When you own a home, home maintenance is imperative. Unfortunately, many homeowners fail to invest in maintenance before major systems start malfunctioning. To keep the costs of maintaining your property down, you need to focus on preventative maintenance. If you are planning on becoming a first-time homeowner in the near future, or you simply want to learn from mistakes that others make, here are 10 common mistakes that homeowners make when it comes to home maintenance.
#1: Forgoing Annual HVAC Inspections
You should schedule air conditioning maintenance appointments once every year. These inspection appointments are vital to ensure that your cooling and heating systems are functioning properly. If you forgo these vital inspections, you are probably spending far too much on your utilities for heating and cooling.
#2: Failing to Call a Professional for Major Plumbing Projects
You may be able to unclog a toilet or install a new faucet, but you should never take on a major plumbing project just to save on the cost of labor. When it comes to plumbing, the wrong cut or improper installation techniques can lead to flooding and property damage. It is best for homeowners to hire a professional plumber to ensure the work is done right the first time.
#3: Failing to Clear the Dirt and Debris
Dust and debris accumulates throughout your home. While most homeowners take time to dust, vacuum, and sweep their homes, many fail to realize the importance of cleaning air vents, ducts, and air filters. Not cleaning the air filter in your AC or your ducts can lead to inefficiency. This dust will accumulate and cause your system to work harder than it needs to. By taking the time to clean out filters and vents, you can extend the life of your HVAC system and keep the air cleaner in your home.
#4: Not Replacing Filters
While cleaning filters is important, after months filters in your furnace or AC should actually be replaced. Make sure that you read thgutter e manufacturer’s recommendations to understand how often the filters need to be replaced, and choose the right size.
#5: Failing to Clean Your Gutters
The gutters outside of your home are designed to direct water flow away from your property. In fall, leaves and other debris can clog your gutters, preventing the proper water flow. Failing to clean out your gutters can lead to not only roof damage, but also water damage in your home.
#6: Failing to Look for Red Flags
Water can cause thousands of dollars of damage that must be paid for out-of-pocket. While a pipe burst is not avoidable, you can mitigate water damage by inspecting your home for leaks. Dismissing drips coming from your AC, your pipes, or your ceiling, could lead to an unnecessary and preventable repair project.
#7: Hiring the Neighbor Down the Street
It may be tempting to hire your neighbor who claims to be a handyman to complete work around your home. By doing this, you are putting yourself and your home at risk. Do not cut corners by hiring a self-proclaimed handyman and hire a licensed and insured professional to do the work.
#8: Failing to Service Smoke Detectors
Your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can be lifesavers. While newer models alert you when the batter is draining, it is still important to test your detectors regularly to ensure they are functioning properly. Doing this can prevent injury and property damage if disaster ever strikes.
#9: Hiring the Wrong Contractors
Some homeowners do believe in hiring contractors, but fail to do their homework before signing any contracts. Failing to hire a reputable contractor offering accurate estimates and guarantees on their work can cost you quite a bit of money.
#10: Buying the Right Insurance
While all of these mistakes involve maintenance, failing to buy the right insurance is a major problem for homeowners. When a major system in the home malfunctions and causes damage, you need peace of mind in knowing you are safeguarded. Be sure to review your insurance policy with your insurance agent to discuss what is and what is not covered.
Owning a home may offer you more freedom, but this freedom comes with responsibilities. Be sure to stay on top of maintenance, and focus on preventing problems. If you avoid these mistakes and make the right decisions, you can save money and increase your well being.
Rachel is a blogger who writes on a variety of topics including home improvement and home repair. She writes for Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Bay Area who has a team of plumbers in San Jose that specialize in plumbing repair services.