12 Feb Important Home Maintenance Tasks
Are you wondering if you have done all your necessary home maintenance tasks or if you might have missed something important? Some home maintenance tasks are not so obvious. However, if not addressed, they could cost you thousands of dollars in unexpected repairs and replacements.
We’ve talked with several area experts. Here are what they noted as the most commonly overlooked home maintenance tasks that you might want to add to your home maintenance checklist.
Granite Countertop Restoration
Granite countertops require regular maintenance to help preserve them. You can start by cleaning them regularly with warm water, a mild dishwashing liquid, and a soft cloth. Additionally, your granite countertops need to be sealed periodically to help prevent stains and cracking, and to help keep them looking new.
Eric Janashak, the owner of one of the leading granite restoration companies in Charlotte, NC, had this to say: “Granite is a porous stone; therefore, you should consider sealing it once every three to five years to prevent staining and premature aging.”
Gutter cleaning is a chore most homeowners hate and, therefore, tend to put off. However, gutter cleaning is more important than you might think. Dirty gutters can create a whole host of problems that can cause extreme damage to your home if left unchecked.
Steve Williams from Lowcountry Roof Repairs was quick to list out the damage that can happen surprisingly quickly if your gutters aren’t properly maintained.
Rotted Soffits and Fascia Boards Gutters that are full of debris result in dams that direct the water elsewhere. This water buildup will sit in your gutters and rot your soffits. It will also leave standing water that will rot the fascia boards your gutters are mounted to.
Interior Leaks Rotted soffits and fascia boards allow water to get into your home and that water could cause ceiling and wall leaks, mold, mildew, flooding, and more.
Foundation Damage Clogged gutters allow excess water to erode your foundation which could result in structural damage.
Ice Damage While it doesn’t happen often in South Carolina, when the temperatures fall below freezing, any water collecting in your gutters can freeze and turn to ice. The weight of the ice could cause your gutters to pull away from your home damaging your roof, siding, and more.
These are just a few of the issues caused by clogged gutters—there are plenty more!
Interior and Exterior Trim Painting
Painting the interior trim in your home helps keep it from being damaged as easily and makes it easier to keep clean. However, painting the exterior trim on your home is much more important. If you don’t paint the exterior trim on your home, it is more susceptible to rot and insect damage.
A great piece of advice came from Francot Fields, owner at Palmetto Paint Plus, “If you keep your exterior trim painted, it will preserve the wood so you won’t have to replace it prematurely (which can be expensive).”
Upgrading Breaker Panels
You might have a breaker panel problem without even knowing it. Many of today’s homeowners use newer appliances, more gadgets, and other high-consumption electrical devices, and there are some breaker panels that don’t trip when they should which could result in a fire.
Mike Namdar from Live Oak Electrical told us that you want to make sure you act quickly if you have some of these specific breaker panels in your home: “Certain years of the Federal Pacific Electric Panels (FPE) and Zinsco Panels, split-bus electrical panels, and fuse boxes are all candidates for replacement due to their higher-than-average chances of failure that could result in a house fire.”
Concrete Driveway Cracks
One of the most common causes of concrete driveway cracks is from concrete that has been improperly installed. An incorrectly constructed base or sub-base will generally cause premature cracking.
How does this happen? When a contractor is trying to save money, they will sometimes use a lightweight material such as sand or dirt as the sub-base for the concrete driveway which could cause future problems for the homeowner.
When a concrete driveway is not installed properly, and the sub-base is not compacted correctly, this can result in empty pockets under the concrete. The uneven pressure on the driveway can cause the concrete to crack. That’s why it’s best to ask a lot of questions and inquire as to the process your contractor will be using to install your driveway before making any final decisions. Remember, you get what you pay for.
Matt Weidner, our local concrete driveway expert gave us these tips about concrete driveways:
Quick Tips for Preventing Driveway Cracks
Tree roots put pressure on your driveway’s concrete and can cause the same type of damage as an improperly installed driveway. So, keep that in mind before pouring a new driveway. Consider taking down trees that may cause future problems. Alternatively, you can install a tree root barrier system on the sides of your driveway. This will help prevent most tree roots from damaging the concrete.
Excessive weight also puts pressure on your driveway’s concrete. Of course, driveways are designed to withstand a certain amount of pressure, but they are not indestructible. It’s all dependent on the quality of materials used, the depth of the material, and whether the driveway’s foundation was reinforced or properly reinforced. However, you could easily assume that anything from 10,000 pounds to a few tons might crack a driveway, especially if it wasn’t installed properly.
Matt offered this easy tip, “Keep your concrete driveway free of leaf and pine needle debris, not just for safety, but the acidic nature of needles and some levees will quickly stain your driveway. This means you will need to powerwash it more often. Blowing it off a few times a week will save you a lot of time and money later.”
The Bottom Line
If you want to protect yourself and your investment, hiring a professional to take care of your home maintenance tasks could be one of the best decisions you ever make. Doing so will help prevent you from having to pay for major replacements prematurely.
And keep in mind that performing some maintenance tasks yourself or having an unlicensed contractor do them for you could result in your homeowner’s insurance rejecting your claim should something happen to your home. Additionally, if you use an uninsured contractor who gets hurt on your property, that could result in you being liable for his or her medical bills and more.
So, don’t chance it—it’s really not worth the risk when it comes to using an unlicensed or uninsured contractor—ever! Always hire a licensed and insured professional when it comes to allowing anyone to work in, on, or around your home.