Many up-keep tasks are recommended for your home annually — so if you can’t recall having done these jobs in 2012, now’s your last chance.
Check your foundation
Experts recommend checking your foundation a couple of times per year. Walk around the house, taking note of any small cracks (these are normal), and be on the lookout for widening cracks. Use caulk to patch small cracks or any other openings in the foundation where pipes enter or leave your home. If left unattended, these cracks could allow water into your foundation.
While you’ve got the caulk out, seal any open spaces around window frames or doors. Add weatherstripping to prevent heat loss through the gaps where windows and doors open and close. Don’t forget about the garage door and basement windows! You might also think about adding another layer of insulation to your attic to keep the heat in your living space instead of the outdoors.
Clean your gutters and downspouts
Get all those fall leaves out of your gutters before they start causing any problems — like sending water into your foundation and basement instead of away from the home. While you’ve got the ladder out, take care of any other leaks or repairs the gutters may need.
While you can hop up on the roof yourself to look for missing or damaged tiles, it’s recommended to leave repairs and annual maintenance to a professional. Take care of this now so your roof doesn’t spring a leak during a winter snowstorm. While you’re at it, have your chimney checked and maintained as well.
Check your siding for repairs
For wood siding, be on the lookout for any holes or rot, and be sure to first treat the cause of the damage before repairing it. If you have peeling paint, repaint the affected areas so that the underlying wood is sealed and protected from the elements.
Check your air conditioning and heating system
Clean air conditioning vents and make sure they aren’t blocked by dust or debris. Have your heating system checked by a pro each year as well.
Test your detectors
Test the batteries in all your household smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. (If you have kids, now is also a good time to review what they should do in case of a fire.) New laws go into affect in July 2014 that require that smoke detectors have 10 year hard-wired batteries and an over-ride in case of those smoky kitchen “meals”.
A little home maintenance now can prevent aging of your home and keep those energy bills to a manageable level.