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Between bills, self-care, hair care, and skincare, often our home care gets overlooked. We all have at least one home project we seem to always talk about, but never get around to. Not to mention the home maintenance we neglect because once you’re used to something always working it’s hard to think of it suddenly not.
However, nothing takes the peace out of a day like going for an ice-cold drink and realizing the ice machine is broken, or going to check the laundry and realizing there’s a murky, soapy, dirty pool of what you wanted to be washed away waiting for you.
Taking care of a home is a big responsibility, but it’s not like buying a home comes with a manual on how to be a good owner. There’s a lot left for homeowners to figure out. So where do we start?
Luckily for you, I’ve made plenty of home care mistakes, and I am here to help show you what not to do.
The More You Know
Sometimes our lack of knowledge leads to issues we didn’t even know could be issues. Whether you’ve just bought a home or if you’re already settled in, it’s never too late to brush up on your landscaping, appliances, pipes, and other small details that could be slowly adding up to a hefty bill.
You deserve to feel satisfied and secure in your home and even with the routine maintenance tips for your home, step one is to always double check claims satisfaction ratings of your insurance company (and other companies) to ensure you have the best coverage for your needs. That way if something does happen — cause it most likely will — you know you’re covered.
Ask All the Questions
If you’re currently in the buying process, the best way to find out what you don’t know is to ask. Ask your realtor, the inspector, and the past homeowner any and everything about the home and how to well take care of it.
Different homes come with different rules when it comes to home care, especially if the landscape, weather, or appliances are different than what you’re used to in your previous home.
Research the Home’s Appliances
Once you’ve got a chance to familiarize yourself with your home, it helps to research the brand and series of your home appliances to first check their starting condition.
If they started in fair condition, you don’t have to think about replacing them yet, but knowing how often to maintain them will make each appliance last even longer.
Properly Hang Wall Decor
We all love to decorate, but remodeling can get expensive quickly. Whenever you decide to take on a decorating project, you should make sure the things you use now to save a few pennies won’t be things that cost you the big bucks later.
Wall decor can completely tie a room together, but how you hang it should be your first priority. Old-fashioned hammer and nail can be intimidating, and knocking on a nail blind can cause a lot of damage when you don’t really know what you’re doing.
However, darting around for tape or tacks is not a better alternative. Glue and other non-decor specified adhesives not only rip paint but can take drywall off with them, which ends up becoming more costly than properly hanging up items in the first place.
Put down the duct tape, and go to your nearest home decor store or invest in hiring a professional. Having a professional goes a long way, and even for the small things, using a pro can save you time and money.
Neglect Means a Big Bill Later
Procrastination killed the plants… or something like that. Even problems that we see every day have a way of escaping us, and the things we can’t even more so. A huge problem that can occur without our seeing it at first is water damage.
Water damage smells, causes rot, and a host of additional issues that cause nothing but frustration.
Check for Water Damage Seasonally
When the seasons change, we all get wrapped up in the seasonal excitement but forgetting about your sprinklers, pipes, and appliances will become an issue you cannot ignore. Water damage can come from various places so routinely checking your pipes can help you spot problems before they become too large.
If your home has a sprinkler system or attached hoses, making sure you’re properly storing them is important for cold, winter months. If excess water is left in the pipes, it can cause the pipelines to freeze and break.
Fixing pipes inside or outside of a home is pricey and takes time to do properly.
Beware of Leaky Appliances
Even great appliances break and leak, so being sure to clean behind them every few months and to check those back corners for signs of water can make the difference between a small appliance part repair and having to gut your floor, walls, and more.
Another area to be mindful of are areas where water directly hits, like kitchens and bathrooms. Check your grouting and flooring close to sinks, tubs, and faucets. Water can get inside those small cracks, and if you’re not getting to them during weekly cleans, they can cause mildew and mold problems that can spread to other areas of your house.
Planning a remodel can be fun, but you want to avoid the time and money required to fix the damage. Other areas to keep an eye on are refrigerators, or any kind of gadget or appliance that dispenses water for people or pets. Changing water filters regularly will help to keep your appliances staying strong and lasting longer.
Check the HVAC System Regularly
Setting your temperature extremely low or high isn’t the only thing that can send your local HVAC man into a charging frenzy. Closing a vent or two may seem like a good compromise, but putting on a sweater could be the difference that saves your home thousands in both annual fees and repair costs.
Air conditioning and heating is one of those things that you just need it to work and greatly inconveniences your life when it’s not doing what it should, which is why it’s such a pain to spend our hard-earned dollars on.
Keep your money in your pockets by finding a comfortable temperature that allows everyone to keep their vents open and the air continuously flowing.
A Happy, Healthy Home
A happy, healthy home is more than a cute phrase on a throw pillow. The first step to ensuring you have a happy home is making sure what you need to thrive inside of it is taken care of.
Just like spring cleaning, checking all of these things routinely, and seeking out help for when you’re unsure are the best ways to avoid homeowner mistakes and home project procrastination.
Get the whole family involved in-home care and make it fun. I am ashamed to say that at 27 years old I have only recently discovered that refrigerators have filters that need changing and doing so for the first time resulted in a small pool in my kitchen.
Not exactly the private pool I always envisioned, but it was definitely a learning experience!