Don’t wait until a small problem becomes a big, expensive one. Go beyond surface cleaning with this routine maintenance guide for taking better care of your home and protecting its resale value. Whether you’re a new or veteran homeowner, there’s always more to learn about how to keep your house clean, safe and comfortable.
Pest Inspection and Prevention
Knowing the signs of a pest infestation to look out for is the first step toward ensuring a colony doesn’t grow beyond your control. Check along your exterior walls for small mud tubes and keep an eye out for wings that look like transparent fish scales. If you find either of these, termites may have already started dining on your home. Other traces of pests in high-risk areas like your kitchen include offensive odors, damage to your home you can’t account for or droppings that have been left behind.
Pests can often remain undetected until it’s too late, hiding in wall cavities, sheds and storage closets. Arranging a pest inspection is a necessary solution to ensure rodents, termites and other pests won’t threaten the integrity and safety of your home. Also, having pest control experts take regular measures to prevent future infestations helps protect your investment and your wellbeing. If you’re considering a pest control service provider, make sure they have a solid track record and an A+ Better Business Bureau rating.
Removing Calcium Buildup and Limescale
Any crevices, fixtures or appliances where water routinely runs through should be checked for calcium buildup and limescale. Examples of such hidden places found in most homes include coffee makers, showerheads and cookware. Vinegar is one of the easiest, most effective solutions to use in these cases. It will descale these otherwise difficult-to-clean areas without the need for harsh chemicals or smells.
- If you have a Keurig coffee brewing system, just fill the water reservoir halfway with vinegar and the rest with water. Then run the machine repeatedly, filling a mug without inserting any K-cup pods. To remove the taste of vinegar, repeat the process with just water in the reservoir.
- The same solution can make stained cookware look like new again. Whether it’s a pot or pan, boil the half water, half vinegar solution in the cookware your cleaning and voilà: your utensils will have new life.
- For showerheads that are looking a bit crusty, a routine cleaning can be done by submerging them into bags of pure vinegar. If you have any plastic showerheads, opt for metal ones. Studies have shown that bacteria are less likely to accumulate in metal showerheads, helping reduce your chances of being exposed to harmful bacteria.
Other places that are commonly neglected hide behind and underneath heavy appliances and furniture. Walk throughout your home, noting anything that hasn’t budged for the past six months. These are likely to be your primary culprits for hiding dust, cobwebs, pet hair and more.
Let’s take, for instance, your fridge. Even though it can be a somewhat daunting task, cleaning behind and around your fridge is more of a necessity than most might think. While cleaning around kitchen appliances will discourage critters from taking safe harbor in hard-to-reach spaces, cleaning your refrigerator condenser coils can also extend the life of your fridge and increase its energy efficiency. If you’re noticing that your fridge and freezer aren’t as cold as they once were, this may be a sign that it’s time to check how the coils are fairing. Make sure to unplug any appliances — especially this one — before cleaning them.
Like your refrigerator coils, your dryer’s vent and transition hose are hidden but vital to clean on a regular basis. Any lint buildup or debris preventing the heat from escaping your home will increase your drying times and can be a serious fire hazard. Use a vacuum cleaner and extendable lint brush to clear the path for heat to escape your dryer. It’s also a good idea to vacuum the space where your lint filter goes.
Put it on Autopilot
Whatever tasks among these you add to your home maintenance to-do list, make sure you have reoccurring reminders to put your mind at ease. For example, homeowners don’t commonly change their air filters as frequently as they should, but adding reminders to a digital calendar or having filters regularly delivered to your door are clever ways to ensure nothing slips your mind.