Purchasing a home is one of the most significant decisions a person makes in their adult life. While buying a house may seem like a daunting task, however, the real trouble starts a few years after that when you have to maintain it. While some choose to approach home maintenance as a big task every couple of years, putting off regular house maintenance in between can actually cause a lot of expensive and unnecessary damage to your home — all of which you could have avoided by simply doing a bit of house maintenance regularly every few weeks or even days.
Most severe damage in a house occurs after several months or years of accumulating dust or water damage, resulting in a catastrophic failure of a major component such as a wall or sensitive electronics. By simply taking an active approach in maintaining your home and making sure to stop and repair the damage before it becomes severe, you can avoid a major home maintenance headache and save a lot of time and money. Here are five of the most common home maintenance issues, and how you can prevent them before they become a problem in the first place!
Moisture And Water Damage
One of the most common causes of home maintenance problems is excess moisture in the house. Moisture is able to enter your house in a variety of ways: leaks in the roof, windows, or walls, through improperly installed or damaged pipes, faulty HVAC systems, or most commonly just from condensation, which refers to the moisture already present in the air condensing into liquid water due to temperature differences between the interior and exterior of a home.
Once inside your home, moisture causes wood to rot, bacteria to accumulate, mildew and mold to grow, and all sorts of other nasty negative effects to your nice clean house. Preventing moisture and water damage as a homeowner should be one of your main house maintenance tasks. Start by making sure all of your windows and doors are free of cracks or leaks. Replace any windows or doors that show signs of water leakage immediately. You should also check your roof once a year to make sure there aren’t any leaks. Any moldy or musty smell might indicate some level of water damage and should be checked more carefully.
In addition to regularly checking your windows, doors, and roof, you should be sure to wipe down window sills every day during the winter when condensation is likely accumulating on your windows. You can control this condensation by installing exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathrooms in order to reduce interior moisture. Any condensation between window panes signals that your windows are leaking air and should be replaced. By actively guarding your house against water damage, you can avoid tons of potential issues down the line.
HVAC systems, or heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, are another common area in the house to experience failure or issues if left unmaintained for too long. Not only are HVAC systems prone to breaking at the most inconvenient times if proper maintenance isn’t carried out, but they also end up less efficient in the long run if the system isn’t functioning as well as it can, which means higher energy bills in the long run. By regularly maintaining your HVAC system you can also avoid costly repair fees or even replacing the whole system sooner than you have to.
Although maintaining your HVAC system may seem like a job only professionals can handle, there are lots of small tasks that you can do on your own, as well. You should try to replace the air filters on your HVAC system every 30 to 90 days, and be sure to purchase high-quality filters to prevent dust from entering. Additionally, make sure that none of the components in your HVAC system are frayed and replace any that are. You should also pay for an HVAC maintenance professional to check your HVAC system once a year and make the necessary repairs in order to prevent a catastrophic failure when you aren’t expecting it.
Dust is one of the most common unwanted substances in a home. What we call dust is really just the accumulation of airborne particles, usually from dead skin cells, sweat, and lint. Dust also contains the remnants and feces of tiny little insects called dust mites. Gross! Not only is dust a bit disgusting, it can severely interfere with any moving parts in your house, not just in your HVAC system and electrical wiring, but with electronics such as computers and other devices. Inhaling dust is also bad for your health, aggravating allergies and respiratory conditions such as asthma. Be sure to dust surfaces in your house regularly, using a dampened cloth to wipe away the dust in order to better trap the dust.
Electrical Wear And Tear
Exposed electrical wiring can be extremely dangerous, which is why they’re usually covered by a layer of rubber insulation. This rubber layer can degrade over time due to friction against household objects and walls, or simply due to the rubber deteriorating naturally over time. You should check the exposed electric writing in your home for wear and tear annually in order to prevent electric failures or dangerous accidents. You should also check cords on any of your household electronic devices including lamps and other fixtures to make sure they’re in working order.
Finally, another common home maintenance issue is damage due to drain clogging and overflowing. Drainage pipes both in the interior and exterior of your house can get clogged due to waste such as leaves, dirt, and sewage, resulting in nasty and dangerous backups of waste. You should have your drains unclogged annually to make sure your drainage system is working as intended.
By regularly maintaining your home and following these simple tips, you can avoid a major issue down the line and keep your house looking and feeling tiptop!