Property Upkeep Essentials : 5 Preventative Home Maintenance Tips

Property Upkeep Essentials: 5 Preventative Home Maintenance Tips

The problem with home maintenance is that it so often seems like an expensive and time-consuming endeavour. However, if you don’t stay up to date with household maintenance, you’ll most likely end up spending a lot more time and money on fixing the problems that arise.

It’s vital that you have a good routine and schedule for home maintenance, whether you live in the property or have purchased it as an investment and are renting it out. This will help to ensure that you don’t miss small problems that could become major ones. Prevention is always better than cure!

These are the top 5 maintenance areas you should be working on regularly:

1. Routinely Check For Leaks

Water damage inside a home is one of the most important maintenance areas that you want to catch early. Even the smallest leak in a tap, if left unchecked, can cause major problems with mould, mildew and rot.

Actively monitor all of your taps, including any external taps, for drips coming out of places they shouldn’t. Also, keep an eye on where any plumbing pipes come out of the walls and if there’s wetness or dark spots forming. Any stains appearing on painted surfaces and wood should get monitored closely too.

At least once a year, you should get up onto the roof and examine it for cracks or leaks. Not every crack leaks immediately, and the quicker you spot it, the easier it is to fix.  If you have an attic space, you should inspect it every few months, especially after periods of heavy rainfall.

2. Keep An Eye On Your Appliance Manufacturer Websites

Any appliances that are under five years old are in the window of potentially getting recalled. The newer the appliance, the higher that possibility becomes. Reasons for recall are usually due to manufacturing defaults. This could be something specific to an entire model, or it could just be a particular batch.

Make a list of your appliances, the year you bought them and their serial number. This should be everything from the dishwasher to the coffee machine. Whether the appliance is big or small, it can cause an electrical fault that could lead to a devastating fire.

Make sure you do checks every three or four months on those appliances and the manufacturer’s websites. The older an appliance gets, the less often you need to check on its status.

3. Spring Clean Your Garden

Of course, garden maintenance is not a once-a-year job. Tasks like raking up leaves are a big job for the autumn months, and planting perennials and sorting out flower beds are usually done at the end of winter. However, there are a few important preventative measures that you should take in spring.

This is the best time to lay down mulch in flower beds and under any hedges or large bushes. Getting this done before the heat comes gives your plants a layer of protection against hot, dry spells. It locks in moisture and can save you a fortune on watering too.

You should also inspect the trees in the garden, looking for any damage or rot caused by the cold winter. If you catch these kinds of problems early on, you can often just remove sections of the tree instead of having to cut it down completely. This is one area where you might want to get an expert’s opinion, especially if you’re worried about a large tree coming crashing down.

4 .Stay On Top Of Bugs And Pests

Bugs and pests in the home are generally one of those things that aren’t a problem—until they’re a major problem. Then you need to call out an exterminator, which can be quite a costly and inconvenient experience.

Quite often, you want to do household inspections in the winter because the colder months will drive the creatures inside. Places to look include the garage, basement, attic and any vents. Also, inspect any cupboards that don’t get opened regularly.

Of course, pests aren’t always big enough to see like mice, ants and cockroaches are. Sometimes, you have to look for the signs that they’re making themselves comfortable in your home. Termites, for example, will make wood feel soft and sound hollow when you knock on it. They’ll also leave little piles of sawdust in their wake.

These kinds of inspections for pests should get done at least twice a year so that you really stay on top of any potential issues. If left too long, an infestation can cost as much as $70 000 for a professional pest control company to eradicate.

5. Clear Gutters, Overflows And Water Channels Before The Rainy Season

It’s always important to check gutters and overflows before the rain comes. If they got clogged up during the drier months or haven’t been checked since the previous year’s rains, it won’t take much for them to become a real problem when the rains arrive again.

The problem you’ll face with blocked gutters is potential damage to the roof, as well as the foundations. Water can pool on the roof or wash heavily down the side of the house and not into the drains and channels created for the water.

During your routine gutter checks, look for debris and mud that’s clogging them up or causing even slight obstructions. In the downpipes and water channels that you can’t see into, use a garden hosepipe to check for obstructions. Additionally, it’s important to look for physical damage to the gutters, pipes and channels in the form of cracks and corrosion.

While your homeowner’s or landlord’s insurance will likely cover storm damage, it won’t cover damage caused by a lack of maintenance, so this is extra important to stay on top of. Ideally, these checks should be done twice a year. Once before the rainy season and again afterwards. You don’t want to get caught short if an unexpected rainstorm comes along.

Create A Checklist—And Stick To It

Take the time to set up a checklist with the tasks that should be done monthly, seasonally and annually. This way, you’ll always know what to monitor and when. Whether you’re renting a property, are a landlord, or live in your own home, avoiding nasty (and often expensive) surprises is easier if you stay on top of preventative maintenance.

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