Often when one becomes a homeowner, there isn’t a list of rules to follow. It’s simple to call in a professional every time something needs repairs at home. But there are many maintenance tasks you can do yourself without racking up too much cost. We have listed 20 things you should know if you’re a homeowner to keep everything in working order.
1. Your Roof Is Your Home’s First Line Of Defence
Your home’s roofing system is one of the most important parts of its exterior. It protects your home from outdoor elements like rain water. Strong winds, sunlight, and rain can all damage your roofing system. If it becomes too damaged, you could be left with some expensive problems such as mould, water damage, replacing missing shingles, and even possibly replacing the whole roof.
Throughout the year, especially after severe weather conditions, inspect the roof for debris and signs of damage. If you’re planning on upgrading your roof, consider using strong materials like concrete and metal, both can protect your roof from fires.
2. Clogged Gutters
Clean your gutters twice a year to prevent them from becoming clogged. Leaves and debris clog your gutters, not only is it unpleasant to look at, but this can also greatly damage your home. During winter, this can lead to freezing and thawing issues that may cause gutters to crack and result in forming ice dams on the edge of your roof. Ultimately, this can lead to rot, leaks, water damage, mould and broken shingles.
Regardless of the weather, clogged gutters can threaten your home’s integrity. Unclogged gutters and downspouts direct water away from your house. Clogged gutters will lead to water pooling around the foundation of your home, causing cracks. Clogged gutters also cause leaks on the interior of your home, flooded basements, damaged gutters, infestations and more.
3. Beware Of Wall Outlets
If your wall outlets are slightly warm, call an electrician straight away. This may be a sign of faulty or damaged outlets, and overheating, which can result in fire. Scorch marks, frequently tripping circuit breakers, discolouration, burning smells, and smoke are sure signs that something is wrong and shouldn’t be brushed off.
4. Wall Anchors
If you’re about to hang a piece of artwork or a picture but can’t find a wall stud, you don’t have to change the placement or your decorating plan. Instead, make use of an anchor to lock a screw into your wall. These help keep shelving, artwork, and other hangings secure, and protect your drywall from tear outs.
5. Changes In Wood
Pay attention to any discolouration, peeling or bubbling paint, warping, or lots of small holes in wooden walls, siding, patios, decks, and any other woodwork. These may be indications of various problems like wood rot, mould, and termites.
If you suspect an issue, get in touch with a pro. For instance, if you have a possibility of a termite infestation, call in a pest control company or get rid of termites on your own.
6. Dryer Lint
Your tumble dryer’s lint trap can cause possible fires and damage. Failing to keep your dryer clean means not emptying the lint trap regularly, and not cleaning out the exhaust hose. You can simply do this task yourself or get help to inspect and empty the exhaust.
7. Musty Smells
A musty smell in your home is often a sign that your home has water damage, it could be a hidden leak or poor ventilation. Either way, the musty smell could indicate the presence of mould and mildew. This shouldn’t be ignored, it can worsen allergies and could even be toxic. These are the common types of mould that might be present in your home. Even if there isn’t mould, water damage can still lead to rot and bigger leaks in future, which will be expensive issues for your home’s structure.
8. Strange Noises
If you hear strange noises on your walls, you may need to call pest control. Mice and other small rodents often seek refuge through the walls in your home, making it difficult to spot a nest until it’s too much. Shuffling, scraping, and scurrying sounds in the walls are usually a clear indicator that rodents are busy making your house their new home. Rodents present a health hazard and can damage your home’s wiring or anything else they feel like chewing on.
9. Know Where Your Main Water Shutoff Valve Is
If you have a burst pipe and other plumbing issues, the first thing you must know is how to turn off the water to prevent water damage to your home. Locate where the main water line is and look for the shutoff valve to be sure it works. Knowing how to turn off the water in emergencies could spare you costly damages.
10. Property Lines Location
If you want to install a fence or gate, or just to make sure your neighbour isn’t slowly extending their garden into yours, you will have to find your property lines. You can start by acquiring your home’s floor plan or hiring a surveyor to mark the lines.
11. How To Clean Surfaces
When it comes to cleaners, all-purpose doesn’t mean all surfaces of your home. Make sure you know what every surface in your home is made of and make sure to use cleaning supplies that won’t damage the finishes. For example, if you have laminate flooring that needs cleaning, make sure your cleaner is specifically made for laminate floors.
12. Where And How To Shut Off Utilities
Many situations would require you to turn off the electricity, gas, or water in a specific place in your home. For instance, if you’re installing a new light, you’ll need to be able to turn off the circuit at the DB. For any appliance that needs to be installed, you should know where and how to turn off the power supply.
13. Replace Your Shower Head
Replacing a shower head is a small task with a large impact. Remove the current shower head, then place thread seal tape at the base of the shower arm before screwing in the new piece. If you were able to buy a new shower arm, then you’ll want to replace that now.
14. Clear Out A Blocked Toilet
A clogged toilet is inevitable for every homeowner. Although alarming when it happens, a clogged toilet is usually easy to fix with a plunger, auger, rubber gloves and a bucket. If the bowl is close to overflowing, turn off the water supply valve behind the toilet and empty half of the toilet water. Try a plunger first, if that doesn’t work, use an auger. You’ll also want to clean your toilet regularly to prevent build-up and stains from forming in your toilet bowl.
15. Plant Bushes Or Shrubs
Whether you have a green thumb or not, you should be able to plant simple things in your garden, like shrubs. Increase the odds of success by picking a plant that will grow well in your climate, and try to plan on getting it in the ground during the early spring. Test the soil drainage before planting, dig a hole twice as big as the root ball and deep enough so the ball is level with grade.
16. Use A Pressure Washer
Cleaning the exterior of your home with a pressure washer can remove several years’ worth of dirt and grime. Work from the top down, and keep paint from stripping or damaging the siding by pointing the hose at a 90-degree angle. Your house will be grime-free in no time.
17. Repair Window Screens
After cleaning your windows so they are crystal clear again, you may want to replace or repair window screens. All you have to do is pop the old screen from the metal frame and throw it away with the plastic cording. Fit a new screen, allowing some extra along the perimeter. Insert it into the frame with a new cording or spline and trim the excess screen.
18. Scrub Tile Grout Clean
Your tile grout is not mildew grey, but white. To properly clean your grout, spray warm water and scrub with a hard bristle brush. For more extensive stains, cover the grout with a baking soda paste made from a thick mixture of baking soda and water. Spray with a mixture of vinegar and water for a cleansing foam. When the foam reaction stops, scrub and rinse your tiles so they sparkle.
19. Clean Stainless Steel Appliances
Stainless steel appliances can attract scuffs and fingerprints over the entire surface. To clean a stainless steel appliance the right way, you’ll want to beware of bleach and abrasives. Wipe in the direction of the grain with a soft cloth dampened with soap and water. Remove stuck-on food residue with a plastic or nylon scrubber for an authentic stainless look, to prevent scratches.
20. Hang Wallpaper
If you want to hang wallpaper over a dark coloured wall, prime the wall so the colour doesn’t show through the wallpaper. Line up your wallpaper pieces so the pattern looks seamless, allowing 2 inches to overlap at the edges. Start wallpapering inconspicuously in case there ends up being a break in the pattern.
There are many more things that you as a homeowner will need to know depending on your lifestyle needs and especially on whether you enjoy DIY projects. If not, you always have the option of hiring some professional help. If your budget allows it, why not? If you’re a new homeowner, we hope these tips will help you. If you need a good home clean, at SweepSouth you can have your home cleaned professionally by a trusted and trained SweepStar.