Purchasing a home is a major life event, but homeownership is a lot more than closing a sale and moving to a new address. It takes hard work and diligence to maintain your home, and getting on a yearly schedule is a great way to make sure you’re keeping your investment in good shape. If you do these 10 things every year, you’ll save yourself from a lot of problems down the road, and be able to prepare for coming changes.
1. Check your heating and cooling systems
You’re going to want to inspect your heating and cooling systems once per year before they’re used - so check the heating system after the summer ends when things are about to cool down, and the cooling system in the spring.
For the cooling system, you’ll want to give your air conditioning a good lookover. You’re trying to find any signs of leaks or corrosion, and clean any build up in your air filters. For your furnace, make sure the fuel lines are clean and connected securely. Then investigate the exhaust levels, burners, and heat exchangers for any abnormalities.
Having an energy-efficient home will make you feel more comfortable and save you money at the same time. If you’re looking for a project, these energy-efficient features are a great place to start.
2. Check for outside repairs when winter ends
As soon as the temperature starts to warm up, you should do an assessment of your exterior walls and roof. Make sure nothing has cracked on the exterior that needs to be fixed, examine any wooden porches, posts, or decks for rot and structural damage, and then move onto inspecting your roof. You should do this from both the outside and inside, seeing if any tiles or shingles have fallen off from the outside, and climbing into your attic to check for leaks or water damage from the inside. Catching these problems early can save you thousands of dollars, so be sure to do this at least once a year.
3. Do a deep clean
We’re talking about a clean that dives into all of those pesky, hard to reach types of spots that you probably haven’t even considered checking in the last year. Look at your refrigerator coils, behind your washer and dryer, and between all the nooks and crannies that would otherwise get overlooked. Your drawers are often neglected so empty them out, and while you’re cleaning, take the opportunity to sift through their contents and give away anything you no longer need.
4. Empty your drains and gutters
It’s important to check to ensure that your drains and gutters aren’t clogged after the cold of winter subsides. If you live in a wooded area or are near any trees whatsoever, they’re likely going to fill up in the autumn when the leaves start to fall. Make sure they’re clean and clear so that everything flows properly when the rain falls in the spring and summer months.
5. Check your plumbing
Drips and leaks are what you’re looking for here. Let your faucets run for several minutes to see if there are any leaks, and check for drips when you turn them off. You’ll also want to inspect any lines that run in or out of appliances like washing machines and fridges, as they can begin to wear over time. Replacing them isn’t a big job, and it can save you a lot of headaches in the long run.
If your toilets are old and need updating, it might be a good idea to consider investing in some new hardware. It’s an easy DIY home improvement project that anyone can do.
6. Pressure wash
This is easily the most fun item on the list in our opinion. Pressure washing has almost a therapeutic effect for some people, so don’t stress the mess. It is a great way to revive your sidewalk, pavement, driveway, and even the exterior walls of your home. Mould and dirt can build up fast here, so don’t put this task off too long - doing it yearly is a great cadence. If you don’t have a power washing machine or have a friend who you can borrow one from, you can rent one from your neighbourhood home improvement store for a fair price. They likely have several models, but the base level pressure washer should do the trick.
7. Trim your trees
If you have trees that drop debris on your roof, you should consider trimming them yearly (or even cutting them down if necessary). Taking the time to thin them out will save your roof plenty of wear and tear, and can extend the lifespan of your roof by years. Removing big trees can be the difference between needing a new roof every ten years and needing a new roof every twenty years.
8. Check your ductwork connections
This is a really easy fix that can make your home much more efficient. For example, if the ducts in your attic start to sag, air can escape from the loose ductwork. This means that the hot or cold air you’re paying to keep your home the proper temperature is being lost in your attic, costing you more money and leaving you hot or cold. A simple tightening of your connections is all it takes to save you money and keep you feeling good all year round.
9. Steam clean your carpets
It’s hard not to gasp when you see just what a carpet cleaner can pull out of your home. Spend one rainy day per year in the spring steam cleaning your carpets to take out all the dirt, dust, and muck that you put into them in the fall and winter months. Be sure you get everything, including any mats or rugs at entryways, and be thorough. You can rent a great carpet cleaner from your local home improvement store and have fresh smelling carpets in less than a few hours.
10. Make a list of minor repairs and work through it
Finally, it’s important to have a running list of the little things that need to be fixed. If you walk through your home once a year and add everything you notice to this list, you’ll always have something to tinker with on a rainy day. Door knobs, paint touch-ups, gardening projects - basically anything cosmetic that would be a nice to have is a good thing to add to your minor repairs list. If you put these off for too long, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Work through your list yearly and you’ll never feel the stress of minor home repairs.
Once you’ve run out of minor repairs to make, it might be time for a bigger job. Check out these 5 investments that will increase your property value if you’re looking to sell anytime soon.