Home Maintenance Tips
Protect your investment by caring for your home with the following maintenance tips from ProjectHome, which serves residents in Dane and Green Counties. You can also attend ProjectHome's free classes in the community to learn about home maintenance, contractors, and repair and improvement projects.
- Check roof for damaged shingles, shakes, or tiles and trim tree branches away from roof.
- Clean ridge vents, gutters, downspouts, and test downspouts to ensure proper drainage from roof. Also make sure water is draining away from the house's foundation.
- During moderate rain, inspect gutters and downspouts for leaks. If any leaks are noticed, plan on caulking them during dry weather.
- Have chimneys inspected and cleaned. Ensure that rain caps and vermin screens are secure.
- Look at overhead wires coming to the house. They should be secure and clear of trees or other obstructions.
- Ensure that the grade of the land around the house encourages water to flow away from the foundation.
- Inspect for evidence of wood boring insect activity. Eliminate any wood/soil contact around the perimeter of the home. Don’t stack firewood against home, especially if you have wood siding.
- Test the overhead garage door opener, to ensure that the auto-reverse mechanism is responding properly. Clean and lubricate hinges, rollers and tracks on overhead doors.
- Inspect exterior walls and foundation for cracking and wear.
- Inspect all driveways, walkways, decks, porches, and landscape components for evidence of deterioration, rot, movement or safety hazards.
- If the property has a septic system, have the tank inspected (and pumped as needed) approximately every 2 years.
Basement and Attic Maintenance
- If your home has a sump pump, check that it operates properly, and that the water discharges at least 5 feet away from the home and down hill.
- Survey the basement and/or crawl space walls for evidence of moisture seepage.
- Clean out basement window wells and check for leaks (inside and outside job).
- Inspect foundation, basement, or crawl space for cracks and note their direction. Look for evidence of damage, cracking or movement. Watch for bird nests or other vermin or insect activity.
- Have the heating systems cleaned and serviced every few years, as well as changing the filter on the humidifier (if your home has one built in).
- Examine the electrical panels from the outside of the panel, wiring and electrical components for evidence of overheating. Ensure that all components are secure. Hanging wires in basement should be secured.
- Turn on isolating valves for exterior hose bibs (if you turned them off before winter) - usually located in the basement.
- Look in the attic (if accessible) to ensure that roof vents are not obstructed. Check for evidence of leakage, condensation or vermin activity. Level out insulation if needed.
- Consider some do-it-yourself weatherization projects. In the attic, insulating the attic door, or in the basement, sealing box sills or around wires or pipes.