When it comes to homeownership, maintenance is one of the jobs homeowners dread most. However, maintaining the condition of your home and your major working systems can be easier, and considerably less expensive, than repair and replacement. Most typical maintenance tasks don’t require a large investment and are easy to remember when you keep them on a predictable schedule. Learn the benefits of home maintenance and the tasks you should routinely complete to keep your home in the best shape possible.
Benefits of Home Maintenance
Maintenance tasks aren’t an enjoyable way to spend your weekend, but you know your home functions properly and remains attractive when you take care of it the way you should. The chores you complete for home maintenance usually take little time and are well worth the effort. Instead of procrastinating, consider these benefits of keeping up with your home maintenance chores.
Extend Your Home’s Lifespan
Minor maintenance chores help you avoid major damage down the road. For instance, failure to clean your gutters before winter arrives can lead to ice dams that can break down your gutters, and even damage your roof. If you keep putting off that clogged drain repair, you’ll likely end up with a burst pipe which can lead to structural damage. A home often left in disrepair won’t last as long as the same house that’s been properly maintained.
Improve your home’s efficiency
It often seems like a hassle to change filters on your HVAC system or call your technician for a yearly inspection. However, when your HVAC system is working as it should, your home is easier to heat and cool. Similarly, leaky faucets and pipes increase your water bill and often result in water damage. Maintaining your home means every system works at peak performance and your home remains comfortable and free of damage.
Avoid repair and replacement costs
It’s estimated that every dollar spent on maintenance saves $100 on repairs. While this might not prove true for every single repair, the sentiment makes sense. The average cost of a roof inspection is $212, but the average cost of replacing a roof in Maryland ranges between $4,500 to $9,320. Similarly, maintaining your home’s appliances, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems cost a fraction of the price of major repairs or complete replacement.
Increase your home’s resale value
If you browse homes for sale in the area, you may notice that some properties are listed “as is.” While the home may be in fairly good shape, the term suggests there are aspects that need repair and the house will sell at a lower price. Properly maintaining your home keeps it in good condition and prepared for a pre-inspection or buyer inspection required before closing.
Gain peace of mind
Homeownership comes with a lot of work and a significant amount of stress. It also comes with the security of having a sanctuary to call your own and a comfortable place to spend your time. Keeping your home in the best shape possible relieves the anxiety of contemplating the possibility of problems in the future.
Your Home Maintenance Task Checklist
Whether you’re new to homeownership, or you’re simply unsure of the maintenance tasks that should be completed on your home, it’s a good idea to compile a list of common maintenance chores. Approximately 200 days of sunny weather, and 100 nights that drop below freezing each year in Frederick and Gaithersburg, Maryland, can cause stress to your home’s exterior. Use this home maintenance checklist to ensure you’re keeping your home properly maintained.
- Clean your furnace filter each month, and replace it according to the manufacturer’s recommendation.
- Test smoke alarms monthly, and replace batteries once a year.
- Vacuum heat registers each month, and have your system inspected twice annually by a professional HVAC technician.
- Check each month to ensure indoor and outdoor air vents aren’t blocked.
- Routinely inspect your water heater for leaks.
- Have your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned yearly, even if it’s not in use.
- Inspect and clean your gutters at least twice a year.
- Inspect your roof yearly for missing, loose, or damaged shingles, and signs of leaks.
- Have your well water tested yearly to avoid potential contaminants.
- Inspect and touch up exterior siding and trim each year.
- Test your sump pump each fall to ensure it’s working properly.
- Drain and winterize your exterior plumbing system before the first freeze, which typically occurs around the first week of October in the Gaithersburg, Maryland area.
- Clean your dryer vent at least once a year or if the dryer gets hot while running, clothes take longer to dry, or you notice a burning smell on clothing.
- Have your septic tank pumped once every 3-5 years.
- Vacuum your refrigerator and freezer coils once a year.
- Cover your air conditioning unit during winter.
- Repair and replace caulking and weatherstripping around windows and doors yearly.
- Inspect sink, shower, and bath caulking each year for signs of deterioration. While you’re at it inspect faucets, drains, and toilets for signs of leakage and water damage.
- Inspect the basement walls yearly for signs of leaks.
- Routinely inspect the ground surrounding your foundation for signs of standing water. Use dirt, not mulch, to grade away from the foundation. Mulch absorbs water and allows it to collect around the foundation.
- Prune trees and shrubs surrounding your home once a year, or have them maintained by a professional arborist.
Whether you’re thinking of selling your home or planning to remain in place for decades, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of your home’s condition. A pre-listing inspection provides an investigation into your home’s major systems, so you can learn about any issues your home may have and complete necessary repairs. Talk to your local, experienced real estate agent to learn more about how home maintenance tasks can increase the value of your home. Schedule a no-obligation inspection to learn more about the current condition of your home and the resale value of your unique Maryland home.