9 Home Maintenance Tasks New Homeowners Should Do
When someone buys a home for the first time, it seems there is always another person involved along the way.
For example, either the current homeowner or the real estate agent is present during the home showing.
You meet with your lender to sign the loan application and provide your asset & income information.
At the closing, there is usually an attorney, or at the least, the attorney’s assistant, to direct the flow of paperwork and get the signatures in the right place. The real estate agent and the seller of the home will likely be at the closing too.
Then, new key in hand, you visit your new home! But all of those other people are gone, and you are left to be the freshly minted homeowner all on your own.
That can be quite a bit of responsibility. Listed below are suggestions for keeping the home in top shape with home maintenance tips for new homeowners.
When you eventually sell the house, keeping your home in great shape will help immensely.
Do be sure that whenever you start making improvements that there are no building permits required. Many homeowners have gone down the road of making renovations and upgrades where permits were required.
It can certainly put you in a precarious position when it comes time to put your home up for sale.
Review the Thermostat
Look over the thermostat and choose a temp that is comfortable for you. More importantly, review the type of thermostat.
Modern thermostats can be programmed to change the temp multiple times throughout the day. This can save you significant money on the power bill.
For example, during the winter months, you can have the thermostat automatically change to a cool temp as you leave for work. This keeps the house at a decent temperature while you are away. The temp can be increased slightly before your arrival.
A similar schedule can be set up if you are away on vacation.
Install New Locks on the Entry Doors
Contact a local locksmith and ask that they replace the main locks on the front and back doors.
You have no idea how many people had a key to your home before you moved in. It is a good idea to start on a clean slate and be the only owner of keys of the new place.
If you are handy with tools, you can also try to replace the locks on your own.
Test the Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Now is the time to put new batteries in both the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This gives you peace of mind that they have power to them, and you know how long the batteries should last based on the package for the batteries.
Make sure to test these items at least once per year to ensure they will alarm if necessary.
Locate the Main Breaker Box
You never know when you will have to reset an electrical breaker or shut off a breaker.
Go through the exterior and interior of the home to locate the main breaker box.
Label each breaker so that you are aware of which control will terminate electricity to what part of the house. If you need to replace something, such as a light fixture or major appliance, it may be necessary to shut off the breaker. Labeling each circuit will greatly help you in the future.
Replace the Filters for HVAC System
The filters for the heating and air conditioning system are the primary maintenance item to keep the system operating efficiently.
Replace these filters when you first move in. Plan to replace these filters once per month as long as you own the home.
Inspect Area Around Windows and Doors
Windows and doors can be a big drain on the heating and air condition system, and also allow in too much water, if they are not properly sealed.
First, see if there is too much air getting in around the frame of the windows and doors. For windows, you can add caulk to stop any air leaks. For doors, you can add weather stripping.
Make sure to use the right kind of caulk. There are different variations, one for the exterior of the window and one for the interior of the window.
If you add fresh caulk and weatherstripping to the windows and doors, this should last for a handful of years before it is time to replace it again.
Clean out Vent for Dryer
Your clothes dryer has an exhaust that pushes out air and lint to the outside of the home. Over time, this exhaust can get clogged up and needs to be cleaned.
Simply disconnect the power source for the dryer, pull the dryer away from the wall, then disconnect the exhaust tube from the dryer to the wall.
Now it is time to use a vacuum or leaf blower to clean out the vent exhaust tube that leads to the outside.
Once it is cleaned, re-connect the dryer exhaust tube and put the dryer back in place.
To optimize the dryer’s function, this process needs to be repeated every 6 months.
Inspect and Clean Gutters
The gutters divert water away from the home’s foundation. This is a very important part of the home.
Take time to first inspect the gutters to determine that they are all in good working order and there is no issue with the connection of the gutter to the home.
Next, remove all leaves, twigs, and other items out of the gutter. Spray some water in the gutter and notice the flow of water coming out of the ends.
The gutters will need to be cleaned at least once per year. If you have numerous trees around the home, you may need to clean out the gutters twice in the autumn season.
Check Seal on Deck
If your home has a deck, the wood needs to be properly sealed to protect against weather.
Spray some water on the deck. The water should immediately turn into small beads that pop up on the wood. If not, this means the water is soaking into the wood and will lead to rot.
If the water is soaking in, you will need to purchase a sealer and apply it to the deck. This is done in a manner very similar to painting with a roller.
After you have applied the sealer, the wood should be protected for at least one year. The seal will need to be tested yearly to prevent rot.
Final Thoughts on Home Maintenance For New Homeowners
Following these home maintenance suggestions should keep your home in good shape and allow you to enjoy the home for years to come.