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A Home Improvement & Maintenance Checklist for Your Home

Aug 1, 2008
Your home is a big investment...probably one of the biggest investments you'll ever make so properly maintaining your investment is vital to keeping up it's value. But homes are much more than an investment...they are where we take shelter and spend much of our time in and are our living environment and to a degree determine much of our quality of life.

The health of a home is a lot like our own personal health. If it is regularly checked and maintained, the chances of problems arising are less. With proper home improvement & maintenance, if and when problems do occur, there is less chance that they will blossom into major problems.

So here are some of the things that should be checked periodically

Water leakage:

Water leaks are really serious trouble and should be remedied immediately before they become major issues and cause some serious damage. Water leaks can not only lead to toxic and costly mold issues but can also damage walls and sub flooring and other items in your home.

Water leaks can be caused by prolonged rain, heavy snowfall, old water hoses from appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, icemakers, air conditioners and garbage disposals.

Water leaks can also be caused by frozen or corroded pipes, clogged drains, damaged and cracked seals from extreme heat or cold, heavy usage and a multitude of other reasons as well.

Some of the items to check for leaks are obviously the areas most prone to leaks from heavy use such as the caulking and grout in the bathrooms around the toilets, tub and shower area, under sinks in the bathroom and in the kitchen. Any water damage marks on ceilings or walls will obviously indicate a water leak from somewhere and should immediately be checked out and repaired.

Inspect your plumbing water lines and waste lines for leaks, damage or corrosion. If you notice problems, hire a licensed plumber for further inspection and repairs. You should also check around your water heater for any pooling water. Water heaters should ideally be periodically drained to remove any sediment. In areas with hard water, you should drain every 3 months.

Vent exhaust ducts for the clothes dryer and cooktop to the outside and keep the drip pans from your air conditioner clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly. In the kitchen you should clean the dust from refrigerator condenser located at the rear of unit.

Keep indoor moisture low (ideally between 30-50% relative humidity). Consider purchasing an inexpensive humidity meter, available at local hardware stores. Periodically inspect your foundation walls and floors for cracks that might allow water seepage, especially if you live in an older home or an area with poor soil drainage. If you have a basement or crawl space prone to leaks or flooding you might want to keep a sump pump handy.

You should also inspect your roof and roof flashing periodically for missing, worn or broken shingles and any flashing that may have separated from adjacent surfaces allowing water leakage. A licensed roofer can inspect these areas and make necessary repairs. You should also inspect your gutters and downspouts and remove any debris to assure unobstructed water flow away from the foundation.

Additional Items:

Some exterior items that should be on your home improvement & maintenance checklist are the veneering and siding. With brick, watch for deteriorating bricks or masonry. For siding, watch for warping or rot. Check caulking around doors and windows, glazing around window panes. Make sure your cooling and heating unit is free from obstructing debris. On the heater change the filter and check the coils for any buildup.

You should also get periodic termite inspection done. Check for any evidence of termites or wood eating insects. Watch for accumulation of tree limbs, branches, debris that can attract wood eating insects. And if you have a wood burning fireplace never store wood in or near the home as the wood often contains termites.
About the Author
Rebecca Noel is a licensed real estate agent and real estate investor. Remodeling houses and home improvement diy are her area of interest. Find out insider information that will save you $1000's on materials and help you get your remodeling projects done weeks faster at Remodeling Recon.
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