Familysettiling into new home

As the weather warms up and sunny days abound, we know many of you are going to be moving into new homes this year. One of the best things about being a new homeowner is that feeling that it’s all yours. You get to do whatever you want with it, right?

Well, yes, but there are certainly ways that you might think you are doing the best for your house but you’re actually hurting it. Read on and avoid these little mistakes.

Cleaning 101

Has anyone ever told you not to use Windex on your mirrors? Well, you know what causes that black ring around old mirrors? Cleaning solution! It drips down the mirror and pools just on the underside of installed fixture mirrors - like the kind you see in bathrooms - and eats away at the backing, causing that unsightly black ring. Instead, use a microfiber cloth and dampen if necessary.

You might think bleach is the go-to cleaning solvent for every emergency. What about moldy grout? Not so much. Using bleach to whiten grout actually creates a breeding ground for more mold. This is because the bleach eats away at the grout. It also eats through a lot of other stuff, it turns out including:

  • Stone surfaces like granite
  • Laminate and colored grout
  • Enamel and acrylic tubs
  • Vinyl flooring like linoleum
  • Corrode your garbage disposal seals

Instead, use vinegar and water on most everything and ice cubes in the disposal.

Speaking of the disposal, those heavy duty drain cleaners you use when you get a clog? They can also dissolve your pipes. The solution? Vinegar and baking soda can make them explode. Either call a plumber or invest in a snake tool and some drain covers.

Gardening

Planting trees too close to your house or trying to train anything to grow up your walls is a homeowner no-no. A lot of times new homeowners don’t think through the ramifications of those plants growing a lot bigger.

A tree’s roots will grow as wide as the crown is, so unless it’s a dwarf variety, that tree needs to be far, far away from your house’s foundation, driveway or sidewalk. We know that ivy is really pretty, but it is best left in pots, or at least supported by trellises. Don’t let it get a vine-hold on your walls or they will eventually crumble.

Mulching too much and stacking firewood against your house are also big potential problems. There is such a thing as overdoing a good thing. Too much mulch can keep your plants from getting any water. In addition, as with firewood by your house, it can become a breeding ground for insects like termites to take up shop right by your walls.

Conclusion

It’s always a good idea to check out any changes you want to make to your new house before you make them and potentially end up paying. Likewise, looking at the manufacturer’s instructions for how to clean your home’s surfaces will help keep your new house looking and feeling new for years to come.