One of the great aspirations of the American dream is homeownership. Every year hundreds of thousands of people invest their hard-earned money in a place to call home. Many of them will end up spending even more on repairs due to either lack of knowledge on home maintenance requirements, or neglect from previous owners racking up a large to-do list with an even larger bill. To avoid ending up in this predicament yourself, here are a few things you should be checking in your home to keep it in pristine condition:
1. Test Your Alarms
You should test your fire and smoke alarms a few times a year to ensure they are in proper working order. Testing your smoke alarms at least every quarter year not only protects your home from the risk of fire damage, but it can be the difference between calling the insurance company or the funeral home afterward. Three out of every five home fires that resulted in death were due to either lack of smoke alarms or faulty smoke alarms. Additionally, if your home does not already have one, you should purchase a carbon monoxide detector. CO is known as the silent killer because it is odorless, colorless and impossible to detect before contracting CO poisoning without an alarm. Despite this, there is no federal law requiring smoke alarms in a residence. Every year 50,000 Americans are treated for CO poisoning, and 430 die. Test your alarms regularly to avoid becoming part of this statistic.
2. Clean Your Water Heater
To improve the efficiency and increase the lifespan of your water heater you should be flushing it out to clear any sediment buildup at least once a year. Build up of minerals present in water such as calcium, and other naturally occurring sediments insulate the water heater, which results in increased heating time and a higher water bill for you. This buildup can also result in blockages which can damage the water heater if not properly cleared. Because different heating systems such as gas versus electric have unique maintenance requirements, and a high probability of injury from scalding water or other sources, it is not recommended that you attempt this on your own. Hiring a reputable plumber such as a Salt Lake City plumber ensures that your water heater is properly and safely maintained to reduce the risk of damage to your home or yourself.
3. Inspect Your Roof
Break out your ladder and take a close look at your roof from both the exterior and interior sides, as well as your attic crawl space. On the exterior check for signs of wear such as black spots, damaged or missing shingles, and moss; both the exterior and interior should be examined for signs of leaking. Moss can be damaging to your roof due to the way it retains moisture. This constant moisture leads to more serious issues such as mold and bacterial growth, so even if you like the old cottage look it’s best to remove moss. As the shingles of your roof get damaged, the edges may start to curl up. Not only is this a sign of damage but this curling also makes it easier for the wind to catch shingles and send them flying. Missing shingles then allow for water damage to the interior of your home and the myriad of problems that brings such as mold or rotting and weakened support beams. Black spots are an indicator of algae, while not harmful it can present a hazard when on the roof due to its slick nature, and should be removed for safety reasons.
Staying on top of simple home maintenance like this prevents it from becoming serious and costly maintenance down the line. It also ensures that your home remains a safe and healthy environment free from toxins like mold or carbon monoxide because everyone should feel safe at home.