Some jobs around your home simply make you more comfortable, but others fix what is broken. Some of the most important ones are maintenance tasks, the work that stops problems before they happen, or, at least, prevents little problems from becoming big ones.
Not all these tasks may apply to your home, but if they do, experts and home pros recommend you not skip these essential jobs:
- Clean eavestroughs at least once a year: Cleaning eavestroughs is one of the single most crucial pieces of home maintenance. Clogged eavestroughs can back water up onto your roof, causing mould and damage. During winter, clogs can make water freeze and refreeze into ice dams for even more damage. And when water pours uncontrollably from the edge of your home, it tends to pool at your foundation, potentially putting pressure on your basement walls, and eroding the yard. Cleaning leaves and debris from your eavestroughs prevents this.
- Inspect your basement once a year: If you have a basement, spring takes a serious toll on it, so you should check it out during this season. If you have serious concerns, you can hire a pro or structural engineer to take a look, at a cost of a few hundred dollars. However, you can also perform a self-inspection each spring to look out for trouble. Leaks and basement cracks can do a lot of internal damage and rack up big repair bills if they are not addressed quickly.
Seek out cracks in the joints and on the walls. Small cracks might not be a big deal, but you should mark their location with a pencil and check them every so often to see if they grow. Large or growing cracks require the attention of an expert.
Keep an eye out for water damage, mould, musty odours and any other signs something’s not right.
- Flush water heater tank once a year: If you have a traditional tank water heater, it builds up sediment over the months. The minerals occur naturally in all water, so they’ll inevitably settle at the bottom of your tank. This kind of buildup can harm your tank in many ways, by slowing down water flow, interfering with heating, and even result in leaks or bursts.
A yearly drain-and-flush process can prevent these problems. It’s a job best left to the pros in case something goes wrong, as water heaters leak a lot when something does go sideways.
- Trim trees and shrubs at least once a year: Keeping trees in good shape protects your home from fallen branches, and both your neighbours and insurance company will thank you for it.
Bushes present less of a danger, but they should still be kept neatly trimmed and in good order.
Tree trimming is one of the best ways to help enhance the appearance of your trees and help them thrive. Snipping away older, weaker branches helps the rest of the tree stay in good shape and receive the moisture, sunlight and nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
Well-manicured bushes brighten up your curb appeal and keep insects from having easy access to your walls and windows.
- Power wash exterior surfaces once a year: Mould, mildew, grime and debris build up on surfaces over time. Sooner or later, your brightly painted home becomes dull and flat.
Power washing is about more than just looking good; mould and mildew can cause damage over the years, and it’s unsightly.
(Although they sound similar, power washing and pressure washing are slightly different; power washing heats the water and uses additional cleaning agents.)
By blasting away the grime, a power-washing job will improve curb appeal in an afternoon.
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