Home maintenance is one of the primary responsibility of homeowners. Just like maintaining and servicing a car leads to a healthy car and happy owner, home maintenance will ensure that your house is in good condition and save you from headaches in the future. A house is the biggest investment for most people and keeping it in good shape will help in the long run.
The value of a house increase if it is in good condition and will have good returns in case of rainy days. Often the tasks for home maintenance may seem trivial or daunting, but it is important that one does it. Certain tasks like inspection, cleanups, painting, repairs and pest control will go towards keeping a house strong and good looking. These small steps help in getting the house in top condition and ensuring that it does not prove to be a financial burden in the future.
Top Home Maintenance Tasks
Inspect the house for signs of disrepair. Cracks in the concrete, loose shingles or cracked wood and loose nails. Check your pool and related equipment, if it needs to be changed or repaired.
Check electrical equipment like HVAC system, boiler, sump pump, smoke alarms, washing machine, and sprinklers. Inspect these items for any damage that can cause problems later, like electrical fires. Cracked concrete or wood can create problems in the future if not checked at the earliest.
After inspection, the next step is cleaning the areas that can cause problems later. For example, checking and cleaning gutters will prevent rainwater from flowing down the roof, causing leaks. Wash the windows, get rid of grit and clean heavily used or soiled surfaces.
Clean out the air ducts, HVAC furnace, air conditioning filters, and the pool. Drain sumps and boilers to make sure there are no sediments and to check if they are functioning properly. Clean out the chimney to have breathable air in your home.
Post-inspection and cleanup, the house may need repairs. It may be a simple replacement of worn parts or calling in experts to provide solutions to serious problems. Replacement, the easier option can include changing bulbs, batteries or sharpening tools.
If something is broken or damaged extensively and requires the use of special tools then, experts may be needed. Broken windows, patches in drywall, a broken electrical socket can require a handyman.
- Pest Control
The last and an important point to look into while considering maintenance is pest control. It has been historically seen that pests, insects, and animals tend to be attracted to human habitats. The reason being they can feed on human possessions.
Any species of the animal kingdom that impacts humans adversely and does damage is known as a pest. In homes, pests can be rodents, birds or insects. Pest control is a huge part of maintenance as pests can be very harmful to the house.
Termites and mice can gnaw through important fixtures and walls to create problems later that will hurt the owner financially. There are different ways pests can increase your burden, so it is best to keep them away.
Pest Control Tips
- Keeping pests at bay
The first option is always to try and keep pests away from your house. Once they get in and get comfortable, it will take more effort to remove them from the house. Steps for prevention is to store food items in the right manner and not leave any easy access to pesky invaders like ants or mice.
Food is the main attraction for pests to enter the house and never leave. Food items must be stored in sealed containers, and garbage must be adequately covered and disposed of daily. Clean out clogged areas like gutters and pipes as they become good nesting and hiding grounds. Any cracks or holes must be filled or covered. Keep the house clean and dry for the best outcome.
- Using pesticides or DIY methods of pest controls
If your house already has a case of infestation, then it is time to use pesticides. It is important to remember and use these chemicals carefully as they can have side effects on humans and pets. Note that some chemicals shouldn’t be used in enclosed spaces. Use only the required quantity and not more and dispose of the containers with care.
Some pests can be tackled using DIY methods with items that are easily available and are not as strong as chemicals. In the case of ants, it is important to kill the queen and then decimate the colony. Otherwise, they keep coming back, even if you kill the ones you can see around.
Make ant bait using ½ cup sugar, 1 cup warm water and two tablespoons of borax powder. Soak cotton balls in the mix and put it on plates near the ant paths. They will take the bait back to the colony and eating it will kill all the ants.
Cockroaches are common household pests and are hard to deal with, as they aren’t easy to kill. Mix 3 teaspoons of boric acid with equal parts of sugar and water. Apply this paste in areas where you have seen the roaches. If they eat it or take it back to their dens, they will die. This will take some time and a few courses or reapplications before one sees results.
Peppermint oil, hot sauce and cayenne pepper are good deterrents for mice. However, if you want to create a trap, use a bucket or a bowl with slippery walls and place the bait inside it. Once the mouse gets in it won’t be able to climb back out. Just ensure that the walls are high enough so they cannot jump out.
There are multiple pest repellants available in the market that you can choose for your cause. And google is your best friend if you want to find safe DIY methods for pest control.
- Professional Help
If things get out of hand, then its best to call for professional help and the right exterminators. There are steps that one must take before the professionals arrive. You may want to clean your house, move your pets to another place, along with people who may be sensitive to the chemicals that will be used, like pregnant women.
Professionals use lots of techniques to get rid of pests. Infestations involving cockroaches and ants require them using special types of gels around the house, while other kinds may require fumigation techniques like fogging or using mothballs.
A unique technique that exterminators use to detect bed bugs is by using K-9 bed bugs inspectors. Used specifically in larger homes or properties with multiple rooms, K9 inspectors can smell out bed bugs fairly easily. Dogs can detect these bugs faster and also find the source of infestation as they have a powerful sense of smell.
Home maintenance comes as a part of being a homeowner, to bring longevity to your abode. As we take care of all our investments, it is important to care for the home too. It can be intimidating at first to take care of all maintenance tasks, but if you divide it well and keep a checklist, it will happen with ease.