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Home Maintenance

Whether you’re a first time home owner or have owned your home for years, a review of home maintenance is always useful. Here’s a checklist to help organize a maintenance schedule.

Inside Tasks

  • Change your furniture filters monthly. Clogged filters decrease furnace efficiency and can cause breakdown.
  • Drain your water heater or at least once a year. Sediment will drain out along with the water from the water tank. Removing sediment can prolong the heater’s useful life.
  • Check your circuits. Test the performance of the circuit breakers in your electrical breaker circuit box twice a year by flipping them off and back on. If you have a circuit that keeps shutting off with normal daily electrical use, call an electrician. A faulty circuit breaker could indicate a short in the wiring inside your walls.
  • Watch out for drips. Check under sinks periodically to look for leaks or water stains that might indicate leaks. Catching a small problem early can prevent water damage. Use a plunger to clean out sinks and tubs whenever water doesn’t drain normally.
  • Replace regularly. Water heaters, furnaces, roofs and other key components of your home should be replaced before they fail, based on their average useful lives. Exterior painting should be done every 5-10 years. Furnaces have lives from 15-50 years. Roofs need to be replaced every 13-15 years. Water heaters have lives from 7-15 years.

Outside Tasks

  • Keep the wet out. Water is a major enemy of your house, even in the desert. Check each season for signs of water damage to your home. Flashing, the metal pieces used to seal the areas between roof penetrations and around doors and windows, are especially vulnerable to damage by wind or age. Loose flashing can let water seep under a roof or inside walls, which in turn may cause mold. Make sure sprinklers are not spraying directly onto your house.
  • Get to the bottom of things. Check your home’s foundation for cracks or gaps that could let in water or varmints. Also look at the ground around your house. As homes age, they often sink slightly below the surrounding ground. This settling lets water puddle against the foundation and possibly damage it.
  • Look up. Check your roof for missing tiles.

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