Maintaining your home is much simpler than paying for substantial repair bills. So don’t be caught off-guard. Here is a list of some maintenance items that should be on your checklist to ensure that you are on top of things or some things you should consider adding to your property to make things easier to maintain.
Install an Irrigation System
Landscapes need water to survive and flourish. However, relying on natural rainfall is not a reliable way to ensure your lawn and plant life are getting the water they need. An underground sprinkler system offers convenience, as the water sprays directly where it needs to, with the opportunity to automate your watering schedule based on your needs.
The decision to choose irrigation installation should be based on the following factors.
- The type of grass you have will affect irrigation installation needs.
- Some turfgrass varieties have higher water needs than some others.
- Soil type affects the efficiency of irrigation. For example, sandy soils absorb water faster than clay soil.
An irrigation system allows for better control of the moisture content of your soil. However, supplying more water than the soil can absorb creates runoff. The planning and purchasing of the proper components is key to a successful lawn irrigation system. The manufacturers of home sprinkler systems have design and planning guides that make the job considerably more manageable. There are some factors you need to look into before installing your system.
- Check to see if your locality requires a building permit.
- Check for underground utilities prior to digging.
- Check the local municipal watering laws.
- Check to see if your state or local regulations insist upon a licensed professional installation.
In order to purchase the correct components, you have to know specific information about your home.
- Water pressure in PSI
- Water well size
- Water meter size
- Water service line size
- Water flow rate in GPM
- Prevention of backflow type as required by local code
Be sure to call 811 to check for underground utilities prior to beginning any excavation.
Create a Maintenance Schedule
Having a maintenance schedule will help to stay on track. As prevention is better than cure, you need to handle minor problems before they turn into major ones, especially if you live in inherited homes. Specific tasks should be done monthly, some quarterly, annually, or every few years. Set up an automated online system or use a calendar to remind yourself when these maintenance jobs need to be done.
Consider taking photos of areas of the home to document the condition of things when you last checked. Deterioration can happen slowly, and the photos will help you remember how things looked the last time you checked.
Invest in Pest Control
Pests can cause a lot of damage to homes. Termites feast on the wood, bats live and reproduce in the attic, or bees or hornets make hives under the eaves. If you notice any sign that you have an issue with pests, call a pest control professional as soon as possible to alleviate the problem.
Keep Your Cables in Order
In addition to boosting data transmission rates over traditional copper lines, sealed fiber optics offers other benefits. They are immune to electromagnetic interference, and signal loss over long distances is very low.
Here are a few advantages fiber optic cables have over copper cables.
- Faster speeds
- Greater bandwidth over copper cables
- Longer distances
- Greater reliability
- Sturdier and thinner
- Added flexibility for the future
- The cost of ownership is lower
Fiber and cable are both reliable, and each can get up to gigabit speeds, 1,000 Mbps, but fiber optic is better at delivering the fastest speeds, especially for bandwidth upload. It is less prone to high-traffic slowdowns than cable. If it is available to your home, and you require very fast speeds, fiber is your option.
Engage in Roof Maintenance and Repair
It is essential to keep your roof in good repair for a variety of reasons. The roof of your home is one of the most significant investments you can make on your home. Maintain it so you can avoid premature roof repairs or replacement costs. Fortunately, most roofs last for many years, and their life can be extended by proper routine maintenance.
Tiles and shingles can break or blow off due to weather, and over time gaps can lead to water leaking into the home. Clean the gutters at least once a year. Use a rake and leaf blower to get rid of leaves, sticks, and other debris that builds up over time. This will stop icicles and ice dams from causing rust and holes.
When your roofing contractor performs roof maintenance, there are certain things he will check right away.
Check for cracked pipe boots for roof leaks – A drastic drop in temperature in the winter is when the neoprene gasket around a plumbing vent stack is likely to crack, creating an area for water leakage.
Remove debris from gutters, valleys, and the roof – If not removed, this debris can create a dam, causing water to back up under the shingles and create a leak. Leaves left in gutters can clog downspouts or slow the flow of water, causing gutters to overflow and create unwanted moisture in the basement or crawl space of your home.
Inspect for animal intrusion – The attic of a home is the perfect place for them. They can cause damage by chewing on electrical wiring, a common cause of house fires. Animal intrusion also causes a biohazard with their waste. Early detection is essential.
