Being a homeowner is a totally different game from being a tenant. Homeowners are responsible for their own maintenance and repairs whenever anything goes wrong, and there’s a ton of stuff to keep track of. You could practically consider homeownership a second job, and that’s two you’ll have in your house if you’re already working from home because of the pandemic.
About 42% of the U.S. workforce now works from home. There are various pros and cons to working from home, but if you’re among this number, you’ll have even more chances to look out for signs your house needs some maintenance work. With its extreme weather patterns and humid climate, homes in the south may require some unique steps in their regular maintenance than those in New York, for example. Here’s some advice on things to look out for if you’re one of the many homeowners in the Southern United States.
Maintain your HVAC system.
If you live on the southern east coast, you’ll no doubt experience some extremely hot summers with brutal humidity. The last thing you’ll want is to start experiencing an air conditioner breakdown. A lack of airflow in your home is one of the most obvious signs your AC unit is wearing out. It’s also worth regularly checking your vents to ensure it’s actually cool air blowing out of your air conditioner. Of course, the thermostat will quickly let you know if the air conditioner has stopped altogether.
As bad as an AC breakdown in the summer is, you also can’t afford a heating system breakdown in the winter. The south likes to jump from sweltering summers to bitterly cold winters, so you have to be prepared for both. Always change the air filters in your AC system as recommended, and keep vents clean and free from clutter to help longevity. Dog owners may have to do some extra cleaning due to shedding. You might even want to have some ideas for you and your pooch to go on dog-friendly winter vacations if you’re stuck out of your house for an extensive repair. Look for a place with plenty of dog parks and pet-friendly restaurants, where you and your pup can go for a hike and then relax in front of the fireplace in a cabin.
Check your roof and exteriors.
The south is home to hurricane season, so it’s important to keep your home’s exterior and surrounding areas in good shape. This includes tree trimming to prevent large trees from falling on your home. As for the house itself, you’ll want to make sure that all windows and other openings are sealed tightly to protect against wind and rain. If your siding needs cleaning, you can scrub it down yourself with mild soap and water or call a pressure washer service. Mold and mildew should be removed anywhere it grows to prevent damage to wood.
You’ll also need to inspect your roof to ensure shingles are in place and that it doesn’t sag or leak anywhere. Strong winds can wreak absolute havoc on a roof, and if it’s already in bad shape, you’re more likely to have problems inside your home.
Keep up with yard work.
Many southern homes include patios for sitting outside at the end of a hot day, and you’ll probably have a bigger yard than you would in northern areas. It’s nice to have a beautiful yard for your pup to run around in and outdoor furniture for social distancing visits from friends, but only if you keep it in good condition. If you don’t keep outdoor furniture protected from the rain and other elements, you’ll simply be left with a mess to clean off your lawn.
Similarly, if you ever let weeds start taking control of a nice, big lawn, it can be a nightmare to take it back again. Preventive measures are always the best way. Fortunately, the south has a great climate for growing all sorts of flowers and shrubberies, so you can fill your yard with natural beauty fitting your personality. It never hurts for some good curb appeal to boost your home’s value either.
As for the rest of your maintenance, it’ll be mostly the same checklist as any other home. Make sure your appliances work properly, check on your water heater, and everything else you may have done before moving south.