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Category: Maintenance

Interior MaintenanceMaintenance

How To Inspect Your Washing Machine Hoses

Over time, it’s normal for your washing machine hoses to start to wear and tear and will eventually break. Therefore, it’s important to inspect your washing machine hoses at least once a year to ensure that they are in good working condition. You don’t want to deal with any unexpected leaks!

This is a Preventative Maintenance Task!

Washing machine hoses wear out quickly and eventually will crack. This can cause leakage in your hoses, which will result in unnecessary water damage to your home.

Tasks can be done by: a homeowner, cleaning company, handyman

Task Steps

Step 1 – Inspect the hoses

  • Inspect washing machine hoses for leaks or cracks in the hoses. Also, inspect the general condition of the washing machine hoses, because its common for the material to wear out overtime.

Step 2 – Fix any problem areas

  • Tighten hose fittings as necessary to ensure no leaking.  If hoses appear cracked or worn, consider replacing them with new hoses. 
  • Remember to close the water valves before removing the old hoses.
    • Tool List: pliers – channel lock

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Maintenance

3 Simple Preventive Maintenance Measures for Your Home

Your home is a reflection of who you are. As a homeowner, it is up to you to maintain its beauty and structural integrity. Treat your home much like your car—you might not always be able to buy the latest model, but you can still keep it in tip-top shape and make it look good as new at all times.

There are many things you can do to keep your house at its best. One of the easiest ways to do this is through routine maintenance. This involves inspecting and monitoring your home for possible damage, leaks, or issues so you can resolve them early on. Through preventative maintenance, you will be able to save more money on repairs and keep your house in good shape for many years.

1. Routine Checks

You don’t have to perform preventive maintenance checks every single day. Instead, try to do it seasonally. As the weather transitions, inspect your house thoroughly to spot any issues that need to be fixed or resolved before a new season sets in.

For example, if winter is about to transition into spring, try to check your roof for leaks and possible damage that might need repairs. Cold weather and snow can do a lot of damage to your home exteriors, and you need to fix these issues before they turn into costly problems. Before summer kicks into autumn, try to do an insulation inspection to ensure that your household will be well cared for during the coldest months of the year. If you cannot remember what to do, use the seasons to your advantage by making it a mental note of when to do inspection checks.

2. Cleanliness Prevents Many Issues

Keeping everything clean makes everything work and look better. Who would want to see a house that’s full of dirt and a lawn that is overgrown or nasty?  The good thing about cleaning is that you can do it every day so that the dirt does not accumulate. Never allow dirt to pile up to the point where you lose motivation to keep your home or yard clean.

It’s best practice to assign tasks to everyone in the household so all family members will do their part in keeping the house clean and orderly. Maintain lists of daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal chores so you can easily keep track of everything that needs to be done! Learn to change up who is doing what so overtime everyone learns how to maintain a home.

3. Save Money Through Energy Efficiency

Maintaining a home doesn’t only mean fixing what’s broken and making it look beautiful. It should also include ways to save money by reducing your utility costs. The easiest way to do this is to be aware of how you use electricity at home. Do you leave your appliances plugged in at all times? Do you still turn on your air conditioning unit during cold days? Is the water heater operating in the most efficient way? All of this and more can contribute to a spike in electricity bills if left unchecked. During your routine inspections, make sure to do efficiency checks too.

Conclusion

Preventive maintenance may seem like an added workload to the people living in your house. However, these checks will teach you the importance of keeping your home in tip top shape and let you appreciate living in it while being proud to show it off. Through these routines, you can help keep your home functioning and operating normally. 

Preventive maintenance also saves homeowners from appliance malfunctions and home system failures. Living in a house will feel so much better if you know everything inside it is functioning well!

Fortunately, there are professional services dedicated to preventive maintenance. Home Manager is an app for home maintenance developed for homeowners by homeowners and professionals across the country. Our goal is to make it easier for homeowners to maintain their property and keep their family safe. Subscribe to our service today!

