Tips for Increasing your Home’s Value

Consistently spending time maintaining your home will preserve your investment and prevent costly repairs in the future. Whether you plan to live in your home for years, or put it on the market soon, a well maintained home shows pride of ownership and yields a substantial return.  Increasing your home’s value does not always require investing money; proactive upkeep can go a long way.

Interior

·        Have your carpeting cleaned professionally at least once a year to remove deep-down dirt and stubborn stains. Avoid excessive pile crushing by moving heavy furniture periodically. With proper maintenance you can extend the life of your carpet.

·        To prevent water intrusion and dry rot around bathtubs and showers, install enclosures and re-caulk or re-grout as necessary. One of the most common places to find dry rot inside a home is the baseboards around a bathtub. Use the bathroom vent or a window when bathing to keep moisture from lingering.
 
Kitchen Maintenance

·        To avoid discoloration on kitchen cabinetry, never hang wet dish towels on the top of
your cabinet doors or drawers. Damage in many kitchens
can be found on the cabinetry underneath the kitchen sink.

·        Clean stone counters and stainless steel appliances with a cleaning solution made specifically for that item. Cleaning with the wrong
solution can ruin the finish on the counters and appliances.

·        Clean your dishwasher strainer, pump, and spray arms every three months and the dishwasher float (the water level control) periodically.

·        Cleaning your range hood frequently will prevent grease deposits from forming a hard residue that can be difficult to remove. Regularly wash the grease filter, the hood, the underside of the hood and light bulb (when it is cool) with a mild detergent or degreaser.

Appliances

·        Water heaters should be drained periodically to keep the heating element working efficiently. Most steel water heater tanks are lined with glass to prevent rust, but constant temperature fluctuations cause the glass to expand and contract, making small openings. When water eventually penetrates the lining, the tank begins to rust. At the same time, the heated water causes limestone to form in the tank. As it forms and settles to the bottom of the tank, the sediment eventually becomes thick and reduces heating efficiency. In electric tanks, the limestone builds up on the heating element and forms a hard crust that can eventually make the heating element stop working.  Annual maintenance will keep your hot water flowing.

·        Annually clean your clothes dryer vent located behind the dryer.

·        Air filters should be replaced every 3 months to protect the unit from dust and debris. Never operate your unit without an air filter.

·        Check the batteries in your smoke detector every time you change your air filter.

·        Install Carbon Monoxide detectors to comply with the July 2011 law requiring CO2 detectors in all residential properties.

Exterior

·        The seals at all roof penetrations, flashings, and the water tightness of rooftop elements, should be checked periodically to maintain your roof.

·        Gutters collect water from the roof and carry it toward downspouts. Together, gutters and downspouts direct water off the roof and then down and away from your home.  The role of gutters is all too often overlooked by new homeowners, but the role they play in keeping your home dry is vital. Gutters should be cleaned in the spring and the fall. Debris in gutters can conceal rust, deterioration or leaks. When clogged, water can flow onto the roof and into the home instead of the downspouts. Downspouts should be draining water away from your home to prevent water damage to the siding and foundation. Caring for these elements will extend the life of your roof drainage system by many years.

·        Remove your window screens once a year to clean out the dirt build-up on the sills. A build-up of dirt can transfer to the exterior walls or trap water on the sills which will lead to water damage.

·        Check annually for large cracks in your stucco, and repair those wider than 1⁄16 inch.

Yard

·        Soil should be built up around your home to create a barrier to direct water away from the foundation. If the lot is sloped and water is directed towards the home, diverting water away from the home with a French drain is important. If your yard starts to puddle the French drain may be clogged. Annual lawn maintenance is often required to keep sloping in place.

·        Trim trees so they are at least 2 feet away from the roof and
gutters to prevent the
gutters from clogging.

·        Don’t plant plants or
grass too close to your
home. Watering plants
near the house can
cause leaks into the
interior and other water problems. Although vines look beautiful growing on the exterior of your home, they prevent the walls from drying and can deteriorate the surface.

·        Make sure your sprinklers are not spraying your home or near the foundation; it could damage the exterior or cause leaks.

·        Pools need to be regularly cleaned to prevent the surface from being ruined. During rainy periods, it is a good idea to lower the water level to prevent your pool from flooding.

·        During icy temperatures, drain and insulate your hose spigot to prevent it from freezing.