Consistent upkeep to our homes, and the weekend-warrior chore lists, are not new concepts to most homeowners.
Completing ongoing regular preventative maintenance is not only good for resale value, it also means the prevention of more costly, larger repairs in the future. Preventative maintenance is also important for our personal safety.
Below are six preventative maintenance items to regularly inspect in your home.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors: According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be tested at least once a month, and batteries should be changed twice a year. A good rule of thumb is to change the batteries in your detectors when you change your clocks for daylight savings.
Fire Extinguishers: One fire extinguisher on each floor of your home, and one each in the garage and basement, is recommended.
Banisters and Stairs: Regularly check your staircases and banister. A loose banister could mean quite a fall, so double-check to make sure that they're secure.
Electrical Outlets: The outlets in kitchens and bathrooms should be GFCI (Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupters). You'll know that the outlet is GFCI because it will have a "test" button on it. They detect imbalances in the electrical current and quickly shut off the power to minimize the risk of shock. For example, if you're drying your hair in the bathroom, and water splashes into your hair dryer and creates a short circuit, it will immediately shut off. To test your GFCI outlets, plug your hair dryer into the outlet, turn it on, then push the "test" button. The hair dryer should immediately shut off.
Dryer Vent: The vent on a clothes dryer can become clogged with lint over time, causing the dryer to dry less efficiently and resulting in dangerous house fires. They should be inspected and cleaned at least once a year, and if the transition duct is plastic or vinyl, replace it with a semi-rigid aluminum duct to reduce the risk of fire.
Water Quality: Quality drinking water is important to our health and well-being. If you've never had your water tested, you can test for harmful contaminants with a do-it-yourself kit or hire a professional.
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