May Home Maintenance Tips

May 1, 2018

With April’s showers behind us and May’s flowers blooming, this month is traditionally the time for landscaping, planting and yard care.  For our May home maintenance checklist, we asked two Long & Foster agents for their recommendations on keeping your home in good shape. Their suggestions included tips that went beyond the usual yard care tasks and included helpful items that may not have been on your spring to-do list.

Long & Foster Realtor and Team Leader, Stephanie Maric, of The Legal Team in the Columbia, Maryland office recommends doing at least one home improvement project per year, to prevent being overwhelmed when selling your home.  Spring is a great time to take on your yearly home improvement projects even if they’re simple tasks like trimming bushes and trees before they get too overgrown.

Maric offered some additional recommendations to do this month to keep your home in top shape.

  • Check smoke detectors. Replace smoke detectors when they are 10 years old. Even if smoke detectors are functioning properly, home inspectors recommend replacing them if they are 10 years old.  “New smoke detectors are on the market that include a 10-year sealed battery,” said Maric. “The batteries are made to last the lifespan of the unit, so homeowners no longer need to worry about faulty batteries.”
  • Chimney Sweep. Clean the chimney on a yearly basis to inhibit debris from collecting and becoming a fire hazard of its own.
  • Termite Inspection. Prevent damage caused by wood destroying insects by having an inspection done each spring. “A termite inspection is usually only done when the home is purchased, but re-inspections should also be scheduled,” stated Maric. “Avoid surprises and protect your house by having an inspection done while you occupy the home, rather than finding out you have a problem when you sell.”

David Cooke, an associate broker in Long & Foster’s Old Ivy sales office in Charlottesville, Virginia explained that in his area, as well as other rural areas, there are homes with wells and septic systems.  He offers advice to anyone with a septic system or well to maintain them with the following steps.

  • Septic System Inspection. Have the system’s drain lines and distribution boxes inspected in the spring. “It’s easier to access the system when the ground is not frozen,” said Cooke. “Buyers are choosing to have the septic system checked, so it’s a good idea to have a recent inspection certificate available to show them.”
  • Well Water Testing. Ensure your well water is safe to drink by having it tested.  Cooke explained that in Virginia, a seller is required to have well water tested.  If the water does not meet state requirements, the transaction can’t close until the proper treatment is done. “Have your well water tested every year or two,” added Cooke.  “Even if you’re not going to sell, it’s good to know that your water meets state requirements.”

 If you’re planning to sell your home during this season, you’ll want to make sure it’s ready. Talk to your real estate agent about any other suggestions or maintenance tips they may have that will help to make your home an attractive and a special place to be acquired.