10 Important Home Maintenance Tips
By Steven De Nazareth
Updated: April 29th, 2019
Well, you probably do some sort of home maintenance but it would not cover all the details required to complete the home maintenance checklist. These would include replacing the furnace filter, shutting off the water spigots before winter, and cleaning the gutters. Though this could be a good start there are so many jobs that homeowners forget about and some don’t even know about. If this is the case, then these are some of the most important home maintenance items that may or may not be on your list which could be a headache if you neglect them later on.
With these home maintenance checklist tips, you are sure to cover most of your home and ensure that you keep your home well protected. But you should be certain with how to work well with tools in order to get the best results. If you should know there are several more home maintenance tips that have not been listed but these are the most important ones that are usually forgotten.
Top Home Maintenance Tips
1. Test the Sump Pump
Not every home remembers about their sump pump maintenance but it’s mostly to keep it in good working order all through the year. Well if you don’t then you can end up like a homeowner that returned from a weekend trip to find out that their basement floor is covered in almost foot of water. You should shut down the power, check the motor and ensure that the vertical float switch. Also, check if your pump is at least a couple of times a year by dumping water into the basin to make sure that everything is working properly. Otherwise, your motor and the surrounding would be flooded. After closer inspection, you should realize that the cable was attached to the float and have gotten tangled somehow. It takes a few seconds to untangle the cable and then spend the next 15 hours dragging out waterlogged carpet, running the wet/dry vac and moving the fans to dry the area.
2. Check for High Water Pressure
You should check if you are getting high water pressure in your faucets. While working on installing a water softener installer as the previous fairly new softener ruptured and this filled the pipes with zeolite beads.
Though it didn’t seem to be worrisome about the first one fail, there was a little bit of investigating that was done to review the reason for the damage. It was found that the water pressure had a reading of more than 110 lbs psi. The reason for this was a 20-year-old pressure reducing valve. After installing a new valve, the pressure went down to 75 lbs. The pressure-reducing valves are usually found near the main water shutoff valves but not all home have them installed. While high water pressure can wreck pipes, appliances, and connections. It also creates a water hammer and wastes tons of water. You should check with the high water pressure which is often overlooked maintenance item. Also, you can buy the simple pressure gauges that hook up to spigot or laundry tub at any home center.
3. Clean Window Weep Holes
You should clean sliding windows and vinyl replacement windows that have to weep holes on the exterior bottom of the frame. These holes can drain away rainwater which would otherwise collect in the frame’s bottom channel. Weep holes can get clogged with a ton of bugs and debris that happens to fill up the channel and spill over into the house.
In order to check if the weep system is working well, you should pour a glass of water into the track and spray the outside of the window with a garden hose. Also, in case you do not see a steady stream of clean water exiting the weep hole, then you should poke a wire hanger into the hole and spray it out with compressed air and wet it down again. In case the flapper is stuck shut then you can remove it with a putty knife and replace it altogether.
4. Keep Floors Quiet
A super irritating problem is squeaky floors this could be whether you carpet or have a hardwood floor. In order to get rid of the noises under the carpet, you should use a stud finder to find a floor joist around the area of the squeak and then you should use a drill to drive in a low profile trim screw through the carpet and pad into the solid wood. You should drive in more if it still makes noise.
For wooden floors, it’s a lot simpler. All you have to do is sprinkle some talcum powder on the cracks near the squeak. Then use a broom to spread the powder around and then get it down into the gaps and noises should stop. Now you can finally work from home peacefully.
5. Buff Out Scuffs
Most hardwood floors would collect several scuffs from hard-soled shoe traffic. There is an easy way to get rid of it with the use of a tennis ball. The felt-like surface on the ball would remove the scuffs as long as you rub it in over the mark. Well if you don’t want to get on your hands and knees then you should cut a small X into one side and poke the broom handle into it for buffing without using your back.
6. Make That Tub Sparkle
A few years of daily use and the water minerals could settle all over your tub. Also the dirt, the sloughed off skin cells can make any tub look stained and dirty. You should not use harsh chemicals, instead, you can use an equal amount of baking soda and cream of tartar with lemon juice till it forms a paste. Just simply rub it in and wait for an hour and rinse.
7. Smooth Out Sticky Windows
At times, your windows could stutter, skip and stick and when you try to open it for a bit of fresh air then it can be extremely annoying. You should try to force the windows open when you notice that it is sticky. This can put stress on the window and cause damage over time. If you feel resistance next time, then you should spray a bit of silicone lubricant onto a rag and apply it to make light coats on the guides. This works well for plastic, metal, and wood.
8. Patch Small Holes in Drywall
There are times that there could be few holes in your drywall from hanging pictures and mirrors. While this could be annoying, you should want to change things as these ugly holes are eating into the drywall. It is actually an easy fix. What you need is a spackle from the hardware store and scrap this into the hole. Then you should let it dry and lightly sand and paint to make all the holes disappear.
9. Restore Faucet Flow
In time, the faucet heads would have reduced flow and may even begin to release water in an uneven spray. This is due to the buildup of tiny grains of sand or other mineral deposits that clog the aerator. You should wrap some tape around the aerator to protect it and then twist it off. Simply wash out the debris and then let it soak it in vinegar for about an hour and scrub it off clean and then reassemble. Your water flow would resume to its regular pressure.
10. Drain Sediment From Your Water Heater
You should know that your water heater could develop a leak and this could be because you haven’t drained any water from it every year. This is because the sediment can collect at the bottom of the tank. This creates hot spots on gas-powered heaters that can damage the tank and cause premature failure. This can lead to the heater not giving out hot water or not working altogether. With the electric water heater, this sediment could build up and in time cause the lower heating element to fail completely. This is why you should drain the water heater with lower energy bills to extend its life. As recommended, you should drain water heaters once a year to ensure that this problem does not take over your electric heater.
The Need for a Home Warranty
Well, there’s only so much you can DIY on your own, for most things you need professional help. A home warranty will ensure that your appliances and systems stay well protected all year long. All you have to do is pay the monthly or yearly premium of $350 to $500 and then ensure that you pay for the deductible which could anywhere between $60 to $100 to send over a technician that would drop by and repair the faulty appliance or system. You should know what are the appliances and systems that are covered by a home warranty before you sign up. Also, you need to ensure that you get yourself a home warranty quote in order to ensure that you are contacted by a home warranty company and that you get to know the prices that you would pay and what services would be rendered. Don’t forget to read the reviews and compare home warranty companies. The last thing that you should do is to look at which awards home warranty companies have won.
That being said, if you are still not convinced about a home warranty, then you should try the home maintenance calculator. This will ensure that you know the figure out the difference between the cost of out of pocket expenses without a home warranty and the cost of a home warranty plan. This is why you should get a home warranty and save you all the time and money of not having one.
If you are in the process of buying a home then you should use the interactive mortgage calculator which will ensure that you take up a mortgage that has installments which are within your budget. You can look at different modes to determine if the interest is too high and also you can check the schedule for payments even if you have taken up a mortgage already. All the numbers regarding the payments would be determined and you can take a print out and put it on your fridge to review when the next payment can be made. Also, if you haven’t taken a mortgage so far then you review all the mortgage payments based on the interest, principal and other factors and determine which is the best suited for you.
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