You own your home, which means it is your responsibility when things start to break down. Sure, you could ignore your home maintenance obligations – but then you have to suffer the consequences. Here are a few common results when you don’t bother with critical home maintenance tasks:
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Your Bills Go up
Home maintenance may take your time and energy, but failing to perform maintenance – even the smallest tasks – will take your money. Maintenance tends to ensure the efficiency of various systems around your home. Over time, dirt, grime and other factors clog up and break down certain components, which are critical for the smooth function of your systems. This forces your systems to work harder to produce the same effects.
There are many examples of this. You might look at your refrigerator, which can’t cool properly because the rubber seal around the door has worn down. You might consider your HVAC system, which has to suck air especially hard through an air filter that is clogged with dust.
When your systems have to work harder, they often have to turn on more frequently. This means they are drawing extra energy, increasing your utilities bills. Some studies have found hundreds of dollars-worth of annual savings due to efficiency-related home maintenance tasks. Since many of these chores are relatively infrequent – requiring attention between one and four times per year – it makes financial sense for you to get better at home maintenance ASAP.
Your Stuff Breaks
If you allow the systems around your home to work harder for too long, the inefficiency will transform into uselessness. This is because increased effort over long periods of time degrades various components of your home systems, and eventually, those components will break and become unusable.
There are a few good examples of this. When the coils on your stove become so covered in grease and grime, they won’t be able to heat up your pots and pans efficiently. That buildup might migrate to the coils’ connectors, preventing them from heating up at all – and resulting in an essentially inoperable stove. Meanwhile, if you aren’t addressing drips or clogs in your pipes, your plumbing is likely to rupture, causing further damage to your home and necessitating extensive (and expensive) repairs.
There’s a reason you have various systems in your home: to make your life easier. However, if you aren’t performing adequate maintenance, your life will undoubtedly get much, much more difficult.
Your Insurance Doesn’t Work
Your homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover problems that arise because of your own mistakes or mishandlings. Even home warranty companies plainly state that they won’t cover costs accrued due to insufficient maintenance on certain systems.
Your water heater could explode, (because sediments you didn’t drain clog up the emergency release valve) and it’s likely that your various forms of insurance won’t help you pay for much of the damage. This is because your own negligence brought this catastrophe upon you; it was no act of God or unpreventable event.
Because it is inexcusable not to have homeowner’s insurance and a home warranty to protect your property, you should do your utmost to ensure these protections remain in effect. That means being diligent about maintenance, especially of those systems covered in your policies.
Your Neighbors Hate You
When you aren’t attentive to your home’s maintenance needs, it shows. Slowly but surely, the exterior of your home will start to degrade, and your neighbors won’t appreciate the lack of effort you are putting into maintaining your property.
This is because their property values depend, to some extent, on the value of yours. When there is an eyesore in the neighborhood, prospective buyers won’t be willing to shell out as much dough for a home nearby, believing that neighbors aren’t conscientious and that the area isn’t very desirable.
Regardless of whether you are a person who cares what your neighbors think, you should invest in home maintenance. For the sake of your home’s value, for the sake of the safety and comfort of the neighborhood, your home should be well-cared-for – and look it, too.
Home maintenance isn’t hard. Over the course of the year, you need only devote a few weekends to performing the cleaning and maintaining duties necessary to keep your home in tip-top shape. You can save money, improve relationships with those around you and enjoy a functional home thanks to home maintenance – so you should get in the right maintenance habits today.