Maintenance

3 Important Home Maintenance Records To Track

Owning a house is much like managing a business. As a business owner, you need to maintain the overall needs of the structure, organize the necessary documents, and improve some systems for a smooth operation. With all these things done within the business, a record or receipt is mandatory. In terms of your home, whether it’s routine maintenance or cosmetic upgrades, all the touch-ups must have accurate records of what was done. 

A comprehensive order of your home documents and keeping track of your home repair, upgrades, or renovation is fundamental for tax purposes, future appraisals, and potential resale. Now, as a homeowner, it is time for you to know the most important home maintenance records that you should track!

1. Maintenance Services 

Since your property is your investment, keeping records will give you an advantage in case you decide to sell your house so that buyers will see how your home has been well cared for. It is also useful to keep a log of dates and services performed, not forgetting to include the names and contact information for contractors, inspectors, plumbers, electricians, pool maintenance companies, and landscapers. But what maintenance services should you include? Here are a few major services that you can log that will significantly be helpful to home inspectors during a sale:  

  • HVAC system maintenance
  • Roof repair or replacement
  • Pest inspection or treatment
  • Termite systems
  • Basement waterproofing systems

Similarly, remember to include the dates, names, and warranties that may or may not be transferable to the new owners. 

2. Home Improvements

There may come a time when you decide to appraise your house, and all appraisers will be asking about your home improvement and upgrades for the previous years. This information is crucial for them since it will help them determine the actual value of your property. The coverage of evaluation may reach up to 15 years ago, so it is always best to start recording your home improvements early on so that you will be prepared if you have plans for future appraisals. Some examples of home improvements that you can track in a spreadsheet or in some other type of record receipts include:

  • Bathroom renovations
  • Basement finishing
  • Installation of new flooring
  • Roof maintenance
  • Window replacements
  • Decoration updates

3. Other Helpful Documents 

Sometimes, you might get too excited about the new appliance you purchased, and you forget about the essential documents that must remain intact. Keeping this information may come in handy whenever your devices start to encounter any issues. This is because you may end up throwing away the warranty of your refrigerator, water heater, HVAC system, or washer/dryer. Then, you will need to buy a new one instead of just replacing it with the manufacturer. Keeping all of this will always make sense, especially if you decide to sell your home. So, what other helpful documents that you can keep? Here are some in which you can start collecting for easy reference:

  • Home warranty plans
  • Blueprints and layouts
  • HOA documents
  • Receipts and invoices
  • Warranties

Conclusion

Keeping the records of your home maintenance is not an easy thing to do at first, and there’s no denying that patience and hard work are necessary for the organizing process. However, it is not a project exclusively for persons with organized personalities. Do not worry because there are now available apps for house maintenance that can help you track records easily! 

HomeManager is a digital home manager tool developed by professionals across the U.S. that alerts users with monthly reminders on what action to take to maintain their home. In addition, it is the best app for homeowners because it provides good preventive home maintenance habits that last a lifetime to make your life easier, safer, and less stressful. Head over to our website and register today!

Exterior MaintenanceInterior MaintenanceMaintenance

How To Inspect Your Dryer Exhaust Duct

Over time, lint will get sucked through filter barriers and gather within dryer vents. This can lead to unexpected fires that come with huge dangers and expenses.

This is a Safety Task!

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, over 2,900 house fires are the results of dirty dryers. If you see lint sticking to walls, floor, or dryer, this usually is a sign of a clogged or leaky vent. Lint is very volatile and can catch fire very quickly. Additionally, you also want to make sure no unwanted critters live in your dryer vents, which prevents the vent from performing correctly.

This is a Preventative Maintenance Task!

Dryer fires are usually always caught too late. Additionally, there will be more damage to things within your home than just your dryer in most instances.

Tasks can be done by: homeowner, cleaning company, handyman

How To Inspect Your Dryer Exhaust Duct | Task Steps

Step 1 – Inspect dryer exhaust duct

  • Inspect the outside vent opening for lint build-up or other obstructions.
  • Move your dryer out and remove the exhaust duct. Inspect inside to see how much lint has built up over time.

