20 Tips and Tricks Every Homeowner Should Know

Posted August 7th, 2015 in Home Maintenance, Roof Maintenance

A busted water heater. A burnt electrical outlet. A broken door frame.

These are just a few examples of some of the typical things that happen to homeowners, and often things that they don’t even think about. While there will always be unexpected repairs, here are 20 tips and tricks every homeowner should know.

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1. Get a roof inspection: Small things like broken shingles or broken down caulking can lead to bigger problems such as roof rot and leaks. Getting routine roof inspections will help keep your roof in good condition.

2. Test your smoke alarms: Make sure your smoke alarms are working and if not, replace the batteries. If you need to replace your alarm, hire a licensed contractor to do the installation.

3. Check your foundation for leaks and cracks: Celebrity Contractor Mike Holmes recommends that you check for cracks every 3 months (cracks larger than a dime should be checked by a professional).

4. Change your furnace filters: Furnace filters can get clogged with dust, which leads to decreased airflow and polluted air in your home. Changing these filters every few months will ensure your furnace runs smoothly.

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5. Clean your Roof Gutters: Routine gutter maintenance includes removing debris, clearing drains and replacing old caulking. This helps to prevent unwanted leaks in the future.

6. Know where water main, gas and breaker boxes are: In case the power goes out unexpectedly or you find yourself needing to turn off the water immediately, you don’t want to be running around looking for the right switch to turn off.

7. Keep your shower drains clean: Shower drains can become clogged with unwanted hair, which can affect your home’s plumbing system. Use a filter or clean your drains regularly to ensure water can flow through smoothly.

8. Get your carpets cleaned: If you live in a home with carpet, get your carpets cleaned every 1-2 years. This will help extend the life of your carpet and will prevent any unwanted odors.

9. Install grounded outlets: If you live in a home that is over 20 years old and wasn’t recently upgraded, you might have ungrounded outlets. Installing grounded outlets will protect you and your appliances from unexpected power surges.

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10. Caulk your Windows: Applying caulk to your window frame will help prevent air leaks and help keep your home more energy efficient.

11. Pay attention to leaks: If you start to notice a leaky faucet, replace it sooner rather than later. Being proactive will save you from bigger problems later on.

12. Have a maintenance budget: Having a budget for home fixes and repairs is important for those times you have to call a plumber in the middle of the night because a pipe burst.

13. Check for chipped paint: Celebrity Contractor Bob Villa recommends checking for chipped paint on both the interior and exterior of your home and replacing to prevent your walls from deteriorating.

14. Clean your fireplace: Before the cold weather hits, clean out all soot and debris from your fireplace to prevent a fire hazard later.

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15. Check your chimney: Installing a chimney cap will improve your chimney’s draft and prevent rain, snow and other critters from nesting in your chimney.

16. Be vigilant about your basement: If you have a basement in your home, check it seasonally for any dampness or insects. Cracks start at the bottom, making your basement a likely target for leaks.

17. Maintain your deck: Decks can become warped quickly due to weather, so it’s important to keep your deck clean and reseal it as needed. Same applies to patios.

18. Drain your water heater: Draining your water heater yearly will help to remove sediment from the bottom of the tank and and prevent issues down the line.

19. Wrap your pipes: When the weather begins to cool down, it’s important to wrap any pipes that go through cold zones to prevent them from freezing or bursting.

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20. General cleaning: Keeping your home clean through routine tasks such as vacuuming, dusting and emptying the trash will not only help keep your home in great condition, but it will keep its residents happier as well.

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