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7 House Habits to Break in 2019

Did you know that the bad habits you practice at home could actually cost you money? If you’re guilty of any of these seven home care sins, now’s the time to make a change!

Bad Habit #1: Using the wrong cleaning products.

Why it’s bad: Harsh chemical cleaners strip the protective finish off of materials like stone, wood and tile. And soapy products can leave a hazy residue on them. If your counters and flooring are looking dull or worn, you may want to re-evaluate your cleaning routine. Consider a natural solution. Or, opt for cleaners made to suit specific materials.

Bad Habit #2: Building permanent clutter piles.

Why it’s bad: There are lots of reasons to declutter: reduce stress, improve organization, find your keys. But the real reason clutter made our list is the pest factor. When you leave a tower of cardboard boxes or “donate items” in a corner or closet, you’re creating a metropolis for pests. Gnawing rodents, allergen-packed roaches and venomous spiders will feel right at home in undisturbed piles of stuff.

Bad Habit #3: Letting debris down the drain.

Why it’s bad: These days, there are dozens of drain solutions to save you from clogged pipes. If your sinks, tubs and showers drain slowly, you have a problem with an easy fix. But if you let it go for too long, you could end up with some serious plumbing issues. It could cost $100 to $300 to hire a plumber, and rates increase for after-hours emergencies.

Save yourself the service call and prevent clogs from the start:

  • Don’t put grease or coffee grounds down the drain.

  • Get a hair catcher for your shower and/or tub.

  • Regularly clean sink stoppers.

  • Flush drains regularly with hot water or a non-corrosive drain cleaner.

  • Don’t overfeed your garbage disposal.

Bad Habit #4: Ignoring pools of water.

Why it’s bad: Water can pool all around your home’s interior and exterior. And while these little lakes may seem harmless, left unaddressed they could sting you in the wallet later on.

Roof: Water that sits on the roof for an extended period of time erodes roofing materials, adhesives and flashing. Basement: Pooling water from a leaking water heater is a sign of corrosion and shouldn’t be ignored. Crawlspace or yard: Standing water in your crawlspace or yard could be a sign of poor drainage or even plumbing issues. If you don’t remedy the cause, you risk extensive mold growth and damage to your home’s foundation.

Bad Habit #5: Putting off air filter changes.

Why it’s bad: Leaving dirty filters in your HVAC system can reduce energy efficiency, run up your utility bill and pollute your indoor air. According to the Department of Energy, replacing dirty air filters can reduce energy consumption by up to 15 percent. Plus, it will save you from having to shell out $2,000 to $6,000 to install a new furnace.

Bad Habit #6: Quick-fixing stains.

Why it’s bad: We don’t always have the time and products we need to properly remove orange juice from the carpet or red wine from a stone countertop. Sometimes, we grab whatever’s under the sink and smudge at the spill until it’s a faded memory (or we cover it with a coaster).

When we do this, we lose our best shot at reversing the damage. The longer the stain sits, the harder it will be to remove when you want to rearrange the furniture or sell your house – whether the stain’s in the flooring, on the countertop or in the curtains.

If this bad habit has already caught up to you, you can purchase a deep-cleaning package to tackle tough stains throughout your home for anywhere from $200 to $500.

Bad Habit #7: Dragging furniture.

Why it’s bad: Not only is dragging furniture bad for your back – it’s detrimental to your flooring! Floor repair experts are constantly undoing the damage of determined, independent homeowners. And flooring repairs for hardwood, laminate, carpet and other materials can cost anywhere from $50 to $3,000! If you have to move furniture, take care to protect your floors. For bigger jobs, you may even want to hire a mover.

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