Inspections of Texas

The Real Secrets To Home Care

Being a homeowner comes with a lot of responsibility. If you want to avoid big problems in the future, there are a lot of steps you can take to make sure your home keeps running smoothly.

You want to make sure that the steps you’re taking to protect your home are the right ones, though. Some cleaning methods or common practices actually do more harm than good. Keep reading to learn more about what not to do around your home.

Do Not:

Cleaning Grout

A current recommended trend on social media is to clean grout with toilet bowl cleaner or vinegar.   Toilet bowl cleaners contain acids that will break down your grout and caulking over time.  The acidity of vinegar will wear down the grout, leading to yellowing or crumbly grout. Use gentle cleaners on your grout instead.

Pouring Grease Down The Sink

Bacon grease can’t be disposed of like other stuck-on foods. It will harden in your pipes and clog your drain.  All grease is bad for your drain. Pour excess grease into a container before washing your pots and pans.

Caring for Hardwood Floors

Humidity is the enemy of your hardwood floors. You might need to invest in a dehumidifier if you live in a particularly moist climate and the home’s HVAC system isn’t controlling the humidity enough.

Mopping your hardwood floors with a sopping wet mop can cause your floors to warp and wear down over time.  Use a minimal amount of water or a specialized hardwood floor cleaner. Do not clean with bleach.

Closing the Blinds

It’s nice to let the light in, but if you leave your curtains or blinds open all the time, all of that sunlight can damage your home and your furniture.  For example, when floor rugs are removed, the floor may be several shades lighter underneath.  Close the blinds when you’re not home.

Mulching Too High

Flower beds and mulch-based landscaping may look pretty, but all of that mulch holds onto a lot of moisture, which can cause problems for your foundation if it’s located very close to your home.  It can also make it easy for termites or ants to enter your home.  So move the mulch further out.

Letting Vines Grow On Home

Vines are beautiful, but they also serve as a home for a lot of bugs you probably don’t want crawling around your home.  More importantly, they trap moisture against the side of the home which causes damage to siding and masonry. Use lattice or other methods and keep vines trimmed off the walls.

Do:

Cleaning Your Dishwasher

Some dishwashers have a self-clean cycle which is helpful, but not enough.  You need to help it along by manually clearing out the filter at the bottom of the machine.  Also, social media recommends cleaning with vinegar, but the acidity can hurt the delicate rubber seals.

Using Your Exhaust Fan

How often do you really turn on the fan in your bathroom?  You should be turning this fan on every time you use the shower to help rid your bathroom of excess moisture. Leaving the bathroom door open when exiting helps to dissipate the moisture so mildew doesn’t grow. Be sure to clean your exhaust fan every year to prevent a house fire from lint build-up.

Cleaning the Lint

Get into the habit of cleaning the lint filter inside your dryer every time it is used. Also clean the dryer duct every year. Letting too much lint accumulate can cause a house fire.

Taking Care of Gutters

The gutter downspout on the side of your house may not be aesthetically pleasing or be in the way for mowing, but it serves a very good purpose.  Don’t remove it—you need it there to keep water away from your foundation.

Dead leaves, dirt, and debris build up in your home’s gutters. Those gutters are what keep water away from your roof.  If they’re not clear, that means the water has nowhere else to go.  Cleaning them twice a year can improve your home.

Trimming Tree Branches

Check the trees near your house and call for a professional arborist to shape or trim trees as needed.  Cut back limbs that overhang your roof because this can damage your roof.  If a storm is in the forecast, it’s important to survey your property.  Check for any branches that could easily break in high wind, and trim the branches ahead of the storm.

Routine maintenance will extend the life of your home and appliances. Doing it the right way will save you unnecessary costly repairs in the future.

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