Home Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid

A man cleaning the dishwasher, an often-forgotten home maintenance task.

As a homeowner, you know the importance of maintaining your home. If you don’t give certain parts of your home tune-ups every year, you risk having to deal with costly repairs.

Most homeowners know about scheduling AC maintenance and cleaning the gutters, but many other maintenance tips might fall to the wayside. This article lists some common home maintenance mistakes and how to avoid them.

Using the Wrong Kind of Paint

Whether you’re painting a new home or refreshing an old paint job, one mistake you can make is using the wrong kind of paint.

For example, while you can use water-based or latex paints for general areas of your home, you may need to consider using oil-based or mold-resistant paints for your bathroom and kitchen. This paint can handle high moisture levels, tolerate scrubbing, and prevent mold or mildew from creeping in.

If you are not sure what type of paint is best for your home, we recommend that you visit a store specializing in home painting. They can review paint types and finishes to best fit the different areas in your home.

Forgetting Regular Plumbing Checks

Even if your plumbing is new, it is not guaranteed to work perfectly. From loose plumbing causing leaks to a larger issue leading to a flood, it would be best to check your plumbing regularly to prevent damage. Priority areas include places where water is used, such as your dishwasher and under the sinks. If something feels loose, tighten it up.

Plumbing issues can be a drastically expensive problem, especially if your pipes burst. What can be a minor repair can turn into a major overhaul of your home if you’re not careful.

Hanging on to Problematic Appliances

Another common home maintenance mistake is hanging on to problematic appliances. Appliances, especially older ones, can start to break down over time. If you find yourself having to frequently hire a repairman to fix them, it can add up. Additionally, some appliances can become dangerous if they are not operating appropriately, which creates major risks like electrical fire.

When your appliance breaks down the first time, it’s likely best to attempt to repair it before deciding to replace it. However, if it keeps breaking down or a professional suggests replacement, take their advice. While purchasing a new appliance is rarely inexpensive, it can save you in the long run by being more energy-efficient and less prone to breakdowns.

Making Your AC Work Harder

You can make many mistakes that cause your AC to work harder.

One example is placing a lamp or device that emanates heat near your thermostat. If you do this, your thermostat can become confused and cool a few extra degrees, making your AC work harder.

Another example is closing air vents. Many people assume that if you close vents in certain parts of the home, it redirects more heating or cooling into certain rooms. Closing a vent forces air flow back into the ductwork where it can leak through cracks, making the system work harder and longer. Without proper air flow, the coils in cooling systems can freeze, and the heat in heating systems can increase, causing cracks. Keeping the vents open will help you maintain proper air flow and energy efficiency.

Consider having a specialist check your heating or cooling system each year before the season begins. It’s much more affordable to do a little maintenance and prevention instead of replacing the entire unit.

Power Washing Everything

Another common home maintenance mistake is overusing your power washer. A power washer can be a fantastic way for you to clean your home without much effort. It uses a powerful blast of water, which can lift most tough, stuck-on grime. However, it’s perhaps too powerful in some cases. You may damage your home if you wash softer areas of your home, such as edges near masonry. Check your settings to make sure that the pressure will not damage the material that you are attempting to clean.

Misplacing Insulation

We all know that to winterize your home, you should make sure you have enough insulation. However, when people add new insulation, one mistake they can make is blocking the soffit vents of the home. This can lead to a poor flow of fresh air into your attic.

If you’re unsure of where to apply insulation, leave it to a professional.

Failing to Winterize Properly

Never underestimate winter. You might think you don’t need to if you live in an area with mild winters, but with today’s unpredictable weather, you don’t know when Mother Nature can strike with snow, ice, and cold temperatures.

In winter, wrapping your pipes with insulation, double-checking attics and crawl spaces for air leaks, blowing out sprinkler lines, and sealing any drafts are vital to preventing your home from facing the worst of winter.

Thinking Your Dishwasher Cleans Itself

Most dishwashers require some form of maintenance every few months. While it can feel like your dishwasher can get rid of the grime on your dirty dishes with ease, food residue, soap scum, grease, and other material can build up. What this leads to is a hindrance in your dishwasher’s performance. Not only that, but it can lead to damage.

Be sure to clean out the filters and look for any residue you can remove. You can also purchase dishwasher cleaner, making it easy to clean them with a single cycle.


Finally, the most significant mistake a new homeowner makes is procrastination.

No one likes to deal with maintenance tasks, so it is easy to have an “I’ll do it later” mentality. However, when it comes to your home, letting issues linger only worsens the problems. When you inevitably must repair your home, it could cost a lot more than if you performed the maintenance earlier.

Do not wait when it comes to caring for your home. Instead, schedule some time to finish your maintenance tasks. If you lack the time, turn it over to a professional!


If you own a home, you must maintain it. Avoiding these common mistakes can reduce your chances of having anything significant happen to your home. With some easy work, you can enjoy your home throughout the years!

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