Keeping Up With Maintenance in Your Home

Owning a home is not just a great privilege, but a responsibility as well. It is up to you to take care of the property so that it remains safe, habitable, and appealing as part of the community. Neglecting the upkeep of your home would create an unsafe environment to live in, as well as a blemish in the neighborhood that your neighbors would not likely enjoy. 

This is one of the hidden side effects of buying your first home. A house contains many machines, systems, structural components, and land that must all be taken care of by the owner. As a former renter, you may be used to letting the landlord or property manager handle those tasks. Now, the buck stops with you.

Regular maintenance is required to ensure your home functions as it should and has longevity. Otherwise, your investment could be at risk if property value decreases or if the living conditions decline too far. Here are some common maintenance tasks that you should understand as a homeowner. 

Unclog Drains

Throughout your home, there are multiple basins where water collects and eventually drains. Sinks, washing machines, tubs, toilets, and other fixtures need to drain, or water damage might result from the overflow. You must understand how to discover and fix your toilet, tub, or sink overflow to prevent significant damage to your home. Often, this involves unclogging the drains that are causing the backup. You can snake it by inserting the pipe cleaner and pulling it back out to dislodge the debris. A plunger may be useful for a toilet or tub that is clogged. In some cases, the blockage may require a liquid cleaner that can break up the solidified mass so it can be cleared away. 

Inspect Insulation

Insulation is used to prevent heat transfer from the inside to the outside and vice versa. In the winter, poor insulation could cause a colder home, forcing your furnace to work harder and longer. In summer, bad insulation will make your air conditioning use up more energy to keep the house comfortable. Insulation elements also play a role in preventing water leaks. Inspecting insulation around the home can mean many things. The simplest way is to take note of any drafts you may feel near windows or doors. This could indicate that the caulk or sealant around the fixture is degrading or loose. You can also check your crawlspaces to see if any areas are lacking insulation foam. By inspecting these elements, you can keep an efficient home and make repairs when necessary. 

Check Pipes Frequently, Especially in Winter

Every house has a plumbing system that involves a network of pipes. These pipes transport water to and from the fixtures around the home. The problem is that these pipes could corrode, burst, or experience other issues that cause significant water damage. Even a small leak could result in the development of mold in your house, which would impact the air quality. If possible, check your pipes frequently to monitor for signs of damage or corrosion. If you notice the signs, then take quick action to replace those particular sections to avoid a catastrophic issue. Winter often causes pipes to burst because freezing water expands, so you should also think about insulating pipes in the colder areas of your home. 

Replace Filters According to Manufacturer Recommendations

Appliances and machines that rely on airflow typically contain filters to ensure dust particles and other debris do not make it into the machine. The longer these filters go unchanged, the less effective that appliance will be. This is most common with furnaces and air conditioners. If you want these machines to last as long as possible, then look up the recommended filter change timelines for each appliance and follow them closely. 

Clean Gutters

This last maintenance task is related to the first one mentioned above. A gutter is essentially a drain pipe for the outside of the home. When it rains, or the snow on the roof melts, water can leave the roof and is directed away from the foundation of the building. Unfortunately, gutters get easily clogged with debris, especially leaves in the fall. At the end of fall and in the spring, it is a good idea to clear out your gutters to prevent water from pooling on your roof or near the home’s foundation. 

A Home That is Cared For is Cheaper and Safer

The primary reasons to focus on home care are to save money and keep everyone inside safe. The longer you ignore some of these basic tasks, the more likely they are to escalate into far more expensive problems. For example, an unchanged filter in your furnace could force it to work longer and harder in the winter, which might mean it breaks down years before it would have if you had kept up with the filter change schedule. Take care of your home and you will save money and protect the livelihood of everyone in your family.