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Key Homeowner Maintenance Part 2

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 other 5 home systems to be aware of!


Water Heater

While you probably don’t think about your water heater until something goes array, your everyday household tasks are dependent upon it! Without a fully functioning water heater, there are many things that cannot be done. Preventative maintenance can set you up for success and extend the life of your water heater.
Adjust the Temperature: Like your HVAC, the water heater’s temperature setting will need to be adjusted from time to time to conserve energy. If your water heater temperature is above 120 degrees, turn it down!
Flush you Water Heater: You should have your water heater flushed by a professional about once a year. This will help to avoid excess mineral and sediment buildup. If you have hard water, this is especially crucial!
Clear the Surrounding Area: Your water heater always needs room to breathe- there should be a minimum of two feet of clearance around your water heater (unless your specific manual says otherwise).
Vacation Mode: Just like us, your water heater has a vacation mode. This setting allows for your water heater to operate at a lower temperature for a specific amount of time, conserving energy and saving you money!


Attic and Crawlspace

Attic: Proper attic care is vital to keeping energy costs low and protecting the integrity of your home. Explore your attic monthly to check for signs of cracking (made evident by light entering in), moisture, and insulation. Check the insulation by checking the depth to ensure there are no spots missing. If your insulation is level or below your floor joints, you may want to add more. These inspections can stop bigger headaches to come later on. Your attic ventilation is also very important- this ensures that your attic is releasing the hot air and taking in the cool air. Your attic should not increase past 100 degrees and should have one square foot of ventilation per every 300 square feet of attic space.
Crawlspace: Let’s be honest, no one wants to go in their crawlspace- they are dirty, dark, stuffy, and can be full of unknown creatures. The easiest way to maintain your crawlspace is to ensure that all vents are blocked and sealed. You cannot count on dry, average temperatures to flow through those vents. The other three key things that ensure a high performance crawlspace are proper installation of: 1. an air barrier, 2. a vapor barrier, and 3. insulation. Contact a professional to guarantee these things are installed effectively.


Termite Treatment

Termite are small, resilient pests that can cause substantial damage and go undetected for years! Termites feed on wood, thrive in warm, dark climates, and look for moisture. Places like attics and basements, with insufficient ventilation, or homes with pools or faulty draining systems, can be easy places for termites to populate.
Preventative Measures: Regular maintenance of the plumbing system is one main way to keep these pests away. When there is less moisture and dry soil, termites are more likely to stay away. You should also stack all firewood in a specific spot away from the home.
Regular Inspections: Since termites are difficult to identify, you should have a regular inspection completed by a licensed professional.


Gutter Maintenance

Gutter maintenance is necessary to prevent leaks, clogs, and other problems. Check your roof and gutters regularly for any debris, replace damaged sections, dispose of any pests or rodents, and reseal the gutters to extend their lifespan. Additionally, your gutters should be cleaned regularly to ensure gutter maintenance.
Cleaning: If you do not feel comfortable cleaning your own gutters, you can hire a professional to complete the job. Clean your gutters monthly or bi-monthly depending on the weather and the season. If you choose to do it on your own, you will need to complete the following: 1. Prepare by wearing eye and hand protection and find a safe and sturdy ladder. 2. Wet the downspouts and clean out all of the debris using a scoop or a pole. 3. Clean the exterior of the gutters using a gutter cleaning solution.
Vegetation: Get rid of heavy vegetation that could cause blockages or damages to your gutters- brush all vegetation away from your house at least once a year. Trim your tree branches back 6 feet to make sure they do not hang over your roof.


Landscaping

Lawn maintenance isn’t hard, but it is time consuming and takes the right information. Here are some of the best lawn and landscaping maintenance tips:
Grass: Healthy grass is the best weed preventer! Lawns that aren’t properly nourished are weed breeding grounds! The best defense for weeds is a healthy lawn. For healthier grass, try adjusting the soil pH levels and properly fertilizing your yard.
Shady Areas: Shady areas need different maintenance than sunny areas of grass do. People tend to over-fertilize and over-water these areas: they don’t need as much water, because less evaporates, and they don’t need as much fertilizer because it doesn’t grow as much (all because it doesn’t spend as much time in the sun).
Edging: There are three types of edging to consider when lining out a garden or lawn feature. Plastic edging works well on curves and hills, but isn’t great for straight lines. Brick edging looks best, but is more maintenance and grass will begin to grow through the cracks. Steel edging is the best for flat and straight lines.
Helpful Tips: 1. You can mulch/mow the leaves in your yard as long as you still see a quarter of an inch of grass. If your yard is 80-90% covered in leaves, you will need to rake first. 2. Plants do not like rocks- rocks and rock mulch reflect the heat of the sun back onto whatever is around it. Shredded mulch holds moisture better and stays cooler.


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

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