Over the past 24 years I have worked with a lot of first time home buyers and I find that most of them do not know anything about home maintenance and need a little coaching to protect their home and their investment. Many of the buyers are relocating from other areas and homes in Raleigh will have different needs than a home in another part of the country.
Here are some of the “must do’s” I tell my buyers to consider. I hope these Raleigh home maintenance tips will help you too.
- Change your furnace filters monthly. It is so easy, but also so important. Clogged filters decrease furnace efficiency and can cause breakdowns.
- Drain your water heater at least once a year. Sediments will drain out along with the water from the water tank. Removing sediment can prolong the heater’s useful life.
- Clean the coils. If you have baseboard heating units that use hot water, clear dust from the coils inside the units to maximize heating efficiency. Clean dust whenever you see it accumulating. If you have a hot water boiler/furnace you should also oil the pump inside the furnace twice a year, says Lesh. Look for the three spots on the pump designated for oiling.
- Check your circuits. Test the performance of the circuit breakers in your electrical circuit box twice a year by flipping them off and back on. If you have a circuit that keeps shutting off with normal daily electrical use, call an electrician. A faulty circuit breaker could indicate a short in the wiring inside your walls.
- Replace regularly. Water heaters, furnaces, roofs, and other key components of your home should be replaced before they fail, based on their average useful lives.
- Watch out for drips. Check under sinks periodically to look for leaks or water stains that might indicate leaks. Catching a small problem early can prevent water damage. Use a plunger to clean out sinks and tubs whenever water doesn’t drain normally.
- Keep the wet out. Water is a major enemy of your house. Check each season for signs of water damage to your home. Flashing, the metal pieces used to seal the areas between roofs and chimneys and around doors and windows, are especially vulnerable to damage by wind or age. Loose flashing can let water seep under a roof or inside walls, which in turn can cause mold.
- Get to the bottom of things. Check your home’s foundation for cracks or gaps that could let in water or varmints. Also look at the ground around your house. As homes age, they often sink slightly below the surrounding ground. This settling lets water puddle against the foundation and possibly damage it, notes Manfredini. Doing major landscaping work also can cause changes to the ground’s pitch that let water flow toward the house.
- Look up. Chimneys take a great deal of weather abuse. Visually inspect them each year for signs of loose mortar or missing bricks. Have the insides of chimneys cleaned every two to three years. Also check your roof for loose shingles or dangling gutters.
If you would like more tips, please feel free to contact our State Farm Agent, Danny Newton at 919.875.1955 and he would be happy to send you a free comprehensive guide for your home.
Have a great weekend!