In our 20 years of experience, we have come across many homeowner maintenance issues.
We have created a list of the top 10 things to be on the lookout for when servicing and maintaining your home.
This edition includes the 5 major home systems- stay tuned for part 2!
Proper care and maintenance of your plumbing system can prevent damages that leads to costly repairs. This will also ensure that your toilets, sinks, drains, and pipes last for many years. As with many household systems, prevention is key. You need to take care of your plumbing system so serious problems don’t arise.
1. Keep an Eye on Water Pressure: Sudden drops in water pressure are easy to notice and can happen for several reasons; high demand of other faucets in the home, or a malfunction due to a blockage from debris, clogged pipes, or damaged faucet heads. If this occurs, check for any issues in the faucet heads and pipes, and determine if this is occurring across the house or is isolated.
2. Always Check for Leaks: After each use of a plumbing fixture, each household member should check for leaks. One small leak can use thousands of gallons of water; draining resources and your wallet. Look for water stains and signs of excess moisture, as well as smells of mold or mildew. Leaks can occur in bathroom fixtures, as well as kitchen and laundry room appliances.
3. Locate All Shut-off Valves: In the event of a leak or plumbing malfunction, the first thing you should do is turn off your water supply. These valves are usually located outside and controls all water coming into your home. Some minor plumbing leaks can be fixed in a DIY fashion, but always call your local plumbing professional just in case.
The roof is an integral part of the house- it keeps the elements outside of your living space and adds to the curb appeal. A roof has been designed to last many many years, however, you still need to inspect your roof on a regular basis. There are many factors such as birds, weather, and even bugs, that can affect the integrity of your roof.
Inspection Schedule: 1. Tile roof = every 5 years 2. Asphalt, shingle, composite roof = every 3 years; the older your roof is, the more likely it is to succumb to the elements.
Weather: The roof is the first line of defense during any weather or storms. It is the first thing you should check after a storm is over.
Shingles: If you see broken or missing shingles, there are some simple DIY methods for fixing them. However, if shingles are curled, you should hire professional help to replace them. Curled shingles affect the roofs ability to stay waterproof.
Debris: Clear debris away from your roof regularly. Branches, leaves, sticks, and even snow can weigh your roof down.
Water and waste need to leave your home, and will do so by either a sewer or a septic system. Sewer systems are most common in densely populated areas, and are owned/operated by the government. A septic system is an individual unit associated with your home. This system requires ongoing maintenance, and the responsibility falls to the homeowner. Some of the main issues with a septic system include biodegradable items, weather conditions, water leaks, and tree roots. These can start as small issues and transform into a large problem if not maintained.
Routine Inspection: You should have your septic system inspected every three years to address any cleaning or repairs that may need to be done.
Pumping: Each septic tank is different, and many factors go into play, but you should have your septic pumped every 3-5 years. Pooling water, bad smells, and slow draining can be signs that your septic requires attention.
Your Septic is Not a Trash Can! Always avoid putting items like grease, coffee grounds, cat litter, chemicals, paint, diapers, etc. into your systems- these can cause major complications.
HVAC is one of the most important components in a home- it stand for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. This system is responsible for the temperature in your home, as well as air quality and energy efficiency. Most HVAC maintenance is preventative to ensure that no major issues arise, such as leaks, corrosion, or the inability to heat and cool a space. Here are the main tasks to complete each year to keep your HVAC in check:
Monthly: 1. Check that all areas around the interior and exterior of your HVAC unit are free of debris and ensure there is two feet of cleared space at all times. 2. Inspect your air conditioner refrigerant line for leaks (these two lines are typically copper and connect your outdoor ac unit to your interior evaporator coil)
Seasonal: 1. Replace your air filter every 90 days with a high-efficiency air filter. 2. Turn off water to the furnace humidifier in the summer, and replace the filter and turn it back on in the fall.
Yearly: 1. Replace all batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors. 2. Lubricate your HVAC motor and replace the fan belt. 3. Clean the ac condensation drain line. 4. Ensure that exterior unit is free of debris and standing on level ground.
If any of the following occur, you may need to reach out to a professional: unit is only blowing out warm air, the system turns itself off and on, there is an imbalance in the temperature across your home, the unit is making odd noises, your energy bill is increasing abnormally, or you notice poor air flow.
Your power company takes care of getting power to your home, but after that, it is your responsibility. The power line entering your home passes through the main circuit breaker- by flipping this switch, you can cut all power to your home. Once inside, the power is routed to the branch circuit breakers. Each of these switches controls the flow of power to a portion of your home, and if they detect too much current flowing through, they will shut off, aka trip. If you regularly trip a circuit breaker, you’re overloading it. Move appliances or other items to other circuits and consult with an electrician on how you can upgrade your system to handle the load.
Solar panels allow you to source power with financial and environmental savings. Consult with an electrician to determine the best method for you!
Backup generators are a common option for reliable energy in the event of a storm or power outage. There are natural gas and propane options. Consult with an electrician to determine the best method for you!
Safety First! If you choose to do electrical work in your home, always remember to turn off the power to the circuit you are working on. Check your electrical systems regularly- any cracked or damaged electrical outlets/switches/wiring should be replaced immediately. Also, buying cheaper versions or replacement parts, such as outlets, extension cords, or surge protectors, can do more harm in the long run.
Are you looking to hire a professional to assist you in homeowner maintenance?
We have compiled a list of trusted service providers in the area that would love to help- give us a call today! 423.682.6728