“Deferred maintenance.” It basically means a home that has been neglected and can raise a few red flags concerning some of the home’s condition.

Putting off routine home maintenance repairs can not only lead to big, ugly and potentially expensive problems down the line, it can cause a significant loss of your home’s value when it comes time to sell.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common problems. All of them can be easily prevented by changing a few bad habits.

1. Kitchen drain abuse

We’ve all put things down the garbage disposal without thinking, working away preparing dinner or clearing dishes and down it goes. Everything that goes in will end up in the drain pipes and some of those things may cause issues. Most of it will mulch up and carry on through the pipes happily, some of it will get stuck or accumulate with other things over time and cause issues.

Grease and oil are the most common culprits when it comes to clogged kitchen drains. Plumbers recommend pouring the grease into an old tin can or something similar. Let it sit until it cools and congeals and then throw the container in the trash. Coffee grinds are also a big no no!

Garbage disposals don’t properly grind up certain fruit and vegetable peels, such as apples and potatoes. Peel them over a trash container instead or collect for the compost. Really fibrous veggies such as onions should never go into the garbage disposal either, also not the nicest of smells to have lingering around the kitchen.

In fact, according to the pros, nothing causes more blockages and clogged pipes than coffee grounds and grease. Even if you don’t put them down the drain at the same time, they’ll meet up and form a sludgy impenetrable nightmare.

Tip: For some easy maintenance, next time you cut up a lemon pop the remains in but don’t turn it on, run some water through and let it sit there for a while. When you have finished for the night, run it through properly. Will help keep it nice and fresh and the acid from the lemons will help break down some of the residue.

2. Neglecting the gutters

According to the experts gutters should be cleaned out roughly every three months to avoid any issues and keep them working at their best. Check the down pipes too. No point having clean gutters if the down pipes blocked. Even if there are only a few leaves that need clearing it is a great idea to stick to your maintenance schedule and avoid a build-up.

You can even make your gutters work for you! Install a water collection system. Fantastic for watering the garden, saves on your water bill and the gardens don’t mind that’s it come off the roof.

Whether it’s your fear of heights or because they’re easy to forget, the gutters around your home need your attention. When debris, such as leaves and twigs, builds up, it blocks the free flow of water. The water will back up and can damage both the exterior of your home and the roof’s eaves, leading to even more maintenance!

A visit to your local homeware store can kit you out with everything you might need for your maintenance, ask the team for advice at Bunnings or Mitre 10.

3. Not replacing filters in your Air Conditioning Units & Heat Pumps

When your filters gets all clogged up with fuzz, fluff and dust, they don’t work efficiently. The system has to work so much harder with blockages and that puts strain on it. Any mechanical component that has to work harder to run is under stress and can lead to premature failure.

Some simple maintenance tasks can keep it running at its best. Air conditioning units have a removable cover and you can see where the filters are very clearly. Simply take them out and vacuum both sides to remove all the fluff and dust. Pop them back in and you are done.

If you have an HRV system or similar, they will alert you when the filters need changing or maintenance needs to be done. If you are using your system it’s a great idea to keep on top of this and having it running at its best. It can be expensive having these changed, but much cheaper than needing to replace the system itself due to being overworked. There are options to purchase non-branded filters which you can install yourself.

4. Ignoring plumbing leaks

Plumbing leaks allow water to get into all kinds of places it’s not wanted or welcome. Seeping it’s way into walls and flooring, it can quickly cost hundreds or thousands to fix the damage done.

With lots of different types of leaks, some are easy to spot, such as a dripping bath tap, while others can be a little trickier. 

Plan on performing a routine maintenance inspection of the home’s plumbing system at least once a year. Be sure to check the plumbing of each sink looking for moisture damage or wet spots. Outside you want to look for sunken ground or moisture rich areas when there has been no rain or watering done.

The cost of calling in a plumber to check something out could be dollars well spent in the long run if you have an issue.

Another way of detecting hidden leaks is to jot down the reading on your water meter and then don’t use the water for two hours. Check the reading again. If there’s a change, you may have a leak.

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Brent Palmer – Professional Real Estate Consultant

About the Author: The above article on Prevent Home Repairs by Breaking these Bad Habits was written and provided by Brent Palmer, a local leader in the field of Richmond and Nelson Real Estate sales, marketing, advanced technology for home selling, and social media. You can contact Brent Palmer here, or at 027 544 9921.

He has helped many people buy and sell homes in the Nelson, Stoke and Richmond areas for years, and would love the opportunity to help you as well.

Thinking of selling your home? I have a real passion for helping people sell their homes in our Nelson and Tasman Region, as well as the marketing, social media & advanced technology for home selling that goes along with it. I’d love to have the opportunity to sit down with you discuss how we can work together to get you the best price.

I help people buy and sell real estate in the following Nelson and Tasman  towns  & neighbourhoods: Wakefield, Brightwater, Hope, Appleby, Redwood Valley, Mapua, Stoke, Tahunanui, Atawhai and of course, Richmond and Nelson City. Connect with Brent on Facebook and pretty much everywhere else.

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