A New Homeowner’s Guide to Seasonal Chores

Home ownership has its fair share of perks. Instead of throwing away money on rent each month, homeowners build equity in their home. Similarly, maintenance projects protect the value of the home and prevent future expenses. So, where do you start? Gutter cleaning? Exterior painting? Tackle these ten seasonal chores at least once a year to protect the integrity of your home.

Clean the gutters. Throughout the year, leaves and other debris build up and weigh down your gutters. It’s important to remove these materials before seasonal precipitation can cause massive damage. If you’re afraid of heights, consider hiring professional gutter cleaners.

Check Windows and Doors. During the summer and winter, leaks in your windows and doors can jack up the cost of heating and cooling your home. A draft stopper can prevent air from escaping through external doors. You should also consider purchasing double paned windows to further insulate your home.

Automate the Thermostat. Your furnace and air conditioner can get expensive if you let them. Contact your energy companies and ask them if they have variable rates throughout the day. If so, program your thermostat to avoid heating and cooling during peak hours.

Replace the Furnace Filter. As a furnace works, it filters air and pumps it back into the house. Change the filter every fall to alleviate allergies and reduce the strain on the furnace’s fan.

Protect Your Water Heater. When water freezes, it expands. If water expands while inside a pipe or water heater, it can cause massive damage. If your water heater is located in an exposed area, you can protect it with water heater blankets. They’re carried at most major hardware stores.

Check for Termites. Termites can cause significant damage to wooden beams, furniture, and other surfaces. If you want to do a DIY inspection, start near the chimney and plumbing pipes. You can also get a professional termite inspection for anywhere between $65 and $100.

Clean the Chimney. Your chimney requires annual maintenance, even if you don’t use it very often. A local chimney sweep can help you clean ash, soot, dirt, debris, and animal droppings out of your chimney. This service typically runs between $80 to $200.

Inspect the Roof. Throughout the year, wind and water can erode the nooks and crannies of your roof. Inspect the lashing around your chimney and skylights to prevent leaks and water damage.

Touch Up Exterior Paint. Paint protects wooden panels from the weather. If your paint is chipping, a quick touch up can prevent water damage. You should also consider hiring a power washing service to clean your home’s exterior.

Put Away Hoses. Winter temperatures can cause water in garden hoses or external pipes to freeze. Put away your hoses, drain the pipes, and cover the spigots with a cold resistant cap. If you don’t, you risk costly busted pipes.

Rake Up Leaves. When leaves pile up, they create a great home for rodents, bugs and other pesky critters. Rake up and dispose of your leaves at least one a year to minimize pest issues.