One of the best New Year’s resolutions you could make for yourself is to keep up with your home maintenance and repair. Like anything else in life, the more you use objects in your home — from your ceiling fans to your air conditioner — the more likely it is that these items will eventually wear out at need to be repaired or replaced. Though you take good care of your home and everything in it, it’s inevitable that some things will fall apart and need to be repaired.
Not only that, but parts of your home can get dirty and need a good scrubbing after those cold winter months. Dirt and grime can build up, and there’s only so much that rain can do to wash away dirt from the exterior of your home, garage, deck or fence. If you put off spraying away that dirt and debris, then the dirt may build up and damage your home. Not only will it look dirty and shabby, the dirt can also lead to paint peeling and mold and mildew buildup.
It’s easy to push home improvement projects off to the weekend with no real intention to do them, but if you fall behind on repairs and general maintenance around your home, then it can lead to some costly repairs and replacements later on. Your exterior paint, for example, may be expected to hold up for 10 years, but if you don’t power washing your home regularly, then that dirt can chip away at the paint. You might have to repaint in seven years instead, which means buying paint and hiring someone to repaint your entire home. It’s a costly endeavor, but if you keep up with power washing, you might be able to extend the life of your exterior paint.
The same can be said for much of the other parts of your home and the items within. The more you take care of your home, the longer it will last. Your roof, for example, usually has a life of 20 years or so, but what if you could get 25 or even 30 years out of it? If you’re diligent about repairing shingles and pop-up nails, then you can extend your roof’s lifespan by a few years. It might not make it to 30 years, but considering how expensive it is to replace your roof, getting a few more years out of your roof is a good investment.
Now that it’s the new year, it’s time to commit yourself to a customized plan for the exterior maintenance of your home. Like yourself, your home is wholly unique and needs its own specialized plan to keep up with its maintenance. Whether you’ve just built your home or moved in 15 years ago, your home needs TLC from you all year long. When you have a customized plan for your home’s maintenance, you can set up a schedule of tasks to be done overtime. You won’t feel like everything has to be done at once, and you won’t have such a big bill one month.
Ready to get started? Here’s how to build your own customized exterior maintenance plan for your home.
Analyze the exterior of your home and research it
A lot of homeowners are only as familiar with the exterior of their homes as the time it takes to pull their cars into their garages or take the trash out the side door. They don’t really notice how the siding looks alongside their garages, and they don’t notice that water is leaking through their foundations until there’s a puddle of water in the basement. Many homeowners wait until there’s an obvious problem before acting.
But homeowners should be doing the exact opposite, and if you want to make a customized plan for the exterior of your home, then you need to know the specifics of your home. So grab your pen and paper and make a list of the following:
- Roof: What’s it made of? When was it installed? Have there been any major repairs in the last few years?
- Chimney: Do you have one? Is it a small metal one or a big brick one? When was the last time you cleaned the interior or exterior of it?
- Exterior walls: Do you have siding or brick? Is it painted? When was the paint job done?
- Foundation: What does your foundation look like? Do you have a basement?
- Windows: When were your windows installed? What kind of windows are they? Have they had any repairs done to them in the last few years?
- Gutters: When were your gutters installed or last replaced? Do you have gutter guards?
- Driveway and walkways: When was the concrete in your driveway or walkways installed or last finished? Are there any cracks in your driveway or walkways? Any weeds or grass growing where they shouldn’t be? Any spots or stains that won’t go away even after a rainshower?
You may need to consult your own records or refer to old bills left behind by the home’s previous owners. You may find records of maintenance in your home inspection from when you first bought your home. Of course, you could always have an expert come and inspect your home. He or she could help you date some of the work done and provide an estimate of what may need to be done sooner rather than later.
Once you have a running list of all your materials as well as some general information about your home (its age, style and type of soil it’s built on), start researching your home’s materials. When you know more about the materials that make up your home, you’ll have a better idea of what kind of maintenance you need and how often you might need it.
Divide up the work
Now that you know what kind of work needs to be done regularly outside your home and about how long you have until you need to make some repairs, it’s time to start parsing out the work.
