Frequently Overlooked Home-Maintenance Tasks

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Most homeowners understand that regular maintenance can help them avoid expensive repair bills, but with work and family responsibilities, its easy to postpone or forget important chores. Sometimes homeowners want to take care of their properties but are unaware of potential dangers and how to prevent them. Here are some of the most common tasks homeowners overlook that can lead to costly problems:

Roof
The roof can become damaged by storms, fallen branches or animals, and you may be unaware of a problem unless the roof begins to leak. Make a habit of inspecting your roof or having it checked by a professional every year. Any problems that are found should be fixed as soon as possible to prevent much worse damage.

Gutters
Gutters should be cleaned twice a year to remove leaves and other debris and to prevent clogs. This is a messy chore that no one likes, but it can prevent roof and siding damage, flooding, mold, and ice dams. If you dont want to clean the gutters yourself, hire professionals, and consider installing gutter guards to cut down on cleaning.

Chimney
If your family enjoys relaxing in front of a fire in the winter, your chimney has probably accumulated a layer of soot and creosote, a highly flammable substance thats produced when wood burns. The chimney should be professionally cleaned to prevent a fire. Even if you dont use your fireplace, birds and other animals may have built nests in the chimney, and they might wind up inside your house.

HVAC System
Heating and cooling units and ducts can become clogged with dust and condensation. Replacing the filters is an easy way to address this issue, but many homeowners forget. You should also have your HVAC system inspected once a year by a professional who can spot problems you might miss.

Water Heater
Sediment that builds up in the bottom of a water heater can lead to discolored tap water. Flushing your water heater is a simple way to remove sediment and protect your family from health problems caused by contaminated water.

Dryer Vent
A plugged dryer vent is a frequent source of high utility bills, and it can also cause a fire. A vent can become clogged with lint, and pests can also build nests there. Removing the vent and cleaning it out with a wet/dry vac can help you save money and prevent a fire.

Refrigerator
Refrigerator condenser coils cool and condense refrigerant. If they get clogged with dirt, dust or pet hair, the refrigerator wont work efficiently, which will lead to higher utility bills and cause the appliance to wear out faster than it should. Condenser coils should be cleaned at least annually.

Make Maintenance a Priority
With everything going on in your life, its easy to put home maintenance on the back burner, but that can lead to unsafe conditions and expensive bills. If you havent completed these important tasks recently, set aside some time to tackle them or hire professionals.

Published with permission from RISMedia.

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