Buying a home is a big investment, so it’s important to be prepared for homeownership. With the right information, you will be able to keep your home healthy and safe. Let’s look at six things homeowners need to know.
Important Things All Homeowners Need to Know
Know the Location of the Main Shutoff Valve
If your water heater leaks or plumbing leaks occur, you will need to quickly shut the water off to your entire home. Find the location of the main shutoff valve before an emergency happens so you can manage it promptly.
Check inside the house first. It will often be near an outside wall, usually on the same side as your water meter. Most water mains run straight from the meter into the house. It may be a simple valve on the main water pipe, or it may be in a box nearby.
Test and Label the Electrical Panel
Don’t assume the labels on your electrical panel are correct unless you’ve checked them yourself.
Enlist a friend or family member to help you do this. One person stands by the electrical panel while the second person walks through the house testing lights and appliances. Turn all the breakers off. Then flip one on at a time to determine how to label them. Repeat this process with each breaker in the panel. Check outside and garage outlets and lights as well.
Homeowners Need to Know Where the Property Line Is
As a homeowner, you should know where the property boundaries are before adding anything to your outdoor space. In most areas, surveyors use iron stakes to mark the corners of each piece of property.
Use a metal detector to locate these stakes. You may need to dig down to find the top of the stake, but don’t remove it. You can put a wooden post or a flag over the spike if you need a visual marker.
Check Your Home’s Insulation Level
The insulation in your home’s attic and walls helps keep your home comfortable year-round. It’s important to know if your insulation is lacking so that you can add more if it’s not adequate for the local climate.
In the attic, if you do a visual inspection and insulation is at or just below the level of the floor joists, you need to add more insulation.
Homeowners Need to Know the Ages of Key Home Components
Another thing every homeowner should know is the age of the home’s components, including the roof, water heater, and appliances. You should also try to find out the approximate age of your electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems.
When you know the ages of these components, it will help you determine the best time to replace them rather than continuing to make repairs. Replacing a 15-year-old water heater is a more energy-efficient and cost-effective option than paying for expensive repairs on an aging unit.
Secure Your Home Against Theft
Since most home break-ins occur during the daytime when the occupants are away, it’s helpful to know how to secure your home against theft and illegal entry.
Make sure each exterior door has a deadbolt and a door lock. Check that all window locks are in good working order. Install smart locks and a doorbell camera that you can monitor while you’re away. Add a home security system for extra protection.