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How to prevent costly repairs by maintaining a clean home

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The U.S. Fire Administration estimates that 34% of the roughly 2,900 home clothes dryer fires each year are caused by failure to clean the dryer.

 

4. Tackle any fire hazards

Dryer vents, stovetops, and range hoods are potential fire hazards if not kept clean. Lint buildup in dryer vents combined with heat from the dryer can cause a fire. In fact, the U.S. Fire Administration estimates that 34% of the roughly 2,900 home clothes dryer fires1 that happen each year are caused by failure to clean the dryer. Grease, like lint, is also flammable, especially when it builds up on the stovetop or in a range hood. Cleaning all three places are possible do-it-yourself projects. Here are instructions for cleaning a dryer vent2 , a stovetop3 , and a range hood.4

 

5. Trim back bushes and shrubs

Bushes and shrubbery add beauty to a home but only if they are maintained. If not, besides being unsightly, they could damage your home. Plants that touch a home can retain moisture that can damage the siding. Branches and vines growing onto the roof can damage the shingles and possibly even the home's structure if those damaged or uplifted shingles let water into your attic. Since the cellulose of shrubby plants and trees (especially the falling twigs and branches) can attract termites, it's best to not have any close to your home lest the termites decide to turn your home into their next meal.

 

6. Clean forgotten parts of your fridge

Throwing out old leftovers and cleaning the refrigerator shelves are routine cleaning tasks, but your refrigerator needs a good spring cleaning as well. This is accomplished by cleaning the refrigerator coils the long tubes typically on the bottom or back of the fridge. Cleaning the coils keeps the refrigerator working at full capacity; when the coils are clogged, the fridge will not cool as well. You can use a refrigerator coil brush or vacuum cleaner for this job.

 

7. Make sure you have a working bathroom ventilation fan

An exhaust fan removes moisture from the bathroom. This is especially important in a windowless bathroom. Too much moisture can lead to mold and odors. It can also cause paint and wallpaper to peel. To keep the exhaust fan working optimally, clean it each spring. Turn off the fan, remove the cover, and wash it. Then, vacuum inside the fan housing.

 

8. Paint the home's exterior if needed

You don't need to paint your home's exterior every spring; it's typical to paint every five to 10 years, depending on climate and the quality of the prior paint job. But every spring, you should look for rot, dampness, and mold. Taking care of those problems early keeps your home's paint looking fresh for a longer time. If you notice peeling or faded paint, this might be the year to paint your home. Intense sunlight, high humidity, and beachfront homes typically need to be painted more frequently. Decks, porches, railings, window sills, and other horizontal exterior surface may need some attention between house paintings, because paint in these places starts to peel first.

 

9. Replace smoke alarm batteries

Every spring, replace the batteries in your smoke alarm. Although you should hear a beeping or chirping sound when the batteries need replacing, it's a good idea to replace the batteries before that happens to ensure your alarm goes off when needed. Remove the cover, replace the battery, and then test the alarm to make sure it works.

Now that you know how to spring clean your home to include maintenance, you can keep your home in great shape. If any repairs are needed, you may be able to finance your improvements with a home equity line of credit. Visit your nearest Synovus branch or call us at 1-888-SYNOVUS (1-888-796-6887). (Loans are subject to credit approval.)

Important disclosure information

This content is general in nature and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.

  1. U.S. Fire Administration, "Clothes dryer fire safety outreach materials," accessed February 23, 2020. Back
  2. The Home Depot, How to Clean a Dryer Vent," accessed February 23, 2020. Back
  3. The Home Depot, How to Clean a Stove Top," accessed February 23, 2020. Back
  4. The Home Depot, How to Clean a Range Hood," accessed February 23, 2020. Back