Your home is one of the most important investments you will make in your life. You may plan to stay in your home forever, or you may intend to keep it for several years until you get a better job and can Sell it and move to a different home in a different neighborhood or even a different city.

Regardless of why you have purchased your home, you need to maintain your investment. If your home looks good – you feel good. If your home gets run down, there will invariably be various hazards around the home that could injure you, your children, visitors, or even people just walking past.

Remember that preventative maintenance is almost always cheaper than repair. 

Let’s start with the exterior of your home.

Exterior Maintenance

Remove any trees growing within two feet of your sidewalks. Tree roots are quite powerful and they can actually push up your sidewalk from underneath – which will create dangerous areas where people can trip.
Repair small cracks in sidewalks. Over time – and over the course of several winters when the cement will expand and contract, those cracks will deepen and widen until it will take a major repair job to fix them. And the deeper and wider these cracks, the more chance someone can trip, fall and injure themselves. Keep in mind that you are liable if someone trips on your sidewalk.

Insure that your landscaping is graded in such a way that rain and irrigation water drains away from the house. Otherwise, water could drain toward the house and result in an expensive repair bill. Improper grading can direct water in to the crawl space, which can lead to mold. Depending on where your home is located – in a flood plain, for example – make sure you have a sump pump to help remove excess water before it gets into your basement.

If you have siding, power wash it periodically to prevent mold and mildew from growing. Spores can enter into the home and cause illnesses. The mold and mildew will also damage the integrity of the siding over time. Keep trim and siding painted to prevent deterioration.

Have your air conditioner and your furnace serviced annually. In the long run it will pay for itself in energy savings.

Interior Maintenance

All of your large appliances – from refrigerator to microwave to oven to dishwasher to clothes washer and dryer come with manuals. Make sure you go through these and learn what preventative maintenance steps you should perform on a regular basis. Each of these major appliances represents a substantial investment don’t throw money away by letting them deteriorate through neglect.

Depending on how old your home is, it may not be equipped with smoke detectors in every room and, just as important, a carbon monoxide detector on each floor. You owe it to the safety of your family, any visitors, and even your neighbors to have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors – and perform the simple maintenance of testing them once a month and replacing batteries once a year.

By performing preventative maintenance, you will maintain the value of your home, save money in the long run, and enjoy living in an attractive and safe environment.