Home Maintenance Myths and Better Solutions
There is a lot of information floating around on the internet, passed along through friends and family, and heard in passing regarding how best to care for your home. Here we share the top eight myths, according to Realtor.com, and what to do instead.
The Myth: Stone Countertops Cannot be Stained or Destroyed
The Truth: Stone counters are actually easily scratched and stained. They can also be dulled by acidic foods, drinks, and household cleaners.
The Better Way: The best way to care for stone countertops is to tailor the care to the specific type of countertop that you have. Ways of cleaning and caring for granite is different than those for limestone since the two materials have different attributes. We recommend this link from The Spruce for tips on caring for concrete, granite, limestone, marble, quartz, and sandstone countertops.
The Myth: You Can Rely on Your Smoke Detector’s Test Button
The Truth: The button is for the alarm but not for the sensor.
The Better Way: Test the sensor with real smoke. Blow out a match or candle near the smoke detector. You’ll know the sensor works if the alarm goes off. The US Fire Administration recommends testing your smoke detector once a month and replacing batteries at least once a year.
The Myth: You Can Install Gutter Guards and Never Worry About Your Gutters
The Truth: The guards will keep out large items such as leaves and branches but smaller debris can still through to the gutters.
The Better Way: If your home is surrounded by trees, have your gutters cleaned once a year. Every other year should be sufficient for homes otherwise.
The Myth: Clean Your Garbage Disposal with Lemon
The Truth: The acidity of the lemon will actually corrode the metallic parts of the disposal. Another common, natural method is using coffee grounds. This should also be avoided so the grounds don’t clog the pipes.
The Better Way: Baking soda is the safest natural cleaner. It will not damage or clog any parts of the disposal.
The Myth: The Shorter You Mow Your Lawn, The Less Often You Will Have to Mow
The Truth: One to three inches of grass is needed about the roots so your lawn stays healthy. Exposed roots are at risk of sun damage and vulnerable to diseases and weed infestation in exposed soil.
The Better Way: Keep your mower blades sharp and adjust your mowing frequency depending on the season, rainfall, and amount of shade over your lawn. Try to mow in the shade or evening when it is less stressful on the grass.
The Myth: CFL’s are Expensive and Dangerous
The Truth: There is not enough mercury in these bulbs to cause damage. They are no longer expensive as they used to be and will indeed save you money over the course of their life time, which is about 10,000 hours.
The Better Way: As we discussed in our home maintenance tips article, the best option is using LED lights. They are safe, their cost has also come down significantly, and the can last up to 50,000 hours.
The Myth: Remodeling My Kitchen with a Current Trend will Increase its Value
The Truth: Trends may be popular at the time but may no longer be as appealing when it comes time to sell.
The Better Way: If you want to be trendy but also budget conscious, update your kitchen with a fresh coat of paint. Here are some kitchen paint tips from HGTV. If you do want to do a complete remodel, stick to timeless features that will be just as pleasing to you and potential buyers in years to come.
The Myth: You Can Trust a Contractor Recommendation with No Further Research
The Truth: Finding a contractor is a serious job and should be treated as such.
The Better Way: Conduct several interviews, check online reviews, and try to speak to a building inspector to learn if the contractors you’re interviewing meet code. Caron B Realty has a trusted listed of approved vendors from contractors to plumbers to designers. Contact us here for more information.