Maintaining your home is a huge part of preventing future damage and expensive repairs. There are a number of things you can do on a regular basis to help avoid more problems down the road. So, the project for this week is to do a home walk-through to check on needed maintenance.
As you walk through your home, make a note of the various items that need attention. Replace any burnt out light bulbs and check your faucets and toilets for any leaks. Look over your walls to see if they need any paint touch-ups or putty. If you have squeaky doors, or windows that are resistant to opening, make sure to grease up the hinges and tracks. If your caulking is wearing down in areas, take a moment to put some new caulking over it. Check your air ducts and air filters and clean out or replace as necessary.
Look for any fire hazards and make certain that all fire extinguishers are current, replacing any that have expired. If you have added new furniture, make certain it doesn't conflict with your family's evacuation plan in case of an emergency. If it does, either move the furniture or adjust your plan. Make sure there are no exposed wires in your home. All outlets should be properly covered to avoid safety hazards.
There are also some less obvious but very important items that should be checked either bi-annually or annually depending upon your climate conditions and the age of your home. Look closely at the wood in your home, especially in the attic and any walls that face the outdoors. Do you see any rot or any damage? Look for marks that may indicate that water damage or termites could be causing the problems. Also look for signs of mold, which can be a very costly problem and needs to be caught early to prevent extensive damage. Check your home's foundation. While you cannot look underneath your home to do this, pay attention to the areas around your house, cement walkways and patios near the home and the floors inside of your home. Do you notice any cracks are shifting? Are areas uneven? A cracked foundation can cause major problems for your home, so make sure you call a professional if you believe there is damage to the foundation.
If you have other ideas for items in the home that should be regularly maintained, please share them in the comments below. Avoiding future costs and keeping your home well-maintained is another step towards preparedness!