It is tempting to go online to hire a technician (electrician, plumber, locksmith…) when we need to do some repairs or maintenance work in our home instead of doing it ourselves.
Because home repairs can seem complex at first for those who are not used to them, who often think that in the end, due to their lack of knowledge, they could cause damage instead of fixing it. A thought that ends up discouraging do-it-yourself work.
However, having a home maintenance plan can help you save a lot of money. And, fortunately, these are simple tasks that do not require technical knowledge or specialist training, nor a great deal of time or money.
Simple home maintenance tips
Cleaning up. Water leaks in a toilet not only cost money, but can end up causing serious damage to the bathroom floor and the toilet to deteriorate more quickly. To find out if the tank is leaking, add a little red dye to the water and come back in an hour.
If the water in the bowl is pink, you have a leak. In this case, you will have to replace it. First turn off the water supply to the toilet, remove the tank lid and flush the tank completely. Remove the chain flush with the lever and slide the trap into the cistern tube. Place the new flap in place over the cistern tube, reconnect the chain and open the water supply again.
Taps. The main cause of leaking taps is worn out washers. The washers are found inside the faucets and, because they are made of rubber, they tend to wear out quickly. To replace them, turn off the water supply, unscrew the leaky handle that controls the flow of water to the nozzle, replace the washers and turn the water back on.
Washing machine and dryer. It is important to make sure that the washer’s water supply hoses are not leaking from time to time. One of the main causes of home insurance claims is damage caused by washing machine leaks. Check them every year and change them frequently. However, if you find that the hoses are discolored or rusty, replace them immediately.
For the dryer, it is important to clean the filter periodically to prevent lint build-up from causing a fire. This will also extend the life of the machine.
Water heater. There’s nothing more frustrating than turning on hot water and only getting cold water. Heaters also need maintenance to operate efficiently and minimize the number of breakdowns.
At least once a year, it’s a good idea to drain the water from the heater and clean the surface of the interior. To drain the heater, turn off the water and power supply to the heater. For electric water heaters, you need to turn off the light and for gas heaters, turn the thermostat pilot light setting.
Then connect a water hose to the bottom of the tank and place the other end somewhere where the water will not cause damage. Turn on all hot water taps in the house and then open the drain valve. Refill the tank and turn the power supply back on.
- The accumulation of fats and oils is the main cause of blockages in the pipes, so we must avoid dumping these types of substances. If we do so by accident, it is important to turn on the hot water and pour in some detergent.
- Placing a strainer in the bathtub drain is the best way to avoid blockages caused by hair. This will reduce the amount of hair in the pipes.
- To unblock the drain, avoid chemicals, which can cause damage that leads to expensive repairs. Make better use of a snake leak to remove the blockage.
Air conditioning. Air conditioners are often one of the most overlooked devices in the home. However, regular maintenance is necessary, as a breakdown can be much more expensive.
Check the condensation pipe to make sure that the water can flow freely and that there is no mould that could block it and endanger your family’s health. Also check that the screen of the appliance through which the air flows is clean to reduce energy consumption.
Painting. You can give your house a facelift with a good coat of paint. The problem is that painting the whole house at once is very time consuming and expensive. That’s why it’s advisable to plan this task so that you can do some work from time to time. Save paint of every kind so that you can touch it up in the future.
The fridge. The main element of the refrigerator is the sealing of the doors. If we manage to keep them tightly closed, we will avoid unnecessary energy consumption and premature wear of internal parts. To check that they work properly, put a 5 euro bill in the refrigerator and try to take it out with the door closed. If you don’t manage to do this easily, you will know that the sealing is perfect. Otherwise, it’s time to change the seals.
Windows. Advantage slits can make cold air enter the room. This is the main reason for high energy costs in winter and summer. Periodically check the condition of the joints and if they are deteriorated, apply a new layer of putty.
Roofing. Make sure from time to time that there is no damage to the roof. If we don’t, we may be faced with a major construction project in the future, with the cost that this entails. Pay particular attention to the tiles around skylights, ventilation areas and chimneys, as these are areas more prone to leakage.