DIY Home maintenance may seem complex and intimidating to the uninitiated, and fear that your own attempts at fixing that leaky faucet or drafty window will cause further damage and discourage you from going DIY.
Howevery, having a home maintenance plan can make a huge difference in your DIY plans as well as your experience in taking care of your investment and property. And fortunately for you, Pinpoint has your back when it comes to doing your home maintenance DIY style.
OUR 10-POINT INSPECTION TIPS
1. COMFORT ROOM
Water leaking from your sink, faucet, and toilet can cause extensive damage to your bathroom floor, pipes, and walls without any waterproofing. Try to find out if your toilet, faucet, or shower has a leak by cleaning the room and floor of any water and then come back after an hour or two (while no one has used it) and if there is water, then you have a leak. Alternatively, you can use a food coloring dye on your bathroom water tank, and if you see any food coloring on the floor after an hour, then you have a leak.
If you find that your toilet is leaking, then the flapper needs to be replaced. Shut off the water supply to your toilet by turning the water valve behind it and flush the toilet to empty the tank of any water. Use a sponge to remove any excess water left in the tank then remove the flush chain from the lever. Slide the old flapper up off the overflow tube and slide in the new one. Once you reconnect everything, turn the water supply back on and after a couple of minutes, test the toilet again for any leaks.
Leaky faucets and showers are simpler to handle. All you need to do is buy a pair of new washers because these tend to quickly wear out. To replace them, turn off the main water supply and unscrew the leaky faucet handle that controls the flow of water. Remove the old washer and drop in the new one. For showers, you’d need a new shower head and sometimes including the shower hose as well. Turn off the main water supply and detach the old shower head from the faucet or pump and attach the new one. Always be sure to test everything that you have replaced to see if it works properly and has stopped leaking.
2. WASHING MACHINE & DRYER
One of the top reasons for insurance claims is for water damage caused by leaky water supply lines. Inspecting your washing machine supply lines at least twice a year can save you a lot of hassle and headache over the machine’s lifespan. If you notice that the metal ends of your water supply lines are discoloured or rusty, you would need to replace them immediately.
You can regularly check the tightness of the drain lines by using a crescent wrench or a pair of pliers. These lines should be replace every three years if they are plastic to prevent any tearing of the plastic lines and result to leaks. When it comes to your dryer, it’s important to make sure that you regularly clean your lint screen to increase the life of the heating element and prevent fires. Fabric softener residue also needs to be removed from the screen with warm water as to not clog it and produce dirt in the dryer.
3. WATER HEATER
Have you had to dance in the shower because rather than enjoying the hot water, you instead received ice-cold water? Well, water heaters are just like other appliances that need maintenance to increase the longevity.
There are two main reason that this could happen. Either your water heater has a broken unreplaceable part and needs to be replaced completely, or the sediment inside the water has caused damage to the bottom of your water heater. In the latter case, you would need to drain the water from your heater and clean the inside at least once a year.
To drain your water heater, turn off the water supply and power to the heater. If you have an electric heater, you can simply turn off the power to the machine. Next, connect a water hose to the drain fitting at the bottom of the tank and begin to drain all the excess water inside of the tank. Make sure to open the drain valve on the water heater so that all of the sediment on the bottom of tank would be removed during the process. After draining all of the sediment, close the drain valve and refill your tank before you turn the power back on as well as the main water supply.
A clogged pipe or drain can cause significant damage to your pipes through rust and leaks. In general, clogs are mainly caused by debris or hair. These cause it to clog and eventually leak.
Fats and oils are one of the most common reason for clogs. If you know this is the reason for the clog in the kitchen, you need to run hot water down the clogged drain along with dish washing liquid. This will help emulsify the fat or oil and move it down the pipe. Make sure to repeat this until the water can run freely down the drain.
Hair and paper are also contributing factors to clogged drains mostly in the bathroom. To prevent this, make sure to put a strainer on your bathroom drain and remove any accumulated hair after every shower. This is the main way to prevent any hair to find its way into your plumbing.
5. AIR CONDITIONING
Air conditioners are among the most overlooked appliances when it comes to performing a DIY home maintenance. Over time, all of your air conditioning units can accumulate dust, debris, and clogs. This makes your air conditioner less effective while consuming the same amount of electricity.
To avoid this, you can inspect the condensation hose to make sure that water can flow freely from the line drain. After that, take off the main screen of the air conditioner and take a look at its inside to see if there are any debris or dust. If there is, make sure to clean it with a clean cloth. This prevents your air conditioner from accumulating any more dirt, producing ice on the filter, and using more power than necessary to keep your house cool.
Interior and exterior paint can easily bloat up during rainy seasons especially when you don’t have any waterproofing paint. You can avoid this by doing a paint job every so often to prevent wear and tear from the sun and rain. If you have any leftover paint, you can use this and simply roll the paint over the torn or dirty spots on your walls.
If you don’t have any leftover paint, make sure to inspect which walls need any retouching and eyeball how much paint you would need to your retouching project. If you’re trying to cover up nicotine-stained walls, you need to apply a stain blocker first before proceeding with the paint job.
Modern refrigerators now adays use less energy when it’s full rather than when it’s empty. Therefore, it’s great to keep plenty of items in your refrigerator to help reduce energy costs. But even using this method, you’re bound to have problems with your refrigerator when it’s not maintained properly.
The backside of the refrigerator is one of the most important part to keep maintained. At least once a month, unplug the refrigerator and clean any dirt or dust built up on the filter or coils. Doing this would maintain the internal temperature of your refrigerator efficiently.
The second important part of your refrigerator is its seals. If you notice that cold air seeps through the refrigerator doors while closed or that the doors does not easily seal shut when you close it, then it is time to replace your door seals. The door seals can be purchased from home repair stores.
Drafty windows can cause high energy bills in the summer and winter seasons. You can periodically check the caulk line that holds your windows in place to check if it’s dry, cracked, or weathered. If this happens, you would need to replace the window caulk. Remove the old caulk with a box cutter and run a new bead of caulk along the window seam.
During the winter season, you can also add an insulating window film over the glass to save on your utility bill.
If you have just gone through a major storm or any natural calamity, it’s recommended to check on the condition of your roof. For any damage, discoloration, and gravel-less shingles so it would be repaired without the need to replace the entire roof. Be sure to inspect whether your roof would need repainting after to prevent any leaks from happening.
Gutters are the main line of drainage between your foundation and the road. They are designed to capture water and debris from your roof and divert them away from your foundation. One of the main causes of water accumulation in basements is a lack of gutter maintenance.
Cleaning your gutters once a year by physically removing debris can prevent any damage to your foundation. You can then rinse the gutter thoroughly using a garden hose. Gutter guards are a good way to keep debris off of the drain although the downside of this is that you would need to manually take it off and on again in order to clean your gutter.
Most people disregard the gutter system during a home maintenance because it can be quite a hassle to clean it yearly. So be ahead of the curve and don’t be that silly goose who neglects his / her property.
All-in-all, these are simple tips that anyone could do without having the knowledge of a handyman. If problems still rise during any of your DIY home maintenance, don’t panic. There is always a reason for something going wrong in your house and it’s not your fault. If this does happen, you can quickly contact Pinpoint Property Inspections for a quick solution. We are more than happy to give you a helping hand in maintaining and inspecting your property / investment.
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