walking on it in bare feet – no one wants any splinters! Treat and protect your deck on a yearly basis with the appropriate treatments and staining or paint products.
Windows and doors – Check for gaps and leaks and replace damaged locks and handles and repaint if required. If the glass is compromised in any way, carry out glass repairs as a matter of urgency. This not only reduces the risk of them shattering and breaking, and potentially injuring someone, as well as compromising the security of your home.
Kitchen and bathroom – Your bathroom and kitchen have to cope with a lot of moisture, so ensure the ventilation systems are up to scratch; otherwise you will soon find patches of dangerous mould. Check grouting and sealing regularly, and clean and replace if necessary. This stops moisture from getting in and damaging the wall or the adhesive keeping tiles attached to the wall. Clean out any extractor fans and check for any leaky taps and pipes under the sink. Your oven should be cleaned regularly, as a build-up of fat and grease inside can make it a fire hazard.
Living room – Check the fireplace for damage and if you have a chimney, make sure it is swept out every year before the winter. Clean curtains and carpets annually and check laminate or wooden floorboards for any signs of damage.
Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms – Try to get into a routine of checking these on a monthly basis. They should have a ‘test’ button – if when pressed it makes a sound, they are working fine. If not, they may need new batteries or replacing.
Boiler and other gas appliance checks – This should only be undertaken by a qualified inspector but should be carried out at least once a year. If the appliance is showing any signs of wear or any gas leaks, it should be turned off immediately until it can be fixed or replaced, to prevent you and your family being poisoned by carbon monoxide.
Air conditioning systems – If your house is fitted with an air conditioning system, make sure it is serviced every year, before the summer. Clean out the filters, or if it is a central air system, call in the professionals and save yourself a big headache.
Bedrooms – Move your furniture away from the walls and check for any spots of mould. These can cause or worsen conditions such as asthma. Regularly flip your mattress and hoover it to keep it clean. Clean out your wardrobe every few months to prevent moths and dust.
This is by no means an exhaustive list as there is a myriad of maintenance tasks you can do around your home. It should, however, provide you with some incentive to get your own schedule underway. By creating a schedule that spreads out the tasks across the year, it is a lot less overwhelming – and expensive!