Owning a home is a feat in and of itself. While it is an undertaking to learn about every facet of your home and all of its moving parts, there are a few things that every homeowner should know how to do. And if you don’t, then we have the answers for you!
Fix a leaky faucet
Nobody likes listening to a faucet drip all day long. To fix a leaky faucet, start by turning the water to your sink off and plug the drain with a rag or a drain stop. This will catch any small pieces that may be dropped when dismantling the faucet. There are two possible pieces you will need depending on the type of faucet you have. If you have a compression faucet, you will need a new rubber washer to seal the valve and prevent water from dripping. If you have a washer-less faucet, you will need a new O-ring to seal the faucet.
Replace the furnace filter
Before replacing your furnace filter, you’ll need to check the size of filter your furnace requires. Once you have the filter, you are ready to replace it. Turn your furnace off before opening the service panel. Remove the old filter and simply put the new one in its place. You should be replacing your furnace filter every 2-3 months depending on how much you use it, but every 2 months is ideal.
Clean stainless steel
Cleaning stainless steel is a little trickier than other services. You’ll want to beware of abrasives and bleach as these could scratch or damage the stainless steel. It’s best to use a soft, soapy rag and wipe in the direction of the grain. Going against the grain creates the possibility of harming the stainless steel rendering it less effective. If there is stuck on food or grime, you can use a nylon scrubber to really give it that stainless look.
Change ceiling fan direction
Your ceiling fans can be just as effective in the winter as in the summer. During the warmer months, your fan should be spinning in a counterclockwise direction. This direction pushes cold air down and sucks warm air up, creating a cooler environment. In the winter, you can change the direction of your ceiling fan so it is pushing the warm air that has risen back down and throughout your home. All you need to do to make this happen is adjust the angle of your fan blades and flip the switch to turn the direction.
Locate wall studs
Being able to easily locate wall studs not only saves time, but it can also save your walls. If you don’t have a stud finder, you can use the knocking trick. When you knock on your walls, you will notice that some areas are more solid than others. The solid areas are where your studs are located. Stud finders are usually inexpensive, and a very handy tool to have around your home, but if you don’t have one, the knocking trick will do.
Replace a shower head
Switching out a shower head is a great skill to have. It’s a pretty simple process. First, you’ll want to remove the current shower head, then lay thread-seal tape at the base of the shower arm. After this step, you can screw the new shower head on and you are good to go. Make sure not to fasten the new one too tight or several issues could occur. You really just need it to be secure.
Use a caulk gun
Caulking is a fix for multiple issues around your home including weather stripping, filling gaps, sealing windows and doors, and filling gaps around sinks and vanities. To get the caulk gun ready, pull back the trigger and insert the tube of caulk. Once inserted, cut at a 45 degree angle so the caulk will apply smoothly but not come out too fast. This will make it much easier to control. Using light pressure on the trigger will give you more control over the flow of the caulk.
Prune trees & plants
Maintaining your plants and trees is imperative to the health of the exterior of your home. Having overgrown bushes and overhanging tree branches can bring debris buildup issues and the potential for damage and leaks. It’s important to take care of the branches first. You’ll want to cut down all the dead and overhanging branches so there is no chance of water dripping down or branches falling onto your roof. When it comes to bushes and trees around your home, you’ll want to make sure they are all 2-3ft away from the exterior. This is a standard distance that will keep your vegetation from damaging your home.
Clean out gutters
Ideally, gutters should be cleaned out twice a year around the spring and fall. There are a few reasons this needs to be done. Debris buildup can send water overflowing onto your roof and home, which brings a multitude of issues with it. Pests and other critters may find a way into your home as well. When cleaning your gutters, it’s a good idea to have a ladder stabilizer if you are doing it yourself. You can use a leaf blower, garden hose, or clean by hand and rake up the leaves later. Whichever way you choose, be sure to have a ladder stabilizer to reduce the risk of a fall.
Turn off water main
Knowing where and how to turn off your water main is imperative. In the case of an emergency, it’s better to know where the water main is so you can quickly address the situation. The main is usually located near where water enters through the outside of your home. There are a few different ways your water main can work so it is important that you do your research once you find out what kind your home has in the case of an emergency.