There is absolutely no doubt that prevention is better than cure, particularly when it comes to home maintenance. If you ignore those little things that don’t seem worth the effort, before you know it you’re likely to be faced with a major, possibly costly, repair.
Areas to pay special attention to include:
- paint finishes,
- dust and dirt.
Water can cause more damage in and around the house than anything else. So if you don’t regularly clean your gutters, when it rains, they aren’t going to function the way they should, by diverting rainwater away from your house.
In addition to the fact that leaves falling from overhanging branches clog gutters, the branches can also create a great “bridge” for ants and other insects to gain access to your home.
The filters to pay attention to are primarily those used for an efficient HVAC system – for the air conditioning and heating systems in your home. It doesn’t matter whether the filters are permanent (in which case they must be cleaned regularly) or disposable (which means they need to be replaced as soon as they become clogged), if you have dirty filters, the energy efficiency of your house will be compromised.
If paint or varnish starts to crack and peel this is the time to do repairs. It isn’t because cracked and peeling paint looks unsightly (although it generally does), but rather that it is an invitation for water to penetrate the surface and do even more damage.
When repainting – or repairing paint surfaces – remember that preparation is paramount. You must be sure to get rid of all loose paint or varnish and prime it correctly before you repaint. Painting over an imperfect (or worse still rotten) surface is simply a waste of money.
Leaks bring us back to water! It doesn’t matter whether it’s your gutters, downpipes, taps and faucets, dishwasher or washing machine that is leaking – FIX IT or have it fixed. Ignoring leaks can cause you more stress in the form of additional damage and costs than you can ever imagined possible. Worse, damp spots will tend to attract unwanted pests and insects and also promote growth of mildew and mold.
Simple leaks (including the replacement of valves and washers) are normally within the realms of competent DIY. But if you are not able to do the repair, or if it really is serious, call in a qualified plumber immediately.
Dust and Dirt
Dusting is one of those daily tasks that housewives are expected to do. But if you are a working woman, it might become habit to ignore what appears to be a little harmless dust … until it builds up to the extent that it causes damage.
The fact is that dirt and dust do build up quite rapidly, and unless taken care of regularly can wreck wooden furniture, break down the fibers in your carpet, and even damage the coils on your refrigerator and result in a higher electricity bill.
The message: Don’t put off simple home maintenance until it’s too late!