So… you just bought your first home. It’s exciting isn’t it? Nothing beats the feeling of becoming a property owner for the first time! But, if you’re doing it right, then you’re probably a bit overwhelmed too. Maintaining a home is a daunting task – and this was probably your biggest investment to date. Regular upkeep is essential for your home’s property value and longevity. Plus, routine maintenance will save your wallet from coughing up who knows how much in expensive home repairs down the road.

But don’t worry just yet! Keep reading to discover some of the most important (and most forgotten about) home maintenance tasks.

1. Clean Your Gutters

Your gutters might not seem like the most important part of home maintenance; however, neglected gutters can cause some serious damages to your home, leading to costly and time-consuming home repairs. As gutter systems begin to clog and overflow, water can seep into your home’s foundation and create cracks and structural decay, as well as flooding and extensive water damage. Yikes! You don’t want to receive that bill. This is why gutter cleaning is recommended bi-annually – you can DIY with the right equipment, or you could call your local gutter maintenance professionals to get the job done.

2. Check Your HVAC Filters

HVAC filters prevent dust, hair and other debris from entering your heating and cooling systems and slowing them down. By regularly changing these filters, you can ensure your systems are functioning properly and adequately heating and cooling your home. Changing the filters is recommended every three months, but frequency can also depend on the size and location of your home.

3. Caulk Your Windows & Check Weather Stripping

Another way to ensure you are maximizing energy is to caulk your windows and doors. This helps to prevent air from leaking out and unnecessarily running your HVAC system. Likewise, weather stripping can also be added around windows and doors as another layer of protection. This is helpful especially if you live in an area that gets pretty cold during the winter.

4. Check Your Crawl Space for Moisture

Moisture in your crawl space is just as troublesome as it sounds. Not only can this common occurrence lead to an abundance of mold and mildew in your home but it can also be the result of a larger, more concerning problem at hand. Taking a few minutes to check this area can save you big bucks in the future.

5. Drain Your Hot Water Heater

Replacing a hot water heater can cost several thousand for most homeowners which is why it’s so important to make sure it’s functional. A simple way to do this is by draining and refilling it at least once per year. This rids the water of any minerals that have collected, preventing the heater from malfunctioning and causing water damage.

6. Regular Inspections

This seems like an obvious one, but most new homeowners aren’t doing it. From your roof to your gutter systems to your home’s foundation, every piece of your property should be inspected at least once every five years. Annual routine inspections are even better, if your budget allows for it, to prevent any issues from getting out of hand.

7. Keep an Eye on Your Downspouts

Even if your gutters are properly cleaned and free from debris, it does no good if your downspouts aren’t doing their job. The downspout should be long enough to redirect water away from your home. If it isn’t, you may need a downspout extension installed.

8. Maintain Your Roof

Just like home inspections, you should have your roof inspected by professionals every few years. However, in the interim, you should be performing your own checks to ensure your shingles aren’t damaged, any skylights or vents are sealed to avoid leakage, and the roof itself is generally free from debris. Checks should be done every few months and always after a big storm.

9. Keep Your Trees Trimmed

Another way to keep your roof effective for years to come is by keeping any foliage trimmed. If you live in a heavily wooded area, you should always keep an eye on nearby trees and trim any limbs that are getting too close to your home. You could be one snowstorm away from a giant hole in your roof!

10. Check Your Sump Pump

This is an easy one to ignore, but it could cause a massive flood in your home if forgotten about. Check your sump pump at least twice per year to make sure it’s working correctly.

Ultimately, your home is a huge investment that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Don’t waste money on expensive home repairs because of problems that could have easily been avoided. Instead, take some time for maintenance and upkeep – your wallet will thank you!