Home maintenance advice you shouldn’t fall for

Key tips to remember

  • Perform regular maintenance on all aspects of your home.
  • Check that your gutters are clear of debris at least twice a year.
  • Don't assume dishwashers clean themselves.
  • Pushing the test button on the smoke alarm doesn’t actually test that smoke will be detected.
  • Cutting your grass extra short won’t save you mowing time.
Maintenance and Repairs

Happy April Fools’ Day! We hope your yearly opportunity to prank your loved ones is going well, but we’re here to remind you that there are some April Fools pranks you shouldn’t fall for. When it comes to home maintenance, beware of the following four myths:

Myth 1: Gutters only need to be cleaned in the fall

Common perception would dictate that you only need to worry about cleaning out your gutters in the fall. After all, that’s when leaves are all over your yard and roof. But the prepared homeowner knows that leaves do not need to be falling off the trees in droves in order to clog up those gutters; there are plenty of other types of debris that can fall during the other seasons and create blockages in your home’s gutters.

Clogged gutters become havens for insects, small critters and mold no matter the time of year, so it’s better to be safe and make sure they are clear and ready to handle those April showers.

Myth 2: Your dishwasher cleans itself

Many people don’t know a dishwasher requires regular cleaning. If it cleans dishes inside itself, it must be pretty clean already, right? Unfortunately, that is not the case. In fact, if left unchecked, debris from food and soap can build up in your dishwasher, creating a home for germs and decreasing the efficiency of your machine.

Even if you can’t see any deposits lingering on the inside of your dishwasher, a simple way to make sure you are all set is to place a couple of cups of vinegar in a bowl in the middle of the bottom rack and run a normal cycle without any detergent.

Myth 3: Pushing the test button is how you check your smoke alarm

We recently reminded you to check your smoke alarm frequently, but you need to make sure you’re doing it correctly. The so-called “test” button may seem like it should ensure that your smoke alarm is functioning properly, but in reality, it only tests your alarm’s ability to make a sound.

That means that while it may still be able to make the sound that drives you crazy, its ability to sense smoke in the room is a totally separate function that may not be working effectively. The only way to actually test that is going the old-fashioned route: Strike a couple matches, blow them out and hold them about a foot below the detector; if the alarm doesn’t sound, it’s time for a replacement.

Myth 4: Cutting grass short allows you to mow less frequently

Mowing the grass an extra couple of inches shorter seems like it might save you from having to do the chore again for a month or two, but the time you save will come at the cost of the long-term health of your lawn.

When you shave that extra grass off your yard, you are leaving it vulnerable to weeds that will be much more of an inconvenience in the long run than mowing. By leaving your grass a couple inches longer, you are encouraging healthier roots and ensuring your lawn remains full and healthy for longer.

So, while today is the time to roll out your cleverest prank ideas on your loved ones, make sure your home isn’t the victim of April Fools’ Day by keeping these things in mind and performing some basic spring maintenance.

As a friendly reminder, make sure to purchase a Cinch home protection plan, which covers a majority of your appliances and built-in systems you use most to help save serious time and money on repairs and replacements. Get a quote today!


The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.