Most people are reactionary when it comes to home maintenance— if something breaks, they’ll fix it. While staying on top of repairs is essential, a preventative approach will help save time and money over the years.
Here are six essential preventative home maintenance tasks to add to your to-do list.
Schedule an HVAC Tune-Up
Scheduling an HVAC tune-up helps prevent full repairs and potential downtime during peak seasons. When you compare HVAC tune-up versus repair costs, the investment is well worth it.
Preventative maintenance on your HVAC system offers several benefits, including:
- preventing breakage
- avoiding unexpected downtime
- avoiding wait times during busy seasons
- maintaining indoor air quality
- potential long-term cost savings
- prioritizing safety
Schedule an air conditioning or furnace tune-up before the peak seasons, ideally in spring or fall. It’s also helpful to clean the air filters monthly to keep everything running smoothly.
Check the Roof and Gutters
The roof is another area that often goes unaddressed until an issue arises. Taking a proactive approach offers many of the same benefits as HVAC maintenance.
Take some time each spring or fall to inspect the roof for loose shingles or signs of damage. Removing moss and debris can also help extend the lifespan of your roof. If you have trees growing over the roof consider trimming them back.
Cleaning the gutters will prevent water from soaking in around the edges of your roof while redirecting water away from your foundation. Consider hiring a service to handle these tasks if safety is a concern.
Look for Signs of Moisture and Mold
Take some time each spring to look for signs of moisture and mold growth in the attic and basement. If there are secondary signs of mold growth (illness, visible mold on the walls, or excess condensation on the windows) it may already be too late.
Check the attic to ensure it’s dry and has sufficient insulation, then check the foundation for cracks and leaks.
Seal Windows, Doors, and Bathroom
Caulking tends to degrade over time. Set aside time at least once a year to inspect the windows, doors, and bathroom fixtures. If your windows and doors aren’t sealed properly, you’ll lose a lot of heat during the winter and AC during the summer. If your taps and tub aren’t sealed, you may experience mold and rust.
The long-term cost savings of this preventative maintenance task are worth the inexpensive tubes of caulking and your time.
Wash Your Washers
Cleaning your dishwasher and laundry machine may seem counterintuitive, but it could extend your appliances’ lifespan.
Run an empty cleaning load with a specialized dishwasher or washing machine cleaner to clear the lines and remove grime. Wipe around the lips and rubber connectors to remove debris and keep things bacteria-free.
You should also wipe down your dryer every 2-3 months and vacuum the lint trap and vent. This simple action can save lives. Nearly 3000 house fires are caused by dryers each year in the United States.
Seal or Refinish Your Deck
Proactively sealing and refinishing your deck can help extend its lifespan and avoid a costly replacement. Experts recommend sealing your deck every 2-3 years and sanding it down as needed. Powerwashing the deck and refinishing it can also help reduce splinters, remove mildew, and refresh the space.
These preventative maintenance tasks will help you avoid expensive repairs and replacements while keeping your home safe and healthy. Add these to your annual to-do lists before they become another thing to fix.