Our home is the story of who we are and a collection of things that we love as a family. Home maintenance may seem a tedious task; however, there are many things that you can do yourself to ensure you family’s well-being and to ensure that your home operates as a well-oiled machine. The home maintenance or home repair checklist primarily addresses safety concerns, efficiency issues, costs savings, preventing damages. Home maintenance is more of a habit than an activity. Here are 14 tips from someone who has been doing it for 50 years.
1. Avoiding clogged drains can be as simple as pouring water down the drain because that is exactly what you would need to do. Mix one cup house vinegar and one cup water and pour it into the kitchen sink, wash basin or the bathtub once a week to effectively keep the drainpipe from clogging.
2. Fixing the squeaky door hinge may be easy but a little cumbersome. All you need to do it is pop out the pip from the door hinge and apply some Vaseline on it. This will reduce the friction when the pin is inserted back, and the squeak is gone at least for a couple more years.
3. The leaky faucets are not only irritating but also the reason for many other problems. The leaked water may further drip into walls and cause moulds or cracks. It is easy to get repair items necessary for leaky faucets at any hardware store and the instructions for replacement are included in it.
4. The furnace filter maintenance is easy to be neglected as it is out of sight in day-to day activities. It is important to understand the location of the furnace filter and crucial to keep it clean or change regularly for an extended life of the furnace and higher efficiency in operation. The filters are required to be changed once in 3 months and it is useful to mark the date when you change it in bold for easy recollection. Always remember to check the direction of air flow and install the filter correctly.
5. Talking about the efficient operation of appliances, you can clean the refrigerator coil and the dishwasher to improve their performance and save on utility bills. The refrigerator coil can be accessed by easily removing the lid at the bottom of the unit and with the use of a duster clean around the coils. To clean the dishwasher, run the machine with one hot water cycle and after half of the cycle add calcium, lime, and rust cleaner, and complete the cycle. The recommendation is to clean the refrigerator coil once a year and the dishwasher to be cleaned twice in a year.
6. Electric power is the primary source of energy for all the appliances we use today. It is essential to know the location and operation of circuit panels in the house. Not only where are the circuit breakers located but also what do they control. You can mark the switches allocated to various parts of the house getting someone’s aide. This will help in isolating the desired appliance and while having to reset a tripped circuit breaker.
7. It is crucial to have a good drainage around the house to avoid basement leaks, growing of moulds or cracks in the foundation. To check the drainage there is a basketball theory – drop a basketball next your foundation and if it rolls away, the drainage is good. If the ball rolls towards the house, you may have problems. If you do not like the basketball just walk around during a rainstorm to see how the water behaves.
8. Water infiltration is biggest enemy of a house owner and understanding basics of outdoor caulking will help you keep down infiltration of air and water. The exterior caulking typically breaks down after a year and it is recommended to check the outdoor caulking once a year as part of preventive maintenance checklist. It is advised to use thermo-plastic caulking because of its excellent weatherability.
9. As important as the exterior one is understanding indoor caulking. It is the key to avoid multiple problems later accumulating over a period. Caulking inside the house would include bathroom caulk at the corners of between two walls and the edge of the wall and the floor. It and seal gaps to give a good life to the house.
10. Another useful item on the list is the location of the water cut-off valve. It is in the water meter box and you may require a special key to access it. The key is available in a hardware store near you. You would need to turn off the valve in case of any break in the pipe.
11. Next item to cross of the list is checking the GFI protected outlets and confirm that they are working as required. The GFI outlets are typically installed in an area subject to moisture like next to outdoor water hose or near the kitchen sink or in bathrooms. The two buttons on the outlets are to test and to reset. Push the test button, if it does not trip it is a safety hazard and needs to be replaced. The outlets need to be checked once every two months.
12. Most of us have the smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors in place. As you may know, these detectors are powered by a set of batteries which need to be replaced at least once a year to avoid the ever-annoying beeps and ensure that the detectors are working fine. Along with this, next thing to remember is that the fire detectors also have an operational life and need to be replaced every 10 years.
13. While you prepare for the event of a fire, one must also check to minimize the cause of a house fire. The dry vent with accumulated particles is a fire hazard and arguably the biggest cause of house fires. Thus, it is imperative to clean the dryer vent and blow the dust through the outlet annually. Subsequently, the hot-water and cold-water hoses also need to be cleaned every 3 to 5 years.
14. Lastly you need to safeguard your house against explosion. Yes, that is correct! A proper maintenance and working safety valve of the water heater keep it from exploding. The water heaters could leak if they are long-standing. The water heater itself needs to be inspected annually by a licensed contractor. However, you can drain the heater to a visible location outside your house. This will avoid pressure build up and help you be safe.
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Worx® blogs are provided for information only and are not a substitute for professional advice. We make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information and will not be responsible for any loss arising out of reliance on the information.