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10 Home Maintenance Tips For First Time Homeowners
Being a homeowner is a big job. But there’s an art to staying on top of your home maintenance tasks without hiring a contractor.
The key is to know which tasks are urgent and which aren’t. Luckily, many home maintenance tasks require little time or money to do. Here are 10 that you should tackle first.
1. Replace Your Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors can help keep your family safe from fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure they're functioning properly by replacing the batteries and locating them in areas they should be.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause headaches, dizziness, weakness and death. It comes from burning fuel in cars and trucks, kerosene heaters, propane and natural gas stoves and fireplaces.
2. Change Your HVAC Filters
A dirty filter is a major cause of system downtime. Make sure to keep up with this simple maintenance task to save on energy bills.
Once you find the filter, remove it and carefully replace it with a new one. You should note the direction of air flow arrows on the filter frame so you can install it correctly. Then, restore power to the HVAC unit. Look into your home warranty to see what you can replace under your warranty. Many people do not realize that cinch home services can provide you with services that will cover systems in your home that may need updating.
3. Check Your Gutters
Gutters perform an incredibly important function for homes by diverting water away from the foundation, minimizing the risk of soil erosion, mildew, and structural damage. Make sure your gutters are clog-free and in good condition.
Check for standing or slow-moving water; inadequate slope and downspout direction; loose spikes or hangers, rust or peeling paint; and staining of adjacent surfaces. Work a section at a time when it is not raining.
4. Change Your Light Bulbs
Changing light bulbs is one of the easiest tasks in the home, but it is a job that often gets overlooked. It is important to always remember to turn off the power source before you change the bulb.
For a screw fitting, simply insert the new bulb into place and twist. Make sure to dispose of the old bulb responsibly.
5. Clean Your Windows
If you have white spots on your windows, which can be difficult to remove, a few simple steps can have them looking like a professional cleaning them. First, dust the window frames and sills.
Then, clean the glass with a squeegee and lint-free towels. Lynsey recommends using Casabella microfiber cloths, which have a honeycomb texture that nabs water spots, smudges and dirt without scratching.
6. Clean Your Garage
Keep a regular garage cleaning schedule to prevent messes and keep the space clean for longer. Mop floors regularly, wipe down walls with a mixture of water and detergent to break down oil spills, and air out your garage monthly.
Be sure to get behind workbenches and other items you can’t move to the side (wear a mask). Sweep out the crevices between the floor and walls.
7. Clean Your Gutters
Gutters are designed to direct rainwater from the roof down to the ground, preventing it from seeping into your house, which can cause foundation problems. However, they can become clogged with leaves and other debris.
Cleaning your gutters isn't the easiest chore, but neglecting it can lead to bigger (and more expensive) home repairs later on. Make sure you use a sturdy ladder, wear appropriate work gloves and never over-extend your reach.
8. Clean Your Gutters
Gutters are a key part of your home’s drainage system. But they can become clogged with leaves, twigs, and debris. This can cause water to splash back onto your walls and damage your house.
Cleaning your gutters can be a messy job, but it’s essential for protecting your home. Make sure to wear work gloves and use a sturdy ladder. You’ll also need a garden trowel and something to scoop the muck into.
9. Clean Your Gutters and Soffits
Gutters should be cleaned regularly and soffits should be inspected. They protect the fascia and roof and if they are not properly ventilated, moisture can cause wood rot and mold.
Fortunately, professionals can remove dirt and stains from these structures safely from the ground without having to climb on a ladder. They first apply a detergent solution with a low-pressure nozzle to avoid damaging the surrounding foliage.
10. Clean Your Gutters
Clogged gutters prevent rainwater from flowing down and cause rot on the roof and water damage to the house. They also attract pests and critters.
Cleaning your gutters can be a messy, time-consuming job, but it's essential to do. Make sure you're wearing safety equipment and using a ladder that's secure. Also, consider getting a gutter-cleaning wand that attaches to a hose to avoid climbing a ladder at all.