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The "Not-So-Good" Habits in our Homes. Are Your Guilty?

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

The saying, "Home Is Where The Heart Is", rings true no matter where you live. Home is where families are raised and where memories are made. We enjoy eating, sleeping, decorating and entertaining in our homes. Holidays, cookouts and birthdays are enjoyed at home. However, there are some things we do that are "not so good". Bad habits can hurt our homes, which ones are you guilty of?

turn off appliances when leaving home

One bad habit involves leaving home with appliances left to finish their cycles. Dishwasher and washing machine hoses can burst. Imagine walking in the door to that mess of water all over the floor, perhaps for hours. Outlets can burn up or short out (yes, it happens). Dryelint can catch fire (and if your dryer is a gas dryer, your home can easily burn to the ground when you aren't home). Luckily, the fix is easy (and free!). Turn on the appliances early, or wait until you return home, it's one bad habit that's easy to break. 


Clean your gutters 

Are you saying,  "I can't wait to clean the gutters?", didn't think so! Neglecting to clean the gutters is bad habit #2. Gutters can become full of leaves, pine needles,  tree branches  and general debris. When snow or ice melts, or rain falls, water flows off the roof into the gutters and downspouts.  A damaged roof, foundation problems or a waterlogged basement can result when gutters and downspouts are clogged or in disrepair. The water can collect along the foundation, and then seep into cracks and crevices. The fix? Clean the gutters, then make sure they, along with the downspouts, are in good condition. 


dangers of walking on a roof


What about walking on the roof? Yep, that's bad habit #3. The roof is an important part of every home, but roof repair and replacement can be costly.  A bad habit to avoid is walking on the roof. Stepping onto shingles can cause damage and scrape off the covering if you aren't careful. Walking on shingles in hot weather can cause shingles to scuff or bend. It's best to leave the roof to the roofing experts. 


flushable wipes are bad for sewers and septic systems


Flushable wipes, while popular in many households, are yet another "not so good" idea. Yes, they are labeled "safe flush technology" or "biodegradable", they are hygienic and provide soothing comfort. However, they are also the cause of many expensive plumbing problems. The pre-moistened wipes congeal with grease and other materials and cause clogs that aren't easily dislodged. Whether you have a septic system or rely on public sewer, these wipes are the subject of multiple lawsuits throughout the country. The fix? Rely on toilet paper instead. Toilet paper biodegrades much quicker than wipes and causes fewer plumbing issues.


don't slam the front door




Slamming the front door, easy to do, it happens. But did you know it's a bad habit, also? Repeated slamming of a door, over time, can push its jamb out of alignment. Over a period of time, the momentum can force the door from the opening, which ultimately leaves a gap where cold air and moisture can enter the home. The fix? Stop slamming the door (yes, another free fix!) or replace the existing hinges with self-closing varieties.


dangers of maxing out clothing rods 

A final bad habit involves maxing out the rods in your closets. Hanging too many clothes can cause the rods to bend or worse yet, break. Another risk is that mounting hardware may be strained, which in turn can wreak havok on the drywall. The fix? Use steel rods and metal supports, which are sturdy and reduce the chances of a pile of clothes falling to the floor. Installing multiple brackets will also provide additional support, and if possible, screw them into wall studs for the greatest support.


"Home is where the heart is", and home is where we sometimes cut corners and develop bad habits. We do something that's "not so good" for our home, then repeat the mistake again and again. Fortunately, bad habits, while hard to break, can turn into good habits with a little "fixing". What bad habits have you developed in your home? Now is a good time to turn those bad habits into good habits.







Posted by

Melissa Spittel, Carroll County Maryland real estate agent 



Comments (10)

Susan Laxson CRS
Palm Properties - La Quinta, CA
Realtor in San Diego, CA & Naples, FL

Melissa, I would say we may be guilty as charged with procrastinating regarding the care of our homes. Thank you for this reminder how important it is to do the upkeep needed to keep the value of your home intact. Good job!

Apr 12, 2016 11:11 PM
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Some good reminders here. Most of these things never occur to a homeowner as being a potential problem.

Apr 13, 2016 12:05 AM
Melissa Spittel
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Westminster, MD
"Achieving Results Together "

Thank you Susan Laxson and Eric Kodner . Time flies by, there never seems to be enough hours in the day, and it's so easy to neglect maintenance (not to mention, it's not very fun). 

Apr 13, 2016 11:12 AM
Certified Mobile Notary Signing Agent - Smith Mountain Lake, VA
Highest Ranked Certified Mobile Notary in Virginia

Guilty as charged on two counts Melissa E. Spittel, Realtor,  but I'm not saying which two.   These are all great tips; thank you for sharing them.   I'll try to improve on those two going forward.

Apr 15, 2016 12:23 PM
Melissa Spittel

Too funny DEANNA EARLY --( NMLS #268590 )-- . I'm guilty, too!

Apr 16, 2016 11:19 PM
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Good morning Melissa. Yes, I am guilty for a couple of the items that you mentioned, thanks for the inspiration do better.

Apr 16, 2016 02:33 AM
Melissa Spittel

Im guilty, too Joe Petrowsky 

Apr 16, 2016 11:20 PM
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

Hi Melissa E. Spittel, Realtor ,  I can vouch for the washing machine water hose.  I left the house for 45 minutes to go have lunch with my wife and when I returned, the front steps looked like a waterfall as it was coming out of the house.  The water had flooded the house, out the door, down the sidewalk and into the parking lot.

Apr 20, 2016 09:57 AM
Melissa Spittel
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Westminster, MD
"Achieving Results Together "

Oh no! Larry Johnston So sorry you experienced such an unfortunate mess! It's so easy to run out, thinking "I won't be gone long, what could possibly happen". 

Apr 20, 2016 11:08 AM
Anna Hatridge
R Gilliam Real Estate LLC - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with R Gilliam Real Estate LLC

I am really good about not running appliance while we are away from home. (we had friends whose house burnt to the ground because a sock got stuck in the dryer lint trap, lesson learned vicariously)  

I am guilty of overloading the coat closet and Just recently in the middle of the night the crashing sound of the rod pulling out of the wall convinced me to do a little more closet cleaning.  

May 04, 2016 11:41 PM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, Melissa E. Spittel, Realtor I just saw your post on a reblog from Anna..... maintaining a home is a life-long project.... there's always something to do....

May 04, 2016 11:59 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Years, ago, after seeing my dishwasher suddenly start spewing suds and water out around the door, I would never leave home with it running. I also had a laundry room flood once when something went wrong with the washer. So the washer and dryer are also off. 

Here's a crazy addition to your list: Using an inferior vacuum cleaner. 

I have an ancient Rainbow, and I did notice it wasn't doing quite the job it had in the past. So, when a belt broke I ordered a new brush roller along with the belt. That was fine, except I guess it put too much strain on the old motor, so...

It's a long story, but the upshot is that I have been without my Rainbow for a couple of months. I'd been using a nearly new Dyson upright, but getting annoyed at the poor job it did of picking up dog hair. (It's shedding season, you know!) 

This week my brand new power head arrived, and I can't believe the difference. The carpet had started looking like it was due for replacement - soon. Now it's starting to look new again! 

May 05, 2016 01:29 PM