As a homeowner, you have to maintain your home’s condition in order to save yourself from costly repairs and preserve its value. That’s why it’s a must to master some home maintenance skills. And while no one expects you to be an expert, you should be able to do the basics. Below, we run down the top skills that every homeowner should have to make sure their home is always well-maintained.
#1 Replacing the air filters
Your HVAC unit contains air filters that prevent impurities such as dust, dirt, pet dander, etc. from circulating. Simply put, it collects particles that may be harmful to you and your family’s health. Over time, these air filters will get clogged, so you’ll have to change them out regularly. If you don’t, your HVAC will have to work twice as hard to get air through the clogged filter, and you’ll have to spend more on electricity. Fortunately, you can replace the air filters yourself – all you’ve got to do is remove the cover, throw away the old filter, and add in the new filter.
#2 Shutting off the water
As you may know, water damage is one of the worst things that you can experience as a homeowner. Not only does it damage your furniture, but it can also turn your home into a breeding ground for mold and mildew. In case of accidents like a pipe leak, you’ll want to shut off the main water valve that supplies water to your whole house. If you don’t, the water will run continuously and you’ll have to deal with thousands of dollars worth of repairs. To cut the water, look for the main water meter which is likely outside or in the crawl space. Once you’ve found the water valve, turn the wheel or lever to turn off the flow of water.
Pro Tip: If you’re going to be away for a long time, it’s a good idea to turn off the water. That way, you won’t have to worry about leaks while you’re gone. Alternatively, you could partner with a home maintenance company that can maintain and watch your home for you.
#3 Turn off the gas
Gas leaks are dangerous, so knowing how to switch off the gas can be life-saving. The moment you smell gas or suspect there’s a gas leak, you should call your gas company immediately but not before you cut the gas supply. The gas valve should be by the meter outside of the home. You will need a crest-type wrench to switch it off, so be sure to store one in your toolbox!
#4 Cleaning the gutters
Your roof’s gutters will collect dead leaves, dirt, etc., which can cause a clog over time. If you don’t unclog the cutters and it rains, the rainwater can overflow and seep into the siding. From there, the rainwater can penetrate your property’s structure and make its way into your home, where it can wreak all sorts of chaos. That being said, you must take the time to get rid of blockages in your gutters. You can climb up the roof yourself but only if your home is one story tall. Don’t risk your life trying to unclog the gutters! You can always hire a contractor through a property management company, anyway.
#5 Recaulk the windows and doors
When your home is first constructed, your contractor will fill the gaps around windows, doors, and other openings with a waterproof sealant. That way, your home can remain warm and dry. Unfortunately, this sealant doesn’t last forever – eventually, you will have to recaulk to prevent water from penetrating your home. Sealing the gaps also makes sure that pets stay out of your property.
Caulking isn’t a complicated task. All you need is a sealant of your choice, which can be bought from your local home maintenance store. It’s best to go for silicone sealants because they last longer and won’t crumble in warm or cold climates.
#6 Unclogging the drains and toilets
When your drains get clogged, what do you do? Do you call the plumber immediately and pay them hundreds of dollars for something you could’ve handled yourself? To save money, learn how to resolve drain issues on your own. There are several ways to unclog drains, such as using vinegar, but the best way to do it is with the use of a drain snake, a tool that’s designed to loosen blockages.
Similarly, you must learn how to unclog your toilet because it’s bound to happen at some point. Get yourself a plunger, place it on top of the drain to create a tight seal, and perform the plunging motion continuously. if that doesn’t work, it might be time to call a plumber.
#7 Cleaning your water heater
Homeowners tend to neglect this task, thinking they don’t need to do anything with their water heaters. However, failing to maintain the water heater could lead to costly repairs, increased electricity bills, or worse – you might have to buy a brand-new one. Over time, sediment will build up on the bottom of your water heater, which can cause it to run less effectively. Sediment can also cause it to corrode at a faster rate. To clean your water heater, simply empty it with a hose and let the water run until the sediments stop coming.
#8 Cleaning the dishwasher
If you’ve noticed that your plates, spoons, cups, etc. are starting to smell, your dishwasher may be to blame. When residue from food accumulates in your dishwasher, its smell can “transfer” to your dishes, leaving them even dirtier than when you placed them in the dishwasher.
Once a month, fill a dishwasher-safe bowl with white vinegar, slide it into the dishwasher, and then set it to run a cycle. Afterward, get rid of the bowl of vinegar, replace it with a bowl of baking soda, and run another cycle. Once that’s done, your dishwasher should be stench-free!
Don’t Have Time for Home Maintenance? Hire the Pros
There may only be eight maintenance must-have skills in this list, but they barely scratch the surface of your responsibilities as a homeowner! There’s still so much you’ll need to do to maintain your home. If the thought of spending your days doing chores doesn’t appeal to you, you can benefit from partnering with a property maintenance firm in South Florida. At Luxury Property Care, we provide homeowners with expert home maintenance to make sure they always come home to a place that is clean, comfortable, and safe.