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Top 17 Home Maintenance Tips for Better Home Care

When you buy your first home, you may be surprised by the amount of home maintenance and home care necessary. Many first-time homebuyers don’t realize how much goes into properly maintaining a home.

It can become overwhelming, but you can handle it. Many have gone before you and learned how to maintain their new home. Here are 17 home maintenance tips to help you with home care.

1. Clean Exhaust Fans

When exhaust fans get filled with dust, they don’t work as well as they should. In addition, they can become a place where mold will grow.

Every year, remove the vents and clean the exhaust fans in your bathrooms and kitchen. By cleaning these fans yearly, you will keep them running smoothly and doing their job.

2. Recaulking and Regrouting

Tiles, tubs, showers, and bathroom fixtures need to be inspected at least once per year. You want to look at the grout and caulk for signs of peeling, mildew, or crumbling. If the grout has mold or has mildew, you need to replace it.

Moldy grout or caulk can be fixed with bleach. However, if it’s cracked or peeling, you may need to replace it.

About every five years, you will also need to recaulk areas of your home. This helps to keep moisture from causing other issues within your home.

3. Clean Your Gutters

A small issue could easily become a massive problem if you don’t clean your gutters. It’s best to clean the gutters at least twice per year (fall and spring).

When gutters become clogged, rainwater can pool on your roof. During colder temperatures, you can even end up with an ice dam. Both of these issues can cause damage to your roof, or worse.

Take the time to clean the gutters before winter and sometime in the spring, as well.

4. Flush Your Water Heater

Every year, you need to schedule a time to flush your water heater. The water in the tank can cause mineral deposits and debris in the system. Flushing the system once per year will help to remove the debris and minerals.

Not only will this help to keep your system running smoothing, but it will also help with your health. You will have better water free of minerals and debris.

5. Watch Your Water Bill

While this home maintenance tip doesn’t require you to do any real work, it’s important. If you notice a spike in your water bill and it wasn’t due to family or friends staying with you and taking 15 showers a day, you likely have an issue.

Spike in water usage can mean you have a running toilet, a leaky pipe, or another issue. Compare your usage month over month and if you cannot figure out why it’s higher, look for signs of water issues. Check your pipes and toilets for signs of leaks.

6. Inspect Your Roof

At least once per year, you should inspect your roof. You want to look for abnormalities, water damage, and other issues. The roof can be very expensive to replace, so you want to catch any issues as soon as possible.

7. Inspect the Exterior Foundation

Make sure you’re looking for small signs of cracks and other issues before it becomes a bigger issue. The exterior foundation of your home may show early signs of issues. If you spot these signs, you can keep a bigger issue from making it very hard to sell your home in the future.

Foundation cracks have the ability to reduce your home value so it is important to stay aware of any issues that may arise.

8. Power Wash Siding

Twice per year, you should power wash your siding. Clean siding helps your home look better and it will also make it last longer. Just be careful if you do this home maintenance task yourself. Too much pressure can lead to damaged siding.

9. Fill in Driveway Cracks

There’s nothing in a driveway less attractive than a weed popping up through a crack. Weather can cause your driveway, sidewalks, or even your patio to crack.

When you notice cracks, fill them in before they become a big issue. Deep cracks could be a sign of bigger issues. You may need to hire a professional to handle the job if you notice a large or deep crack in your driveway.

10. Keep Your Outdoor AC Unit Clean

When you’re in the yard tending to the landscaping, take the time to clean off your air conditioner unit. Keeping it clean of debris and dirt will help it last longer.

11. Keep Trees Trimmed

The wrong kind of storm will take a tree branch and throw it right through a window. Keeping your trees trimmed will help prevent damage from a tree branch during a storm.

One of the biggest causes of home damage is fallen tree branches. Don’t become a victim of this issue. Instead, have your trees trimmed regularly.

12. Change All Your Filters

Your HVAC system has filters that need to be changed regularly. Make sure you know which filters you need and how often they should be changed. If you have a water filtration system, you will need to change those filters regularly, as well.

Anything in your home using filters needs to be on the home maintenance checklist. Change your filters often and your systems will work better and for longer.

13. Have your HVAC Serviced Annually

When you properly maintain your HVAC system, it will work better and last longer. A well-maintained system will ensure you don’t have to worry about the AC going out in the summer or the heat not working in the winter.

14. Clean the Garbage Disposal

About once a month, you should clean out your garbage disposal. You can do this with a mixture of baking soda, salt, and citrus. If you don’t properly maintain your garbage disposal, it may put off an odor or become clogged.

15. Clean Behind the Fridge

When was the last time you pulled out the fridge and cleaned behind it? This area of the home is often forgotten by new homeowners, but it’s important.

Clean behind the fridge and make sure you keep the coils clean. This task should be done twice per year.

16. Keep Fire Extinguishers Up-to-Date

The worst thing that could happen is a fire in your kitchen and the fire extinguisher doesn’t work. When you need it, you need it to work or you could watch a minor issue turn into a major problem.

Service your fire extinguishers at least once per year and make sure they are in good working order. You can even have them inspected by a professional, if necessary.

17. Inspect Door and Window Seals

When air gets in, it causes your home systems to use more energy to keep your home comfortable. Door and window seals let in air when they are not in good working order.

Twice a year, inspect these seals. Look for cracks, bubbles, and fissures. If you need to, replace the seal to keep air from getting in.

These 17 home maintenance tips will help you keep your home in good working order. When you’re not sure what to do, start with these tips and create a checklist for home maintenance to handle monthly, quarterly, and annually.

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