Step 2 – Clean the lint

  • Clean outside dryer vent of lint or other obstructions. For instance, obstructions could include animal or rodent nests, so be careful doing this step. Call an exterminator if you encounter anything you don’t feel comfortable dealing with.)
  • There are many different ways you can remove the lint from your dryer exhaust duct.
    • Tool List: extendable brush, vacuum
    • Supply List & Costs: trash bag – heavy duty

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Also, check out another interesting article- Unexpected Places Rodents Can Live Near Your Roof!

Maintenance

How to Take Care of Your Home According to the Seasons

As a homeowner, it isn’t enough to look after your property only once in a while. If you experience different seasons each year, you must go out of your way to maintain the upkeep of your home according to the weather to guarantee you’re initiating the proper practices.

Focusing on property maintenance is integral to preserving the value of your home for the years to come. Whether you decide to sell it in the future or continue to live and retire in your house one day, you must do everything it takes to keep you and your family comfortable and safe throughout your residency.

Rather than sit idly and wait for a situation to arise, you must be one step ahead of it and prevent issues from happening when you can. Keep reading below to find out home management tips you should do depending on the current season.

Summer

During summertime, you can expect warm and humid temperatures with a few rain showers here and there. It’s the time where you have greater chances of working or calling a professional to help watch over your property without expecting any disturbances.

You can start by addressing your exterior issues, such as repainting your walls and sidings when necessary, cleaning and fixing your deck or patio, and repairing fences in your yard. Since you won’t be requiring your water heater a lot during summer, it’s the right time to flush out its content, and so is checking up on your drainage system for any potential problems.

Autumn

The cold starts to creep in come autumn, indicating that it’s only a matter of time until the low temperatures settle down and let you know that winter is just around the corner. Fall is the right time to take out your window screens and clean them off before storing them properly.

If you have window unit air conditioners, you should also remove them too. However, homes with a central cooling system must winterize their air conditioning to prepare accordingly. Since you’ll be using your furnace and chimney in a couple of months, you should hire a professional to drop by and initiate the yearly maintenance to ensure you’re all prepared for winter.

Winter

Winter involves freezing temperatures and severe weather conditions like storms and heavy snowfall, so you must guarantee your household is ready to brave the challenges. That’s why you must highlight damage control once the coldest season of the year arrives. 

Rather than tackle complicated exterior improvement projects, you must focus on your gutters and roofing if ice dams and snow buildup are present. Ensure your outdoor water system is covered up to prevent it from freezing, and your lawn doesn’t contain puddles that could cause damage over time. Winter is the perfect time to do maintenance indoors, such as cleaning out your basement, garage, and other spaces you don’t usually notice during sunnier days.

Spring

Springtime allows individuals to start over after experiencing a cold winter, so it’s the season where you usually initiate plenty of cleaning tasks. You can expect sunny and rainy days during spring, so it’s better to hold off on extensive outdoor remodeling projects.

In the meantime, you should stick to cleaning your gutters, roofing, siding, windows, and doors. If you have some landscaping done on your property, you should trim your trees and plants and remove stray branches and leaves that may have been blown over during winter.

Conclusion

Remember that when you’re maintaining your home, your duties will depend on the season at hand. During summer, you could focus on small exterior projects, while autumn involves preparing your home for the colder season. In winter, you should do damage control, and spring is all about cleaning. If you wish never to forget everything you need to do, it will help to keep a home management app and turn to it to help you keep track of your chores and responsibilities around the house.

Are you looking for the best home maintenance app? HomeManager provides a digital tool developed by professionals across the U.S. It reminds homeowners about their monthly tasks to tackle home maintenance effectively. Get in touch with us today to know more about our pricing!

Exterior MaintenanceMaintenance

How To Inspect Skylights

Leaks and water damage can happen when skylight seals fail or when something like a tree limb, hail, or baseball damages the skylight directly. Damages left unfixed lead to higher repair costs in the future.

This is a Preventative Maintenance Task!

Tiny imperfections in your skylight can cause leakage to the inside of your house. This can cause the framing to rot, drywall to deteriorate, and mold to occur.  Early and proper maintenance of these problems can prevent eventual expensive repairs.

