When it comes to home maintenance, you don't always have to call in the pros. There are a number of smaller jobs that need to be done around the house that even those new to DIY-ing can handle themselves. Save some money and gain a little practical know-how with these DIY home maintenance tasks!
This is one DIY home maintenance task even neophytes can attempt. The idea behind caulking your windows is to form a tight seal that keeps out leaks and drafts. As the winter months approach, no one wants cold air rushing inside! Caulk that you use on interior windows should be paintable and not emit any toxic fumes; paintable latex is ideal. For humid rooms, look for an interior caulk that is both waterproof and mold-resistant. Start with a trip to your local home improvement store, then watch a how-to video for helpful pointers on mastering technique. Style-wise, the goal is caulking that blends in with the window and is unnoticeable.
A leaky faucet in the house is an annoyance, to be sure, but it's also a relatively easy problem to fix! In most cases, the cause is a worn-out washer, that little rubber ring located inside the handle of your faucet. Start by turning off the main water supply, then unscrew the handle that controls the flow of water to the leaky spout. Remove the old washer, place a new one inside, reattach the handle and turn your water back on. Washers wear out quickly, so knowing how to replace one can save you on unnecessary repair calls. Repairing a leaky faucet is something every aspiring DIY home maintenance guru should know how to do!
One of the easiest DIY home maintenance jobs you can do is replacing the air filter in your central heating and air conditioning unit. This should be done on a regular basis, as it affects the quality of the air you are breathing indoors. You'll want to put in a new filter every six months at an absolute minimum, though if you have pets or anyone in your home has allergies or asthma, replacing every 30 to 90 days is ideal. Another thing to think about is the time of year. If you are running your HVAC system pretty much constantly, i.e. during the depths of winter or the height of summer, it's a good idea to install a new filter every 30 days. Thankfully, this doesn't cost much; using the less expensive fibreglass filters is perfectly fine! Clean filters reduce the strain on your HVAC system, allowing it to heat or cool your home effectively, and keep everyone breathing clean.
This is one DIY home maintenance job most of us never even think of! If you have a refrigerator that has condenser coils underneath or along the back, these need to be vacuumed periodically to remove the dirt and dust that builds up over time. These coils actually perform a very important function; they contain the coolant your fridge uses to keep its internal temperature cold. If they get too dirty they don't work efficiently and you may notice your refrigerator doesn't cool as well. At least once a year, pull your fridge away from the wall and use a vacuum hose to get rid of all that dust from the condenser coils. Not only will it help your fridge work more efficiently, it could help extend its life!
Did you know that there is an easy way to check if your toilet has a leak? Using just a few drops of food colouring, you can tell if any water is leaking from your toilet's water tank into the bowl. It's a quick, super simple way to diagnose a potential issue. Why bother, you ask? A leaking toilet can cause your water bill to increase, damaging the floor surrounding it, or disrupt its internal workings, and no one wants that! To find out, put a bit of liquid food colouring into the tank, give it about an hour, then come back to see if any colour has leached out into the bowl below. If it has, you'll need to replace the flapper located inside the tank—a problem that can be solved with a quick trip to your local home improvement store. If you notice water leaking out around the base, however, you'll need to buy a brand new toilet.
Once you've tried your hand at some simple DIY home maintenance jobs, you'll probably find you're ready to take on even more challenges. Thanks for reading and don't forget to follow the Marina Homes blog for more great home maintenance tips!