(This article originally posted on Home Business Magazine)
We’re all aware of the perils of neglecting car maintenance. It conjures up thoughts of standing on the roadside (maybe in the rain) next to our disabled car, smoke pouring out from under the hood, contemplating our bad luck.
Of course that scenario has less to do with luck than it has with a lack of prevention. We’re all going to deal with car trouble from time to time, but we can drastically reduce the frequency by following the common wisdom when it comes to regular maintenance.
There’s a tendency for many people to postpone or neglect maintenance. It’s easy to do, because it’s only the potential for a problem that motivates us to take action. Preventive maintenance is done when everything is running nicely.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?
This is the kind of thinking that can lead to great inconvenience and astronomical repair bills. Avoiding these is reason enough to get your car on a regular maintenance schedule.
All of this applies to home maintenance as well, and if anything, caring for your home and its systems should be an even higher priority than caring for your car. After all, your home is likely your most valuable investment.
Still, most homeowners don’t take a systematic approach to maintenance. For your car, you likely have an owner’s manual that outlines important the preventive maintenance the vehicle needs, with recommendations for frequency. But many of us don’t have a similar outline of good home maintenance. Often, skipping good maintenance practices is more a matter of not being aware of them, rather than deliberate neglect.
There are many similarities between car maintenance and home maintenance. The main point to understand is that neglecting either will end up costing you more in the long run.
Here are a few other considerations:
One thing that preventive maintenance does for us to enhance our safety. Poor car maintenance causes thousands of wrecks every year. For example, not getting regular brake inspections can lead to brake failure and very dangerous situations on the road. Additionally, not replacing worn pads (a fairly cheap job) can lead to damage to rotors or drums, which are costly to replace.
By the same token, neglecting regular inspections in the home can be dangerous. Faulty wiring causes hundreds of fires in homes each year, and these would be prevented quite easily with regular inspections.
Safety in the home can also be compromised if minor repairs are postponed. A loose banister can lead to a fall, and clogged dryer vents can start a fire. Scheduled maintenance helps us stay ahead of these unsafe conditions.
One positive effect of good maintenance is a longer lifespan. For your car, it means that the vehicle is useful to you longer, and also that it holds its value for the time when you want to trade it in.
The same holds true for your home, and the investment represented is considerably higher. Keeping your home in top shape, with all systems running efficiently, will extend its life. For example, maintaining a tight roof and inspecting it regularly keeps water from getting into places it shouldn’t. This prolongs the life of the entire structure.
#3: Higher Costs
The bottom line here is overall costs. Yes, you can save $50 now by not having your oil changed, but you will end up paying that $50 and much more later. This simple maintenance task helps prevent wear on all parts of the engine, and without it you could eventually face the costly task of replacing the entire engine. Rotating and inspecting the tires makes them last longer, fixing a small leak can save you the cost of replacing valves –the list goes on.
The point is, you don’t have to know all about cars to know that recommended maintenance is sound advice. If you follow reasonable guidelines set forth by the manufacturer or a trusted mechanic, you can save a huge amount of money –not to mention roadside anguish- over time.
Making it Work with Glasshouse
It’s every bit as important to keep up with the preventive maintenance your home needs. You may not have in depth knowledge of all of your home’s systems –that’s not required. What you need is the knowledge that preventive maintenance means regular, routine checks and inspections that find and fix small problems before they become real headaches.
Learn about what Glasshouse can do to help fit this into your busy life. We’re a trusted mechanic for your biggest investment.