Owning your own home has many benefits. For one, you’ve made a financial investment in something that will more than likely increase in value over time. You’re no longer subject to the rules of a condo association. You can’t paint your kitchen pink and your bathroom purple and there is no landlord to answer to. That said, many things can go wrong with houses. Roofs leak, pipes corrode, appliances break down. Some of these things are inevitable but some are preventable. It just requires vigilance to stay on top of routine home maintenance tasks, but a little preventive maintenance can save you thousands of dollars over the years.
Here is a guide to help make you aware of some of the top home maintenance issues in Salt Lake as well as tips on how to prevent them from occurring in the first place.
1. Broken or Leaks in Large Home Appliances
Appliances that have leaks or breaks make staying in your home incredibly difficult. Some of the most common problems come from appliances like your refrigerator, dishwater, washer, and dryer. When the refrigerator’s coils are clogged, it works hard to keep your food items fresh. Not to mention, it’ll skyrocket your electricity bill. Use a coil cleaning brush attachment to remove any dirt and link from the coils to prevent this from happening.
Your dishwasher may experience problems such as failing to start, water leaks, weird noises, or not draining water. You shouldn’t try to fix the dishwater yourself when it’s broken. However, there are some non-plumbing tips you can follow to prevent dishwasher problems. First, don’t overload the dishwasher. Too many dishes can cause leakage and prevent the dishes from being fully clean. Also, rinse off the dishes before loading them. This prevents clogging in the drains. Use only the recommended amount of dishwasher soap to prevent buildup.
You can prevent the washer and dryer from breaking by cleaning the exterior vent and dryer hose once a year. In addition, inspect your washing machine hoses for any bulges, cracks, or leaks. If needed, contact a professional to replace the hoses.
2. Inefficient HVAC System
HVAC systems provide adequate heating and cooling of your home. This way, your home remains safe and comfortable throughout the year. Many issues can arise with the HVAC system, such as thermostat malfunctions, unusual furnace noises, blown tripped breakers or fuses, dirty evaporator coils, and water leaks.
Don’t set your thermostat too low. Most people tend to set the thermostat super low, thinking that their house will cool down faster. Unfortunately, this only causes a spike in energy usage. Replace your air filters every few months to prevent airflow problems. A clogged filter can lead to high energy bills, allergy issues, system strain, and frozen coils. Have annual or ongoing maintenance with HVAC professionals. They can identify clogs, leaks, and electrical issues early, while the issue is still small.
3. Blockages or Leaks in the Plumbing
You don’t realize how important plumbing in your home is until you start having issues with it. A slow drain here or a dripping faucet there can lead to big issues. The most common plumbing problems are water heater issues, leaky pipes, faucets, clogged toilets and drains, a running toilet, and low water pressure. Each issue has a different method of prevention.
To avoid clogging toilets and drains, only flush the dissolvable waste down the toilet. In showers, use a hair catcher over the drain so that loose strains don’t end up collecting inside the drain pipe and cause clogging. Low water pressure can be prevented by installing a filtration system to keep all minerals out of the pipes to avoid build-up. Also, check pipes routinely and repair leaks early.
4. Electrical Issues
Whether your home in Salt Lake is new or old, they’re both susceptible to electrical issues. From dead outlets and trips to surges and poor connections, they can be incredibly frustrating. However, handling electrical issues by yourself can be dangerous due to the chance of electric shock.
There are a few ways to prevent them from occurring. First, keep all electrical appliances dry since water and electricity can be a lethal combination. If your device gets into the water, unplug it. Also, switching off electrical devices like computers and TVs can cause a power surge or overheating, which could potentially start a fire. Safeguard from overheating by using a surge protector while the device is switched on. In addition, avoid putting electrical cords underneath rugs or carpets or going across the furniture. Cords can easily be worn or frayed, which may cause electrocution.
5. A Leaking Roof
Many roofing problems can show up before you even notice them. These issues include damaged shingles, roof leaks, worn metal flashing, failing granules, damaged gutters, and splitting roofs.
If you have gutters, inspect and clean them regularly. Your roof’s drainage system can easily be blocked by debris, especially in the height of autumn. Sweep dirt and leaves off of the roof routinely. Saplings can take root if the roof isn’t cleaned for a long time. In addition, most roofing professionals advise having the roof inspected twice a year. Lastly, have the roof sealed with waterproof coating. Leaks can be destructive to your home. Roof coatings protect against water damage and insulation against UV damage as well.
6. Water Heater Not Functioning Properly
Problems may arise with gas or electric heaters such as no hot water, leaking water, noisy tank, dirty water, and low water pressure. Water heaters don’t break often, however, it can be a huge inconvenience when they don’t work. Think about all the things you need hot water for, such as taking a shower or washing dishes.
To prevent a breakdown, have the water heater at least two feet clearance on all sides. This means removing any clutter around the unit. Next, discharge the valve three to five times to keep an eye on leaks. Also, drain about one-fourth to one-third of the tank several times a year to eliminate any built-up debris or sediment.
7. Pest Infestation in Your Home
Even clean homes can have issues with bugs and termites. They tend to find ways to enter your house and quickly set up a nest. Common household pests include termites, flies, mice, fleas, and ants. The most common reasons for these bugs are food, water, odor, and warmth.
You can prevent pests from coming by minimizing these enticements. First, remove any obvious food and water sources. Put trash in covered bins outside, vacuum the basement corners, never leave a pet bowl out all day, and look for leaks in the interior pipes.
Once you’ve removed food sources, inspect the holes in your foundation and the landscaping outside your home. Make sure that no landscaping such as plants, rockets, or barks touch your house. Ideally, you should keep at least two feet of space between your home’s foundation and landscaping.