By Lauren Topor
Buying a new home is an exciting time. Although you may be busy planning new projects, picking out paint colors and decorating your new space, there are a few essential maintenance measures you should be doing, too.
Seal up Your Windows
This simple project can save you heaps of money on your energy bill. If you’ve noticed chilly spots near windows in your home, you might have an air leak. Before you start caulking, clean the area around your windows thoroughly, and remove all old caulking with a putty knife. Apply your caulking to all the joints of the window frame with one continuous stream, avoiding starts and stops. Work deep into the cracks, and if your caulking oozes out, use a putty knife to push it back in and smooth it out.
Special tools, like a caulking gun with an automatic release, make the job easier. The experts from the Department of Energy suggest caulking around the home in low-humidity conditions and when temperatures are above 45 degrees.
Check Your Gutters
Don’t forget about your gutters. If this project is ignored, clogged gutters can cause serious damage to your home, including damage to your foundation and being torn away from your home completely. The experts from Angie's List suggest cleaning out your gutters on a quarterly basis if you have a lot of trees on your property. If you don’t have many trees, you can get away with cleaning out your gutters twice a year.
To get started you need a ladder, a scoop tool to clean out the mess, a bucket or bag to put the debris in and a hose. Do not place your ladder against the gutters, as they can’t support much weight and could potentially bend or break. Take all of the debris out of the gutter and scoop it into your bucket. When you’re satisfied with your job, flush your gutters with your hose.
Have a Toolbox Handy
Every home should be equipped with a toolbox. When issues arise or when you take on a home project, you'll need your toolbox. Fill it with the essentials, including a tape measure, level, hammer, nails and any power tools you might need. Outlets like Sears have you covered, as they offer everything from drill bits to power drill battery chargers to specialty items to accessories. Store your toolbox in an area that’s easily accessible, such as under the sink or in the coat closet.
Watch for Pests
Pests can cause serious damage to a home, which is why it’s important to know the signs of an infestation before it becomes an expensive problem. The EPA estimates that pests like termites cause billions of dollars in damage to homes each year. Take preventative measures, such as sealing up entry points, eliminating water sources and keeping food stored properly in sealed containers, to deter pests from coming inside. However, sometimes prevention isn’t enough. If you suspect a pest infestation in your home, contact a local pest control professional.
Lauren Topor is a lifestyle writer based in the Southwest who spends her days writing about a wide range of topics, including home improvement, entertainment, and food and health.