While owning a home can be super exciting, there are some really important home maintenance services that are SO often overlooked by homeowners. They all directly affect your home’s safety and energy efficiency, and staying on top of them will lower long-term costs. In today’s post, I’ll be covering major areas to pay close attention to when it comes to your overall home maintenance. Let’s dive right in!
Check-Up on the HVAC
To keep your home’s air quality up to standard, HVAC systems should have maintenance checks annually. Especially when air quality can’t be SEEN, this can be an easy one to sweep under the rug. Dirty, or old, air filters inefficiently cycle air and aid in circulating pollutants throughout your home. These annual maintenance appointments ensure that your furnace and AC units are free of mold, dust, mildew, and outside pollutants. Especially here in Portland, as summer fires in surrounding areas have become more frequent, it’s important to have a clean and effective air filter.
A well-maintained HVAC system can last up to 20 years! You’ll also benefit from lower energy bills, fewer future repairs, and a safer household. Save the future-you the hassle and unnecessary costs by booking your annual appointment.
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Maintenance of the Gutters
While gutters aren’t too hard to clean, if ignored, they can turn into a NIGHTMARE! As debris builds up and mildew forms from the constant Portland rainfall, gutters become a perfect home for critters and insect infestations. Although it’s suggested to clean your gutters twice a year, in Portland neighborhoods with heavy terrain and evergreen trees, some homes need additional gutter maintenance. Gutter covers are a great option for NW homes, preventing excess debris from getting in!
Gutter cleaning also prevents water damage and rotting of your home’s foundation and baseboards. During the rainy months, clogged gutters will overflow, spilling water down the sides of the house. If your home has a basement, keep an eye out for excess moisture and standing water — basement flooding expensive itself, but it is also an indicator of future foundation issues. Eventually, pooling water may weaken the foundation, causing disastrous cracks and settling.
Should Gutter cleaning be a DIY project? Use extra caution when attempting to do this task yourself… ensure the ladder is standing on solid ground, otherwise place plywood under the ladder “feet” before climbing. Wear gloves when scooping debris to prevent injury from anything (critters, rocks, or thorns) under the top layer of leaves.
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Clean Out the Dryer Vent
No matter how diligent you are about cleaning the dryer lint tray, small particles of lint are pulled into the exhaust tubing and dryer vent with every use. When this vent is clogged, it can easily start a fire or cause extensive damage to the dryer system. Because clogged dryer vents can also trap CO2, in addition to regular cleaning, I suggest installing a CO2 detector in your laundry space.
Monitor the Crawl Space & Attic
After a long winter or smoky summer, who knows what’s going on in the attic! It’s so important to monitor the condition of your crawl space and attic. In rainy Portland, it’s common to discover standing water or moisture damage in these spaces. Not only will moisture affect the structure of the house, but it creates the perfect space for mold and rodent infestations. During the wet months, keep an eye out for any leaks, musty smells, and tiny rodent droppings. If you’re spooked by the attic space (I don’t blame you!) or worried about the integrity of the space, consult an attic inspection or insulation service.
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These home maintenance tasks are tedious and easy to ignore… until they’re not. Make an annual routine of checking these off your home to-do list before larger problems arise!