We hear it all the time, in fact, we might even say it more often than not. But how often do we apply it?
There is never any shortage of home maintenance tasks to accomplish. Undoubtedly you have a fast-growing to-do list either written down or in the back of your mind. How many items on that to-do list are of a safety nature?
Preventing injury and death is an obvious reason to accomplish these tasks this weekend. But if that has not motivated you previously to knock these items off your to-do list, maybe we need to focus on some other benefits?
Cold hard cash. How does that sound? No, you are not going to get paid by anyone to do these jobs on your own home, but it will ensure that you protect your own ‘cold hard cash’ in the long run. These basic home maintenance tasks will extend the lifespan of vital components of your house. Injury and accident prevention can also make sure that you do not have to take time off work.
So roll the sleeves up and complete these five underrated home maintenance tasks this weekend!
1 – Clean Your Gutters
Out of sight, out of mind. It is not until we see small trees growing out of gutters that we remember that we should clear out all of the leaves in them.
As you drive around the suburbs you might well see a number of homeowners that treat their gutters like a large composting system. But don’t join them!
Leaving leaves, sticks and debris to rot in your gutters is going to drastically reduce the lifespan of your guttering system. The acids in the leaves and sap will eat away your aluminium gutters and can cause expensive water damage into your roof cavity.
Additionally, if water starts running off your gutters instead of through the downpipes and away from your home, it can cause massive damage to the foundations and structure of your house.
If you live in a rural area dried leaves in your gutters is also a dangerous source of fuel for ambers that can blow kilometres in bushfires.
Clear out your gutters at least twice a year (or employ someone to do it for you) and rest assured that you are properly caring for your roof and guttering system.
2 – Install Ladder Bracket / Roof Anchor Points
Talk about a savvy option. Installing a roof anchor point or ladder bracket is not only going to make cleaning the gutters easier, but it will ensure that it is tremendously safer as well. You might be surprised how affordable installing an anchor point is, but make sure that you calculate the cost of a harness and connecting device as well.
Ladder brackets are a cheap option that provides enough functionality for most homeowners. A ladder bracket locks the top of your ladder into place and provides a stable anchoring point. Thereby preventing any slippage or horizontal movement of the ladder as you are climbing or descending it. If you are looking for a cheap and reliable way to provide safe roof access, this might be the go.
You are best off talking to a professional height safety expert before you choose between an anchor point or ladder bracket as there are a lot of regulations and structural requirements that you should take into account before you start installing.
3 – Clean Out Your Lint / Dust Traps
Where in your house do you have lint filters? Air-conditioners, clothes dryers, washing machines and vacuum cleaners all have a filter that is designed to stop fine fibres and dust from clogging up the motors. But once the filter catches the lint, where does it go?
Nowhere, until you do something about it.
This buildup of dust and lint blocks airflow to the motor and causes the device to use more electricity. Cleaning out the blockage will not only ensure that your machine runs more efficiently, extends the lifespan of your devices prevents a potential fire hazard.
Just remove the filter from the machine. Brush off the gunk into your rubbish. Use your vacuum cleaner with the soft brush attachment to ensure that all of the dust is properly removed from the filter.
If the filter needs replacing, a lot of experienced homeowners prefer to buy cheaper replacements and change them more often, rather than buying expensive replacements.
This is a simple task that is only going to take you five minutes once every three to six months, but the savings can be enormous in the long run.
4 – Upgrade Your Smoke Alarms
When was the last time that your smoke alarm went off?
Either they are set off far too easily or they never go off at all.
If you have a simple ionisation smoke alarm, you are probably sick and tired of it screaming it’s lungs out every time that you burn the toast. But the problem is that ionisation smoke alarms are not great at detecting smouldering fires that are generally caused by electrical problems.
To reduce false alarms and provide greater protection, CHOICE recommends installing photoelectric alarms. Though they might cost an extra $10 they can provide you with an extra five minutes of warning time if you ever have a fire in your property!
Don’t underestimate what an extra five minutes could give you in a fire emergency!
5 – Vacuum Your Fridge
Hang in there with me on this one it is not as strange as it seems.
As your fridge uses up a significant amount of your home’s electricity bill, it is important that it is running efficiently as possible.
What is the primary purpose of your refrigerator? To keep things cool.
What is the primary purpose of the coils on the back of your refrigerator? To release heat.
But if you check out the coils on the back of your fridge what are they covered in? It depends how often you pull your fridge out, but it would be safe to say that it would be covered in thick dust and grime. Dirty coils ensure your fridge does not work as efficiently and requires more electricity to operate.
The good news is that the solution is really simple – vacuum your refrigerator coils. White-good maintenance professionals suggest that this simple task can save you at least $50 a year. Not bad for a five-minute job!
By vacuuming your refrigerator coils you are also preventing a possible fire from erupting into flames due to corroded coils (although your new smoke alarms would give you plenty of warning).
So what are you going to do this weekend?
In one hour you should be able to at least accomplish three of these tasks. In one weekend there should be nothing stopping you from finishing all of these home maintenance essentials and ensuring that you are looking after your ‘cold hard cash’.