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A home is not just a place you live, it's a place where you're able to have incredible moments all in a safe environment. Not only that, but it has typically been seen as one of the most historically solid investments one can make, so we want to make sure that we're able to protect it. Neglecting a house is the fastest way to devalue the property, regardless of if you have any intent to sell, but it can also become a money pit where you are pouring your hard earned money just to fix issues that could have easily been avoided with just a little bit of leg work up front. It doesn't even have to be complicated or take much time. Here are 5 home maintenance items for you to complete this Summer.

1. Check kids' playground equipment - This certainly won't apply to everybody, so let's just get it out of the way. We want our homes to be safe places for all of our family to live and that certainly applies to your children. Do a quick inspection of the play set or anything else that your kids might be using on a frequent basis for things like wood rot. We need these to be structurally sound to help prevent any accidents that might cause your children or their friends any harm and this could especially save you thousands in hospital bills.

2. Check your wood deck and concrete patios for deterioration - This point is very similar to the last point, but much more applicable across the board. Yes, we need these areas of the home to be structurally sound as we spend more and more time outside, but we also want to ensure they don't have any other issues. Are there nails that are sticking out? Any of the spindles or railings loose? Is the concrete broken and a potential tripping hazard? Most of these issues, if you do a little bit of leg work to ensure that you're well maintaining them, can be really quick and easy. If you let it go, then you might be looking at needing some help for the work.

3. Check the exterior siding - More work on the outside. Take a lap around the property and do a quick look over your siding. If there is a side of the house that gets a lot more sun than the rest, there could be some warping. You can look for some bubbles, rusted nails, damage to the seams or potential damage caused by insects. Most people just think of the siding as something to give the house a little bit more going on on the exterior walls, and while that does play a part, it plays a serious role in insulating the home and thus can save you on your utilities.

4. Check all window and door locks - Working our way inside, this one should be an absolute no brainer. You shouldn't need it explained to you that the locks on your doors and windows can help prevent break-ins. As such, you definitely want to test out the locks on every point of entry. If the locks won't lock, you'll probably need to get them replaced, or at least do some minor adjustments. If they won't unlock, try to figure out what the root cause of the issue is. It isn't uncommon to see windows painted shut, but there could be some settling or other issues that might prevent you from being able to open some of these locks and areas.

5. Check water hoses on clothes washer, refrigerator, icemaker and dishwasher for cracks and bubbles - I like to tell people that I like rainy weather, just so long as I'm inside. I've been pressed on the issue and asked "why don't you like being in the rain if you like being in the shower?" and there is really one major difference: consent. Being unconsensually wet sucks. Make sure that you aren't having any leaks coming from anywhere that uses water: the fridge, washer, dishwasher, sinks, etc. These leaks, especially if prolonged, can cause some real issues to your floor and could cost you a ton of money.

There is definitely more that you can do each and every season to help prevent damage to your home and continue keeping your investment safe. Hopefully, you're able to see how this list can be used in your home to help do just that.

Reno Reed, Realtor

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