New Home Maintenance
Like a new car it does not take too long before regular maintenance is needed for your home. Like your car the maintenance needs of a home are partially dependent on the passage of time, but instead of mileage as a milestone a home’s maintenance is better calculated by the passage of the seasons. Also like most cars, new homes are not sold with maintenance included, it is the owner’s responsibility to regularly inspect, and properly maintain a home.
A new home will show more of the the normal characteristics of wood shrinkage and settling compared to an existing home that has stood for several years. Particularly in the first year after completion. Inside seeing some small joints open up a little in places like between backsplash and counters or at the bottom of tile showers should not be a cause for extraordinary concern, but should be re-sealed right away especially in places like a shower that are more exposed to potential water damage than most places.
Water intrusion is the most important thing to be aware of. On the exterior caulking should be regularly inspected and re-applied as needed. If there are any unusual roof penetrations that are sealed with mastic they should be regularly inspected and maintained as well. In extraordinary cases like a severe hail storm roofing should be inspected for damage. Such damage is not a failure of the product or workmanship, but still something that needs fixing to keep additional damage from water infiltration occurring. The backfill grading and landscaping around your home is particularly prone to settlement and it is very important to ensure the grading continues to slopes away from your home. In the first few years after completion keep an eye on this as well as the drainage from gutters to ensure water is directed away from your home.
Systems like the mechanical and plumbing components will take more maintenance than say the electrical system. Forced air mechanical systems need regular changing of filter(s). Other regular maintenance is dependent on the components of your individual systems and owners should make sure they are fully aware of their systems and/or arrange for regular maintenance from a qualified company, preferably the company that installed the system.
These are some of the basic maintenance items any homeowner should be aware of, and I hope the information helps you to keep your home weather-tight and looking new.