Owning a home is not always the joy we make it out to be. There can be sneaky little problems that rear their ugly head at the most inopportune time. Some of these problems are almost impossible to avoid, but here are three issues that can be prevented with simple cleaning and maintenance.
Mold exists in every household, no matter where you live. It’s a natural part of the air in any home. Hot or cold climates, it doesn’t matter. Mold only becomes a problem if it is allowed to grow and spread unchecked, which can lead to respiratory problems in those with suppressed immune systems, who suffer from allergies or have asthma. Severe indoor mold infestations can also affect otherwise healthy people. It can also damage your home.
You can’t mold-proof your home, but you can make it mold-resistant. Start by checking your gutters for stoppages, leaks or loose connections. If all’s well there, it could be a grading problem. You can try regarding or putting in French drains. If it’s bad, you might want to consider hiring a professional to come out and assess the situation. Try keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent. You can measure humidity with a moisture meter purchased from your local hardware store. You’ll also be able to detect high humidity by simply paying attention to potential problem areas in your home. Dehumidifiers are a must in almost any home, especially in the basement.
According to The Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 15,500 fires are caused by clothing dryers annually. The U.S. Fire Administration reports that a failure to clean the dryer vent is the leading cause of these fires. When a dryer vent is clogged, the appliance overheats and becomes a fire hazard.
It’s a good idea to clean your vent as often as possible. But if you have any of the following issues clean your vents ASAP!
- The laundry room itself seems unusually hot during a normal cycle
- Unusual amount of lint remains inside the dryer/on your clothing after a normal cycle
- You find your lint trapper overwhelmed with lint after a single drying cycle
- Your exterior vent does not seem to be expelling air
- Your exterior vent has visible debris/lint accumulating around it
What can you do year-round to prevent a clogged and dangerous dryer vent?
- Clean the lint filter before and/or after each load of laundry
- Only run your dryer if someone is home. Left unattended, dryer fires will remain unnoticed until it spreads throughout the home – and then it’s too late
- Be mindful of residual flammable liquids on clothing: did you wash a shirt that had cooking oil, gasoline, or flammable paint on it? Putting a potentially flammable item into a dryer that’s overheating is dangerous.
When I was growing up one of my least favorite chores was cleaning the gutters. It’s scary climbing a ladder and the disgusting things that you find up there can be haunting. That’s why most people put off cleaning their gutters. It’s a hassle and frankly, most of us have the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality. But the truth is the gutter is the life blood of your home. Ignoring your gutters can get you into a lot of trouble! A proper maintenance routine calls for at least two clean-outs a year to avoid costly, irreversible damage to your home. Overflowing gutters are the number one cause of basement water problems and cracked foundations. Failing to maintain your gutters can become a costly repair to your home. Using ladders and walking on roofs can be dangerous if you’re not equipped with the right equipment.