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8 Critical Home Maintenance Tasks You’re Probably Neglecting: Why They’re Essential for Your Home’s Safety and Longevity

As a homeowner, you want to make sure that your home is a safe and comfortable place for you and your family. Regular home maintenance is crucial to achieving this, but many homeowners often neglect these important tasks due to lack of time, resources, or knowledge. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most critical home maintenance tasks that homeowners tend to overlook and why they are essential for the safety and longevity of your home.

HVAC System Maintenance:

Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is designed to keep your home comfortable year round. It also needs regular maintenance to work efficiently and safely. Neglecting HVAC maintenance can result in poor indoor air quality, increased energy costs, and potential safety hazards. It’s easy to ignore when things are working correctly. 

The good news is, one of the most critical maintenance items for HVAC systems doesn’t require a heap of specialized knowledge or experience. One of the most important HVAC maintenance tasks is cleaning or replacing air filters. Dirty filters can restrict airflow, causing your system to work harder and consume more energy. It might not seem like a big deal, but this can really add to your electric costs. They can also trap allergens and other contaminants, leading to poor indoor air quality. 

It is recommended to change your air filters every three months, but this may vary depending on your system and usage. It is recommended to change your HVAC filter every three months or more frequently if you have pets, allergies, or live in a dusty environment. 

Take stock of the filters in your home. Document the sizes and make a point to go to the home improvement or hardware store (or order online!). Buying four of each filter so you have all the filters you need for the year. Mark it on your calendar to remind yourself to change the filters every three months. 

Another critical HVAC maintenance task is inspecting your ductwork. Leaky or damaged ducts can result in energy loss and poor indoor air quality. A professional HVAC technician can inspect your ducts and seal any leaks or damages to improve the efficiency and safety of your system.

Chimney Cleaning:

If you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove in your home, it is essential to have your chimney inspected and cleaned at least once a year. A dirty or clogged chimney can lead to dangerous situations, such as chimney fires or carbon monoxide poisoning. The buildup of creosote, a highly flammable substance that accumulates from burning wood, can ignite and cause a chimney fire. According to the latest statistics, there are about 25,000 chimney fires each year. These fires equal an estimated 125 million dollars in property damage. 

Carbon monoxide, a colorless and odorless gas, can also enter your home if your chimney is clogged or damaged. Regular chimney cleaning and inspection can prevent these hazards and keep your family safe. If you search for “chimney sweep near me” you should find several local options. 

Gutter Cleaning:

Gutters are designed to divert water away from your home’s foundation, roof, and walls. However, if they are clogged with leaves, debris, and other materials, they can cause water damage and other issues. Water that overflows from clogged gutters can seep into your home’s foundation, causing cracks and other structural damage. It can also damage your roof, leading to leaks and costly repairs. Regular gutter cleaning can prevent these issues and protect your home from water damage. This is an important task that’s often overlooked by busy homeowners. 

No one is excited to climb on a ladder to clean gutters. If this task is daunting to you, it’s important to hire a professional to take care of this at least twice a year. If you live where there are lots of trees, you may consider having this completed every three months, especially if you live where rain is common. 

Roof Inspection:

Home Maintenance, roof and gutters

Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against weather and environmental impacts. It is essential to have your roof inspected regularly to identify any potential leaks, damage, or other issues that can lead to costly repairs down the line. It is generally recommended to have your roof inspected at least once a year. This can help identify any potential issues early on and prevent more significant problems from developing.

It’s also a good idea to have your roof inspected after severe weather events, such as storms or high winds, which can cause damage to your roof. Additionally, if you notice any signs of roof damage or leaks, such as water stains on your ceiling or missing shingles, you should have your roof inspected as soon as possible. Regular roof inspections can help extend the lifespan of your roof and prevent costly repairs or replacements down the line. 

A professional roofing contractor can inspect your roof for signs of damage, such as missing or broken shingles, cracks, or holes. They can also check for proper ventilation and insulation to ensure that your roof is functioning correctly.

