You have made the investment of your life in purchasing your dream custom home. It needs to be maintained just like any other investment, so you can enjoy maximum comfort for years to come. For many people, this is the first time in their lives they have owned a home! The key to making your dream home work for you starts with maintaining it properly. Learn how to maintain your new custom home with tips from our experts.

Maintenance For The Hot Months

You and your home made it through the cold season of winter. Now that the weather is warming up, it's time to start thinking about home maintenance. With home ownership, you will see there is never a time when preventative maintenance is not calling at your door. But if you continue to take care of preventative home maintenance, your home will last for many years to come.

The summer can be just as hard on your home and its inhabitants because of the heat, humidity, increased bug activity, and more sun exposure with no shade to protect windows from UV rays. Let us help you prepare your home for summer by following these maintenance tips!

Inspect the stability of your wood decks.

Does your new home include a wood deck? A deck is a wonderful gathering space and serves as a type of outdoor living room for many homeowners. An important maintenance tip is to inspect the stability of your wood decks for rot, weakness, or deterioration. Before you have family and friends over for those summer BBQs, you will want to be sure your wood decks are stable.

The first thing that people will often do if they notice a problem with their wooden decks is adding more screws or nails so that everything can be held together tightly. While this will temporarily put a band-aid on the problem, it is not a good long-term fix. Instead, we recommend replacing old boards and planks where necessary to combat the natural wear and tear from the outdoor elements.

While these are helpful ideas to fix what may need repair, we also suggest preventative maintenance measures. These measures include ensuring your wood decks are treated with a sealant in the form of paint or stain. The two culprits are the sun and the rain. Sealing the wood on your deck helps to keep them moist and protected from the sun and to repel the rain and snow from penetrating the wood. It's best to do this at least once every year to two years.

Test all of your smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.

To keep your home and family safe, it's essential to test all of the smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on a regular basis. One of the most tragic losses a family can experience is losing their home to a fire that was preventable. In the United States alone, deaths from fire occur once every 84 minutes, and the majority of these fires are caused by cooking-related accidents. It's important that everyone in your household is taught how to use a fire extinguisher, even children. This ensures anyone that accidentally starts or could get trapped in a fire is prepared with safety procedures.

We recommend setting up a schedule and routine for your fire extinguisher inspections. For example, you could try testing the unit monthly from May through October (when fires are most likely), and quarterly during the rest of the year. Just remember that these schedules should be tailored to fit your family's needs as well!

Smoke detectors need to be tested twice per year. A good rule of thumb is to replace batteries when you change your clocks during a time change season. By following this simple advice, you can keep one major risk away from your home - and stay safe with minimal effort!

Blow out your sprinkler systems.

After a summer and fall of lots of sprinkler use, those pipes need to get prepared for winter before it hits. One way you can make sure your sprinklers last a lot longer is simply by giving them an annual bath, which we call "blowing" or "cleaning."

What happens during a sprinkler system blow out? A blow out clears debris and clogs from your sprinkler system. If you let this go too long, it can damage the pipes or cause leaks in faucets and valves. A good rule of thumb is to give a quick inspection in spring before summer use and again in fall before winter hits. That way you'll know what needs to be fixed during warmer months when it's easier to complete work on plumbing projects like these!

How do I blow out my sprinklers?

-The system is first “blown out” using an industrial grade air compressor.

-A sprinkler system is made up of several zones attached to the main valve with air cylinders and air compressors. Each zone is “blown out” separately by hooking up the air compressor to the main valve.

-After that, the air is slowly released through the pipes of each zone and the water is expelled until it becomes completely dry. The ability to effectively remove water from your pipes must be assured by professionals who understand the proper PSI (pounds per square inch) your pipes can handle.

-The system is then examined to make sure any pipelines, valves and parts that might need replacing are ready to be dealt with in time for warm weather.

This process will ensure that your sprinkler system will maintain its integrity and keep the system running smoothly for many years.

Maintenance For The Cold Months

The adage goes, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." No one wants to encounter a Midwest cold streak unprepared. Let's take a look at some preventative maintenance steps you can employ yearly to make sure your home is ready for the winter season.

Re-caulking around your doors to keep the cold air out.

What is caulking? Caulking is a process that involves sticking silicone or latex sealant tightly into the seams of your doors, windows, and around any other penetrations through which air could be drawn. It's important to re-caulk every fall before winter sets in because as temperatures drop it becomes much easier for cold air to seep inside where you want it to stay warm. The additional layer of sealant will reduce drafts and cracks, which in turn helps to prevent heat from escaping.

Certain rooms like bathrooms and kitchens where heat generation may not be as strong can oftentimes be overlooked. If the point is to keep the warm air in and the cold air out, make every effort to find those spots and get them sealed! Do an inspection around your home. If there are drafts coming from anywhere else in your home, caulk those areas too!

Put a waterproof cover on top of your AC unit.

As colder weather approaches, you may want to consider providing protection for your AC unit from the harsh winter elements to ensure when next summer rolls around, you won’t experience any issues.

Adding a breathable waterproof cover on your AC unit will help keep dirt and debris from entering into the vents of your system. It will also provide you with peace of mind and prevent water from entering and freezing on any electrical components, which can lead to damage in the future.

Having your AC unit regularly inspected by a certified HVAC technician is the best way to ensure your family will be comfortable during warm summer months.

Inspect your roof after the winter storms.

Have a professional inspect your roof every year for signs of wear or damage so you know what needs attention before it becomes more serious. If your area experienced a particularly rough winter storm, routinely checking up on the exterior of your home that gets the most exposure is a must.

Snow-damaged roofs can lead to expensive repairs or, worse yet, leaky roofs which can cause damage within the home. If any shingles need replacing, do so before the next snowfall begins again! You'll thank yourself later.

And don't forget the gutters too! When they get clogged with leaves it can lead to major damage down the road (in more ways than one). Check them twice yearly or at least once in spring and fall as needed.

Check for termites regularly.

Termites could be in the walls of your home without you even knowing it. They are the uninvited guests that we are eager to evict.

Termites are attracted to moist, cool wood. They can also be found in any soil close by your home where they have the opportunity to build a mud tunnel and create their own access point. The most common way that termites enter homes is through untreated wooden decks or porches near ground level. Termite droppings on these areas may indicate an infestation nearby.

To avoid this problem, use pressure treated lumber for all decks and porch supports - avoiding contact between decking boards with soil will deter them from crossing over into your home. Your best defense against invading termites is keeping everything dry inside of your house as well as around it! A quality termite inspector will not only be able to handle eliminating termites that may already exist, but also be able to give you tips on preventing a future infestation.

Rest assured when you build with Wausau Homes.

When you are building your custom home, it's easy to get overwhelmed with the list of things that need to be done. These maintenance tips are meant to protect your greatest investment, the people who live in your home. Wausau Homes builds homes that are built to last. We offer the best quality in construction and materials, so you can rest assured knowing your new home will be taken care of for years to come.

You deserve a quality house that will last for generations, that has been carefully crafted by professionals who are experts at what they do – which means no mistakes, no surprises, and no regrets later on down the line! Our homes are designed with longevity in mind so that even after 10-20 years have passed, there won't be any major issues requiring costly repairs or replacements! And as always - we're here for you every step of the way throughout construction and beyond!

When you build your custom home with Wausau Homes, you can rest assured because you are partnering with a company that has built homes for more than 200,000 satisfied families over the past 60 years. Contact your local Wausau Homes builder today!

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