When was the last time you gave your house a tune-up? It may sound overwhelming but it’s not. Tuning up the house is simply a matter of checking, clearing and maintaining. Home maintenance doesn’t have to be a big chore. Let’s start outdoors and work our way in.
Check all rain gutters around your home and clear out the debris as needed. Shore up any sagging sections and make sure the downspouts are aimed properly for good drainage.
Home maintenance includes lawn maintenance. Next, check each circuit of your sprinkler system. Look for any broken sprinkler heads or other signs of leakage such as flooding, continuously wet patches and sink holes. Replace any broken sprinkler heads or call a handyman to do it for you. While you’re at it, adjust the timing of the automatic sprinklers for the appropriate season and climate. Chances are you are over watering. Try to cut back on the frequency and duration of each circuit. You will save water and reduce your water bill. Keep an eye on the results and adjust as needed.
Use a hose with a pressure nozzle to clear out the gunk in the window tracks and to remove all the spider webs and other debris on the exterior walls. Clear out any drains in the patio floor.
Even your garage will benefit from a little home maintenance. Check your automatic garage door for proper operation. Make sure the sensors still function as they should. Place an object under the doors path and try to close it. It should not close on the object but should retract back up. Also block the sensors and see if it will close, it shouldn’t. If these tests fail, you will need to tune up your sensors. Use a can of air to blow off any webs, dust or other debris on the sensors and make sure the lasers are properly lined up.
Inside, maintain and tune up your central air system. Clean or replace any air filters for your air conditioning and heating systems. You can also call the local gas company and line up a furnace inspection to make sure your system is safe. Most utilities perform this service free of charge. They will also check your other gas appliances and make recommendations on routine maintenance and energy conservation.
Dryer vents tend to fill up with lint over time and present a fire danger. It’s a good idea to clean them out and tune them up periodically. Depending on the layout of the venting system this may or may not be a do-it-yourself home maintenance job. If in doubt, hire a professional. For the dryer itself, use a lint brush or the vacuum hose attachment of your vacuum cleaner to clean out lint from under the lint trap of the machine and any other accessible places of the dryer.
Another home maintenance job best left to the professionals is sweeping out the chimney. Call your local chimney sweep and line this up if your chimney is due.
Replace the batteries and test all smoke alarms throughout the house. Use a vacuum cleaner with the hose attachment to vacuum the alarms of any debris that might be blocking the sensors. Don’t wait until daylight savings to do this important home maintenance and fire safety check, do it now. Then make a note on your calendar to perform this each time the clock moves forward or back.
Here’s a no-brainer home maintenance tip: check for leaking faucets and remove and clean out their aerators. Let the aerators soak in vinegar to dissolve some of the minerals.
Use a can of silicon spray and spray the tracks of any windows, sliding glass doors, curtains or cabinets that no longer slide with ease. This will make opening and closing these items much smoother. While you’re at it, use WD40 on any squeaky doors.
Replace any burned out light bulbs through out the house. Consider using florescent bulbs in their place as they last longer and are more energy efficient.
A well maintained home is a happy home. Keep an eye out for any trouble spots and fix them early before they spread and become big trouble spots. For example, if the tile floor in your kitchen suddenly feels warm, you may have a hot water pipe leak in the slab. This is something you would need to take care of right away before it bursts completely and floods the house, ruining carpet, cabinetry and other items. In many cases, the pipe can be re-routed without using invasive techniques such as tearing out the tile floor. Prevention, attention to warning signs and early action will save you money in the long run.