10 Maintenance Tips for First-Time Homeowners


You’ll probably experience some trial and error as you learn to properly care for your new place. Here’s a basic home-maintenance checklist to help you get started. Check gutters regularly to make sure they’re properly attached and clear of sticks and leaves. Also, confirm the flow of water from your gutters is away from your home to avoid damage to your foundation. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly. Experts also recommend changing the batteries in these items as part of your routine when you change the clocks in the fall and spring. Change HVAC filters in your home at intervals recommended by the system manufacturer, especially if you have allergies or pets. A dirty filter means an inefficient system. Inspect trees on your property. A tree-service company can give you advice on how to care for your trees and identify weak limbs that should be cut. Look for running toilets and dripping faucets. These small nuisances can add up to a large waste of water. You can often fix a toilet or faucet yourself. Check the supply hose to your washing machine, which can leak and cause expensive damage. Clean your dryer vent regularly. Note the dryer vent is not the lint trap (which should be cleaned often, too). Dryer vents push air outside the property through a duct, but can get filled with lint and become a fire hazard. Clean around your refrigerator. Keeping the vents and coils underneath and behind your refrigerator free of dust helps its efficiency. Mind the gaps. Do you have gaps or cracks around doors, windows, or where pipes and wires enter the structure? Replace weather stripping that’s missing or in disrepair and add caulk where needed. This will help you keep the house insulated and keep bugs and small creatures out. Have a pest-control expert inspect your home, even if you don’t suspect signs of infestation. As you can see, a lot of effort goes into maintaining your home, and these tips just scratch the surface. Ask your REALTOR® about other resources that can help you keep your home safe, efficient, and well-maintained.