As a homeowner, you have probably encountered at least one unexpected home emergency. Emergencies tend to arise at the most inconvenient times around Christmas, summer vacations, or when everything else is falling apart. From personal experience, the hot water heater goes out the day your in-laws arrive to stay with you, or the heat stops working in the middle of the night and it’s 54 degrees in your home. Just like your yearly health checkup; it’s time for your BIGGEST asset's yearly checkup. Your Home.
Let me let introduce you to two words: preventative maintenance. Creating a preventative maintenance plan (PMP) for your home will help to alleviate unwanted future stressors, and it won’t break the bank doing it. It is more cost effective to make small repairs and adjustments monthly than to replace the entire hot water heater or HVAC system.
All a PMP really requires is setting aside the time to complete the items on your list. The more details you put into your plan the easier it will be to follow. If you already have a list, I encourage you to compare it to ours as well as check out our scheduling tips below. If you do not have a list, we've put together some important recommendations of potential items you should keep on your radar.
Basic Homeowner Checklist:
• Trim trees away from home, clean gutters of leaves and debris, and direct downspouts away from the foundation.
• Have a Service Professional, inspect your roof yearly for lose shingles, leaks and hail damage.
• Test HVAC system every 2-3 months, replacing air filters when dirty, clearing vents of debris, and checking for carbon monoxide leaks.
• Have a Service Professional inspect your HVAC system yearly.
• Add/replace weather stripping around doors and caulking around windows for added insulation.
• Reverse ceiling fans: clockwise in the winter to create an updraft and counter-clockwise in the spring.
• Check smoke detectors, fire alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors monthly and replace batteries at least 2 times per year.
• Inspect fire extinguishers monthly checking for accessibility, pressure, and damage.
• Tighten loose screws on doorknobs, locks, handles, and railing throughout the home.
• Clean sink disposal by dropping vinegar ice cubes into it. The vinegar will clean it and the ice will sharpen the blade.
• Clean range hood filter by soaking it in a water/de-greaser mix then rinse it off.
• Deep clean and vacuum refrigerator coils.
• Run water and flush toilets in unused spaces to prevent mineral build-up.
• Test garage door's auto-reverse feature and motion sensors.
• Check driveway/pavement for cracks and re-seal before freezing weather causes cracks to worsen and expand.
• Check water piping throughout home looking for water leaks and fix IMMEDIATELY.
• Winterize sprinkler system by turning off and blowing compressed air through field lines. Drain garden hose.
• Check the pressure regulator, water meter, and water piping throughout the home. Any leaks or high-pressure situations need to be addressed immediately.
• Check the motorized vents in the attic to ensure they are working properly.
• Inspect the attic for rodent activity.
• Inspect windows, exterior doors, and siding for soft spots in the wood.
Be ahead of the seasons. Make your list according to the seasons. No one wants to paint the exterior of a home in the middle of summer. If you plan to use professional services, like Waynes, to tackle some of your tasks, beat the crowd and schedule your services early.
Create a schedule that works for you. Use a scheduling tool that sends reminders and allows you to easily share tasks with other people. As the old adage goes, "Many hands make light work." This keeps everyone on the same page!
Break the tasks into categories
Separating tasks can help you visualize and prioritize. We recommend breaking it down into indoor, exterior, and lawn and landscape tasks. Include in each section future plans like bathroom remodels, adding landscaping, or adding an outdoor patio.
We understand finding the time is nearly impossible, but you've invested so much already and preventative maintenance will help to reduce potential future stressors. Don't let 2019 be the year of home emergencies, give Waynes a call. We have a general maintenance program that can take the guess-work out of caring for and remodeling your home. Call us today at 1-866-WAYNES-1.