We started our post purchase home ownership classes last week. The topic of home maintenance came up and following are a few points that might serve as good reminders to all of us as we begin spring cleaning on the inside, don’t forget the outside as well.
How much should annual maintenance cost? While the answer varies, there are a couple of guidelines.
A newer home will not require the maintenance that a 30+ year old home will require. However, taking care of the little things will deter them turning into big expenses down the road. Freezing temperatures, heavy rain and other Ohio weather conditions may cause additional wear on the foundations, roof and windows. Where the home is located may also affect how it drains and other environmental maintenance, for example if it is located in the woods it may have issues with mold and mildew. The OHFA guideline for budget is about $1,500 to 3,000 per year. Another source suggests 1% of the purchase price of your home should be set aside for ongoing repairs or another estimate is $1 per square foot.
Following is a list of tasks that may need attention in the spring time with our homes:
- If you have a fireplace, clean it out, remove all ash and vacuum well. Remove wood from around the house
- Have air conditioning system serviced every two or three years
- Clean or replace air conditioning filter
- Clean the gutters, again. Wash them to get the grime and dirt off inside and out.
- Check the ridge vents for any obstructions or evidence of pest damage. Consider adding a roof vent or whole house fan to improve cooling without much extra energy cost.
- Take pictures of any foundation problems and file them to compare in the future so you can see if the problem is progressing or needs professional attention.
- Look around the foundation for ants, termites and monitor over the summer when they may be most active.
- Check decking and stairs for damage or rot, and make necessary repairs
- Check caulking around windows and doors to keep hot air out and cool air inside this summer
- Look at sidewalks for necessary repairs
- Test your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector and replace batteries if you forgot to do it with the time change. If detectors are more than 10 years old, replace them.
- Go through the house and make a list of things that need attention. Patch holes, painting, replace fixtures, clean out drains, fix leaks and try to attend to them.
- In the yard, trim trees and bushes so nothing touches your house
- Once spring blooming shrubs are finished blooming, cut back to remove crossing branches and restore the shape
- Clean and take out patio furniture
- Check railings and steps to make sure they are clean, safe and secure
- Check outside water source, hose and sprinkling systems to make sure they are in working condition, after ground is warm and threat of freezing has past
- Exterior lights need examined for working condition
- Ensure sump pump is working properly before more spring rains. Check spouting and make sure downspouts are pointed away from the house.
While the list seems long, take it one-step at a time. Your home is your investment and taking care of it today can ensure greater equity in the future!
Melinda Hill is an OSU Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Educator and may be reached at 330-264-8722.
CFAES provides research and related educational programs to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis. For more information, visit cfaesdiversity.osu.edu.