Congratulations! You’re finally a home owner! Although you may be extremely excited there are some things you want to keep in mind that can cause problems for you. Here are 9 common but avoidable mistakes new homeowners make. This list was compiled originally by HouseLogic and you can read their blog here.
USING BLEACH AS A CURE-ALL
- Eat through the sealant on stone surfaces like granite
- Discolor laminate and colored grout
- Fade enamel and acrylic tubs
- Dissolve vinyl and linseed-based flooring like linoleum
- Corrode seals within the disposal
Make sure to use bleach only on non-porous surfaces. On absorbent or porous surfaces it can feed future mold growth! Some better options for cleaning would be water and vinegar. If you have a huge mold issue find a commercial anti-fungal product.
TRAINING IVY TO CLIMB YOUR HOUSE
The concept may be a bit old school but a lot of people dream of having a home with lush ivy growing up alongside it. According to many experts, anything that climbs on the house will damage it. It can damage siding and even get into your drain pipes. By sending roots beneath siding and shingles, ivy enlarges tiny cracks in brick and wood.
RELYING ON CHEMICAL DRAIN CLEANERS
The most common active ingredient in chemical drain cleaners is hydrochloric acid or sulfuric acid. These acids can corrode and damage pipes. Even the old baking soda and vinegar combo can result in cracked pipes due to build up of pressure. Try using a more old fashioned approach to unclogging a drain such as a drain snake.
USING GLASS CLEANERS ON MIRRORS
When you first buy your new home you want to keep it nice and clean. One of the first things to get dirty will be your mirrors. Using glass cleaners can result in something called ‘black edge”. This is when liquid gets underneath the reflective backing and lifts it. Instead try using a damp microfiber cloth to clean the mirror. Make sure to dry the surface quickly after cleaning.
BE CAREFUL WHEN PLANTING TREES
Chances are you don’t want a tree root pushing up through your driveway, sidewalk or foundation. Also, beware of evergreens. If they are planted too close to the house they cast a lot of shade which can lead to more mold growth.
Position trees according to its maximum height, crown size, and root spread. For example, even a small tree reaching less than 30 feet tall needs at least 6 feet of clearance from any exterior wall.
USING THE WRONG CAULK
There are so many different kind of caulks it can be easy to become confused. For example, you don’t want to use silicone caulk on concrete or brick or other porous surfaces. It won’t adhere, and moisture can seep in, compromising the bond and the structure.
Before going to the store, check an online buying guide to find the right match for your project. Chances are there is a specific caulk just for the job.
Applying too much sealant too frequently can create a cloudy or streaky appearance on surfaces like natural stone, concrete, butcher block, and glass.
So how do you know when it’s time to reseal? Drip some water on a high use area of the countertop. If the water doesn’t remain beaded after 15 minutes, consider resealing. Remember to always defer to your manufacturer’s recommendations. Every material has different needs.
Doing landscape work on your home can be very rewarding. Although you’ll want to be very careful how much mulch you are using.
A layer thicker than 3 inches can suffocate plants and prevent water from reaching roots, so spread thoughtfully.
PILING FIREWOOD NEXT TO YOUR EXTERIOR WALL
Stacking wood next to your home can be dangerous as it is like creating a hotel for termites. Anything that creates a dark, climate controlled area near the house will invite termites and other pests. Twenty feet is a safe distance from the home to stack your wood.