These Everyday Habits Could Be Damaging Your Home

Taking care of a home is one of the toughest jobs of all time. Any homeowner wants to keep up with maintenance so they don’t run into any dire issues down the road. Unfortunately, there are several things people do every single day that can actually end up doing permanent damage.

Habits such as keeping the blinds open, sweeping up a mess, or using hydrogen peroxide as a cleaning agent can sometimes do more harm than good. Keep reading to see if your daily habits are wreaking havoc on your home.

What Needs To Change About Home Barbecues

someone cooking chicken on a barbecue
Miles Willis/Getty Images
Miles Willis/Getty Images

Something that has been bringing friends and families together for years is the celebratory backyard barbecue. People are able to sit outside and enjoy some freshly cooked food with their loved ones. Even though BBQ grills are considered to be a fun and practical thing to own, they can be dangerous.

People should not place their barbecue right up against their home. The National Fire Protection Association blames both charcoal and gas grills for almost 10,000 fires in the United States every year. Not only can barbecues start fires, but they can also warp and melt the sides of a home.

Bleach Should Not Be Used To Clean This Surface

a clorox bleach bottle on a shelf
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Bleach may be considered a safe all-purpose cleaner by many people, but that is a myth. Bleach is usually used to get rid of stains and should only be placed on certain surfaces. Using bleach on hardwood flooring to remove a stain will end up making the mark even bigger and damaging the wood.

Hardwood floors usually have specific cleansers that will remove any wear and tear and not warp the wood. There are also professional services that will come and remove any dirt, dust, and common household allergens that stick to the floor.

Wet Towels Do Not Belong Here

a woman cleaning a dog with a towel
Guido Kirchner/picture alliance via Getty Images
Guido Kirchner/picture alliance via Getty Images

If your parents ever told you to pick up your wet towel after a shower it wasn’t just because they thought you were a slob. Leaving wet towels on the floor is not a good thing.

Doing this traps moisture on the floor, which can cause it to rot, stain, and warp. According to Amba Products, damp towels make the perfect environment for mold to grow, especially if left in a dark location. Mold and mildew can also lead to serious health complications.

Why Hydrogen Peroxide And Vinegar Don’t Mix

hydrogen peroxide being poured on a toothbrush
Military Art/YouTube
Military Art/YouTube

Some of the most common household items include hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. On their own, they are capable of doing an effective cleaning job, but they should never be combined. When hydrogen peroxide and vinegar are mixed together they create a toxic peracetic acid.

This acid changes the color and texture of soft surfaces and can leave visible chemical burns. People who come into contact with peracetic acid can also develop respiratory issues or skin irritation. Make sure you know the uses for each of these cleansers on their own.

Vacuuming Should Be The Go-To Method For Cleaning Floors

a woman with slippers vacuuming a carpet
Hauke-Christian Dittrich/picture alliance via Getty Images
Hauke-Christian Dittrich/picture alliance via Getty Images

Getting out the vacuum when there’s a mess on the floor may seem like a huge chore, especially if a broom will quickly sweep it up. But constantly relying on a broom or mop to clean floors can actually shorten their lifespan. This is why you should start with a vacuum.

Vacuuming prevents the microscopic particles, dirt, and dust from spreading along the floor’s surface. In order to get the most out of your vacuum, you can try some clever hacks such as using a box cutter to remove hair from the brush roll or adding cinnamon or vanilla powder to the vacuum bag to leave a sweet aroma.

Remember To Regularly Close The Blinds

a man looking through blinds
Stuart Palley for The Washington Post via Getty Images
Stuart Palley for The Washington Post via Getty Images

During the day it may be tempting to let the light in through the blinds, but there’s an important reason they shouldn’t be left open all day. The harsh UV rays that come through the windows can damage your flooring by causing premature fading and discoloration.

To avoid damage, flooring experts recommend either closing the blinds before you leave for the day or covering them with blackout curtains. It’s also crucial to clean and dust your blinds regularly, either with a vacuum or with a microfiber cloth or duster.

