Making the leap from renter to homeowner comes with a great deal of responsibility. From mowing the lawn to changing the air filter to replacing the roof – it all falls on your shoulders. And for some new homeowners, this responsibility can be overwhelming. Because owning a home is likely one of the largest financial decisions many of us in the Quad Cities will make. It’s not always easy to spot problem areas that could result in disasters down the road. But keeping your eyes open for these potential issues can save your money and sanity over time. As summer turns to fall, this is the perfect time to think about outdoor maintenance. Here are a few tips that can help you spot problems before they become disasters.
- Ensure all water is draining away from your foundation and all drains are clear from debris. Clean gutter and downspouts as necessary.
- Inspect your concrete foundation. Small cracks often develop over time from expansion and contraction. Take the time to periodically inspect and fill cracks as needed.
Roof and gutters
- Inspect your roof periodically for damaged or missing shingles. Have these repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
- Check for leaks in the attic and around interior lights.
- Check for ice or snow damming on the roof and in gutters.
Siding, windows and doors
- Monitor siding, brick or stone regularly for damage.
- Touch up damaged or peeling paint.
- Caulk all cracks in the siding regularly.
- Check around all windows and doors for gaps and reseal if necessary.
- Replace window and door weather stripping if it’s deteriorating or doesn’t seal properly.
- Have chimneys and fireplaces inspected and cleaned at least once a year.
- Prune trees and shrubs around your home. (If branches are touching power lines, call MidAmerican or your respective power company to trim.)
- Clean outdoor grill from grease and nests.
- Remove lint from the dryer exhaust vent.
- Clear debris and leaves from outdoor drain grates to prevent water backups.
- Use shut off valves on outdoor faucets every winter. Open spigots and store hoses at this time.
The bottom line
Disasters don’t always happen in an instant. And some major issues can be prevented with routine maintenance.Some of these recommendations can even help prevent damage from fire, water and storm damage.
As a homeowner, these small steps can help protect your family and your investment.