Good maintenance of your home can reduce the likelihood of costly repairs further down the line. Thankfully, most materials to keep your home in good condition can be purchased from regular DIY stores or supermarkets, meaning that you can incorporate ongoing maintenance and quick repairs into your regular cleaning routine. Follow our top tips for home repair and maintenance to ensure your property is well cared for and lasts a lifetime.
1. Keep drains clear
Leaky or clogged-up drains are horrible to deal with, so it’s a good idea to prevent them in the first place. Keeping your drains clear will prevent them from clogging up further down the line, so it’s a good idea to incorporate them into your regular cleaning routine. If the drain system has a trap, take it out and clear away any debris at least once a week. For a deeper clean, use a good drain cleaner and finish by running the hot water with soda crystals.
A lick of paint can do wonders on a property; not only in terms of freshening the place up, but also when it comes to general maintenance and quick repairs. Aim to have your exterior paint retouched once a year. Not only will it boost your home’s curb appeal, but it’ll help keep out the elements and reduce the risk of damp and wood rot in the long term. You don’t have to repaint the entire exterior – small and subtle touch-ups in a matching shade are just as effective.
3. Cover cracks
Cracked or damaged plaster on the walls should be dealt with as soon as possible. Thankfully, small cracks can usually be repaired with a good filler and don’t need the attention of a costly tradesperson. You should also regularly check your door and window seals for cracks, which can minimise your insulation and energy efficiency. Again, these can usually be repaired with fillers bought from most DIY stores.
4. Attend to guttering and cladding
Roof cladding and guttering that’s clogged with damp leaves are not only useless in the short term, but they can also cause long-term water damage or flooding on your property. You should aim to keep on top of your guttering and cladding at least twice a year, more so if you have a lot of trees surrounding your property or you live in an area with extreme weather conditions. Regularly clear away any debris and repair any cracks with a good gutter sealant. You might want to hire a professional gutter cleaner, especially if your home is two or more storeys as you want to be safe. Don’t delay replacing the guttering if it needs it – failing to do so can result in potentially costly water damage or damp to your home.
5. Care for the roof
Keeping on top of your roof maintenance should increase its lifespan and prevent significant costs for you in the future. You should have your roof checked over by a roofer every year so that you can act fast on the first signs of damage or deterioration. Taking care of your roof will ensure you get maximum energy efficiency and reduce the risk of leaks that can result in rot or water damage. Many roofing issues are not noticed until it’s too late, however, so it’s advisable that you have decent home insurance that covers things such as weather damage. Before you buy, most providers will offer a free home owner insurance quote, so it’s a good idea to shop around.
6. Banish pests
Nobody likes to share their home with uninvited visitors, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for any signs of pests so you can act fast. Moth larvae can damage clothing and soft furnishings, so look out for the tell-tale signs, such as irregular holes in clothes, excessive shedding from garments and furry toys, and silky furrows near fabric or dried foods. Other unwanted visitors that can cause damage within your home are rodents, such as mice or squirrels, woodworm, carpet beetles, and many, many more.
Not only are critters in the home unpleasant, but they can also pose a serious danger to inhabitants. Pests such as rats have been known to cause house fires by chewing through electrical wires, so it’s essential that you keep on top of deterring unwanted visitors. Look out for any new cracks, particularly near your property foundations or in the roof, which could let pests inside. It’s a good idea, even for peace of mind, to consult a professional pest inspector to look over your property once a year.
7. Maintain your AC unit
Many homes have air conditioning, if not throughout the whole property, then at least within the bathroom. As with any home surface though, air conditioning units are prone to dust build-up and so it’s advisable that you keep on top of this. Give the system a wipe-down or quick vacuum during your regular cleaning routine and don’t forget to change the filters when they need to be replaced. Maintaining your AC unit will not only make the system work more effectively and for longer, but it’ll boost the air quality within your living space. You might also consider getting your AC unit professionally serviced once a year just to make sure it’s in the best working condition.
8. Keep on top of stains
Dampness, light, and even the air can all cause staining within your home over time. Thankfully, most stains are easily dealt with if you attend to them early on and shouldn’t cause too much damage. Water stains on walls and ceilings don’t always mean a repaint job – usually, these can be targeted with a spray of bleach mixed with water. Just make sure you don’t get the mixture on the surrounding wall by using tape and be patient as the stain might take up to two days to vanish. For older stains, use specialist mould or mildew remover.
Also, make sure you pay close attention to the grout when you’re cleaning your bathroom or kitchen tiles. People often neglect the grout when giving their tiled walls a wipe, resulting in it gathering dirt and staining over time. However, if you pay close attention to it during your regular cleaning routine, you can prevent it from yellowing or greying. You can buy special grout cleaner from most stores, but whitening toothpaste works just as well. For more stubborn yellowing of the grout, a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and vinegar works wonders.
Maintaining your home is an ongoing process that can be incorporated into your regular cleaning routine and should help prevent costly repairs in the future.