Taking on home maintenance is a part of homeownership nobody warns you about. It can feel overwhelming to have so many small things to take care of. There are lots of mistakes homeowners make that can have negative effects on their homes. But what are the most common pitfalls? And how do you avoid making those same mistakes? This article will go over 9 common pitfalls in property maintenance and will explain steps you can take to avoid them.
- Not having a maintenance checklist. There are so many tasks to keep up with year round and as a result, things tend to fall to the wayside. Having a checklist of maintenance tasks separated by season is the best way to be sure you never forget an important task.
- Doing nothing about small problems. The kitchen faucet has been leaking for a little while but it’s not bothering anyone. The dryer takes a little longer than usual to dry clothes completely, but it’s not a big deal. Ever catch yourself saying this? I definitely did before I realized that small issues can lead to much bigger and costly problems. Getting ahead of the small issues can prevent you from having to shell out a fortune for an emergency problem down the road.
- Not winterizing your property. Winter brings hot chocolate and snow days but it also brings harsh weather that could have a detrimental effect on your home. Burst pipes are the biggest issue homeowners encounter after a winter freeze. Be prepared to winterize your home a few months before the cold hits around the middle of fall to prevent costly issues when spring and summer rolls around.
- Not replacing HVAC filters. HVAC filters are more important than people give them credit for. This filter is what rids your home of allergens, contaminants, and more. But forgetting to change air filters can not only cause you to be congested and have lower quality air, it can cause issues with your HVAC system. If your HVAC is taking longer to push out cool or warm air, it may be because it’s fighting through the buildup on your air filter. Changing air filters every 3 months is best practice for the safety of you and your HVAC system.
- Ignoring dryer vents. Are your clothes taking longer than usual to dry? Does the load still have lint on it when it’s finally done? These signs point to dryer vents that have not been taken care of properly. Not only does it cause a hassle trying to do laundry but if your dryer gets too warm, it could cause a fire. All it takes to prevent this is to check your dryer vents after every dry and remove the lint buildup and to have an expert clean the vents that lead out of your home every year. Ridding your dryer vents of all that unnecessary lint could save your home from a fire in the long run.
- Forgetting to reseal counters, tile, grout, etc. Most people would think that once something is sealed, it should be good for the long haul. But sealant actually needs to be maintained every year or so. This is more of a preventative measure but it can extend the life of your counters, tile, grout, and anything else that requires a sealant. Resealing will prevent sun damage, warping, water damage, and more.
- Cleaning your drains with heavy duty chemicals. How often do you find yourself buying drain cleaner? If the answer is often, you may need to change tactics. Most drain cleaners have heavy chemicals that can corrode your drains and may not even solve the drain clog but just push it farther down. This makes it harder for an expert to unclog the drain and may end up being more costly. The best alternative would be to use a natural agent or to hire an expert so the clog stays gone.
- Not trimming your trees. Tree trimming definitely doesn’t need to be done all year round but there are some imperative times to get this task done. In the winter when trees are more dormant, it is good to trim for the springtime when they begin to bloom and grow. Not trimming trees when you have dead limbs is a recipe for branches falling on your home, car or you. Cutting down dead limbs before they decay enough to fall is a great way to get ahead of an unexpected accident.
- Not locating the shut off valve before an issue occurs. When a pipe bursts, the best thing to do is utilize the shut off valve. Not knowing where the valve is can cause the issue to persist longer or cause more damage to have to fix later. The simplest solution is to know where your shut off valve is ahead of time in case an incident does occur.
Home maintenance tasks can seem a little tedious, but hopefully this guide can help you navigate the common mistakes homeowners make and prevent future issues. Following a maintenance checklist is best practice and there are lots of them out there, but if you want a checklist written by a company specializing in home maintenance, check back every season. We will release seasonal maintenance lists so you don’t have to find any. If you need one as the fall approaches, check out “10 Tips For Home Maintenance This Fall” today.