By Veronica Logan

There are things that you do (or neglect to do) that could be damaging your home’s fixtures and appliances without you even knowing it. Here’s what to look out for.

Most of us develop bad household habits or behaviours over time which, for the most part, aren’t cause for too much concern. But while some are harmless, there are those that could be damaging to your home, or causing a decrease in its value.

1. Forgetting to clean out your appliances’ filters

While it’s easy to forget that some appliances have filters that need to be removed and cleaned, failing to do so can drastically reduce the performance and lifespan of your appliances. This is because they are not able to work efficiently and have to work harder which could wear them out quicker and cause them to malfunction.

In addition, some appliances, like your tumble dryer, could become a potential health or safety hazard if the filters aren’t something that are properly and regularly cleaned.

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2. Washing away food scraps in the kitchen sink

Perhaps one of the most common of bad habits is the tendency to wash uneaten food scraps down the sink instead of scraping them into the bin when it comes time to wash up. Food tends to leave behind a residue as it goes down the pipe and this could build-up over time, depending on how often you do it. This build-up could eventually cause your sink to clog up or your pipes to be blocked which could be an unpleasant and costly exercise to fix.

3. Not cleaning your oven

It’s often tempting to leave any spills that have occurred during cooking in lieu of diving straight into the meal you’ve just prepared. However, failing to clean your oven after cooking, especially if there were any spillages, is a habit worth breaking! Not only could your next meal be ruined when those spillages start to smoke and burn, but this could lead to an oven fire. To be safe, always wipe down the inside of your oven after use and once it has cooled.

4. Flushing foreign objects down the toilet

Flushing any objects, apart from loo paper, down the toilet is a definite no-no. Toilet paper is designed to break down quickly, but things like baby wipes, cotton swabs and household cleaning wipes are often made of woven fibres that don’t break down as quickly once flushed. This means they are often left sitting within the sewerage system without breaking down which could lead to your pipes becoming clogged or even worse, damaging the entire sewerage system.

5. Neglecting the paintwork or painting over rust

Paint is not only useful for aesthetic reasons. Most paint is designed to help protect the surfaces it covers. If you’re not in the habit of maintaining your wooden floors for example, it’s likely that rot could set in which is a costly affair to remove. Similarly, paint can help prevent rust from building up on exterior railings and other metal surfaces.

That being said, the temptation to simply paint over a rusted surface is not an advisable long-term solution as the iron oxide in rust stops the coat of paint from sticking and will therefore begin to flake shortly after you’re done painting – meaning you’ll have to start again before you know it!

6. Slamming doors

We can all get into the habit of slamming doors as opposed to gently closing them – especially when emotions are high! But while slamming a door might be less effort (or more of a statement!), it really can become potentially damaging to your home. Not only can the heavy force break a door’s hinges and/or handles, but repeated slamming can pull the door completely out of alignment and create gaps that allow outside air and moisture into your home.

7. Not regularly cleaning gutters

Depending on the rainfall in your area, your gutters can very quickly become clogged if not regularly checked and cleaned out. Overflowing gutters can easily become blocked and cause back flooding, which often damages roof’s eaves and in some cases, even the interior of your home.

Be sure to clean your gutters at least every three months, and if there’s been heavy rainfall, check them to make sure there are no clogged-up branches and leaves.

Read more: How much attention do my gutters really need?

8. Neglecting your garden

Surprisingly, not tending to your garden can cause as much damage to your home as neglecting it entirely. Trees, if not regularly maintained or trimmed, can become a real safety issue in that there is a risk of their branches falling onto your home or their roots pushing up paving and fences. Similarly, creepers should also be trimmed to ensure they don’t grow up and block your windows, damage the paintwork of your wall or work their way onto the roof.

While it can be seen how easy it is to unconsciously damage our homes, it’s never too late to turn our bad habits or behaviours around and do the opposite! After all, a little effort and awareness never hurt anyone, and our homes are certainly no exception.

Read this next: How to do up your garden on a budget: Maintenance

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Author: Private Property