It's easy to forget about maintaining your home - but a few simple, regular checks could save a world of pain further down the line. Here are some of my top tips.

Once you have found your home to rent or buy and moved in, you've surely earned the right to put your feet up for a while. But don't get too comfortable as you'll need to make regular checks and maintain your home as the seasons roll by. 

The good news is, these checks are not difficult or costly. However if you don't carry them out regularly, you could end up paying the price.

Here are my basic top tips to maintaining your home:

1. Keep the windows clean

This is a good way to make sure your wooden window frames (if you have wooden ones) don’t start to rot. If you’re buying then get the name of the vendor’s window cleaner, or you can find one through your local agent, online or displayed in the ads of the newsagent or local shop.

2. Service the boiler

Major boiler repairs or replacing an ignored boiler can be costly, so get yours serviced annually. Most gas suppliers run service schemes where they come every year to check yours out.

3. Install smoke alarms

They don’t cost a great deal and are priceless if they save a life. Whether you are renting or buying, get them tested and replaced it they look worse for wear. 

4. Check out areas of your home you don’t use on a daily basis

Is there any damp or mildew in the loft, basement or anywhere else? If so, get it sorted pronto before it turns into something nasty.

5. Regularly walk around the outside of your house 

Check for leaks, stains on the walls, broken guttering or loose tiles. It’s wise to do this before winter sets in, as strong winds can dislodge tiles.

6. Get up on a ladder

Make sure fallen leaves haven’t blocked the gutters, leading to water pouring down the outside walls and producing damp patches. While you’re up there, remove heavy moss from the roof, replace split tiles and keep a watchful eye on pointing (mortar that has been placed between bricks to hold them together) and paint the exterior to keep the damp out.

7. Inspect painted metalwork

Do this every couple of years and renew it when it is in danger of starting to crack and peel.

8. Tackle frost damage... well as slippery algae growth on stone and brick steps and garden paths

9. Fix cracked pipes and drains

These cause damp problems and look unsightly hanging off your home, or next to it.

Some information contained herein may have changed since it was first published. Zoopla strongly advises you to seek current legal and/or financial advise from a qualified professional.

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