Proper Home Maintenance Can Save You Thousands on Repairs | Wings for Widows

Proper Home Maintenance Can Save You Thousands on Repairs

We understand.  Working on home maintenance tasks is not how you want to spend your days off or how you want to spend your money.  But just like an annual doctor’s appointment, regular dental checkups, and car tune ups, ensuring you participate in preventative maintenance projects for your home can help save you big headaches and even more money in the future.  Below we have created a check list of small home maintenance tips that will help keep costs low and headaches at bay.  

 

  1. Clean the Gutters

In most cases you will find cleaning the gutters at the top of most home maintenance lists.  This is because ignoring this basic chore could lead to a mountain of problems later and thousands of dollars in repairs.  Clogged gutters can not only keep water from draining but lead to roof damage and leaks which can turn into ceiling/wall damage, mold, and much more.  To keep these problems away clean your gutters at least twice a year (usually Spring and Fall).  In addition, it is also a great idea to check on your gutters after heavy rain falls, hail, or tornados as things could have been damaged or shifted during the storm.  If you lack the time or inclination to get dirty, scheduling a gutter cleaning service is easy.  On average, cleaning your gutters can range between $125-$350 depending on the size of your home.  You can clean the gutters yourself, but it can be dangerous work if you can’t easily reach your gutters with a standard 6’ ladder.  

 

  1. Get an HVAC Tune Up

Getting regular HVAC tune ups helps avoid costly breakdowns during a heat wave or cold freeze.  Besides keeping you perfectly cool or pleasantly warm, regular tune ups help to avoid repair delays, save you from paying top dollar for emergency repairs, reduce energy costs and extend the life of the equipment.   

It is important to make sure your tune-up will cover: 

  • Checking and clearing clogged vent systems 
  • Cleaning dirty evaporator or condenser coils 
  • Checking and correcting gas pressure 
  • Checking and flushing out drain lines 
  • Cleaning or replacing filters 

If your budget won’t cover the tune up cost, there are two things you can do yourself: change the filter regularly and flush the drain lines.  Having clogged HVAC lines can lead to leaks, ceiling damage and much more.  It is also important to ensure hazardous gas such as carbon monoxide gas is not leaking from the furnace’s heat exchanger.  

 

  1. Conduct Regular Roof Inspections

If you clean your gutters twice each year, you have already taken the first step to prevent roof damage. Since repairing and replacing your roof can cost from $5,000 to $20,000 on average, taking all the steps you can to add years to your roof’s life is essential.  Since there are several steps associated with proper roof check-ups, we have created a short checklist below to help you keep track of which tasks you have completed and which you still need to do.  

Roof Checkup Checklist:  

  • Clean your gutters. 
  • Inspect your roof – look for debris, missing/damaged shingles, signs of rotting, moss, fungus or algae. 
  • Ensure nearby trees are trimmed – there should be no tree branches touching the roof. 
  • Use a leaf blower to remove any debris, leaves, branches, etc. from the roof. 
  • Replace any damaged or missing shingles on the roof. 
  • Seal any cracked mortar or caulking around joints, chimneys, and skylights.  
  • Periodically have the roof inspected by a professional. 

 

  1. Keep Trees Trimmed

Untrimmed trees can not only lead to property damage or personal injury but can significantly shorten tree life.  Trees with dead branches can become hazardous in the case of storms or fires.  To ensure your home is safe, regular tree pruning is required. In most cases, you will need to hire a professional to do this work. 

 

  1. Declutter Your Garage

Have you seen garages so full, the cars sit in the driveway year-round? Decluttering your garage not only helps to protect your vehicles from Mother Nature, it will help you protect your other belongings crammed into every nook and cranny.  An organized garage means you can find the things you need when you need them.  It also means you may not be providing as many hiding places for insects and rodents.  A clean garage is a safe garage – remember to keep paints and combustible liquids off the floor and on well-vented shelves.   

To help you save time and money in the future we have provided a home maintenance checklist for each season. Feel free to revisit the list monthly or at the beginning of each season to keep your home in tip-top shape.  

 

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist:  

  • Rake leaves. 
  • Have HVAC inspected/tune up. 
  • Check fireplace for damage. 
  • Seal cracks/gaps in windows or doors. 
  • Replace weather stripping if required. 
  • Inspect roof for missing, loose, or damaged shingles or leaks. 
  • Power wash windows and siding. 
  • Remove leaves and debris from gutters and down spouts. 
  • Drain and winterize exterior plumbing. 
  • Tune-up major house appliances if necessary. 
  • Replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. 
  • Vacuum lint from the dryer vent. 
  • Check water heater for leaks. 

 

Winter Home Maintenance Checklist: 

  • Cover air-conditioning unit. 
  • Check basement for leaks during thaws. 
  • Inspect roof, gutters, and downspouts. 
  • Vacuum bathroom exhaust fan grill. 

 

Spring Home Maintenance Checklist: 

  • Inspect roof for missing, loose, or damaged shingles and leaks. 
  • Change air conditioning filter. 
  • Power wash windows and siding. 
  • Remove leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts. 
  • Replace batteries (again) if needed in smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors. 
  • Have a professional inspect and pump the septic tank. 
  • Vacuum lint from dryer vent. 
  • Replace weather stripping around doors if required. 
  • Seal cracks/gaps in windows or doors. 
  • Have air-conditioning system serviced. 

 

Summer Home Maintenance Checklist: 

  • Oil garage door opener chain and hinges. 
  • Remove lint from inside and outside washer hoses and dryer vents. 
  • Clean kitchen exhaust fan filter. 
  • Check around kitchen and bathroom cabinets and around toilets for leaks. 
  • Check the dishwasher for leaks. 
  • Prune trees and shrubs.