For example, you don’t need gutter cleanings as often in the winter or spring time because so few leaves are falling and clogging your gutters. You may only need regular gutter cleaning services in the later summer and throughout fall. On the other hand, you may need soft washing services more regularly because your home is older and covered by large trees. The combination of rain and shadow from the trees can make for more opportune places for mold and mildew to grow on your roof and siding, so you may need soft washes more regularly to keep your siding in excellent condition.
Lay a calendar out on your kitchen table and start writing out what needs to be done in each month. Space out the work as needed and be realistic with what you can accomplish and what you would like a professional to do.
When you space out the work overtime, it’ll be more cost-effective and feel less overwhelming. Now when you change your calendar each month, look at what needs to be done and pencil in specific work for you to do. When you have them on your calendar, it’ll be easier to keep your weekends clear.
Schedule maintenance work
Your life is incredibly busy. You’ve got big projects coming up for work, and your kids have so many after-school activities that it’s hard to keep them all straight. When the weekend rolls around, you find yourself rushing around and trying to get everything done from sports games to household chores. The last thing you want to do on those rare free weekends is clean out your gutters.
When you have a customized home maintenance plan for the exterior of your home, you don’t have to lift a finger because you’ve already set up regular appointments with a gutter cleaning service or a pressure washing service. The professionals will arrive on the schedule date, take care of the work and leave without you having to pull out a ladder or grab some extra trash bags.
To keep your home looking as good as possible, it’s best to work with a professional home maintenance company that you know and trust. Working with one company like Advantage Pro Services, which provides pressure washing services and gutter cleaning services, provides a number of benefits, including:
- Better understanding of your home: When you do work with one professional over time, the company becomes more familiar with your home, which means the professional you work with can provide a more tailored experience for your home.
- Eye on repairs: Having professionals look at your home often means they’ll be more likely to spot potential problems, maybe before you do.
- Familiarity and confidence: When you work with the same company over and over again, you trust their judgement and expertise when it comes to your home. It will give you peace of mind, and you’ll feel that your home is in good hands.
- Ease of billing: Paying just one company for multiple services means you won’t have so many different transactions every month. It’ll be easier for you to keep track of what you’re paying every month.
Scheduling home maintenance work in advance keeps you on track and free up your precious time to do things you enjoy on your weekends.
Adjust every year
This year, your home was brand new. But what about next year or five years later? Think of it this way: You wouldn’t keep buying your child size five shoes as they continue to grow, right? You need to adjust as your child grows and changes.
The same can be said about your house. As it gets older, things will change. Maybe in the first five years of owning your home, the gutters never had much of an issue, but now that they’ve survived some big rainstorms over the years or even a few ice storms, then they may need more regular maintenance. It may be that a neighbor’s tree has now fully grown, and its leaves are dropping into your gutters and clogging them.
If you never readjust your maintenance plan, then you’re going to run into some serious problems down the line that you were either ignoring or not preparing for at all.
Once you make your plan and stick to it for the first year, make a resolution next year to adjust it. Take notes all year long on what’s working and what’s not and note any changes to your surrounding neighborhood. Little changes, like your neighbor’s maturing tree, can affect your maintenance plan and change what needs to be done around your home. On the flip side of your neighbor’s tree, if they should cut one down that has died, then you’ll have fewer leaves in your gutter and need fewer cleanings.
Since you already have a plan in place, it will be much easier to change your schedules and add new services or cleanings if needed.
Doing this will help your home age gracefully and keep up to date with any repairs that need to be done immediately.
The best part about working with one company for these home maintenance services is that you can trust the company to help you adjust your schedule. At Advantage Pro Services, for example, we work with our customers to come up with a good maintenance schedule for their homes that fit their changing needs.
A new year means a fresh start for all homeowners across Houston. If you’re like many homeowners in Houston, then you know that your home could probably use a little extra TLC this year. Instead of waiting for your siding to crack or a shingle to fall off your roof, why don’t you make it your New Year’s resolution to be more proactive about your home’s care?
When you make a customized home maintenance plan for the exterior of your house, you’re setting up a plan to keep your home in the best shape possible. As you get used to your new maintenance schedule, it will feel second-nature to you.
Share with us: How can Advantage Pro Services help you with your customized home maintenance plan? Leave us a comment and let us know!