Home Maintenance Tips for New Home Buyers
Even long-time homeowners will attest to the fact that owning a home is an ongoing learning process. When it comes to home maintenance, there is ALWAYS something to be done to keep your dream home in its dreamy, like-new condition.
Is the elbow grease worth it?
Sure, the last thing you may want to do on your gorgeous Saturday afternoon is scoop out the grime in your gutters. BUT (and here’s the ‘but’), buying out the time to do the necessary keep-up around your home will ultimately pay-off in the end. With regular maintenance, you will save yourself from throwing money and time down the drain in the coming years, not to mention save you from unnecessary headaches.
Buying a home is an investment. Preventing that home from deterioration over the years is also an investment. Here at Disney Homes, we want to help you protect your valuable investments. That’s why we’re here with the third installment of our ‘Tips for New Homeowners’ series. We’re rolling out three more maintenance tips for new homeowners.
1. Avoiding and Addressing Plumbing Problems
Nobody likes a leak under their sink, let alone coming home to a flooded house from burst pipe. So how do you know you’re covered?
In the final phases of construction, we always do a customer walk-through with our clients. During the walkthrough, the future homeowners will be asked to check out the plumbing fixtures and sign off on them, if everything has been installed to satisfaction. Afterwards, Disney and Associates will correct plumbing leaks not caused by homeowner misuse (like freezing pipes) during the 1-year warranty period. Chipping or cracks in fixtures are not a warrantied item.
Fixing a Leaking Pipe
Notice a drip? Don’t wait…take care of it right away. A dripping faucet usually means that a new washer is needed, and these can be easily found at your local hardware store. Most homeowners feel confident enough to take this on as a DIY project. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to install the new washer.
If you experience a major plumbing leak, turn off the water so that water does not continue to spread and damage other parts of your home. Then contact a contractor for correction. If damage to personal property has already occurred (drapery, wallpaper, etc.), be sure to contact your insurance company. They will likely cover the damages.
Prevent Pipes from Freezing
Here in the Pacific North West, we get some pretty cold temperatures. Your pipes could be in danger of freezing in the winter, especially if you leave your home unheated for a period of time. You do not want to come home from your winter vacation in Hawaii to a burst pipe.
An important fact:
Outside water faucets technology has changed! Nowadays, outdoor water faucets are designed to seal with a ¼ inch turn and then drain any residual water in the pipe after shutting off. It is NOT necessary to crank the handle down to seal the water (no big muscles necessary!), in fact this can damage the washer internally, causing future leakage.
Outside water faucets should have hoses removed and should be covered with insulation during the winter months. These faucet covers can be purchased at your local hardware store.
2. Paint Touch Ups
Once your walls have been painted, we’ll give you the chance to inspect the paint and ensure it is to your satisfaction. Still, scrapes and dings on walls in a home (especially when you have kids and pets!) are inevitable over time and not under warranty. Thankfully, making touch ups on your walls is a simple, DIY fix that can be done in an hour.
Touching Up Your Walls
When you have your dream home built by Disney & Associates, we will provide you with the exact paint color codes used in your home. You won’t have to worry about going down to Home Depot and trying to find the closest swatch to match your walls.
That’s not all…
The manufacturer will provide you a coupon for one free gallon of paint for touch ups. That will come in handy, for sure! Of course, there is no guarantee that the paint color will exactly match upon touch up, as variations in formulas or ingredients, but it will be very close and likely undistinguishable.
Keeping Walls Clean
Be sure to follow manufacture guidelines when caring for your paint. Common issues with paint are due to homeowners cleaning walls with corrosive or abrasive cleaners or scouring pads. This can damage the walls. Be sure to use only use soft cloths and mild soaps on your paint.
3. Maintaining Gutters & Downspouts
Anyone living in Port Orchard (or the entire West side, for that matter) knows that it doesn’t take long for PNW gutters to fill up with grime. One big rain and windstorm, and gutters can be stuffed with leaves, pine needles and other organic debris.
Clogged up gutters are easy to put on the backburner, but leaving them in that state could lead to a host of other more serious problems, including a leaky roof or foundation. Gutter blockage also makes an inviting home for rodents, insects, pests, and even bees’ nests.
Regularly cleaning of pine needles, twigs, leaves, and other rubbish from the gutters is essential. Be sure to wear gloves, get a solid ladder, and use a simple tool like a garden trowel to scoop them out.
Cleaning your gutters will keep the water runoff from your home flowing through the gutter to the downspout and not overflowing over the edge of the gutter. Water runoff over the edge of the gutter due to lack of cleaning could cause staining on your siding/exterior paint and is not covered by your warranty.
Many homeowners opt for gutter covers to minimize debris and cut down on the chore of cleaning them out. Whether or not you add on gutter covers, preventative maintenance is still necessary and best done when everything is thawed out (no ice in the gutters!).
Keep Downspouts Clear
Disney Homes engineers downspouts so that the water is directed underground and away from your foundation. The level of the above ground portion of the underground piping is set to code. Adding additional dirt or rocks to bring the ground level up around the piping is not recommended as it could interfere with the water being able to drain properly.
Inspect Gutter Structure
Be on the lookout for any gapping or signs of damage. HGTV recommends “Inspect seams and anchors. Check for leaks and make sure the gutters are firmly attached to the house by gutter spikes. No gaps should be apparent between the fascia and the gutter.”
These steps are especially crucial after winter weather. This is because ice tends to expand and can create gapping between the gutters and the fascia, creating damage. Address any signs of damage early, otherwise the damage could worsen and become a very costly fix in the long-run.
Pro Tips for New Homeowners
We hope these three new tips will help you keep your Disney Home in tip-top shape! Investing in the long-term beauty and functionality of your home is always a good idea. Here at Disney, we’ve got your back.
Stay tuned for our next three homeowners maintenance tips from Disney & Associates! Don’t forget to leave a comment with your favorite home owning tips and tricks. We’d love to hear from you!