4 Essential Home Maintenance Tasks and Upgrades

When you own a home, the maintenance and upgrades never seem to end. However, that’s just part and parcel of being a homeowner. Picking which tasks to perform semi-regularly to keep everything running right isn’t so easy either.

Here are four home maintenance and upgrade suggestions to get done in the next few months.

Upgrade Your Security Systems

Old security cameras and traditional locks don’t cut it in today’s security world. Older security cameras are often ancient enough to only have a VGA resolution with 640 x 480 pixels (or something similar) which doesn’t provide enough resolution to see the face of someone who’s attempted to break in. The resolution of the camera must be enough to zoom in and still see the details of their face clearly, which means that a 1080p Full HD camera is needed.

When upgrading your security, one option to consider is to replace the locks with smart ones, which are controllable from a smartphone app. Depending on the brand, locks can be unlocked remotely. Hooking into the HD camera feed, it’s possible to see who’s visiting your home – like a trusted friend who’s arrived before you – and unlock the front door for them. Some systems hook into Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home or Home Mini, or technology from Apple or Samsung. Depending on what eco-system you’re happy using, there are compatible systems ready for you.

Gutter Cleaning and New Options

Gutter guard

Gutters are a real challenge for some homeowners if they have a tree in their yard with overhanging branches. We’re now in the fall, so you can observe leaves blocking up the gutters and preventing water from flowing through the system. Then, water flows over the side and seeps into the ground eventually reaching a basement or foundation level. Or, you just get a surprise shower when you arrive home! It’s a small problem that can lead to larger structural issues.

One good solution is to use a service like Carefree Gutter Guard to fit their K-Guard gutter system. K-Guard is unique with some aspects of the design having been patented by the company. It’s a gutter product that’s exclusive to them.

So far, they’ve fitted over one million feet of gutters – that’s a lot of gutters – at 20,000 residential homes. Needless to say, they have considerable experience making sure homes are protected from heavy rains and freak storms, and the resulting water run-off. Don’t leave fixing the gutters until damage has already been done to the supporting walls or foundations of your home. That becomes far more expensive and problematic to resolve at that point.

Spring Clean the Refrigerator’s Coils

The refrigerator is well used but usually not well maintained. The condenser coils at the back or the underside pick up plenty of cobwebs, dust, pollen and pet hair (if you have four-legged friends). When this happens, the unit cannot expel heat out quickly enough. It forces the internal compressor to work overtime to keep up, which will shorten the viability of your refrigerator.

A brush that is designed to clean coils is the best tool for the job. Wearing a face mask is a good idea too as the cleaning process is dusty and messy!

Testing the Sump Pump or Getting One Fitted

Do you like somewhere that floods often? This is something to consider if so. A sump pump is most often fitted in the basement. It provides a way to pump out water should the home start to flood. This could be because it’s sitting below the water table or a freak storm causes a leakage into the home that trails down to the basement level.

Mechanisms are fitted to sump pumps to detect rising water levels, which triggers the activation of the pumping system to take in water and push it out of the property to the drainage systems. Water damage in a property is expensive to fix. Often the furnishings and decorations are ruined. It can also create a problem with damp and bacterial build up if gone unchecked.

A home that’s vulnerable to flooding should have a sump pump fitted and possibly a backup model that runs on a battery too. That way, one of them will run even if a flooding coincides with a power cut.

Once you have a sump pump installed, check it every couple of weeks to determine that it’s receiving power and is functioning properly. Sometimes units get unplugged accidentally or sensors can stop working right. It’s best to not assume and just check them on a free Sunday to avoid getting a nasty surprise one day with water in your basement and a malfunctioning sump pump.

Just like with an annual checkup at the hospital, making sure everything is running as it should and performing routine maintenance avoids future problems. Just don’t leave it too long as it gets pricier to fix home damage when you do.