Tasks can be done by: Homeowner, roofing contractor, handyman, painters & caulking

How To Inspect Skylights | Task Steps

Step 1 – Inspect your skylights

  • Look over the material inside the skylight and inspect for any water damage or discoloration from water.
  • You can always use a pair of binoculars to look for cracks and water leaks from the outside.
  • As the home ages and settles, stress cracks can occur, breaking a seal and causing water damage. The air seal of some insulated skylights can break, causing condensation or a cloudy visual look, which distorts the view through the skylight.
  • Suppose you clean the inside and outside of an insulated glass panel, and you still have a cloudy or distorted view. In that case, it usually means you cannot eliminate the cloudiness or distortion without replacing the skylight. You can call a window or skylight replacement company, a roofing contractor, or a handyperson for this. 
  • The typical maintenance required could involve repairing the skylight and/or sealing between the skylight and your roof. Since this involves climbing onto the roof, we recommend you call a professional.
    • Tool List: hose – garden
    • Supply List & Costs: cleaning solution

Step 2 – Maintain your skylights

  • *HomeManager strongly urges Homeowners to stray away from getting onto roofs to do maintenance because falls are the leading cause of unintentional injury within the home.*
  • Inspect that your roof isn’t wet and slippery from rain or morning dew and the conditions are safe.
  • If the leak is from damaged flashing or caulking, use the best silicone caulk you can get for exterior use. The little extra money is well worth the investment.
  • The maintenance involves lifting the shingles up right next to the skylight and putting a continuous bead of quality roof cement caulking where the metal flashing touches the roofing felt. Press firmly down on the shingles. Repeat this on all sides of the skylight.
  • Find where the weep holes are located on your skylight (these are intentional holes that help drain water out of the skylight) and ensure they aren’t clogged.  If necessary, clean them out, make sure the weep holes were not caulked shut by mistake.  Homes that have lots of trees or blowing dust are susceptible to having clogged weep holes.
  • Next, checking the seal where the glass meets the frame around the skylight to see if there are any imperfections is also a good idea.  Caulking any discrepancies noted is an excellent way to avoid potential future leaks.
  • You can always test the fixes you’ve made on the skylight by spraying water over the top.
  • Lastly, if you decide to DIY, practice good ladder safety and exercise caution while climbing onto and exiting the roof.
    • Tool List: Ladder- extension ladder, hose – garden, caulking gun
    • Supply List & Costs: silicone caulking (or) roof cement caulking

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Also, check out another interesting article- How To Inspect Your Roof!

Cleaning MaintenanceExterior MaintenanceMaintenance

Schedule a Chimney Cleaning During Warmer Months

NFPA states, chimney fires are responsible for 32% of all heating fires in the US. This also means that a quarter of property damages are a result of chimney fires. Most chimney fires are caused by an excess buildup of creosote that frequently ignites when a homeowner uses the equipment, so regular maintenance is essential. (NFPA NO.USS09, 2018) Continue reading to see why you should schedule a chimney cleaning during warmer months!

This is a Safety Task!

Creosote buildup will cause a chimney fire, one of the leading causes of house fires. According to NFPA researchers, 5% of all reported home fires between 2012-2016 were confirmed chimney or flue fires. The main issue being creosote buildup. NFPA No.USS09 (2018) Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injury around the home. Homeowners should carefully consider the dangers of getting on a ladder before climbing up on the roof or ladder to do this task.

Tasks can be done by: Proper tools and appropriate safety precautions can be done by the homeowner, chimney cleaner, or handyman. It is recommended that you call a chimney sweep or cleaning service!