Water Heater Maintenance:

Kitchen faucet

Your water heater is responsible for providing hot water for your home’s needs, such as bathing, washing dishes, and doing laundry. Over time, sediment and minerals can accumulate at the bottom of your water heater tank, reducing its efficiency and lifespan. Flushing your water heater annually can help remove this buildup, improving its efficiency and extending its lifespan. A professional plumber can also inspect your water heater for leaks, corrosion, or other issues that can lead to costly repairs or replacement. Staying ahead of this with regular maintenance and inspections will keep your family safe and comfortable so you don’t have to worry about an emergency water heater replacement. 

Pest Control:

Pest control is an essential aspect of home maintenance that is often overlooked. Pests such as termites, rodents, and insects can cause significant damage to your home’s structure and pose a threat to your family’s health. Termites, for example, can cause extensive damage to wooden structures, while rodents can chew through electrical wires and cause fires. Insects such as cockroaches and bedbugs can also spread diseases and cause allergies.

To keep your home free of pests, it is essential to take preventative measures such as regular pest control treatments. Pest control treatments involve using pesticides to eliminate or prevent infestations. These treatments are best performed by a professional pest control service, which can assess your home’s unique needs and recommend the most appropriate treatment options.

In addition to regular pest control treatments, it is also essential to seal entry points and keep your home clean and clutter-free. Pests can enter your home through small cracks and openings, so it is important to seal them off to prevent entry. Additionally, keeping your home clean and free of clutter can eliminate potential hiding places and food sources for pests.

Regularly inspecting your home for signs of pest activity, such as droppings, chewed wires, or damaged wood, can also help identify and prevent infestations before they become a significant problem. If you notice any signs of pest activity, it is important to address them promptly to prevent further damage and potential health hazards.

Overall, taking preventative measures such as regular pest control treatments, sealing entry points, and keeping your home clean and clutter-free can help keep your home free of pests and ensure the safety and health of your family.

If this seems overwhelming or you are too busy to focus on pest control, it’s important to get the help of a professional, like Orkin. Many service providers offer year round service to stay in front of pest issues. 

Most homeowners don’t give a second thought to the electrical system in their home. Your home’s electrical system powers all of your appliances, electronics, and lighting. It is essential to keep it in good working condition to prevent safety hazards such as electrical fires or electrocution. Regular inspections of your electrical system can identify any potential safety hazards, such as faulty wiring, overloaded circuits, or outdated electrical panels. A professional electrician can perform an inspection and make any necessary repairs or upgrades to keep your electrical system safe and efficient.

Electrical Maintenance:

The frequency of electrical inspections for your home or business depends on several factors, including the age of your electrical system, the type of property, and the frequency of use. However, it is generally recommended to have an electrical inspection at least once every 10 years.

If you have an older home with outdated electrical systems or frequently experience electrical issues, you may need to schedule more frequent inspections. Additionally, if you are planning to sell your home or business, you may need to have an inspection performed as part of the sales process.

It’s also important to note that you should schedule an inspection immediately if you experience any electrical problems, such as flickering lights, frequently tripped circuit breakers, or electrical shocks. These issues could be signs of a more significant electrical problem that requires immediate attention.

Plumbing Maintenance:

Your home’s plumbing system provides water for all of your needs, such as drinking, cooking, bathing, and cleaning. Neglecting your plumbing system can result in leaks, water damage, and costly repairs – and uncomfortable days while repairs are completed. 

Checking for leaks, ensuring proper water pressure, and keeping drains clear can help prevent these issues. A professional plumber can also inspect your pipes, fixtures, and water heater for any potential problems and make necessary repairs or replacements.

It is generally recommended to get plumbing inspections done on your home at least once a year. This can help to identify any potential issues before they become major problems and lead to expensive repairs. However, if you have an older home or if you have had plumbing issues in the past, you may want to consider more frequent inspections, such as every six months. Additionally, if you notice any signs of plumbing problems, such as slow drains or low water pressure, it is a good idea to have an inspection done as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

Overall, these eight home maintenance tasks are crucial for the safety and longevity of your home. Neglecting these tasks can result in costly repairs, poor indoor air quality, safety hazards, and damage to your home’s structure. It is essential to prioritize these tasks and work with professionals when necessary to ensure that your home is a safe and comfortable place for you and your family. By staying on top of home maintenance, you can save time, money, and stress in the long run.

If you want help maintaining your home, contact us about property maintenance. We focus on preventative maintenance for our property management clients.