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13 Surprising Ways You Could Be Damaging Your Home

April 26, 2022


Home maintenance is something we all have to do on a regular basis to keep our houses clean and functioning properly. We may have habits we’ve been doing all our lives that may just be ruining your home! Here are some surprising ways you could be damaging your home without even knowing it.


Pouring grease down the sink

Grandma used to pour her bacon grease into a can near the stove, where it hardened into a solid. It will do the same thing in your sink and clog your pipes. Pour cooking grease into a container and dispose of it in your trash.

Pouring pasta water down the sink

Pasta water contains starch, which can build up along the walls of your pipes and clog your sink. Take your pasta water outside and give your garden a treat instead.

Dumping coffee grounds into sink

Another item that will definitely clog your drain is coffee grounds. You would think they would easily rinse away, but once wet, they become thick and clumpy—especially if combined with grease. Dumping coffee grounds into your garden helps add nitrogen and potassium.

Countertops & Tile

Using vinegar as a cleaner

Although vinegar can be used to clean some surfaces, it is not recommended for your countertops. Vinegar is an acid that can wear away protective coatings and create rough surfaces. Use products made for granite or marble countertops instead, or clean with a mild soap and water. For tilework, the acid in vinegar can destroy grout, causing it to crumble. Use a grout cleaner when necessary.


Putting bleach in your toilet

Although it’s nice to have a clean toilet, adding bleach or bleach tablets to the tank can be damaging to your home. They can destroy the rubber and plastic parts of the flushing system, causing them to break down.

Floors and Rugs

Not sweeping regularly

Dust, dirt, debris and other particles build up on your wood or tile floors and when walked on, can create scratches. Sweep or vacuum regularly.

Washing hardwood floors

Hardwood floors are porous and can retain moisture, which leads to warping. If washing is required, use only the minimum amount of liquid, and dry the floors immediately.

Washing carpets

Carpets are not meant to be washed, as moisture can be retained within the fibers and create mold. If they become dirty, vacuum and spot clean the soiled areas.


Not cleaning dryer filters

Your dryer lint screen should be cleaned before each use in order to provide optimum drying and reduce the chance of fires. Clean dryer ductwork at least once a year to eliminate lint build-up.

Not changing appliance filters

Your HVAC system, air purifiers and other appliances have filters that can clog up during regular use. For optimal performance, change filters as recommended by the manufacturer.


Letting gutters fill with debris

Your gutters are designed to wick water away from your house in order to prevent damaging your home. When gutters are filled with leaves, dirt and twigs, water becomes clogged. In cold months, this water can freeze, causing it to damage gutters or pull them away from the house, or create ice dams that can destroy your roof and walls. Clean gutters in the spring and fall.

Leaving outside water supplies connected

When cold weather arrives, disconnect outdoor hoses and shut off the water supply. If water remains in the circuit or hose, it can freeze. When it freezes, it expands and can damage pipes and hoses.

Not checking for roof damage

At least twice a year (while you’re cleaning the gutters!) check the roof for damage. Look for broken or missing shingles or tiles, flashing that has separated, mold and stains. These can create bigger problems if not caught early.

See our related post: What Everyone Should Know About Their Home Before there is an Emergency

Protecting Your Home is What We Do at Golden Rule Home Watch

At Golden Rule Home Watch & Concierge, it’s our job to protect you from things that can be damaging your home. And if tips like these help, we’re glad to provide them.

The main focus of a Home Watch service is to watch over your home when you are away for an extended period. That means checking your home for any signs of damage from storms, systems breakdowns, or even criminal behavior. It may also mean helping our homeowners with these regular maintenance items, like replacing filters, taking the car for an oil change, or inspecting roofs. At Golden Rule, you can even employ us for specialized concierge services like watering plants, filling the pool, or preparing your home for your return.

If you have a home in Northern Virginia and would like the peace of mind of knowing that it is being cared for while you’re away, contact Golden Rule Home Watch at 855-928-2424 for a free consultation.