You’ll enjoy at least two maintenance advantages when you finally move into one of our San Joaquin Valley homes. First, our mild weather year-round means you don’t have to worry about dealing with the snow and frost that homeowners suffer in colder climes. Second, because your home is new, maintenance chores should take no time at all. But you don’t want to skip these tasks because they get you into the habit of doing them every year at this time. Regular maintenance is one of the keys to increasing the value of your house.
Maintain your heating systems.
Inspect your fireplaces and chimneys to make sure they’re free of creosote, which can ignite and start a fire. If you don’t know how to check out your chimney, have it inspected by a professional chimney sweep, who can also clean and perform any necessary maintenance. Keep the flue closed when not in use. Check your furnace filter and replace it, if needed. Be aware that these filters work in only one direction, so insert them properly so you don’t inhibit airflow.
Beware the leaves.
Some trees lose their leaves, which can easily fall into gutters and drainage inlets. These organic materials can clog openings, preventing water from flowing and causing damage. Given our lack of rainfall, you may not even know if your gutters work until it’s too late. Clear these areas of organic material at least once a year.
Climb to the top.
The easiest and worst way to find out that your roof has a problem is when it leaks during a rainstorm. Now that it’s still dry, climb to the top of your home and check for any issues, such as cracks or missing tiles. Take the time to inspect areas that are not visible from the ground, such as the tops of windows and patio covers, or the exterior of your chimney. If you discover any damage, you’ll most likely need to call in a professional for repairs.
Check emergency tech and supplies.
Press the test button on your smoke detectors to ensure that they’re still working. Replace any batteries as needed. Make sure that your first aid kit is complete and that none of the supplies in them have passed their expiration date.
If your fire extinguisher has expired, you may be able to recharge it. If you can’t, dispose of it correctly as hazardous waste. If you don’t have a fire or emergency escape plan from your home, develop one now. Otherwise, test out the plan with your family. Call your local fire department for more information about recharging, disposal, and escape plans.
Make sure you have enough earthquake supplies and replace any perishables that have expired. You and your family need an emergency plan, such as knowing where to meet, if an earthquake renders your home uninhabitable. If you don’t know how to prepare for an earthquake, call your local Red Cross for advice.
Now is also a good time to examine your homeowner and car insurance. Your needs and the values of what you own change over time. For example, the cost to replace your home has probably gone up just as the value of your car has gone down. Make sure that your limits and deductibles still make sense. A talk with your insurance agent can help you make any needed adjustments.
For more tips on keeping your home in tip-top condition, or if you want to tour one of our models, please contact us.