Your home is most likely one of the largest personal investments you will ever make. Whether it’s your first time jumping into the homeownership pool or even if you have taken the plunge multiple times, you may not know the safest way to care for your investment so that you are giving it the TLC it deserves rather than making a catastrophe.
Here are a few helpful tips to keep your house well maintained rather than encouraging problems.
Let’s Start Outside — Easy on the Mulch!
In the case of mulch, more is not better! Mulch should be no deeper than three inches. This ensures that water can get down to the roots, but will not smother the plant.
Also, try to keep it a few inches away from the foundation. You don’t want to encourage insects!
Trees — Oh How They Grow!
So many homeowners tend to plant trees without doing their research to see how big that lovely timber will get when it is mature. Do your homework. What’s that tree going to look like in a decade or two? It is best to make sure your mature tree will be at least six feet from the house — that’s not the trunk, that’s the widest part of the branches. Also, stay away from planting too close to the driveway and sidewalks so the roots don’t grow underneath and create damage.
You know those wonderful conifers you love to see in the wintertime? Well, make sure they aren’t too close to the house either or you may end up with a dark feel to the house because of too much shade. Too much shade could very well encourage molds and mildew you will have to contend with at some point. That means more work!
The Georgia Forestry Commission put out a handy guide to planting the trees with a section on site selection which could be useful.
Calamity of Climbing Plants
You know all those charming pictures of cottages with the quintessential ivy growing on the outside? Well, those folks might have had tons of charm, but they probably had termites, too! And, if they didn’t have termites, they may have had damage to drain pipes or gutters that were sagging from the weight of the vines. Shoots and roots can introduce water and insects to siding and shingles.
Suggestion? Find another way to add charm to the outside of your home. Keep the ivy for areas away from the home where groundcover is appropriate.
Keep Bleach in the Laundry Room!
When it comes to your home, bleach can cause more harm than good. It can:
- Damage the seals in your disposals
- Discolor enamel and acrylic bath tubs
- Change the color of grout
- Dissolve linoleum flooring
- Eat the sealant on stone counter tops
Yikes! And here you thought bleach was good for cleaning all things! On grout it can actually feed mold growth.
So what’s the answer? Water and vinegar can be used in most cases. In your disposal, just cold water and ice cubes. NO LEMONS! Baking soda is better, but you can also freeze water and vinegar and use the cubes to both sharpen the blades and remove odors.
No Glass Cleaner, Really?
Nope. It can cause black edges around your mirrors and often smears and streaks. It’s much better to just use a microfiber cloth and warm water.
Clogged Drains? Go Mechanical, Not Chemical!
Unclogging a stubborn drain with something you might think is a little old fashioned — a plunger or a drain snake. Chemicals can erode your pipes and cause more damage in the long run.
If this simple option does not appeal to you, consider the fact that it is much cheaper to pay a plumber $100 than it is to experience water damage or the cost of replacing pipes.
The Many Faces of Caulk
Do you know the difference between mortar caulk and gutter caulk? There are probably just as many types of caulk as there are types of toothpaste. How are you to know which one to use? Chances are there is a caulk for the specific job you are about to tackle. Kitchen and bathroom caulk is a perfect example.
Match the project to the caulk or ask what’s best when you go to purchase it.
Providing Raleigh Homeowners with a Wealth of Knowledge
At Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS®, we have over 30 years of experience developing our techniques and providing buyers in the Greater Raleigh area with exceptional service. As the #1 real estate team in the Triangle, let us equip you with our wealth of knowledge to help you give your home the proper care!
Schedule an appointment with us today at 919-235-0007 or review our home buying resources for a full listing of all of our services and more!