Regular maintenance chores are an unfortunate part of owning a home. Whether it’s keeping HVAC systems in check or repairing unsightly wall damage, staying up-to-date with your home’s maintenance can save you a lot of money in the long run. These tasks may seem daunting at first, but there are plenty of home maintenance chores you can accomplish over the weekend without expending too much free time.
1. Install Weather Stripping
Keep air from escaping the house by sealing up drafty windows and doors. Permanent strips should be installed on exterior doors, while temporary strips can be placed on exterior windows. While replacing or installing weather stripping, inspect door jams and windows sills for cracks and seal where appropriate.
2. Seal the Deck
Forgetting to treat your deck for a season or two can lead to serious damage down the road, not to mention added expenses. Experts recommend sealing exterior wood surfaces once a year. Fortunately, good sealants are plentiful and inexpensive and can be applied over a weekend. Remember to double-check the weather before sealing a deck, as most sealants require time to dry.
3. Swap out HVAC System Filters
Many heating and cooling experts recommend changing furnace and air conditioning filters once a month. Smaller households, however, can usually get away with swapping out filters every 2-3 months. Inspect visible heating and cooling coils around units to ensure they are dirt-free. Also consider draining the water heater and removing excess sediment that typically accumulates over time.
4. Check Appliance Parts
Refrigerators and dryers take up a good chunk of your home’s energy bill. To keep them running in top condition, inspect and clean refrigerator coils and dyer vents. Not only will this improve efficiency, but it will also guard against possible electrical fires. Consider using a Shop-Vac to cut down on cleaning time.
5. Repair Leaks
Even the smallest of water leaks can add to your monthly water bill. Taking time to inspect all faucets and plumbing can save you money and prevent unwanted water damage down the road. Replacing faucets around the house can also improve energy efficiency and comfort, especially in high-moisture areas of the home, such as showers.
6. Touch up Paint
Repairing paint around the home can quickly become an expensive project, especially if you hire professionals to do the work. To avoid wasting time and money, inspect and touch up the walls around your home before they become major problems. Simply sand down the worn areas, apply spackling compound to fill holes, sand again, prime, and paint. If you have trouble matching the paint, your local hardware store can use color match technology to find the perfect match.
7. Clear Gutters
It doesn’t take much before plugged gutters become a serious problem in winter months. Fallen leaves can build up in gutters and lead to dangerous ice accumulation. To avoid potential hazards, clean out the gutters with a good power washer and ensure that dead plants and shrubs are clear from the house. You can also use this time to inspect the roof for any loose shingles or damaged siding.
8. Inspect Siding and Exterior Paint
The exterior of your house can really take a beating over the years and even the smallest of cracks can lead to major problems after a big storm. To prevent unwanted costs, inspect the siding and keep an eye out for loose or broken pieces. Also make sure paint isn’t chipping away as this is the first line of defense against moisture build-up. Areas around windows and doors are especially vulnerable to wear and should be inspected on a regular basis.
9. Refresh Caulking
Properly maintained caulking prevents water from escaping around sinks and tubs. Inspect the caulking in bathrooms and kitchens and reapply wherever necessary to keep water from eroding structural framework. This simple but powerful task will help prevent mold buildup and save you a lot of remodeling expenses down the road.
10. Tune up the Garage Door
Garage doors take a beating through year-round use. To make sure your garage door is working correctly, inspect the exterior for dings or cracks and repair where necessary. Also ensure the weather stripping under the door is still in working condition and clean out debris around sensors. For squeaky doors, apply some WD-40 around mechanical parts.