5 Common (And Potentially Costly) Homeowners Mistakes
Owning a home is usually a great experience. But it can also be a hassle, especially when unexpected issues pop up—whether you have a minor breakdown or a major catastrophe, it’s almost certainly going to require time and money to fix.
In many instances, however, those “unexpected” issues shouldn’t be a surprise at all because they’re often due to a lack of maintenance or other oversights by homeowners. And not just new homeowners, either: It’s common for people who have been in a home for years to neglect even some of the most basic tasks that can prevent problems down the road.
Here are five mistakes we often see homeowners make—and tips from experts to help you avoid them.
- Forgetting about (or ignoring) the small stuff. The toilet that runs constantly? That faucet with a slow drip? The little crack in that one board on the deck? They might not seem like big problems, but they can become more significant issues over time. For example, a leaky faucet or running toilet might mean your water bill is higher than it should be. And that small crack can lead to rot, which could lead to replacing the board—or the entire deck. When you see “small” things around the house, take steps to address them as soon as possible because it likely will be a lot easier (and cheaper) today or tomorrow than a year from now.
- Not doing regular checks around the house. Speaking of seeing things around the house, how often do you look around the house? You’d be surprised how many homeowners haven’t been in their attic or crawlspace for years. It’s a good idea to do a walk-through periodically to look for leaks, areas of wear, or other problems. And don’t forget to go outside! How is your roof looking? Do you see any cracks in your siding? Are the seals around your doors and windows solid? It’s important to catch those things before the rainy season begins in fall and winter.
- Skipping maintenance on your appliances. Not only will keeping your appliances in good shape ensure they work effectively and prolong their lifespan, but maintenance also can prevent serious risks. For example, when was the last time you cleaned out your dryer exhaust vent? No, not the screen you pull out when you’re doing laundry, but the one on the back or side. Too much lint buildup can cause a fire—so clean it out at least once a year. You also should check the hoses connected to your washing machine and dishwasher. Are they worn? Do they need to be replaced? Please do it now, before one fails when you’re not at home and causes significant water damage. Other tips:
- Clean your refrigerator coils at least once a year.
- Clear out your dishwasher’s food filter regularly.
- Vacuum up dust and other debris in window air conditioners before you start using them each year.
- Remember to test your smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors twice a year, installing fresh batteries each time.
Your home is one of the most significant investments you’ll ever make, so it pays to be diligent about caring for it. Keep your eyes open around the house. Don’t hesitate to get out the tools, or call a professional if needed. Remember, prevention is the best medicine—and that old saying holds just as much for your home’s health as it does for yours.
Contact us for all of your insurance needs!
Buffalo Grove, Libertyville, Lincolnshire, Riverwoods, Vernon Hills, Illinois and Wisconsin residents, at R Hobbs Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at (847) 680-0888 or send us a note at [email protected]. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!
Reposted with permission from the original author, Safeco Insurance.