THINK OF THESE TASKS AS GIVING VITAMINS TO YOUR HOME
Remember when you bought your house? You noted a million and ten things that needed to be done, and yearly home maintenance you swore to perform or oversee. Through the years, that list might have somehow disappeared. Take heed: It’s important to stay on top of your yearly home maintenance to-dos by making sure you tackle each of the tasks below. By doing so, you’ll set yourself up to sell your home with little stress when the time comes, like the owners of my Hedgerow Montecito Home by George Washington Smith listing pictured above did.
Just think of these 19 tasks as vitamins for your home designed to keep it, and your family, healthy and happy all year long.
1) Inspect the exterior
Walk around the house and check for cracks in the foundation, concrete, and your driveway. Check the chimney, too, for signs of wear. Does your exterior paint need any touch-ups? Look for signs of chipping or peeling paint and, depending on the scale of work, consider hiring a professional. You may also want to give your house a nice “bath” by hiring someone to power clean the exterior.
2) Drain your hot water heater
Experts warn that sediment can build up over time at the bottom of the tank and cause corrosion. By partially draining it once a year, you will remove the sediment. This simple act keeps your heater running more efficiently and prevents the possibility of having to replace it. While you’re at it, call your plumber for a boiler tank and radiator checkup to make sure valves are in good shape and haven’t worn out.
3) Have your gutters cleaned
Gutters are vital here in Santa Barbara. They help your home cope with the heavy rain we experience yearly around here. Over time, your gutters accumulate debris that can obstruct the flow of water and lead to major problems. Clogged gutters give rainwater nowhere to run. That water left unchecked can ruin your roof and/or your foundation.
4) Your landscape
As always, you should regularly have your gardener mow your lawn as well as take care of basic groundwork around your yard. A skilled horticulturalist is an absolute necessity when you live here in Santa Barbara, where many properties require customized lawn and garden maintenance. But, once a year you should also check up on the sprinkler system and hire a landscaper if needed. You should also plant trees and shrubs and reseed your lawn during the fall.
5) Make an appointment to have your carpets steam cleaned
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that over time, buildup has a way of accumulating in your carpet. These particles will become airborne allergens whenever someone walks across the carpet. Only a thorough cleaning can remove these allergens and restore a healthy living environment. If a family member’s allergies are chronic, frequent cleanings might be necessary to help alleviate recurring symptoms.
6) Hire someone to thoroughly wash your windows
There are many benefits when you use a professional window cleaning service at your Santa Barbara home, not the least of which is they’ll help extend the life of your windows. Plus, they have all the gear to do the job safely. This one task alone will save you time and money since clean windows enhance efficiency. Enjoy the spectacular Santa Barbara summer sunsets with clean windows!
7) Clean and empty all your drawers, including the kitchen junk drawer
Ahh, the junk drawer—the place you store all those little odds and ends that don’t quite fit anywhere else or that you rarely use but don’t know where else to stow. As another of your yearly home maintenance tasks, take everything out and get rid of stuff you don’t use. After you purge, scrub it down before filling it again; this time, using organizational tools to put everything away in its proper place.
8) Get the professionals out to trim your trees
See how inviting the patio of my Hedgerow Montecito home looks with its trimmed tress? These owners knew that maintaining a properly scheduled trim makes strong and sturdy growth, improving the beauty and shape of trees. Hire a tree service professional to care for the health of all your trees. They will know that a fruit tree should be pruned yearly to produce better quality and larger fruit, while some evergreens can go many years without needing a single cut. Your trees will thank you! So will your neighbors.
9) Schedule the exterminator
Pests don’t take a break throughout the year in sunny Santa Barbara. Hire a professional pest control company to review your annual pest abatement program, which should include quarterly treatments to safeguard your house from pests all year long. Don’t forget to seal holes where mice and roaches can get in, and wash all clothes as soon as you come back from a trip.
10) Check your ductwork connections
Did you know that ducts in your attic or crawl space can sag over time? That’s a problem since sagging can cause the connections to become loose. And once that happens, you’re heat or air conditioning could escape from the loose ductwork instead of take care of the temperature inside your living space.
11) Clean out the dryer vent duct
This is very important, so take note. The back of every dryer has a duct that is connected to a vent that leads outside. Over time, lint gets built up inside the duct causing the dryer to work harder. The result is increased energy costs, but more seriously, it’s also a huge fire risk. Backed up lint is extremely flammable.
12) Update your home inventory
Keeping an updated list of your personal possessions is crucial. Over time, we accumulate more stuff so once a year you need to revisit that list. The bottom line: a detailed home inventory is one of your most powerful tools if you must file a homeowners insurance claim because it proves the condition of your belongings before a loss. Keeping a list of your stuff also helps you verify that you have enough insurance coverage for your property.
13) Review your homeowner’s insurance policy
Homeowner’s insurance is essential. That’s why I suggest you make sure your policy continues to cover all the weather hazards we have here in Santa Barbara. While looking over your policy, be sure to review your deductibles, too. All you have to do is block out an hour of time and call your insurance agent. This will also give you peace of mind.
14) Schedule a roof inspection
The roof of my George Washington Smith listing is simply enchanting; adding a bit of unique charisma that many homebuyers can’t resist. But even more than enhancing curb appeal, your roof should withstand seasonal changes. Think about it. Your roof stands between the interior of your home and the exterior world. And experts will tell you that your roof can erode quickly and cause leaks, stains on walls, and even flood damage. Keep in mind, the normal life of a roof is 20–25 years.
15) Have your foundation checked
As a homeowner, you know that a failing foundation can be a big and costly problem. That’s why Santa Barbara homeowners should hire a professional inspector yearly to protect their home’s structural integrity. By catching the problem early and addressing it at the source, you can prevent widespread cracking, sloping floors, and sticky windows and doors which could require extensive repairs if you don’t.
16) Clean out your garage
It may seem overwhelming, but it is important to include cleaning your garage on your list of yearly home maintenance tasks. I’m suggesting homeowners take everything out and deep-clean the space. Discard any items you no longer need or use. Besides maintaining the longevity of your garage, your efforts will also keep you organized and active.
17) Conduct a home energy audit
According to Energy.gov, homeowners waste money and energy annually due to drafts and air leaks. Consider doing a home energy audit once a year, or better yet, hire a professional to do it. An energy auditor will do a room-by-room examination of the residence to improve the comfort of your home year-round.
18) Emergency supply kit prep
The COVID-19 pandemic has helped us realize that we should be stocked up on basics, essentials, and emergency supplies at all times. Consider items you need regularly, from food to toiletries, first aid to batteries, and make sure you have a few to spare!.
19) Check out an open house in the neighborhood
Stay current on what’s happening in real estate in your neighborhood. Real estate is one market in which the going rate fluctuates constantly. Your home is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it, and the sales prices of homes around you help determine this rate. A big sale in your neighborhood could boost your home’s value and put a smile on your face!
If you’re considering implementing these top 19 yearly home maintenance tasks for a new home in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities, please allow me to help. Just take a look at my comprehensive website then call me at (805) 886-9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com. I am happy to show you the amazing properties available in sunny Santa Barbara right now.