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Maintaining your home


Inspect your roof

Whether you have shingles, tin or concrete tiles, your roof is your home’s first line of defense against water damage. If you delay repairing spots on your roof that need fixing, you could find yourself facing water damage inside your home the next time a storm hits.

 
Clean your gutters

Gutters direct rain away from your roof and home, protecting both in the process. Clogged gutters, meanwhile, open your home to water damage—and there’s a good chance you won’t notice the damage until you need an expensive repair.

 
Clean or replace HVAC filters.

You need to do this more than once a year. A dirty filter forces your heat, ventilation and air-conditioning system to work harder, which in turn drains your wallet.

 
Clean your dryer vent.

Not all lint gets caught in the lint trap; some makes its way into the dryer vent. A clean vent will save you money by reducing the time your dryer has to run, while a plugged vent not only wastes money but could cause a house fire.

 
Check the washing machine fill hose.

A leaky hose under pressure can cause major damage in a short period of time, so you want to look for cracks that could become leaks

 
Clean and repair your screens.

Trying to reduce your electric bills this summer? In many parts of the country, you can keep your house cool (at least at night) by opening the windows. Gently scrub on a flat surface with soapy water. Also, patch small holes as needed

 
Clean decks, driveways, fences and other outside surfaces.

A pressure washer makes this job easier. If you don’t have one, borrow one from a neighbor or consider renting one from a home center. While you’re cleaning, inspect for damage.

 
Fix cracks in your walks, driveway and the outside of your home.

Unlike the human body, cracks in asphalt, concrete or stucco don’t heal themselves. Fortunately, most of these repairs are fairly easy if taken care of early on.

 
Repair any cracked or peeling paint.

A good paint job makes your home look nice, while providing a protective barrier from the elements. Touch-up painting is easy to do and inexpensive.

 
Vacuum your refrigerator coils.

The coils you’ll find on the bottom or back of your fridge conduct the hot air from inside the unit. If they’re coated with dust, they do the job less efficiently and cause your refrigerator to work harder; that means a higher electric bill for you. Use a vacuum cleaner hose or a brush on the coils

 
Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors.

You never know when you’ll need them. Sometimes it’s a matter of life or death, so take the time to change the batteries now.

 
Prepare your lawn mower for summer.

Change the engine oil and sharpen the cutting blade; you’ll lengthen the life of the mower and improve the look of your lawn.

 
Check seals around windows and doors.

Winter weather can crack and harden caulk and other weather seals. Inspect them and repair or replace as needed. You’ll reduce your air-conditioning bill and prevent water from entering your home and causing damage


Clear vegetation around your AC compressor.

To work efficiently, the compressor needs good airflow. To ensure it has breathing room, prune any plant growth that could block it.

 
Drain your water heater.

Sediment builds up in your water heater tank. Use the spigot near the bottom of the heater to drain it. By doing so, you’ll prolong its life and reduce your electric bill.

Nothing lasts forever, and that includes the plumbing pipes in your home. Fortunately, the majority of pipe materials perform well for decades. However, when that lifespan is reached, pipes may start to leak.

Lead is a highly toxic metal that may cause a range of health problems, especially in young children. When lead is absorbed into the body, it can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs, like the kidneys, nerves and blood.

A variety of technologies are available for heating your house. In addition to furnaces and boilers, heating options include wood and pellet heaters, active solar heating, and heat pumps, which are used for both heating and cooling

Buying a home can be so overwhelming that it’s easy for first-time buyers, especially, to give minimal thought to the homeowners insurance process.

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You can improve the energy efficiency of existing windows by adding storm windows, caulking and weatherstripping, and using window treatments or coverings.

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Asbestos is a mineral fiber that occurs in rock and soil. This could be a big issue and delay when buying a house.