3 Simple Home Maintenance Tips to Save Thousands
March 15, 2023
Listen up: You don’t need to be a handyman to do home maintenance. Well, simple home maintenance, that is…
Want more good news? It’s actually the simplest home maintenance chores that, if done diligently over years of home ownership, will save you thousands.
As the weather warms in Minnesota, it’s time to lace up the boots and do your due diligence as a homeowner. Here are 3 simple DIY home maintenance tips that will either delay the need to hire professional repair and replacement, or save you month over month through a one-time investment.
1. Trim trees and plants annually
Trees are a beautiful feature of any property, but they can be unruly when not cared for properly, posing a threat to your lovely home exterior. Branches on your roof or siding can cause surface-level or structural damage to your roof, siding, and gutters.
Regular trimming is the best way to prevent trees from touching your roof. Trim any branches that are within six feet of your roofline to prevent damage. This can also improve the health and appearance of your trees.
When to trim? Deciduous trees go dormant in the cold winter months, and this is by far the best time to trim for the health of the tree. It also means less leaves to obstruct your view, and less sap on you and your tools.
Of course, we recommend hiring professionals to cut and trim any large trees or thick branches, especially when climbing is required.
A more proactive way to avoid roof, siding, and gutter damage due to trees is to plant further away from your home. Consider your tree’s mature size potential before planting.
Overgrown plants can also scratch, dent, and even crack your siding, leading to costly repairs. Keep your plants and shrubs under control with regular pruning, and plant at least six inches away from your home's exterior. In general when landscaping, avoid planting fast-growing, large plants close to your home, as they can quickly become overgrown rub against your siding.
For flowering shrubs and trees that bloom in the spring (like lilac), trimming and pruning right after they flower in the spring is recommended.
Regular maintenance and careful planning are key to enjoying the beauty of your landscaping without sacrificing the health of your home's exterior.
2. Clean gutters and downspouts in the spring and fall
Ensuring proper water drainage is critical to home ownership. Neglecting to do this every spring and fall can lead to all sorts of issues, plus, it’s a relatively easy and straightforward task (hence, one worth of a DIY).
First, gather your tools – definitely a ladder and gloves. We also recommend a garden trowel or scoop and a tarp or bucket. Special gutter-cleaning hose attachments and telescoping tools are worth looking into.
Set up your ladder securely and make sure it's tall enough to reach the gutters comfortably. Using your gloves and trowel, remove any debris from the gutters that’s accumulated over time.
Once you've removed the majority of the large debris, leaves and twigs, use your hose with a high-pressure nozzle to flush out the downspouts. Use a plumbing snake or similar tool to clear any difficult blockages.
Finally, once you've finished cleaning the gutters and downspouts, take a moment to inspect them for signs of rust, cracks, or other issues that may need to be repaired. If you notice any problems, make sure to address them promptly to prevent further damage.
3. Install energy-efficient windows and doors
Want a passive income stream? How about a passive savings stream? Energy-efficient windows and doors are the ticket. These products are designed to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer, reducing the need for excessive heat and AC.
By EPA estimates through their EnergyStar program, U.S. homeowners stand to save $101 to $583 per year when replacing single-pane windows, and $27 to $197 per year for standard double-pane replacements. Minnesota is on the high-end of those estimates due to climate extremes.
With a more consistent indoor temperature, reduced drafts, and better air quality you’ll also get a more comfortable living space year-round. Additionally, more modern windows and doors reduce your carbon footprint.
With Keyprime’s high-performance, low-maintenance windows and doors, you’re investing in lower-monthly energy bills, personal comfort, and sustainability.
Do I DIY?
We realize that a do-it-yourself isn’t for every homeowner. Keyprime offers free inspections and competitively-priced repair and replacement services. We strongly recommend giving us a call if there seems to be damage to your home or any of the areas covered above have been neglected for a couple years. Gutters, windows, doors, siding, roofing, you name it – we’ll assess it honestly and provide a fair estimate on all your options.