During the warmer months, the average American devotes an impressive 53 hours of manual labor around the house and yard each month, according to one survey. However, when looking to keep the exterior of your home in good working order, there are plenty of maintenance tasks that can go overlooked. From the value in keeping outdoor drains working properly to ensuring that the outdoor dryer vent is clean, here are just a couple essential tasks worth adding to your to-do list.
The importance of maintaining outdoor drains
When looking for outdoor maintenance tasks to ensure your home is properly maintained, outdoor drains are one feature that should always be kept clean. This is primarily due to the fact that clogged outdoor drains can result in flooding, which can become a major issue (and can potentially result in damage), for instance, if the drain is located in a basement stairwell. With that in mind, a variety of factors can result in an improperly working outdoor drain, whether it be a buildup of debris from a storm or lack of cleaning. Outdoor drain maintenance is particularly important in areas that receive a lot of precipitation, including cities such as New Orleans, New York, or Memphis. However, ensuring that outdoor drains are functioning properly is necessary during rainy seasons as well, regardless of location. Central Indiana, for instance, received nearly 19 inches of rain in the spring of 2019, which is higher than what’s considered a normal amount of rain during that period (which is a little over 13 inches), according to one IndyStar article.
For homeowners with outdoor drains, addressing one that is draining slowly can be an easily overlooked task, despite the fact that doing so can prevent a complete clog. While minor clogs can often be addressed in a DIY fashion, it’s essential to use safe methods in order to maintain the integrity of the pipes. For example, it’s important to avoid pouring store bought drain cleaning chemicals down the pipes, as they can often be extremely abrasive (instead, using a store bought snake can present a better DIY option). However, for larger jobs that require professional drain cleaning services may use a professional-grade drain snake or rooter, while tougher, more stubborn clogs may require hydro jetting.
Cleaning the outside dryer vent
Maintaining the outside dryer vent is yet another common chore that goes overlooked, especially when considering the fact that fires that start from clothes dryers that are clogged with lint are “second only to kitchen fires as the leading cause of home fire damage,” notes one article from The Spruce. In addition to emptying the dryer lint screen after every load, maintaining the dryer vent system also plays a role in a properly running dryer. As for how frequently this task should be done, The Spruce notes that the outside dryer vent “should be cleaned and checked quarterly to increase the airflow in your dryer,” further going on to say that “This will speed the drying time for laundry and help prevent moisture problems in your home.” After inspecting the vent opening and the vent itself, it’s noted that removing lint and debris can be done with your hand or a long-handled wire brush.
used with permission from Chestnut Grove Designs
For those looking to ensure that their home’s exterior is properly maintained, there are a variety of tasks to do — some of which may go overlooked. By ensuring that your outdoor drains and dryer vents are cleaned on a regular basis, you can tackle just two tasks that are essential in preventing damage and maintaining the function of your home.