In this article we’re going to look at ten things that often require fixing around the home, that we never quite get around to, and some of the things to check when moving into a new home, in terms of home maintenance.
- Replace Washing Machine Hoses
In the US, around $170 million in damage is caused to homes each year due to washing machine hose failures. According to a spokesman for State Farm insurance company “We advise our customers to inspect their washing machine hoses regularly. Make sure the connections are secure.”
The reason for this is that reinforced rubber and stainless-steel hoses can break, and whilst many are marketed as “burst proof” that’s not always the case, and therefore it’s an important prophylactic measure to ensure they are in good working order, and are replaced every now and then.
The cost is likely to be less than $20, but this investment could save thousands of dollars worth of damage should the hose crack or burst.
- Clean Your Fridge’s Coil
This often overlooked area, behind the fridge, where the metal coils attract dust, pet hair, and other debris can restrict the airflow, causing the fridge to have to work harder which reduces its energy efficiency and reduces its life span. Whilst this is an area few people consider, you can buy a specific refrigerator coil brush, to wipe the coils clean – just be sure to turn the fridge off before attempting to clean it though.
In an ideal world, you want to clean the coils twice a year, and with regard to other tips to keep your fridge functioning at its optimum, ensure old items that are no longer used are removed from the fridge as these block airflow, and adjust the controls of your fridge to meet your needs; as making your fridge too cold uses up a lot more energy and isn’t necessary in terms of keeping your food fresh.
- Get Rid of Tumble Dryer Lint
Did you know that the U.S. Fire Administration have estimated the number of clothes dryer fires to be in the region of 15,000 per year?
The most common cause of these fires is the lint that gathers around the trap and the vent, as this is highly combustible material, and dryers can get very hot. You therefore want to make sure the area around your dryer vent is not obstructed.
- Clean Your Carpets
Carpet cleaning is an incredibly important cleaning routine, as when you think about all the dirt and bacteria that is implanted into your carpet, which is a perfect breeding ground for all sorts of nasties – you want to be cleaning your carpets on a regular basis.
There are solutions such as Chem-Dry carpet care that can make this process more effortless, but no matter how you go about it, this is something you’ll want to do at least once every few months.
Many people presume that vacuuming is enough to remove dirt and dust, but this isn’t always the case as anybody with asthma or allergies can attest to as the dust and pollen that remains in the carpet is what triggers allergies and asthma.
Also changing your carpet can be an expensive activity therefore you want to care for your investment and keep it in a decent condition. This is particularly pertinent if you have animals within your home.
- Stubborn Sliding Doors
If opening and closing your patio door feels more like a workout than a walk in the park, this is probably something you’ve been living with for some time, yet it’s a quick and easy fix that can make your daily life feel a lot easier.
Chances are, there’s some debris that is clogging the track and jamming the patio door wheels. If the situation is prolonged chances are you’ll strain the door or your back, upon tugging the door, as there’s only so much tugging your door can take before it breaks.
- Crumbling Brickwork
Crumbling mortar is often the cause of bricks coming loose and eventually falling out of the wall. This is obviously not what you want, but over time, everything is subject to the process of wear and tear. Therefore, when you notice deep cracks in the mortar you want to take action. Indeed, if you notice that wasps are creating their home in your brickwork, this is a particularly bad sign, and the issue needs to be fixed before it gets worse.
If it’s just a minor mortar repair you can simply grout them; but be aware that new mortar probably won’t match the existing colour exactly – but as it weathers, over time, it will be come a much closer match.
If there are more serious repairs, however, it might be best to call in the professionals, or get out the tuckpointing tools; which consist of devices including angle grinders and plugging chisels – which are required to remove the old mortar (a depth of just under an inch).
It’s important to note, however, that tuckpointing is much bigger repair job than simple grouting and there is the potential to cause serious damage if it isn’t done right. It therefore pays to hire a professional, or get some training, even if this is just by watching a few YouTube clips.
- Snip Carpet Strands
If you’ve ever pulled a thread within an item of clothing, then you’ll know how important this one is, in the sense of the hazardous aesthetic consequences if it is not taken care of appropriately.
This one is easy, in that it just requires a pair of scissors or a craft knife, but it’s suprisingly important. The strands of carpet that stick up higher than the rest need to be down down to align with the others, as if you don’t, you can easily catch one when vacuuming or have a curious child or pet pull on it – which will make it unravel and leave what is known as a run across the floor.
This looks unsightly and is entirely preventable. The basic advice is never to pull a snag, as if you do, you’ll lose the whole line. Simply cut any strands that are sticking up with scissors and the problem is solved.
- Replace Drawer Slides
In a similar vein to the patio door point, if pulling out a drawer has become an arduous task that feels akin to an arm wrestle, it’s only a matter of time before you pull the face of the drawer clean off.
The problem this represents is that of worn out slides (i.e. the parts that allow the drawer to effortlessly glide in and out. This can be a particular problem for kitchen drawers that support a lot of weight.
Whilst it sounds simple, this job can be rather challenging. The reason for this is that it’s a fiddly job to undertake, but once it’s done, you’ll thank yourself, as living with the constant struggle associated with drawers can grate on you.
- Fill Cracks in Your Driveway
The small cracks that naturally appear in asphalt driveways, over time, can feel up with water and freeze – causing much wider cracks. Similarly, grass and weeds can reside in these crevices which looks unsightly.
The first step is to use weed killer, then once the weeds are dead, rake out the crack and consider jetwashing the area in order to remove all debris. You can then fill the crack with a cold patch or crack filler. Then, once you fill the cracks, don’t forget to seal the entire driveway.
- Fix Your Doorbell
There’s nothing more frustrating than people turning up to your home, ringing the doorbell, to find themselves left waiting out in the cold on your driveway – as your doorbell no longer works. Whilst this can be helpful in terms of ignoring cold callers, it can be frustrating if you have delivery drivers turn up to your house and presume you’re not in as nobody is answering the doorbell.