There’s nothing like moving into a new home. It doesn’t matter whether you’re renting or buying. You’ve unpacked your furniture, you’ve got most of the stuff out of boxes and onto shelves, or into cupboards and wardrobes – and then it’s time to kick back, relax and survey your new kingdom. At first, everything is perfect. The lovely clean walls, the shower that runs hot and fast after a long day at work. But then you start to notice little niggles. The creaking floorboard. The door that doesn’t shut properly. Ignore the warning signs, and those noises and not-quite-flush fittings can become a real problem. Deal with them early, and you can maintain the “new home” feeling for years. Here are a few tips on keeping your castle in tip-top condition.
Know where your services are
Your home is supplied with two or three essential services: electricity, water and gas. Knowing the locations of the key equipment associated with these services means you can react quickly in an emergency, and diagnose any irritating problems. Lights keep tripping? Knowing where your fuse box and trip switches are will keep your home lit up like a Christmas tree until you can talk to an electrician. Tap sprung a leak? If you’ve already located the stopcock, you’ll never have to panic.
Keep condensation at bay
Condensation – surface damp on walls and windows – is caused when the moisture in the air comes into contact with a surface colder than it is. Unattended condensation causes mould and peeling paint, and can also encourage the growth of nasty microorganisms that cause upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs). You can minimize the risk of condensation by ensuring your home is well ventilated, and kept warm at night – a very low heating setting can make a lot of difference without bumping the bills up too much. Turn off kettles when they’re boiled, and keep pans covered with lids to prevent excess moisture in the air.
Stopping a knocking radiator
The knocking noise your heating system makes when it turns on is a sign that you have air in your radiators or pipes. This means the hot water isn’t properly filling the system, which means you’re using more power to produce less warmth. Check your radiators to see if they have cold patches. If they do, you can bleed the system using a radiator key. Just make sure you don’t completely unscrew the plug, or you will end up with water all over the floor! Trapped air will hiss out: when water starts to come through, tighten the plug again. Note: combi boiler systems should not be bled.
Keep it clean
Wear and tear in the home is greatly reduced if you make an effort to keep everything clean. Kitchen and bathroom surfaces will stay mould free for years if you give them a thorough going-over once a week – and your floors will retain their look and feel much longer with regular mopping, vacuuming and sweeping. Vacuuming carpets and wooden floors also pulls up the dust and bugs that cause colds and URTIs. Central vacuum systems are particularly useful – powerful and hardwired into your home.
The Author is an experienced web writer with more than 10 years of blogging under his belt. He started with a self-built network of home maintenance blogs in 2000, and has since become a trusted guest blogger on a number of major home improvement and DIY pages. His tips have also appeared on the homepages of internet news providers.