Owning a home is a dream for many of us, but it also requires a certain degree of responsibility. One of the most important aspects of homeownership is taking care of your property. Keeping up with basic home maintenance is an essential part of ensuring that your house remains comfortable and structurally sound. In this blog post, we’ll be discussing 13 basic home maintenance tasks everyone should know to be a more self-sufficient homeowner.
Change your air filters
Air filters are responsible for trapping dust, allergens, and other debris, which can affect the air quality in your home. Changing your air filter regularly can improve your indoor air quality and help your HVAC system run more efficiently. It’s recommended to change your air filters every 90 days, or more frequently if you have pets or allergies.
Check for water leaks
Leaks can go unnoticed for a long time, causing significant damage to your home. Make a point of regularly checking for leaks in your pipes, sinks, and toilets to prevent any potential damage.
Maintain your gutters
When your gutters get clogged, water cannot flow properly away from your home, causing water damage to your roof, walls, and foundation. Regular cleaning and maintenance will prevent damage and prolong the lifespan of your gutters. Inspect and clean your gutters and downspouts twice a year to prevent costly repairs down the line. For long-term gutter health, consider installing gutter guards or screens to prevent debris from accumulating.
Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are crucial for protecting your home and your family from potentially deadly hazards. Monthly checks can detect malfunctioning detectors before it’s too late. Replace batteries yearly and test alarms regularly to ensure they’re functioning properly.
Reset the circuit breaker
When you overload your electrical circuits, everything connected to that circuit will shut off. Thankfully this is an easy fix: check your breaker box in your home and check the grid of breakers. You might notice that one is switched to the “OFF” position or has a red marker window, indicating that it has been tripped. To fix the issue, start by turning off all the lights and appliances that are connected to that specific breaker. Then, flip the tripped breaker back to the “ON” position.
Fixing a small piece of caulk around your bathroom sink is easy and can prevent water damage. With just a tube of caulk and a caulk gun (an affordable investment), you can do it yourself. Simply cut the tube at a 45° angle, load it into the caulk gun, and carefully apply the caulk to fill in the missing area around the sink. Smooth it out and let it dry.
Clear your drains
Have a slow-draining sink? Skip the chemical drain cleaner and opt for a drain snake and a trusty plunger to clear the blockage. Here are some additional tips and tricks for dealing with clogged drains.
Keep your HVAC system maintained
Your home’s HVAC system is one of the most important components in keeping your home comfortable year-round. Annual professional inspections can save you money in the long run by detecting potential issues before they become costly repairs. Neglecting HVAC maintenance can lead to decreased energy efficiency, decreased indoor air quality, and potential safety hazards such as carbon monoxide leaks. To keep your heating and cooling systems in top shape, regularly change air filters, have professional inspections annually, and keep outdoor units free from debris.
Fix a running toilet
A toilet that’s constantly running wastes water and creates an annoying sound. You can easily fix this problem yourself without hiring a plumber. All you need to do is replace the flapper inside the toilet tank. Follow these simple steps to restore a peaceful and water-efficient bathroom.
Turn off the water main
Knowing the location of your home’s main water shut-off valve is crucial in an emergency. These valves can have either round wheel handles or lever-style handles. If you have a wheel-style handle, simply turn it to the right (clockwise) to shut off the water. For lever-style handles, turn the lever a one-quarter turn until it is perpendicular to the pipe.
If you’re planning on being away from home for an extended period of time, it’s a good idea to shut off the water in your house as a precaution against plumbing leaks.
Check your windows and doors
Doors and windows are also crucial components in maintaining optimal energy efficiency within your home. Regularly re-caulking any gaps can prevent drafts and keep your heating and cooling systems from overworking. Proper caulk application can even lead to energy savings of up to 20%.
Clean refrigerator coils
Refrigerator maintenance is another area of home care that is often overlooked. Dirty coils can lead to decreased energy efficiency and even compressor failure. Clean your fridge’s coils twice a year with a specialized brush or vacuum attachment to keep your fridge running smoothly.
Outdoor spaces are often overlooked when it comes to home maintenance, but important for keeping pests at bay and preventing landscaping damage. Common pests to look out for include mosquitoes, rodents, and termites. Regularly trimming bushes and trees and keeping outdoor areas clear of debris can go a long way in preventing damage to your home.
When to call in the professionals
Taking care of your home yourself creates an immense amount of pride, but there’s nothing wrong with calling for help when a fix is beyond your capabilities. If it’s a tricky job that’s beyond your expertise, it’s best to leave it to a professional. Not only will this ensure your safety, but it will also protect the value of your property in the long term and reduce your stress and frustration.
Home maintenance is an essential part of being a homeowner. Regularly maintaining your home’s vital systems can help keep your home energy-efficient and protect against potentially costly repairs. It’s also important to know when to call in the professionals for additional help. By taking care of these basic home maintenance tasks, you’ll be able to enjoy your home for years to come.
New homes by S&A Homes
When you buy a S&A home, you don’t have to worry about being on your own. Our commitment to you extends far beyond the day you move into your new home. That’s why we offer our homeowner resource so you can keep your home in tip-top shape. Whether you have a warranty question, are looking for helpful maintenance advice or just want to access copies of post-settlement service checklists, you can find everything you need.
Ready for a new home? We build new communities throughout Central and South-Central Pennsylvania, including build on your lot opportunities. Call 1-855-SAHome1 or visit SAHomeBuilder.com to learn more about our floorplans, available homes, and more.