Did you know that home maintenance carries with it five major benefits to you, the homeowner? They are:
- Enhanced home value
- Money savings
- Improved safety
- Increased comfort
- Energy efficiency
Considering the benefits, home maintenance is definitely worth doing on a regular basis. Failing to do regular home maintenance can lead to illness, injury and even death (carbon monoxide poisoning is one example). A few of the important areas you need to maintain are:
- Windows and doors that allow drafts in
- Subfloors that are becoming spongy
- A furnace that may be producing dangerous levels of carbon monoxide
- An air conditioning system that will probably fail in the heat of summer
- Smoke detectors with dead batteries
Your home can be a much safer place for you and your family if you will adopt a simple home maintenance plan. For example, changing a smoke detecter battery could save your life or the lives of your loved ones, and only takes five minutes. So, as you can see, doing a few simple fixes on some things and inspecting a few others, on a regular basis, can pay huge dividends.
Your house is a comfortable place to live because of the systems that are built into it. You may not have thought of it that way before, or you may have taken the systems in your home for granted, but either way, sooner or later, one or more of them will break down; resulting in, at best, a lot of discomfort or, at worst, tragedy; home maintenance can prevent that breakdown.
For example, your home has incorporated into it an electrical system that powers lights, refrigerator, microwave, water heater, your washer/dryer and many other appliances. You may not think about this system each time you flip on the light switch, take milk from the refrigerator or do a load of laundry, but you’ll soon find yourself without these things and a lot more, if your electrical system breaks down. Most likely it will happen when you can least afford it, too.
Many of these systems have moving parts like motors, belts and gears that make them subject to a lot of wear and tear over a period of time. Some are simply made of materials that naturally degrade over time or are subject to attack by insects or mold. In any case, you can avoid the major inconvenience that can result from such a breakdown, by adopting a schedule of simple maintenance.
Whether your home is an investment, a place to live or both, chances are it’s the biggest single expense of your lifetime. If you bought the home as an investment, in the hope of making some money on it when you sell, then it makes good sense and pays big dividends to keep it in great shape. That way it will keep you safe and comfortable while you live in it and will fetch a good price if you sell.
Real estate professionals have a phrase that applies to a well maintained home: curb appeal. A home’s value is affected by its outward appearance and that’s what the phrase ‘curb appeal’ refers to. The value of your home is going to be higher if the roof is well cared for, the doors and windows are tight, and the landscaping is neat, because potential buyers will find it more appealing, so you’ll likely get a higher price than if it were otherwise.
However, you’ll need to maintain your home, even if you don’t plan to sell, just to maintain your original investment. Even as simple a task as replacing the filter in your furnace can yield big dividends, when it comes to keeping the value of your home high. It’s simple to see why this is true. When the filter is clogged, the motor must work harder to push air through it, straining the fan belt, bearings and other components, causing the life of the fan to be shortened, necessitating the replacement of the entire fan assembly. There’s a big difference between a $2.00 filter and a $500 repair charge.
So as you can see, it’s much less expensive, in the long run, to maintain, than it is to repair when things break down. The first thing to do is to identify those parts of your home that require regular maintenance and make a list. Inspect each of them periodically and make repairs where needed. When buying materials, buy the best you can afford.
This will ensure maximum benefit and you’ll find you make repairs less often, so you’ll save money in the long run and you’ll be protected from inconvenience and even disaster.
Here are just a few things you need to check each year:
- Gutters and downspouts
- Window trim and door frames
- Sprinkler timer batteries
- Air conditioner
- Chimney spark arrestor
- Water heater anode and dip tube
- Water heater burners, tank and flue
- Fireplace and chimney
- Refrigerator condenser coils (vacuum)
- Smoke alarms and CO2 detectors
- Indoor gas line connections
These are just a few of the many items you’ll need to inspect on a yearly or, in some cases, monthly basis. There are many more areas you need to inspect and repair but they are beyond the scope of this article. So, as you can see, you have a lot of work to do; and there’s no time like the present. Good luck. For more information, go online and search for home maintenance or check your local library.