Home maintenance chores can be a pain in the you-know-what, but consider a possible alternative: An odd, unsavory smell prompts an investigation that reveals a blown septic tank. Sewage has seeped into your lawn and filled the air with an unspeakably bad stench, and to properly fix the issue you have to hire a professional, costing you several hundreds of dollars.
Now imagine how much easier life would have been had you simply paid for an annual cleaning and inspection of the septic tank. This minor maintenance would have come at a much lower cost and would have prevented the septic tank from blowing in the first place. That’s just one instance in which a little upkeep could help you prevent the sewage from hitting the fan. Here are a few other ways some simple tasks can prevent huge problems in your home.
Your home’s gutters and drains aren’t there to just look good. Gutters serve the purpose of collecting water and sending it out away from the foundation of the home as a way of curbing water leaks in the basement. When gutters become clogged and overflow, water ends up running straight down the side of the home. If the foundation has cracks in it, water leaks are likely and the damage can be significant.
Fortunately, unclogging your gutters periodically – especially in the fall after the trees have lost their leaves — can keep your gutters working properly and minimize your home’s risk of water damage.
Seal leaks around doors and windows
As doors and windows go through the seasons and the various changes in temperature, cracks inevitably develop. These small leaks can create drafts that grow bigger over time, allowing cold air to seep in during the winter. But a little caulking and sealant applied around your doors and windows can bolster these seals and make your home’s construction more efficient. Your air conditioner and furnace won’t have to work as hard to regulate the temperature in your home, and you’ll save money on utilities as a result.
Replace filters in your home
Your furnace and air conditioning units are usually outfitted with air filters that strain dust and other debris from the air. This is a huge boon for indoor air quality, but only if you keep up on the maintenance. Filters become less effective as they fill up with debris, and most need to be replaced every one to three months.
In some cases, an old filter can pose a fire hazard, especially an old furnace filter. Be sure you check the air filter monthly and replace it as it accumulates sediments.
Check on smoke detectors
Every six months, you need to test the batteries in all of your smoke detectors and replace any that have run out of juice.
In many cases, a lack of knowledge is what leads homeowners to neglect important maintenance needs. And while it’s rarely fun, it’s very important that these needs be addressed before things get ugly. You’ll be able to rest easier at night knowing you won’t have to trudge into your lawn only to find yourself sinking down into a mire of your own waste.