8 Things to Know About Your Home
Owning a home comes with a plethora of benefits, but home ownership also requires maintenance. The list of items to look out for in your home can seem overwhelming, especially if you are used to renting. We're here to break it down and prepare you for owning your dream home. When it comes to your home, knowledge is power.
Water Shut-Off Valve Location
Most homes have a water shut-off valve. The main shutoff valve allows a full flow of water through the pipe when it's open. Turning off this valve by turning it clockwise cuts off the water supply to the whole house. It is important to know where your water cut-off valve is during an emergency.
Gas Shut-Off Valve Location
Many features in your home- Stoves, water heaters, dryers, heating and cooling systems, and fireplaces- can run on natural gas. But natural gas can be dangerous if you fail to detect a leak. In addition to an operating CO2 detector, the gas company adds a distinct smell to gas in order to be able to detect a gas leak. If you smell the faintest scent of rotten eggs, you will want to have an appropriate wrench to shut off the gas valve and immediately call your local gas company.
Label Electric Box Breaker Switches
You may need to locate your panel to turn power back on to a circuit. It’s also useful to know where the main power switch is during emergencies, such as floods and fires. Spend a few minutes and individually label which breaker goes to each part of your house. This will save frustration and time during electrical issues and better prepare you for emergencies.
Repair Water Leaks Immediately
The average household's leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year and ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day. Once you have detected a water leak, repair it as soon as possible. The longer you let the leak continue the more it will cost you to repair the damage.
Keep Gutters Free-Flowing
Water should be directed away from the slab or foundation of your home. Gutters can do this very effectively. But debris can dam up water in your gutters and pooling of water in your gutters can lead to ineffective water diversion and a rotting roof or other wood surfaces. We recommend installing a gutter guard to help keep your gutters clean and allow water to flow through. Even with a gutter guard, it is recommended you clean your gutters at least twice/ year.
Keep Debris off Roof
If you have trees dropping leaves and branches on your roof, you need to clear them off. Water can work its way through your shingles and ultimately through your ceiling and into your home. Use a rake to remove dead leaves and debris and consider trimming back any trees that are touching your roof.
Waterproof Your Home
Take the time to caulk and weather strip your doors and windows so you can prevent water damage from developing and ultimately save money. Even seemingly small water intrusion can have big consequences. Seal gaps and cracks, repair major exterior paint chips, and inspect & reseal roof waterproofing components.
Know Your Neighbors
Be a friendly neighbor! Chances are your home was built around the same time as your neighbors. Keeping tabs on their home maintenance issues can go a long way in predicting yours.
Expected Regular Maintenance
Beyond the items mentioned above, expect some regular maintenance items you are likely to come across during homeownership. Here are a few of them:
HVAC Tune Ups
Change your central air conditioning unit's air filter at least once every six months to prevent it from clogging up as it filters the air you breathe.
You use your water heater everyday so it’s important to maintain it, including performing regular flushes.
Smoke/ CO2 Detectors
Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors regularly to make sure they are operating properly and change batteries once per year.
We love helping homeowners enjoy the benefits of owning a home, but we also want to make sure they are prepared to keep their homes in tip top shape. Taking care of your home means less money spent in repairs and more time to enjoy your abode.