Schedule a Chimney Cleaning During Warmer Months | Task Steps

Step 1 – Inspect your chimney

  • Most chimneys can be inspected by looking up the fireplace opening with a flashlight to see any black soot or creosote buildup. Sometimes you may see brownish, yellowish, or orange-looking streaks running down the chimney or metal flues. This is usually creosote buildup.  It is a good idea to put a tarp down on the fireplace floor to protect from getting soot or creosote in the rest of your home.
  • The goal is to clean out any excess creosote buildup that needs to be cleaned out to prevent a chimney fire. HomeManager does not recommend homeowners attempt to clean out their chimneys on their own. This job can be done 2 ways, from the roof or the fireplace/woodstove. This is one task you should hire out to a professional because it requires climbing onto the roof and using specialized tools, which can get messy. Homeowners should carefully consider the ladder and roof risks before attempting DIY. Again, consider hiring a professional.
    • Tool List: Flashlight

Step 2 – Schedule a professional chimney sweep

  • People use many different DIY methods to clean out their chimney, but HomeManager does not recommend that homeowners do this task independently. Instead, find a reputable professional to clean out the soot buildup.
  • It’s a good idea to schedule your chimney cleaning ahead of the crowd. Scheduling during the spring or summer will allow for more flexibility & guarantee that you’re all set for the colder months ahead!
    • Tool List: Flashlight

Step 3 – Clean reachable areas

  •  You can still clean the reachable areas of your fireplace or woodstove.  Some systems allow you to clean from below. This can be dirtier but a lot safer. Be sure to wear your face mask and safety glasses.
  • It would help if you lay out a tarp to protect the flooring in front of the fireplace.
  • If you want to clean smoke off brick, stone, or steel, mix one cup of white vinegar & ½ cup of warm water to clean any problem areas.
  • After scraping and brushing the walls off, take everything out of your fireplace to sweep or vacuum out any loose dirt/soot.
    • Tool List: (face mask & safety glasses ?), tarp, vacuum/broom
    • Supply List & Costs: white vinegar

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Also, check out another interesting article- How To Clean Air Supply and Return Registers!

Exterior MaintenanceMaintenance

How To Inspect Your Sidewalks and Driveways

Over time, it’s normal for sidewalks and driveways to settle by shifting and moving, creating cracks, and making walkways uneven. These cracks and uneven walkways can become tripping hazards for you and elderly family visitors, so it can be a great idea to fix these issues. Any ground that slopes towards your house can allow water to seep through imperfections in the foundation, which can cause a flooded or damp basement or crawl spaces, creating wood rot, and mold. Ignoring these issues will eventually cost homeowners thousands of dollars in repairs. This is how to inspect your sidewalks and driveways.

This is a Preventative Maintenance Task!

Sealing cracks keeps water from getting into cracks and affecting the ground underneath. If water seeps into the cracks and freezes, it can cause the gap to expand and cause more damage. If you prevent the cracking from getting worse, you will save a lot on long-term damage repair.

Tasks can be done by: Homeowner, handyman, concrete and asphalt contractor

How To Inspect Your Concrete Sidewalks and Driveways | Task Steps

Step 1 – Inspect asphalt and concrete around your home

  • Check for cracks that need to be filled.
  • You’re also going to need to inspect for uneven concrete. As ground shifts, it can cause disruptions in walkways or driveways. Make sure there aren’t any tripping hazards that could potentially hurt someone.

Step 2 – Fix asphalt & concrete problem areas

  • Use concrete caulk or a crack repair product, which will bond to the type of asphalt or concrete you have. If there are large cracks or damage beyond your ability, call your trusted HomeTeam professional.
    • Tool List: caulking gun, concrete trowel
    • Supply List & Costs: caulk – concrete  $5

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Maintenance

Important Home Maintenance Tasks that Homeowners Must Do

While we’ve already talked about the importance of having a list for home maintenance, there are more tasks that you’ll need to do to properly maintain your home. To help you get started with this, we’ve prepared a list of important home maintenance tasks for all homeowners. Hopefully, this list proves to be useful when it comes to helping you take better care of your home!

Examine Your Sump Pump

It’s easy to neglect your sump pump as it’s often out of sight. However, you must make it a point to examine it regularly to make sure that there are no complications or issues with your sump pump. For those who don’t know, the sump pump is responsible for keeping water out of your basement. However, failing to check on it regularly can have some damaging consequences, as it can lead to your basement being flooded by water. 

