It’s exciting to be a home owner – and quite an accomplishment. Here, tips for keeping your investment sound with basic care tips all homeowners need to know.
#1 Water and Vinegar are your best cleaning buddies
If you think of bleach as the ultimate cleaner, think again –
• Eat through the sealant on stone surfaces like granite
• Discolor laminate and colored grout
• Fade enamel and acrylic tubs
• Dissolve vinyl and linseed-based flooring like linoleum
• Corrode seals within the disposal*
Bleach also actually feeds mold growth on absorbent and porous materials (think grout)
Water and vinegar are all you need for most cleaning jobs. For existing mold and mildew issues, apply a commercial anti-fungal product.
* The best cleaner for your disposal is the time-tested cold water and ice mix.
#2 Keep your home’s exterior free of climbing ivy
It may appear lovely, but ivy climbing up your home exterior is bad news. By sending roots beneath siding and shingles, ivy enlarges tiny cracks in brick and wood, introducing entrances for moisture and insects, says Jay Markanich, a certified home inspector based in Bristow, Va.
#3 For clogged drains, use a plunger, drain snake or Plumber
The most common active ingredients in drain cleaner solutions, hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid, can erode your pipes. Homemade remedies such as baking soda and vinegar treatments can cause cracked pipes due to a build-up in pressure.
Old-fashioned “mechanical” methods — your plunger, a drain snake, or a handy $2 gadget called the Zip-It — are safer and more effective. If these don’t address the clog, call a professional plumber.
#4 Mirrors need only water and lint-free cloths to reflect your home-owner smile
Mirrors are more delicate than you might suspect. Spraying window cleaners such as Windex can lead to what’s ominously called “black edge” — created when a liquid seeps beneath the reflective backing and lifts it.
Instead, clean mirrors with a lint-free microfiber cloth, dampened with warm water — especially mirrors in installed items like vanities and closet doors.
Avoid the edges of the mirror and dry immediately with a second cloth.
#5 Be prepared for tree and bush growth
Just like puppies and children, they don’t stay little for long! Planted too closely, a tree root can push through a driveway, sidewalk or — so much worse! — your foundation.
Evergreens planted too close to the house cast too much shade and can encourage mold growth.
Position trees according to its maximum height, crown size, and root spread. For perspective, even a small tree reaching less than 30 feet tall needs at least 6 feet of clearance from any exterior wall, according to the Arbor Day Foundation.
– adapted from an article by Amy Hirt/House Logic