Home Maintenance 101: Give Your Home Love, Get Joy in Return
Admittedly, home maintenance tasks may not top the list of fun weekend activities, but when it comes to home ownership, you have to give to receive. To receive the full joy of homeownership, you have to invest a little attention in your home at regular intervals throughout the year.
Why? Investing a small amount of time into your home can pay big dividends. When it comes to owning a home, prevention is always a less expensive strategy than having to call in the emergency plumber – and discovering he has regular rates and weekend rates. Murphy’s Law tells us that toilets don’t explode on weekdays during working hours.
To make sure your toilet and other home necessities never reach that point, HomeSight has put together a schedule of basic inspection tasks that can forestall and prevent costly problems, improve your home’s comfort, safety and appearance, and increase its value.
Here is HomeSight’s checklist for basic home maintenance tasks every new homeowner should know:
Once a year:
- Flush your water heater. This can remove sediment buildup, improve your water heater’s performance, and extend its lifespan.
- Clean your dryer vent. Failure to clean the dryer vent was the leading cause of residential house fires between 2018-2020, according to the National Fire Incident Reporting System and the U.S. Fire Administration. You can hire a professional duct cleaner for this or consult YouTube for advice on how to DIY.
Twice a year, at Daylight Saving Time:
You can remember to do all your twice-yearly checks by coordinating them with your clock changes on Daylight Saving Time Sunday.
- Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace their batteries.
- Check the pressure gauges in the fire extinguishers in your house. (We recommend keeping one on each floor.)
- Clean your gutters and downspouts at least twice a year (more often if you have trees nearby). This prevents water damage, mold growth, and pest infestation, especially in Seattle’s climate.
- Check and change your air filters every month to improve your indoor air quality and reduce your energy bills.
- Remove dirt, dust, and debris from your air vents and heat registers each month. Clean vents to keep your appliances efficient and remove circulating dust and dander from the air.
- Keep your outdoor faucets from freezing over the winter by closing off your shut-off valve before temperatures drop. (Your realtor or home inspector can help you find your water shut-off valve!) Then drain the line to make sure there’s no water trapped inside.
- Make an annual appointment to have your furnace inspected to make sure it’s properly maintained before winter. These maintenance checks will always be more cost-effective than emergency repair calls, and less life-disrupting!
After it rains:
- As you get to know your house, check for damp areas or moisture intrusion in gaps or cracks around your windows, doors, pipes, or vents. Use caulk or weatherstripping to seal any minor leaks you find. Check your attic for any signs of water intrusion or insulation issues. If you find any problems, contact a professional roofer as soon as possible.
After you do laundry:
- Get in the habit of cleaning your lint trap every time you use your dryer. This can prevent fires and improve your dryer’s efficiency.
Set reminders on your phone or calendar to remind yourself to do these, and you’ll find yourself creating habits in no time. Enjoy your clean, safe, efficient home!