Your home needs a variety of maintenance tasks done each year, some of them can’t be planned—when a toilet needs to be replaced, or an electrical wiring problem crops up, for example. Other tasks only need to be done once a year, but they’re often forgotten for that reason. Why not make the new year the time to handle those once a year maintenance tasks? Get them out of the way, and know they were handled proactively!
Here are seven maintenance tips for getting things done in the new year.
Salt your water softener
Your home’s water softener uses salt to strip out the minerals that make water hard, which prevents mineral buildup on things like your water heater, faucets, and the toilet bowl. That salt needs to be replaced or refreshed every year. Head to your local home improvement store for the salt and instructions on how to do this, if you haven’t done it before. If you don’t have a water softener installed, now is a good time to get one. The same goes for filtration.
Test your well water
If you have a well, getting the water tested is critical to your health and safety. Well water is subject to numerous contaminants, including high levels of nitrates, micro-organisms and sulfates. Prevent health issues by having your well water tested once a year to make sure everything is still good.
Update your disaster kit
Whether it’s tornadoes, blizzards or hurricanes, every home should have a disaster kit. Keeping this kit stocked with candles, matches, lighters, nonperishable food, water and other things you’ll need if a storm knocks out the power for a couple of days is very important. Check it now and restock anything that’s low, missing or gone bad.
Do a pest check
Termites are the big problem that you really need to check for, but if you’re doing that, you might as well check for other pests as well. Termites can do severe damage to your home, and other pests are just plain nasty, and can pose threats to your health. Have a pest control company come out once a year and pay for both a termite inspection and a general pest inspection to make sure you don’t have roaches, mice, rats or any other pests. If you live in an area particularly plagued by pests, consider upping your pest control visits on a quarterly basis.
Start saving for this year’s maintenance
The rule of thumb is that your home will cost you 1% of its value in home maintenance each year. A $300,000 home will cost $3,000 per year in maintenance, per that rule of thumb. Start saving now so that when the first big maintenance expenses arise, you’re prepared to deal with them.
Purge the house
Go through the house, and encourage family members to go through their personal items, and get rid of things that aren’t used anymore, or that are broken. Trash or donate items to clear space in your home for new things that are in good condition and will be used. Put a box in each room of the house and toss in the things that need to go. Sort them later into donate or trash piles. If you’re looking for a fun way to accomplish your decluttering goals, there are plenty of books available on the subject from the practical to the more intimate KonMari method.
Take stock of your valuables
Since you’re purging the house anyway, this is a good time to take stock of new valuables. Especially with Christmas just passed, you may have expensive new electronics, jewelry or artwork. This is a good time to take stock, update your records and contact your insurance agent to adjust your homeowner’s insurance if necessary.
Get a Ned Stevens Service Plan
The start of a fresh new year is a great time to make sure your home is in tiptop shape. It makes it easy to remember when you last did these tasks, and sets you up for a good year ahead. By staying on top of home maintenance, you help prevent larger issues from arising later, and perhaps save some money in the bargain. At Ned Stevens, we pride ourselves on offering quality services to keep your home in great shape all year long. Our Diamond service plan ensures that you get all our recommended gutter cleanings, free perks, priority scheduling and the best prices available saving you hundreds of dollars. Happy New Year!