Just as cars require tune-ups, roads need repair, and skin should be protected from the sun to avoid wrinkles, the homes we live in can benefit from routine, low-cost maintenance that saves big money (and heartache) in the long-term.

 

But when a roof isn’t leaking and a boiler is heating as intended, how does a homeowner know what to check? To find out, we asked Best of Boston award winners and Cambridge-based residential and landscape construction professionals, S+H Construction.

 

Turns out, whether you hire a contractor or are savvy enough to routinely check your property on your own, this helpful checklist will get you started down the path to proper home maintenance:

 

Ensure the roof and gutters are tended to.

           • Check that leaves and branches are removed at least twice a year, preferably in the Fall and Spring.

           • If you have wooden gutters, the flashings should be checked and the gutters oiled once a year.

          • Roofing should be examined for signs of wear and cupping annually.

          • Penetrations through the roof, including bath and laundry vents, plumbing vents and chimneys should be examined as well as the condition of the masonry and cap at the chimney.

          • If your chimney has no spark arrestor or animal screen, be sure to check that nothing made its way up inside of it.

 

Inspect siding before damage occurs. 

          • If you have shingle siding, ensure the shingles aren’t starting to split and cup.

          • Check to see if paint is starting to peel, especially at the base.

 

Check drainage to keep excess water out of the basement and off the lawn.

          • Downspouts should be connected properly to the house and gutters and should be directed well away from the foundation wall. If they aren’t, they should empty into a perimeter drainage system that sends the water to a drywell or drainage field.

 

Make sure landscaping is looked at and well-manicured.

          • Dirt and mulch should be at least 8 inches below the bottom edge of any wood trim or siding to prevent rot and to reduce the chance of insects getting into your home. This is something that you especially have to watch out for with landscapers, as they have a tendency be very liberal with their distribution of mulch around the perimeter of homes.

          • Does the grade (ground) pitch away from you home, or towards it?Again, this is basic when it comes to keeping your basement dry.

 

This beginner’s checklist is just the tip of the iceberg! For a full maintenance plan tailored to your property, contact Boston and Cambridge’s trusted experts, S+H Construction and learn how to better care for your home.