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Home Maintenance

Home maintenance is not about just repairs; it is about maintaining your home. Certain tasks may actually prevent things from breaking in the first place. Things go wrong (it is inevitable that they do), we have some backup plans that you can try before calling a pro. Plumbing and appliances are the most frequent offenders, but also the simplest to care for. There are reliable methods for keeping every part of your home clean, from the gutters to the living room carpet.

The quickest fix is to not have the problem in the first place. Her is a checklist of every item a homeowner or tenant should do regularly.

  1. Test your garage door opener every month to ensure that it will reverse when it hits an obstruction or when the sensor beam is interrupted. This is very important especially if you have children or pets.

  2. Vacuum the clothes dryer’s exhaust duct at least once a year. If the duct is plastic, replace it (it’s a fire hazard). Rigid sheet-metal ducting is the best.

  3. Replace the furnace filter quarterly, or s recommended by the furnace manufacturer.

  4. Test all GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets monthly. Press the test button and use a voltage tester to make sure the power goes off.

  5. Clean leaves and debris from the condenser of a central air conditioner seasonally.

  6. Once a year, vacuum the refrigerator coils underneath the appliance.

  7. Have the fireplace chimney inspected and cleaned annually.

  8. Inspect window and door caulking and weather stripping yearly.

  9. Replace the batteries in the smoke detectors yearly. Remember, even recent hard-wired smoke detectors have backup batteries that must be replaced. If you have never checked yours, please do.

Who likes cleaning gutters?

I have a quick fix to make cleaning your gutters not a chore.

To make cleaning gutters easier and safer (no ladder required) use a long spray wand made from a ½ inch diameter by 10 ft. long PVC pipe. Cut two 6-in. lengths of pipe. Then use PVC cement to join these short sections and two 90-degree elbows with that is now a 9-ft long pipe, forming a J-shaped hook. At the short end of the hook, glue on a solid endcap. Drill three 1/8 in. dimeter holes in the cap. Glue a threaded adapter onto the opposite end if the pipe and attach a garden hose. Place the short end of the J-shaped hook inside the gutter and turn on the hose. As you walk along the house, the high pressure streams of water will rinse the gutter clean.

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