Being a new homeowner is exciting. It can also be stressful with new tasks to take care of. Here is a list of maintenance projects to keep up with.
Performing regular home maintenance is a huge part of homeownership. It might not be fun — at least, it might not always be fun — but it’s necessary if you want to protect your investment and keep your home in good shape.
The problem for new homeowners is that there are just so many maintenance tasks to keep track of. Even the most detailed home maintenance checklist is bound to leave some off, and with advances in technology and individual differences between homes, your well-meaning older relatives may not even be aware of every single maintenance chore homeowners need to do these days.
Besides, some home maintenance chores are easier to remember than others. Everyone knows that you need to clean your gutters a couple of times a year, but when was the last time you cleaned your window weep holes, repaired your weather sealing or lubed up your garage door springs? Here are the house maintenance chores that new homeowners not only overlook, but don’t even know about.
Clean Window Weep Holes
Weep holes are a row of tiny, tiny holes on the outside bottom of your window frame. They’re there to, well, weep. What does that mean? While new windows with tight seals should keep water out entirely, weep holes are there to allow any water that does get inside the window frame to drain properly. But these holes are tiny, and debris can easily build up in them, so it’s important to clean them every six months or so. You can use a pin or paper clip to pick the debris out. To make sure they’re clear, spray water onto your window and check to make sure it leaks out. If it doesn’t, it means one of two things: the weep holes are still clogged, or they’re currently redundant due to a watertight seal around your windows.
Flush the Water Heater
Are you hearing any mysterious banging sounds from your water heater? If so, it’s time to flush it — and fast.
The water in your water heater tank contains minerals that can settle out of the water and build up in the bottom of the tank. If not flushed regularly, these deposits can cause the tank to deteriorate much faster than it otherwise would have. Failing to flush your water heater can shorten its life drastically, which is bad news since replacing a water heater can be hundreds of dollars or more. Flush your water heater once a year and replace the anode rod every five years.
Check and Repair Weather Sealing
A little peeling caulk around a window frame isn’t that big of a deal, is it? On the contrary, poor weather sealing around windows and doors creates drafts, which can lead to increased energy costs, and bad caulk around windows could let water seep into your walls and damage the structure of your home. If you don’t keep an eye on your weather sealing, you could end up with extensive structural damage to the walls and floors of your home.
Check for damage to caulk or rubber seals around your windows twice a year. Repair damaged caulk or rubber sealing, and if you see damage, check for water damage to the wood of your window frames and repair that, too, if you find any.
Clean Your Chimney
If you use a fireplace for heat or ambiance, you need to get your chimney cleaned yearly to remove creosote that could cause fires. Even if you don’t have a working fireplace, you should still get the chimney cleaned regularly. Birds or other animals could get inside of it, build nests, access your house, or die in there and stink up the place. If you’re not planning to use your fireplace, you should have the chimney capped.
Vacuum Your Refrigerator Condenser Coils
Your refrigerator uses condenser coils to remove heat from the inside of the unit, but if they’re covered with dust, pet hair and other debris, they can’t do their job as efficiently. That’s why you should pull your fridge out from the wall and vacuum the condenser coils or wipe them off with a clean dust cloth every few months. Doing so could extend the life of one of your most expensive and necessary appliances — because if the condenser coils go out, the cost of a repair is going to be so high that it’ll make more sense to just buy a new fridge.
When you’re a new homeowner, it’s hard to keep track of all the house maintenance chores you need to perform throughout the year. A home maintenance checklist is a great tool to help you keep your home in shape. Stay tuned to the blog to get advice on home repairs, maintenance, and improvements.