Maintenance Guide For New Homeowners

So you just purchased a new home or are planning to. If it’s your first home, or if you just want to develop better home maintenance habits, the Brookings Home Team is here to help. Owning a home is a large investment that requires some thought and elbow grease to maintain.

Your home purchase requires regular internal and external upkeep with routine inspections and cleanings to ensure your home is functional and safe to live in. Taking the necessary time to make updates and fixes where needed can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

To keep things from getting too overwhelming, the team at Brookings Home Team has created a home maintenance guide that will keep you up to date on your home’s care and maximize your important asset.

Home Move-In Maintenance

Deep Clean Your Home

Before moving any personal items into a new space, it is valuable to deep-clean every room in the house. Disinfect and clean all surfaces so that your home is prepared for move-in day. Take some time to scrub baseboards and walls, sanitize appliances, and spend time sweeping and mopping hard floor surfaces.

It’s a smart idea to rent a carpet cleaner to upend any dust or dirt particles from previous residents before your furniture is moved in. Hiring a window washer is also essential to aid in the deep cleaning of exterior windows to dispel streaking and marks.

Identify Electric and Water Controls

As you become more familiar with access points in your home, learn how to control the electric and water controls. Water shut-off valves are usually found on the exterior of the property. When you conduct a professional inspection before move-in, the report should include the location and photo of the water valve.

The electric panel is a large gray box installed onto a wall typically found in the garage, laundry room, utility room, or a closet. Spend some time learning how to control the fuse box or circuit breaker and learn which controls manage the different parts of your home. Mastering the switches of the electricity and water can be vital for maintenance and emergency purposes in your new place.

Check Your Safety Devices

Secure your property with working safety devices to ensure security in the residence. This can include changing batteries in smoke detectors, purchasing a carbon monoxide detector and alarm, altering all entry locks, and installing any additional security systems. It is critical to routinely test these devices to make sure all batteries are replaced and everything is up to speed.

Routine Home Maintenance

Check Your Water Softener and Water Heater

Examine your water softener monthly for mushing and salt bridges and add new salt when needed. In terms of the water heater, inspect the pressure and temperature valves each month for any cracks and leaks and get these fixed as soon as possible if there are damages.

Clean Your Garbage Disposal

Make an effort to clean your garbage disposal to prevent bacteria build-up and eliminate odors. Use these steps for proper disposal cleaning:

  • Take out and sanitize the rubber splash guard
  • Dispose of remaining food particles
  • Pour in half a cup of baking soda and set for 30 minutes
  • Pour in a cup of vinegar and let sit for five minutes
  • Rinse with warm water
  • Grind two cups of ice and one cup of salt until crushed

Check Your HVAC Filters

Your HVAC filters should be replaced every one to two months depending on the system. Filters are used more often in the summer and winter meaning that they should be changed more frequently. Cleaning your filters will improve efficiency, keep air cleaner, and extend the appliance’s lifespan.

Inspect and Clean Your Vents

Look to remove dust, debris, and dirt from heat registers and air vents every month including vacuuming hard to reach areas. Doing this can remove circulating dust from air along with creating better air efficiency.

Maintain Your Grout and Caulking

Spend time touching up cracks or separations in your showers, tubs, and tile flooring. Paying attention to these elements will keep them looking nice for longer while also helping you avoid water damage and seeping problems.

Look for Leaks Around Toilets and Sinks

Take a peek and make sure there are no signs of water being where it shouldn’t be. Even a small leak can lead to hundreds of dollars worth of damage and create a domino effect of damaging other parts of your home.

Vacuum Lint from the Dryer Vent

After doing numerous loads of laundry, it is key to vacuum lint out of your dryer vent. This can make air flow to your dryer more efficient while also keeping from damaging your clothing and garments caused by lint buildup. This process should be done anywhere from every one to three months.

Maintain Exterior of Home

Take a walk around your home and check for any damages that are out of the ordinary. Clean and inspect your roof and gutters to ensure water is flowing and exits away from your home’s foundation. When cleaning gutters, inspect the roof for any damages and look to make necessary repairs before major weather events.

Included in these outdoor inspections is touching up exterior painting, checking for cracks in siding and foundation, and mending cracks in driveways and sidewalks. All these routine checkups can go a long way towards preventing water damage, controlling insects and rodents, and protecting your home from damage.

Plan a Routine

It takes a concerted effort to work to upkeep maintenance of your home. Follow a routine list to stay on top of cleaning to work towards an extended life of your appliances and new home purchase. Schedule time for seasonal and monthly tasks to avoid mistakes and headaches down the road.