Buying a home is always considered a smart investment. A home is considered as a symbol of prosperity and capability amongst most of the Kenyan generation. Home yearly maintenance is not necessarily for individuals who own homes alone, it also applies to those who are renting homes and apartments as well.
We have tried to break down eight of the most important tasks that we feel every individual should carry out on a yearly basis:
Check the exterior drainage
This does not necessarily have to mean that it should be done on a yearly basis, whenever there has been a heavy rain, it is important to always check the areas outside your house and find ways of removing puddles created due to this. Puddles can be very dangerous especially to family with kids as this are prime breeding areas for mosquitos which causes malaria. Malaria remains a major cause of mortality and morbidity in Kenya as more than 70 percent of the population being. Outside exterior cleaning also entails cleaning the gutter as stray leaves can lead to clogging.
Salt your water softener
New homes nowadays come with the installation of a fancy water heater, cleaning the system minimises the costs taken in terms of constantly replacing the system due to minerals building up and cutting out proper supply. Most homes have ‘hard’ water as their main water usage. Hard water contains high levels of calcium and magnesium which causes lime scale build up due to neglect. The different types of salt you can use:
Rock salt (coarse salt) this is the cheapest salt but contains more impurities, which decreases efficiency and dirties your tank and requires frequent cleaning.
Solar salt is much purer than rock salt and of average price.
Evaporated salt is the highest-quality option, but also the most expensive.
Update your disaster kit
“All homes need a disaster kit, it does not mean that if you live in areas where there are minimal natural calamities you do not need to stock up. Disasters happen anywhere and at all times; i.e. during blackouts for examples. Look through your kit annually and check if your supplies are not expired and plan to change them accordingly,” States Jumia House Sales Director, Kilonzo Kivuitu.
The current disaster profile in Kenya is dominated by droughts, fire, floods, terrorism, technological accidents which leads to mass distractions as well as disruption of livelihoods and many humans being injured.
Check for termites
Out of sight, out of mind is what most home owners tend to do when I comes to the issue of looking at the state of their homes in terms of this wood eating insects. An annual termite inspection will set you back approximately Kshs 10,000 which will end up saving you thousands of shillings. In cases of pre-construction prevention of termites, it will costs not less than Sh90,000 to do a pre-construction treatment but it costs more than Sh250,000 when doing a post-construction treatment.
Save 1% of the home’s value
Did you know that a home costs 1% of its value in maintenance fees each year? Let’s say for example if you bought a home worth Kshs 10,000,000, expect to pay around 100,000 shillings in order to keep it in tip top condition yearly.
It’s important to note that the 1% rule only serves as an estimate because at time external factors can cause homeownership to be more expensive than expected. Plus taking the time to annually go through your bank accounts regardless of the fact that you are regularly saving throughout the year, can help keep you out of hot water.
Take a photo
We always take pride in documenting all the small and big victories alike for our children’s milestones, why not do the same for our houses? It will surprise you to see how far along your home will come through the years. Continually looking at the growth of your house will give you the confidence in your house.
Know your humidity
Very high levels of humidity can cause a growth in mites increase, growth of mildew and as well as flourishing of black mould. If left unconstrained after a long period, the increase can end up causing structural damage such as: cracking wood, chipping wood, and at times permanently damaging electronics. The average humidity temperature should fall under 30-50%. It’s important to note that most buildings are more structurally sound and are generally able to preserve proper heat and moisture levels. Very high levels of humidity also are major influencers of several respiratory illnesses, this is because 90% of individuals spend most of their time indoors. Annual check in of this is therefore important in order to avoid unnecessary illnesses and decrease in property value over the years.
Create a donation pile
Over the years, they will be a list of appliances that you will not be using anymore, be it books, clothes, electrical appliances, toys et. cetra, toss or donate what you have not used during the year.