Whether your new purchase is brand new construction or a 20-year-old beauty, homes require constant care, even after that coat of paint. A home inspector may have cleared your home as fully operational, however, it’s time to look around and really start inspecting your appliances, plumbing and structural integrity. Waiting for a problem to arise can cost hundreds of dollars. Here are some suggestions I think you might find helpful.

Appliances

Run all the appliances one at a time to ensure they are in good working order. Inspect the flooring around your laundry washer to check if all the hoses connect properly to drains and outlets. Run the dishwasher with the same scrutinizing detail to ensure it works properly. Any gas appliances, including dryers and stoves, need to have firm connections to your gas outlet.

Air

If you haven’t started your central heat or air conditioning system, turn it on and allow it to power through several cycles. Place your hand in front of vents to check for hot or cold air, as applicable. Remove any obstacles from vents, such as tall bookcases, to keep your system running efficiently. Replace or clean your air filter as needed. Vacuum out your ducts too. Dirty filters and ducts cause the system to use more energy as you readily breathe in the dust.

Drainage

Look around your garden and check if the slope encourages rainwater to drain away from your foundation. Keep aggressive trees away from your home and only plant subtle bedding near the foundation. Inspect your gutters before the rainy season. Remove built-up debris to avoid flooding and gutter damage. Look for any pest infestations, including mice or squirrels. Their nests block gutters while the pests themselves damage your home.

Ceiling and Roof

Examine your roof for cracks and missing shingles. Call a professional if you have a particularly steep roof or extensive visible repairs. Inspect your ceilings for any water damage. Slow-leaking roofs can flood your home if repairs are not made in a timely manner.

Other Maintenance

Hire an HVAC professional to inspect your home. Professional duct cleaning and hot water heater examinations save you money in the long run. Observe the work being done and ask questions so you understand your appliances better for future reference.

Owning your own home is a satisfying investment, but consistent diligence and observation is critical to keep your house safe and running smoothly. Spending a little money on preventive maintenance saves you big money down the line.

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