Home maintenance, sometimes known as the “honey-do list,” is something that commonly gets put off in favor of other more enjoyable pursuits. However, failing to take care of maintenance chores often leads to bigger problems.
Not cleaning your gutters can create ice dams that can lead to moisture damage, and ignoring annoying smoke detector beeps that let you know when a battery is dying can have dire consequences. Following are three other maintenance tasks that deserve your immediate attention if you want to keep your house in tip-top shape.
Check the Plumbing for Leaks
Plumbing has a sneaky way of leaking when you least expect it. PVC cracks, and pipes rust. Faucets have parts that corrode over time. If you don’t catch the leak early, the moisture will accumulate in your walls or on your floor and could lead to expensive moisture damage that you’ll have to fix in addition to the leaking pipe.
All it takes is the better part of a half hour to check the exposed pipes in your home. Schedule it as a task to do every six months so that you can stay on top of potential leaks. The moment you find a leak, fix it by tightening up the fixture or joint, or call in a plumber to do a solid repair.
Change the Air Filter on the HVAC Units
This one is easy to forget about, especially if you’re not around your HVAC units on a regular basis. The importance of keeping filters changed can’t be overstated. They’re in place to keep dust and allergens from getting into your vents and then blowing around the home. Dirty filters are a sure-fire way to create air-quality problems in the home and leave a layer of dust on furniture and fabrics.
The easiest way to remind yourself to check filters is to set a reminder on your smartphone’s calendar when you replace your old ones. You’ll get an alert a few weeks later to tell you to change the filters: No questions asked and no nagging.
Check the Small Stuff
Hinges, door handles, and locks are all under constant use as people come and go throughout the home. These bits of hardware are what keep doors closed and bar against unwanted entry. Of course, they also hide the dishes from general view. If they fail, you might not be able to open a cabinet or lock a door, which means having to go out and buy a new piece of hardware to replace the old one.
Go through your home a couple of times a year to check the hardware on all doors, cabinets, and drawers. Oil squeaky hinges, squirt graphite into lock cylinders, and tighten screws. You can also decide whether something is about to give out and replace it without missing a beat during regular maintenance.
Regular maintenance goes a long way toward preventing repair bills when you least expect or want them. Turn these things into regular habits and you’ll find that you might not have to call out a contractor to repair things for some time to come.