Top Things Homeowners Should Do to Protect Their Property
Owning a home can be a lot of work. However, with preventative maintenance and keeping your home in good condition, you can offset a lot of the potential interruptions associated with wear and tear. While some home repairs are inevitable, many can be prevented before they become bigger problems with some routine checkups and touch-ups. What upkeep should you do as a homeowner to avoid bad “surprises” throughout the year? Here is our top 10 home maintenance checklist for homeowners.
1. Schedule a Roof Inspection
- Frequency: Yearly or after a major storm.
Spotting small problems before they get big can save you thousands in roof repair costs and extend its life. Leaky roofs lead to water damage, mold, and expensive repairs, so catching a defect early is important. Also, old roofs increase the risk of fires, leaks, pest invasions, and raise the price of homeowner’s insurance. Over time, it pays to keep your roof in good shape, especially if you plan to sell your home in the future.
2. Schedule a Pest Inspection/Treatment
- Frequency: Every year in the spring.
Having pest pros come over to inspect your investment and pre-treat it for pests is invaluable. During this service call, they can also identify any warning signs of termites. Early detection is key to preventing expensive remediation and keeping your house in tip-top shape.
3. Get Homeowner’s Insurance & Home Warranty
- Frequency: Sign up once and renew as needed!
A homeowner’s insurance policy is a standard requirement for homeowners that have a mortgage, but it can be optional when your house is paid off. Though it’s not a legal requirement, it’s still incredibly useful for a variety of risky situations like storm damage, fires, property damage, accidents that happen on-site, and much more.
A home warranty is not to be confused with insurance. It is a different plan that homeowners can buy to cover the costs of unexpected breakdowns for specific systems in the house like plumbing, electrical systems, appliances, and more. Even a basic plan can end up saving you hundreds in the event of an appliance breakdown.
4. Service The HVAC
- Frequency: Every 6 months, preferably in the fall and spring.
This extends the life of your property’s heating and air conditioning unit and prevents health issues like mold and mildew from developing in the unit. Checking units in the spring and fall helps you be ahead of the curve and fix issues before anything breaks during hot or cold weather.
5. Schedule Gutter Cleanings
- Frequency: Yearly
Depending on where your home is situated, you may need to schedule gutter cleanings more frequently than one year, especially if you live around deciduous trees. Leaves and debris clog downspouts and lead to buildup that causes improper drainage that affects your foundation. You may also consider installing leaf-blocking gutters to reduce the cleaning cadence and get more time back!
6. Change HVAC Air Filters
- Frequency: Monthly
Homeowners should change filters monthly to reduce strain on the cooling and heating system and lower power consumption. This is a win-win: resulting in a longer-lasting HVAC system and more affordable utility bills. This is an easy DIY project that takes just a couple of minutes top per vent.
7. Get an Energy Audit
- Frequency: As needed.
How does your house stack up against current energy efficiency standards? By getting a tax-deductible energy audit on your property, you can check what parts of your home have areas for improvement. While not necessary for a new construction home that’s built up to modern energy efficiency standards, this is vital for resale homes that are over 10-15 years old.
This audit will help you find the best ways to save money- whether it’s by caulking windows, installing weather stripping, and insulation, or getting a new Energy Star cool roof shingles to replace your aging roof. Many of these upgrades can qualify for tax credits in 2023, so it never hurts to get evaluated!
8. Get Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- Frequency: One-time purchase to be replaced before units expire
While smoke detectors should be standard in the home inspection list and new construction builder’s checklist, homeowners can slip up on these protective measures over time. Carbon monoxide is also a silent, unexpected threat to households. Getting an inexpensive detector can potentially save lives.
9. Get Fire Extinguishers
- Frequency: One-time purchase until units expire
While no homeowner is legally required to have a fire extinguisher, it is extremely vital to have at least one on-site in case of emergencies. Mishaps happen all the time, from cooking accidents to space heater malfunctions, which start as small fires that an extinguisher can nip in the bud. While every home should have at least one fire extinguisher per 2,100 square feet, it never hurts to have more. For example: one on each floor and one in the kitchen, where most house fires start.
- Note: Dryer vents are another common source of home fires. Unclog these at least every 6 months or as needed to improve your dryer’s efficiency and life, on top of reducing the risk of a house fire.
10. Get a Home Security System
- Frequency: One-time installation until desired replacement or upgrade.
Did you know that homes with a security system are three to four times less likely to be broken into? Even something as simple as a garage door camera or Ring doorbell can be a great home improvement that gets more surveillance on your home.
If you want to learn more about home safety or find a new construction home that has everything brand new inside of it, contact us today. We are real estate experts that can advise you on everything from picking the right home maintenance tasks to making your home marketable and much more.
Alicia Persson is a real estate content/SEO writer at Marketplace Homes. She has several years of experience working in real estate teams that specialized in investments and property management. Before she joined Marketplace, she was a freelance writer for 7 years, leading to a specialization in real estate and home living content for boutique digital marketing agencies. During her writing years, she learned the basics of SEO and gained experience writing for many different clients, making her highly versatile at creating diverse content.
She is a proud University of Virginia master’s graduate and enjoyed her undergraduate years at the University of Mary Washington. When Alicia is not writing, she plays keytar and sings in a local 90’s rock cover band, or she spends time with her amazing family.