Home Maintenance and Repair
Homeownership comes with a substantial degree of responsibility—not only the responsibility of paying for this considerable investment, but that of keeping it in working order. Much like your car, your home will come with its own specific set of needs and peculiarities. The Web sites we recommend in this guide can help you keep your home running properly and teach you how to fix some of the glitches that may turn up from time to time.
Taking some time to do a little research now about your home’s maintenance needs could save you thousands of dollars in repair costs and headaches. The sites in this section can teach you about some maintenance and repairs common to most homes, and what you should be doing (and when) to keep your home functioning properly year-round.
- Remember to consider the region in which you live when you learn about your home’s maintenance requirements. If you live in a humid climate, for example, you might need to pay more attention to potential mold problems, whereas a homeowner in a particularly cold climate should be more focused on winter home maintenance.
- If you rent an apartment or a house, it’s likely that your landlord takes care of most necessary repairs. Make sure you fully understand the provisions of your lease agreement to be sure you know whether it’s okay for you to make any repairs yourself, or how you should proceed in the event something goes wrong in your rental.
- If you have a prefab home, the company that built your home may provide maintenance information on its Web site.
For a comprehensive review of home repair …
Michigan State University Extension
provides an extensive database of home improvement and maintenance articles. Find articles categorized by keywords (for example: screens, tile, toilets) and organized alphabetically. This site doesn’t come with any bells or whistles but you shouldn’t have a hard time finding what you need.
For seasonal repairs and maintenance …
State Farm Insurance
divides its home maintenance recommendations into seasonal categories. Many such sites particularly focus on winter, but this site teaches how to prepare your home for spring, summer and fall as well. Also find a section on maintenance and precautionary steps
to take in your home if you’re planning to leave for a vacation.
has a page of useful articles about home maintenance tasks to perform before winter arrives. Most are geared toward keeping your home warm, comfortable and safe from the damage that snow and ice can cause.
The American Red Cross
explains how to keep your home’s pipes from freezing in the winter. In the event your pipes freeze, you’ll learn how to locate the ice blockage and correctly thaw the pipes.
For home maintenance checklists …
The Home Inspector Locator
has a detailed and easy-to-read list of places you should check regularly in and around your home to ensure that everything is in good working order.
The Florida Home Builders Association
offers a checklist that urges you to monitor some areas of your home that other sites might not mention, including ventilation systems, your water well, sewer lines and your driveway.
For specific types of homes …
features an article from Log Home Store, Inc., about the routine maintenance you should perform on the exterior of a log home. Learn some specific problems wood homes face and how to correct them.
is owned by a home mobile home repair specialist. Visit the “Articles” section for some helpful information about maintaining your mobile home. Also access articles about troubleshooting problems
with your home’s heating and cooling system. Note that this site does contain some ill-placed ads.
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