Home Maintenance and Money Saving Tips 101
As a homeowner, have you ever had one of those Oh [inaudible 00:00:02] moments when something breaks unexpectedly? Yeah, we've all been there, right? Whether you're a seasoned homeowner or thinking about buying your very first home, preventative maintenance can save you a load of money and undue stress.
Hi, I'm Lisa Kelly, Lakeland Homes & Lifestyles with Premier Realty. Today, I'm going to show you just how easy it is to do a few simple tasks that will go a long way in preventing those unexpected and oftentimes very expensive home repairs. Let's get started.
Living in Florida, there's one major appliance that we flat cannot live without for any length of time and that's our air conditioning system. We all know we should have our A/C systems checked out professionally at least once a year, and twice a year, if you plan on running your heat for those three to four weeks that we had those chilly mornings in January and February. But did you know that one cup of white vinegar once a month could prevent your A/C drainage pipe from getting clogged, which could cause a system malfunction? Yup. One cup of white vinegar. Of course, your system is going to break down when it's 96 degrees outside and the repairman can't get there right away. By doing these little things, plus change your interior filters once a month and your outside unit, keep those bushes trimmed from around them and also make sure look at down in your outside unit and make sure there's no debris like pine needles or leaves or something that can prevent those coils from breathing. I guarantee your system will last you a lot longer if you just do those simple things once a month.
Talking about appliances, in a minute, we're going to head over to the kitchen. I'm going to tell you three basic things you could do every three, four months they're going to save you ...
The most often overlooked things is cleaning our range vents. We're Southern people, we fry stuff, so you know that thing is getting nasty. But it's so simple to keep clean and could prevent a fire, and also save you money in repairs. Let me show you how simple it is. Just come over to your range. Feel up underneath there. Yup. I feel the vent and there's a little ring up there. Just pop it off. It's that simple. I've already filled up my sink full of Dawn, some warm water and some baking soda. That's all it takes. Dump it in there.
While that's going on, go over to your fridge and get your ice bucket out of your freezer. Our garbage disposals get nasty too. Dump a bucket of ice down your garbage disposal every three, four months. It's going to go do two things. It's going to sharpen those blades and it's also going to clean the nasty out of there. Throw a little lemon in there too. While that's going on, look how clean this came, and it's only been soaking for about five minutes.
Finally, once every three, four months, pull your refrigerator out and clean behind there, all those dust bunnies everything around the coils. I tell you, you do these three things that we've talked about and you will save a load of money over the years. And it only took me 20 minutes to do all of these every three, four months.
There are a few seasonal things that we need to do. In Florida, that means every six to eight months. You should inspect and repair all things that are caulked in your home. Start with your kitchen and baths, especially around the sink and faucets. Caulking wears out especially faster if you have hot water. Look behind your toilets and tub. Check for stucco and siding cracks. You don't want water getting in there and causing bigger problems. One of the easiest ways to correct these minor cracks is with the seal stretch caulking and paint over with a Ameralastic paint. Depending on how many little cracks you may have, you could do this in less than an hour.
Make sure your gutters are free of debris. December is a great time to do this, especially if you have any deciduous trees around your home, and it's after hurricane season, so clean out those gutters. Also make sure all downspouts and water deflectors are in good shape and directing water away from your house.
Every six months or so, adjust you sprinkler system to water more or less depending on if we're in a rainy season or drier season. Also, if you're on city water, make sure you stay on those assigned watering days.
Finally, there's a few things that we need to do on an annual basis. The first thing we need to do is drain and refill your water heater. The first thing to go on a water heater is the heating element at the bottom of the tank. It simply corrodes over time because of sediment and possibly hard water elements. You can drastically prevent and prolong your water heater's life by simply draining it and refilling it back up. Just hook a hose to it, to the valve and let it run down your driveway or to a drain and then just fill it back up. Yup. It's that simple.
Okay. You've got your hot water heater draining now, but while we are out in the garage, let's take a look at the garage door. One of the things that's often overlooked is our garage door maintenance. We just pushed the button and just assume that it's going to work forever. But if they're not properly maintained, it can be very, very expensive to have a garage guy come out and repair your garage. I know that, because I just recently went through that. It's super simple to maintain. Just get you a can of either Liquid Wrench or Blaster Garage Door lube. Now I don't get any money for endorsing either one of these products. They just work for us.
Let me show you how simple it is. Your garage door has a lot of moving parts on it. One of the most expensive parts is that spring up there and most likely, if you have a double car garage, you have two springs. Now I'm a little short and it requires a little step ladder, but give it just a little spritz of either one of those products that I mentioned earlier and it could last for years. Also too, you want to look at all your hinges and also the rollers that go in the track. Give those a little spritz too. Believe me, if you do these little things every three, four months, it is really going to save you a lot of money in the long run.
And finally, every year, inspect your fire extinguishers and your smoke alarms. You can take your fire extinguishers to any local fire department and they'll be happy to inspect them for you for free. Once a year, change those batteries in your smoke alarms, whether you think you need it or not. For safety reasons first, but secondly, you can avoid those annoying high pitched chirps that let you know your batteries are low, and you know that always happens on a Wednesday night at 2:00 AM.
Remember, consistency is the key to properly maintaining your Florida home, saving loads of money and those possible repairs. For your convenience, below you'll find a checklist that I made for you of all the things that we talked about today. I categorize the tasks even by the time periods you're supposed to do them. I'm Lisa Kelly, Lakeland Homes and Lifestyles with Premiere Realty. I hope you enjoyed our money saving tips today! http://bit.ly/16VitalHomeMaintainenceItems