If you don’t keep up with repairs, you’ll find yourself shelling out major money down the line as things get worse.
We’ve gathered some of the most common mistakes that homeowners make and major mistakes to avoid.
1) Letting Sidewalk Cracks Get Out of Control
It’s best to fill sidewalk cracks in the fall because melted snow can seep in during the winter and freeze over. This causes your cracks to expand and heave your sidewalk concrete. You should fill your sidewalk cracks when its above 50 degrees. If you do it when it’s too cold your concrete sealant won’t adhere correctly which can cause leaks and cracks.
2) Not Testing the Carpet Cleaner
You’ll want to deep clean your carpets at least twice a year to get rid of all the spring and summer allergens and winter salt buildup. It’s always a good idea to test your carpet cleaner on a small patch to make sure that it doesn’t discolor or damage your rug.
3) Failing To Remove Leaves From the Gutters
When the leaves start falling they can end up clogging your gutters. When the weather gets colder this build up can freeze solid and destroy your gutters and potentially do damage to your home. Make sure you unclog your gutters before the first freeze.
4) Using the Same Light Bulbs All Year
Since there is less light during the winter, your lights will be on longer. It’s a good idea to switch out your light bulbs to energy-efficient ones to reduce your electric bill.
5) Turning Off Sprinklers Too Early
Your lawn still needs water during the fall to be lush and healthy. So, you don’t want to turn off your sprinklers too early. Wait until the first weather report of freezing temperatures before you turn them off.
6) Neglecting Buildup On Your Home’s Exterior
The siding of your home can become covered with grime and bugs after a long summer. Get it clean with a good pressure wash. Just make sure that your machine has a wide spray and is powerful enough to remove grime without damaging your siding.
Trees and shrubbery can grow rapidly over the summer, so you’ll want to do some pruning when the time is right. Remember: never prune a tree before it’s dormant. You can seriously damage a tree if you prune it while it still has leaves on it. Hold off on this until early winter.
8) Not Touching Up Your Exterior Prior to Winter
Fall is the perfect time to touch up your exterior with a new paint job. Winter weather can cause further damage to cracks in the paint, so you’ll want to get to it before the frost sets in.
9) Ignoring Insulation
If you have a drafty, old home, add extra insulation before the cooler temperatures set in. Just be sure that you’re not covering up any of your soffit vents since they maintain the flow of fresh air into your attic.
10) Not Resealing Gaps
Before winter sets in, remember patch holes, caulk gaps, and make sure your windows and doors aren’t drafty. This will help keep you and your family warm and your heating bill down.
11) Never Changing the Batteries in Your Alarms
Since you have to change the time on your clocks twice a year, you might as well use the opportunity to change all of the batteries in your fire and carbon monoxide alarms to keep your family safe.
12) Failing to Replace Your Furnace Filter
You’ll want to make sure that your furnace is working in optimal condition before you need to use it – make sure to clean and or replace them every year so that everything works properly and efficiently.
Winter is the time when we use our fireplaces. Creosote can build up in your fireplace’s flue and lead to a chimney fire, so you’ll want to make sure that you have your chimney cleaned out properly before you light that first fire.
14) Neglecting Roof Maintenance
Snow and ice can be harsh on your roof. It’s best to make sure your roof’s structural integrity is intact and that repairs are made before the first snowfall. And never reuse roofing materials – this can sabotage your repair efforts and increase damage to your roof.
15) Letting the Critters Win
Critters like mice and other animals will be seeking shelter from the cold, so you’ll want to make sure you seal any potential entryways and gaps to keep them out.
You’ll live in your home for a long time. Take your time and really think through your interior decor plan. There’s no need to rush. If you do a hasty job, it could cost you a lot more money in the long run and you’ll end up wanting changes far sooner.
17) Leaving the Outdoors Unattended
While you can get carried away with what’s going on inside your home during the year, don’t forget to consistently maintain the backyard and patio. Keep the outside routinely maintained by storing or covering furniture, sweeping patios, and removing debris.
18) Failing to Turn Off Power When Doing Electrical Work
As a homeowner, it’s often easy to forget to turn off the power when doing electrical work such as replacing a light fixture or light bulb. We often like to rush through these tasks, but by not turning off the power, we’re increasing the risk of real injury.
19) Not Paying Attention to Your Washer and Dryer
Some of the biggest pains homeowners deal with include fire and water damage. While water damage is generally thought of as flood waters or heavy rain, don’t forget that leaky water problems can occur in the laundry room. Don’t forget to pay attention to your washer and dryer when using them and attend to any leaks or strange noises as soon as they occur.
20) Not Checking for Drafty Doors
As a homeowner, energy costs are an important thing to think about. Common culprits of high bills and energy waste include drafty doors. Heat can escape through doors that aren’t fully sealed.
