Home maintenance is one of those things that is so easy to forget because so many tasks only need to be done once in a while or just a few times a year. Some items are easily put off as time can be scarce & shoot everything looks good still, doesn’t it? Well, just like your car needs the oil changed, the tires rotated & the filters replaced every so often to prevent breakdowns, so does your largest investment – your home. As the saying goes “pay for it now, or pay more for it later.”
Energy, Gas & Water Savings:
It really doesn’t come as a surprise to many of us that the individuals with lower bills are also the ones that stay on top of their home’s maintenance. As I have stated a few times the utility bills are not only a report card based on how well the house was built, maintained, and how a homeowner uses the utilities.
One big example that rears its head around this time of the year is AC units struggling to keep up as the filters have never been changed or the coils cleaned. Not only do they lose efficiency (On average it is anywhere from 5 – 20%), but they simply freeze up or something blows. The same applies during the winter time with the furnace, not to mention the drafts coming in. Another big issue is the dryer taking forever to dry a load of clothes as the vents are clogged.
Life of Appliances:
Going back to the HVAC unit & dryer above, some repairmen liken the units to “stroking” out as they struggle to pull enough air in or push it out requiring repairs. Is your water heater seemingly taking longer to heat the water back up, that could be due to all the sediment at the bottom while also leading to elements & tank eroding.
Insurance Claims really aren’t so great:
You come home only to find a washing machine house broke… For want of a $5 hose you are now looking at paying a deductible, dealing with your agent, hiring a contractor, countless hours spent on the phone, probably a few sleepless nights with a sprinkling of a few trips to a laundromat thrown in. I guess on the plus side, be glad it wasn’t your dryer catching fire…
Insurance doesn’t cover everything:
While the insurance company might pay out for the busted water line, the damage done by your clothes washer that has been leaking for a while is all on you. Toilet been sweating for a while, don’t expect them to pitch in for new flooring. Generally almost all insurance companies will pay out for is sudden & unexpected damage, not for lack of maintenance or you doing everything in your power to prevent further damage.
For many the reasons distill down to peace of mind, increased comfort & safety. They know that during that first cold or warm snap that their units will come on & work properly. They know that if a fire does break out that the smoke detectors will work &/or they won’t be woken up during the middle of the night listening to the “low battery” chirping. There not worried that during a rain storm, water is getting into the building allowing mold & mildew to take off.
|Increased Comfort? On the increased comfort front, that does apply if one has let the maintenance slide & you bring items back to their peak operating condition. With that said once you have reached that, you can only hope to maintain those levels unless you make other improvements.|
Preserve & Maximize your home’s re-sale value:
When one is house shopping, you can pretty much tell how well maintained a property was by just looking at. Sure some people do try to slap lipstick on a pig, but that should be quickly discovered by a competent home inspector. Of course a well maintained house does make their job a little tougher as many feel they need to at least find something slightly off.
Sounds nice, but…
But my house didn’t come with a manual, how am I supposed to know when to do these things, shoot how do you??? For those interested in doing it themselves, we have our Monthly Home Maintenance Checklists where we tried to break things out into small bite size chores taking into account vacations, weather & the holidays. We also have provided links in many of these pieces to “how do you” clean your gutters without leaving the ground, along with numerous safety articles for working around your house. It would also be a good idea to inventory your appliances & then Google them for recalls & user manuals which include how to maintain that specific piece.
If it is not something you feel comfortable doing or don’t have the time, look for companies that specialize in this type of work. One easy way is to Bing or Google “Home Maintenance Packages” with your location to find companies in your area that offer these services. For example, if you are in the Denver area, our good friends at DaVinci Remodeling will show up.