To many people, buying a home is the biggest investment they will ever make. To prevent that asset from deteriorating to such an extent that a lot of money will be needed to restore it to its original glory, the owner has to make sure that house repair tasks are not neglected. Our home maintenance tips below involve fairly easy tasks that can be done with only a basic selection of tools. They do, however, underscore the importance of properly taking care of a home. Once you are used to regular all-around home care, it will become part of your life.
While this is by no means a complete home maintenance checklist. It does, however, contain several very useful homeowner tips and tricks.
- Get Dead Power Outlets Fixed As Soon As Possible
There’s a good reason why this is at the top of our list of homeowner tips and tricks
. Regularly check all power outlets to make sure they are still working. If one or more stop working, get an electrician to fix them. When the day comes that you want to sell your house, you don’t want the home inspection to show up that half the outlets are not working. Depending on why they’re not working, a dead outlet can be a sign of something much bigger brewing in the background. And a savvy buyer will know that.
- Prevent Mold By Cleaning Kitchen And Bathroom Exhaust Fans
The fans in your kitchen and bathroom are responsible for cleaning out moisture and nasty odors. But if they get dirty, they won’t be able to do their job properly any longer. Once that happens, the likelihood of mold developing increases significantly. That’s why you regularly have to make time to remove the kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans and clean them properly.
- Keep The Faucets Flowing Freely
All around home care also involves ensuring your home’s faucets keep flowing the way they are supposed to. After a long period of use, you might notice a reduced water flow from one or more of them. This is typically caused by mineral deposits or small grains of sand building up at the tip where there is a mesh screen. It’s very easy to unscrew this screen and rinse off any possible debris. If it’s dirtier than you expected, soak it in vinegar for a while before scrubbing it clean.
- Remove Water Stains From The Ceiling
As far as house repair tasks and all-around home care are concerned, this one is a little gem. If you think the only way to remove a water stain from the ceiling is by repainting it, think again. You should be able to get rid of it by simply spraying the spot with a water/bleach solution and waiting one or two days. Use 90% water and 10% bleach.
If the stain is really old, it might be difficult to get rid of. In that case, buy a mildew and mold remover from your local hardware store. It works on both textured and flat ceilings, and the stain should be gone within a day. Just make sure to protect the floors and walls with plastic and to wear safety goggles.
- Get Rid Of Cracks In Your Driveway
As far as homeowner tips and tricks go, this is a small one with a potentially significant impact. A cracked driveway will immediately tell a prospective buyer that the homeowner might be neglecting house repair jobs because he is not used to taking care of a home. That’s why you should always resurface cracks the moment they appear. If the concrete is so badly cracked that it can’t be fixed with a simple resurfacing job, consider slab jacking or mud jacking, a process that involves raising the slabs by injecting grout under them. It’s about 50% cheaper than replacing the slabs. And your visitors will appreciate your dedication to all-around home care.
- Properly Maintain Your Home’s Gutters
As far as home maintenance tips go, this one is really important. Inspect your home’s gutters at least twice a year and get rid of any debris you find. If there are any leaks, seal them properly. If a gutter is beyond repair, replace it (or have it replaced by a professional) as soon as possible. Overflowing or leaking gutters can lead to water damage that can be surprisingly expensive to fix.
- Do Not Neglect Roof Maintenance
Even if you are a complete home maintenance novice, you will probably know that a roof replacement is a major and very expensive job. The sad thing is that, more often than not, it wouldn’t have been necessary if the owner had not neglected proper roof maintenance. Get a professional to inspect your home’s roof every six months and if he or she recommends certain maintenance tasks, have it done before it’s too late. When it comes to taking care of a home properly, this is super important.
- Easily Unclog a Clogged Toilet
Sooner or later, one of your home’s toilets will most likely get clogged. Before calling a plumber or resorting to harsh chemicals, try using a plunger to remove the blockage. If that fails, use undiluted dishwashing soap. Around half a cup should do the trick. Give it about an hour before flushing the toilet again.
- A Sticky Lock Might Not Be That Hard To Free Up
Over the years, locks often get clogged with small metal particles and other debris. And as the keys slide in and out hundreds of times, they wear off. That can result in the lock mechanism getting sticky. Now imagine you bringing a potential buyer to your home, and it takes what seems like an eternity to unlock the front door. It’s not likely to go down well them. Simply buy some dry lubricant from your hardware store and squirt it in. Even cheaper, if you have one or more pencils that are no longer used, just shave off a small amount of graphite from the tip and put that into the keyhole. It often works surprisingly well.
- Give Your Bathtub A Bright New Look
A bathtub that looks dingy and stained is not going to be a strong selling point for your home one day. Not to mention that the in-laws are bound to find it unappealing when they visit. Plus, everyone in the family might soon know that you are a complete home maintenance ignoramus who isn’t serious about taking care of a home.
What gives bathtubs that tired look after a while? The answer is simple: dirt, the minerals in the water, and skin fragments. Rather than resorting to potentially harmful chemicals, prepare a mixture of cream of tartar, baking soda, and lemon juice. Rub this into the stains and wait for around an hour. Then rinse.
- Flush The Water Heater At Least Once A Year
This might just as well have been at the top of our list of home maintenance tips. Once or twice per year, your water heater has to be flushed to remove any debris or minerals in the system. If you have the necessary skills, you can do this yourself – otherwise, call your local plumber to do it. The water heater will run much more efficiently afterward, and you are less likely to be faced with a hefty repair bill sooner or later.
- Fix Wallpaper Seams That Are Coming Apart
Few things shout ‘neglect!” louder than wallpaper seams that are coming apart. Luckily, this is not difficult to correct. Start by using a rag that you’ve soaked in warm water to reactivate the paste. Hold it over the region where the wallpaper is coming apart for one or two minutes. Next, slowly open the gap a little bit so there’s more working, and then squeeze in some seam sealer. After that, use a roller to press the wallpaper to the wall. Finally, use a sponge to remove excess sealer.
This brings us to the end of our house repair and home maintenance tips. As we’ve said earlier, this is a concise list of homeowner tips and tricks, not a complete home maintenance guide. But hopefully, it will whet your appetite for those small but very important maintenance tasks.
Take Care of Your Home
Habitat for Humanity of Broward tried to highlight the importance of taking proper care of your home with this blog. How well do you think we succeeded? If there’s anything you feel we should have added to the list, or if you want to find out more about our vision of bringing people together to build not only homes but also communities, feel free to visit our website by clicking on the link in the “Get Dead Power Outlets Fixed As Soon As Possible” paragraph above.