Home maintenance is a term that can give you an instant headache. But it’s actually avoiding home maintenance that causes the real pain. No one wants to spend their weekends repairing their castle, but when it comes to home maintenance, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We’ve done the research and compiled a list of the household maintenance mistakes you may be neglecting right now, so pull out your honey-do list and get ready to add a few more chores to your regular home maintenance routine.
1 – Furnace Filter
If you have central heating, you may be accustomed to just sitting back and letting your furnace work to heat your home without giving it much thought. Well, other than fighting with your kids to keep them from messing with the thermostat, that is. But your furnace does require regular maintenance, and changing the filter is key not only to keeping your furnace working in tip top shape so that it lasts you a long time, but in keeping the air in your home free from allergens! Check your manufacturer’s recommendations, but you may need to change your filter every 2-3 months.
2 – Foggy Windows
If your windows have been updated within the last 30 years, chances are you have double or triple pane windows. That’s great, they’re safer and more energy efficient. But, they do have a common maintenance issue that many ignore. If you have fog or condensation between the panes of your window, that means the seal has been broken. Not only is water intrusion a concern, but you’re probably also losing the great insulation benefits of triple pane windows. If resealing around the window doesn’t help, you may be able to have a professional simply replace the glass rather than the whole window. Whatever you do, don’t ignore the problem!
3 – Clogged Gutters
We know, we know. You don’t like climbing ladders and you just unclogged the gutters last year. But this is an ongoing maintenance issue. In fact, if you have a lawn full of trees you may need to unclog your gutters once a month. Why is it so important? Not only will clogged gutters begin to fail and need to be replaced if ignored for too long, they can lead to water intrusion into your roof from backed up drainage. Talk about a headache! So, yes dear, you really do need to clean the gutters AGAIN this weekend.
4 – Grout Gaps
No one said cleaning and maintaining tile was easy. Well, maybe someone did say it was easy, but they weren’t exactly right. While tile can be a great system for managing the more water-heavy areas of your home like kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms, it does require vigilance on your part to keep it in tip top working order. Be sure to repair any gaps in your grout quickly. For a few dollars in supplies and a bit of elbow grease on a Saturday afternoon, you can keep water from infiltrating your floors and walls which can save you major hassles down the road.
5 – Clean Dryer Vents
Many a cautionary tale starts with a story of an overlooked dryer vent. This isn’t just important home maintenance, it’s critical to yours and your family’s safety, because clogged dryer vents can be a fire hazard. You should be following manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning your dryer vents, which probably means cleaning them every 3-4 months. This is a chore that pays dividends, though, as your dryer will run better and probably last longer if you make sure the vent is in good working order.
6 – Sanitize Ice Maker
It’s not fun, we know, but you can end up with scaly build-up or worse if you aren’t regularly cleaning and sanitizing your freezer ice maker. Follow manufacturer recommendations for regular maintenance, and be sure to replace your water filters on time as well. Clean your ice maker once and you’ll likely find evidence of why it’s so important to keep this chore in regular maintenance rotation.
7 – Ignoring Loose/Spongy Boards on your Deck
Many of us hear that creaky board or see that lifted nail and cringe but choose to ignore it. Don’t! It’s important to address deck maintenance problems immediately when you notice them. One loose board somehow has a way of turning into many more loose boards if not addressed quickly. If you notice the same problem recurring after you fix it, it’s time to get under your deck and take a look at any structural issues. An ounce of deck maintenance today will save you a pound of deck maintenance down the road.