Sometimes it’s easier to put the little things off rather than doing them straight away. This can then lead to a small problem becoming a big issue. Follow this guide to see the ten most common home maintenance jobs that you might be putting off.
Check Your Heating System
During the winter months, an efficient heating system is essential for keeping costs down and your home warm. If you have an older boiler you could find yourself spending up to £320 more than a brand new A-rated model. Choosing a new boiler can be a little overwhelming given that there are so many options out there with so many different installers. Here is a great article about boiler installation, going over what you can usually expect from the installation process.
Drafty windows can be a key cause to a rise in energy bills. Poorly sealed windows can be a cause of a serious draft in winter due to cold air entering your property, which can not only lead to a colder house but a bigger bill at the end of the month. The way that you can fix this is by looking at your caulk line. The caulk line is the rubber piece that insulates your window, and if this is looking dry or cracked, then it’s a significant insight into what the issue is. To change your caulk line is easy, remove it with a sharp knife then run a new one across the open seam.
Check For Damp
Damp can be a serious cause of concern for families and can be especially dangerous to families with asthma sufferers. There are several ways to spot damp around your home:
- A damp musty smell
- Dark or discoloured patches on walls or plaster
- Listing or peeling wallpaper
- The appearance of mould or mildew on walls, floors or ceilings
- Walls floors or ceilings that feel cold or damp
Fixing damp can be a specialist job however there are certain cases where using anti-mould paint can be a solution, however, we would recommend getting quotes from different tradespeople and then opting for the most reliable and trustworthy.
Check Your Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors are vital to any household, the last thing you want is a raging house fire to go undetected due to smoke alarm neglect. Most modern smoke alarms will give a warning as to when their batteries are running out however it is still advisable that twice a year you conduct a smoke alarm test to be on the safe side.
Bleed Your Radiators
Bleeding your radiators is essential for making sure that your radiators are running at full capacity and efficiency. There are signs to check if your radiator needs bleeding:
- If the radiator is cold at the top
- Damp patches or condensation surrounding the radiator
- Creaking sounds caused by air pressure causing vibrations
Going about bleeding your radiator is easy enough. To begin with, make sure that you have these items:
- A radiator key
- A cloth or clove
- An old towel
To begin with find the radiator that needs bleeding. Make sure that your heating is turned off and give the radiator time to cool down. Place the old towel and container below the valve to catch any spillage that may occur. Use your radiator key to turn the radiator valve anti-clockwise just enough so that a hissing sound occurs, meaning the air is escaping. Re-tighten the valve and then you’re done!
Check Your Plumbing System
Making sure that your water can remain free-flowing through your pipes is essential all your round. Following these tips will mean that your pipes are less likely to become clogged:
- Invest in a hair strainer for your bathroom. A hair strainer is ideal as it catches stray hair that would build up in your drain and cause a blockage in your pipes. This avoids having to fish the hair out with your hands
- Avoid pouring fats and oils down the drains. These fatty liquids and oils will clog up inside your pipes, just as it would inside your body arteries. The easiest way to prevent this is by altogether avoiding oil near your sink, but in case of an accident, run hot water and washing up liquid down you drain (immediately) to emulsify it. The easier way to get rid of your fats and oils are to wipe them down or wait for them to solidify and get rid of them into your household waste.
Pest prevention is a vital part of home maintenance, especially during the summer months as insects become more prevalent. It is better to exterminate pests and vermin before they have a chance to establish a nest and begin to call your home theirs. Common household pests can include:
- Rats and Mice
- Bed bugs
In severe cases, the easiest fix is to call out pest control services, which are cheap and easy to find. However, do try and use preventative measures such as boric acid and Orange Guard before spending your money. And in some cases there are more humane ways to deal with pests such as human rat and mouse traps that will not hurt the animal.
Insulate External Pipes
Insulating external pipes and taps are a great way of preventing freezing and bursting over the winter months. Using foam tubes to insulate your pipes is a great way to ensure that your pipes will not freeze and if you have exposed hot water pipes they will keep their heat. There are some great guides for this around the web and it is a great way to keep your water flowing this winter.
Clean Out The Gutters
Cleaning your gutters is very important to get done before seasons like late summer and autumn when heavy rainfall usually occurs. Cleaning gutters out ensures that there will be no damage caused by water build-up during periods of heavy rain.
Clean The Air Conditioning Filter
Most homes are now fitted with air conditioning to help cool your home during summer. Making sure that your air conditioning is clean enables your unit to run at full efficiency as the dust and bacteria can restrict airflow and stop the unit cooling the air down. The best time to clean your air conditioning unit is before summer (or whenever you start frequently using your AC) and then once a month, while in regular use. Following these four steps will ensure that your filter gets a deep clean:
- Remove the filter. Turn off the electricity source and take off the cover of the unit (usually done by releasing the push tabs or loosening the screws). Then remove the filter by sliding or releasing the clips.
- Submerge the filter in lukewarm water. Add a mix of washing up liquid and warm water to a bowl and leave inside for 15-30 minutes for best results.
- Spray the filter. Mix up a solution of equal parts vinegar and water into a spray bottle and cover the filter. Leave for 10-15 minutes, and this will kill off any harmful bacteria.
- Allow the filter to air dry; this could take several hours.
These ten points should mean that your home stays a little more efficient each season. Keeping your property in good order is essential to making sure a house stays a home.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post