Owning a home is a fantastic investment and something many people aspire to. However, it does come with certain risks and responsibilities. For example, you are responsible for maintaining your home and everything in it.
Without proper maintenance, your appliances can become damaged or malfunction over time. Not only does this mean that you won’t be able to use them, but this may result in your home being damaged. For example, a broken-down washing machine or dishwasher can cause a leak, which will, in turn, cause water damage which can reduce the stability of your flooring and introduce even more problems.
Once you notice a problem, it’s usually best to get it fixed up as soon as possible. The first trick is to always be prepared for these emergencies, but there are other ways to make sure that everything is well maintained and that any damage can be mitigated.
Create a Checklist or Schedule
The best way to make sure that you keep on top of your home maintenance is to have a regular checklist to follow. Otherwise, it can be easy to forget certain steps or smaller jobs. While they can seem unimportant to begin with, neglecting these jobs can easily lead to a much larger problem.
Each season may bring different jobs, which means that you can make sure that everything gets done at least once per year. Spreading out these maintenance tasks makes it easier to get them done.
For example, fall typically provides the perfect environment for many maintenance projects as it’s not too hot or too cold. For example, you should make sure that your HVAC system is working properly, and check your fireplace for damage before you’re likely to use it. This is also the ideal time to check the roofing, windows, and other exterior parts of your home. Be sure to spread other necessary tasks around the year.
As well as regular seasonal jobs, it’s a good idea to have smaller checklists, like ones that you focus on each month. Dedicating a weekend each month to getting these maintenance checks and jobs done will save you time and money in the long run.
These jobs include:
- Testing smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and other safety equipment
- Inspecting and unclogging tub and sink drains
- Inspecting electrical cords for wear and tear
- Flushing out hot water from the water heater
- Cleaning the furnace filter to remove dust build-ups
As well as these tasks, there are some daily and weekly things to consider. For example, whenever you use your dryer, take a moment to clear out the lint. Not only does regular maintenance keep things looking nice, but it can keep your home safer.
Keep Tools and Spare Parts on Hand
Even if you keep on top of everything, at some point, something will go. Rather than panicking and being forced to take a trip to the nearest hardware store, you’ll be far better prepared if you have things ready to make repairs.
Most people have a toolbox or bag with at least the bare essentials. There are some tools that you’ll be more likely to need than others. Here’s a quick list:
- Screwdrivers of different types. The first is the slot or flat head screwdriver that works best for simple slotted screws. Next, the Philips head screwdriver, which fits into cross-headed screws. Finally, you will want a hexagonal Allen Key.
- Wrenches, which fit over a nut or a bolt. These also have different shapes, depending on the type of nut or bolt that you need to tighten or loosen.
- Hammers, which are mainly used to drive nails into things or to fit parts together. Most people have a claw hammer, which has a flat hammerhead and a claw at the back for digging out nails.
- Measuring tape, which is always useful.
- Pliers, which are good for pulling nails, cutting wire, or just helping you grip things.
- Utility knives, such as Stanley knives, can be handy for all kinds of things.
- Spirit levels, which help you to hang things in a straight line and to keep things perfectly level.
- Torches help you to see into dark cupboards or to navigate through a dark house so that you can deal with a power cut.
This isn’t an exhaustive list of tools to keep on hand, but they should help you deal with most minor maintenance and repair jobs. As well as tools, many householders like to have some common spare parts available. Fisher and Paykel parts, for example, can be used to repair many appliances by replacing any parts that have broken.
Know What You’re Doing
As well as being stocked up with tools and parts, you should also know how to use them. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you may cause more damage or even injure yourself. The best way to learn is by having someone teach you so that you can learn on the job.
If you don’t have any family or friends who can teach you, then watching instructional videos or even reading instructions can help you to pick up the basics. However, be sure to stick to simpler jobs, or you could do more harm than good.
Some people choose to pay for a training course. This provides you with a vital skill that allows you to handle problems yourself, whether in your home or for your friends and family.
Hire a Professional
If you’re unsure about a job, then it’s usually best to hire a professional to repair something for you. Yes, the initial cost can be irritating to deal with, but the alternative can be far more expensive in the long run.
Unless you’re trained, some jobs should always be handled by a professional. For example, rewiring your home without the proper expertise or equipment isn’t just dangerous at the time, but it can increase the risk of an electrical fire. This wouldn’t just be expensive, but it could risk lives. Hiring a professional is more than worth the price.