Everyone knows that fixing a small problem is much easier and less costly than fixing a big one. An “out of sight, out of mind” attitude often leads us to overlook easy home maintenance steps that can save money and headaches in the long run. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring potential problems. A small amount of effort and expense can help you avoid disastrous results. Make sure to have a checklist of regular work for your property, so you can keep it in tip-top shape for years to come. We like this one from DIY Network, and expanded on some of their list items below.

Fix Leaks

Water is essential for human life, but it is also the number one enemy to our homes. Make sure to check your pipes and roof for leaks on a regular basis to avoid the mold, mildew, and rot that can come with excess water. Dark spots, dampness, or stains can all be clues that a leak exists, and you definitely want to find the cause before larger problems result. Roof rot, structural damage, and ruined flooring are all potential results that can start with a small leak, so keep up with regular inspections and don’t be afraid to call in a plumber or roofer to make small repairs as needed. A few hundred dollars spent early on could save you tens of thousands down the road!

Clean Gutters

Making sure your roof gutters are in good working condition is another easy step to preserving the condition and value of your property. Keep gutters and drains clear of debris to prevent water from damaging your roof or siding – experts recommend clearing leaves at least twice a year. If you have a lot of trees on your property (or nearby), gutter screens or shields may be appropriate, and can save you time and effort. Gutters should drain at least 5 feet away from the walls of your home, and should be checked for leaks regularly to ensure that water is not damaging your foundation. Foundation repair is one of the most costly expenses a homeowner can incur, so you want to be very attentive to any potential problems in that area.

Protect Hardwood Floors

Beautiful hardwood floors are a top feature for any home, and a little bit of regular maintenance can keep them looking great for years. Repair small scratches and dull finish yourself by applying wood cleaner or hardwood floor refinisher. For extensive scratching, hire a professional to refinish the surface. The key is to deal with the damage before it gets too great, otherwise, the floors will need to be sanded, which can double or triple the cost of repairs and reduce the lifespan of your flooring.

Maintain Appliances 

Appliances are some of the most-used parts of any home, and they need regular care to be kept in their best working order. Most people clean the lint filter in their dryer regularly, but it is a good idea to also vacuum the trap periodically and clean the vent. Preventing lint build-up reduces fire danger, and will help keep you from experiencing one of the 150,000 fires caused by appliances in America every year . Another good idea, which won’t cost you a penny, is to check your appliances on www.recalls.gov to see if any problems are hiding in your house. Faulty appliances (and those fires mentioned above) cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damage every year, often from problems that consumers never even knew existed.

Home Safety

Good practices in the home can prevent problems before they ever start, protecting your home and family. Remember to keep from overloading your outlets and extension cords, and use properly rated power strips and surge protectors where needed. Never store flammable products near heat sources, and keep fire extinguishers handy throughout the house. Don’t forget to regularly check the pressure and expiration date on those fire extinguishers, to ensure they will be in good working order if you ever need to use them!

Hire a Professional

Of course, the easiest way to keep your property in top condition is to hire a professional property management company! At Properties West 360, we have 25 years of experience in managing and maintaining rental properties, and we know what it takes to keep homes at their best, stopping small problems from becoming large ones. All repair work is performed by licensed contractors, and we are always available to answer your questions. Please contact us – we look forward to helping you with all your property management needs.