Things Every Homeowner Should Do Once a Year

Owning a home comes with many benefits, as well as responsibilities. From housework to decorations and even renovating, we all need to make constant upgrades to add value to our home and make it more comfortable. 

There are a number of things, however, that might not yet be on your radar, but these will help you enjoy your home for years to come.

Drain Hot Water Heater

Sediment builds up over time at the bottom of the tank, causing corrosion – we recommend partially draining it to remove the sediment and keep the heater running more efficiently, and longer.

Check Ductwork Connections

Ducts in either the attic or crawl space can sag over time, and then the connections become loose. This could end up increasing utility costs because the air you’re paying to heat or cool is escaping from the loose ductwork into the attic or crawl space, not into your living space.

Clean Out the Dryer Vent Duct

The back of your dryer is connected to a vent that leads outside. This duct gets lint buildup over time, which not only causes the dryer to work harder, increasing energy costs, but it’s also a huge fire risk, as backed up lint is extremely flammable.

Update Home Inventory

Knowing what you own is crucial. Make sure you are properly covered in your insurance policy for not only the contents of your home, but the structure itself, especially if you invested in it with home remodel projects.

Review Homeowner’s Insurance Policy

When doing yearly checks, many homeowners don’t think of their insurance. Make sure that your policy continues to cover weather hazards like hail and wind.

Review your deductibles. A homeowner will want to determine the cost of replacing a roof, for example, if it was damaged in a storm and an estimate of their out-of-pocket costs for that repair or replacement.

Inspect the Roof

A roof inspection is critical because roofs are the most commonly damaged part of a home during severe weather. Longevity can erode quickly and cause leaks, stains on walls, and even flood damage. Take a good look at your attic for signs of water damage, because if there are water stains on the ceilings or walls, it’s a sure sign that your roof needs some attention.

From the ground you can check for missing shingles or misplaced tiles – especially if you have access to a drone with a camera. Dimples on the surface of the roof can indicate damage from hailstones. Any missing or damaged tiles should be replaced immediately to avoid leaks reaching the inside your home. It’s also helpful to find out when your roof was last replaced.

Clean the Gutters

Buildup from fallen leaves and pine needles can rot and eventually clog the downspouts and even damage gutter parts. Gutters help the home to cope with heavy rain flow, and they’re bound to accumulate debris throughout the year that can obstruct the flow of water and lead to overflowing. Hire a professional if your gutters are high enough to require a special ladder.

Check the Foundation

A failing foundation can be the biggest and most costly problem. Look indoors for the warning signs, including gaps and cracks in hardwood floors, or cracks at the corners of door jambs and window frames.

Look for Water Damage

Existing water damage can lead to big problems if left untreated. Look for evidence around sinks, plumbing fixtures, and under windows for mold, broken caulking and leaking around sinks, or bubbling paint on drywall.

Clean out the Garage

Garages are often home to much more than cars. Not just extra sports equipment and a backup fridge, but possibly rodents and bugs too. Clean your garage once a year by taking out everything and deep-cleaning the space.

Check Pipes & Sewage Outflow

Even if your home doesn’t have a septic tank, this task should still be on your list. Sometimes when sewage pipes become too full, they burst and ruin yards. A lot of the times this is a city or town pipe, but the city or town will not pay for the damage.

If you find a blockage before it becomes an explosion, however, often the city or town will send resources to help you deal with the issue. Contact your local town or city hall sewage department with questions. Also check for toilet and faucet leaks that a plumber would need to assess.

Monitor Trees and Landscaping

Harsh winters can weaken trees and cause them to break. Monitor the positioning of your trees so you can look out for any changes, like how they are they leaning in a certain direction. Check the roots to see if there are cracks in the surrounding earth, as the root may have become dislodged.

If trees hang over your house, check for broken or loose branches because they can damage the house if they fall. If this is the case, hire a pro to do the trimming for you to avoid unnecessary safety risks.

Check Windows for Gaps

Cold and damp conditions can cause window frames to swell, so once they return to their original size, it can create gaps. Not only will this let in drafts, but it will also cost you a lot in lost energy. If you wait too long, you could also end up needing to replace the frames completely, which is an expensive job.

Gaps can be filled using a variety of materials, such as mortar, frame sealant, and decorators caulk, You should use the same material that was previously used to seal the windows for the best result.

Check Decking, Porches, and Steps

Case the place in search of rot and structural damage.  On exterior steps, check the overall structure of the concrete, wood or stones – if there is any crumbling, rot or decay, repairs should be made immediately.

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Charles McDonald
Charles McDonald
Charlottesville Solutions
2013 Woodbrook Court, Charlottesville VA 22901
REALTOR® - Licensed to sell Real Estate in Virginia
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