When you’re a homeowner, you take a lot of pride in your living space. After all – you probably saved up for a long time to afford the down payment on your mortgage, had to endure shopping for all of the furniture and decor items that you would need to make a beautiful space, and have grown to love the independence you’ve gained, free from the cycle of living under a landlord’s rules.
As a proud homeowner, you’re probably also concerned about the state of your home, not just in appearance, but how it’s functioning. Routine maintenance is an integral part of homeownership, and something that you need to keep tabs on, if you don’t want to encounter some very serious problems down the road.
If you’ve just moved into your first home, or just want to improve your all around knowledge of home maintenance, or the tools you’ll need to do so, here are some tips to keep your home comfortable and safe during every season.
Stop Clogs as Soon as They Start
This is one of the most common issues that you’ll find in any residential home, and fortunately, it’s one of the easiest to fix.
The early signs that indicate that you may have a clog forming will be water starting to pool in the sink, and draining slowly. As soon as you notice this, immediately buy a bottle of clog remover, preferably with a bristled, plastic cleaner. Use your clog gel per the directions on the bottle, and have your plastic cleaner ready as a follow up. If you catch it early enough, the gel will be more than enough to fix the issue; however, if you find that your water drain is still a little slow, put on some dish or latex gloves, and be prepared to dig out the source of the clog.
Check Your Outlets and Fixtures at Least Once a Year
Over time, you may notice that your lights start to flicker, the power goes out for no apparent reason, and some of the outlets in your house stop putting out electricity. While most of the time this is due to a faulty fuse, you could have a deeper issue with your electrical wiring going on.
To cut this issue off at the pass, at least once a year, check your outlets and fuse box to make sure they’re in good working order. You can buy a professional grade multimeter, if you really want to be thorough, but more often than not, just using your cell phone charger to make sure there’s a current is more than enough. With your fuse box, make sure the fuses aren’t burned out, and that there’s no buildup of moisture, mold, or mildew that could interfere with your current.
Now, I can’t stress this enough: never try to fix electrical wiring issues yourself. It takes a very small amount of voltage to kill a human being, an the average house supplies enough voltage to kill a person ten times over. Once you’ve taken the elementary steps, if you suspect a problem, you need to immediately call in an expert to handle the issue.
Do Routine Inspections on Every Appliance in Your Home
Often, homeowners run into issues with their appliances because they wait until there’s already an issue before they do something about it. With simple things like a toaster, this may not be a big deal, but for items you rely on to get through the day, like your refrigerator or water heater, this can be disastrous.
Every appliance comes with a user’s manual that outlines the features, operating instructions, and troubleshooting procedures associated with that piece of equipment. Hang on to these, or download a copy from the manufacturer’s website, and check your appliances at least twice a year while following the instructions in your owner’s manual. Common issues that lead to malfunctions are rust, a buildup of dirt and grime, excess moisture getting into the electrical components, and frayed wiring.
Always follow your user’s manual when it comes to fixing these issues. If it suggests replacing the appliance, or consulting with a professional repairman, do so. It might be tempting to try and fix something yourself to save money, but you could compound the problem, or worse, put your life in danger.
And here’s a home maintenance checklist from HouseSmartsTV: