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Home Up Keep Tips And Secrets

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SHOWER ENCLOSURES – there are small drain holes located on the inside bottom metal frame that the glass sits in. These holes allow water to drain from the inside of the frame. Be sure they do not get blocked. Keep them open. Clean them out by inserting a small screw driver or paper clip.

Also, regularly inspect your shower and tubs walls for cracks and openings where water can get behind the tile and cause big problems. Caught early enough these can be caulked to prevent major damage.

GARBAGE DISPOSAL – with the water running, slowly feed a pan full of ice cubes thru the disposal . This helps keep the blades sharp, cleans out the grinding chamber and can even dislodge a small foreign object jam.

The new Evolution garbage disposer by Insinkerator is an outstanding unit.
STAINED CABINETS AND WOODWORK – stained woodwork can get scratched and dinged. Easily make them look like new by getting a small can of minwax stain (color close to the color of your woodwork) and put a little on a paper towel and rub into the scratches and nicks. Wipe off the excess with a clean paper towel. 80-90% will disappear. Careful . . don’t spill any. If you want to you can go the extra and apply a coat of sealer.

FLOURESCENT LAMPS – bulbs that have blackened ends should be replaced as they put a damaging, heavy load on the ballast. If you are replacing lamps frequently this is an indication the ballast is bad and should be replaced.

WASHER – replace older rubber supply hoses with high quality burst-proof stainless steel reinforced hoses.

DOORS CLOSE BY THEMSELVES – remove the hinge pin, place it on a solid surface (concrete) and with a hammer hit it sharply in the middle of the pin and it will bend slightly, reinsert into the hinge and the door should hold. If not, do the same to a second hinge pin.

DOG DIGGING IN THE FLOWER BED?? I know this has nothing to do with home repair, but, if your dog digs in a place you do not want it to, simply bury some of it’s own feces (yes, poop) just under the surface of the soil and your dog will immediately stop digging there. Well, maybe yard repair.

TOILET SELECTION – Thinking about replacing an existing toilet? Be sure to look into the newer toilets with the Class 5 flushing system. These have an aggressive flushing action that virtually eliminates clogs. The Drake made by Toto and the Cimarron made by Kohler are two I have installed and work exceptionally well.

YARD WATERING – Most sprinkler system controllers allow for programming of more than 1 start time. Instead of watering a zone for say 20 minutes, break it up into two 10 minute watering sessions. This allows the first watering session to soak in before the second occurs. The result is less runoff .

HOSE REELS – If you would like a professional quality water hose reel check out these made by Rapid Reel, just click here. Of course I would love to install it for you.

ATTIC STAIR – There are 16 nuts/bolts holding the stair sections together at the joints and 2 at the top. Keeping these bolts tight.will extend the life of the ladder and make it much steadier when used.

REFRIGERATOR COOLING FINS – All frig’s have cooling fins (usually underneath or at the top (sub-zero) and are accessible thru a removable cover). Over time these fins become clogged with dust/dog or cat hair. This causes the appliance to become VERY inefficient and results in high energy cost. The best way to clean them is with an appliance cleaning brush (a 3′ long skinny brush) and a vacuum cleaner. Locate the fins (may be best to power off the frig first), while working the dust off the fins with the brush run the vacuum at the same time to help control the mess. You will be surprised how much less the compressor cycles on/off.

Replacing wood trim (exterior) – ever notice that most rot on boards occurs at the end of the board? When you cut a board and look directly at the end of the board what you see is called “end-grain” and it acts like a sponge when it gets wet pulling moisture into the board. Over time this process rots the end portion of the board. SOLUTION: when replacing trim boards take 10 seconds and seal the end grain with acrylic caulk and this solves the problem. Do this on any exterior trim you replace and you will substantially extend the life of the board. Your Personal Handyman does this on all exterior boards I replace.

Clogged shower heads – mineral deposits can easily clog and decrease the efficiency of your shower head. Soaking it in a 50/50- solution of vinegar and water for an hour will loosen the deposits and they can be brushed away with a tooth brush. You don’t even have to remove the head just somehow secure a cup of the solution so the head is suspended in.

Some heads have siliconized rubber spray tips. If you have this type just rub your finger over the tips every couple months and the mineral deposits will just break away and the tips will open up like new.
P-TRAPS – All plumbing fixtures (sinks, showers, tubs, toilets) have built in p-traps that serve as a barrier to keep sewer gasses from entering your house. If you have any of these fixtures that are not used on a regular basis be sure to run water in them every couple months to assure the water does not evaporate to the point that poisonous gasses enter your house.

Door howling – if the wind is causing a howling sound at any exterior door check the bottom weather seal. Get on your hand and knees and see if you can see light. If so you should replace the bottom seal.

Water waste – A dripping faucet or running toilet can waste a hundred gallons of water in a weeks time. Lets get that stopped!!