Roughly 32 million Americans in 2018 moved into new homes. Owning a new home is exciting and you may have tons of ideas on how you want it to look. Being a homeowner also means there are many responsibilities you are now in charge of. If you are a first-time homeowner, there are things you need to know about how to maintain the health of your home. Here are some household tips to help you care for your investment.

Prevent Water Damage

Water damage not only wrecks your home, but it can affect your family’s health with sickness. It can also be expensive. In 2018, the plumbing industry generated over $107 billion in revenue. To prevent water damage, there are a few things you should inspect on a regular basis to make sure they are working properly. Make sure your sump pump is working correctly and has a battery backup to protect against flooding.

Inspect your landscaping grading to ensure water is flowing away from the home. If the ground is level, standing water can develop when it rains which can seep into cracks in your foundation and walls. Make sure there are no blockages in gutters and downspouts. Check the seals in sinks, toilets, showers, and bathtubs for leaks. Plumbing leaks not only cause water damage, but they also can waste up to 90 gallons of water each day.

Seal Windows and Doors

Heavy storms can cause water to seep into your home and cause damage. To prevent this from happening, check the seals around your windows and doors. Repair any cracks with caulking. Adding caulking and insulation will also make your home 30% more energy efficient and save you money. While you’re sealing doors and windows, look for gaps and cracks along your home’s exterior and fill in any gaps to prevent air leaks and rodents entering your home.

Schedule Pest Control Services

Rodents can cause extensive damage to your home and your family’s health. Insect droppings can cause respiratory illnesses such as the flu and termites can eat away at your walls and furniture. Open trash cans outdoors can be an invitation for raccoons and other uninvited guests. These damages can be expensive to repair. Schedule a consultation with pest control services to get recommendations and treatment to protect your home from pests.

Take Care of Your Roof

The roof over your head is critical to protect your family from the elements. Keeping it in good repair is essential to avoid expensive repairs and to protect the health of her family. You should have your roof professionally inspected at least once a year for damaged shingles and leaks. If you are handy with home repairs, you can fix any damages yourself. However, you may want to consider hiring a professional to avoid potential injury from falling or voiding the warranty on roofing materials. Upgrading your roof can make your home more energy-efficient and save you money on your monthly utility bills.

Test Your Home

Radon and lead are invisible dangers towards the health of your home and family. These hazards can cause lung cancer, brain damage, and other serious medical issues. You can have your home professionally tested or buy kits from your local hardware store. Protect your home from potential fires by installing smoke detectors throughout your home.

Carbon monoxide from heat and fuel-burning appliances can become deadly if the gas reaches concentrated levels. Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector installed on every level of your home. Have your chimney and vents inspected and cleaned to prevent carbon monoxide buildup.

Maintain Your HVAC System

Your HVAC system can affect the quality of air inside your home and the health of your family. It should be professionally inspected and cleaned by an air conditioning service annually. Clear any vegetation or debris that may be surrounding your outdoor unit. Change the air filters at least once every three months. Individuals who have pets or allergies may want to consider changing the filters more often. Invest in air purifiers and greenery and open your windows to filter your home’s air.

Upgrade or Repair Old Electrical Systems

As a first-time homeowner, you have probably already thought about renovating your home to make it uniquely yours. Perhaps you want to install some smart technology features or modernize your kitchen. Before doing those things, you may want to ensure that your home is ready for any additional power usage. Have a licensed electrician inspect your electrical system to identify any potential issues and make any necessary repairs. You may want to consider upgrading your electrical system to prevent future problems.

To help maintain your current electrical system, avoid overloading the circuitry with the use of too many plugged-in items at once. Invest in surge protectors to prevent electrical fires. Check power cords for any cracks or fraying and keep electrical outlets clear to prevent overheating. Keep your exhaust fans clear. This can help you avoid any expensive electrical repairs and keep your family safe.

Spruce Up Landscaping

Taking care of the exterior surroundings of your home can help prevent it from damage and boost your property value. Clear any debris that may be attractive to rodents and cut down any dead trees. Trim branches so they don’t scrape your roof during storms or break windows from snapping. Inspect your driveway and sidewalks for cracks and repair and reseal before winter arrives. Smooth out any areas in your yard that could be a tripping hazard to others.

As a first-time homeowner, taking care of your investment can seem overwhelming. You may have relied on a landlord before you bought your home and are inexperienced with home repairs. There are many resources available to help you protect your investment. Using these tips will help you maintain all the important aspects so you can have peace of mind. Enjoy years of good health and happiness by taking care of your home today.