Here are 5 simple home maintenance tasks that most people forget to do on a regular basis. Use this list to make sure you’re maintaining your home correctly.
If you’re like many homeowners, you probably find home maintenance to be an onerous responsibility. There’s just so much that goes into keeping a home in good shape, indoors and out, that even with a detailed home maintenance checklist, you’re going to miss some things.
But it’s important to make sure that you take good care of your home, and the systems and appliances within it. Good maintenance can mean fewer home repairs and lower maintenance costs overall – and it means more than just keeping the place clean, mowing the yard and changing the furnace filters. These five home maintenance tasks are among the most commonly forgotten – be sure to remember them.
1. Flush Your Water Heater
Flushing your water heater can extend the life of this expensive appliance, and it needs to be done once a year. If it’s not done often enough, mineral sediment can build up inside the tank, causing banging, popping or rumbling noises as water bubbles up through it. That layer of sediment will make it harder to flush your water heater. Eventually, that sediment layer will cause the bottom of your tank to rust out, and you’ll need a new water heater much sooner than you otherwise might have.
2. Inspect Your Roof
Another home maintenance chore you should do at least once a year is inspecting your roof. Many homeowners do this while cleaning their gutters. Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against the elements, and damage to your roof could cause moisture to leak into your home, causing mold, rot or other problems that might not be apparent until extensive damage is done.
You can inspect your roof yourself, looking for cracked, broken or missing shingles, or black grit in the gutters that signals the end of your asphalt shingles’ lifespan. Moss or algae growing on the shingles is a bad sign, too, as is dry rot, rust or damaged caulk.
3. Clean Your Dryer Vent Duct
Lint build-up in dryer vent ductwork is a leading cause of house fires, and that’s why you need to clean out your dryer vent’s ductwork every six months. Even if a blocked duct doesn’t burn your house down, it can extend drying times or make your house smell weird.
If the ductwork is extensive, you might need the help of a professional to clean it out, especially if it has a lot of bends and turns. But if the ductwork leads pretty much right outside from where it connects to your dryer, you can probably clean it out yourself. Disconnect the ductwork from the back of your dryer and use a shop vacuum to suck built-up lint out of the duct. Check the vent where it exits the house, too. Sometimes, birds or other small animals nest in the opening of the duct outside, so make sure it’s covered so they can’t access it.
4. Clean Your Windows’ Weep Holes
Weep holes are the row of tiny holes along the bottom of your window frame on the outside. They’re there to provide a drainage mechanism for water that leaks into the window frame’s inside channel. Dirt and debris can collect in these holes, and insects often find them an ideal place to live. Use an unbent paper clip to clear debris out of the weep holes every six months. Check to see if they’re clear by spraying water on the outside of the window and watching to make sure that it seeps out through the holes. If it doesn’t, open the window and check to make sure the water is actually getting inside the tracks – if your windows are still new and well-sealed, they may be keeping water out so well that the weep holes aren’t really needed.
5. Dust Your Refrigerator Condenser Coils
Your refrigerator condenser coils remove heat from the refrigerant to cool the inside of the refrigerator. But when those condenser coils get dusty, they can’t do their job as well. Unfortunately, dusty condenser coils can shorten the life of one of the most expensive components of your refrigerator, and if you don’t clean them off every three months or so, you could end up shelling out for a new refrigerator much sooner than you really need to. Fortunately, cleaning them is easy – simply pull your refrigerator away from the wall and wipe them with a dust cloth.
Keeping up with your home maintenance chores can significantly reduce your overall upkeep costs. For the rest, there’s a home warranty from American Home Shield®. Contact us today to learn more about how our home warranties can help protect your budget from unexpected costs when your covered items break down.