September 28, 2016

Home Maintenance: Tips On How to Keep Your House in Top Condition

September 28, 2016

Home Maintenance: Tips On How to Keep Your House in Top Condition

When a person purchases a vacation home, they will often focus on the financial aspects of it such as the mortgage, property taxes and insurance. However, home ownership is labor intensive as you will need to devote a considerable amount in order to keep it in its best possible condition for you and your guests. By doing a number of routine maintenance tasks, you will be able to save yourself a lot of money and prevent a number of potential problems.

At times it can be quite overwhelming to think about the many tasks you may have to do in order to maintain the home. However, if you do these tasks on a regular basis, you will be in good position to ensure that your vacation home remains in top shape. 

During the process of organizing your home maintenance tasks, you will want to schedule tasks on a monthly, quarterly and biannual basis. It will also be important to schedule home maintenance tasks on a seasonal basis as well. While there is not consensus agreement on what particular tasks need to be done each season, you will want to schedule certain tasks when you believe it will benefit your home.

The first tasks you will want to complete are ones that need to be done every month.

  • The first thing you will want to do is inspect and change all HVAC filters. (Tip: buy cheaper filters and change them more frequently instead of getting expensive filters).
  • Clean the kitchen sink disposal. 
  • Clean range hood filters.
  • On a monthly basis, inspecting the fire extinguishers is also an important task to do. During this process, you will need to ensure that it your guests have easy access to it. You will want to also check the gauge and make sure that it has adequate pressure along with having no visible signs of wear or damage.

The next sets of tasks are things you need to do on a quarterly basis which is once every three months.

  • Test the smoke and carbon dioxide detectors. This process is quite simple as all you will need to do is press the Test button. If the alarm goes off, then the detector is working fine. If the detector is not going off, then you will need to change the batteries and test it again. A detector that still doesn’t go off with new batteries is likely to be altered by corrosion in the battery terminal. In order to resolve this problem, it will be necessary to clean the terminal. If none of these tasks solve the issue, then you will need to buy a new detector.
  • The next thing you will want to do is test the garage door auto reverse feature. In 1993, federal law required all garage doors to include this feature after there were a number of reported child deaths. You can put a piece of wood on the floor and the door should reverse itself once it makes contact with the wood.
  • Check the water softener and add salt as needed.

When maintaining your home, you will need to perform certain tasks on a biannual basis.

  • Test the water heater pressure valve. This will prevent the buildup of corrosion and minerals. This will also help prevent leaks and help the heater run more efficiently as well.
  • Give your home a deep clean - clean the appliances, windows, and dust every area of the home.
  • Replace the batteries of smoke and carbon dioxide detectors.
  • Vacuum all of the refrigerator coils to make sure that it is running as efficiently as possible. Over the course of a given year, the coils will get dirty and the fridge will require more power to run.

Maintaining the home over the course of the year is the best thing that you can do. This will require you to do certain tasks for each season. There will be a number of important tasks you will need to get done during the fall:

  • First, flush the hot water heater and remove any sediment so that it will run more efficiently.
  • Remove window units and test the HVAC unit for heat.
  • Check windows and doors for any leaks along with making sure that heating vents are open and not blocked.
  • Turn off and flush all outdoor faucets and hoses.
  • Get your chimney cleaned so that there is not buildup of debris during the rest of the year.
  • The next thing you will want to do is test the sump pump to make sure that it is working properly.
  • Check the driveway and pavement for cracks and get the necessary repairs.
  • Purchase salt and shovels for the upcoming winter season.

During the winter, it will be important to focus on the interior of the home.

  • Frequently check for ice dams and icicles.
  • Test the electricity of your home to make sure that all of the electrical systems such as the lighting and appliances are working properly.
  • Make sure that all handles and knobs are nice and tight.
  • Check all of the locks and bolts to make sure that they are secure and work properly.
  • You will want to check the caulking around the bathtubs and showers and get them repaired if necessary.
  • Remove all shower-heads and clean sediment.
  • Clean and inspect the basement by dusting all areas and make sure that there isn’t any mold or mildew.

In the spring, home maintenance is very important. During this season, it is important to focus on the exterior of the home. Since the home has gone through the winter and is now preparing for the summer, it will be important to make sure that the home is in good enough condition to adjust to the change in temperatures.

  • One of the of the first maintenance tasks you will want to do in the spring is to check the exterior drainage to make sure that rain water flows away from the house.
  • Clean out the gutters is another maintenance task you will need to do in the spring. During the fall, it may have accumulated a number of leaves along with snow and water from the winter.
  • Inspect the exterior of your home - see if there is any paint chipping or if any siding is damaged, check for any holes in the brick.
  • Get a professional to check the air conditioning system and make sure it is ready for the summer season.
  • You will need to replace or repair any window screens that may have been worn out or damaged.
  • In terms of gardening, you will want to get rid of any dead plants or shrubs in order to save some space in your front and backyard. Make sure that trees and other forms of vegetation do not interfered with electrical power lines. Get them trimmed by a professional if necessary.
  • Inspect the roof for damage, leaks and get them repaired if necessary.

In the summer, it will be important to do a number of maintenance tasks in order to preserve the condition of your home. This is a great time to focus on the exterior of your home as well as the lawn and garden.

  • Check for grout in the kitchen and your bathroom.
  • Inspect all of your plumbing fixtures for any leaks along with clean aerators on all of your faucets.
  • Prepare for and take care of any insect problems that you might have. 
  • Clean and repair your deck and patio by washing and re staining it. You will also want to check for any loose boards and get them repaired.
  • It will be important to clean out any window wells of debris.
  • You will want to check the dryer vent and all other exhaust vents.

By following these steps and performing these tasks, homeowners will be able to make sure that their home stays in the best possible condition for their guests. We know it's a lot to do so hiring a property manager to help you take care of your home is an option to ensure that your vacation home remains in top shape for you guests!


Tagged: vacation rental tips, home maintenance