Money does not grow on trees, and most people prefer to spend it wisely on the upkeep of their home rather than on expenses from damages to it. Big box hardware stores like Home Depot and Lowe's cash in DIY wannabes inspired by what they see on television and the internet.
Their profits and those of household repair companies soar in sync after homeowners neglect, ignore, or become too complacent with the general maintenance of their homes. Check out some unintentional and costly ways people may be damaging their humble abodes.
Window Blinds Open All Day
A gorgeous sun shining through the window or the smell of the cool autumn air are typical reasons for leaving vertical and horizontal blinds open throughout the day. Homeowners fail to remember learning the power of the Sun and its UV rays' harmful effects on their prized possessions.
Polished or treated floors will succumb to discoloration and fade prematurely. Money spent on making areas look immaculate is wasted as a result. While this is not a suggestion to live like Dracula, it is a friendly reminder to close all blinds before leaving the house.
When In Doubt Vacuums Over Brooms
No matter what homeowners do to prevent the buildup of dirt and dust indoors, it is an impossible mission. Grime and mess are tracked with every step in and out the door, through windows with the calmest breezes or sprinkling down from above with sweeping, vacuuming, or ignoring as the options.
Brooms are effective mostly at spreading things around instead of removing them, not to mention their uselessness on carpeting. Although vacuums will not rid the house 100% of all filth, their suction power will pick up what brooms typically leave behind.
Pour Coffee And Tea Down Drains Not Toilets
Despite the pleasures of a hot cup of freshly brewed coffee or scintillating tea, the popular beverage also leaves its mark with stains that cement themselves to whatever contains them. The same protection of teeth enamel should be shown when pouring these liquids down sinks and toilets.
Porcelain is a common ingredient in a toilet or bathroom sink, and many homeowners find out the hard way how similar it is to the substance that coats our teeth. Put grains and used teabags into composters, which help save the environment and your money.
Vinegar Makes Granite Disappear
Vinegar is not only effective at adding flavor to our meals or cleansing meat before cooking, but it is a helpful household cleaner also. Posts online and companies like Windex proudly boast about using the part-time condiment to clean counters and windows.
Many countertops are made with granite, which is coated with a protective sealant that vinegar makes short work of on contact. The substance designed to preserve the sheen and allure of the granite counter gets smeared and dissolved, leaving behind stained countries and memories of guests.
Drilling Into Walls Without A Stud Finder
Hanging framed art and photos on walls or putting up mounts for expensive flat-screen televisions to upgrade room decor and ambiance requires drilling or putting holes into walls for nails and screws. To the uninitiated, the temptation is to nail or drill without checking for studs first.
Instead, use a stud finder to find the appropriate places for hammering, drilling, or screwing. Without the handy device, the plaster and sheetrock in the walls may not be strong or deep enough to support hanging up anything with weight and size.
Use Your Green Thumb For Trimming
New and old homeowners fall into the trap of beautifying their yards by growing plants and flowers. They believe the best way to accentuate their homes is to surround them with lavish gardens. Every spring, stores see a mad rush of shoppers looking for the brightest plants and soil to grow in.
What the people bragging about their green thumbs find out accidentally sometimes is that if shrubs and trees grow too close to the house, their branches and limbs can scratch or cause expensive damage. To avoid this financial calamity, trimming occasionally is highly recommended.
Too Much Humidity For Floors
Purchasing a dehumidifier for the home is not an unusual tip or breaking any advancements in science. Using the device to eliminate dryness from the air is a common practice for treating symptoms like skin, nose, eye, throat, and lip irritation. Dehumidifiers are also effectively used to preserve the fresh look of hardwood or laminate flooring.
There is no need to scramble for the latest products on the shelves of stores that claim to perform miracles. Instead, if the home reaches 55% humidity or more, turn on the device and avoid swelling and warping floors.
Shampoo Is Addition By Subtraction On Carpets
Those mature enough to remember owning or renting steam-cleaning vacuums or growing up with them should pay close attention to this household tip. It was once thought of as the best way to get out tough stains from carpets and was a tedious process to complete.
The elimination of pesky and clingy dirt is replaced with lingering moisture and mold formations living in and under the freshly cleansed rugs. Suddenly, the air quality for breathing is compromised, and health problems surface from the damage done by shampooing instead of a dry vacuum or carpet sweeper.
Lint Can Be Annoying And Dangerous
Most appliances like dryers have instruction manuals included or available to download that outline proper care for the product. These guidelines advise owners to routinely clean lint traps to avoid damage to the dryer. Failure to do it will cause more dangerous issues than malfunction.
