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Is your home in tip-top shape? At first glance, your home might seem like it’s in good condition, but when it comes time to sell your home, a home inspector could reveal a plethora of home maintenance issues – some of which could affect your ability to sell. Most problems start out small, but if left unaddressed could result in costly repairs down the road.

Fortunately, home maintenance doesn’t have to be a hassle – or expensive. In fact, it can be easy and fairly inexpensive, if done frequently and thoroughly. There are three basic areas of home maintenance to consider:

1. Check Your Home for Drafts or Leaks

Checking your home’s window and door seals for drafts or leaks is a great first step to ensuring your home is maintained and not headed for trouble. Cold air drafts can result in higher heating bills, and water leaks can lead to water damage and even mold. A small repair job, if caught early, can often be done quickly and cost-effectively. A larger problem that has been overlooked for a long period of time, however, could be expensive to repair.

Once you’ve checked for internal issues, step outside to check your roof, vents, skylights and screens for spots where cold air or water might penetrate. When you go back inside, you can also check your refrigerator and freezer doors for air leaks, as well as your faucets for drips. In the basement, check for dampness that could indicate moisture is penetrating your home’s envelope. All of these spot checks should be performed at least annually, if not seasonally.

2. Check Your Home for Expiry Dates

It’s important to make sure the safety mechanisms that are supposed to be protecting your home are in proper working order. For starters, check the expiry dates on fire extinguishers to ensure they’ll work if you need them to. Make sure the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are fully charged, or replace their batteries twice a year to be sure.

There are other items in your home that expire, even if they don’t have a “best before” date on them. Air filters need to be changed regularly, including the filters in your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, your range hood and your clothes dryer. Change these filters at regular intervals to avoid having a potential fire hazard, and to make sure they’re performing as efficiently as possible.

3. Clean Your Home

Cleaning is one of the least fun home maintenance tasks, however, a little elbow grease is proven to go a long way towards preventing damage to your home. For example, mopping and vacuuming may not seem like home maintenance, but keeping your flooring clean not only helps it last longer but removes some of the dust that’s in the air and in your HVAC system.

During your monthly cleans, consider adding a few unusual tasks to your checklist, such as cleaning the air coils on your refrigerator to improve its energy efficiency and cleaning your hot water heater to remove the sediment that would accumulate at the bottom of your tank. If you have a fireplace, have it professionally cleaned at least once each year. And never, ever forget to clean out your gutters and downspouts.

Home maintenance is an integral part of homeownership. And while your home may look like it’s in good shape, there could still be problems you don’t notice on a daily basis that need be taken care of. It’s important not to skip any of these home maintenance tasks, so when it comes time to sell, you pass your home inspection with flying colours.

How does your home maintenance schedule compare to this list? Are you a home maintenance guru or do you need to adjust your schedule to make sure your home is physically fit?

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