So you took the plunge and bought your first home in Reston? Congratulations! Buying your first home is a big financial step, so you’ll want to be sure to protect your investment by staying on top of some basic home maintenance tasks.
Outside the House
Stay ON the Lawn
Your yard, along with the exterior condition of your home make up your property’s curb appeal so you’ll want to keep it fresh! Keep your grass trimmed and fertilized, and keep shrubs trimmed away from the perimeter of your house by 12 to 18 inches. Be sure to weed, mulch, and maintain shrubs and flower beds so your yard looks neat and tidy.
House, Deck, and Walkways
Most homes need to be repainted about every 8 to 10 years, so while this is something to keep in mind, it won’t be a constant maintenance issue. However, you can pressure wash decks and walkways once a year to remove dirt, grime and other environmental build up
Cleaning your gutters once or twice a year will save you a lot of headaches down the road. Clogged gutters can cause homeowner nightmares including leaky roofs and basements, and mold, as well as driveway and yard damage. DIY-ers can get up on a ladder and do the job themselves. Otherwise, there are gutter cleaning services are readily available at a nominal cost. In Reston, there are several gutter cleaning services you can try, including GutterMaid, and Northern Virginia Gutter Cleaning.
Change Your Furnace Filters
Keep dust and contaminants out of your house by changing your furnace filters on a regular basis. As a general rule, filters should be changed every 3 months, but if you have pets that shed or like having windows open, you could need to change your filters more frequently. When in doubt, pull your filter out. If it looks dirty, it’s time to change it.
Touch up Caulking and Grout
Check the caulking and grouting around your tiles, bathrooms, and sinks to watch for signs of wear. Grout protects tiles from shifting and chipping. Caulk prevents leaking, always a good idea since bathroom leaks can lead to a host of other problems for a homeowner. Touching up caulk and grout are again tasks that aren’t too difficult to do yourself. If you aren’t the DIY type, you can find local businesses that provide caulking and grouting services online.
Smoke detectors/Carbon Monoxide Detectors
There is nothing more maddening than trying to track down the incessant beeping that starts when a smoke detector battery is low. Save yourself this particular annoyance by planning to change your batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors at regular intervals. For a built in schedule you don’t really have to think about, adopt a “Change your clocks, changes your batteries” policy and switch out your batteries during daylight savings times.
Vacuum the Coils on Your Refrigerator
The coils behind your refrigerator should be vacuumed at least twice a year. This will not only extend the life of your fridge, it will also keep it running at peak efficiency, which translates into savings on your electric bill. You’ll need to pull the fridge away from the wall and unplug it, but it is a relatively simple task and will also give you a chance to vacuum other accumulated dust and dirt that gets trapped behind the fridge.