Fires can arise from traps that have an accumulation built inside. The heat has to escape somewhere and is usually funneled outside in a tube, but when it is clogged by lint and other debris, the intense heat is trapped and can spark flames.
Everyone who owns or rents a home with gutters should know the importance of cleaning them regularly. Interrupted water flow from leaves trapped in the eavestroughs of houses is the least of things to worry about or anticipate.
Where is the water supposed to go when it is blocked from going down the spout and filtering into the ground and sewers? The unfortunate answer is it will seep into the house through the windows and cracks, and the excess waters can squeeze their way inside.
Outdoor Shoes Stored Indoors
Most people would not voluntarily lick the soles of their shoes, even if they were brand new or the floors in their homes were pristine. Bacteria form in the dirt that cling to footwear and harbor harmful consequences to the health of the home's occupants.
Placing a doormat or tray for shoes outside the entrance is practical in winter for keeping the residuals of the outdoors where they originate and avoiding illness and the possibility of contracting an infection.
Cooking Grease Poured Down Kitchen Drains
Nobody enjoys the experience of cleaning up after cooking and washing the dishes, pots, pans, and utensils used. Grease left over in the pan is commonly poured down sink drains because it is convenient, but laziness like that can come at an expensive cost.
As we learned from a young age, water and oil (grease) do not mix, so why is pouring it down the drain the instant solution? Over time, it can harden and form pipe blockages, potentially leading to flooding and expensive water damage.
Say "No" To Bleaching Hardwood Floors
Bleach is widely used to brighten whites in clothes and as a cleaning product that sanitizes while it is used. Brands like Clorox claim that their product eliminates over 99% of germs and bacteria, but using it on hardwood floors will take away more than that.
Hundreds and thousands of dollars are spent to treat and maintain the luster of hardwood floors, but all that expense is for naught once bleach is added to the equation. The polyurethane used to coat the flooring and provide its sheen is dissolved by the strong chemicals in bleach.
Dishwasher Have No Self-Clean Button
Dishwashers are excellent at using powerful water combined with detergent to eradicate the toughest stains from dishes. Foolishly, many who use the appliance assume that the interior is cleansing while the dishware and cutlery take a bath, feeling no need to clean its trap.
It is typically located near the sprayer in the lower section of the dishwasher. With no more frequency than once a month, cleaning traps will avoid a buildup of grime and residue and prolong the life of it.
Pour Out Pasta Water Into The Garden
Pasta is an excellent source of nutrition, no matter which type it is. Most people pour the water down the sink after draining out the water out of convenience, but that complacency could end up costing more damage than too many carbs in your diet.
Starch from the pasta can build into fat deposits in the sink's pipes and clog them. Instead, burn off some carbohydrates consumed by taking the leftover pasta drainage and dumping it into the garden. The excess liquid is nutrition and fertilizer for plants, with a healthy version of bacteria helping them grow.
Scratching Hardwood Floors With Chairs
Every day, several times throughout, before or after sitting in a chair, people pull it out without lifting it. This is a troubling habit for homeowners with hardwood floors. Dragging and pulling furniture will leave scratches and marks that will be expensive or impossible to remove.
A trip to the local Walmart or hardware store and buying furniture pads will prevent damage to flooring and keep money where it belongs, in your wallet. Adding padding to chairs and furniture extends the life of the furniture and floors and avoids unnecessary noise.
Vines Growing On The House
There is no question that when a home with vines growing on it is seen, the sight is something to admire if it has been maintained. While an awe-inspiring look from the decor aside, letting vines grow on the house will damage that will be jaw-dropping.
A vine attached to the home will seal in excess moisture and provide a breeding ground for pests like vermin and insects, which leads to further damage. Money is better spent on tools to stop the growth than repairing the harm done.
Slamming Doors For Any Reason
Prolonged slamming of a door out of frustration, anger, or because it is heavy and needs the extra push creates more headaches than the annoying and repetitive sound it produces. Possible misalignment and other hidden disasters await if this is the chosen method of expression.
Not only is closing doors rude and immature if done intentionally, but the alignment of it and the trim will be affected negatively. An inexpensive solution would be to keep them open if possible or take care and do it gently.
Flushable Wipes Live Forever
It is not clear which is worse, the myth that a disposable wipe can be flushed safely down the toilet or the devastating results that will linger long afterward. Before ad companies steal your valued dollars with misleading claims, know that none of these products are flushable.
Pipes for the system will become clogged because the cloth is made of a non-woven fabric that does not fully break down or erode. They are convenient and easy to dispose of in the garbage or reused for other purposes.
Peroxide And Vinegar Harm Homes And Health
The ingredients in the combination of peroxide and vinegar that facilitate the cleaning process may lead to issues with surfaces and your health. Separately, there is no harm in using them as solutions to cleaning, but mixing them creates endless medical and repair expenses.
