Important Home Maintenance Tasks That Will Prevent Big Problems

You probably already have a lengthy list of things to do to take care of your house, such as changing the filter on your furnace at the change of each season, turning off the water before winter, cleaning the gutters, and so on and so forth. That’s a wonderful place to start, but there are plenty of additional chores that people who own their own homes sometimes overlook or are just unaware of. The following are a few essential chores relating to house upkeep that you may not have on your to-do list, but which, if left undone, might result in a significant amount of frustration and expense for you.

 Photo by Binyamin Mellish

 Check For High Water Pressure

High water pressure may damage pipes, fittings, and appliances. Water hammer and wastage are both common side effects. An easy-to-do maintenance activity that many people fail to do is checking for excessive water pressure. It’s possible to buy a pressure-reducing valve and a basic pressure gauge from your local home improvement store.

 Simply check the water pressure using the gauge, and if it’s higher than it should be (you can determine what the limits are for your area by checking online), it’s a simple task to install the pressure-reducing valve. This valve limits the amount of water coming in, thus reducing the pressure and ensuring your home is kept safer. Although this is a simple task, you might be happier asking a plumber to do it, as just a small mistake could cause water damage, which is bad news.

Check Your Window Weep Holes

There are weep holes on the bottom of the frame of many sliding windows and vinyl replacement windows. These holes are made so that rainwater that gets into the bottom channel of the frame can drain out. Weep holes can get clogged with bugs and other debris. If this happens, water could fill the channel and leak into your house.

 Pour a container of water into the track or spritz the exterior of the window with a garden hose to see if your weep system is working. If you don’t see clean water coming out of the weep hole in a steady stream, stick a wire hanger in the hole or spray it with compressed air, then wet it down again. If the little flapper, which is meant to keep out strong winds, is stuck shut, it can be taken off and put back on with a putty knife.

Clean Your Refrigerator Coils

The condenser coils on a refrigerator are either on the back or along the bottom. When dust, pet hair, and spider webs get into the coils, they can’t release heat as well. Because of this, your refrigerator’s compressor has to work harder and longer than it was meant to. This uses more energy and shortens the life of your refrigerator. Use a brush made for cleaning coils and a vacuum to clean the coils. A coil-shaped cleaning brush that can be bent to fit into small spaces does a good job. Look for one online or in stores that sell appliances.

Lube The Garage Door Springs

Use a garage door lubricant to coat the torsion springs that are above the roller tracks and go over the top. Metal fatigue and/or corrosion will cause all springs to break at some point, but lubing them at least yearly will make them last longer. Spraying can get messy, so it’s smart to put a piece of cardboard against the wall behind the spring to protect it. Garage door lubricant is available at home centers. While you’re at it, grease the rollers, hinges, and track.

Change Your Air Conditioner Filters

If your air filter is dirty, dust, pet hair, and even mold can keep moving around your home. This means that your family will be breathing in these things, which can make asthma, allergies, and other breathing problems a lot worse. A clean air filter is better at catching these things, so you and your family can breathe easier. On top of that, you can extend the life of your HVAC unit by changing the filters regularly.

 If you like the idea of clean air in your home, this is a job that should be carried out as a priority. Call the professions if you’re not sure what to do, as it is very important to get it done right.

Check For Mice And Pests

Mice like to spend the winter in places that are closed off, like engine compartments, window air conditioners, and the nooks and crannies of a lawn tractor. Before you start a car or piece of equipment that has been sitting idle for a while, check for mouse nests. You don’t want to go out to your vehicle and find that little furry animals have gotten in and chewed through half the wires. Mice nests can also make electronics overheat and can get into carburetors and clog them up.

Clean Your Dryer Vents

If your dryer vent gets clogged, it won’t work as well, which is bad. A clogged dryer vent could also start a fire in the house, which could be very dangerous. Because the ducts are longer, dryers in the middle of a house are most likely to get clogged. Pests making nests and stuck exhaust hood flappers are two other things that can cause ducts to back up. Two signs that your vent is clogged are stronger smells and longer drying times. 

 To clean the dryer, you’ll have to take the vent off the back of it. Use a wet/dry vacuum to remove debris from the ducts, or use a cleaning kit with a brush on a long, flexible rod that can be attached to a power drill to ream out the ducts. You can get the kits at home centers. If your ducts need to be replaced, get metal ducts with a smooth surface. They will stay cleaner for longer than flexible ducts with a corrugated surface. Plastic ducting should never be used because it can start a fire.

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    7 comments

    1. Since it’s summer now, for many, the problem of a green pool is a pressing one. This problem is easier to prevent than to deal with.
      A proper pool maintenance will help prevent it: https://www.discountsaltpool.com/why-is-my-pool-green.

    2. You mentioned very important things. As for air filters, professionals recommend checking them every 90 days. But uou may find you need to check it more frequently during times of high use, like the spring.

    3. […] or rent your home, it’s always worth learning some DIY and other skills to help you keep up with important home maintenance tasks that can disrupt your home. From simple things like fixing a leaky tap or realigning a door, to […]

    4. I see you’ve mentioned high water pressure. Actually, low water pressure can also be a problem. There are some of the most common causes of it: https://polestarplumbing.com/tips-tricks/common-causes-for-problems-with-low-water-pressure. In some cases, you can solve the problem on your own.

    5. Another thing I’d like to suggest is using heat tapes to keep your pipes warm during extremely cold weather conditions. This will help you prevent your pipes from freezing. Here is a full guide to preventing pipes from freezing: https://escoutah.com/preventing-frozen-pipes/.

    6. Thank you for sharing – very helpful. Another area pests really like to live in is air ducts. Precisely, dirty air ducts. Over time, air ducts get filled with dust, mites, bacteria, and debris and become a favorable environment for pests. That’s why you have to do air duct cleaning every 3 to 5 years.

      But getting rid of pests is not the only benefit of duct cleaning, though: https://www.sandersandjohnson.com/3-benefits-of-air-duct-and-vent-cleaning/.

    7. I see you’re suggesting changing air conditioner filters – that’s great.
      Changing the air filters is surprisingly simple. We’ll walk you through the step-by-step process so that nothing is left to question: https://servicetoday247.com/diy-guide-how-to-change-air-filter-for-winter/.

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