Practical Maintenance Tips For Protecting Your Home

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Statistics indicate that 45% of Americans delay taking care of house repairs. However, regular maintenance is essential for keeping your home in top shape. Regularly inspecting your house's plumbing, electrical, heating, and air conditioning systems will help you avoid malfunctions and excessive costs. Fortunately, you can take care of your home with the right steps, including the following. 

  1. Clean your gutters

The gutters protect your home’s foundation, siding, and roof by regulating the flow of rainwater onto the structure. That said, clogged gutters can cause a leaky roof or moisture retention in your home, making it essential to clean yours. Depending on how many trees hang over your property, you should clean them at least twice a year and possibly more often. While at it, you can also check for damage as well. You also want to take extra precautions when cleaning your gutters to prevent accidents. Better yet, consider hiring professionals to do the job. 

  1. Clean your window wells

Window wells are excellent for illuminating and ventilating your basement. They also prevent soil from getting near your window fittings. However, they can destroy your basement if not cleaned regularly. After a heavy downpour, the drainage pipe can become clogged with leaves and other debris. And this can cause your basement window to experience tremendous water pressure. Moreover, the water pressure might smash the glass and dump liters of water inside. So, removing obstructions from the pipe with a shorthanded shovel, a snake, or just your hands is essential.

  1. Prune shrubs and trees 

In addition to providing homes for birds and other tiny animals, shrubs and trees can help keep your home cool in the summer. However, they can attract pests and cause water damage if they’re too close to your property. Trees that grow over your roof can also entice squirrels and other animals to enter your attic. Therefore, trees and shrubs should be pruned back from your home. You can also uproot those close to your outdoor air conditioning equipment to prevent them from damaging your equipment.

  1. Inspect your roof 

The roof is an important component of your house, although it’s sometimes undervalued. It protects us from debris and aids in keeping out the weather. However, roof damage can happen over time, especially when it’s not routinely inspected. This makes it crucial to look for signs, especially on metal roofing. The next best alternative is to contact a roofing specialist and ask for help if you don't have the time or knowledge to fix your roof.

  1. Fix your doors

Doors are an essential part of your house’s structure. Moreover, they protect residents from bad weather and potential invaders while offering privacy. You must identify the underlying cause when your doors can’t close tightly. Doors may not close for various reasons, such as worn-out door rollers, broken door tracks, weak hinges, and problems with the door frame, so keep this in mind. Make sure to fix doors that do not close well. You can hire a professional if you lack expertise in door fixing, so feel free to consider this.

  1. Guard your home against termites and other pests

Without the necessary safeguards, termites offer a significant risk to wooden homes. And you risk suffering injuries from a broken wooden structure. Moreover, your property’s structure can be compromised, causing you to spend lots of money to restore it. Since termites cannot survive in sunlight, your basement is the most likely location to have them. Therefore, you’ll find it helpful to fill up any openings where they could enter with foam spray before checking the wood for damage with a flashlight and a tool. You can also test the wood for weaknesses with the tool. You might already have a problem that requires professional help if the wood is flaking or decaying, so taking the necessary steps to fix the problem is essential.

Regular inspections of your home's interior and exterior are necessary to check for other pest activities. Pay attention to any cracks near the foundation of your house where animals can get in or any roofing problems where you might have some unexpected guests. Once a year, you can also request the services of a qualified pest inspector. The earlier and more quickly you take care of any animal or pest problems in your home, the better.

  1. Keep the coils in your refrigerator clean

The coils behind your refrigerator collect dust and debris over time, causing it to become either unsafe or inefficient. Your refrigerator's coils are what it utilizes to cool down. Therefore, they can overheat so if they are insulated with filth. Fortunately, cleaning your fridge’s coils isn’t a complicated task. A vacuum cleaner is the most effective tool for the job. To get started, find the refrigerators’ coils, pull them away from the wall, and unplug them. At the rear of the refrigerator, they should be covered by a metal plate. Utilize the brush attachment on your vacuum and gently scrub the dirt away. Gently wipe them clean with a towel to remove any debris the vacuum missed.

  1. Clean your washing machine 

If you have a front-loading washer, cleaning it regularly is expedient. It might still be a good idea even if you have a top-loading machine. Since the door seal of front-loading washers is constantly in contact with water during the wash cycle, water tends to collect there. Mold and mildew might develop on the seal if you don't frequently clean it. And it can be challenging to get rid of it once it's developed, so keep this in mind. Cleaning your washing machine frequently can increase efficiency and reduce the risk of getting damaged.

  1. Change HVAC filters frequently

Depending on how frequently you use your system, you should change the filters in your heating and cooling systems once or twice a year. You might want to change them every two weeks if you run your furnace constantly in the winter or your air conditioner all summer, so keep this in mind. You can also practice replacing your filters each time you receive a gas or electricity bill. Your HVAC system circulates air more easily when the filters are clean, which improves system efficiency. They are incredibly affordable for keeping your house as energy-efficient as possible, so feel free to consider this.

  1. Replace your carbon monoxide and smoke detector batteries

It’s important to replace the batteries in each detector twice a year. This way, you can rest assured that these devices will function at all times. As a tip, replace the batteries when you set your clocks for daylight savings time if you tend to forget to do this. You also don't want to rely on the automatic beeping, as they can sometimes be inaccurate. To determine if the battery is defective or not after replacement, make careful depress the test button for 15 to 20 seconds.

  1. Turn your ceiling fans in a different direction

To maximize energy efficiency and reduce stress on your heating and cooling systems, you should switch the rotation of your ceiling fans twice a year. Using a ceiling fan properly can reduce heating costs by up to 10% during winter. This is because the air travels differently as the fan's direction changes, more efficient heating or cooling a space. You want your ceiling fan to rotate against the clock to force cold air downward throughout the summer, so keep this in mind. You can adjust the spin on most fans by turning the directional switch on the motor. Consequently, flip the switch back to rotate clockwise in the winter.

  1. Pay attention to your chimney 

The chimney must be checked regularly, even if you don't use the fireplace often. The air in your home is kept breathable by a chimney's ability to transport harmful gases from your furnace, fireplace, or wood stove outside. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, this area must be checked and cleaned regularly, depending on how frequently you use it.

  1. Check the Fire Extinguisher Gauge

Although a fire in your home could be terrible, you can lessen the likelihood of a catastrophe by putting fire extinguishers in convenient locations around your house. However, if the extinguishers don't function, they won't be useful to you. To ensure that your fire extinguishers will function when you need them most, you should frequently inspect them.

  1. Paint your house

In addition to looking good, exterior paint shields your shingles against rot and water damage. It also improves the aesthetics of your home. Look for paint that is starting to peel or chip. You might require a fresh coat or a touch-up. As a tip, invest in low-VOC paint options to reduce harmful toxins from contaminating the air. 

Although owning a home is fantastic, upkeep duties must be performed. At first, taking care of your house may seem like a mountain of tasks, but you don't have to finish it all at once. You can follow these helpful strategies to achieve the desired outcome.

Photo by julie aagaard:

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