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BanksPhotos/E+ via Getty Images
BanksPhotos/E+ via Getty Images
Your home is a place that is meant to be comfortable for you and your family. Therefore, it’s important that it is properly maintained. There are probably some tasks that need to be crossed off your home maintenance checklist, and who better to do them than you? Here are some DIY home maintenance tips to help you keep your place in tip-top shape.
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Vegetation that grows close to your home can bring pests and encourage water damage and you don’t want your lawn to look like some forests around the world. To trim shrubs, a hedge trimmer with an extended reach can simplify the trimming process and can reach tall hedges and other hard to reach areas. Make sure to cut the thickest branches first.
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It can take a while to discover that a toilet that is leaking. To investigate, add red food coloring to the tank. If you come back later and the water in the bowl is pink, you have a leak.
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Worn-out washers inside your faucet handles can lead to leaky faucets. If you notice yours are soaking your sink, replace by turning off the water supply and unscrewing the leaky handle that controls the flow of the water. Then, remove the washer and replace it with a new one.
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The water supply hose from your washing machine is important because if it leaks, it can cause water damage around your home. They should be checked every year and changed every three years if they are plastic.
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There are some clothing items you need to wash often, and your dryer will get a lot of use. Every time you finish drying your clothes, do not forget to check the lint screen and clean it out. Cleaning your lint screen will prevent fires and will keep your dryer working at its best.
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You should drain your water heater once a year. To clean it, turn off the water supply and the power to the water heater. Then, connect a hose to the drain at the bottom of the tank and put the other end in a place where the draining water will not damage anything in your home. A garden hose is a good fit for the drain. Turn on all hot water faucets in your home and then open the drain valve on your water heater. Then, turn the water supply back on while the drain valve is still open to remove any built-up sediment in the tank. Lastly, close the drain valve, refill the tank and turn the power back on. Keep your water warm because hot water does have health benefits.
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You don’t want a clogged drain interrupting you while washing your dishes. Whether it’s in your kitchen sink, bathroom sink or any other sink in your house, it’s important that all clogged drains in your home are cleaned in order for water to flow through your pipes freely. The first step to clearing a clog should not necessarily be harsh chemicals. First, try hot water and soap to break up anything in the pipes.
It is good to inspect your air conditioner’s condensation hose to make sure that water is flowing freely. If there is water where your condensation line drains, create a drainage path using a garden trowel and line the path with gravel to keep mold and algae from forming in the area.
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The screen around your air conditioner needs to be clean and free of any debris to keep the air flowing. Debris blocking the screen isn’t eco-friendly as it will lead to the unit requiring more power to cool your home. Keeping this clean is a great way to save on your energy bill and save money.
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Changing the direction of your ceiling fans a couple of times a year can increase energy efficiency in your home. When you change the direction of a fan, you change the way the air moves, which in turn more effectively heats or cools a room. In the summer, your ceiling fan should rotate counterclockwise to push cool air down. Many fans come with a remote control that allows you to change the direction of the fan. If your ceiling fan does not have a remote, look for a toggle-switch just below the blades. Flip the switch to change the direction of the fan blades.
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Bathrooms and kitchens can be moist areas that rely on fans to dry them out. Clean the exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen to keep them working smoothly and prevent mold growth.
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When humidifiers aren’t properly maintained, they can be a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. At the end of the winter, drain your humidifier unit and close the water valve so water doesn’t sit stagnant.
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Want to make your home healthier? During your home’s peak usage months, change the air filter in your air unit. Over time, the filter can collect dust and cause problems for those in your home who have allergies.
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To keep up the look of your home, consider repainting the inside of your home. If you are a new homeowner, save paint from your first paint job for touch-ups in the future. Use the leftover paint to cover the paint that has peeled.
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If you have lived in a home for a long time and have raised a family, there might be scuff marks up and down your walls. But touching up wall paint once a year will ensure these marks don’t get out of hand. In the interim, you can try to get scuffs off with a clean eraser or a clean tennis ball.
If your door seals are tight, the amount of energy it takes to keep your food cool is reduced, keeping your refrigerator working efficiently and your favorite frozen foods fresh. To test your refrigerator door seal, close the door on a dollar bill and try to pull it out with the door closed. If you can’t pull the dollar bill out, your seal is working fine. But if you can pull out the bill easily, you should replace the seal. You can go to a home repair store and easily buy a new one.
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If there are coils that are on the back of your refrigerator, it is good to periodically vacuum them to remove dirt and dust. These coils contain the coolant that the refrigerator uses to keep the temperature cold to preserve your food. If they get dirty, your refrigerator may not work properly or could stop cooling altogether.
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Not only is it good to keep your refrigerator full so you always have plenty of food to eat, but keeping it full can also save you money. Refrigerators use less energy when they’re full because there is less air space that needs to be cooled, reducing energy costs. However, steer clear of overcrowding, which could lead to your food not staying fresh for as long as it should.
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Windows are an important part of your home that keep wanted air in and unwanted air out. The caulk line is what keeps your windows in place. If it is dry or cracked, it needs to be replaced. You can remove the caulk with a knife and run a new bead of caulk along the seam.
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It’s important to clean and stay on top of the bathroom because it is one of the dirtiest places in your home. Whether you have grout or caulk as a filler between your tiles in your bathroom, it will show signs of wear over time. If there is any crumbling, peeling or mildew, it should be fixed. If you need to recaulk a tile floor, slowly remove the caulk with a knife or razor blade. Remove leftover caulk with a vacuum. Using a caulking gun, release caulk into the areas where it was removed. Then, clean excess caulk and smooth the lines by dipping your finger in water and running it down the caulk line.
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Clean your gutters once or twice a year by getting on a ladder and removing debris. You can also use a hose or a plumber’s snake to flush the debris from the downspouts.
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If you look around the perimeter of your home, there may be downspouts that have become detached. If that’s the case, water will not get directed away from your home, potentially causing water intrusion and foundation issues. You can buy a downspout extension at many home repair stores to add to your already-existing gutter.
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Clean your home’s siding twice a year to increase the exterior appeal of your home and extend the siding’s life. Cleaning it once in the spring and in the fall with a power washer is good enough to get the job done.
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People often forget to clean the machine that cleans your clothes. Clean it by running it on “extra rinse” or a “clean-out” cycle and adding bleach to sanitize the inside of the machine.
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One of the best and easiest ways to watch out for leaks in your home is to keep track of the water bill you are paying each month. If you compare the cost from month to month and you see that the bill is steadily increasing, you may have a leak. Need to cut costs after paying an expensive bill? Check out these ways to save money on cleaning supplies.
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