You scrimped and saved religiously for several years in order to buy your home. However, the cost of homeownership goes way beyond the purchase price. If you don’t maintain your home, you’re putting yourself at risk for reducing its value when it comes time to sell. The good news is that you can start now, and maintain it, so that your investment pays dividends later on.
Importance of Insurance
While insurance isn’t maintenance, it can prevent severe damage from wiping out your savings or leaving you with an enormous amount of debt. Similar to purchasing car insurance online to provide coverage for a possible accident, a homeowners insurance policy does the same. The policy will include fire and theft protection as well as protection for unforeseen damage caused by a sudden pipe burst or the elements.
Pests Can Wreak Havoc
When it comes to maintaining your home, an area often overlooked by homeowners, is pests. Rodents, such as mice and rats, carry disease and they chew frequently on walls and wood surfaces which in turn, can cause damage to your home’s structure. Additionally, they often burrow in drawers and inside cabinets, leaving feces and droppings behind.
This can expose your pets and family to serious health risks. The good news is that there are licensed professionals who specialize in pest control or, if you prefer to avoid chemicals, you can opt for over-the-counter products that are quite effective. This will help to preserve your home and keep your family safe.
Roofing and Gutters
The roof and gutters are essential components of a home that protect your family and belongings from exposure to the elements. Since your roof is, in most cases, the first point of contact for rain and snow, it can develop weak spots, and the moisture can then come inside your home’s interior. If left unchecked, this slow entry can cause damage to ceilings and walls and create a health hazard of mold and mildew.
Gutters are just as important as they capture the water from your roof and distribute it back to the ground. If they fill up with debris such as leaves and small sticks, they cannot perform their function. Thankfully, you can prevent either one from happening by having your gutters cleaned two times a year and your roof inspected every couple of years.
Heating and Cooling System
Most people understand the importance of having an annual inspection of their heating and cooling system. However, a large percentage of homeowners still don’t clean their vents and ducts or change air filters as required. When you don’t maintain the components of the system, you’re forcing it to work harder. This can end up costing you more in not only your utility bills, but also major repairs or an early replacement of the system itself.
Maintaining Your Plumbing
You turn on the water to wash dishes, prepare meals, bathe, and do laundry each day. Your plumbing is something you rely on, and without access to running water you won’t be able to perform many tasks. If your home is more than 10 to 15 years old, you should check the plumbing for small cracks and moisture.
In many cases, pipes don’t suddenly burst; they have a small infraction that compromises the pipe and then it grows larger. If you perform a check of the pipes every few months, especially during the colder months, or have an annual inspection performed by a licensed plumber, you will greatly improve your chances of preventing a flood. Any accumulation of water that remains in one place will cause a large amount of damage. An annual inspection can bring to light a small leak early that you can fix.
For a large percentage of the population, owning a home is their biggest investment. If you want to preserve and sell it to help fund your retirement, then regular maintenance is essential.