The Top 10 Home Maintenance Projects That CT Homeowners Overlook

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If you own a home in CT, this list of often-overlooked home maintenance projects might be of value. You’re probably well aware that home maintenance is a never ending job that’s extremely important to stay on top of. Timely home maintenance reduces the chance that you’ll end up facing costly repairs that require professional help and can decrease your overall home maintenance costs. So check out our list, and see if you’re forgetting something important.

1. Check your fire extinguishers

Checking your fire extinguishers to ensure they are up to date is one of the easiest and most important home maintenance tasks you can do. You never think about your fire extinguishers until you need them, and by that time, it is too late to do anything if they are out of date or pressure.

The first step is checking your fire extinguishers is knowing where they are in your home. If you know this, you’re already halfway there. Take a look at the seals to see if they all look intact and that there’s pressure in the pressure gauge. After that, check the expiration date on the tag to make sure everything is up to snuff. If you see anything that does not look right, it’s often best to purchase a new extinguisher just to be safe.

2. Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

This is another oft-forgotten and simple to accomplish task that can have major consequences if not done regularly. Most of us feel confident enough in our smoke detectors as long as they are on the ceiling and not beeping at us to change the batteries. You should still give them a check several times a year to test that they’re still functional and have not suddenly died.

To do so, most smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors simply ask you to hold down the button and listen for a beep. If this doesn’t work, it’s best to consult the manual before throwing them out and buying new ones in case there’s an extra step.

3. Clean your dryer vents

Cleaning a lint trap is only part of the process of ensuring your dryer does not pose a fire hazard. The vents leading to the outside of your home tend to accumulate quite a bit of lint, which can cause reduced efficiency at best, and a house fire a worst. In addition to lint, dryer vents are a favorite place for mice and other pests to set up camp, so you should give them a once over a few times a year just to be safe.

4. Garage door upkeep

If you have a garage door, it’s important to keep it running smoothly to avoid costly repairs. Buy some garage door lubricant at your local hardware store, and lube the overhead springs to ensure their longevity. You can also coat the rollers, hinges, and track while you’re at it. We recommend using cardboard as a backdrop when completing this task to avoid getting lubricant all over your walls and ceilings.

5. Clean your refrigerator coils

Fridge maintenance is something that is often overlooked, but can lead to a shortened lifespan of one of the most used appliances in your home. Your fridge uses coils to release the heat it generates while cooling your food. They are located behind your fridge or underneath the fridge itself, and the bottom panel of your fridge will usually snap right off for easy access. Just take a dust brush or vacuum and make sure there’s no dust to allow the compressor to work a little easier and live longer.

6. Test your sump pump

Sump pumps are another item that we forget about until they stop working. A sump pump ensures your house does not flood, and if it stops working, you’ll be dealing with a flooded basement. You can test your sump pump by dumping a bucket of water into the basin and making sure it drains properly. If it is not draining properly, check over the connections to the float. If it still is not working, reach out to a local Greenwich plumber to remediate the situation as soon as possible.

7. Unclog window drain holes

Window drain holes are small and clog easily over time from dirt and debris. When they do, water will begin to enter your home and walls instead of being routed to the outside. Fortunately, this maintenance task is easy to do yourself. Take a paperclip or small wire and use it to push and pull debris out of the hole. You can double-check to make sure you’ve done your job correctly by spraying your window with a hose and keeping an eye on the drain holes.

8. Check your water pressure

Water is piped into your home from the city, and the pressure at which it comes in varies. Water pressure-reducing valves are installed in each home to make sure the pressure is manageable for your taps and showerheads. For residential homes, the sweet spot is right around 40-80 PSI. The pressure-reducing valves are robust, but can fail eventually and lead to damaged pipes and faucets. If your water pressure is high, you’ll want to call a local handyman to install a new one if you’re not comfortable completing the job yourself.

9. Inspect your roof and gutters

Inspecting your roof and gutters is a must in the northeast with the abundance of trees we have and the weather conditions. Typically, you’ll want to clean your gutters twice a year; once in early spring and once towards the end of the fall. If you don’t want to get up on a ladder, there are many services that will do this along with inspecting your roof at the same time.

For inspecting your roof, you can often see most of it without getting up on a ladder. Look for sagging, aging, or damage on the shingles along with any spots that have moss or algae. These are surefire signs that water is building up in specific areas. If you’re missing any shingles, you’ll want to get a roofing expert on-site as soon as possible. Missing shingles mean your roof is directly exposed to the elements. In the northeast, this will quickly lead to more expensive repairs.

10. Chimney cleaning

If you have a fireplace that you use often, it’s important to have a professional chimney cleaner come around once a year to inspect and clean your chimney. This will prevent house fires and deadly smoke buildup in your home. If you use your fireplace infrequently, you can usually go a bit longer in-between cleanings, but you should still get an inspection for peace of mind and to avoid dangerous situations for you and your family. Even if you have not used your fireplace at all, animals can build nests up there, and your chimney may show signs of deterioration that need fixing.

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