What is basic house maintenance?

Homes require internal and external maintenance with regular cleanings and inspections to ensure everything is safe and functional. Seasonal maintenance tends to meet weather and usage needs, such as raking leaves and closing the pool. Appliances and utilities must be inspected and repaired throughout the life of your home. If your property has any trees, have them inspected by a certified arborist, who can check for signs of disease or dead branches and spot problems before they climb and kill a tree.

The untrained eye may miss signs of damage, and a dead or dying tree poses a safety hazard to you, your home, and neighboring properties. Even if you don't use the chimney regularly, the chimney still needs a regular checkup. A chimney carries dangerous gases from the fireplace, wood stove or oven out of the house, helping to keep the indoor air breathable. Your chimney should be inspected annually and cleaned periodically based on how often you use it, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America.

Once the leaves fall, call your gutter company to have them cleaned and inspected. Any repairs that need to be done to the gutters or downspouts must be done before winter arrives. Your workers should also inspect the roof for loose or broken shingles. Schedule work before heavy snow, which could leave frozen leaves and debris on gutters, faucets, and hoses.

Before the first freeze, drain and close the outside faucets so that they do not freeze. Roll up the hoses and store them for the winter. Have your oven and ducts serviced. A clean system will be more energy efficient and an inspection will alert you to problems.

Check and replace the air filters as needed. Test the thermostat to make sure it is working properly. Make sure the heating vents are open and nothing blocks them If you didn't clean and inspect your chimney in the spring, call a chimney sweep now and do it before you start using the chimney or oven. Clothes dryers cause 2,900 fires a year, and many fires occur in the fall and winter, according to the U.S.

Fire Administration. Lint is one of the main culprits, so you need to have an HVAC specialist who specializes in ducts or drying grilles inspect and annually clean the dryer vent. You should change the rotation of your ceiling fans twice a year to increase energy efficiency and reduce the strain on your heating and cooling systems. Running a ceiling fan correctly in winter can help you save up to 10% on your heating bill.

When you change the direction of the fan, you change the way the air moves, more effectively heating or cooling a room. If your home has a sump pump in the basement, you should test it twice a year. Sump pumps usually last about 10 years and, with proper maintenance, could work even longer. When it's warm, take the time to do a thorough inspection of your house's exterior foundation.

Cracks in your home's foundation can reduce its value by up to 15%, and dealing with these issues as you see them will ensure less costly repairs in the future. Large cracks in the foundation must be inspected and addressed by a structural engineer. Wood can be stored in an unheated garage, but don't keep logs in your home for more than a week, as they could attract insects, according to Michigan State University Extension.

Alejandro Neidenbach
Alejandro Neidenbach

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