The Right Way To Place A Nail In The Wall

Woman using a hammer to bang a nail into a wall
Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

All homeowners should have a stud finder readily available. Nailing something to the wall is not an easy task and nails should only be placed in studs. If this is not done, the sheetrock or plaster that covers the studs won’t offer enough support.

When nails aren’t placed on studs the wall can break open and the items that were hanging could fall and break, even accidentally hitting any people below. Using a stud finder is relatively simple. It will beep every time it hovers over a stud, so you can always find the best place to drill the nail.

Unruly Vines Need To Go

a house covered in vines
Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty Images
Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty Images

While vines may make a house look like an enchanted cottage straight out of a fairy tale, they can end up doing some damage. Vines have the capability of ruining the structure of your home. They can trap water, vermin, and insects inside and spread to unwanted areas of the exterior.

If you choose to keep vines on your home they require extra attention with consistent care, pruning, and upkeep to prevent them from running rampant. They can rot wood, wear off the exterior decor, and grow rather quickly.

Gutters Need All The Attention They Can Get

a man on a ladder cleaning the gutters on his roof
Marlin Levison/Star Tribune via Getty Images
Marlin Levison/Star Tribune via Getty Images

One part of the house to never neglect are the rain gutters. Some may think they only seldomly need to be cleaned, but that couldn’t be more wrong. Debris, dirt, and other outside particles fill up the gutters and block them from letting the water flow.

If the gutters are blocked it can lead to water damage in the home, cause the gutters to fall from the extra debris, or exterior wood to rot from prolonged exposure to moisture. Gutter experts recommend cleaning them at least three times per year.

Don’t Pour This Down The Drain

a man washing dishes in the sink
Alex Kolomoisky/AFP via Getty Images
Alex Kolomoisky/AFP via Getty Images

There are plenty of substances you shouldn’t stick down the drain, but one that can really do some damage is cooking grease. This includes any type of oil, fat, or grease because they will solidify to form blockages in the pipes. Not only does this create issues within the septic system, but it’s also horrible for the environment.

Instead, try and pour any of the remaining grease or oil into another container that won’t go down the drain and scrub the dish with soap and water outside of the sink.

This Needs To Be Done To The Water Heater Every Year

a water heater inside a garage
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Something that everyone needs to do to their water heater every year is have it drained. Not doing this could potentially cause a huge disaster. The mineral deposits in the water heater can form a thick, crusty coating and when that chips off, it can clog faucets, drains, and the water heater valve.

Also, not draining your water heater can cause the inner lining of it to crack, which would require you to replace it altogether. The DIY Network warns that the water will be scalding hot, so it’s best to turn the thermostat down and shut off the water supply before opening the drain valve.

Make Sure You Know How To Properly Install Cables

Electrical wires hanging out on a wall
Sally-Ann Norman/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images
Sally-Ann Norman/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

Sometimes the only way people can use utilities such as television and internet services is with cables that are drilled in through their home’s exterior. This is a job that should only be done by professionals. If they’re installed wrong it can lead to major problems.

Experts advise that an experienced maintenance person should do this job because an improperly sealed wall can slowly and invisibly rot the wood framing and attract damp wood termites. Although there are plenty of video tutorials on running cables through walls, the job is tougher than it looks.

Always Shower With This Feature On

someone installing an exhaust fan
Trendy Ideas/YouTube
Trendy Ideas/YouTube

There’s a reason why many bathrooms have exhaust fans on the ceiling. When you take a shower, the room fills with moist air, which can cause mold, mildew, and other damage to the interior. Running an exhaust fan during and after a shower can prevent that hot, damp air from sticking around.

It’s important to keep the fan on for a little while after the shower because most of the moist air is still in the room and it thrives in darkness. Another way to reduce humidity is to keep a window open in the bathroom.

