Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance.
Updated: Sep 7, 2018
Maintenance can be work, no doubt. Maintenance takes time and "time is money" but if you consider that your home is likely the largest investment most of us will ever make, the time dedicated to maintenance is a way of protecting that investment. All materials and systems in your home have an expected life span. One of the single biggest if not the biggest contributor to shortening the lifespan is moisture. If you were to examine most maintenance activities they very often are associated, directly or indirectly, in limiting the effects of excess moisture on your home. Cleaning gutters is paramount among those chores that people tend to avoid. Your gutters have one job, move water away from the home! The same water that would lead to wood rot at eaves and around foundations. Gutter "systems" including the gutters, downspouts and distribution channels help move that water away from that investment. Clogged gutters slow or stop that process. The picture above says two things, one, the gutter is clogged with organic matter that is conducive to plant growth AND it has been there long enough for weeds to have seeds fall there, germinate and grow, probably months. That means that there has been enough moisture sitting there for other things to grow including wood destroying fungus that has the potential to get into the nearby roof structure and start a process that is very expensive to repair.
Gutters are just one example of a simple maintenance item that is often overlooked or avoided that can lead to devaluing that large investment that you made and would like to be able to either sell one day or live in for a long time without having costly repair bills. Other routine maintenance items may include trimming vegetation close to the home, grading soil to ensure proper drainage, caulking around openings to limit water and pest intrusion. The list can be long but most do not need to be done every year and can be rotated. In addition, if you don't feel comfortable doing them there are people willing to to the work for you, not free of charge, of course.
Home inspectors are trained to identify maintenance related issues and to recommend the proper course of action. Typically they are involved prior to a sale by a potential buyer but there is no reason why they could not be employed on a regular basis to help identify potential problems before they get out of hand or to be utilized by a seller to identify potential issues that could be taken care of prior to the sale to speed up the process.
In the immortal words of the Nike add campaign, "Just do it!"