Home Maintenance Tips
Ever heard of the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? It’s not only true when it comes to taking care of your health, it’s also true when it comes to taking care of your home. By making an effort to keep up your home on a regular basis with small, inexpensive steps now, you can be sure to avoid costly, labor intensive issues down the road.
Preventing Future Plumbing Problems
Watch what goes down your drain.
It’s a pain to deal with a clogged drain and the backed-up water can put added pressure on your waste pipes which can shorten their lifespan.
Even if you have a garbage disposal, avoid discarding food down your drain and NEVER pour grease down the drain. Grease may go down liquid, but once it cools and or mixes with cold water, it can become solid pretty quickly and create a nasty clog.
Instead, use throw your food scraps in a compost pile (which can be used to fertilize your garden with nutrients) and let grease solidify by freezing it in a sealed container, then toss it in the trash.
To keep hair out of bathroom drains, install screens over drains in your showers, tubs, and sinks and refrain from flushing anything but sewage and toilet paper down your toilets.
Learn your pipe system.
You’ll also want to learn where your home’s main water shut-off valve is so you can go straight there and quickly turn off the water to the entire house if there’s ever a leak. Even small leaks can cause significant water damage or mold so address leaks as soon as possible.
Never use exposed pipes to hang clothes or other items because that’s a surefire way to loosen them and put unnecessary wear and tear on your plumbing.
Avoiding Mildew, Mold and Wood Rot
Living in Florida, humidity is a regular part of life. To avoid having to deal with mildew, mold or wood rot in your home, make sure to implement the following suggestions.
Those vents in your bathrooms are there for a reason. Use them when taking a shower to prevent condensation from building up in your bathroom. The moisture in the air from your shower does more than fog up your mirrors. It can also encourage mold and mildew growth. If you don’t have a bathroom vent, which almost all homes do now a days, opening your bathroom window is just as good.
Install rain gutters because they will direct water away from your home’s foundation and can help prevent a cracked slab. Clear leaves from your rain gutters at least twice a year to avoid clogs and water backup which can cause metal gutters to rust and wooden gutters to rot. If by chance your gutters do get clogged use a high powered hose or pressure washer to flush out the debris. A plumber’s snake can also get the job done so use whichever you have on hand.
Sprinklers & Hoses
Make sure your lawn sprinklers are watering your lawn and not your house to prevent your wood from rotting and attracting damp wood termites. Leaky faucets inside the home are often noticed and dealt with right away whereas leaky faucets outside can easily go unnoticed. Make sure to inspect your outdoor hoses and faucets regularly and replace them if necessary so that they don’t drip and soak your home’s foundation.
Attics & Basements
Every now and then, go upstairs into your attic and check for leaks. Leaks that start small and are barely noticeable can turn into a huge problem if it’s left alone long enough. Don’t end up with severe water damage to your roof, ceiling or walls. Check for leaks in your attic, regularly especially after a rainstorm or hurricane.
While your roof or attic may dry quickly because it’s so much closer to the sun, the basement and your home’s foundation will take much longer to dry after a storm. A roof can be replaced or repaired much easier than a damaged foundation so make sure to check your basement regularly for leaks and water damage, and deal with any issues as soon as possible.
Annual Home Maintenance Checklist
When you're renting, all the responsibility falls on the landlord. When you own your own home, it's your responsibility to keep it up and make any necessary repairs. Don't let it overwhelm you. You won't have to continuously work on your house every single day. Just schedule tasks here and there and little by little you'll find that it's not all that difficult maintain your home. Click below for a full list of home maintenance tasks organized by season and month and remember, every home and every homeowner's schedule is different so do what works for you when it's most convenient for you.