Your home is one of your biggest investments and so it is crucial that you take good care of it. Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of care”. This adage is especially true when it applies to home maintenance tasks. There are many preventative actions that you can take before they become expensive repairs.
Here are some money-saving home maintenance actions that can help keep your home in tip-top shape and maintain its resale value without busting your budget.
Attend to Your HVAC System (Heating, Venting and Air Conditioning)
You should get a professional HVAC company to inspect and clean your heating and air conditioning units before winter and summer seasons, as you could end up with a malfunctioning component in the middle of an epic heatwave or a snowy winter.
Check your air filters once a month and change them when necessary. You also need to check if the vents for your dryer, air conditioner, and heater are clear and clean, as lint and waste build-up can lead to breakdowns, fires, and other damage.
Therefore, regular maintenance will not only prolong the life of your HVAC systems but also, save you a considerable amount of money on repairs and energy bills.
Inspect Gutters and Downspouts
Water damage is incredibly destructive and can be very difficult to mitigate. You should inspect your gutters and downspouts to make sure they are not clogged especially after a hard rain. You should also trim nearby foliage to curtail clogging from branches and leaves.
Clogged gutters and downspouts will not allow the water to go anywhere and will subsequently find its way under shingles, and later the ceiling. This will lead to wood rot, pest infestation, cracked foundation, and leaking basements. If you are not comfortable doing it yourself you can get a licensed professional to get the job done for you for about $100- $150.
Check and Fix Water Leaks
Water leaks are easy to fix if detected early. But, if they go unnoticed or unresolved they can lead to mold, rot, mildew, and other issues. Inspect all toilets and under-sink cabinets for leaks and fix them immediately if you find leaks. Also check for stains and mold growth, warping wood floors, drips or stains on the ceiling, and damp carpeting.
This will help you save money as replacing or repairing drywall, painting over water damaged walls, or mold removal is very expensive.
You should inspect your roof at least once a year, as rain and high winds can result in a leaky or damaged roof and cause significant and costly long term damage to your home.
If you are not sure how to inspect the roof yourself, you should get a professional who will know what to look for. The average cost of a roof inspection is $250 whereas a roof replacement can cost you anything between $5,000 to $20,000 depending on the size of the roof and material used.
Inspect and Seal Air Leaks
Heat can seep in cracks and openings in your house. This will increase your energy costs. Check out your insulation and caulking. You could use a caulk gun, which is an inexpensive and effective way to seal the cracks and openings in your house. If necessary you can repair them too.
You could also install weatherstripping costing about $100-$400 depending on the amount of air escaping and the size of your home. Weather stripping will not only save you money on your heating and air-conditioning bill but also prevent pests, like spiders, ants, or mice, from invading your home.
Asses the Attic Insulation
You should inspect your attic to make sure there is insulation covering the entire space as it controls moisture, ensures proper ventilation, and retains heat. If insulation is damaged or worn out you should either add more insulation or replace it altogether.
This will not only save you a significant amount on your energy bill but also keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer.
Homeownership is no doubt challenging but is also rewarding. You should set up a schedule to complete home maintenance tasks and plan a budget so that you can keep up with all that needs to be done. This will help you minimize the amount of work you must do and save money in the long run.
You could also look out for government assistance programs and IRS residential energy tax credits to be able to better afford your home maintenance projects. You can visit the Energy Star website at energystar.gov/taxcredits for details.
Take pride in your home and keep it sparkling all year long!