Preventative vs. Proactive: What’s the Difference When it Comes to Your Home?

In times like these, it’s good to start with definitions. “Preventative” vs. “Proactive.” The dictionary tells us there’s a difference between these two very similar terms:

  • Preventative— Tending to prevent or hinder a negative outcome
  • Proactive— Creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened

Basically, we see a preventative measure as an action we can take to stop something from happening that we know from experience will otherwise occur. For example, we know that keeping gutters clear can keep water from backing up and damaging your roof, and we know that naps will prevent toddler meltdowns.  

On the other hand, a proactive step involves taking control of a situation to steer toward the outcome you desire. A fine distinction, to be sure, but worth noting. In home maintenance, this often means dealing with the unexpected or the unusual. It means taking steps to influence events ahead of time.  

An obvious example of being proactive in regard to home maintenance is creating a comprehensive schedule that covers all of the systems and materials that make up your home.

When you have this sort of plan in place you’re getting ahead of the game. You’re not responding to a problem, you’re taking control of the situation. That’s the idea behind Glasshouse. Drawing on years of experience in home maintenance, we help you set up this plan, and then move into preventative mode.

Making the Distinction: A Move Towards the Preventative

We hear stories every week from our Glasshouse managers about how their work serves a preventative purpose. Recently, Jason found a nest inside the dryer vent at a client’s home. No issues with the dryer; Jason was just doing his scheduled inspection. We know that clogged dryer vents are the number one cause of home fires, so inspecting them is a regular item on our maintenance calendar.

Dryer Vent 3

With something that size in the vent, a clog was inevitable, so removing it promptly in all likelihood saved the homeowner from a serious problem.  Scheduling regular inspections is proactive; removing the nest: preventative.

Dryer Vent 2

Other important preventative tasks that are routine for Glasshouse clients include replacement of HVAC filters, checking the roof for leaks or loose shingles, draining the water heater, and many more. Many preventative steps are very small tasks that head off big repairs. Something as simple as cleaning out faucet aerators can prevent future leaks, not to mention keeping your water cleaner.  Dozens of details like this are what make the difference between scrambling to avoid the bumps in the road and cruising on a smooth interstate.

We’ve Got Proactive Covered, Too

There are times when problems occur that could not have been prevented. Damage to a window or roof due to weather. Overzealous karate students practicing on your drywall. Labradors on a mission to rid your home of drapes.  All of these issues can be addressed by a Glasshouse manager as well. They can do anything that you don’t have the time or tools to do yourself.

Our managers are also proactive, in the sense that they can point out things that can be improved to make your home run more efficiently. As they work with you over time, they will become familiar with your priorities and your budget. They’re a valuable source of know-how and advice on everything related to getting the most from your home.

Glasshouse managers can fill you in on easy ways to help your home stay healthy and hold its value. With scheduled quarterly visits, they become experts on your property. They keep an eye on trends that they observe and let you know about areas of your home that might need attention.  This extra set of specially trained eyes is great for your peace of mind. You have other things to think about.

We know that the role of homeowner is not the only one you play, and you have a limited amount of time and attention to devote to maintenance. Addressing problems early or preventing them altogether is vastly less time-consuming than dealing with a disaster like a flooded laundry room in January or no AC in July. Usually, what takes the time is organizing your maintenance plan and making sure that everything is covered.

This is lack of time, along with uncertainty about what to include, often keeps homeowners from establishing a schedule for preventive maintenance, and as a result important tasks fall through the cracks (which should be caulked as a preventative).

Our clients have recognized the importance of taking control of their home’s condition, and they’re relying on us to see that every component of the property gets the attention it needs.  Get details on our website and contact us with questions.

It’s a very proactive thing to do.