Frequent Maintenance Issues for Kansas City Homeowners

Owning a home is a great privilege for many reasons. Your monthly payments are now building equity rather than disappearing into the landlord’s pocket. The space likely has more privacy, including a yard that is yours to use. You are also in control of any upgrades or changes that need to be made, and you don’t need anyone’s permission but your own and the city’s.

Although homeownership is a worthy objective for anyone in the Kansas City area, the reality is that there are also some negatives associated with it. Primarily, you are responsible for all maintenance and repairs. As a renter, you typically inform the landlord or property manager of any issues, and they would have a contractor come take care of it. As a homeowner, the cost and burden lie solely with you.

If you are preparing to become a homeowner for the first time or you have just moved into a house that is yours, then there are many potential maintenance issues to be aware of. Here are some of the most common and how you can deal with them.

Clogged Toilet

Though you may experience this in a rental as well, it becomes a much scarier situation when you own the house. If that toilet overflows, the amount of water damage could be catastrophic. It is crucial to know how to respond when the toilet is clogged and will not flush all the way. First, you may want to turn off the water supply valve to the toilet to ensure more water will not enter the tank. Then, the most basic step is to use a plunger to clear the blockage. You may need to take some of the excess water out with rubber gloves and put it into a container so that it does not splash over the sides while plunging. If plunging does not work, then a cleaning solution with baking soda and vinegar may be needed to break up the solids.

Dirty Filters

The HVAC systems in your home create a lot of airflow. They pull in air from one side of the unit, heat it or cool it down, and then push it back into the house to control the temperature. As the air gets pulled into the unit, it usually passes through a filter. When this filter gets dirty, it can affect the efficiency of the HVAC unit, causing it to work harder to produce the same amount of temperature control. Changing your filters according to the machine’s specifications is a great way to prolong the lifetime of your HVAC system and keep utility bills low. Furnaces, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, space heaters, and other similar machines will all operate more effectively if you take care of dirty filters frequently.

Electrical Issues

Your home uses a fair amount of electricity to keep running. Everything from outlets to appliances to HVAC machines to lights requires electricity to work. When these systems fail, it can make life a little uncomfortable in the home. You have two options when facing electrical issues: handle them yourself or call in a professional. If you have a working knowledge of electrical systems, you could save money by doing the work yourself. However, for most homeowners, it is better to get in touch with a local Overland Park electrician. This professional likely has far more experience with electrical systems, so they can correctly diagnose and repair the issue even though it will cost a little money. The cost of doing nothing or repairing it incorrectly would likely be much greater.

Grass and Weeds

As a renter, the outdoor area is maintained by the owner of the property. That includes mowing and weed whacking. Once you own a home, those responsibilities fall to you. Although you can elect to ignore them, there are usually local codes that force your property to look presentable to the public. Often, that means you could be fined if you allow your grass or weeds to grow too long and affect the overall appearance of the neighbourhood. Mowing and weed whacking or weeding will become part of your routine, so make sure you invest in a lawn mower and other necessary outdoor equipment to handle these tasks.

Be Proactive With Maintenance

As a homeowner, it would benefit you to think of maintenance tasks proactively rather than reactively. When you are proactive with maintenance, such as changing filters according to recommendations, then your home’s systems tend to last longer. This is a wise general rule to follow. Plus, if you keep up with all the maintenance issues in your home before they manifest negatively, then your home will look and feel better. As a new homeowner in Kansas City, or someone who is about to be one, make sure you know what you are getting into and research the kinds of maintenance that will be required.