Homes need maintenance. They need you to get your hands dirty not just to keep them clean, but to fix minor issues here and there long before the problem runs into their very foundations. Leave a building alone, and it rots. Institutions and buildings have only lasted the generations because there are loving people available to take care of them.
The same applies to your own home, but you don’t need to wait until something breaks to get to work. Simply keep an eye on these five most common issues, and know how to maintain (and fix) them when necessary.
1. Dirt, Grime, and Mould
Dirt, grime, and mold are common features in a home, but far too often can build up into a big problem.
Get the Right Cleaning Supplies
Bleach can do wonders to kill mold, and for most jobs, everyday cleaning supplies can tackle the rest of the dirt and grime you see, but what you need to be really careful of is what you use. Dealing with grime in grout is going to require a different strategy than cleaning dirt that has built up underneath the fridge. Always use the right material. Chemicals, especially heavy-duty ones, can destroy a part of your home if you misuse it.
Be Prepared to Make Small Repairs
Not every area can look brand new with some cleaning power. Grout, for example, is notoriously difficult to clean. In fact, it may be better to invest in professional shower regrouting to get the job done right. This is particularly true in the bathroom, where you need it to be watertight. The grout in kitchen tile can be cleaned or even painted with grout paint to get that clean look back, but anything in the bathroom needs to be done to a professional standard.
2. Cracked or Flaking Paint
Flaking paint or other similar unseemly signs of age pop up within the home and outside, but you cannot let these issues fester for long. Paint does more than just provide a great look for your home – it also protects what is underneath. By not fixing a crack or a chip, you actually invite moisture to break down the foundations of your home.
Thankfully it is very easy to fix these issues (so long as the crack is superficial, and not a sign of a foundational fault).
Sand down the area to remove any paint or upper material that has come away from the base, then treat it. This could be by treating the wood underneath, or by filling in the new gap with some simple filler putty. Once it’s treated, repaint with a high quality, waterproof paint to prolong the life of your property.
Every stain has its own solution, so research before you try to tackle a stain with the products you have on hand. You may end up removing the varnish on your table instead of getting rid of the glass ring.
One of the worst problems a home can face is an infestation. Not every infestation is the end of the world, but leaving one unchecked can cause irreparable damage. You don’t even need termites for your home to suffer, either.
Know the signs of common pests, and if you start to spot them, take action immediately. One ant might not seem like a big deal, but one will lead the others, and before you know it, a colony has taken up residency in your kitchen. DIY solutions like ant traps can work wonders early on, but you need to be prepared to hire a professional if the problem persists, or if you have signs of terminates or fleas.
5. Breaking Appliances
Appliances break down for a lot of reasons. Planned obsolesce, which occurs when manufacturers purposefully don’t make these appliances last, is just one of them. Not properly maintaining them is another.
Once a month, you should wipe down your small appliances and take stock to see if there are any issues you can take note of. Larger systems, like your HVAC unit, should be inspected and maintained by a professional.
Maintain your property, and it will last longer, look better, and cost you far less over time. If you inherited or recently purchased a property that needs all these fixes, don’t cut corners. Bring in a professional to tackle those decades’ worth of neglect and then use the DIY measures to prolong their fixes and keep your costs down.