Becoming a homeowner is taking on a lot of responsibility. You’re now in charge of the safety and security of your home. This is likely one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime, so you better take care of it! Houses require maintenance and up keep. Neglecting some of these basic home maintenance steps could have costly effects down the road. Here's 7 things a new homeowner should do:
Consider changing the locks. While the previous owners likely turned in all the copies of the keys they had at closing – there may still be some floating around with neighbors or family members or heck, even contractors that may have previously done work on your home. And don’t forget to reprogram your garage door key pad! Do a master reset so any remotes previously tied to it will no longer have access.
Clean out the dryer vent and clean it out yearly. Clogs could lead to fires – damaging your appliance and home.
Change your HVAC filters every season – at a minimum. You’ll save on heating and cooling — and your unit will last longer. Go ahead and schedule your annual service call too. (pro tip- take a picture of the size of filter and keep on your phone so you will remember what size to get while at the hardware store.)
Clean your gutters at least twice a year. Gutters are easy to forget about but not keeping them cleaned out can lead to them becoming clogged up with debris, potentially leading to leaky roofs and water damage. Honestly, this is one of the number one reasons basements get water.
Test fire and carbon monoxide detectors. It is hard to say the last time they were tested – and if there aren’t any, get them installed right away. Inspectors don’t necessarily test these during inspection time so it’s your responsibility to make sure they have working batteries.
Make sure your insurance coverage includes sewer and storm water back up. This is the number 1 insurance claim in Iowa and many people assume it’s always included, but sometimes you must specify you want this!
Live in an older neighborhood, you better get used to cheap toilet paper! Here in Des Moines our sewer systems are older and that fluffy Charmin may feel good on your tush...but it’s terrible for our sewers. Invest in thin toilet paper to avoid blockages in your sewer line.
Make a maintenance plan. There are plenty more home maintenance items that will be on your list and more that will come up. It is good to make a plan of annual maintenance items and scheduled upgrades and stick to it. After all, this is your biggest investment- take care of it!