Combining the two products will produce a toxic, highly corrosive, and unstable chemical. Burns to whatever surface they touch, causing damage to the finish and fading the color. The skin irritation and respiratory issues creating this science experiment should be enough of a deterrent.
Excess Water After Showering
Drying off before leaving the shower is a safe and preventative strike against the harmful side effects the water will have on the bathroom floors. Wooden floors, for example, can lose form and become warped. Lavatory slips and falls cause many emergency rooms to be overcrowded with victims.
Making sure to be dry before stepping out of showers and investing in a bathmat are the best ways to avoid problems, health or financial. Purchasing a non-slip mat costs less than damage expenses and will be worth far more.
Lemon Juice To Clean Marble Surfaces
Without resembling more of a scientific article, instead of helping homeowners prevent ruin to their valuable homes, it is strongly advised not to use lemon juice on anything made of marble. The liquid contains citric acid, a highly corrosive substance on marble and other surfaces.
Cleaning experts recommend using household dish soap and warm water to clean countertops and floors. Lemon juice is a valuable cleansing product on objects like cutting boards and polishing pots and pans and an environmentally friendly one.
Household downspouts are more than a pleasant accessory in the yard. After rainfalls and when snow melts, the runoff needs to go somewhere besides the basement or inside the house. Instead of focusing on the value the sight of them takes away from the house, celebrate the money they save.
Keeping water from rain separate from the home is the sole function of a gutter downspout. This piece of hardware might be unsightly, but painting them, fixing their leaks, and general maintenance will make monthly bills easy on the eyes and bank account.
Laundry Still Damp Left In The Washer
Utility companies thrive, and experts shake their heads at sky-rocketing bills incurred from damp laundry staying in the washing machine long after it is finished. The excess moisture lingers in the crevices of the appliance, leading to mold and unpleasant odors.
A grocery list of issues waits patiently in the weeds, starting with the need to rewash everything simply because of laziness. Repeating the process will cause utility and water bills to rise monthly. Switching things to the dryer immediately or hanging them to dry saves dollars and time.
Failure To Drain Water Heaters
Conveniently or not, most companies providing water heaters and servicing them will not tell their customers the contraptions benefit from and require draining at least once a year. The destruction to pipes, faucets, and appliances cannot wait to tap into your wallets and purses.
Mineral deposits form a thick and brittle coating in the tank, which can clog things, including the water heater valve. The inner lining will potentially be compromised and lead to an eventual need for replacement parts or buying a new one.
Neglecting To Clean Chimneys Burns Two-Fold
Besides doing Santa a favor by having a clean and maintained chimney, damage to the home's interior and health issues are prevented from showing some due diligence. The poor air quality produced after every time a dirty fireplace is active brings uninvited soot and ash inside.
The polluted air that circulates in the house because of unkept chimneys will attach itself and live in furniture, carpeting, and worse, the lungs. It is worth the money spent on cleaning firelogs designed to break down the creosote build-up or hire a professional.
Storing Mulch Bags Too Close To The Home
Mulch is like a Swiss Army knife because of its various applications in the garden. It adds moisture to the soil, preventing drying, erosion, and compaction by providing a barrier from heat and cold.
Comprised of manure, tree bark, wood chips, pine straw, leaves, or grass clippings, mulch also attracts pests like termites. The excess water is a breeding ground for the insects and has the potential for an infestation inside the house. A modest distance between the garden and the house will protect it and enhance the growth of your plants and flowers.
Showering Without Using The Exhaust Fan
Most renters and homeowners hardly think to check the performance of the bathroom exhaust fans and end up with more than steamed-up mirrors. Instead of enjoying the warmth of the fog created by failing to turn the fan on, odor and airborne contaminants that lead to health issues will be on the horizon.
Choosing not to flick the exhaust fan's switch to the on position leaves stagnant air to linger, allowing mold and bacteria to live freely and enter the lungs. Renters can refuse rent if their residence has faulty fans.
Plants Hiding AC Units
When homeowners show off their homes to family and friends, the air conditioner at the side or rear is not usually included on the tour. Plants and weeds often grow to levels that can conceal the units from plain sight, which is unpleasant to look at and dangerous.
Air conditioners outside of the house function best when the space around them is adequate. Regular maintenance will prevent inefficient airflow and the risk of damaging the appliance, allowing it to serve its true purpose.
Thermostats Near Appliances
Either to save space or because it is not common knowledge, appliances are intentionally located near thermostats when they should not be. Unbeknownst to most property owners using the devices to regulate room temperature, heat is emitted from many appliances.
