Just for Fun | June 2, 2016
As a homeowner, did you know that some routine maintenance tasks could be hurting your home more than helping? Take it from us. You can avoid these harmful home maintenance habits and still keep your home and garden beautiful.
Bad Habit #1: Over-Insulating Your Attic
When it’s installed the right way, a layer of cellulose or fiberglass insulation in the attic is the best way to keep your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. But homeowners often cover their attic soffit vents when installing insulation, blocking airflow at the roof’s eaves and accumulating moisture on roof sheathing. Over time, these conditions can lead to bigger problems, such as attic mold, ice dams and roof leaks.
While it may seem odd to purposefully let cold air enter the attic, proper venting is necessary to the circulation of air throughout your home. So when installing insulation, place plastic or cardboard baffles along the eaves to keep insulation from blocking these vents. If any insulation has already drifted into your soffit vents, then have it removed by your HVAC technician, who can educate you on the additional benefits of installing an Energy Efficient Attic® system.
Bad Habit #2: Over-Landscaping Your Lawn
Trees are a great way to add colorful curb appeal to your home, and they provide shade during summer months. Planting them too close to water lines, however, puts your plumbing system at risk. Water-seeking tree roots can invade your sewer line, causing backups, flooding, broken pipes and even exposure to raw sewage.
Research the trees you’re planting to avoid this problem. Avoid planting very large trees or trees with shallow, spreading root systems, like willow trees, less than 20 feet from your sewer line. Plant smaller trees that will stay under 20 feet at maturity at least 10 feet from your sewer line. You can take additional steps toward protecting your sewer line by adding a root barrier that redirects tree roots down and away from your sewer line.
Bad Habit #3: Over-Tightening Your House
Winterizing your home with caulks, putties, and weather stripping can be a great way to protect your home from heat loss. But your house also needs to breathe. Over-sealing every gap and crevice can suppress its ventilation, worsen indoor air quality and increase allergens.
While it’s smart to seal cracks and other weak spots, note the difference between those and your home's vital openings, such as the soffits on your roof, weep holes in your storm windows, or seams under clapboards. Those vents are there to let out water that can otherwise rot your homes interior and/or exterior.
Call ARS®/Rescue Rooter® at 1-800-277-9400 to speak with one of our specialists about how to help keep your home operating at maximum efficiency.