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Homeowner Habits

Homeowner Habits

Bad Homeowner Habits

An article in This Old House (September 2016) describes bad homeowner habits. These habits can adversely effect the value and maintenance of any home. Often, these things are done with the thought of good maintenance.

One item of overdoing it is using too much drain cleaner. Owners rightly believe that clogged drains can lead to damage and leaks. It is especially a problem when selling a home. A clogged drain can send up a red flag that the home is poorly maintained. However, too much drain cleaner can kill off beneficial bacteria needed in a septic system. Even if a home is on a sewer system, it can kill organisms that help clear pipes.

On the same track, using tablets in the toilet tank can weaken the flapper and cause it to leak. The toilet water sure looks nice from those blue tabs but in the long run, they can hurt.

Another practice that seems good homeowner habits but can do harm is closing vents. Sometimes homeowners close vents to seldom used rooms to save heating or cooling cost. While it sounds harmless, it could be the opposite. I can pressurize the system. In an AC it can cause the coils to freeze up. In a heater it can make the furnace work too hard. To be sure your system works correctly consult a cooling heating tech. A tech can route your ducts to work efficiently when closed.

Things to look for

A list of simply bad homeowner habits might seem to be logical but people do them without thinking. Slamming a door can damage the jamb and misalign the door. On an exterior door, it can allow outside air to seep in.

Failing to clean or change outside rugs or welcome mats can lead to mold build up.

Clogged gutters should be cleaned seasonally. Leaves and stick, dirt and grime can clog them. Often, toys get lodged in these.

Flushing so called flushable wipes may lead to problems. While they are technically degradable, they can mix with grease and soap in the drains and last longer than expected. This can lead to a clog. The best practice is to only flush toilet paper and human waste.

Hanging too much on a closet rod can be a problem. It can strain the wall and break.

Be careful when walking on a roof. Shoes can damage shingles and stepping in the wrong spot can break a tile.

Putting too much under a wooden deck can lead to problems. If the space under a deck is stuffed with objects it can hold moisture and rot the wood.

Extension cords should only be used temporarily. If you find that you need a permanent outlet, hire an electrician to do it right.

Storing items in as shower head rack can stress the pipe and cause a leak.

If you find that a circuit breaker flips more than occasionally, there is a problem. It may lead to a fine. Have an electrician check it out.

Putting clothing on a door knob is poor practice. Clothes can be heavy and damage the mechanism.

Don’t ignore a loose electric receptacle. These can loosen up and fray wires leading to a fire or shock.

Attic storage should be minimized. Most attics are made with 2x4s which are made to hold insulation and not much else. Extra shingles and other items can stress the truss and cause collapse.

Fertilizer can damage concrete foundations and walks. Be careful when applying and keep it away form concrete.

Good homeowner habits can lead to happy home ownership and a better market value when selling.

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