Necessary Maintenance Tasks Part 1

Necessary Maintenance Tasks: Part 1

Author: swartzcontracting February 15, 2017

There is a lot to home maintenance that is sometimes forgotten in the shuffle of the day-to-day list of things that have to be done. Some things, like changing a light bulb, may be overlooked for a time with little or no repercussions, but other tasks left unchecked can escalate and cause serious damage in the long run when overlooked. Here are some necessary maintenance tasks that should be made a priority on your list of to-do’s this spring:

Mice Nests = Damaged Equipment

When it gets cold outside, mice come inside to enclosed places such as boats, window A/C units, engine compartments, and lawn equipment cracks and crevices.

Potential Damages:

  • Wiring problems that cause a fire, or cause the equipment to not work at all.
  • Nests cause overheating in electrical components.
  • Clogged carburetors from nests being sucked in.

How to Maintain: Check that mice nests have not accumulated before you start an engine or plug in an electrical component.


Non-Working Sump Pump = Flood Risk

The sump pump is easy to forget when it’s working correctly, but you want to test it regularly to make sure that it will stay in good working condition before it is put the test of a storm or a large amount of melting snow.

Potential Damages:

  • Flooded basement.
  • Damaged furniture and carpet and valuable items.
  • Money and hours spent hauling out sopping wet belongs and drying out basement.

How to Maintain: Make sure your sump pump has a vertical float switch and a few times of year dump water into the basin to make sure everything works properly.

Clogged Refrigerator Coils = High repair Bills

On the back of your refrigerator along with the bottom are condenser coils. When they get clogged with dust, cobwebs, pet hair and other debris, they do not release heat properly which makes your compressor work harder and longer.

Potential Damages:

  • More energy used, higher electric bill.
  • Cause repair issues or even shorten the life of refrigerator causing it to need to be replaced sooner.

How to Maintain: Be sure there is no build up on the coils and if so clean with a coil-cleaning brush and vacuum that is bendable and fits in tight areas.

Sediment in Water Heater = Short Life Span

It’s the time of year when you want to take nice long hot baths and showers to combat the cold weather outside. You know it costs more to heat the water and determine it is worth it, but what if it ends up costing more than the energy to heat the water? An additional cost can be the sediment that collects in the bottom of your tank year round and creates hot spots with gas-powered heaters.

Potential Damages:

  • The extra cost of energy when using.
  • Repair costs and early replacement costs.

How to Maintain: Drain your water heater at least once a year to prevent sediment build up. Check that all cords are plugged in and there are no tangles that can prevent it from working properly.


High Water Pressure = Wrecked Fixtures and Appliances

High water pressure can harm your pipes, appliance, and connections around the house. Pressure-reducing valves are usually found near the main water shutoff valve, but your home may not have one depending on your municipality. High water pressure can create a sort of water hammer that wastes enormous amounts of water every year.

Potential Damages:

  • Cost of excess water every year.
  • Cost of replacing appliances such as water softeners.
  • Cost of replacing fixtures.

How to Maintain: Check for high water pressure and install a new pressure-reducing valve if necessary.


These few simple maintenance areas can give you peace of mind. Also, help to ensure that you are not wasting money throughout the home on everyday use as well the knowledge that you are taking measures to prevent large-scale catastrophes from occurring.