You and your home have an unspoken deal: it’ll keep you and your family safe if you do the same for it. That’s easy enough—with a little vigilance, diligence, basic upkeep, you can keep your place free from destruction and invasion and your mind free from stress. Get started with these four tips for protecting your home.
Keep Out Criminals
You wouldn’t know it by watching the news, but crime is actually down. Even so, most robberies are crimes of opportunity. Something valuable was left unguarded or unsecured, and the thieves took advantage of it. Protect your home and possessions by assessing any weak points such as unlocked doors or windows, places for a thief or mugger to hide, like overgrown bushes and unlighted stairwells; and valuable items such as money, jewelry, or high-end electronics in plain sight. Removing all temptations and potential for crime goes a long way toward making your house a smaller target.
You keep your home warm and cozy all year long. Plenty of creatures would love to take advantage of that. From small bugs to larger furry invaders, there’s an army of critters that are trying to find ways into your house for free food, heat, and a place to breed. Keep them out by doing a perimeter search of your home for any entryways. Wet and rotted wood encourages carpenter ants and termites to chew it up and break in. Find these areas and have them replaced. Moisture can attract cockroaches, silverfish, wood lice, and termites, so find the leaks and places where water is building up. Seal up holes and cracks around pipes and wires entering the structure with epoxy and caulk, and check the seals around your doors, windows, and window wells for any place vermin can enter. Inside, make sure you’re sweeping and keeping food stored where snacking critters can’t get it. Don’t leave out the welcome mat!
Water, Water Everywhere
Whether from storms, melted snow, or humidity, water is your home’s biggest enemy. It can hurt your foundation, ruin ceilings and walls, enable mold growth, short out electrical systems, and generally make an expensive nuisance of itself. Check your first line of defense—the roof—to ensure water can’t get in through holes, cracks, or loose shingles. Keep your gutters clear and ensure water is directed away from the foundation. As with the tip about dealing with pests mentioned above, seal places where water can seep in with caulk or epoxy (but do it when it’s dry).
Stop fires by taking away the means by which they can start. Check for heat sources in your home, and ensure they’re kept away from flammable objects, dust, and debris. Keep appliances that use heat clean, and if they have any kind of traps, keep them clear of lint, grease, or any other troublesome debris. As the final of these four tips for protecting your home, install smoke detectors and make sure their batteries are new.