No one said homeownership was easy. Along with fiscal stability and long-term security, owning your own home can come with other inconveniences and frustrations such as seasonal stressors, unexpected repairs, and various rehab projects. While homeownership can sometimes seem like a never ending string of responsibilities and menial tasks, the statistical data is very clear: The frustration is worth it. Homeownership has significant benefits that can build both emotional and financial wealth over the years. Over three decades of studies have shown that homeownership leads to higher test scores for children, improved mental health outcomes, and a more stable retirement for adults.
In other words: Homeownership is worth the occasional frustration.
When faced with the year-long series of home maintenance tasks, both expected and unexpected, it can become overwhelming for the average homeowner. However, with a tiny ounce of prevention, home maintenance and repair can become far less daunting. By tackling some basic home maintenance seasonally, you will add value to your home while circumventing costly crisis’s later down the road. Here are some quick, easy, and simple home seasonal maintenance tips and tricks that will save you time, money, and hours of frustration.
Spring is known as a time of renewal and rejuvenation, and as the winter months subside, it becomes an outstanding time to clean up whatever issues the snow was hiding and prepare for the warmer days of summer ahead.
- Give Your Property the Once Over Once the snow has melted, do a walk-through of your property. Make note of any branches that might have fallen, shingles that need to be replaced, or damage that might have been sustained from shoveling or plowing.
- Get the Gunk Out of the Gutter Winter is notorious for overwhelming your gutters. By doing a quick sweep of your gutters, you will significantly reduce the risk of leaks or water damage throughout the entire year.
- Inspect the Sump Pump Spring can lead to lots of water, whether from melting snow or heavy rains. Do a quick test of your sump pump to ensure that if flooding occurs, you won’t be left under water.
This is the season for outdoor projects. While the weather is warmer and there are fewer obstructions from fallen leaves or piling snow, there are several small tasks that can provide huge results the whole year long.
- Trim the Trees and Clip the Landscaping Believe it or not, one of the biggest risks to your home is the very thing that adds beauty to your property. Fallen, sick, or unruly branches or vegetation can cause major damage to your home. Cutting and removing damaged trees, branches, or bushes can help protect your home.
- GFCI Outlets Should Be Tested Much like smoke alarms that need to be tested yearly, GFCI outlets should also be inspected annually. GFCI outlets reduce the risk of fire or electrical catastrophe.
- Power Wash Your Property Mold, mildew, algae, and various other forms of rot can do massive damage to house and home. A quick power wash of your house, patio, and driveway can add years of life to your property.
Fall is arguably the most crucial when it comes to preventative maintenance. Battening down the hatches for winter will lead to a more stress free holiday season and significantly reduce the risk of having to undertake major repairs during the colder months.
- Inspect and Tune Your HVAC System This is arguably the most important maintenance item on the entire list. Having an HVAC professional do a quick clean and inspection of the HVAC system can prevent massive expenses or downtime during the cold winter months. If faced with only completing one task on this list, every homeowner should make this item a priority.
- Safeguard the Pipes The damage inflicted by a burst pipe can result in thousands of dollars in damage. Add insulation to all interior exposed pipes and be sure to turn off the water to any exterior pipes.
- Consider a Chimney Sweep Chimney fires are nothing to be trifled with, and a quick inspection of your chimney and a sweep can prevent devastating fires.
If everything goes to plan and all of the other seasonal maintenance tasks have been properly handled, winter is a time for logistics and quiet preparation, and far less physical tasks.
- Review Insurance Policies Sip on your hot chocolate and review your homeowners policies. Consider updates that need to be made, or review coverage that is outdated.
- Update Your Alarm System and Test the Smoke Detector Updating passwords and alerts can protect your home, while testing the smoke detector can save your life.
- Inspect Your Furnace Filter Give this a quick once over and see how it is holding up – chances are it needs replacing. Replacing your furnace filter increases efficiency, reduces costs, and keeps your family warm during the winter months.
With these quick, easy, and simple tasks taken care of quarterly, homeownership can be a breeze – reducing costly repairs, maintaining property value, all while enjoying all of the wonderful benefits that owning your own home can provide to you and your family for years to come.