For most people, a home is the largest investment they’ll ever make. That’s why it’s important to protect its value with regular home maintenance to prevent expensive repairs down the road. If you’re a first-time homeowner, it can be a daunting list. The good news is that you can do most of it yourself.
Clean your oven. (Every three months) No matter how regularly you cook, grease and spilled food builds up over time. Ignore it and you risk creating more work for yourself in the long run.
But cleaning doesn’t have to be an ordeal. Craig Washofsky of Servco Appliance Distribution shares some oven-cleaning tips:
Manual cleaning: Do not use oven cleaners, abrasive cleaners, strong liquid cleansers, steel wool, scouring pads or cleaning powders on the interior. Clean with a mild soap-and-water or vinegar-and-water solution. Rinse with clean water and dry with a soft cloth.
Self-cleaning racks: Remove racks before turning on the self-cleaning cycle. Neglecting to do so will result in discolored racks that are difficult to slide. GE offers self-cleaning racks that can remain in the oven during the cycle.
Steam cleaning: Steam cleaning is intended to clean small spills using water and a lower cleaning temperature than self-cleaning.
When cleaning oven surfaces, make sure they are at room temperature.
Touch up paint on house trim when it shows signs of peeling or cracking. (Every five years, on average) “I recommend Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint®, but any exterior-quality paint will work,” says James Tachibana of Tachibana Painting LLC. While you’re at it, be sure to reseal exterior joints. “With the movement of the wood the caulking will crack,” Tachibana says. “I recommend a 35-year paintable caulking at the least, which you can get from any hardware store.” Look for small gaps around the trim, then remove any old caulk before filling with weather-resistant polyurethane sealant. This is particularly important for homes on the coast. “Repainting/resealing is important to not let the weather get behind it and start to damage the wood,” Tachibana says. “On the coast there is more damage and more moisture so it is more important.”
Replace outside doormats. (Annually) Add some life to your doorway by getting rid of those grimy doormats. A mat should be long enough that you can walk across with both feet before entering the house. Coordinate with your décor, but go several shades darker to help hide the dirt.
GREEN TIP OF THE MONTH
Add a native Hawaiian plant to your yard. It’s educational for the kids and a good opportunity to appreciate something uniquely Hawaii. For a list of the nurseries that offer native Hawaiian plants, go to nativeplants.hawaii.edu/nursery.