Inspectors or blue collar workers examine building wall and foundation

LifeHack: Home Maintenance Tips for New Homeowners

The Foundation, Interior Water Leaks, Smart Technology

The home buying process is an exciting time filled with open houses, packing up possessions, and moving to a new location. Owning a home is a milestone for countless people and instills a true sense of accomplishment. It represents safety and comfort, a way to build financial security, and an outlet for personal expression. Making the switch from being a renter to becoming a homeowner has many benefits, but there are some aspects that require a bit more care and attention.

Routine maintenance is an incredibly important part of homeownership that can save you money and time. There are many aspects to home maintenance, but here are some steps to avoid costly repairs later on:

1. The Foundation

A home’s foundation is arguably one of the most important aspects of home maintenance. Your home, and the livelihood it supports, rests on top of the foundation. Water, plants, animals, and earth movement can damage the foundation and lead to costly repair bills.

Pooling water is a problem as it will slowly erode and weaken the foundation. This issue frequently arises from rainwater, so proper storm drainage is vital. The risk can be mitigated by gutters and downspouts. Water damage can also occur due to plumbing leaks underneath the house. This water can cause the soil underneath the foundation to move — which leads to damage that’s very difficult to repair.

Inspect your home’s foundation a few times a year. Look for damage or cracks as these are obvious signs of foundation problems. You also should do your best to maintain a consistent moisture level around the foundation. If the ground is too dry or too wet, it can cause the ground to crack and move which adds pressure to the foundation. Last but not least, make sure any roots from large trees aren’t near your home. Roots can stretch a very long distance in search of water, and can wreak havoc on the foundation.

2. Interior Water Leaks

Water dripping from a faucet or a pipe may seem like a minor problem, but it can lead to high water bills or even structural damage if left alone. Water dripping from a pipe can lead to problems in multiple ways — namely damage to floors or wooden frames, as well as damage to the home’s foundation.

Signs of a leak can be wet/discolored drywall, puddles or water-stained trim, musty smells, and mold/mildew. If the culprit is a leaky pipe, it’s an easy fix. However, depending on the extent, it may be wise to call a professional.

3. Smart Technology

Smart technology simplifies a lot of our day-to-day tasks. Devices like smart alarm systems, thermostats, appliances, and even fireplaces give homeowners greater control of their energy use, saving both time and money. However, homeowners must make sure that all their smart technology system software is up-to-date. Important safety features and software updates have to be installed, so keep track of when it’s time to upgrade. Since these devices run through your home’s internet, it’s imperative that the internet connection is protected and durable.

These are a few of the regular maintenance tasks that homeowners have to do. Owning a home is an exciting time, but there are some key responsibilities that come into play. Keeping up with routine maintenance will save you money in long run. Be mindful of your abilities — if you feel that a repair is beyond your capabilities, call a professional.