Some home improvements don’t need to be carried out regularly. Periodical checks every year or two may be sufficient for some parts of the home that aren’t a regular cause for concern. Others are needed a little more often to be safe.
If anyone has seen an abandoned home that hasn’t been touched in many years, they’ll quickly see how it has deteriorated. However, by performing checks and making necessary improvements, it ensures that your home will last for decades, providing shelter and a safe place to live.
Here are six periodical checks and home improvements that aren’t needed quarterly but shouldn’t be forgotten about either.
1. Inspecting the Roof
The roof is something that is often completely forgotten about by homeowners. Some even expect it to last forever or their lifetime and so pay it no mind. This is the wrong approach to take.
Roof installations are made up of supporting structures, multiple roofing layers, a protective vapor barrier, and roofing shingles at the top. Flashing also needs to seal chimneys and vents on the roof that could potentially let water in.
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For this reason, it’s necessary to have the roof checked every year. Between yearly inspections, look around for internal leaks. If there’s an attic, get up there to see if there’s moisture or a smell of damp anywhere. Also, be mindful of missing or out-of-place roofing shingles. Any on the ground means there’s a gap on the roof that will let in rainwater.
Use a qualified team of roofing specialists like Rock Solid Exteriors to do the work for you. Don’t risk getting up on a ladder; many people regret that decision when they inevitably have an accident.
2. HVAC System
Residential homes are increasingly seeing HVAC systems being installed. They won’t necessarily be as extensive and sophisticated as the ones installed in a commercial setting, but they’re still complex pieces of equipment in need of periodic inspection and maintenance.
Certainly, swapping out a filter on an HVAC system is possible for a novice to do. That’s assuming that it’s installed in an easy-to-access place and there’s no risk of damaging anything. Turning off the equipment first is required if doing so.
Most people will decide to leave the filter in place and to wait for the annual HVAC inspection. An HVAC technician can come into the home and check the system out. This is worth doing because not only can they replace the correct air filter, they can also verify if any parts are faulty or almost completely worn out. They can then replace them as needed.
From that point, the HVAC system should be fine for another year. Repairs and replacements are outside of something a homeowner would want to attempt to do themselves. Technicians go through rigorous training to learn how to perform this work, so trust in that.
3. Check the Alarms
Homes will now commonly have carbon monoxide monitoring systems. They will also have one or more smoke detectors too – usually one downstairs and another on an upper level.
These detectors alert you to gas leaks, and smoke from a fire. When you’re unaware of the gas leak because you cannot smell it or you’re asleep and oblivious of the smoke, these alarms can save a life.
Checking them on a schedule is a good idea. The better ones will alert you to a faulty or dead battery or a malfunction. However, they also usually have a test button to push and verify it’s working.
Just like how offices, warehouses, and retail stores check their fire alarm is working, it’s never a bad idea to do the same with your systems. And if you cannot reach it, use the end of a broom handle to do so.
4. Plumbing Review
The plumbing can be a real issue when something goes wrong. There’s the potential to create a flood from overflow and cause considerable water damage. Look at all the plumbing fixtures and fittings.
Check that every toilet is flushing well and that no water leaks originate from the base of the toilet. Also, look at all washbasins, shower enclosures, and baths to ensure no faucets are leaking or that the showerhead is an issue.
When any issues are located, get them fixed as soon as possible. A small plumbing issue like a blocked water pipe or damaged faucet can become worse with time. And cold weather and other elements can increase the likelihood of it becomes a larger issue when unattended.
5. Check the Gutters
The gutters around the exterior of the home need to be examined. This should be done every few months, at a minimum. Looking for damage to the individual sections of guttering is a good start. If a tree branch has fallen onto the side of a gutter, it can easily have become dislodged, cracked, or broken off.
When there’s water overflow on the ground, this may either be from a blocked section of guttering or a crack allowing water to get through. While gutters may be fixed when cracked, it’s always best to replace that section because it’s a more reliable fix.
Door locks don’t work forever. Depending on the design of the home, some may have exposure to the weather outside. Sideways rain can reach the front door, pelt it, and cause a lock to rust or seize up internally. Alternatively, freezing temperatures can create a stubborn lock that’s partly frozen in winter too.
Many times, when there’s a problem with a lock, it just needs the right lubricant to get the lock to work cooperatively again. The correct lubricant must be applied otherwise it can make the matter worse. But usually, this will be sufficient to get a lock moving again. However, when it’s near the end of its useful life, it’s best to upgrade and replace it.
Periodic checks are very necessary to locate minor problems before they become more serious. Whether this is a roofing issue or a front door lock that you cannot unlock while it’s raining outside; it all matters. Don’t ignore these types of things because they usually only get worse if you do.