Whether you’re a skilled craftsman or a DIY novice, there are certain skills that every homeowner should possess to help keep their homes in tip top shape. Not that every home is a fixer, mind you, but eventually the sturdiest and newest among them begin to show signs of wear and tear. Most often, however, it’s nothing that a little maintenance or repair can’t make short work of.
So put on your overalls, strap on a tool belt and learn these 5 essential home improvement skills.
- Clogged Toilet – Clogs are a fact of life. And unless there is something wrong with the toilet or the plumbing, they’re pretty easy to fix. All you need is a small bucket, a toilet plunger, and some rubber gloves. If the toilet is in danger of overflowing, quickly shut off the water supply valve and use the bucket to empty out about half the water. Then, using the plunger, give it several quick, forceful thrusts to help break up the clog. If that doesn’t work, poor hot water slowly down the toilet, wait 5-10 minutes, and try again.
- Clogged Gutters – Leaf- and debris free gutters not only ensure that rain water goes where it’s supposed to (away from your home) but prevent water from backing up and entering your home through loose or missing roof tiles. If you can safely do so, place a ladder on stable ground to remove as much debris as you can. For a little added pop, try using a special attachment for your leaf blower or wet-dry vac.
- Leaky Faucets – Leaky faucets are not only annoying, they can waste hundreds of gallons of water each year. If you have one, start by turning off the water supply to the sink and cover the drain to prevent small parts from going down while you dismantle the faucet. If you have a compression faucet, chances are you need a new rubber washer to seal the valve. A washer-less faucet can often by repaired with a new O-ring.
- HVAC Filters – One of the easiest ways to save money on your home heating and cooling costs – and help ensure that your HVAC system is operating at max efficiency – is by cleaning your filters regularly, and replacing them as needed. Choose the right filter for your model and consult the manual for proper replacement.
- Cleaning Hardwood Floors – Keep your hardwood floors looking great by vacuuming them with a hardwood floor attachment on your vacuum. Use a barely damp cloth to clean up spills, and use only those cleaning products specifically designed for hardwood to prevent damage.
While cleaning and replacing your heating and cooling system filters is a good first step in keeping them fit and efficient, it’s not enough. That’s why we invite you to contact Optimum Air Co. for our annual system tune-up and inspection service. Each system (heating and cooling) should be thoroughly checked out at least once a year. If you have system more than 10 years old, you might want to consider twice-a-year inspections until you’re ready to replace it. For more information or to schedule service now, contact Optimum Air Co. in Arlington, providing service throughout the DFW area.