Preventive or preventative maintenance is routine maintenance which is designed to prevent the need for more costly repairs. By regularly engaging in activities which contribute to the upkeep of a home, a homeowner may be able to sidestep serious problems which arise as a result of neglect, and more expensive maintenance can be delayed. Many people regard preventive maintenance as a critical part of caring for a home, and this practice is generally viewed as cost effective, sound, and highly advisable for homeowners. Evidence of regular maintenance can also increase the resale value of a home, by assuring buyers that the home was well cared-for.
Any number of things can fall under preventive maintenance. On the outside of the home, things like cleaning the gutters, oiling decks, re-painting a home and trim regularly, clearing brush and plants away from the side of the home, and checking the condition of drains and vents could all be considered preventive care. Each of these activities is designed to reduce the risk of damage to a home, keeping the home in good condition.
On the inside of a home, wrapping pipes, steam cleaning carpets, replacing weather stripping, stripping and re-waxing floors, bleeding the heaters, blowing off boiler pressure, and similar activities are all a part of preventive maintenance. While none of these things are strictly necessary, performing them prolongs the life of the house and its components, helps the house run more efficiently, and reduces the risk of a dangerous problem or accident, such as a boiler explosion.
Many people have a preventive maintenance schedule, which breaks up various tasks over the course of the year. By setting up a schedule, people ensure that each task is performed on a regular basis, and they also ensure that they are never overloaded with routine maintenance activities. Spring and fall tend to be prime times for preventive maintenance, as people may already be doing things to prepare the house for the change of seasons. It is possible to find preventive maintenance guides which include generic calendars in some home supply stores.
In addition to being valuable in the case of homes and other structures, preventive maintenance also extends the life of a car, and makes caring for a garden easier. In the case of a car, for example, regular oil changes, alignments, and tuneups prevent the emergence of costly car problems. Gardens benefit from regular pruning, mulching, fertilizing, and other routine tasks which promote the healthy and even growth of plants.