We all know that preventative care is the best medicine. We floss to ward off the dentist. We eat our fruits and vegetables. We don’t smoke and keep our alcohol intake at reasonable levels. While we try to take care of our bodies, we don’t always remember to tend to our homes with the same level of care. The good news is that maintaining your health requires daily maintenance, but your home only needs your attention a few weekends a year to stay in top shape. If you’re not the DIY type, look for a licensed professional to tend to the home maintenance for you. Here are a few things you can do to protect yourself from structural damage and other hazards in just a couple of days.
If you’re not afraid of heights, grab a ladder and take a good look at your roof and gutters. Replace any loose shingles and flush out the gutters with a powerful hose to remove the leaves and debris that when left to accumulate, increase the possibility of water damage due to backups. You may have to put on some gloves and scoop out some of the more stubborn clogs. However, this is far less unpleasant than paying for structural repairs.
Speaking of leaves and debris, check your property for tree growth near power lines. Your local utility company may trim branches growing near the wires for you. (Do not attempt to trim branches near power lines yourself!) And while that large, shady tree in the front yard provides a measure of comfort on sweltering summer days, it looms large when hurricane season begins. It’s worth the peace of mind to trim back those branches that hang over the house or appear to be dying.
Walk around the house and look for cracks in the stucco or damaged siding. Repair what you can and call someone out for the rest. Water entering your home through anything but a pipe is bad news and can cost you thousands of dollars in repairs if left unchecked.
Finally, take a little time for accident prevention by strolling around the pool or other areas around your home that are dangerous for unattended children and pets. Secure safety gates and fence structures. Inspect your clothes dryer vent starting with the outside and moving in. Approximately 15,000 home fires a year are caused by dryer lint and clogged ducts. This type of home maintenance is more about saving lives than saving money.