42 Ways You’re Damaging Your Home Without Realizing It. Part 1

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1) Not cleaning your dishwasher trap

At least once a month, you should clean your dishwasher trap, which is usually located on the lower part of the machine near the sprayer. It’s always a good idea to wipe down the soap holder too!

2) Using vinegar on granite counters

Vinegar and other acidic cleaners slowly wear down countertop sealant overtime and will gradually remove the sheen. Avoid these cleaners to keep your granite looking good as new. 

3) Or using lemon juice on marble

Lemons contain citric acid which eats away at marble overtime. Find a different cleaner for this type of surface!

4) Not draining your water heater

It’s recommended to drain your hot water heater at least once a year. This is because the minerals in your water slowly build up in the tank, eventually chipping off and clogging your pipes. Draining and cleaning once a year eliminates this issue.Purchasing a house is one of the biggest financial investments most of us will ever make. Because we invest so much into our homes, it’s important that we treat them with the best care possible. To help you out with this process, we’ve put together a list of 42 common practices that could be discreetly damaging your home. 

5) Keeping Your Blinds Open All Day

Leaving the blinds open is a great way to brighten up your home, but could end up damaging your wood floors. The harsh UV rays of the sun can cause premature fading and discoloration to floors. Though leaving your blinds open in moderation is fine, consider closing the curtains when no one is home to prolong the life of your floors.

6) Letting rooms with hardwood floors stay humid

If humidity is over 55%, there is a good chance your wooden floors could be absorbing moisture. Investing in a dehumidifier is a simple way to extend the life of your floors. 

7) Sweeping instead of vacuuming

If you have wooden floors, it’s always smarter to vacuum rather than sweeping. This is because when sweeping sand and other abrasives, you could be creating small scratches on your floor, opening the wood to moisture and other forms of damage. 

8) Using too much water to clean your floors

Excessive amounts of water on wood or laminate flooring can cause warping or staining. Limit your water use when mopping to avoid these issues!

9) Forgetting to use furniture pads on hardwood floors

Furniture pads are a must for hardwood flooring. Not only do they prevent ugly scratches that can only be fixed by refinishing your floor, but they also prevent the various forms of damage listed above, such as moisture entering your floor. 

10) Nailing into the wall without finding a stud

Always use a stud finder (or at least use the old “knock on the wall” trick) when planning where you want to hang a painting or anything else off your wall. By failing to secure a painting, mirror, ect. from a stud, you run the risk of substantially damaging your wall.

11) Not trimming your trees

Trimming your trees is vital to properly protect both your roof and gutters. Not only do trees constantly drop leaves and sticks into gutters – clogging them, but they also cast a significant amount of shade on your roof, providing an excellent environment for moss and lichen to grow.

12) Letting vines grow on your home

Though vines can create a pleasant vintage aesthetic, they can also cause serious damage to your home. They have the potential to trap water, vermin, and insects – all which you don’t want around your home!

13) Letting your landscaping slope toward your house

If your landscape slopes towards your house, it may be time to rent some heavy equipment to address it. Though terraforming your yard may sound hard and expensive, compare that to addressing significant water damage to your foundation.

14) Not cleaning your gutters frequently enough

Gutters do more than just collect water so we don’t get splashed. They also keep water away from the foundation of the home, preventing damage. Clogged gutters pose a serious risk to any home, which is why it’s important to clean them 1-2 times a year depending on the amount of tree in your yard, especially in the climate of the PNW. Don’t feel like climbing a sketchy ladder and cleaning them yourself? We have you covered! Check out our gutter cleaning page to learn more. 

15) Removing your downspout extensions

Similar to our last point, downspout extensions ensure rain water is transferred safely away from your foundation. Removing your downspout extension basically renders your gutters useless!

16) Using chemical cleaners on painted cabinets

Avoid using ammonia and bleach on painted cabinets, especially if you use Sherwin-Williams brand of paint which can be significantly damaged by bleach more than other paints.

17) Using hydrogen peroxide and vinegar together

Though both these chemicals on their own work as great cleaners, mixing them together is extremely dangerous. The mixture created is called peracetic acid which can change the color and texture of soft surfaces and even leave them with chemical burns. Worst of all, the fumes from the acid can cause serious respiratory problems if inhaled, so avoid mixing these chemicals together at all costs!

18) Cleaning your dishwasher with vinegar

Though vinegar can be an effective cleaner in some cases, it’s too acidic for your dishwasher and will eventually deteriorate your appliance, cutting down its lifetime significantly.

19) Not using an exhaust fan in the bathroom

Though it’s pretty common to not turn on the bathroom fan to create a “steam room”, this is very bad for your bathroom’s health. Not only can this cause moisture damage to your walls, ceiling, cabinets, and potentially your floor, it also promotes the growth of mold.

20) Not hanging up the bath mat

If you have a habit of leaving your wet bath mat on the floor everyday, chances are your floor could already have some form of water damage. Always hang up your bath mat to dry to avoid water damage to your floor.

21) Leaving wet towels on the floor

Similar to the last point, consistently leaving wet towels on the floor (especially if it’s in the same spot every time) can cause water damage over time. Hang your towels to dry, don’t leave them on the floor!

Be sure to come back to our blog to check out part 2 where we’ll include 21 more tips on how to prevent damage to your home!

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