Many homeowners fail to realize the VALUE of a good Home Maintenance Schedule, and the long term benefits that almost always save money and aggravation. "Deferred Maintenance" as the real estate industry likes to refer to it, not only ends up costing more money and time, but also may either Prevent you from selling your home, Slow Down the process, and can cause the home to be "Reduced" in price.
There are many homeowners on the market for a home that shy away from homes that have deferred maintenance, or have not been maintained well. The ones that don't care about how well a home has been maintained, are usually the "Bargain Hunters", and are equipped to deal with deferred maintenance (as long as the price is right).
But even if you are not currently selling your home, you can avoid more costly repairs by performing periodic maintenance. I'll give you a couple of good examples:
1. WATER HEATER: If you have a water heater tank, it pays to drain 5-10 gallons of water out from the bottom drain every few months. This is because in most water supplys, there is a certain amount of "sediment" in the water, which settles to the bottom of the tank. This creates "hot spots" in the bottom of tank, which then creates corrosion or rust, thus causing the tank to fail. Simply draining out that little bit of water (quickly) will help preserve your expensive water tank much longer, and prevent eventual failure of the unit.
2. CAULKING: The exterior of most homes, usually around windows, doors, and any other protrusions through the siding, have a caulking sealant around those areas, where one material (siding) stops, and another material begins (windows, doors, pipes, wires, etc.). Most caulking lasts between 3 and 10 years, depending on type, and where it is used. The general tip here, is to take a slow walk around the perimeter of your home at least once a year, noting all the areas where there is caulking. If you can see gaps on either side of the caulking bead, or cracks in the caulking, then it is time to remove the old caulking, and replace it with fresh caulking that will adhere to both materials. (Just going over old caulking usually just creates more problems sooner or later, and is not a good idea). The purpose of caulking is to generally seal out water, and air, so that they do not hidden damage to wall structures that are not designed to be exposed to weather. Doing this simple bit of maintenance can save you THOUSANDS of dollars in repairs.
There are many other areas of a home that also require maintenance, but I don't want to overwhelm you with them all at once. I will write several more blogs in the near future, that will give you more hints on routine maintenance... so stay tuned!
This picture graphically illustrates an example of poor caulking "caulking over existing caulking" that has caused extreme damage. The repair pictured here will cost thousands, because there is hidden damage behind the siding and brick 1/2 wall.