With first-time homebuyers, there is no shortage of one thing: excitement. That’s a good thing, because that excitement is fuel for all of the many things that come into play when buying a house. Many times though, this excitement can cause homebuyers to overlook such things as routine home maintenance. As a new homeowner, these are things that you’ve never had to deal with before. Make sure you have a thorough inspection done prior to buying a home and any serious problems are addressed. Less serious issues should be noted and, most importantly, not forgotten once you purchase the home. Below, we’ve included a list of things that new homeowners should consider in order to keep their home in tip top shape.
- Sooner than later, check and/or replace the furnace and HVAC filters. It’s possible they’ve been neglected and haven’t been changed in years. Even if they have, recent construction that may have gone on in the house could’ve clogged them prematurely and made them less efficient.
- Have the furnace or HVAC unit serviced and cleaned before use.
- If your new home has a wood burning fireplace or a chimney, have them inspected and cleaned before use. An unused fireplace can have as many potential problems as a used one.
- Install or check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. It may be a good idea to simply replace the batteries with new ones when you move in, since it may be hard to tell how old the existing batteries are.
- Take a good look at plumbing fixtures all around the house --both above and below the counter. Detecting leaks early is the key to reducing damage in the future. Even though the house was inspected, some issues do not materialize until the home is under everyday use.
- Check the dryer vent. This is a common fire hazard that easily gets overlooked. Make sure it is unobstructed at both ends, since lint can collect at any point in the line.
- Inspect around all doors and windows. Seal or reseal with caulk where needed.
- Clear all rain gutters, or valleys in the roof of any debris. This is essential for keeping the water flowing properly and reducing potential damage in the future.
- Touch up any exterior paint that needs attention. This is important because it will prevent potential rot, rust or damage to your home down the road.
- Inspect wooden decks for potential rot. If the structure is sound, consider resealing the deck in order to keep it safe from moisture damage. To test if it needs to be sealed, pour water to see if it is either absorbed or repelled. If the water doesn’t bead up, then the deck is ready to accept another coat of sealant.
These are just a few of the things that you can do to maintain your house. Most importantly, get to know your house. As you go through your daily routines, take note of any issues as they develop. For example, if you notice wasps congregating throughout the day at a crack in your siding, take note. If you see a wet spot where your garage floor meets the wall, and it doesn’t dry up, take note. Most home repair issues stem from problems that started small. The key is being consistent, keeping a watchful eye, and taking care of issues as they occur.