Your First Home Needs Your Care
One of the easiest ways to preserve the value of your first home is by proper maintenance so it does not deteriorate with age. For example, it costs very little to keep caulking around the bathtub and sinks. But if you do not keep the water out of these areas with caulking, the deterioration from water intrusion will be expensive to repair and the appearance will hurt your value.
The maintenance on your new first home will be a new experience. Where do you start? You can get books or multimedia presentations like Home Improvement 1-2-3 from Home Depot. You can also look on Lowe’s website or American Home Shield’s maintenance tips. Another good source for a maintenance education is to followthe home inspector during the inspection before your purchase, as the inspector normally gives maintenance tips. Many home inspection reports have extensive recommendations for proper maintenance of your home, so read the report with maintenance in mind.
Keeping water out of unwanted spaces is one of the most important concepts in home maintenance. Water makes the structure rot and may provide a breeding ground for mold. So, cleaning gutters, replacing weatherstripping, maintaining the paint, caulking and checking the flashing all prevent water intrusion.
Another issue concerning water is to be sure that the rain water flows away from your house, particularly since it rains an average of 48 inches per year in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Raleigh, Cary, Chapel Hill and Durham are all able to grow rapidly due to the abundant water supply, much of which comes from rain. If the water puddles around your house, it may affect the foundation or get into the crawl space under the house. Keeping the downspouts for the gutter system working, and having the ground slope away from the house is important.
The mechanical systems also need attention. Changing the filters in the forced air system will make it easier for the system to work. Having the HVAC (heating and air conditioning) system serviced will also lower your energy costs and prolong its life. Drain the hot water heater on occasion to remove sediment build up. Just like your car needs maintenance, the mechanical systems in your house need attention.
One of the things you may easily over look is the vent for the dryer. The buildup of lint in the vent line is one of the largest causes of home fires. After extended use, the vent line should be cleaned, or just replace it because the vent lines are inexpensive. For additional protection from fire, the vent line should be made of flexible metal, not plastic.
So, all of the chores on a “honey do” list will make your home more comfortable and more valuable.