Spending weeks looking for the “perfect” home in Long Island (and for the right price), going through the documentation process, and finally having a place to call “home” is a fantastic feeling. You are ready to settle in and personalize your space to call it your own. But before you get too cozy in your new abode, you must know that home ownership isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. There’s a lot of upkeep required to ensure your house remains in top condition, especially if you don’t want to add to your already high cost of living. Home renovations can cost a fortune in Long Island, given the 47% higher than the national average cost of living.
So, homeowners, are you ready to take on the responsibility of maintaining your home? We have some tried-and-true tips for you right here.
Always Stay on Top of Your Plumbing Issues
Long Island has cool to cold winters. It could be bad news for your drainage pipes. If the water freezes in your pipes, it’ll cause them to crack or burst. And we all know what a burst pipe means – a huge plumbing bill and days of mess to clean up.
To avoid any such issues, you must keep up with preventive measures, like covering your exposed outdoor pipes with insulation or heat tape. If things get cold enough in your area, it might be a good idea to keep faucets running slightly so the water won’t freeze in them.
Since plumbing issues can weaken your home’s structure, we recommend working with the experts. Searching online with keywords like “Long Island plumbing company near me” will help you find reliable services in your area.
Never Turn a Blind Eye on Your Gutters
You’re a homeowner now; it’s time you kick “ew” and “icky” out of your vocabulary. Because sooner or later, you’ll have to get on a ladder and dig into those clogged gutters to clear them out. Here’s why…
Clogged gutters lead to water damage, mold growth, leaks in the attic or basement, and damage to your home’s foundation. None of these problems are easy to fix. So, your best bet is to prevent them from happening.
So, make gutter cleaning a priority on your home maintenance checklist. In fall, clean out the debris like leaves to allow rain and melting snow to flow freely. Use a gutter guard or gutter screen to keep gutters unclogged for longer. If you have a multi-story home, consider installing rain chains – they look stylish.
Keep Your HVAC System Running Efficiently
Heating and cooling account for over 53% of a home’s energy usage and expenditures. An inefficient HVAC system means higher energy bills and a hit to your wallet. So, maintaining your HVAC system should be high on your list.
Start with replacing air filters once a month or as needed. Dirty, clogged filters reduce airflow and make the system work harder.
Have a technician inspect and service your HVAC unit at least once a year, preferably before the start of winter and summer. They can check for any issues, lubricate moving parts, tighten loose connections, and ensure the unit is running safely and efficiently.
If your HVAC system is over 10-15 years old, it’s probably time for an upgrade. Newer systems are more energy-efficient and environment-friendly. They can significantly lower your energy usage and costs.
Pay Attention to Warning Signs
As a homeowner, it pays to be observant. Watch out for minor signs of water damage, like stains on walls or ceilings, peeling paint, musty smells, or buckling floors. They could indicate leaky pipes, roof damage, foundation issues, or other problems that are better caught early.
Listen for strange noises from your HVAC system, water heater, or appliances. Unusual squealing, grinding, or rattling sounds often mean parts need repair or replacement. Don’t ignore them.
Check for small exterior issues like damaged weatherstripping or seals, loose or missing shingles, holes or cracks in the siding, and deteriorating exterior paint. If left unaddressed, they can lead to costlier repairs down the line.
Maintain Your Landscaping
It’s easy to forget about the landscaping when you have to look after your home. But if you aren’t careful, you’ll have to face some severe consequences.
Overgrown trees, shrubs, and plants can damage your roof or siding if they’re too close. They also provide a safe haven for pests like rodents and insects that can get inside your house. These monstrous critters can chew your wiring and cause electrical issues. Also, never let fallen leaves stay on the grass for too long; they are a fire hazard.
So, on a monthly basis, trim overgrown plants and branches that are too close to your home. If you’re uncomfortable using a chainsaw or ladder, hire tree services. They can help you out without putting yourself at risk.
Keep a Stock of Cleaning Supplies
The Eastern Long Island is among the top ten US areas that are the most prone to hurricanes. If you’re in the path of one, you’ll have to do some serious cleaning once it passes. Hurricanes can bring in a ton of debris, mold, water damage, and hazardous materials into your home.
So, keep a well-stocked closet of essential cleaning supplies such as mops, dustpans, brooms, sponges and scrubbers, buckets, all-purpose cleaners and disinfectants. Don’t forget specialized cleaners for hardwood floors or glass.
Also, keep a stock of emergency essentials like sandbags and tarps to prepare for the worst. These are readily available at your local hardware store, or you can find them online. Oh, and don’t forget masks and gloves; you’ll need them to protect yourself from bacteria and other hazardous materials!
Being a homeowner is a herculean task. You have to look out for wear and tear to make sure your house is safe from pests, weather damage, and plumbing issues. The best part is you don’t have to do any of this alone. There are professionals for everything, and they are willing to help. So, look for reliable ones with excellent track records and get them on board.
We hope the tips we’ve shared will help you keep your home in its best shape for years.
Don’t want to miss any of these items? Have a checklist of seasonal maintenance tasks and create reminders in your calendar. That way, you won’t forget anything and can keep track of what needs to be done.