When you lead a busy life, it’s easy to overlook home maintenance tasks. But generally, when you quickly attend to repairs around the home, you’ll avoid some of the costly complications that can come from neglected maintenance tasks
Following are three areas of your home that should always be at the top of your priority list. Pay attention to them, and when you notice problems or defects, repair them as soon as possible.
Heating and cooling systems
Experts recommend having your home’s heating and central air system professionally inspected at least once per year, which generally costs around $200 to $300. Regular maintenance ensures a longer lifespan and can keep your energy costs (not to mention your environmental impact) low.
An inspector can catch potentially serious mechanical problems that you would otherwise not recognize. For example, a reversing valve is what enables your heating and air-conditioning system to switch between hot or cold air, and it can become worn down over time and get stuck. That’s a problem you’d want to know about before you turn on the furnace for the first time in the winter.
One of the most common and potentially the most serious home maintenance problem is a damaged foundation. But people often don’t recognize foundation problems, because their symptoms may see to be completely unassociated. For example, some common signs of foundational damage are:
- Cracks in interior and exterior walls
- Ill-fitting doors and windows
- Sloped floors
- Plumbing malfunctions
- Wall rotation
- Gaps where the walls meet ceilings or floors
While foundation repair can be postponed by performing quick and easy repairs like caulking a crack or applying weather stripping to a door, the underlying problem will continue to get worse. If you’re concerned about your home’s foundation, hire a foundation repair professional to inspect the area and prevent further damage from developing.
Fixtures and railings
If you have a deck with a railing, or stairways with handrails either inside or outside, keep an eye on these structures to make sure they’re intact. Rarely will a railing just collapse out of the blue. Rather, these structures may tend to break-down over time, with outdoor wood and metal railings being susceptible to rust or water damage.
Checking for damage is easy – yank on the hand rail periodically. If it “gives” at all, don’t delay repairing it, because it’s easy to forget about repairs. You want the people who live in and visit your home to be safe, so spending an hour to repair a worn-down railing can save you a lot of heartache and financial stress in the future.
Along those lines, most older homes will have at least one doorknob that seems to rattle and give way. If you delay repairing it, don’t be surprised when the doorknob pops off one day – and then you have an immediate problem to fix.
In short, many expensive and disastrous home repairs can be avoided by simply paying attention and casually inspecting your home from time to time.