Wish your home came with a user’s manual when you purchased it? You’re not alone. Maintaining & improving your home can be overwhelming. To help, we have a list of 7 essential tasks every homeowner should know to avoid costly damage.

1. Take Care of Your Roof

Inspect your roof for damage regularly. Your roof is your home’s primary source of protection. With weather and outside elements impacting it every day, you need to make sure that it is durable. If you find that there has been damage, assess how badly and determine if you will need just a repair or an upgrade. 

2. Clean Your Gutters

A good rule of thumb is to clean out the gutters twice a year. Clogged gutters can cause water not to drain properly. This can lead to rotting and even mold. Suppose water is not distributed away from your home. In that case, you are risking water damage inside your home and cracks in your foundation, just to name a few issues. 

3. HVAC Maintenance Checks

Scheduling yearly a professional maintenance check for your furnace and your central air unit is a good idea. This will keep your family safe from carbon monoxide leaks and ensure your system is working to its optimal level. 

It is also recommended that you clean or replace your furnace, and air condition filters every 2-3 months. If you have animals, you should change them every month. Clean filters increase the efficiency as well for your units. Efficient operating systems will keep your fuel and electricity bills low. 

4. Check Your Outlets

Do random checks on your wall outlets. If, at any point, the outlet or wall surrounding it is warm, call a professional electrician right away. This could be a sign of wire damage that could lead to a fire. Also, never ignore if your circuit breaker trips frequently and if you ever smell burning. 

5. Keep an Eye on Your Woodwork

Call a pest control company if you notice holes, discoloration, or warping. These could be signs of termites or mold. Ask the service company to inspect the wall, deck, or wherever you see the damage so you know what you are dealing with.

6. Shut Your Water Off

It’s so important to know where to locate the main water shutoff valve for your home. Shut off the water as soon as a leak is detected to limit the damage to your home. Suppose you leave your home for an extended period, like a vacation. In that case, it is also recommended to shut the water off. 

7. Check for Incentives for Energy Efficient Home Improvements 

Look into whether your state or local government has incentives and tax breaks if you make your home more energy-efficient. Replacing a major appliance and renovations to windows, insulation, or roofing could save you money in the long run. Have Puget Sound Energy? Find their efficiency programs here: https://www.pse.com/en/rebates/about-efficiency

Regular home maintenance and specific home improvements can prevent expensive repair costs. If you need assistance with budgeting improvements for your home, give us a call at 800-422-5852 and one of our Member Specialists would be happy to help you. Or you can visit our website at KitsapCU.org for finance options.