Easy DIY Home Maintenance Tips Every Homeowner Should Know
One of the first things to note as a homeowner or a first-time buyer is the importance of regular home maintenance. For example, before winter sets in, you should ensure that your home insulation is adequate to keep the cold out and the heat in. Similarly, check your air conditioning units for any necessary maintenance or servicing at the onset of summer.
When moving into a new area, it is crucial to understand the local weather patterns, as they can affect your home's maintenance needs. For example, homes in areas prone to flooding may need additional waterproofing steps, while those in wildfire-prone regions might require the consideration of fire-resistant landscaping.
Finally, don't forget about your home's exterior. Regular cleaning of gutters, checking the roof for any damage, and ensuring outdoor lighting is in working order are all tasks that can sometimes be overlooked but are essential for maintaining your home.
Lawn Care Tips:
As the seasons change, paying particular attention to your lawn is essential. Whether it's the beginning of spring or the close of summer, your yard demands care to ensure that the bushes, shrubs, and grass flourish and look their best for the coming seasons. The tasks vary with each season—spring, summer, or fall—but each one holds different steps and sets the stage for your lawn's aesthetics in the future.
- Dethatching: Thatch is a layer of dead grass and roots that can build up on your lawn, preventing water and nutrients from reaching the soil. Use a dethatching rake or a lawn dethatcher for larger areas to remove this layer and keep your lawn healthy.
- Aerating: Another crucial process involves making small holes in your lawn to allow air, water, and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots. This helps the roots to grow deeply and produce a stronger landscape.
- Fertilizing: Fertilize your lawn in the spring and fall. This will provide the nutrients your grass needs to grow thick and green. If you have time only to do one season, choose the fall over spring.
- Seeding: Consider overseeding in the spring or fall if your lawn has thin patches. Spread a layer of grass seed over your existing lawn to fill in any sparse areas.
- Watering: Proper watering is crucial for a healthy lawn. Water your lawn deeply but not too frequently, aiming for one inch per week, including rainfall. Early morning is the best time to water to reduce evaporation. In the Pacific Northwest, where rain is frequent, you may not have to water as much in spring.
Winterizing your home, especially when you're a new homeowner or a first-time buyer, is an often overlooked but crucial process. It can be easy to forget that failing to prepare your home for winter properly can lead to problems such as frozen pipes. Here are some measures to consider:
- Check the gutters: Prevent ice dams by cleaning out your gutters, installing gutter guards, and ensuring your attic floor is adequately insulated. The attic should be well-ventilated and about 10 degrees warmer than the outside temperature.
- Protect the pipes: Protect against frozen pipes by insulating those susceptible to freezing. When the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, keep a stream of water running in a few faucets to guard against freezing and bursting. To protect plumbing under kitchen and bathroom sinks, consider opening the cabinet doors so warm air can surround the pipes.
- Seal the cracks: Caulk holes and openings around windows, doors, air conditioners, and mail chutes to prevent cold air from seeping in. Installing weather stripping and seals offers an additional method for heat loss protection.
- Add Facet Covers: Facet covers help keep outside pipes from freezing. Winters require less watering, so cover those covers.
Heating and Cooling Maintenance:
- Furnace Filter Replacement: To keep your home cozy and cost-efficient in the harsh winter months, replace your furnace filters every three months. Dirty or outdated filters can obstruct airflow and reduce the overall efficiency of your heating system. Consistent replacement of these filters will maintain your system's efficiency and warm your home.
- Revamp the Ceiling Fans: Ceiling fans aren't just for summer! By reversing your ceiling fans' direction in the winter, you can drive warm air downward and keep your living space more comfortable without overworking the heating system.
- Routine HVAC Maintenance: Regular upkeep of your heating and cooling system is crucial for efficient performance. Ensure your outdoor HVAC unit is free from debris and the area around it is clear to ensure proper airflow. Consider scheduling an annual maintenance check with an HVAC professional. This preventative measure can help detect potential issues early, preventing them from escalating into more serious, costly repairs.
To summarize, it's crucial to winterize your home by sanding or salting your outdoor surfaces, installing an emergency release in your plumbing system, maintaining your heating and cooling system, and adjusting your ceiling fans. These steps ensure your home is safe and comfortable during the harsh winter. As a first-time homeowner, don't hesitate to contact your real estate agent at Olympic Sotheby's International Realty for additional tips and advice after closing. They can also provide recommendations for trusted local contractors and service providers to assist with your home maintenance needs.