A thermostat responds according to its programming and automatically picks up the heat of a refrigerator or even a television in its proximity and attempts to cool the room to an acceptable level, therefore fooling it into action. This will lead to higher utility bills and colder rooms in winter.
Immediate Return Of The Toilet Brush To Its Holder
After a toilet has been cleaned with the brush, the next step is to return it to the holder. Although this is the instinct of most, the results of putting it back without cleaning it first lead to more of a mess than the one it eliminated.
Imagine homeowners' shock to learn that storing the wet brush in a damp location or holder filled with dirty water does not let it dry properly and can facilitate bacteria growth. Brush cleaners or cleaning them regularly are fool-proof ways to save the bathroom tools and your money.
Lights Continuously Flickering
If your goal is to turn your home into a haunted one inspired by Halloween, by all means, continue to let those flickering lights go unchanged. For responsible homeowners, it is highly recommended that the flashing bulbs be replaced as soon as possible or face a personal trick or treat.
A light that flickers sends a signal to pay attention that wiring or electrical issues may exist. It could be as simple to fix as tightening a loose bulb or calling a professional electrician if the problem does not stop.
Using Under The Deck As Storage
Whether in the city or rural areas, it always seems like there is never enough space for storage. People fortunate to own a home with a porch think nothing of using under it to put everything that will not fit anywhere else.
The issue with this is that wooden porches will swell from the heat, the contents blocking the airflow that otherwise would regulate the temperature. Big box stores carry a variety of cheap options to keep your not-so-valuables, or renting extra space may be worth researching.
Refusing To Let Go Of Faulty Appliances
The comparison of replacing an appliance when it is malfunctioning to what dangerous and costly damages hang in the balance from possible electrical issues is not a close one. Many can relate to the toaster that pops up never or too soon, but it's a warning and embarrassing.
Electrical fires and more of a strain on the other appliances are two results of an issue that is relatively inexpensive to resolve. Maybe it is more advantageous in the long run to invest in something higher-end because they are less likely to quit on you.
Blasting The Roof With A Power Washer
Saving money to hire a professional cleaner for roof shingles instead of spending money on a power washer to use yourself might be a better move. The force from some washers can be powerful enough to strip paint or sealants applied to rooftops to protect them from the elements.
To dodge the puddles and leaks that will seemingly appear out of nowhere from the results of using industrial strength blasters, hire someone other than your handyman or relative because they will be trained to know how to clean the roof safely.
Overloading Closets With Coats And Clothes
With as many stores with affordable options to create extra storage space, there is no excuse for jamming everything that can be hung into a closet. Heavier jackets and coats like ones worn in winter weigh down poles typically attached to drywall.
Instead of looking for your favorite coat on the rack, it might be better to check on the floor first. The added weight of too many items hanging is likely to pull the entire pole out of the walls. Space savers and collapsable bags are suitable alternatives.
Exposed Pipes In Winter Exposes Your Wallet
Basements are usually a cooler temperature than other areas of the home and the coldest in winter. Pipes in unfinished rooms without insulation are a prelude to future woes. Over time, they can freeze and burst, damaging everything around them and causing flooding.
The plumbing located in the unheated sections of the house, like piping exposed outside in winter, has an increased chance of filling with ice and bursting. It will be financially prudent to have them sealed or have insulation that covers any exposure installed.
Dusting With Cleaning Mops Like Swiffer
Household chores like mopping and sweeping can be tedious and appear never-ending. Dust mops like a Swiffer boast an affordable option to cut cleaning times and effectively mimic using a broom or mop separately.
Products like that are just as advertised with their effectiveness in removing things because they take away dirt, grime, and any protection a surface may be coated with. Taking the seal off leaves the floor open to attract more dust and continuous trips to buy a new mop.
A Lack Of Insulation In The Attic
Attics are traditionally the place in the home to store anything cluttering space or stops serving its purpose. Artwork, books, antiques, and more deemed unfit to be kept inside the house are instantly relegated to the attic. Failing to insulate up there could lead to items suffering damage from the cold.
Surveys like one done by Energy Star show that up to 25% of the home's heat escapes through the roof when there is nothing to insulate the room. Burst pipes and flooding might be more jolting than soggy keepsakes.
Using Dirty Objects For Cleaning
While throwing out and replacing a mop after every use can seem ridiculous, it may be a less expensive consequence than continuing to clean with a filthy one. Health and spreading the dirt around instead of getting rid of it is all that will be accomplished.
Germs and bacteria are being transported back and forth when people use cleaning tools that need to be replaced or cleaned themselves. Soaking mops in solutions like bleach after they are used and safely allowing them to dry keeps them safe for next time and cuts down replacement costs.