You invest a lot of money into your home and you would do everything to keep it in tip-top shape. Home maintenance repairs can appear complex and intimidating. Added to the fear that your own DIY attempts will cause further damage to your home, you might be totally discouraged from doing these tasks yourself.
It is often very tempting to call for professional help in matters of home maintenance. Read here to learn about ways to keep your home in perfect condition if you ever want to sell it. But if you’re not planning to sell it anytime soon, with proper knowledge and time, you can perform proper do-it-yourself maintenance to areas of your home. Here are some maintenance tips that homeowners find useful:
Avoid flooding by testing sump pump
The last line of protection against condensation build-up, water from drains and floods are sump pumps. These are usually located in basements, and it is recommended to test the pumps at least twice a year or every six months.
Here are some of the ways you can work on your sump pump:
- Locate the outside pipe that catches the water it drains from the pump
Check the pipe’s inside to make sure that no debris or dirt is blocking the drain. Remove any of the debris you find.
- Find the sump pump in your basement
- Look for the two electrical cords from the pump to the electrical outlet. One of the cords is connected to the float and the other one is for the pump only.
- Pull the plug from the float and leave the pump cord only and the pump should be running.
- Unplug the pump and plug the electrical cords back into the wall, plugging the float first.
- The pump cord should also be plugged into the float pump’s back.
- Take the lid off the sump crock and test it
Put five gallons of water into the crock. The sump pump should start pumping water from the crock. Check if the pump turns itself off after it pumps from the crock. If your sump pump fails the test, you need to replace it with a new one.
Check for mice nests
Mice are not welcome in any home, and when they make nests in places near your electrical wiring, it can be dangerous. Mice chew on almost everything even those that are inedible including wires and insulation, which could lead to damaged electrical connections, and may result to electrical fires. Thus, it is vital to keep electrical wiring from mice and other pests.
Keep your home mice-free or risk fires and faulty electrical wirings. Mice build nests in enclosed and undisturbed places.
- Check for mice infestation by looking at the following places
- Drawers – unused drawers with paper is a perfect place for a mouse to build a nest.
- Wall voids and voids under floor cabinets – check for holes in the drywall where they could get into these hidden places.
- Ceilings – mice waste can ruin the panels when they build their homes in this place of your home.
- Voids under kitchen appliances and refrigerator motor compartments – check under these areas for signs of mice chewing on wires.
- Garage clutter – enclosed areas filled with debris are welcome invitations to mice.
If your home is positive of mice infestation, use a control solution
- Bait – this is a no-mess solution to eliminate rats and mice. Baits are placed in locations where they usually enter. They contain a poison that will kill the rats in one to two days.
- Traps – there are various traps available in the market. Glue traps can help control mice that do not give you the risk for snapping your fingers. Snap traps are inexpensive and easy to use as long as you are careful in handling them.
Clean dryer vents
Each time the dryer is used, its vent collects a bit of lint, which leads to lower efficiency at cooling down and it will also take longer to dry clothes. Lint build-up can be found in the lint trap but they can also accumulate in the dryer vent and ductwork. This leads to drying efficiency and air flow. Lint can also lead to an increase in humidity levels in the vent causing mold and mildew. Lint is also combustible and is a fire hazard.
Clean your dryer vents using the following steps:
- Empty lint screen. Remove small amounts of lint.
- Unplug the dryer.
- Move the dryer to easily pull out your dryer from the wall to clean its vent.
- The vent is a hole that runs through the wall and there is a tube that connects the vent to the dryer. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws attaching the tube to the wall. Remove the tube from the wall.
- Vacuum the vent and the tube to remove lint.
- Place everything back in place.
Use termite protection
Termites can bring destruction to wooden homes. Without proper termite protection, your home’s foundation is placed at risk of rotting. Termites will most likely stay in dark places like your basement.
- Using a spray can of foam, close any gaps where they could stay.
- Check the wood for signs of damage.
- Check wood for weaknesses using a screwdriver.
- Eliminate them with termiticides.
Keep gutters in perfect condition
You may hate cleaning your gutters out, but maybe the thought of saving money can motivate you to do-it-yourself. Clogged gutters can put a strain on the roof, overflow, and break. They can be filled with ice in the winter and cause straining and thawing damage. Keep your gutters perfectly running by following these steps:
- Climb up a ladder and remove debris from the gutters using a scoop you can purchase from a hardware store or with your hands. Bag the dirt or drop it on the ground for cleaning later.
- Most debris in your gutter is pine needles, twigs and leaves from overhanging trees. Trim trees away from roof and gutter system.
- Consider using gutter covers or gutter guards.
Seal leaky windows and doors
Windows and doors facing outside are more prone to damage and their seals around them can rot away. If this is the case, your heater will consume more energy to heat it sufficiently. Here are different ways to seal leaky doors and windows:
- Use weatherstrips to seal drafty windows and doors.
- Replace old door sweeps with new ones.
- Use a foam tape to seal windows and doors.
- Use foil stripping and rigid foam insulation.
- Use window films.
- Hang insulated curtains.
- Re-caulk your doors and windows.
Having a house is amazing, but it comes with the responsibilities of taking care of it. The given tips would help any homeowner keep his home in perfect condition. Regular inspection and cleaning are needed to keep your appliances and other home features running smoothly. Checking for pests can also help keep your house fire-free and your foundation sturdy.