The Care and Keeping of a House

tools for blog - pixabayCongratulations! You’ve closed on your home. Whether your home is turn key ready or needs some improvements, it’s key to educate yourself about home maintenance. With some curiosity, time and elbow grease, you can save some money and keep your house in good working order for years to come. Become familiar with these easy maintenance and safety items, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a knowledgeable owner!

  1. Maintain your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. When you first move into your home, test all of the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are in working order. Batteries for smoke detectors should be tested monthly and replaced annually. Carbon monoxide detectors should be tested and, if needed, given fresh batteries twice a year. A handy way to remember to do your routine checks and battery replacements is to do it when daylight savings begins and ends (“spring forward” and “fall back”).
  2. Document your home’s layout. Once your house is set up, take photos of each room. This will provide a record of the conditions of your home in case of flood, fire, theft, or other damages or disasters. Make sure to keep all your mortgage documents and key insurance policies in a safe deposit box at a bank or in a fire proof safe or lockbox at your home.
  3. Make a preventative maintenance schedule. To keep your home in tip-top shape and help retain its value, make sure that you stick to recommended maintenance schedules, especially for your key systems. Heating systems should be inspected annually by a qualified professional, and septic tanks should be pumped every two years. Make sure to check any water or air filtration systems periodically as well. Doing preventative cosmetic improvements, like staining decks or giving trim a fresh coat of paint, will help you keep your curb appeal.
  4. Make affordable energy upgrades. If you move into your home during the warmer months, take advantage of the good weather to make energy upgrades for the colder months ahead. Simple things like re-caulking drafty windows and installing a programmable thermostat can save you cash over time. Keep an eye out for bare water pipes as well. Covering hot water pipes with a layer of pipe insulation can cut down on the energy and cost of heating up your water.
  5. Address hazardous materials. If you move into a home built before 1978, and if it has not been renovated, there is a chance you could encounter lead paint. If lead paint is in good condition it is not a hazard, but chipping paint should be addressed, especially if your household has young children. Lead paint can also be problematic in doorframes and windows, since friction can produce fine lead paint dust. Click here for more information about lead paint hazards and their removal. Radon is also common in New Hampshire. It’s naturally occurring and can be present in both your home’s air and water. Make sure to have a radon test done and install the needed systems to mitigate it if high levels are found.

Ready to take the next DIY step? Search for DIY blogs and YouTube videos related to your desired project to brush up on your skills, or check out books at your local library. Remember, when in doubt or when looking at a large job, hire a professional contractor!

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