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10 Practical Home Care Tips for New Homeowners

tool box and belt for home repairs

A good portion of homeownership is a learn-as-you-go experience. But you can avoid common mistakes made by new homeowners with these 10 home care hacks.

1. Make your own goo remover that actually works.

Mix together equal parts of coconut oil and baking soda. Apply to adhesives, wait and scrape. If the area is noticeable, test the mixture on a hidden spot first to check for staining.

2. Use a whole-house air freshener.

Pick out your favorite essential oil. Put two to three drops on your furnace filter whenever you replace it. The furnace fan will circulate the delicate scent throughout your home.

3. Try your water shutoff valves before you need them.

If you have an older house, the valves that shut off your water supply (near the toilet and under the sink) may not work. It’s also a good idea to know where your home’s main shutoff valve is and to make sure it works.

4. Find a plumber before you need a plumber.

Look for a plumber who’s licensed and ask for proof of insurance. Find out how long they’ve been in business, and make sure they’ll guarantee their work and the parts. In addition, get at least two references and read their online reviews. You could also ask a neighbor or nearby friend for a referral.

5. Maintain your garage doors.

Lubricate your garage doors once a year to keep them functioning smoothly and safely. Consult your owner’s manual to find the correct type of lubricant, which you can find at your local home improvement store.

6. Use ethanol-free gas for your lawnmower.

Ethanol-blended gas absorbs water over time, leading to poor engine performance. According to Husqvarna, E10 gas, which contains 10% ethanol, absorbs up to 50 times more water than standard gasoline and is, therefore, not recommended for small engines. Instead opt for ethanol-free gas, which stays fresher for longer.

7. Vacuum around your appliances frequently.

Specifically, vacuum around your refrigerator and water heater — especially if you have pets. If you notice the pilot light going out on your water heater, dust and pet hair may be the culprit. Try giving it a thorough cleaning and be sure to vacuum regularly.

8. Buy a fire extinguisher – or three.

Hopefully you’ll never need to use them, but having fire extinguishers located throughout your home in accessible places means you won’t waste time searching for them if the time comes. Keep at least one centrally located on each floor of your home. Did you know different types of fire extinguishers are suitable for different classes of fires?

9. Stock up on tools.

Even if you’re not the handy type, you should still keep a basic toolbox in your home.

10. You’ll probably lock yourself out, so plan ahead.

Leave a spare key with a trusted neighbor or nearby family member. You may even want to consider installing a programmable door lock.

What tips would you pass on to a new homeowner? Please share in the comments!

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The above content is for general informational purposes only and does not replace or modify any provisions, limitations or exclusions contained in any insurance policy.