New homes are massive investments to make, so homeowners should get the most out of their biggest purchase by making the home last as long as possible. Save money and trouble by setting aside time this summer to conduct a few checkups, repairs and adjustments that will keep the house in top shape for the changing weather.

1. Check the Roof

Thankfully, the roof can be inspected from a ladder or from the ground. Examining it once a year will prevent damage and expensive repairs. Grab a pair of binoculars and take a good look at the shingles, flashing, chimney, or the spaces between the sections of the roof. If anything looks different or something seems missing, have it inspected by a professional or repaired as needed. Bonus points for taking a picture during each yearly inspection and comparing the difference.

2. Clean Gutters

The gutters have likely built up a generous layer of grime, leaves or other things that can clog them and damage the home’s siding and foundation. Twice a year, take some time to clean out the gutters or hire a professional to do it. Better yet, when the gutters are dry and have very little filth, grab some gloves and sweep it out before the forecasted storm arrives.

For personal safety, do not try to clean the gutters from the roof. Always use a ladder and practice ladder safety. Do not lean farther than it is safe to, and make sure the ladder has stable footing.

3. Wash or Paint Siding

Depending on the shape the siding is in, it may need to be washed or repainted. Washing the siding once a year extends its life by preventing mildew from growing on it and banishes the insects living in it. This can be done using a bucket of warm, soapy water and long-handled scrub brush, or it can be done professionally.

If the paint on the siding is chipping, damp, rotting, chalky, moldy or infested with termites, then it is time to repaint the siding. Thankfully, this only needs to be done every few years, but if left aside for too long, the siding will be damaged and need replacing.

4. Clean and Repair Decks

Decks and fences are something that can easily be forgotten, especially if they do not see much use. Over the changing seasons and years, they can lose their stain or become a potential hazard through decay. Make sure to treat fences and decks every four to six years by sanding, cleaning and restaining them. Additionally, look for any loose boards or planks that have rotted or become unhinged and repair them or have a professional inspect them.

5. Check Walks and Driveways

Every couple of years, cracks can form in the sidewalks and driveway. Plants grow under and up to the concrete and split the sidewalk and driveway. This can shorten the life of the pavement by loosening it. To prevent damage, power wash and clean the cracks, then apply concrete crack filler or silicone caulking.

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