Family Handyman

Search: I Can Fix Up My Home
index sitemap advanced
search engine by freefind home page Read the blog Read electrical & appliances articles Read green building & energy efficiency articles Read home interior articles
Read home exterior articles Read drywall and framing articles Read plumbing articles Read painting and wallpaper articles Read tools and woodworking articles

Home Maintenance 101

Critical Repair Issues New Home Owners Should Keep Track Of

© 2014 by Meghan Belnap; all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without written permission.

A brick wall needing mortar repair; photo courtesy Oula Lehtinen

Being a new homeowner comes with many home maintenance tasks that you may have not be aware of just renting your own place. You can’t call the landlord and depend on him to keep things operating. It’s all up to you.

This makes it extremely important to be aware of what a new homeowner should keep in mind for a fully functioning home. In order to keep the home running smoothly, it’s important to keep up to date on proper maintenance of the basic home appliances and structure.

Furnace and HVAC Maintenance

Furnace repairs can cost a bundle, but if you perform some basic maintenance consistently, most big issues can be avoided. Depending on what type of filter you use, according to The Washington Post, high-efficiency pleated filters with a built-in electrostatic charge like the Filtrete by 3M should be changed no less than every ninety days when in operation.

Some lower quality filters need to be changed every thirty days. Also, have the HVAC system inspected and cleaned by a professional once or twice a year a year. But do your homework; before setting an appointment check out 5 things to know about A/C maintenance.


A very small leak in the pipes can lead to a lot of damage and a big water bill. You should inspect the pipes monthly to make sure that there are no leaks and drips. In the winter, you must practice pipe safety in order to keep pipes from freezing.

Make sure no drafts are getting under the house, and let faucets drip in very cold weather. If you end up having any serious problems you will need to contact professionals like those at Kessler Plumbing & Heating Inc.

Don’t ever just ignore leaks as they don’t just fix themselves. Address the issue early and you can avoid expensive repair costs later.

Rain Gutters

Roof line, fascia boards, and rain gutters; photo © 2014 KSmith Media, LLC

Improperly maintained gutters can lead to problems with the roof and the foundation. With this in mind, plan to clean out the gutters at least twice a year. You may have to do it more often in the fall if there are a lot of trees in your yard.

Make sure that all the gutters are leading away from the house as the water will travel the path of least resistance and can seep into your foundation or basement and cause water damage. You can dig a French drain or purchase a simple plastic spout to lead the runoff water away from your house.

Periodic Roof Inspection

It’s a good idea to check the roof for missing and loose shingles a couple of times a year. Replace missing shingles and secure loose shingles as soon as possible. While on the roof, check the roof valleys and make sure that all your flashing is in good condition.

Making sure that there is no moss growing on your roof can be extremely important as well. Fix this by buying a zinc strip to combat moss buildup.

Window Maintenance

Window maintenance is important in order to keep out drafts in the winter and save on energy bills. Check the windows twice a year (fall and spring) to make sure that all of the caulking is in place and in good condition.

If any of the putty around the window is loose or missing, you will need to get some glazing compound and re-putty the windows. If you wooden window frames and sills, touch up the paint. If you have any damage or wood rot, repair those spots (detailed instructions in the link section at the bottom of this page).

Home Exterior

All of your home’s exterior walls will require maintenance. On brick and stone homes, check that the spaces between the brick and stone are all filled with solid mortar (except for the weep holes at the foundation).

On homes with wood siding, painting or staining will be necessary approximately every four or five years depending on the climate. Vinyl siding is durable and doesn’t require paint but a good scrubbing will keep it looking new.

Being a new home owner can be a bit daunting but extremely rewarding. By practicing these maintenance steps, your home should have fewer issues in the years to come.

In the end, all you need to do is perform periodic home inspections and make needed repairs and preventive maintenance. Many of these jobs are better done by professionals and in many cases the building code requires licensed craftsmen. Find local ratings on who to hire for all your home projects. Angie’s List makes it easy to find the best. Join today.

Follow Me on Pinterest

Recommended Exterior Repair Articles

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...

Website © 2008 KSmith Media, LLC; all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without written permission. Webmaster’s Google profile

Looking for more great content? Visit our partner sites:
The Green Frugal
Running Across Texas

As Featured On Ezine Articles

Do you need an article written and featured on one of our sites to promote your business? Hire Me!

local plumber


Free Shipping on all CPO DeWalt orders

Try Angie's List!

Return to the Exterior Projects Articles

Return to ICFUMH Homepage