With the current climate crisis, there has been an increase in natural disasters. With increasing hurricanes and many other weather fluctuations due to climate change, homeowners have seen an all-time high in property damage and destruction. In fact, according to a report published in USA FACTS, the average number of natural disasters rose from 3 per year in the 1980s to 13 per year after 2010!
Hence, homeowners in areas where flooding and hurricanes are common need to take certain measures to protect their homes. Regular preventive maintenance can make it easier to protect your home from damage and help avoid major repairs.
Timely home maintenance is not only crucial for natural disasters. It also protects the value and appeal of your home. It also minimizes the cost of upkeep because you can catch problems early before they become significant issues. A well-maintained home is also more efficient and comfortable.
Here is a checklist for you to undertake preventive maintenance for your home:
Catch plumbing issues early:
Water damage and leaks are a nightmare for any homeowner and can lead to high plumbing bills. Leaks can lead to rotted studs and deterioration of drywall, cause mold to grow, and cause damage to your major structural elements by weakening them.
Schedule an inspection every three months to spot any signs of issues. Check your water heater, exposed pipes, and faucets for signs of corrosion or malfunction. Drain your water heater tank of all its water to flush out and remove sediment buildup.
If you suspect any leakages around the house, hire a professional and reliable plumbing expert. Search for professionals online with the keywords water leak detection services near me. An expert can identify potential issues and offer efficient and effective solutions.
Clean gutters and downspouts:
Gutters and downspouts direct any hail, rain, or snow falling on your roof. Clogged gutters can stop water from draining off your roof, leading to roof damage and leaks, which in turn can cause damage to your ceiling and walls.
Schedule gutters and downspout cleaning at least twice a year, mainly in the spring and fall when there is a lot of debris from trees and nature. Clear away any leaves, twigs, or debris that might be stuck there—anything that could cause an obstruction.
Maintain your roof.
Replacing a whole roof will cost more than regular repairs. These repairs will help increase the value and life of your roof. Leaks and dampness can lead to mildew and mold. Issues with a roof also have a severe effect on your cooling and heating systems.
Thoroughly inspect your roof to check for debris and any missing or damaged shingles. Check for moss, fungus, or algae growth. Seal any cracks in your mortar or use caulk around joints, chimneys, and skylights.
Falling trees and branches cause millions of dollars in damage to homes and cars. Inspect your trees for any cracks, hollow and decayed areas in the trunk, or major tree limbs. Check for any diseases as well. Also, look for branches or roots that could be growing way too close to the house; they can cause a lot of damage to your structure.
Regularly trim and prune your trees to keep them healthy and away from damaging your home’s foundation, walls, and roof. Regularly mowing lawns would clear any mulch, dying leaves, or weeds to keep pests away and prevent fire hazards.
Test your sump pumps:
To prevent flooding and water damage, a sump pump is used to direct water away from your home’s foundation. Climate change and the increase in hurricanes, rising sea levels, and heavy rainfalls have left more homes at risk of flooding. A sump pump could save thousands of dollars, which you would otherwise spend due to severe flooding and water damage.
Regularly test out and thoroughly clean your sump pump of any buildup. Having a backup battery can help you avoid any disaster in the case of any power failures during storms, saving you from costly repairs.
Clean out your dryer vent and lint filter:
Air vents can clog up with dust, lint, and even pet hairs. It’s a hazard to health because these pollutants can trigger allergies and worsen breathing problems. A clogged dryer vent is also a serious fire hazard. Clogged air vents also cause the HVAC system to work harder and consume more energy.
Hence, schedule the changing of air filters at least once or twice every year. The air vent should also be cleaned with proper methods like vacuuming, using microfiber cloths, and washing the removed vent cover with soapy water.
Service HVAC systems:
Maintenance and proper care can extend the overall life of this costly system. When you practice preventative maintenance, you can avoid expensive emergency repairs due to the HVAC breaking down during a simmering heat wave or a cold spell due to improper upkeep. Regular maintenance will ensure that it is working optimally and efficiently, reducing energy consumption and hefty electricity bills.
Change the batteries in your fire security devices:
Fire alarm systems are crucial and necessary and could save your life. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 16% of fire fatalities occurred in homes with smoke alarms that failed to operate.
At least once a month, test your smoke alarms by using the test button; if it emits a loud, piercing alarm sound, then you’re good to go. Otherwise, replace the batteries. Try to replace your smoke alarm with fresh batteries at least once a year. The sensors in smoke detectors can wear out over time, so try to replace them at least every ten years.
Siding not only enhances your house’s curb appeal but also protects it from the elements. It’s important to keep your siding in optimal condition to help prevent leaks or mold. It also acts as a preventative measure against pests.
Every season, take a look around the perimeter of the home for any damage, rot, or paint that might be peeling on your siding. Check for mold or mildew growth. Fix any loose panels and fill any small cracks. Fill any gaps in your siding with caulk or a sealant. To remove mold and mildew, create a solution of 1:4 of bleach to water and apply it to the affected areas. Trim vegetation around the siding to avoid moisture buildup, scratches, or dents.
Homeownership is not easy, and maintaining a home can be challenging, especially with the rise in global warming and resulting natural disasters. But with time and money dedicated to the upkeep and maintenance of your home, you can prevent future costly repairs.
Keep a home maintenance checklist to help schedule seasonal updates, repairs, cleaning, and monthly tasks.