First-time buyers often don’t know much about home maintenance. You can help by giving them a maintenance schedule that’ll prevent small problems from turning into big headaches.
Our maintenance checklist was compiled with the help of Lou Manfredini, Ace Hardware’s home improvement spokesperson and star of the “Mr. Fix-It” show on Chicago’s WGN-AM radio, and Frank Lesh, president of the American Society of Home Inspectors and head of his own home inspection company, Home Sweet Home Inspection Co., in Indian Head Park, Illinois.
|Schedule for Replacement|
|Average life span (in years)|
|Wood deck staining||
Keep the wet out - Water is a major enemy of your house. Check each season for signs of water damage to your home. Flashing, the metal pieces used to seal the areas between roofs and chimneys and around doors and windows, are especially vulnerable to damage by wind or age. Loose flashing can let water seep under a roof or inside walls, which in turn can cause mold.
Get to the bottom of things - Check your home’s foundation for cracks or gaps that could let in water or varmints. Also look at the ground around your house. As homes age, they often sink slightly below the surrounding ground. This settling lets water puddle against the foundation and possibly damage it, notes Manfredini. Doing major landscaping work also can cause changes to the ground’s pitch that let water flow toward the house.