Sponsored by Benjamin Franklin Plumbing®. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Owning a home is such a rewarding feeling. I love that I have a secure roof over my head and a place that I can share so many memories with my family. While owning a home brings me so much joy, there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes.
My husband is a real estate broker, so he is constantly looking at houses, both old and new. He works with a lot of investors who flip homes. When these investors go into homes and tear them apart to the bare bones, it’s crazy to see what type of damage has been done to a home. Most of the damage is wear and tear throughout the years, but a lot of it could have been prevented with simple maintenance by the homeowners.
The biggest problem for homeowners is that you don’t always see the things that you need to be doing. For instance, it’s so important to change out your air filters, but it isn’t something that hangs in clear sight for you to see. It’s tucked away in the ceiling with no way of knowing how dirty they are unless you are checking them monthly.
My husband and I have a list of items that are top priority for us to maintain our home. It makes things simple for us to have them all written out versus trying to remember them. We all have so much going on that when we were relying on our memory to get things done, they would fall by the wayside. Here are our top ten things we do to keep our house in tip top shape.
Home Maintenance Checklist
Water Your Foundation
This is one of the top items that I believe most people put off doing. It takes many years for issues to arrive with your foundation and it’s one of those “out of sight, out of mind” issues. By watering your foundation on a regular basis, it can prevent foundation slab cracks and pier and beam issues. The Texas heat does a number on our foundation, so we make sure to water it often. The best way to get this task done for us is to place soaker hoses along our foundation and let them water for about an hour. The water comes out of the hoses very slowly, but it allows us to multi–task and do other things while the foundation gets the water it needs.
Caulk Windows Around Your House
This isn’t an item that has to be done often, but it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on. Caulking your windows can prevent water from seeping in, drafts and heat intrusion. This can usually be done fairly easily, but make sure you are using the correct caulk and taking the proper steps.
Tune Up Sprinkler System
If you have a sprinkler system, it’s very important to check it to make sure it is working properly. The best way to do this is to turn it on and walk around your yard looking for any missing sprinkler heads, and to see if any heads are not shooting water or if they are not turning correctly. A good sprinkler system will spray water uniformly over your yard and plants. If they are not positioned right, be sure to tweak them so you are getting the most out of them!
Change Your Air Filters Frequently
To help with this process, we buy our air filters in bulk so we always have them when needed. Nothing is worse than trying to complete a task at home and not having all the items that you need. It is often suggested that you change out your air filters every 90 days, but if you have pets, change them out more often. We have two dogs and a cat so we should be changing them out every couple months and we strive to do so. It’s amazing how much dust and lint gets collected in the air filter. When you see how dirty it is, you’ll want to make sure it’s changed often.
Service Your Air Conditioning Unit
Since we are in Texas, we use our air conditioning unit a large chunk of the year. So if anything happens to the A/C, we all freak out. The thought of living in a house where it isn’t blowing ice cold airs worries us. By servicing your A/C, you will prevent your air conditioner from crashing and burning. While no appliance lasts forever, when you have it serviced it adds life to your machine and helps it work more efficiently. Having a reliable A/C company that is familiar with your unit is so helpful in case something does happen to it. The company will already have an idea of how your machine was working and any problems that you might have had with it in the past.
Install New Weather Stripping
There is something about weather stripping that makes me so happy. If I can see even a smidge of light coming in through the door, I make sure we get new weather stripping asap. The weather stripping can be bought at your local hardware store and installed fairly easily. It prevents any air drafts and little pesky bugs from making their way into your home.
Clean Out Your Laundry Vents
I’ve always been really good about cleaning out dryer lint anytime I do the wash. It’s one of the first things I do when going into the laundry room. I didn’t know until about a year ago that you should be cleaning out your laundry vents that connect to the wall. If these aren’t cleaned out they can cause big issues. I found out about cleaning out laundry vents when a friend posted online that her dryer was smoking one afternoon and she freaked out and called the dryer company. They asked when the last time she cleaned out her dryer vent and she had never done so. They suggested calling out a company and getting it cleaned out. The dryer vents were so dirty it caused a serious back up and almost caught on fire. I had no idea that could happen, so we make sure to get ours cleaned a couple times a year!
Drains seem to be clogged often in my house. I wish I could put them blame on other people in my house but I have thick, long hair and my husband is bald. While drains can also get clogged by dirt, soap scum and other things, hair seems to be our main problem. By routinely unclogging your drains BEFORE a problem arises, you will save yourself a large bill when the pipes get too backed.
Install a Flood Stop
If you have a somewhat old water heater, hire a plumber to come out asap to install a flood stop. A flood stop will do exactly what the name says, it will stop a flood in case something happens to your water heater. We travel often and the thought of coming back to our home completely flooded scares me. The average water heater holds approximately 50 gallons of water with a flow rate of 20 gallons per hour. Can you imagine how fast your home would be destroyed at that rate?
We recently called our local Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® service provider to install a flood stop. After they did an inspection, they let us know that we had a drain pan and our hot water heater drained to the exterior. So if we were to have a leak, the pan would fill up and once it was full it would drain outside. They were kind enough to let us know that we didn’t need a flood stop because of the way ours was set up. We had no idea that it was set up properly and were so happy that the Benjamin Franklin Plumbing team was honest with us. It says a lot about a company and their workers when you get that type of report back about your house.
Fix Leaky Faucets
Leaky faucets are not only annoying but they can cost you big bucks! While you won’t see a huge increase in your water bill if it’s a small leak, those small amounts will add up to a much larger cost in a short time. It’s cheaper to call a plumber and have them take a look at any leaky faucets than for you to let the problem run on. Many times, they are easy fixes, especially when you take care of them early. While the Benjamin Franklin Plumbing team was out to look at our water heater, we had them check a leaky faucet we had outdoors. They were able to replace it in no time. Not only is it one thing off the list, but it’s so nice to know that a professional took care of the problem.
While we love doing housework ourselves, it’s so much better to hire it out. It’s cheaper in the long run, it saves us so much time and I don’t have to worry about if we installed or fixed our problems correctly. Our plumber showed up a few minutes early and made the process so easy. He was able to fix the issues we had at our house during his initial inspection, which saved us both the time and energy of having to make another appointment and clearing our schedule in the future.
I love that our local Benjamin Franklin Plumbing provider is independently owned and operated and also part of the Direct Energy family of brands. Leave your home repairs to the professionals and give your local Benjamin Franking Plumbing provider a call. To find the location near you, visit their website or call 855-BEN-1776.
This post was sponsored by Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® service providers. All thoughts and opinions are my own.