The Top Ten Annual Must-Do Items
If your home, your wallet and peace-of-mind are important priorities, then the beginning of each year comes with a new opportunity that’s too good to pass up. You can save yourself all kinds of unpleasant surprises, unexpected bills and headaches by committing to the annual scheduling of the top twelve most important home inspections and maintenance tasks.
Once you identify these tasks, commit to a schedule and set-up a maintenance routine, then you will be in the driver’s seat every year. In addition, you will have assured the continued structural integrity of your home and also have tackled one of the big family budget busters.
Spring will be here before you know it, so plan and schedule now. Here is our recommended maintenance check list
- January: Review maintenance plans: call and schedule service contractors
- February: Check interior and exterior for signs of foundation, slab, or patio/walkway movement
- March: HVAC 1: Inspect AC unit and replace filters before the heat arrives
- April: Pest Control 1—Bugs hatch and guests show up hungry
- May: Roof Inspection—Fix the small leaks now to avoid big damage
- June: Inspect Drainage: Stabilize slopes, check gutters, pools, decks and patios
- July: Inspect and flush water heaters: prevent corrosion damage
- August: HVAC: 2: Inspect furnace and replace filters for winter season
- September: Pest Control 2: Guests back move in and snuggle up
- October: Fire System—Change batteries in smoke & CO detectors
- November: The Fall leaves are down, so clean the gutters; rain and snow are coming
- December: Check for tree branches and roots that might cause damage
Homeowners, HOA Boards and Property Managers who postpone these maintenance tasks are often taking a big gamble—especially as their properties age. There can be a cumulative effect when annual maintenance is deferred or the warning signs of damage are ignored. If you wait too long, that’s when you’re likely to face an avalanche of expensive problems.
Every home or property is different, depending on age, condition, geographic location and any history of past problems. So your maintenance list and timing of tasks can be quite different in the Southwest as compared to the Northeast, for example. The important point here is to remember to schedule maintenance tasks by month and get your service team on board early.
For example, HVAC maintenance and repair should occur in the Spring and Fall in advance of the hot and cold seasons. Timely maintenance will help you avoid peak season problems (and rates) because that’s when nearly everyone calls. Preventing and catching problems early helps you keep your cool in the summer and avoids the shivers in winter. Avoid the long wait for service appointments and stay comfortable with planned maintenance.
If you own or have recently purchased an older home and have noticed significant issues with roofing, garden slope or hillside erosion, unstable wood decks, patio or pool damage, then Helfrich Associates can help get you back on track. We’re licensed, professional structural and geotechnical engineers who have decades of residential, HOA and commercial property experience.
When you suspect a significant structural problem is a possibility, call us. We can often help you save money by identifying the full extent of a problem. Or if you’re planning to re-model or install a new patio or deck, ask us first to perform a site survey and work with your contractor of choice to assure your home upgrade will pass city inspection.