Every household has things that break, clog or need to be repaired, but just because it’s an inevitable part of home ownership doesn’t mean that you’re familiar with handling these basic household maintenance tasks. Here are some handy tips for repairs and preventative maintenance that are worth checking out.
Common Household Tools
Every home should have common household tools available for ongoing use. These tools will be handy for almost every household repair that comes up, and without them it becomes more difficult to do most maintenance jobs.
• Hammer: Every toolbox needs a good hammer.
• Screwdrivers: Nowadays, screwdrivers come in many different types. You can get a simple screwdriver, either by itself or in a set of many, or a simple screwdriver that comes with one basic driver and different sized bits. The sets with a driver and an assortment of bits are easy to store and pull out in a jiffy. These are usually called a 15/1 set. The other screwdriver that you can purchase is a power drill. This will also come with all the bits you will need for most any job. While pricier, power drills are definitely handy to have around.
• Pliers: There are a couple different types of pliers that you should have on hand. One pair that you’ll need is called a channel lock, which will adjust to any size needed. You’ll also want to invest in needle nose pliers, which are handy for getting into small spaces and fixing jewelry, among other things.
Other good tools and supplies in a starter toolbox include a wrench, gloves, safety glasses, a tape measure, a utility knife and a level. All of these things will get put to use.
It’s not uncommon for people to find mold on their walls. This mold builds up because of moisture, so the most common place to find it is in the bathroom. Mold is not only unsightly, but it can also cause respiratory problems, especially in children and people with asthma, so you will want to remove it as quickly as possible.
To clean the mold off your walls, you can mix:
2 gallons of water
¼ cup of bleach
½ cup of laundry detergent
Be sure to wear gloves and use this solution and a sponge to wash the mold off the walls. Once the solution dries, you can go over it with clean water. This will help keep your family safe from mold spores.
One thing that can help to prevent mold is an exhaust fan. Sometimes these fans have buildup in them from dust and lint. Every so often, you will want to take a vacuum hose and clean the dirt out of the vents. This will help the fan run more efficiently, which will help keep the mold out of the bathroom. You will want to run the fan for a good 20 minutes after a shower.
Restore Hardwood Floors
When you have children, you will notice that your hardwood floors tend to get dull and dirty fast. First and foremost, it is best to use preventative maintenance on them. Every so often, go over the floors with a cleaner/polisher. This will help them from wearing out too fast. If they start to get dull and you want to bring back the beautiful shine, use a hardwood floor cleaner/polisher spray on the floor in a small area or on a mop pad, and mop it into the floor. Go over the surface several times. This will restore the hardwood.
Fix Clogged Drains
This can work in your sinks and also in your dishwasher. All you will need is vinegar and baking soda. Use a half-cup of baking soda and just a small bit of water to create a paste that will pour easily down the drain. Pour this mixture down the drain, followed immediately with a cup of white vinegar. You will want to let this sit for 15 minutes. After this allotted time, pour a pot of boiling water down the drain. If it is a stubborn clog, you may have to repeat this process a couple of times.
Install Air Filters
It’s a good idea to check and change your air filters seasonally. This will help keep harmful dust from spreading throughout the house and keep your furnace working more efficiently and for longer. First, you will want to locate your return air grill for the furnace. This is usually in a hallway. There will be two little levers on the top of the door and you’ll need to pull them out or push them down to remove the door. Inside you will find the filter. Take it out. The measurements for the filter are on the old one. Replace and put the door back on. You will usually want to replace the filter once a month, or when very dirty.
Broken Light Bulbs
Many times when going to change a light bulb, it will break inside of the socket. Removing a broken light bulb can pose a danger. A quick fix for this is to microwave a potato until it is slightly soft, but still firm. Take the potato and press it into the broken bulb, then turn. The bulb will come right out into the potato.
Most household repairs don’t have to be complicated fixes. In many cases, they can be repaired in just a matter of minutes with minimal knowledge, cost and tools.