Sometimes owning a home can feel like a part-time job. There always seems to be some chore to cross off the list. But regular maintenance is too important to overlook. Routine upkeep enhances curb appeal, ensures safety, and prevents little problems from turning into big, costly ones.
It's estimated that you could lose 10% of your home's value by neglecting three critical areas. "Maintenance is essential to preserving the value of your home—without it, your home could lose 10% of its value. Regular, routine maintenance enhances curb appeal, ensures safety, and prevents neglected upkeep from turning into costly major repairs," wrote Nicole Richmond for HAR.com, a residential property search website.
Spring, the season of fresh starts, is a good time to renew your attention to these three areas of your home:
Check for pooling water and crumbling. Sticky doors are often an indication of foundation trouble. High humidity could be the culprit instead, but that only lasts a couple of days. If a door fails to function properly longer than that, the foundation could be to blame. Gaps around exterior doors and window frames are another indication of foundation trouble.
Service your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Some filters are reusable, while others must be replaced periodically (anywhere from 30 days to a few months). Clean or replace them when they get dirty. Check to see if the vent over the kitchen stove needs cleaning or replacing.
Look for cracks in caulk or rust spots on flashing. Are any shingles missing, buckling, or curling? Check for cracked or worn rubber boots around vent pipes. Don't worry about black mold stains, which are cosmetic, but moss or lichen could be a sign of decay under the roof.
How much does maintenance cost?
Major replacements, like a new roof, can cost $10,000, but other chores require only elbow grease. Average annual costs are about $3,300 per data from the U.S. Census. Experts say you should budget 1%-3% of initial home price for yearly maintenance.
Seasonal Maintenance: Spring
The seasons offer a way to divide the long list of home maintenance tasks into four manageable chunks. Here are some of the recommendations for spring, according to Better Homes and Gardens.
- Clear gutters and downspouts of leaves and debris.
- Swap in fresh batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Power-wash windows and siding.
- Inspect sink, shower, and bath caulking for deterioration.
- Clean screens in windows and doors.
- Inspect roof for missing or damaged shingles.
- Have air conditioning system serviced.
- Change the A/C filter.
- Fertilize the lawn.
- Polish wood furniture.
- Dust light fixtures.
- Drain or flush water heater.
Spring is for cleaning too.
Tackle spring cleaning room by room with this handy guide.
- Kitchen: Tidy up the pantry; clean cabinets and drawers; clean refrigerator; clean or replace vent over stove; vacuum under appliances.
- Bathroom: Discard old products; wash shower curtain; replace shower liner; wash or replace bath mat.
- Bedroom: Flip mattress; wash bedclothes; clean area rugs.
- Outside: Wash patio furniture; clean gutters; touch up paint; power-wash windows and siding.
Download a free maintenance schedule for Microsoft Office to keep your home in good repair. The chores are listed as quarterly or seasonally and cover plumbing, appliances, interior, electrical, and exterior.