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Home Care & Ownership Tips
Once-A-Year Tasks: Annual Home Maintenance

In this series of articles, Ownersite Technologies looks at the tedious, but necessary, and wise art of home maintenance. The articles provide an in-depth examination of what you can do on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, biannual, and annual basis so that you leave no stone or unturned or repair left behind. All of these tips are geared at helping you maximize the value, reliability, and safety of your home. Of course, these are just general guidelines and many may not be applicable for your particular property. Home maintenance can vary based on the age, location, type of use, and materials used.

Just when you think you have mastered weekly, monthly, quarterly and biannual home maintenance, you now realize that you have some more work that is only done once a year. Don’t be alarmed! It’s not like you have to work on your home all the time. These annual home maintenance tips are just intended to help you keep your investment on the path of increased value and life!

Handling any annual maintenance issues can be both easy and difficult – easy because you only have to address it once a year but difficult because they are usually more intensive and complicated projects that involve some very key aspects to the interior and exterior of your home.

An Annual Analysis

This list is intended to serve as a suggested set of annual activities so not every topic may apply to you or you prefer to do these items more than once a year. Each one is definitely an important project to undertake to continue ensuring that your home remains safe, comfortable, reliable, and valuable. These suggestions come from a number of home maintenance and remodeling experts:

  • Perform professional air conditioning inspection. This is a job specifically for someone that has been trained to inspect, clean, and repair air conditioning units. The best time to schedule annual maintenance is in the spring before the weather warms up so that you will not have any problems in the summer when you need it the most.
  • Schedule professional furnace inspection. Just like the air conditioning inspection, a professional should be hired to conduct the furnace inspection. The best time of the year for this task is in the late summer or early fall so that you are ready for the cold months ahead.
  • Hire professional to conduct a termite inspection. While you can check around your property once a month for any indication of termite damage. Even if there are no obvious signs, it is still best to schedule an annual inspection by a termite professional that has a better eye for any unwanted inhabitants.
  • Seal any decks or woodwork around the home. All outdoor wood structures should be inspected, treated, and sealed once a year to give them a longer life. This would include any decks, stairs, and railings. It is important to clean off any mildew or moss and treat the wood for water stains, mildew, and fungus before it is resealed for the coming rainy season.
  • Clean rain gutters. Leaves and debris should be cleaned out during the fall season after the leaves have fallen. In particularly bad weather, you may have to check it again during inclement weather as well as in spring time.
  • Perform a fireplace and chimney cleaning. The fireplace must be cleaned out of all ashes. Depending on how much you use it, you will most likely have to do this a few times during the cold season. Once a year, though, the fireplace should be cleaned out entirely so that you can also inspect for any possible cracks and chips. These must be repaired as soon as possible to avoid further damage. It is also recommended that you hire a chimney sweep to professionally clean out the chimney since this is both a messy and potentially dangerous maintenance task.
  • Drain outdoor faucets. All exterior faucets should be opened and the water pipe leading to the faucets should be shut off. The faucet should be closed tightly when the water stops. This will help in the winter season to avoid having pipes freeze that may still have some water inside them.
  • Power-wash the external walls of your home. This will help to remove excess dirt, dust, and debris that can dull the appearance of your home and eventually begin to adversely affect the paint and exterior materials that protect your home.
  • Get your roof inspected by a professional. The person you hire should look for leaks, loose shingles, or broken tiles. You can also – unless you are afraid of heights – go onto your roof and do this yourself or just clear it of any broken tree limbs or other debris.

Other tasks that you may want to consider handling on an annual basis include the following projects:

  • Seal cracks in the stucco or replace any siding that shows signs of wear and tear.
  • Reseal any flooring, such as marble or tile, and any countertops, such as granite.
  • Get your septic tank cleaned.
  • Check your fire extinguishers and replace, as necessary.
  • Clean your clothes dryer vent and hose of any lint that represents a potential fire hazard.

Annual Maintenance Record-Keeping

Certain annual events are easy to remember – birthday, Christmas, anniversary (well, maybe the last one is a struggle for all of us!) – but when it comes to taking care of some of the aforementioned home maintenance projects, your mind most likely draws a blank.

It helps to keep a written record but it must be one that you can easily find – or one that finds you. Today’s maintenance schedules and calendars have gone high-tech and online, providing a more efficient way to track what you have done and be reminded about what is yet to come. It can send you an e-mail or it can be consolidated and sent in a report to an insurance agent, realtor, potential buyer, tenant, or anyone else that you feel might want to view your maintenance record.

Companies like Ownersite Technologies provide this type of service at a low annual price – much more economical and valuable than just purchasing a software package. Best of all, this type of service also offers a home inventory service that can integrate well with your other home care so that you will have your investment covered from top to bottom and inside out.

Ownersite Technologies is happy to offer a free 30-day trial of Home Ownersite, the comprehensive, web-based tool that simplifies home inventories and recordkeeping. With plans starting at only $29.95 per year, Home Ownersite is the perfect tool to manage the complete ownership lifecycle for your home and valuables. To start your free, no-obligation trial or to review the different plans available, please click here.

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