Here are 8 home maintenance chores that will help your clients avoid much more costly home repairs. The key here is to encourage your clients to do these maintenance projects consistently and regularly.

  1. Inspect the roof every 6 months.
    1. Look for loose shingles to avoid leaks and water damage.
    2. Look for cracks in the metal/plastic seals as well as bubbled paint on the roof walls.
    3. Look for mold growth.
    4. Clean the gutters.
    5. Home insurance policies do NOT cover preventable damage.
    6. A new roof can cost thousands of dollars.
  2. Inspect the foundation of the house every 6 months.
    1. Water damage is the thing you want to avoid.
    2. Add soil slopes to the base of the foundation to help drain the water away from the house.
    3. Clean the gutters again to keep the water moving away from the house.
    4. Signs of water damage include cracks in the basement crawls and space walls, damp areas, the strong musty odor, peeling drywall.
    5. Foundation restorations can run more than $7,500.
  3. Inspect old pipes on a yearly basis to prevent sewage backups.
    1. Tree and plant roots can clog and strangle sewer pipes.
    2. Call a plumber for approximately $150 to inspect the pipes.
    3. Strangled pipes can cost $10,000 to fix.
  4. Check for termites to avoid structural damage.
  5. 1.  Hire a termite inspector annually for approximately $150.
  6. 2.  Check for buckling wood, swollen floors, termite poop (looks like coffee grounds) and a mold-like, musty odor.
  7. 3.  Termite fumigations cost anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000.
  8. Inspect the water heater annually.
    1. If/when a water heater fails, the water damage and wreckage can ruin floors, walls, ceilings.
    2. Bad signs include rust in the water, the water not becoming as hot as it used to, puddles forming around the water heater, etc.
    3. Replacement parts can run anywhere from $150 – $300.
    4. A new water heater plus the damage repairs can cost approximately $4,500.
  9. Replace exterior wall siding to prevent water damage.
    1. Check wall siding every 6 months.
    2. Wood, aluminum o vinyl siding is more vulnerable to damage than brick.
    3. Check for rot, insect invasions and interior wall damage.
    4. Use a waterproof protector like Tyvek underneath any siding replacements to help protect more extensive water damage.
  10. Seal decks to avoid rot and termites.
    1. Make sure the deck is clean of leaves and debris from the winter weather.
    2. Use a deck cleaner or homemade mix of bleach and water.
    3. Poke the wood with a screwdriver to find soft spots…if the driver head goes down more than ¼” into the wood, call a carpenter.
    4. When dry, add a deck sealant to keep water and moisture from getting inside the wood.
    5. Decks cost less that $100 to maintain annually whereas a full deck replacement can cost up to $10,000.
  11. Fix damage from fallen trees.
    1. Call a tree surgeon every 2 years to diagnose tree health, cut back branches that are too close to structures and strengthen weaker limbs against winds, snow, ice, etc.
    2. Home insurance policies do NOT cover preventable damage.

 

Obviously, if you and your clients live in storm/hurricane ravaged parts of the country, do these home maintenance “checks” more rather than less!