Purchasing a home can be as scary as it is exciting. When it comes to maintaining your home, it doesn’t have to be difficult. You simply need to learn which tools you will need, how to shut off the water, and how to locate the circuit breaker.
Buying and owning your first home can be extremely exciting. You have the option to paint the walls any color your wish, build an impressive deck, or anything in between. When it comes to personalizing or renovating your new home, however, you may not know where to begin. Luckily, the solution is simple.
Prior to deciding to know down some walls or starting the cordless drill, you should handle some preventative home maintenance tasks. Home maintenance may be a bit daunting for first-time homeowners, especially if you are used to renting and calling a landlord when you need something fixed. However, this article will help get you by.
If you have a burst pipe, gallons of water can come rushing out of it and wreak serious havoc on the flooring, drywall, and personal belongings. Reports have shown that non-weather-related water damage comes in second for the most common claims for homeowner’s insurance. Therefore, it is important that you are able to shut the water flow off into your home as quickly as possible in the event of an emergency.
Locate the water shut-off valve. This is where the water main enters your home. It is often located near an alleyway or street. Next, make sure you are familiar with how to close the valve. In some cases, a special tool like a crescent wrench or a curb stop key will be necessary to access and turn the valve.
As you are search for the main water shut-off valve in the garage, basement, closets, and front and backyards, keep an eye out for the circuit breaker box. Once this has been located, determine the fuses that control the electricity in various parts of the home and label them accordingly.
Regardless of whether you are planning to plant some shrubs or build a fence, you must make sure you aren’t going to hit any unground utilities once you start to dig. So, call 811, which is the nation dig safely hotline. They will send utility companies out to your property to mark the locations of any unground wires, pipes, and cables. This will help you avoid costly repairs and cables outages across the neighborhood, and it will ensure that any work that is done on your property is performed under safer conditions.
If the soil around your home’s base gets drenched by rain and melting snow and ice, pressure may build up and cause structural damage to the foundation. Worse yet, if a leak occurs and water comes into contact with the foundation, it could cause any existing cracks to expand, resulting in costly issues. To help avoid your foundation from weakening, make certain the ground around the foundation is sloping away from the dwelling at minimum six inches over 10 feet. Make sure that your gutters are clean and free from any debris and properly draining. Last, caulk any cracks in the foundation—no matter how small—before they have the opportunity to become larger and cause significant damage.
If an attic inspection shows that the tops of the floor joists are visible, it means that your home is not adequately insulated. For most attics, the recommended amount of insulation is roughly 10 to 14 inches, depending on the exact type of insulation that is being used. The attic is by far the easiest place in the home to add insulation to help improve the energy efficiency of the home. You can save as much as 30 percent on your home energy bills by having a well-insulated home, in addition to increasing the value of your property and keeping your entire family more comfortable.
Plumbing pipes, cables, wires, and ductwork are hidden in almost all homes. Prior to powering up a drill, utilize a battery-operated stud sensor to locate cables, studs, ducts, and other important veins and arteries that run beneath the wall’s surface. However, keep in mind that stud sensors are not always 100 percent accurate, so only drill about one and one-fourth inches deep to help avoid unnecessary damage; this amount is just enough to clear the sheetrock and plaster and enough to miss the majority of the pipes and wiring.
Remove any dead limbs or branches that have the potential to fall on your home’s roof or overhead electrical lines. This is a good chance to inspect the integrity of your soffits, eaves, gutters, and roof vents. Due to the fact that large limbs can potentially break and fall at a moment’s notice, tree trimming should be left to the professionals.
By following the aforementioned first-time homeowner tips, you can protect this large investment. You can further increase that protection and minimize the costs associated with home repairs and replacements by investing in a home warranty plan. A plan like this will help cover the repair or replacement of major systems in the home like HVAC, plumbing, and electrical. For more information about home maintenance or a home warranty plan, contact us at Structure Remodeling.