5 Affordable Home Maintenance Tips
Your home needs attention; that’s just a fact. Unless you can have your home hermetically sealed and find a way to stop time and the aging process, your home is going to need maintenance now and then. Relax, don’t freak out, and certainly do not allow this fact to dissuade you from buying or building a new home. A home is a good investment that should give you joy and comfort for many, many years.
In order to ensure that joy and comfort, it’s essential that you do some preventative maintenance on it as the seasons change and time passes. Keeping your home well-maintained will save you money and allow your home to continue sheltering you from the elements for a long, long time. To help you out, here are five tips to keep your home happy and healthy without costing you an arm and a leg. Honestly, how do you pay for things with arms and legs, does a debit card cover that? No idea. But, read on for great tips.
1. Give Your Home Some Me Time
Spend a little quality time strolling around your house. You don’t need to be a certified house inspector to do this, and you don’t have to hire one for hundreds of dollars either. Just walk around the outside and keep an eye out for troubles.
Here you’ll be looking for cracks. Don’t get alarmed; hairline cracks are going to happen; they are relatively normal. You want to look for signs that the cracks are getting more significant. Take a Sharpie and make a mark across the crack; check on it later. If the crack IS getting more prominent, this could mean your foundation is settling unevenly. If this happens, now you should call a foundation specialist and get some advice. If the cracks are not getting more extensive, you’re fine.
The foundation soil around your house should grade away from the foundation walls. This keeps water and debris moving away from the foundation and prevents rot and damage. The slope of your foundation soil should be about six inches in ten feet. More is better, but six in ten is your base.
The downspouts attached to the roof gutters should extend at least five feet away from your house. This distance is essential to keep water from flooding back toward your house’s foundation. Water pooling around the foundation will cause a world of problems. Keep the water at a distance if your downspouts are too close; get yourself to Home Depot and pick up a flexible downspout extension for about ten bucks.
Trees and shrubs are beautiful assets to your home’s exterior design, but you have to keep an eye on them and make sure you trim them and plant them in the proper place.
Shrubs and trees should never be closer than three feet from your house. A tree or shrub branch can be a conduit for water to go right to your home’s siding. Keep tree limbs away for the house and shrubs neat and trimmed.
Check on the branches near your roof as well. A tree branch that overhangs your roof is a highway for squirrels and other climbing critters. Once they’re on your roof, they will find a way into your attic, and then, you’ve got a house full of pests.
2. The Power of Caulking
The number one enemy of your home is water. It is the Lex Luther, Superman’s arch-nemesis, in your home’s universe. What can you do to keep this nefarious element away? How do you protect your home from the evils of H2O? What is water’s kryptonite? Caulking.
Yup, caulking. You would not believe the power in one twelve-ounce tube of top-quality, exterior acrylic latex caulking at only six bucks a tube.
Water gets into your house, and it rots floors and ceilings, causing damage that you may not even see until it’s too late. One night you’re having a lovely dinner party, the wine is flowing, the guests are laughing, and all is right with the world until the ceiling collapses, and suddenly the cipollini is full of fish and plaster.
Caulk also seals air leaks that let out your hot air or cold air and cause your heating and cooling bills to skyrocket.
Caulking does age, so you’ll want to check around doors and windows every year to ensure the caulk is tight and holding in place. Check outside, too, around dryer vents and hose bibs to make sure all openings are sealed tight.
3. Give Your House a Spa Treatment
In a spa, your face and body get rejuvenating treatments. Dry skin is sloughed, bodies are immersed in mud, moisture is put back into aging skin, and scrapes and cuts are attended to. Apart from adding moisture, you should treat your house to a bit of spa love once a year. While you stroll around your home, keep an eye for things that may want attention.
Look for chipped or flaking paint that is not only ugly but can allow moisture into your walls. Don’t neglect your porch columns and stair railings; they need love and attention too.
Holes in the Stucco
Just like chipped or flaking paint, holes in your stucco are an open invitation for moisture to come in and set up shop. Patch those spots with a bit of pre-mixed, latex stucco patching compound. Beautiful and practical.
Mortifying Missing Mortar
Between stones or bricks, look to see if mortar is missing. This can lead to damage down the road, reduce your home’s curb appeal, and make life a nightmare if the damage increases. Get some textured masonry mortar repair compound and tighten up the look of your home.
Wash Your House
How dirty would you be if you spent 365 days standing naked in the face of the elements? Rain, wind, dust, snow, these all cause your house to get dirty and grimy. Once a year, get out the soft brush, the extended handle and give your house a nice washing.
Use buckets of warm soapy water put half a cup of trisodium phosphate in one gallon of warm water, and wash. Or, if you’re green, use a half cup of baking soda in warm water. Soft bristle brush and then step back and look at your gleaming clean home.
4. Show Your HVAC Some Love
When was the last time you looked at your filters? Really gave them some attention, not just casting a cursory glance toward them as you doom scroll on your phone? Here’s a bit of news for you, your filters are filthy. Their filth is cutting down on your heating and cooling power and forcing your poor furnace fan to work overtime to get warm air through grime-clotted filters.
Help your HVAC out by replacing your high-quality filters every four months. Not only will the new filters give your puffing HVAC a hand, but the new filters will also seriously cut down on allergy-activating dust that could be swirling about your house.
Also, get an HVAC tune-up. Hire a pro to clean out furnace parts and recharge your refrigerant levels. Here’s a tip, sign up for an annual inspection, and your costs will be lower.
5. How’s Your Water Heater
Much like your filters, when was the last time you paid significant attention to your water heater? The bottom of your water tank is probably an oozing cacophony of sediment and gunk. This is causing your water to heat up more slowly and making the water heating more expensive.
It’s a simple process, and no need to hire a pro. Hook a garden hose to the drain tank and drain until the water runs clear. This will save money and—better bathing in cleaner water.
A Bonus Tip
You were promised five, and we gave you five, but since we want your home to last a long time, we’re throwing in this extra tip. And that tip is … Clean Your Gutters.
They loom over you like Canada, every day saving your front door from a tsunami of rainwater, you’d be lost without them, but are you taking your gutters for granted? Well, stop. Pay some attention to your gutters.
When your gutters are clogged, they overflow, and rainwater soaks your siding and foundation soil. You’re looking at expensive foundation repairs. So, get up there and remove clogs and debris twice a year. You’ll save money and headaches in the future.
Ask Revere Homes
Buying or building a new home comes with its own set of complications. For first-time buyers, there is no handbook on what to do; you’re on your own unless you know a home builder that can help guide you through the homeowning odyssey.
Revere Homes are builders with decades of experience and expertise. They’re happy to offer advice and guide you through many homeowners’ questions. These tips are great; however, more questions and problems will arise over the years. Reach out to Revere Homes and take advantage of their boundless information.
Make homeowning easier and more enjoyable, ask for help and get as much information about how to keep your home looking good and performing at its peak. Contact Revere Homes and get peace of mind from the experts.