Inspect ventilation to ensure fans or turbines are working correctly – If the condensation is not vented out of your attic, it will dissolve adhesives in the plywood decking, causing delamination of layers. This results in the nails weakening and shingles blowing off.
Inspect caulking and all flashings – Caulking is vital to keep exposed nail heads on roof penetration flanges watertight. It also keeps metal flashing in brick walls and chimneys watertight.
If a new roof is needed on your home, consider an SPF roof system. It is composed of two liquid chemical compounds — isocyanate and polyol — which form a roof system base. A protective surface is applied to the foam to provide an additional barrier against the elements. SPF roof coatings are worth it if you hire a professional to do the installation. Spray foam is an ideal roofing solution for low-pitched roofs. It is energy-efficient, lightweight, easy to install, and long-lasting if maintained.
Every ten years, based on the amount and type of foam roof coating installed, the roof will need cleaning, then primed, and re-coated. If done with a good quality spray foam, the roof could last fifty years or more.
Keep Up with Plumbing Maintenance
Plumbing preventive maintenance helps to avoid a major plumbing issue. Many vintage homes are at risk of their pipes clogging up and bursting because of internal rusting. If drains have had inappropriate things poured down them over the years, you will end up with sinks that back up at some point. Call in a plumber to assist with any issues you may have with your drains and pipes. Some repairs can be DIY, but others may require a professional. Here are some tips for preventive maintenance.
Fix showerheads and faucets that are leaking – A dripping faucet wastes a lot of water, adding to the water bill. A drip gets worse over time, so check them regularly. Check the handles to ensure there are no water drips when turned off. Check under the sinks for drips or stains while the water is running.
Unclog slow drains – If the water is slow to drain, there is probably a problem. Use a homemade mixture of vinegar and hot water to flush down the drain to unclog. This process done every few months will keep the drain flowing correctly.
Check exposed pipes and appliances for water leaks – Your disposal, refrigerator, or water heater could be sources of leaks. Watch for puddles of water near your water heater and call a water heater services company if there is a leak. Be aware of any mold or mildew. If there is a leak under your washing machine, use a tray which will help limit damage.
Fix leaking toilets – A faulty seal around the valve seat can cause your toilet to run when not flushed. With time, gunk will form around the flapper and valve seat, preventing the flapper from sealing properly. The water will continue to run.
Remove and clean your showerhead – This will improve water pressure during a shower. Also, ensure that your bathtub is draining correctly. If it is not, purchase a bathtub drain repair kit to fix the issue. If this does not repair the problem, call a plumber.
Maintain water pressure – If your water source is a well, and you find the water is moving slowly, contact water pump repair services to restore the water pressure to acceptable levels.
Keep your septic tank maintained – If you have a septic system and require a drain field repair, there is not a quick fix, unfortunately. Short of a clog in the system that can easily be routed out, any other way will not destroy the bacterial mat. Often the issue of a septic system problem, only allowing the trench to dry out entirely for a couple of months will repair it.
Repair Any Visible Pet-Related Damage
If you have added a four-legged companion to your family, and you are still learning how to train your puppy, no doubt you have some damage that needs to be repaired.
If you have hardwood flooring, it no doubt has a polyurethane seal. It is a barrier but cannot completely protect floors from scratches or urine stains made by untrimmed claws. Surface level scratches can be covered with a stain-filled marker. Deeper gouges or scratches will need repairing with a wood filler, sanded down, and re-stained. When you re-stain, use the lightest stain possible, let it dry thoroughly, and then re-stain darker if needed.
The acid state of urine provides a perfect breeding ground for bacteria when your puppy has a mistake on the carpet. In its original acid state, the urine begins to oxidize and react with the carpet to create a color change which will become permanent if the urine is not removed as soon as possible. Repair loose ends on the carpet where the puppy has pulled them up. To repair this, use a hot-melt carpeting tape and place it along the seam, so half is under one side of the tape and half under the carpet. Press firmly into place with an iron which will melt the glue for a good seal.
Repaint or repair the walls where your inquisitive puppy or kitty has scratched while they play. If you have wallpaper, it is impossible to repair it adequately. Sheetrock can be repaired by sanding the damaged area, spackling the holes, then let it dry thoroughly. It may require more than one layer of spackle, so to speed up the process, use a hairdryer. When the spackling process is done, sand the area to smooth it and prime and paint it.
Owning a home is a beautiful thing, but it can be expensive if you do not maintain it as you should. Using these tips will help you take care of your home as necessary, enabling it to give you many years of pleasure.