Certified Home Inspectors Orlando
Home Maintenance Tips
With over 15 years in the home remodeling/repair business, I have seen a great deal of costly repairs that could have been avoided with simple ongoing maintenance. Below you will see some of the most common items to do as a homeowner to save yourself costly repairs or decreased property value in the future.
- Keep your furnace air filter clean.
Replace any disposable filters every 1-3 months depending upon quality of the filter, if there are pets in the home, ongoing construction, allergy sensitivity, etc. A potentially costly repair is when the filter becomes clogged and starves the unit of air flow. This in a lot of cases will not only lessen cool or warm air flow through the registers but also can cause the unit to literally freeze over (causing ice to form on the coil and refrigerant lines) and stop producing any cool or warm air. When this ice melts it will produce a great deal of condensation.
- Clean the condensation tubes on the furnace/air handler twice a year.
These condensation lines will be found coming right out the furnace and be either plastic pvc piping, or flexible tubing. These help direct the condensation away from the unit and into a drain preventing any water to build up and/or overflow causing potential damage to surrounding surfaces. Over time these lines build up with mildew and gunk so just adding a cup of bleach directly into the lines at the furnace will keep them clear. Do this each cycle change. ( once before you turn on the heat and once before you turn on the air conditioner) If your area is mild enough that you don’t always turn it on then clean it once in spring and once in fall.
- Keep gutters clean.
When gutters accumulate too many leaves, dirt, etc., then they will not direct water down the downspouts correctly and may overflow causing damage to the siding, window sills, fascia boards, etc. I recommend cleaning gutters once or twice a year depending on your area and whether or not you have a lot of trees in your neighborhood.
- Keep vegetation around the perimeter of the home trimmed back.
Do not plant bushes, trees, etc., too close to the house since roots can be very damaging to the homes foundation. In addition to causing potential damage from their root systems, plantings also hold a great deal of moisture and so keeps the area moist around the foundation which can be damaging as well. Plantings that are allowed to come into contact with the homes siding is another potentially damaging situation. The leaves and branches will hold moisture against the homes siding and can shorten the lifespan as well as be a potential water intrusion point.
- Seal Stucco cracks.
If your home has a stucco related product, it is very important to seal any cracks with an exterior-rated sealant to prevent water intrusion which can cause significant damage over time. All stucco cracks and is not a defect of the installer but rather just needs to be maintained in order to prevent damage.
- Protect your Deck.
Replacement of a wood deck can be very costly depending on the size; but a very easy way to enjoy your deck for many years is to have it cleaned and sealed annually. It may sound excessive to seal it every year; but with the poor quality of sealers I would not recommend waiting more than every other year in order to truly preserve the look and longevity of the wood.