Home Maintenance Checklist for the First Year
DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | MONDAY, OCTOBER 07, 2013
After buyers move in to their new home, they should be prepared for some home fixes to present themselves each season, says Rich Escallier, a handyman in Chicago. “If you can go six months without finding something that raises your blood pressure, you’re lucky,” Escallier says.
CBS MoneyWatch recently released a checklist of routine maintenance and small home repairs that home buyers should expect to do their first year to help avoid more costly problems from surfacing later on:
During move-in week: Turn on all major appliances and run them for a complete cycle. Even if the buyer already completed a home inspection, they should test again, experts say. After all, “if you have a minor leak under the dishwasher, that water leaks into the subfloor and you can’t see it,” says Daniel Cipriani with Kade Homes & Renovations in the Atlanta area. “But you’ll start to notice the hardwood floor buckling.”
45 days after move-in: Change the HVAC system filter and vacuum out the air intake vents. “Capturing dirt and dust with the right filter can go a long way toward preserving the new home appeal for a few years,” CBC MoneyWatch notes.
Six months after move-in: Inspect the exterior of your home in both the summer and fall to ensure rainwater is draining away from the home properly. Also, clean out clogged gutters and downspouts. “Landscaping should be negatively graded away from the house,” Cipriani says. “People don’t think it’s a big problem, but otherwise water pools against the foundation and doesn’t have anywhere to go.”
Every year: Inspect the home’s roof for any missing shingles and gaps around the chimneys. Also, check the ceilings inside the home for any water spots and indications of potential leaks.
Experts also note that every two years, home owners would be wise to hire a professional HVAC contractor to inspect their furnace, air conditioner, and hot water heater. A ruptured reservoir could potentially spill 40 gallons of water in a mere few hours so experts recommend home owners install a water alarm with sensors in the collection pan underneath the hot water heater. The sensors cost about $25 and can help save home owners from costly water damage.
Every Two Years
If you have a sewer line or a catch basin, expect to have it cleaned out and inspected by qualified plumbers. They’ll check for broken pipes, roots growing through the line and other potential flooding hazards.
Have a professional HVAC contractor inspect your furnace, air conditioner and hot water heater. Often hot water heaters are located close to other major appliances — and a ruptured reservoir could spill 40 gallons of water in a few hours. Escallier recommends installing an inexpensive water alarm with sensors in the collection pan beneath the hot water heater. A $25 water alarm can head off a potentially disastrous basement spill.
Above all, don’t put off little repairs — that just compounds the problem. The most common thing customers say to Escallier after a big repair job is, “We wish we would have done this sooner.”
“You want to enjoy living in your house,” he says. “Don’t put your head in the sand.”
Source: “Repairs Every New Homebuyer Should Make,” CBS MoneyWatch (Aug. 26, 2013)