If you’re a homeowner in 2022, you have some seriously valuable property on your hands. You probably mow your yard, pull your weeds, and keep everything looking good – especially if you’re in an HOA. The cosmetic aspects of maintenance are easy to keep an eye on and manage yourself or hire someone to come do it for you. You can see when your grass is getting long and needs to be mowed. But what about the home maintenance items you can’t see? Components of your home like HVAC, electrical and plumbing?
While most homeowners only think of these items after they’re broken, that strategy for home maintenance will end up costing you more in the long run. You may ask yourself, “why fix something that’s not broken?” But a small issue now, that could be caught with routine maintenance, could turn into a major headache later if left unchecked. It’s wise to save a pocket of money throughout the year, set aside specifically for routine maintenance. State Farm recommends a rule of thumb to set aside 1-4 percent of your home’s value for a home maintenance and repair fund.
Routine Home Maintenance Tasks
Keeping up on monthly and seasonal maintenance is a simple way to make sure your home is in top shape. And many of these tasks can be self-performed if you’re even remotely “handy”. If not, hire a reliable tradesperson to do it for you.
Monthly maintenance tasks may include:
- Check HVAC systems filters – some are reusable and simply need to be cleaned or blown out, others will need to be replaced entirely.
- Check for leaks around toilets and sinks – any sign of water in places it shouldn’t be, is a reason to investigate further. Even the smallest leaks could turn into massive problems if not addressed promptly.
- Check and clean your vent hood filter – especially if you cook a lot!
- Test smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors – you should check these monthly, but also replace the batteries at least every six months.
- Inspect grout and caulking – while this may see aesthetic only, it also helps avoid seeping water damage.
Suggested Seasonal maintenance tasks:
- Check for drafts around windows and doors.
- Cover outdoor AC units to protect them from the weather.
- Test sump pump and backup generator (if you have them).
- On the rare occasion Seattle gets snow or freezing weather, watch out for ice dams along the bottom of your roof. These can compromise your roof’s integrity and lead to major damage.
- HVAC tune-up by a trained professional.
- Roof inspection – after winter weather, it’s always a good idea to check all is in good shape up there!
- Clean gutters – ice and debris build up can lead to drainage issues.
- Inspect driveways and sidewalks for cracks and damage.
- Trim and tidy around HVAC units – tall grass and weeds can affect your units efficiency and cause damage.
- Inspect siding and decks – if wood is beginning to show its wear, summer is a good time to stain and re-seal. Warmer weather is also an ideal time for pressure washing decks and siding to clean and look for cracks.
- Check your lawn irrigation system – if you have an underground system, cracks due to cold weather can lead to leaks in pipes and connections, creating not only a mess, but an astronomical water bill.
- HVAC check-up – Yes! Again! Check that the heating system is ready to support your home through the fall and winter seasons.
- Inspect fireplace, chimneys and any wood burning stoves before starting your first fire of the season.
- Turn off outside hose bibs and roll up hoses for storage.
- Examine exterior grade – fill in any depressions around the foundation that could trap water.