10 Home Maintenance Tips for Homeowners
Owning a home can be a lot of work. However, it can be a lot less difficult and time-consuming if you care for it properly. These ten home maintenance tips can not only prevent or catch issues that would be an expensive nightmare later, but they increase the lifespan of materials and appliances and even get you a better value when you’re ready to sell.
1) Check Your Water Pressure
Low water pressure can be annoying and make appliances inefficient, while high water pressure can cause damage to pipes and appliances. The water pressure needs to be checked a couple of times a year to make sure it’s not too high or too low (between 40 and 50 psi). You can get a water pressure gauge at your local home store.
2) Regrout/Re-caulk Tubs, Showers, & Around Fixtures
Grout and caulk wear over time and need to be replaced about every five years. Between replacements, you should clean and check grout regularly for mold. Eliminate mold ASAP for your health and safety as well as your home’s. Use prevention techniques to avoid future growth.
3) Keep Drains Clear
Clogs can build up slowly over time. Partial blockages can be easier to fix. Avoid liquid drain cleaners that can cause damage to pipes, septic tanks, sinks/toilets, your health, and the environment. There are better options. Simply getting the right plunger for the job is cheap and easy. Homemade solutions like salt and water or vinegar and baking soda can also be just as effective without being toxic.
4) Perform Regular Roof Maintenance
Your roof is constantly exposed to the elements. Weather, sunlight, and temperature fluctuations that cause constant expansion and contraction damage it over time. It requires proper maintenance to keep it in good condition.
Every spring, you should inspect your roof for lost, cracking, or damaged shingles, check that the granules are firmly in place, look for buckling, and make sure there’s no moss or algae growth. To protect seams and cracks from water, flashing — metal sheets where two surfaces meet like chimneys, walls, and skylights — should be inspected.
If there’s any damage, fix it ASAP. Regular maintenance can prolong the life of your roof significantly. A roof’s lifespan is between ten and 50 years depending on region and materials, 20 to 25 years on average.
Know what kind of roof you have, how long it lasts, and what to look out for. An asphalt shingle roof in hot areas like Southern California, for example, is susceptible to thermal shock from extreme heat and UV damage.
5) Change HVAC Filters
Your HVAC filter should be changed monthly to increase efficiency and air quality, lower costs, and increase the unit’s lifespan. Life moves quickly, and everyone’s busy, so this gets forgotten often. Subscription services that will send you one every month can be helpful. Simple home maintenance tips like this can make more difference than you’d think.
6) Clean Exhaust Fans to Prevent Mold
Exhaust fans are common in kitchens and bathrooms to suck out moisture, odors, and smoke. That means they’ll be more prone to soot and grease build-up in the kitchen and mold in the bathroom. Yearly cleanings help prevent issues or catch them early.
7) Clean Dust & Lint from Appliances
Appliances can attract dust, lint, and other debris over time, making them less efficient and shortening their lifespan. Dryer vents get clogged with lint, making them a fire hazard. Animals can also get inside and cause issues. Clean it out using a dryer vent cleaning kit from your local home store.
If you have an AC unit outside, cleaning it regularly during the warmer months can prevent many problems. Clean your refrigerator coils as well as under and behind the fridge, dishwasher, and washing machine annually. These home maintenance tips keep everything working at peak performance and prevent costly, unnecessary repairs and replacements.
8) Drain & Flush Water Heaters
This lesser-known home maintenance tip costs homeowners dearly. Over time, minerals and other sediments will accumulate at the bottom of the tank, interfering with its ability to heat properly and even causing damage and leaks. Every year, you should drain the tank, flushing out all the junk at the bottom, to keep it working longer and spend less money.
9) Check Gutters, Downspouts, & Sump Pumps
Clean out your gutters every spring and fall, so they don’t overflow. Check for any leaks or loose areas. Downspouts — where the gutter goes toward the ground — should face outward to direct water away from your home.
However, if they fail, your sump pump is the next line of defense. Check for damage, clear nearby debris, and test it to make sure it’s working properly. It’s best done biannually, in spring and fall.
10) Protect Surfaces with Waterproof Sealant
Inspect surfaces for damage and general wear and tear. Check for chipping paint, brick, Stucco, concrete, and exposed or damp wood to catch problems early. Chipping exposes the lower unprotected layers to the elements, leaving them susceptible to damage.
Remove any chipping paint and fix any damage underneath before repainting. If you find any efflorescence — white deposit build-up on brick or concrete — it indicates water is penetrating the surface. Brush it off on a warm, dry day and use a sealant made for the material to keep water out.