New homeowners have a lot more responsibility than renters. You can no longer rely on a landlord to do repairs, maintain the property, or add gutter guards or gutter screens to prevent clogged gutters. For first-time homeowners, there are many things to be aware of to protect your investment. If your house is brand-new, there is less need to do maintenance and repairs at first, but as time goes on, you need to keep an eye on certain weaknesses in a home. If not, your new home will quickly become like an old one!
Here are three important things to know.
1. Know where your shut-offs are.
If there is ever an electrical fire or bad plumbing leak in your new home, you don’t want to be running around, desperately looking for a way to shut off the power or water! In addition, before doing electrical or plumbing repairs, you need to know where shut-offs are. Locate your main electrical and water shutoffs and make sure they are easily accessible.
- The main electrical shut-off should be at the main breaker panel or outside near a service entrance.
- The water shut-off valve should be on a wall of the house facing the street. Also, learn where all the individual valves are for all of your sinks, toilets, dishwashers, etc.
2. Know your electric circuits.
Most house fires are caused by electrical failures. Before moving into a new home, make sure the electric system has been inspected by a licensed electrician.
- Determine which outlets serve which circuits and then label the breakers.
- Look for any tripped circuits and read appliance labels to know how many amps each one draws.
- Make sure GFCI outlets (ground fault circuit interrupters) are installed near all sinks, in the laundry room and garage, and on exterior outlets.
3. Know the risks.
The greatest danger to a home and family is fire.
- Make sure there is a plan for evacuation and a meeting place in the event of a fire.
- Have emergency numbers readily available.
- Place fire extinguishers strategically around the home, especially in the kitchen.
The next greatest risk to a home besides fire is water. Ninety percent of a home’s problems will be found in basements, foundations and the roof, as they are the most susceptible to expensive water damage and corrosion.
- Inspect the bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchens regularly for water leaks. Fixing leaks can be as simple as tightening a nut.
- Make sure all doors and windows are properly caulked and sealed to prevent water from seeping into the walls.
- Maintain your home’s gutter system.
Rain gutters are a major line of defense against water damage. Leaves, debris and granules from shingles can result in clogs that force water out and down around the foundation.
- Check a new home’s landscaping to make sure the slope of the ground around the foundation doesn’t send water from the gutter system toward the house.
- Check to make sure all downspouts have extensions that keep water routed at least five feet from the foundation.
- Clean out the gutters regularly, and make sure they drain properly.
Interested in Gutter Guards?
To ensure your gutters are always free-flowing, install gutter guards or, at the very least, gutter screens. GutterShutter gutter protection is the best way to ensure gutters do the job they are supposed to do. Be proactive and call 513-671-4000 to learn more!