Essential Home Maintenance Tips For A Homeowner
Buying a home is one of the most significant purchases one will ever make in a lifetime. Most will need to take out a mortgage loan from a bank just to own a home. The amount of hard work and sacrifice that goes into buying a home should not be taken lightly.
The moment you signed the contract to buy a home, you committed to not only to pay for that home but to take care of it as well. Many new homeowners sometimes overlook the fact that one needs to perform basic maintenance tasks in their new home.
If your home is brand new, sure, you may be able to get away with not doing necessary maintenance for a few months. In the long run, though, that will end up costing you more. This is where the old adage has never been truer “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Granted that the thought of doing various maintenance tasks on your home could be a little overwhelming for some homeowners.
To keep you right on track, create a checklist to make sure you get these tasks done when needed. Here is a list of the home maintenance tasks that a homeowner needs to keep on top of.
Scan for leaks
Check your bathroom fixtures for any leaks. Same goes for your kitchen, garage or backyard faucets. Double check to make sure you are not throwing money away by missing a runaway leak. A drop of water from a leaky faucet can end up costing you hundreds per year.
Did you know that a leaking toilet can waste up to 757 liters of water every day?
Think a couple of drops of water per minute isn’t a big deal? Check this drip calculator to find out how much a leak could cost you.
In case you do have a leak somewhere it is best to immediately fix the faucet, shower head or leaky toilet that is causing the problem. Luckily fixing a leak is usually a simple fix that won’t require hiring a professional.
The job can be done in minutes!
Clean the garbage disposal
You probably just spray some water directly into the disposal thinking that is enough to keep it clean. There are several ways of doing this but here are the best ones.
Pour a cup of baking soda into the disposal, then follow it up with a cup of white vinegar. Cover the disposal with a drain stopper and wait about fifteen minutes. After that; pour hot water down the garbage disposal drain to flush away any debris.
The best way to clean the garbage disposal blades is first to make some ice using white vinegar.
Pour some vinegar in an ice tray and put it in your freezer, let it freeze solid. Then pop them out into the garbage disposal sink. Make sure you get all the vinegar ice cubes inside the disposal then run the garbage disposal.
The blades will make short work of the ice cubes, and at the same time the ice cubes will sterilize and sharpen the blades. Pour a cup of bleach down the disposal drain for good measure as well.
Degrease your range hood filter
Do you remember when the last time you cleaned your range hood filter was? If you do not recall then don’t worry, this is quite easy to do.
Make sure to turn off the range hood entirely before removing the filter.
Grab the stainless steel filter at the center of the range hood and pull down. Then slide the filter out, use oven cleaner or a degreaser to clean the filter. Lay a tarp or large plastic bag outside or in the garage and spray the filter with the degreaser or oven cleaner.
Let is set for however long the directions on the label indicates.
Take the filter to the utility sink or kitchen sink and submerge in warm soapy water. Use a scrub brush and gently scrub the grease away. The oven cleaner or degreaser should have loosened the oil, so scrubbing will not be too difficult.
Gardening and growing trees, bushes, flowers in your lawn or backyard is a wonderful hobby. It is a fantastic way to enhance the beauty of your property. However, it is vital to keep a clearance of about twelve or eighteen inches from the eve of your home.
This rule applies to any and all parts of the outside of your home. The walls, roofing, gutters, windows and yes even the air conditioning units positioned outside your home. Keeping a clearance will prevent the foliage from destroying any part of your home.
Sometimes an overgrown tree covering your roof will prevent the sun from drying the rainwater in your gutter which would then cause it to rust. A worse case scenario is that the overgrown tree is toppled by a powerful thunderstorm and destroys part of your roof.
Ignoring a hazardous tree is a massive mistake in tree care, so be sure to contact a tree surgeon or arborist to assess your tree and advise on the best way to make it safe.
Caulking for your home
This fantastic tool is responsible for a number of construction marvels in your home. In case you bought a house which is not brand new, make sure to check the caulking in the bathroom, tiles, and windows.
If the caulking in your bathroom is about worn out or is not airtight anymore, then water could get into the foundation of your bathroom and cause mold. If you see that the caulking between your bathtub and bathroom walls is peeling away, then you need to reapply it.
To do that, it is essential that you remove the old caulking first.
Dry the bathroom then use a putty knife to remove the old caulking from the corners of the bathtub and tiles if needed. Make sure to use only silicone or silicone acrylic caulking as they are water resistant so ideal for use in bathrooms.
When you feel a draft in your room, but your window is closed, don’t look to replace the window just yet. Usually, the caulking around the window frame has worn out, and all you need to do is apply either polyurethane or acrylic latex caulking to the outside of your window frame.
These types of caulking are made to be painted over, so you can splash a coat of paint on top of it once it dries. Taking the short time to apply caulking in these areas will save you some money down the line.
Drain the water heater
This particular task should only be done once a year. Due to the continued use of your water heater, sediment and mineral deposits do accumulate in your water heater tank.
The extra materials in your water heater tank end up making your water heater work overtime, thereby costing you more on your electric or gas bill. It is surprisingly easy to drain your water tank and flush away all the debris and buildup.
Clear the rain gutters
Some might not think that cleaning out the rain gutters is essential maintenance. They couldn’t be more wrong. A clogged rain gutter would mean that rainwater would not flow through your gutter onto the drain spout and safely deposited to the ground a few feet from your home.
If rainwater is not disposed of properly by having a clear rain gutter, then the water will overflow from the gutter directly to the exterior walls of your home. Over time allowing the extra moisture along the external walls will cause moisture to seep through to the foundation.
Excess moisture could lead to many different problems, like mold, wood rot, or even cracks in your foundation. That would end with you having to pay for expensive repairs which you could have easily avoided if only you cleared, cleaned and repaired your rain gutters.
Owning your own home is just the first step in becoming a homeowner. Proper care and maintenance of your humble abode is a process that you will need to practice and get used to doing. Doing these tasks will ensure that you and your family will have a safe, beautiful home for years to come.