Tag Archives: DIY

Must Do Maintenance Checklist

1. Monthly test and inspect garage door and opener for proper functionality. This includes any safety features.

2. Yearly vacuum dryer vent hose, if your hose is plastic replace it immediately (fire hazard). Rigid sheet metal duct is optimal.

3. Replace furnace filters quarterly or as recommended by manufacturer.

4. Monthly test all GFCI outlet. Press the test button and use a voltage tester to make sure the device has become de-energized.

5. Seasonally clean leaves and debris from your central air condensing unit.

6. Yearly vacuum the coils under the refrigerator.

7. Have the fireplace chimney inspected and cleaned annually.

8. Annually inspect window and door caulking and weather stripping.

9. Annually replace batteries in smoke detectors. Don’t forget that even hardwired smoke detectors may have a battery back up.

DIY Tip of the day – Moldy bathtub/shower caulk

Using a 5-in-1 tool and a plastic razor to cut, scrape, and remove all of the existing caulking. You want to remove every last piece so you can get a good seal with the new material and prevent moisture from getting back there. If you do not make a good seal mold can and most likely will form again. Once the joint is cleaned of prior caulking apply new acrylic latex caulk containing mildewcides.

Watermarks/Stains on your stainless steel sink?

Avoid spending money on fancy cleaning products instead use WD-40. You most likely already have this product sitting around your house so just grab your can spray your sink and wipe away the excess. It will remove watermarks, fingerprints, and other stains from your sink.

Is the grout around your sink stained? If so you can clean it using a bleaching pen or you can avoid this issue all together by darkening the grout with a grout colorant in a gray or dark beige color. Remember though after you color treat your grout you have to seal it to.

Quick Bathroom Fixes

1. Foggy mirror – Short of replacing the ventilation system for your bathroom (which should be considered if the problem is really bad) use Rain-X anti fog wipes on your mirror, they are available in the automotive section.

2.Toilet rocks – If you have tightened your toilet all the way down and it still seems loose buy some plastic shims at your local hardware store and shim it up so the toilet sits tight. If it is leaking water from the base this is a bigger problem, however it could be a worn out wax seal.

3. Giving the neighbors a free show? You can get a window treatment at most home centers and hardware stores that will provide privacy and not block natural light. The films run from about 80 dollars to 115 dollars per roll and will treat two windows. You can also buy them online by the foot (roughly 10 dollars a foot). Just Google window privacy film.

Home owner tip – Washing machine hoses

According to State Farm Insurance 170 million dollars a year in damage is attributed to washing machine hose failure. Make sure to check your washing machine connections and replace if they are corroded or the hoses are cracked. The typical washing machine hose only lasts about 5 years so if yours are older than that now would be a good time to replace them. You can get a set for around 20 dollars, try to get the braided stainless steel ones for they will last the longest.

Also remember you should keep a clear distance of about 4″ between your hose connections and back of washing machine, this will prevent any kinks and premature damage to the hoses. And yes this all applies to the “burst-resistant” hoses as well.

DIY Tip – Hardwood Floors

Simple hardwood floor fixes:

1. Silence a squeaky board. After locating the offending floor board press down on it and drill a 1/16 inch pilot hole into the board at an angle until you reach the sub floor (a little over 3/4″ on most floors). To avoid splitting the wood make sure you are at least 3 inches form either end and in the center of the board. Next drive a 6d finish nail and set with the appropriate nail set. Fill the divot with color matched wood putty.

2. Scratches, you can cover up scratches in your hardwood floors as the happen by using a color matched stain stick (stain filled marker) available at most hardware stores.

3. Remove stains. Moisture can cause a discoloration of the wood floor to remove this first sand off the finish in the offending area then scrub with a solution of hot water and oxalic acid powder (wood bleach). Rinse three times with plain water. It make take several applications to remove a stubborn stain however once the stain is gone wait until the floor is fully dry and refinish the area. (You can speed up the drying time with a fan)

4.Spot refinish. Tape around the trouble area and then sand with 80 grit sand paper. Next sand the area with 120 grit and then apply two coats of polyurethane. Make sure to allow the proper drying time per coat.

5. Fill gaps. You can fill gaps in wide board flooring using manila rope or no-tar oakum (a jute based fiber used by plumbing contractors).