Keeping your real estate investment in Mexico in tip top shape will have its rewards. If you own a condo or a home or if you’re still looking to purchase, keep in mind that maintenance will need to be performed periodically. Paint will dull and chip both in and outside of the structure. Light switches, outlets and fixtures will need attention. Faucets, toilets and various valves will sometimes need to be cared for.
The plumbing and electrical should be inspected periodically to make sure there are no issues. All these components that make your home comfortable need to be given special attention every once in a while. If any of these items falter, it could further damage your home’s structural soundness and even worse, cause bodily injury to you and/or your family. Keeping a well maintained home will eliminate a lot of future headaches.
Mexico homes are different in the fact that they are built to withstand various climatic elements. Unlike the United States where various materials are used, most all of Mexico’s buildings are constructed with brick and mortar, but still, regular attention to preserve its life expectancy is needed. There are other elements in a home that require preventive maintenance as well. I am going to recommend a few simple tasks that will possibly help keep your home fit and sound for decades to come.
Keeping a good coat of paint is a must
This applies both on the interior and exterior on your home. Paint actually serves two major purposes, the first being very obvious and that is to keep your home looking fresh, vibrant and eye appealing. A new coat of paint is recommended every five to six years – depending on your region. Mexico is a very colorful country, so don’t be afraid to use some brighter colors for accent.
The second reason is just as important as the first, and that is to protect the structure’s exterior walls. This also holds true for exterior doors and windows, including their frames and jams. Paint acts as a shield from the extreme heat Mexico experiences throughout the year. Sealing your home’s surfaces helps resist moisture, which can create mold. It can also deter termites that will eat through almost any type of composites to find food and water.
Checking electrical outlets and switches should be routine
If a switch shows signs of movement or doesn’t always turn the electricity on or off, nine times out of ten it’s time to replace it. If an outlet doesn’t hold the prongs from a plug tightly within its slots, again it is probably time to replace the outlet. Make sure that the light switches and outlets are securely fastened to the wall. If the plate moves around, it could cause the terminals to touch something that will short circuit.
Ceiling fans and light fixtures mounted overhead can also create a possible mishap, or even worse, personal injury. They should be periodically checked to make sure that their bases are solidly attached to the mounting bracket embedded into the ceiling. While up on the ladder, check lite globes and covers to make sure that they are fastened tightly. Wiping away excess dirt and dust will keep the mechanics of your ceiling fans operating smoothly. It is also advised to have a certified electrician inspect the home’s wiring – depending the age of the home, every five or so years.
Plumbing problems can be sneaky
Plumbing issues can be hard to detect and when the evidence becomes obvious, it can be too late. Mexico’s water can be filled with lots of calcium and other minerals that can accelerate the corrosion process. Hard water can be devastating to metal and plastic parts. There are ways to curtail and/or elude major repairs. One suggestions is to periodically turn off and on major water valves. This will help keep mineral deposit from forming on moveable parts that control water flow.
Washer-less faucets will last a lot longer than their counter parts that use plastic or rubber seals. This is not to say that mineral deposits won’t collect on washer-less sites, but if used frequently, corrosive build up will less likely happen in shorter periods of time. Toilet tank apparatuses are another notorious setup that will create problems. The seal around plunger can attract build- up and cause water to leak out of the tank. This in turn keeps the fill-valve constantly running. If the fill-valve gets corroded, this could also cause the tank to over fill and spill out on to the floor. Just keep an eye on both components and replace when needed.
Water heaters can be tricky
A plumber or handy man might have to be called in for these few preventative maintenance tasks. Both the inlet and outlet ports can and most likely will experience calcium build up. The inlet port lets the tank refill and begin heating water. If the tank doesn’t fill all the way up, it could cause the element to be exposed and burnout. If the outlet gets plugged or restricted, water pressure diminishes drastically.
If your home isn’t equipped with a filtration system, sediment can accumulate at the bottom on the water heater. This makes the heating element work harder and shortens its useful life. All or any of these three problems could cause serious repair issues or even total replacement. A professional might cost you a few dollars, but in the long run it is well worth it.
Appliances are a necessity…
Keeping them maintained and in good working order saves you lots of time and money. I will outline a few simple ideas on how to extend the three appliances you use most.
- If you have a refrigerator that has an icemaker and/or water dispenser, make sure you replace the filter under according to the manufactures timeline.
- Keep behind and underneath the refrigerator free of dirt and dust. The compressor operates much cooler when it’s not covered.
- Try to keep the refrigerator at least 4 to 6 inches away from the back wall. The compressor needs air flow to stay cool.
- Check all gas lines and valves periodically for leaks.
- Check flame registers and top-plates for clogging debris.
- Make sure all knobs are working properly by holding a lighter to them when shut off.
- Check the heating elements to make sure they are securely fastened to the stove.
- Make sure all drip pans are grease free (Gas stove as well).
- Check wires for peeled back insulation and proper connection.
- Check both the top and bottom heating elements and make sure they are free of caked on food. Use the self-cleaning mode or hand wash when necessary.
- Run a cleaning agent (found at an appliance store or Walmart), or white vinegar on full wash cycle at least once a month.
- Check for small leaks by removing the kick-plate underneath the door. Use a flashlight to scan the floor for signs of moisture.
Taking care of your Mexico property can bring you many years of fun living. These simple suggestions can save you time, heartache and most of all, costly expenses. Live the dream of living in Mexico!
We are experts in helping American and Canadians look for their dream home in Mexico and guide them through the purchasing process safely. At TOP Mexico Real Estate… We make it happen!