A Modern Day Fairy Tale: Easy Home Maintenance Tips For Dummies

Friday, March 9, 2018

Easy Home Maintenance Tips For Dummies





You bought a house, congratulations! If this is your first house, you may be a bit intimidated. Whether you are coming from your parent's house, an apartment, or college, you are totally new to this homeowner thing. After the buzz of the close wears off and you’ve painted all the rooms, you’re starting to realize that you have no idea what you’re doing.


Before you owned a home, you probably didn’t have to do a whole lot of maintenance, if any at all. That’s a benefit of renting that you no longer are privy to. You no longer have someone to mow your lawn for you or come fix your faucet when it leaks. There is no need to fret, though! There are plenty of ways to make sure you are prepared for a home maintenance problem if it arises.


General maintenance is also a key skill that many homeowners should have. Even if a disaster is not just around the corner, you still should know how to take care of your home. There are so many facets of your house, inside and out, that need regular care. Don’t feel overwhelmed, though. Once you get the hang of it, this will feel like second nature. Most of these maintenance jobs only needs to be done on a semi-regular basis, so you’re entire life is not about to be eaten up by homeowner chores.


Your Gutters
Gutters are an essential function of every home, believe it or not. You may not pay much attention to them, but they are doing wonders to protect your abode. Your gutters are stopping water damage from completely destroying your home. Gutters keep your roof from rotting away, as well as your basement and foundation from pooling up with water.


Keeping your gutters clean is so important if you want them to work the way they are intended to. The first step in taking care of your gutters is to clear them of debris. This is not the most fun thing you will ever do, but it’s much better than scooping water out of your flooding basement. Make sure you have a good ladder and some sturdy gloves. Using a hose can also be helpful to blast out the leaves and twigs. Gutter cleaning should take place at least twice a year. It can be done up for four times if you find your home surrounded by trees.


While you’re up there, there are some structural pieces that you want to check out. Look at the seams and anchors to check for leaks. You also want to ensure that the gutters are firmly attached to the house. Take a look at your siding and foundation as well to make sure that there are no water stains. Lastly, check that water coming out of your gutters is being redirected at least 10 feet away from your house.


Your HVAC Appliances
Your HVAC system is what keeps you comfortable at home. You stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer months thanks to your HVAC. When your HVAC system is not working properly, you will certainly be able to tell. Your house won’t feel comfortable, and your utility bills won’t be either. Your HVAC system should last close to 10-20 years, but it will die much sooner than that if you are not properly taking care of it.


The first thing you need to make sure you are doing is changing your air conditioning and furnace filters regularly. According to Energystar.gov, most HVAC system filters need to be changed every one to three months. Your air filters are what make sure that the air you are breathing while in your home is safe and free of toxins. Clogged air filters reduce air flow, and they make your system have to work much harder. This wear on your HVAC system can cause premature problems.


Another thing you can do to prolong the life of your HVAC system is make sure you are keeping tight control over the thermostat. While you’re asleep or away from home, turn the temperature down so the heat is not cranking when it doesn’t need to be. On the same note, try to avoid adjusting the temperature too frequently. The secondary heating system in your furnace may kick on, and that will cost you quite a bit on your heating bill.


Plumbing


When it comes to home maintenance for dummies and plumbing, it's all about prevention. That means being extremely careful what you put down the sink -- even if you have a garbage disposal! Not only can solid debris clog your drains, but over time animal fats and grease will as well.


For any serious plumbing problem, it's probably best to call in professionals. However, every homeowner should be handy with a plunger, teach their kids what they can and cannot flush, and know how to turn off water in case of an emergency leak.


Your Yard
Finally, something that you can actually see. You know a good yard when you see one, and it’s also usually blaringly obvious when a homeowner is not taking care of their yard. Roughly 83% of people in the United States believe that having a hard is important, and 90% of those with a yard think that it should be well-maintained. If you don’t know the first thing about caring for your lawn, that’s okay.


The most basic lawn maintenance routine starts with mowing. There are debates in the lawn community about whether short grass or longer grass is better, but it all depends on preference. Most lawn mowers come with an adjustable deck, so you can get the desired length every time you mow. Just make sure to do it regularly so the dead grass is being cut and the new grass can get some sunlight.  


Your lawn needs air, just like you do. That may sound weird, but that’s the way your lawn gets its nutrients. When the grass gets too compact, water, oxygen, and other nutrients cannot make their way down into the soil. You can rent a machine that aerates for you, or you can simply use a plastic tube. This is most popularly done in the fall, but it can be done in the spring as well when the ground starts to thaw out.


Why Should You Care?
Whether you plan to stay in your home forever or sell it after a few years, it’s important to take care of it. When you stay on top of your regular maintenance, you can prevent major problems down the road. The comfort and visual appeal of your home will benefit, and you can actually maximize the value of your home as well if you decide to sell.

1 comment:

  1. Ugh! I really need to get mine cleaned but I hate to do it!

    ReplyDelete

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