So you’ve just moved into your brand new home… You did a great deal of research to determine just the right builder and what design worked best for your needs. You went to the ground breaking, the house was built, you attended the settlement and signed a pile of documents, you moved in, the boxes are unpacked, and everything is in its proper place. Now what?
One of the most important things to remember with owning a home is that you are responsible for certain routine maintenance items to keep your house functioning properly. These tasks tend to be relatively simple. For instance, many types of heating and air conditioning systems contain filters to remove dirt and dust from the air. A home owner should change these filters when necessary. It is also a good idea to sign a maintenance contract with your HVAC contractor to perform the annual tune up on the equipment. This will add to the longevity and efficiency of the system.
Cleanliness is a factor that will make your home last longer and work better. Dust and dirt, if allowed to accumulate, can harm the finishes on blinds, cabinets, countertops, floors, sinks, tubs, toilets, walls, tiles and other items. If dirt does accumulate, make sure to clean it with a substance that does not scratch or damage the finishes.
On the outside of your home, make sure that gutters and downspouts do not get clogged with leaves or other objects. The exterior of your house is built to withstand exposure to the elements, but a periodic cleaning will improve the appearance and, in many instances, prolong the life of siding and other exterior products.
When you settled on your new home, you received a warranty from the builder on workmanship and materials. This warranty applies to problems related to the construction of the home, but it does not apply to problems that arise because of failure to perform routine maintenance. For example, if your roof begins to leak after six months because of faulty workmanship, your warranty would cover that. If you develop a problem because water backed up in clogged gutters that you should have cleaned, the builder is not responsible for repairs. Also, some items, such as appliances, may be covered by manufacturers’ warranties and are not the responsibility of the builder.
As Summer progresses into Fall, mark your calendar to make sure your plumber is scheduled to blow out your irrigation and also winterize an outdoor shower if you have one. Attached is a simple checklist from the National Center for Healthy Housing to help remind you of maintenance items on your home. Follow these guidelines and you will have a lasting healthy home.