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Pacific Sheet Metal Blog

Tips from a Pro: 8 DIY Home Maintenance Repairs

Posted by Joey Haack on Dec 7, 2020 1:25:00 PM | Updated on 12/07/20 4:25 PM

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Are you looking for some easy ways to fix up your home without burning a hole in your wallet? Here are several DIY home maintenance tasks and repair recommendations to help make your home safer and more comfortable. 


1) Fix a Leaky Faucet

Leaky faucets are relatively easy to fix—as long as they aren’t beyond repair and don’t need to be replaced entirely. Common reasons for leaks include loose or worn parts and mineral buildup. If you see mineral buildup around your faucet, disassemble it and wipe down all the pieces using white vinegar and a scouring pad.

If there’s a loose part allowing water to leak where it shouldn’t, examine all the individual pieces of your faucet and tighten anything that’s loose. If a part is worn out—such as the valve seat, seal, or O-ring—you can find a replacement at a hardware store and replace it yourself.


2) Change Furnace Filters

Checking and changing your furnace filter is an easy home maintenance task you can perform on your own. Check your filter to see how often it needs to be changed (it’s usually once every 30, 60, or 90 days). Changing the filter regularly will help the air in your home remain cleaner and safer for you and your family. You should also have your furnace inspected by a professional once a year for higher efficiency and better indoor air quality.


3) Clean Bathroom or Kitchen Grout

Cleaning the grout in your bathroom or kitchen tile may take some elbow grease, but it can make dingy, stained floors look clean and bright again. To start, you’ll need a grout-cleaning brush (which can likely be found at a local home improvement store) and cleaning solution. Depending on how dirty or stained your grout is, you could try any of the following cleaning solutions:

  • Mild stains: Warm water OR warm water mixed with vinegar
  • Moderate stains: Baking soda plus vinegar solution OR baking soda and hydrogen peroxide
  • Strong stains: Oxygen bleach OR a commercial grout cleaner


4) Unclog a Pipe

If your shower, toilet, or sink drain seems to be clogged, you can attempt to unclog it yourself using a plunger, snake, or auger. Common signs of clogged drains include low water pressure, foul smells, gurgling sounds, slow draining, bubbling, and the toilet having trouble filling after you flush. If you can’t fix the clog yourself or call a plumber to do it for you.


5) Clean & Seal Your Deck or Patio

Over time, dirt and grime can build on the surface of your deck or patio. To clean it, start by sweeping off any dirt, leaves, and other debris. Then, grab a hose and a cleaning solution to spray it down and scrub it clean.

If your wooden deck or patio has algae growing on it, you can use a borate solution to kill and remove the algae. Once the surface is completely dry, you can re-stain and seal it so it looks like new!


6) Clean the Sump Pump

Homeowners should typically clean their sump pumps once a year to ensure they continue functioning correctly. Regular maintenance will also help your sump pump last longer by allowing it to run optimally over time.

To clean your sump pump, you’ll need gloves, a hose, a shop vac, a plastic sheet, and a scraping tool. To start, unplug your sump pump and make sure nobody in your home uses the washing machine until you’re finished. Disconnect the pump from the discharge pipe, wrap it in plastic, and take it outside to rinse it off with the hose. Scrape off any debris or caked-on sludge, and let it dry.

Next, use your shop vac to remove any water left in the sump pit. Make sure everything is thoroughly dry before replacing the pump and reattaching it to the discharge pipe.


7) Reset Your Circuit Breaker

If you have an electrical short or your electrical system gets overloaded, your home’s circuit breaker will cut power to the temperamental circuit. When this happens, turn off all the lights throughout your home that are connected to the circuit without power. Next, go to your circuit breaker panel box and identify which breaker was affected (the switch should be in the “center” position). Flip the switch to the “off” position first, and then flip it “on” to reset it and restore electricity.

If the switch doesn’t stay “on,” you could have a severe electrical problem. Call an electrician as soon as possible to inspect your home wiring.


8) Turn Down the Water Heater

Did you know you can save money on your hot water heating bills every month merely by turning your water heater down from 140 degrees (the factory setting) to 120 degrees? Lower temperatures can also help reduce mineral buildup and corrosion in your plumbing system. To turn down the temperature on your hot water heater, shut off the electricity to your water heater. Then, slowly and in small increments, dial the temperature down using the thermostat.

For more home improvement tips, subscribe to our blog! We often share professional advice about plumbing systems, electricity, HVAC equipment, roofs, indoor air quality, and more. 

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Topics: maintenance, home improvements