Home Maintenance Tips

It’s the weekend and you have a whole list of household chores to do, but keeping your home in good shape is important. Taking good care of it with regular maintenance is necessary to maintain its value and ensure it will provide a comfortable, safe shelter for you and your family.

Here is a list of home maintenance tips and chores you may have overlooked:

Interior
  • Forced-air furnace filters need to be changed at least every three months during the heating season.
  • When you have a faucet that is leaking, the washer on that facet usually needs to be replaced.
  • You should run cold water through your garbage disposal.
  • You can use a plunger and a plumber’s snake to unclog your drains.
  • You can use a coil spring-steel auger to unclog a toilet.
  • The aerator (the screen inside the end of the faucet) needs to be cleaned every three to four months.
  • The fire in your fireplace should be built on the andirons or grate, never on the fireplace floor.
  • Throw in a handful of salt into your fireplace to prevent soot and add color to the fire.
  • Concrete sealer helps keep unpainted concrete floors easy to keep clean.
  • You can clean hardwood floors with water when the floors have a polyurethane finish.
  • Hardwood floors need to be waxed periodically when they do not have a polyurethane finish. You can use a liquid or paste “spirit” wax.
  • Water emulsion wax is the best polish for vinyl floors.
  • Noisy water pipes should be fixed promptly - the condition that causes noisy pipes may be accompanied by vibration that can cause fittings to loosen and leak.
  • Frozen pipes should be thawed slowly to prevent the formation of steam, which could cause the pipe to burst.
  • To ensure your safety, smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries should be checked regularly to make sure they are operable.
  • You should use spackling to fill nail holes and cracks in plaster walls and gypsum wallboard.
  • Efflorescence is a white powdery substance that sometimes appears on masonry walls. It is crystallized soluble salts that can be removed by scrubbing with water and a stiff brush.
  • To help a window slide easily, rub the channel with a piece of paraffin.
Exterior
  • Moving parts of garage doors should be oiled every three months. 
  • You can use cat litter or sand for traction on icy sidewalks, steps and driveways; never use salt because it damages the pavement.
  • Your roof should be inspected by a qualified roofer every three years.
  • Skylights should be inspected each time your roof is inspected so leaks don’t develop from cracks and interruptions around its seals, caulking and flashings.
  • A simple solution you can use to wash extremely dirty exterior windows is equal parts of vinegar and water. Use a piece of crumpled newspaper to wash the glass to avoid lint left behind by paper towels.
  • Inspect your siding yearly to see if wood-sided homes need to be repainted; check to see if the caulking around the windows and doors has split and cracked, and replace if needed; clean the mildew; trim shrubbery away so it does not touch the siding.
  • Your firewood should be stored outside and away from your house and not directly on the ground.