Home maintenance is a subject that all homeowners—whether you’re a first-time, just-got-the-keys-now buyer or a long-time owner—can struggle with. How much should you save each year? What are the most important things to focus on? What exactly is indoor air quality, anyway?
In this article, we’ll walk you through how to establish a home maintenance budget, the areas of your home to prioritize, and when you should start making environmentally friendly, energy-saving upgrades. Let’s dive in!
ESTABLISH A HOME MAINTENANCE BUDGET
If you haven’t already, you should really put together a home maintenance budget. One of the most effective ways to budget for your home’s regular needs and emergencies is to deposit a portion of your paycheck into a separate bank account. Then, you can watch your cash supply grow without being tempted to use it for that summer vacation you’ve been planning.
Most home maintenance blogs vouch for putting away at least 1% of your home’s value in maintenance savings. However, if you’re able, putting away 2% or more can put you and your home in a really good spot. Even if you don’t end up needing that much money to maintain your home throughout the year, you can build up a solid emergency fund.
YOUR ROOF IS YOUR HOME’S SHIELD
We face unique challenges here in the Pacific Northwest. While other parts of the country are concerned about either sun damage to their roof or the weight of accumulated snow, we have rain—and lots of it. Roof problems and rain do not mix. Any gaps in your home’s shingle or tile roof can mean exposed underlayment, which in turn can lead to all that moisture getting through to the actual roof structure and into your home. Trust us: you do not want to procrastinate on roof maintenance and wake up to a water leak in your kitchen.
At least once per year, have a roofer out to inspect your roof and make sure everything looks okay. When it’s time to replace aging roof materials, use that home maintenance fund you set aside and be decisive. Acting on potential roof problems now can quite literally save your home.
WATCH OUT FOR MOLD, MILDEW, AND WATER DAMAGE
Due to the relatively high humidity here in Seattle and the rest of the Pacific Northwest, mold and mildew can become a serious problem for our homeowners. Damp conditions can encourage the development of mold spores in your basement, laundry room, bathrooms, and other areas of your home.
If you notice the year-after-year return of serious mold problems, you might want to talk with a mold specialist. You may need to add ventilation or a dehumidifier to your home to keep out the damp.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR AIR CONDITIONER AND FURNACE
Not only are air conditioners and furnaces expensive to replace, but a malfunctioning furnace or AC system can leave your home uncomfortable, depending on the time of the year. Our recommendation is that you schedule a professional, seasonal tune-up for your cooling and heating systems. Not only will your air conditioner or furnace be less likely to breakdown (that’s peace of mind for your wallet), but it will also run more efficiently, cutting your energy bills.
MAKE ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS UPGRADES
Talk to our experts about ways to make energy-saving, life-improving upgrades to your home. A home remodel can make your home feel more comfortable, cut down on your energy use, and help boost your resale value. That’s a win-win-win. Partner with a remodeler that focuses on the livability of your home, as well as making improvements and changes that add lasting value. This will help cut down on your home maintenance costs for years to come.
BUILD A HOME MAINTENANCE PLAN THAT WORKS FOR YOUR HOME
Every home has different needs, depending on its age and history. To get started putting together a home maintenance checklist and savings fund for your home here in the Pacific Northwest, check out this infographic: