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Guest Post by James Fitzpatrick
Due to the hectic nature of modern life, home maintenance is typically something that tends to be a low priority. As any homeowner will tell you, usually after learning the hard way, this is a grave mistake. Minor issues can quickly turn into major problems. Taking some preventative measures are guaranteed to save you sanity and money in the long run. Here some simple ways to maintain your home and ensure that your home remains in proper running order.
1. Get a Home Warranty Plan
Many people are unaware of what a home warranty plan is. A home warranty plan can help to cover expenses associated with structural repairs, HVAC maintenance, and/or malfunctioning appliances. If you purchased a home within the last 10 years, chances are that it came with an HVAC system, several appliances, or a roof that no longer have a manufacturer’s warranty. If anything goes wrong, you will find yourself in a position where you must allocate money towards replacing or repairing them. By having a TotalProtect Home Warranty, you will essentially give some of the most integral aspects of your home a brand new warranty that can last for as long as you pay for coverage. A home warranty is one of the first things you should consider directly after purchasing a home.
2. Examine Roof Shingles
Like most American homes, yours probably features a roof with shingles. If so, you need to examine it to see if it sustained any damage periodically. This is especially important if you live in a region with harsh winters or a yearly hurricane season. In the event that your house has an older roof, you may want to consider the possibility of replacing it before it sustains a catastrophic leak which can lead to damage to the house’s structure or your personal effects. What you should be checking for are any shingles that are buckled, loose, missing granules, or cracked, as they need to be replaced.
3. Maintain Your Plumbing
It would behoove you to bear in mind that oils and fats from foods and general plumbing use can clog your drain. Worse yet, these build-ups can occur in less accessible parts of your plumbing system. Therefore, you should be cleaning it periodically. Hot water and drain cleaning solvents can help to clean drains before they become too clogged and require the services of a plumber. Be mindful of the solvent you use. Some are formulated for more industrial use and can be caustic enough to completely corrodeyour pipes, leaving you with a worse situation than a clogged drain.
4. Maintain Your Laundry Appliances
Many incorrectly believe maintaining laundry appliances merely entails occasionally cleaning the exterior. However, statistics from insurance companies indicate that many homes suffer from structural water damage from leaking washing machines and that a not insignificant number of house fires originate from a clothes dryer. Remember to check the pipes and hoses going into and out of washers for leaks at least once per year and replace them every three years. In dryers, ensure that lint traps are regularly cleaned. Also, never leave a dryer continuously unattended for extended drying cycles and monitor for overheating.
Commonly overlooked, gutters need to be maintained as well. This is because improper drainage will eventually lead to water being diverted to a crawl space or the basement. What you should be looking for is any sign that gutters may be loose and that water isn’t running down from the roof down the side of exterior walls into your foundation. The main purpose of gutters is to shunt rainwater away from your home. Every three months have your gutters checked for any foliage build-up.
6. Compacted Soil
Spring rains have a tendency of precipitating yard flooding. This can lead to foundation flooding and damage. By pouring compacted soil into any divots in your yard and next to the foundation of your home, you can avoid this possibility.
7. Air Conditioners
Even though air conditioners are often overlooked, they are some of the most expensive appliances to fix. But by cleaning the filter on a regular basis along with the coils, that will help to make sure that it runs efficiently and prevent most unforeseen malfunctions.
8. Evaluate Concrete Floors/Walls
If your home features concrete in its structure, whether it may be the walls of your rooms, the floor or the basement you should check for signs of cracks from time to time. In the event that you do see cracks, you can easily fix this by applying silicone caulk as well as concrete crack fillers.
Toilet leaks are arguably one of the most common reasons why people request the services of a plumber. The thing about toilet leaks that makes them so frustrating isn’t the fact that it can lead to a higher utility bill, it can cause safety hazards as well as damage to your floor. A smart, effective way to check for toilet leaks is to add food coloring to your toilet’s tank. You would come back in a few hours to check to see if there’s any on the floor.
Good home maintenance needs to be ongoing but doesn’t have to be an annoyance. Once a month, check on some area of the home that might need some attention. A well-running home is a joy!