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    Home Maintenance You Need To Do So Your Home Stands The Test Of Time!

    When you least expect it, it happens.  Your HVAC system decides to breathe its last breath and you’re rushing to figure out how fast it can get replaced and how much it’s going to cost you.  Or, your sump pump fails after a storm and you have a foot of water in your basement.  While it’s often easy to get caught up in day-to-day life and forget about maintaining your home, it’s crucial that homeowners are aware of how often the features that keep your house running should be maintained or replaced.

    • HVAC system – According to the Department of Energy, you should give serious thought to replacing your HVAC system every 10 – 15 years. While modern systems are built to last (some up to 20 years), certain components become less efficient over time, resulting in the entire system running less efficiently.  If you’re unsure about whether or not you should replace your HVAC system, it’s a good rule of thumb to have it checked by a professional every year.

     

    • Roof – You often won’t realize you need a new roof until it becomes an emergency, so it’s best to keep an eye on this one year after year! If you notice missing/damaged shingles, sagging, water damage, or mold, call a professional right away.  The lifespan of a properly installed roof varies depending on the material it’s made up of.  Make sure you know what materials makeup yours and go by this timeline:
      • Composition shingles – 12 – 20 years
      • Asphalt shingles (most common on single-family homes) – 15 – 20 years
      • Wood shingles – 20 – 25 years
      • Rubber – 30 – 50 years
      • Metal – 50 – 75 years
      • While this is an estimate, remember that severe humidity and storms can greatly damage your roof, causing repairs sooner than expected. It’s always a good idea to get up there and thoroughly check it every year.

     

    • Windows – If you have quality windows in your home, they should last you anywhere from 15 – 20 years, while still being efficient. You’ll know for certain it’s time to replace your windows when you start feeling a draft, more outside noise, they become difficult to open or lock, they appear chipped or damaged, or condensation begins to build up.  It’s important to remember that having efficient windows isn’t just a luxury but also a crucial step in keeping your energy bills low.

     

    • Carpets – The key to a long-lasting carpet is having it properly cleaned (oftentimes professionally!) at least every couple of years. If taking the proper precautions, you can expect your carpet to last up to 20 years and still look presentable.  However, there are many variables to consider with carpets!  Having young kids spill on them, animals on them and general wear and tear can cause your carpets to need replacing sooner.

     

    • Driveway – If you have an asphalt driveway, it’s best to consider resealing it every three years. The good news?  While it takes time, this is something you can do yourself, without professional help!  Remember, the more quality the sealer, the longer it will last.  The same goes for concrete driveways but this material only needs to be done every five years.

     

    • Appliances –
      • Refrigerator – Refrigerators typically have a 10 – 20-year lifespan and, fortunately, the quality of refrigerators only gets better and better. Rule of thumb: if your refrigerator needs repairs and is under 8 – 10 years, it might be worth repairing.  If it’s older than 10 years, it’s best to replace it.
      • Dishwasher – Dishwashers are one of the easiest appliances to repair and one of the easiest to tell if you’re in need of one. With a lifespan of about 10 – 15 years, it’s best to replace it if you’re looking at significant repair costs and the washer is over either years old.
      • Stove – In general, you should replace your stove once it reaches around 15-years-old. Unlike your refrigerator and dishwasher, if something is wrong with your stove, you should give serious consideration to hiring a professional to look if it’s worth fixing, as opposed to yourself.  This is especially true for gas stoves, as repairing them on your own can be very dangerous.
      • Toilets – Toilets can last anywhere from 15 – 20 years and, at times, even longer. While it’s fairly easy to fix issues with toilets, it’s also easy to tell when it’s time for a new one altogether.  If there are cracks in the porcelain, it frequently clogs (especially after repair), it’s scratched, or it is using too much water, it’s time for a new toilet.  It’s also worth getting a new one if it needs multiple repairs at once.  Remember that this is one of the most used parts of the house so it’s crucial that you take care of it!

     

    • Garbage Disposal – Most garbage disposals have a life expectancy of about ten years. The more you use it, the faster the blades get dull.  In addition to dull blades, you’ll know it’s time for a new disposal if the food takes longer to grind, it clogs often or it’s leaking and making noises.  Luckily, this can be done on your own with the right research!

     

    • Sump Pump – This should be replaced every ten years, at most. If you are wondering if your sump pump needs replacing, don’t hesitate to do so!  There is nothing worse than a failing sump pump and a flooding basement.  With the right amount of patience and help, this can be done on your own.  Rule of thumb: Always have a spare!

     

    • Hot Water Heater – The life expectancy of a water heater varies largely due to the year it was installed and how well it has been maintained. For a general estimate, make sure to check the warranty for your particular brand and model.  Tankless water heaters have been known to last up to 20 years and water heaters with tanks should take consideration for replacement after ten years.

    With any feature around the house, it’s important to remember the difference between something functioning and serving its purpose vs. operating with efficiency.  While it might be easy to push your luck on certain features and amenities around your home, keep in mind that the possible damage that could be done when something malfunctions and breaks could cost you a significantly larger amount than the costs of replacing the item to start with.  Properly maintaining your home is the surest way to keep piece-of-mind for you and your family!

     

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