Considering how expensive it is to repair water damage, it’s in your best interest to make sure that your sump pump is working correctly. If you do find something wrong with it, you must contact a professional to conduct the necessary repairs right away. But don’t try to do this yourself, as you may cause the issues to worsen!

Clean Refrigerator Coils

It’s a common misconception that refrigerators don’t require maintenance. And while it is true that refrigerators are quite self-sufficient, you will still have to do your part to make sure that it remains in good condition. The best way to do this is by cleaning the coils with a brush and a vacuum. The coils of the refrigerator are located behind it, which makes it prone to dirt and dust over long periods. Having dirty coils can then cause complications as the heat from them won’t be released correctly. In the end, this can shorten the life of your refrigerator and can even cost you exorbitant repair fees.

Lubricate Garage Door Springs

While garage doors are sturdy, they will require a lot of care and attention to make sure they are properly maintained. You won’t really need to do much as garage door maintenance is rather simple. All you need to do is to make sure that the spring doors are properly lubricated. This will lessen the metal fatigue and corrosion, effectively lengthening the lifespan of your garage doors. You’ll want to do this at least once a year to get the most out of your garage doors.

Drain Sediment from Your Water Heater

Lastly, keep in mind that your water heaters also deserve a significant amount of attention. Given how often they are used, it makes sense that they require regular maintenance. When it comes to looking after your water heater, draining the sediments that pool at the bottom of the tank should be your top priority. You’ll want to do this regularly to make sure that your water heater is working correctly. However, failing to do so will result in heater problems that can require a heater replacement altogether!

Conclusion 

While the tasks shared above may prove to be bothersome and time-consuming at first, they are all necessary to make sure that your home remains in good condition throughout the year. Think of all the work you’re doing as an investment that will prevent any complications and issues from developing. Indeed, doing all this work now will effectively save you from any potential repair fees down the line!

HomeManager is a useful digital tool developed by professionals across the U.S. and has features geared towards apps to manage home maintenance. If you need help maintaining and managing your home, this is the tool for you. For more information on what this tool can do, visit our website today!

Interior MaintenanceMaintenance

How To Test Your Thermostat

Keeping tabs on your thermostat throughout the year can significantly benefit you, especially if you live in places with fluctuating temperatures. Being on top of how your thermostat is functioning can end up saving you money in the long run. In addition, homeowners are switching to programable thermostats. This allows them to determine when heat is necessary and when it isn’t—no need to heat your home to your comfort level when you are not home and waste energy. Continue reading to see how to test your thermostat!

This is an Energy Efficiency Task!

Many homeowners look into upgrading or investing in a programmable thermostat to help reduce heating and cooling costs.

Tasks can be done by: Homeowner, handyman, heating and air conditioning contractor, electrician

How To Test Your Thermostat | Task Steps

Step 1 – Inspect the thermostat

  • Inspect the unit and make sure it’s free of any dust buildup. Dust can interfere with how the thermostat works.
  • Test to see how well the system functions. If the heater or a/c does not come on when you turn on the thermostat, check to make sure the batteries are good or if they need to be replaced.
  • Ensure the current temp is higher or lower than your desired temp; otherwise, your unit will not kick on.
  • It is always a good idea to pay attention to which way the battery is installed. (+) (-)
    • Tool List: Battery tester

Step 2 – Thermostat maintenance

  • If you notice any dust buildup, blow any dust off the unit or wipe it down with a dry cloth. You can also use a vacuum, but make sure you do not damage the unit by trying to vacuum too close. If you use a vacuum, it’s best to reverse the vacuum hose and blow the dust off the unit.
  • If you need to replace batteries, use the correct batteries and attach the thermostat back to the housing on the wall.
  • Finally, always be sure to test everything after you’ve done maintenance.
  • If you feel your thermostat is old and needs replacing, you could look into getting a programmable thermostat for your home. This could result in money savings in the future, e.g., rising or dropping temperatures when the house is unoccupied during the day.
    • Tool List: Vacuum cleaner
    • Supply List & Costs: compressed air can, replacement batteries

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Also, check out another interesting article- How To Maintain Your Concrete!