After months of winter, and COVID -19 lockdown, our homes are due for some sprucing and maintenance.
Investing in repairs and upkeep projects around your house will save you money by ensuring any problems in the home don’t get too serious to the point you have to replace items. You also maintain and increase the value of your home by keeping up with repairs ensuring everything is always in great shape.
Many home maintenance projects are easy to do and will not break the bank. Here are a few budget home maintenance and repair projects you can do to keep your home in tip-top shape.
1. Replace worn-out caulk and weather stripping
Caulk prevents water and air leakage in a lot of areas around the house. It is used around sinks, tubs, windows, and doors as a sealer.
Caulk around tubs and sinks prevents water from seeping into the surrounding walls. While around windows and door frames, it prevents draft, keeping your heating costs low.
Composite doors are made from a solid composite material that has the look, feel and weight of solid hardwood without the rot, split or crack!
If you find areas around the home where caulk is dried out and cracking, you should scrap it off and replace it with fresh caulk. To keep the areas around the sinks and bathtubs sanitary, you can also apply some antimicrobial film.
Replace worn out weatherstripping around your doors and windows and weatherstrip other gaps in your home, such as around your air conditioner.
If weatherstripping is too expensive, you can use caulk to seal the drafty areas around doors and window frames. You can also apply insulating window film on your window panes to improve insulation.
2. Clean out your water heater
Sediment builds up after some time and may damage the water heater floor. Here’s how to clean it out;
- Turn off the power and the water supply. For electric water heaters, turn off the power by switching the circuit breaker to off. To turn off a gas water heater, switch the thermostat to the pilot position.
- Once you turn off the power, connect a water hose to the drain and let the water flow out to an area outside the house where it won’t cause damage.
- Turn on all hot water taps in the homes to get rid of any remaining water in the pipes. Open the drain valve in, and then turn the water back on to flush out any sediment at the bottom of your tank.
- Once the water tank is clean, close the drain valve, let the tank fill up, and put the power back on. Your water heater is now clean and ready to go.
You can also wrap a fiberglass insulation jacket around your water heater to insulate it and foam insulators on your hot water pipes. Insulating your heater and water pipes prevents heat loss and cuts down on heating costs.
3. Change your filters
The filters in your air conditioner should be changed regularly to ensure it is working efficiently.
Air conditioner filters trap a lot of dust and germs that, if left there for a long time, can trigger respiratory illnesses. A dirty filter will prevent the air conditioner from working at its best and force it to use more power than necessary.
To replace the filters in your air conditioner;
- Turn off the power from the main.
- Unscrew front of the AC grille and remove the cover. You will find the filter behind the cover.
- Remove the old filter and replace it with a new one.
- Replace the cover and put the power back on. Check to see if the AC is working properly and if so, you’re done.
You should also check the condensation hose in your air conditioner and make sure it drains water out properly.
Don’t allow the condensation to build up around the area where the hose drains; it can lead to mold build-up, which will be pulled back into your home by the AC. Instead, create a drainage path for the water from your condensation hose using these suggestions.
4. Unclog the drains
The build-up from your drains can clog up your pipes. Some of the dirt that clogs up drain pipes includes grease, food, hairs, and other dirt particles. If you don’t unclog your pipes regularly, they can get smelly and even back up your drainage system.
A simple way to unclog pipes is to pour hot water with dishwashing soap down it. The soap and hot water will clean out any build-up, such as solidified fats.
If the clog up is due to hair particles and other waste that cannot be flushed down the drain, start by using a drain snake or old hanger to remove whatever is clogging up the drain. If it still remains blocked, use a plunger to move things along and finish off with some hot water to clear the drains and push any remaining waste away.
You could also flush the drains with some baking soda and white vinegar. Pour a cup of baking soda down the drain and follow it with a cup of white vinegar. You will notice some fizzing. Leave it for about an hour, and then pour in some hot water. Your pipes will be squeaky clean.
5. Fix leaky taps
People take leaky taps for granted, but they can lead to the loss of a lot of water. It’s easy to fix leaky taps; you only need to replace the washer and O – ring inside the tap handle, and the problem is fixed. Here’s how;
- Before you fix a leaking tap, shut off the water supply from the isolation valve under the sink. Drain any remaining water from the taps until the line is empty.
- Next, plug up the sink to keep any part from dropping down the drain. Also, remember to arrange the parts in the order you remove them so that it’s easy to put the tap back together after you are finished.
- Remove the cap with the words hot or cold with a flat head screwdriver and take off the tap head. Underneath, you will find the brass valve which holds the stem and handle together. Remove the brass valve using an adjustable spanner.
- Once the brass valve is out, you can unscrew the stem’s handle using a wrench. Remove the stem, and you will find a washer and O- ring beneath. Replace the old washer and O-ring with new ones remembering to apply plumber’s grease or WD-40 on them before replacing them.
- Lastly, screw back everything in the order you removed them, and your tap is fixed. You can now turn the water back on with no fear of dripping. If the problem persists, then you can contact a plumber for help.
What home maintenance projects are you working on?
If you love your home and are keen on its upkeep, maintenance projects should be right up your alley. To make it easier, use these home maintenance apps to keep on top of your projects.