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Important Tips Homeowners Should Know

There’s nothing more rewarding than owning your own home. With home ownership comes the responsibility of upkeep and unless you are willing to pay experts for every tiny detail– it is beneficial to know a thing or two on how to maintain your home. We compiled a list of a few important skills that every homeowner can master!

Changing the Air Filter

Figure out where the HVAC is located in your home. Most air filters are located in the blower compartment of the furnace. Determine what size the filter is, take out the old filter and replace it with a new one. Make sure you pay attention to which way the air filter should go in. It should have an arrow with the direction the air flows through it. Air Filters should be replaced every three to six months. Schedule to have air filters delivered to your house every three to six months and then it’s easy to remember when to change it.  

Knowing How to Turn Off the Water Valve

You’ll want to know how to shut off the water supply of your home if you ever have a leak, need to replace the water heater or for any other plumbing fixes. Depending on the home’s age, the shut off valve may be located inside or outside the home. Before turning the water supply back on, make sure repairs have been completed and that faucets, shower knobs, etc. are closed. 

With every home inspection, The Home Inspectors provides you with educational videos, specific to your home, that you show you how to turn off the main water, water heater and gas supplies and how to change your air filter.

Updating Batteries in Your Smoke Alarm

Smoke alarms can last up to ten years but the batteries in them should be replaced every year and smoke alarms should be tested once a month. Set a repeating calendar reminder so that you remember to do both of these. In addition to a smoke alarm, every house should have a carbon monoxide detector. Since carbon monoxide is a gas that is odorless and colorless and therefore cannot be seen or smelled, the only way to know if you have elevated levels is through a detector.

Cleaning Gutters

Making sure your gutters are clean is important as they collect all the leaves and debris that fall on the roof of your home. Check them often around the fall and winter seasons so that they will be ready for the spring rainy season. Otherwise, your gutters will get clogged. As a rule, you should at least clean your gutters once a year. To clean gutters, simply grab a ladder that can reach the height of the roof, gloves and start grabbing the leaves in the gutters until clean. If residue is left, you can run water down the gutter to clean it.

Watering for your Foundation

Watering isn’t just about keeping your flowers and garden looking nice. It’s important for the moisture level of the soil around your foundation to remain consistent. Going from a downpour to completely dried up and cracking soil can result in foundation issues. If your area hasn’t had a lot of rainfall, you should water your foundation using either a garden hose, soaker hoses or a sprinkler system. Simply water until ½-1 inch of water is distributed, or until runoff occurs. You want to water about a foot away from your foundation and remember that slow, consistent and uniform watering is the guideline to follow.

Checking Crawl Space Regularly

If you have a pier and beam house, then you have a crawl space to access underneath your house. This makes access for plumbing repairs a lot easier than with slab foundations. If you have a crawl space it’s good to look down there every once in awhile to make sure you have no plumbing leaks. It’s easy for there to be a small leak that goes unnoticed but leaves a pool of water under your home which can lead to mold and wood damage. Set a calendar reminder every couple months to look under there.

Routine maintenance is essential to preserving a properly functioning home much like having annual medical and dental exams or regular changing the oil in your car. The Home Inspectors offers Home Maintenance Inspections for a comprehensive look at your home. Your Home Maintenance Inspection will provide you details of the current condition of your structural systems, electrical systems, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, plumbing systems, appliances and optional systems (i.e. pools/spas, sprinkler systems, septic systems). Like with all of our other inspections, we include a FREE Wood Destroying Insect Report (Termite Inspection).

Ready to schedule a home inspection? Contact us at any of our locations – DFW 972.235.0800, Austin 512.993.5100, San Antonio 210.990.0726 or schedule your inspection online!

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