You May Have Been Cleaning Your Carpets Wrong

a man cleaning the carpets with a special vacuum
Jeff Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Jeff Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

It’s crucial to regularly clean your carpets in order to protect them from dirt build-up, stains, and more. Vacuuming sometimes isn’t enough and people have to use special cleaners such as shampoos to get a good result. While shampoo usually does a great job of cleaning up the carpet, using too much can produce some negative results.

Overdoing it on the carpet shampoo might cause mold to grow because of the excess moisture. One way to prevent this from happening is to vacuum up as much as you can to remove any damp spots on the carpet.

Outdoor Extension Cords Can Be Tricky

orange extension cord and headphones outside on the grass
Adam Lacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Adam Lacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Plenty of things need to be plugged in outside with extension cords. Those who aren’t familiar with the different types of cords may not know that only certain ones are suited for outdoor use. Technical experts explained that extension cords that don’t belong outside have the capability of causing a fire.

If you’re wondering how to tell if an extension cord will be safe outdoors, make sure to check for the letter “W” printed on the cord jacket. Also, remember to never cover an extension cord because it can cause it to heat up and become a fire hazard.

Don’t Let The Lights Flicker

a person changing a light bulb
Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images
Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

People are bound to see some flickering lights in their homes and think it’s a normal occurrence. If it keeps happening it’s something that should never be ignored. Letting flickering lights go unchecked can be a big issue because it could be an early warning sign of dangerous wiring problems.

There are a couple of ways to make sure the wiring isn’t messed up. First, check to see if the bulb is screwed on correctly. If it seems to be fine, call an electrician who can inspect the wiring in your home.

How To Keep Your Kitchen In Tip-Top Shape

the inside of a kitchen with a stove, exhaust hood, cabinets, and sink
Quick Image/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images
Quick Image/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

Anyone who has a stove in their kitchen should make sure there’s a vented exhaust hood directly above it. Exhaust hoods get rid of the smoke and other cooking smells to help purify the air in your home. They also remove moisture left by cooking fumes, which can damage your kitchen.

If you have windows in or near your kitchen, be sure to open them to allow for cross-ventilation. This reduces moisture, smoke, and improves the indoor air quality almost as effectively as a vented exhaust hood.

What To Do Before Remodeling Your Home

Cabinet maker Brian Nilsen
John Patriquin/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images
John Patriquin/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Remodeling a home can be such a rewarding experience because the homeowner has a lot of control over how the house will turn out. Not doing research beforehand can lead to major trouble. Certain remodeling projects require permits and not having them can lead to heavy fines, shut down of all construction, or having the house torn down completely.

Not having the proper workers doing the remodeling can also lead to severe structural damage to your home, which can cause foundation problems over time. Some tips for a seamless remodel include making a proper budget, having a clear vision, and to know who you’re hiring.

The Proper Way To Protect Your Attic

two people inspecting the insulation in an empty attic
Melanie Stetson Freeman/Getty Images
Melanie Stetson Freeman/Getty Images

While not everyone has an attic in their home, those who do need to take proper care of it. Leaving an attic uninsulated is a set up for trouble. And Energy Star found that at least a quarter of a home’s heat is lost through an uninsulated attic.

Failing to insulate the attic creates serious risks such as burst pipes, weather-related damage, and an increase in electrical bills. Not only does insulation keep heat in the house, but it also cools it off during the warmer months. Insulation will prevent you from overusing the air conditioner and the heater.

Get Your Fireplace And Chimney Cleaned

two men cleaning a chimney
Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Some may not think to clean certain areas of the house and that can potentially create larger issues. Both chimneys and fireplaces need to be regularly cleaned. Chimneys get a build-up called creosote, which can cause a fire and bad indoor air quality.

Not only do fireplaces need to be cleaned, but they also need to be inspected. Inspectors look at the venting system to check for dirt, blockages, cracks, leaking chimney flues, and whether it was installed correctly. If you don’t know what you’re doing when it comes to chimneys and fireplaces, please hire a professional.