Forgetting to do small, routine home maintenance can have a BIG NASTY impact!
Have you ever walked into your home and had it smell like sewer? I have and its nasty. This happened because I had a guest bathroom I rarely used. Over time, if you don't run the water in the sink or tub the water in the P-trap evaporates and the barrier between the bathroom and the gases in the sewer system are removed. Without this barrier, the sewer odor seeps through the pipes into your home. Luckily, I was able to easily resolve this issue by running some water but not all issues from a lack of maintenance are this easy to solve. Don't risk it and make sure you are performing the list of maintenance below.
Home Maintenance Checklist:
Change out the filter on your HVAC every 1-3 months, more or less depending on the filter type and air quality. A dirty air filter will create reduced air flow or no air flow at all increasing your chances of unit failure. The average HVAC unit cost $3,000 - $5,000 so you don't want to have to replace it!
Run water through faucets that are not used on a regular basis every 1-2 weeks. You only need to run the water for a few seconds but this keeps the P-trap filled with water so their is a barrier between your home and the gases in the sewer system. If you don't do this you will find your home smelling like sewer one day!
Trim your trees & bushes. Overgrow tree branches or bushes touching your house can cause SO MANY different problems. I can't stress this one enough due to the following list of problems it can cause:
Termites, carpenter ants and other pest may use the tree limbs to access the home causing all kinds of damage.
Tree limbs resting on the roof can cause moss to grow and reduce the life of the roof.
The gutters can become clogged from leaves and other debris.
Inspect & Clean out your gutters at least twice per year. Even if you trim your trees and bushes debris can still find its way into your gutters. Clogged gutters cause drainage issues which can lead to the walls in the basement or lower level pushing in and causing cracks. Compromising the structural integrity of your home can lower your homes value and be extremely expensive to fix.
Have your HVAC system serviced annually. In addition to increasing the life of the unit and lowering your energy bills you will also help prevent catastrophic failure. You would hate to come home to a clogged drain line leaking water all over your home or a broken down unit in the middle of summer!
Clean out your dryer vent every 3-4 months. A build up of lint can cause a fire if it gets too hot! The dryer vent, not to be confused with the lint trap, is the vent connected the dryer to the wall. There are kits you can purchase to clean out the vent yourself. Also, you will want to make sure you are cleaning out for lint tray after every use to prevent your dryer vent from clogging up.
Inspect bathtubs regularly for cracks and repair immediately. Water can leak into these cracks and cause water damage. In a worst case scenario it could cause the sub-floor to fail and your bathtub could fall through the floor!
At least annually inspect all faucets and piping for water leaks. Even a minor leak can increase your water bill or worst, cause costly water damage to your home.
Drain a gallon of water from your water heater annually. This eliminates the build-up of minerals in the bottom of your water heater to increase its life.
Hire a licensed electrician to test grounding every 3-5 years to ensure no electrical shorts are building up in the house. Electrical shorts can cause shock and in certain cases death.
Perform termite inspections based on the recommendation of a local termite company. Termites attack wood which is a common structural material, therefore over time termites can cause your home to crumble! Many time termites can't be seen because they are attacking the wood inside your walls so it is best to hire a professional who knows what they are looking for.