10 Items to Maintain For New Home Owners

You bought a new home or maybe even your FIRST home ever. Here are 10 home maintenance items that you should know about.

Congratulations!  You’ve made a major investment in your life and now its time to take care of it.  Don’t worry, we’ll help you out along the way.

Whether this is your first or fifteenth house to purchase, there are several key components that need to be maintained, cleaned or replaced throughout the life of your home.  Most of these items you can do yourself (Thanks to YouTube) and others may be more suited for a handyman.  

Depending on what time of year you purchased your house or what part of the country you live in some of these things may vary, but there are some things that every homeowner should do on a regular schedule.

Let’s Get Started.

  1. Mowing / yard maintenance:  This one is obvious but it come with the territory of home ownership.  Most people may choose to do their own yard work and others will hire a landscape company to maintain the yard on a weekly or biweekly schedule.  
  • INSPECTORS NOTE:

    Don’t forget to keep the bushes and trees trimmed away from the house.  This can help prevent unwanted pest and premature wear on roof coverings.

2. Furnace / AC filter:  Changing out your furnace and A/C filter is probably the most overlooked or forgotten maintenance item in any household.  This is a very simple task and anyone can do it; even if it takes a YouTube video.  

  • HELPFUL TIP:

    Add this chore to your smart phone reminder list and have it alert you every 3 months or so.

3. Fireplace chimney sweep:  Not all houses have a fireplace but if yours does and you put it to use it would be wise to have your chimney cleaned out once a year depending on what kind of wood you burned and how often you used it.  

  • WOOD BURNING TIP:

    Always choose a seasoned hardwood and NEVER burn any wood indoors that has been chemically treated.

4. Smoke / CO alarm batteries and testing:  The second  most neglected chore or maintenance item on the list is changing the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  This is a super simple task with the help of a step ladder and can be done by anyone who can change out a 9v battery.  Even more simple than changing the battery is testing these alarms.  On every smoke / CO detector there is a ‘TEST’ button.  Simply push this button and your ears will immediately let you know if they are working.

  • HELPFUL TIP:

    Grab your broom or something with a long handle to push the test button on the alarms.

5. Mulch in flower garden:  This may be a weekend project or if you have a lawn crew that mows your yard regularly you may consider asking them to perform this task for you.  Fresh mulch every so often with help prevent weeds from forming in you flower beds as well as help prevent any soil erosion around your home, which can lead to foundation problems if neglected for an extended period of time. 

  • PRO TIP:

    Find a neighborhood kid looking to make a little extra money and save your back from lifting the heavy bags of mulch.

6. Freeze/ Frost protection for winter:  This is a very simple task that involves simply covering your exterior hose bibs with the cheap styrofoam covers that you can purchase at your local hardware store.  This will save you a major headache come winter time and help keep your water from freezing or perhaps worse the pipes bursting during those cold winter nights.  If you have any water piping exposed t0 the air on the exterior of you home, simply slice open a pool noodle and wrap that around the exposed pipe.

  • REMINDER:

    If your home has an irrigation system remember to turn that system off completely and cut off the water supply to that system as well.

7. Dryer vent cleaning:  This maintenance item maybe best left to the professionals, although it is possible for homeowners to perform it if they are handy around the house.

  • INSPECTOR TIP:

    There should never be a screen on the vent outlet on the outside of the house.  This could cause a backup or clog of lint which can lead to an inefficient drying cycle or worse yet it can be the source for a house fire.

8. Clean exterior siding / concrete driveways and sidewalks: Look at this like giving your house a yearly bath. It’s as simple as that.  Cleaning your house can help prevent insect infestations and also allows you to knock down any unwanted wasp nest.

  • PRO TIP:

    This task is best performed in the fall after the summer heat and insects are less active.

9. Paint / Stain Exterior Siding or Decking:  Paint and stain on house siding and wood decking serves to protect the exterior of the house and the deck.  Harmful UV rays from the sun breakdown the paint/stain over time and  allows moisture penetration into the siding or wood causing a shortened lifespan for the material that protects your house like a skin.  

  • TIP:

    If you plan on having a professional perform this task, always do your research and reviews for local companies and get a minimum of 3 estimates for the services you want performed.

10. Gutter cleanout leaves / debris: Keeping your gutter free of debris and leaves is a key maintenance item that is best performed after winter going into the spring after the leaves have fallen and the temperatures start to warm up a bit.  Leaves or debris build up in the gutter system can cause water to leak inside the house and or rot out the fascia or eaves on the exterior of you house.

  • PRO TIP:

    This could be a chore easily taken on by a homeowner or any neighborhood kid.  Make sure to wear gloves as gutters can have extremely sharp edges.

These are only some of the key maintenance items to keep an eye out for as homeowners.  Setting up a yearly inspection with your favorite home inspector could serve you well and will save you tons of money in the long run.