21) Letting Sprinklers Spray Against Your Home
Don’t let your sprinkler heads spray against the side of your house. This can lead to rotted walls and color leaching from the exterior. In some cases, it can even result in movement of the foundation.
22) Failing To Use Bathroom and Laundry Vent Fans
Don’t forget to use your bathroom and laundry vent fans – they are there for a reason! Fans should always be used to avoid water vapor seeping into the drywall, electrical outlets, and framing.
23) Letting Mineral Deposits Accumulate in Sinks and Showers
Make it easy on yourself by taking a minute to wipe mineral deposits from your sinks and shower heads every few weeks so the build-up doesn’t get out of hand. Vinegar is a great alternative to harsh sprays and detergents. If things have already gotten out of hand, fill a plastic bag with vinegar, tie it to your spout and let it soak for a few hours.
24) Not Keeping Your Drains Hair-Free
All sorts of hair and debris ends up in your drain. If you want to avoid the dreaded backup disaster, take a moment to pull out the stopper every month or so and remove hair (and whatever else is there) from the end. A little effort will save you the trouble of having to hire someone to do it after it’s too late to fix it yourself.
25) Neglecting the Garbage Disposal
We put all sorts of things down the garbage disposal, but if we forget to run enough water, old food bits can accumulate inside and cause odors and blockages. You can avoid both by taking some crushed ice or a cut up lemon or lime and running it through with a little extra time and water to avoid having to do a deep clean later.
26) Letting Your Cords Fray
Everything from bored mice to the mere passage of time can make your electrical cords weak. Any damage to cords is a fire hazard, so it’s best to check on them once or twice a year just to see if they need replacement or repair. Pay special attention to those you don’t see very often, like the ones attached to your washer and dryer.
27) Not Checking For Leaks After the First Thaw
The first thaw is the best time to make sure your basement is properly sealed. When things warm up, check all the corners and walls for any sign of water damage and get someone to come take a look if you notice any moisture. Things will only get worse when the rest of the snow melts.
28) Ignoring Your Refrigerator Coils
At least once a year it’s a good idea to peek behind the fridge to make sure refrigerator coils are in good shape and aren’t leaking. Grab your vacuum attachment and get rid of the dust as well in order to eliminate a potential fire hazard.
28) Letting Your Heat Escape
Warm air rises right out of your house in the winter. In cold weather, you can reverse the flow of your ceiling fans in order to push the warm air trapped at ceiling height back down into your home, saving you money on your heating bill. Just remember to wipe the dust off the blades if you haven’t used your fan in a while.
29) Forgetting to Turn Off and Store Exterior Hoses in Winter
There’s no need to water your lawn in winter, so unhook your hoses and store them safely out of the way so they don’t incur damage.
30) Not Maintaining Your Wooden Deck
If you’re lucky enough to have deck, don’t let it rot away slowly from neglect. Powerwash and seal your deck every couple of years in order to extend its life and prevent stains, mildew, and water damage.
31) Not Investing in a Fire Extinguisher
Thowing water on a fire isn’t always the best or most practical solution. Every home should have a fire extinguisher, preferably one for every floor of the house. Family members should all be trained to use it properly and it should be stored in a safe place.
32) Letting Your Range’s Hood Filter Get Filthy
If you cook often, you might need to replace your kitchen hood filters every six to eight months. Everyone else should change theirs out at least once a year or at least be sure to give it a good clean with dish soap.
33) Letting Icicles Build Up
When it snows and your gutters fill with water, icicles will form. While itt might look festive, they can eventually turn into heavy blocks of ice all around your gutters. Icicles can tear off your gutters and damage your shingles (as well as your head if you’re under them when they fall!). If this is a common problem, you need to check your insulation. But in the meantime, knock them off the side of your roof as gently as possible with a roof rake or brush.
34) Letting Your Door Handles and Knobs Get Loose
Many of us fail to tighten up loose knobs around the house, even when they annoy us on a daily basis. Next time you have a minute, walk around with a set of screwdrivers and tighten them all up at once.
35) Never Checking Your Garage Door’s Safety Features
Automatic garage doors should have a reverse setting that ensures the door doesn’t crush anything lying underneath. To test it, stick a paper towel roll underneath the door and close it – if the door crumples the cardboard at all, it needs to be repaired before it hurts someone.
36. Neglect the Dreaded Deep Clean
No one enjoys getting on their hands and knees and scrubbing months worth of grime off floors and cabinets, but unless you can hire someone to come in and do it for you, the house isn’t going to clean itself. It’s a good idea to do a thorough cleaning twice a year, especially if allergies are a problem. This means cleaning carpets, windows, blinds, curtains, and the tops of things you rarely see. If you’re going to get down and dirty yourself, it’s always good to invest in a face mask so you’re not inhaling everything you stir up in the process.