Looking to save money? Start with preventative maintenance on your house. Here are some of the major tasks that can help you protect your home.
Keep Moisture in Check
Image via Flickr by U.S. Naval War College
Knowing where moisture is bound to manifest and how to combat it will save you substantial dollars in the long run. Doing things such as checking the house for leaks, including in the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room, could prevent a leak from causing serious water damage not just to the cosmetic finish of your home, but also to the house’s structure. An often overlooked but major source of leaks is the pressure relief valve on the hot water heater. You’ll also want to occasionally drain your hot water heater, which increases its lifespan.
Another source of water damage is the foundation around your house. The soil should slope down 6 inches for every 10 feet to make sure water drains away from your house. Finally, to keep moisture out of the house, double-check windows, thresholds, and door frames. Caulking is an easy fix for any crevices that might be susceptible to mold, mildew, or seeping water.
Several systems to consistently check include your HVAC system, refrigerator coils, and any smoke, CO, and burglary alarms. You can save a substantial amount just by performing routine checks and scheduling routine HVAC inspections. Regular maintenance can help prevent major issues that will require expensive repairs to your heating and cooling systems. In the process, you might find that upgrading to newer and more efficient HVAC units would save you money in the long run. Changing air filters will also increase the lifespan of AC and heating systems.
Checking that your alarms are working could save you from house fires, CO poisoning, and damage caused from criminal activity. Also checking every 3-6 months on your refrigerator coils for any accumulating debris could save you from having to buy a new fridge.
Clearing out rain gutters can prevent cracking, which causes mold, mildew, and leaks. It can also be dangerous to have branches and twigs caught in gutters during warmer months when fire is a hazard. In addition, trimming surrounding trees is an easy way to prevent branches from falling onto the roof. Finally, if bugs become an issue, keeping sprinklers off the house and checking for leaks in outdoor faucets are an easy way to keep them at bay while also preventing mold and rot from manifesting.
Insulate and Clean
Checking for holes and gaps in the house will help you keep your home properly insulated from the elements. A lack of insulation can lead to damage, higher energy costs, and the need for repairs. Be sure to check the mortar in the chimney. Also, cleaning carpets gets rid of dirt and moisture, which could add up until your flooring needs replaced entirely.
Saving money through preventative home maintenance is easy and worthwhile if done routinely and, when necessary, professionally. The next time you work through your monthly to-do list, keep these tasks in mind.