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Owning a home can be like a full-time job, especially if your home is old, large, or both. But even brand new builds need to be maintained and proper maintenance as and when it is needed can save both time and money by addressing issues before they become a problem.
Basic decorating and cleanliness aside, there are some essential things that every homeowner needs to be aware of that can become a disaster if not treated correctly. Anyone who owns an older home might be aware of these issues, or then again they may not, but younger or inexperienced homeowners will definitely need to educate themselves on the pitfalls of improper property maintenance when it comes to certain things.
Some of the most important aspects of a home that need to be taken care of include:
- Internal Structure
- Gutters and Roof
An often overlooked aspect of a home is the quality of its windows which can have an impact on many things while landscaping is one of the first things people will notice and a home’s internal structure needs to be maintained as best as possible to avoid disaster. Gutter and roof maintenance is a simple yet vital aspect to maintaining a home and inadequate plumbing can cost money on bills and potentially become catastrophic.
More Than a View
Every house has windows and while they are essential for enjoying the beauty of nature around a home, they can also become an annoyance, a cost, or a hazard for residents if they aren’t maintained properly. Window maintenance doesn’t only refer to cleaning them properly, which should be done regularly but checking them for mold, drafts, or cracks.
Older windows may be made of wood which can become cracked, allowing all kinds of nasty things into the home such as bugs, parasites, and bacteria. They may also be single-pane glass which will directly contribute to a higher carbon emission since the home won’t retain heat as well as it could with better windows, and this will also increase your heating bills significantly.
Wooden windows of this nature should be replaced if possible and even older UPVC, double-paned windows aren’t designed to last forever. Specialist window companies such as Renewal by Andersen can replace your inefficient windows with custom-designed, environmentally friendly ones that will not only look infinitely better on your home but can lower bills and carbon emissions.
Your Own Slice of Paradise
The immediate area surrounding your home is noticeable by everyone that walks past it every day. Not only will poor landscaping reduce the aesthetics of your home but it will reduce curb appeal if you are looking to sell and ultimately the selling price no matter how organized you are. Some neighborhood councils and committees can also levy fines on poorly maintained properties so even such things as mowing the lawn can become absolutely necessary.
However, landscaping of property extends further than the depth of a lawn cut and can include such things as patio structures, irrigation, and foliage, all of which can either add or remove value to a home depending on how well they are implemented. For example, visible sprinkler systems and lines will definitely detract from the sale potential of a home as will planting too many flowers or trees. Unless you know what you are doing, it might be best to consult a professional before doing any of these things.
On a more serious note, there are instances where improper landscaping could become a hazard. Poor drainage can cause groundwater to swell and eventually flood your garden, becoming a natural disaster and ruining any plant life in the process. Additionally, this can cost a lot of money to fix and fines might be imposed on you, especially if the event damages any government or neighboring property. Drainage solutions should always be carried out by a professional and never attempted by yourself.
Bag of Bones
The age-old saying that a house has good bones is true of any well-built structure, but just like the bones of our body, a home’s bones also need the proper care and attention. The internal structure and foundation of a house ultimately determine the build quality and how long a home is likely to stand which if done properly could be hundreds of years as is the case with many older mansions for example, which are still standing today.
Common problems with the internal structure of a house include such things as leaning or bulging walls and floors, cracks, and roofing issues with the average cost of repair for just one of these problems running at approximately $10,000 to $15,000. As with anything, prevention is better than the cure and there are some things that you can do to help safeguard your home against common structural problems.
The weather is almost always a contributing factor when it comes to structural damage as your home is bombarded year after year with storms, strong winds, and projectiles, all of which can affect the integrity of a home over time. Various weatherproofing solutions are available such as damp-proofing, dry rot treatment, and basement maintenance. Rainwater on the ground can also diverge to your property which is why proper drainage, as mentioned above, is vital for any home.
A Chore Well Worth It
Many of us have the memory of being forced to clear out the gutters by our parents either as punishment or as part of our chores, and while it might have seemed like torture when we were kids, we didn’t realize that we were actually doing our homes a great service since there are many issues that can arise from a poorly maintained gutter system.
Gutters are designed to distribute and direct rainwater into the drainage system in and around the home so that it doesn’t collect and cause problems with the internal, external, and roofing structures of the building. If water is allowed to pool in a gutter it can become heavy and begin to leak into the home which can cause a multitude of hazards, not least rotting wood and causing dampness, but also becoming potentially lethal if exposed to the electrical system.
Fortunately, it’s very easy to clean a gutter although great care must be taken when working at such a height as more than 28,000 people per year are injured when cleaning their gutters, mostly by falling off the ladder. The quickest and most effective way to clean your own gutter is to wait for any rain stop and use a leaf blower when the gutter content is sufficiently dry. Otherwise, use your hands and remove any matter manually or hire a local professional for a relatively low fee.
What’s That Smell?
Good plumbing is essential to any property and no more so than in the home. As well as the obvious and rather disgusting catastrophe that could potentially happen from a poor plumbing system, the pipes of a home also contribute to the overall structural health by ensuring that any water and/or waste is effectively managed throughout the building.
Not only is plumbing maintenance essential to the sanitational, environmental, and physical health of a property and ourselves, it can provide us with fresh and clean water as well as drain wastewater effectively. A good plumbing system also ensures that sewage traffic is routed properly so that pipes don’t burst because of any blockages that may occur, however, the plumbing can’t do it all alone and needs some help.
Plumbing maintenance requires little effort for maximum results which can go a long way to ensuring potentially hazardous problems are avoided. One of the most effective things you can do is to regularly maintain the pipes with solutions available from most stores that dissolve the biological matter that accumulates in the system such as hair, grime, and bodily waste. You should also pay attention to any leakages such as toilets, taps, and valves which could indicate that a potential issue is on the horizon.