Be Your Own Bob Vila – 8 Maintenance Tips For Everyday Homeowners

By on January 8, 2013

When it comes to heating and cooling, home improvement specialist Bob Vila says that it starts with how a house was constructed. On his blog he writes, “Before the advent of modern heating and cooling systems, home builders would design temperature control directly into a home’s layout.”

He continues, “In warmer climates that would often mean features such as deep porches and window awnings on the exterior, high ceilings on the interior. Colder-climate abodes positioned chimneys in central locations; some employed steeply pitched, Saltbox-style roofs to deflect northern winds.” (www.bobvila.com)

Today’s contractors lean on the knowledge gleaned from past generations within their industry. This is regardless of whether they are building new homes or retrofitting old ones with new techniques to achieve more efficient heating and cooling. In both situations, preventative maintenance will extend the life of the home through many calendar months of a wide range of harsh weather conditions.

Treat Your Home with TLC

Your home is not just the place where you live. It’s an investment. Giving your home the tender loving care it deserves through annual maintenance protects your investment while ensuring that your family’s living environment is both safe and healthy. It also sets a good example for the younger generation who will someday face their own set of home maintenance tasks. Here are some of the easy ways to maintain your home.

  • Protect Your Pipes – In the late summer to early fall, have your pipes checked for leaks and take care of wrapping them with some kind of pipe insulation.
  • Check the Generator – Those in higher elevations know that spring and summer storms can knock out power for days at a time, especially if a falling tree wipes out a major utility pole.
  • Clean the Gutters – This is a year round job. Whether you are in Topeka or Tampa, seamless gutters can prevent leaks from flowing down the outside of your home. Leaf guards make maintenance less of a hassle as debris flows over the guard while rain still enters the gutter and flows into the downspout.
  • Replace Filters – The filters in your home’s HVAC unit, air purification system, and get clogged from things like pet dander, pollen, and dust. Replacing them helps the unit work more efficiently which means it will work longer and save you money in the long run.
  • Power Washing – The siding, front porch, deck, shutters, windows, and garage door can often use a good cleaning. After the power washing is finished then it’s time to take a paint brush and take care of touching up any faded, chipped, or worn areas.
  • Check Outdoor Outlets – As warm weather approaches you can expect to spend more time outdoors, which is why it’s important to make sure the outdoor outlets around your home are in good working order as soon as spring arrives.
  • Condition the Lawn – Whether it’s time to fertilize in the fall or re-seed in the spring, taking care of the lawn is a year-round chore. Regardless of the season or the task at hand the important thing is that your yard stays neat and tidy to prevent accidents.
  • Keeping Basements Dry – Look for ways that water can get into your basement and then fix those problem areas before damage occurs. A lot of people use basement areas for storage. If you are one of these people, use raised, plastic shelving or waterproof, plastic totes to avoid mold and mildew ruining all your stored possessions in case of flooding.

You don’t have to be Bob Vila to take care of most home maintenance chores. However there’s nothing wrong with admitting that you don’t know how to do something and hiring a professional. This will prevent you from getting in over your head, not only with the task itself but also with how much money you’ve budgeted to take care of the work!

Maintenance is a Year-Round Job

Taking care of your home isn’t something you can do once a year and then forget about it. Spending a little money on preventative maintenance can save you a bundle in both time and money now compared to what you’d spend if you left potential problems alone. Once they grow into a real emergency, it’s too late to prevent it from happening because the damage is done.

If you spend a lot of time away from home, regardless if it is because you work in an office all day or just on a vacation with the rest of your family, you might consider installing a 24-hour alarm system to detect problems with the HVAC or plumbing. An early alert could be a real time and money saver because it allows professionals to tackle the problem before it has time to do real damage to your home.

Freelance author Becky James-Muth is no stranger to researching a wide range of topics for the articles she writes and takes advantage of using the information in her own life as well. For example, she recently used the website www.raincontrolaluminuminc.com to write an article and learn about leaf guards for the gutters on her own home. In her free time Becky enjoys knitting, reading, and watching Big Bang Theory with her husband and their teenage sons.

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