Comfort at Home & Preventative Maintenance


Increasing Comfort at Home Through Preventative Maintenance

When it comes to increasing the comfort of your home, there are countless accessories and gadgets available. However, it’s very often the precautionary decisions you might or might not make that will have the biggest impact on your home’s coziness over an extended period of time.

Read on to learn some essential preventative maintenance tips that will help you maximize the comfort of your home.

Master Bedroom in Millennium Tower Penthouse

Preventative Home Maintenance Tips for All Seasons

Preventative Maintenance Tips for Spring

Cozy looking pool outside a white house

Photo by Brodie Vissers from Burst

Whenever spring rolls around, most people are eager to fling open their windows and clean out their closets. But before you do that, you should make sure to set aside time to give your house a preventative check-up, starting with the following areas:

  • Your pool: If you own a pool, spring means that it’s just about time to open it up again for the summer. But seasoned pool owners know this doesn’t just happen magically. That’s why you should dedicate some time each spring to treating your pool water, checking the valves, changing filters, and inspecting all your equipment.
  • Your chimney: Even if you don’t regularly use a chimney, it still needs a regular checkup. Chimneys carry dangerous gases from the fireplace, wood stove, and furnace to help keep air breathable and safe. But that doesn’t mean they’re entirely safe when stored in your chimney over long periods of time. Your chimney should be inspected at least once a year, and also cleaned periodically depending on how much you use it to prevent future complications and discomfort, so make sure to inspect it regularly.
  • Your HVAC systems: For homes with central heat and air, spring is a great time to contact your local HVAC technician and schedule a biannual checkup. Upon arrival, your technician should check the HVAC’s ductwork for any signs of damage, then clean and service the furnace, A/C compressor, and bathroom vents.
  • Your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors: The switch to daylight saving time is a good day to serve as a reminder for this task. Whatever helps you remember is good, because this is definitely an important preventative measure to take.
  • Your sump pump: Everybody knows that spring brings rain…so check your sump pump to make sure that it’s draining properly! The last thing you want to do is wait for a major snow thaw or pummeling thunderstorm to come down, then find out that your sump pump isn’t working.
Rain falling on a clean outdoor pool

Photo by Brodie Vissers from Burst

Preventative Maintenance Tips for Summer

Everyone associates summer with fun, vacations, and exciting outings with friends – but your home-based duties shouldn’t be neglected. Ensure optimal relaxation this summer by taking care of the following chores:

  • Trim around outdoor HVAC units to prevent grass and weeds from growing around them, as these could impact their efficiency and lead to expensive repairs.
  • Inspect your decks to make sure your wood isn’t starting to show its age. If it is, summer is a good time to apply a coat of sealant or stain. Also, take the time to tap down any protruding nails and sand any rough areas to ensure summertime safety.
  • Check the siding of your house, as warmer weather makes it the ideal time for pressure washing vinyl or fiber cement sidings. Keep a close eye on each piece of siding as you go through this process, keeping a particularly close lookout for soft spots, cracks, or any indicators of trouble.
  • Inspect your foundation and crawlspace by looking for cracks that need repair, and always check the crawlspace right after a heavy rain to make sure no water snuck in. This is a good practice to follow in the spring months, as well.
  • Test your lawn irrigation system by following these tips from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Exterior shot of a large Victorian style home

Preventative Maintenance Tips for Fall

Before you get caught up in the seasonal festivities of the fall, make sure to take care of these comfort-related home maintenance tasks:

  • HVAC inspection: Fall is a great time for your second HVAC inspection of the year.
  • Turn off your outside hose bibs: If you don’t have frost-free exterior faucets, make sure to shut off their water supply and drain their lines to prevent freezing.
  • Clean gutters and check the roof: Some more tasks from the spring that should be done again in the fall!
  • Check the exterior grade of your house: While doing so, make sure to fill in any depressions near the foundation, as these can trap water and snow – both issues which can lead to damp basements and foundational damage.
Two snow-covered houses in a cozy neighborhood

Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

Preventative Maintenance Tips for Winter

It’s easy to fall into winter hibernation mode when it starts getting chilly outside, but you should take care of the following actions before getting too settled in:

  • Close your foundation vents: While crawl space ventilation might be good for your home during the warmer seasons, closing the vents during the winter months can really help lower those heating costs.
  • Test your basement sump pump regularly: If you have a basement sump pump, turn the switch on and pour out a little water into the crock from time to time to make sure it still starts properly.
  • Keep an eye out for drafts: Cold air can easily slip in around doors and windows, and this will inevitably result in higher heating bills or even the need for wood window repair. A neat trick is to light a stick of incense and slowly move it around the seams of your doors and windows. When the smoke blows around instead of rising in a straight line, that means you’ve got a draft. Fortunately, many of these gaps can be fixed right up with a little caulk.


A Final Word on Moisture & Wood Rotting

When it comes to preventative home maintenance, one of the most important things to keep in mind is the constant threat of moisture building. This is especially true if you live in a home with lots of wood, as wood rotting will be a particularly large threat to keep an eye out for.

Here are a few tips for keeping moisture out or away from your home:

  • Install rain gutters to direct any water away from your home’s foundation, while also helping to prevent cracked slabs where water likes to accumulate.
  • Clear out all the leaves from your rain gutters at least twice a year to avoid excessive water backup that will inevitably rot your wood gutters and rust your metal ones.
  • Go up into your attic and check for roof leaks every several months; if found, call a professional to help out and see what all needs to be done to remedy the situation.
  • While showering, always use the bathroom fan or open a window to prevent the slow build-up of condensation that can encourage the growth of unwanted mold and mildew.
  • Inspect the washers and any outdoor faucets outside your home to ensure they’re not slowly dripping water, as this has the potential to build up and soak your home’s foundation over time.

The Sleeping Dog Heritage Home Program: Helping to Keep Your Home Beautiful

Another full view of the Boston condo's bedroom but from a different angle

By following the tips we listed above, you can have year-round peace of mind knowing you won’t run into discomforting complications down the road. However, it’s always good to have additional backup.

At Sleeping Dog Properties, we pride ourselves on our ability to always put clients first. That’s why we offer a comprehensive list of post-construction options through our Heritage Home Program to help you ensure your home will remain immaculate for years to come.

If you’re curious about our Heritage Home Program, don’t hesitate to contact us today!


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