Whether you are stuck at home watching DIY channels or making back and forth runs to Home Depot its important that you keep up with these cleaning and maintenance tasks. You don’t have to be a HGTV enthusiast to knock out this list, we will walk your through step by step.
1. Clean Your Tub With WD-40
WD-40 (Stands for Water Displacement) just in case you did not know. It can be essential for removing build up in the bathroom and toilet. We recommend spraying it directly on a microfiber cleaning cloth or cleaning rag. You can gently wipe WD-40 on shower heads to remove build up, as well as spray directly up tub spouts to clear out hard water that could be congesting proper water flow. You’ll want to let the WD-40 sit for at least an hour for best results, then run hot water through the spout.
Other Uses for WD-40:
- Erase Crayon – When crayon ends up on toys, flooring, furniture, painted walls, wallpaper, windows, doors, and television screens. Spray on WD-40 and wipe it off.
- Soften leather. Oil can help break in a stiff leather tool belt.
- Removes Stains from carpet/clothes – Spray on a rag/towel first. Add liquid to the rag as needed to gently remove stains, afterwards Kush with warm water for best results.
- Removes Anything From a Glass Surface – Whether it be residue left over from tape, marks or glass stains WD-40 will do the trick.
- Scrub stains from stainless steel sinks – Apply to a cloth and rub stains out in a circular motion.
2. Automate Your Thermostat
Tip 1: Update your thermostat to a smart thermostat or program your existing one to work on your schedule. Never turn your thermostat all the way off unless you are gone for multiple days. It’s actually more efficient to raise or lower the temperature as needed plus or minus 5 degrees.
Tip 2: Keep your power bills consistent all year round – Many power companies offer a fixed rate bill which basically takes the average of 12 months for one consistent bill. This holds true especially for states with mild temperature swings. There is no cost, and it might be beneficial to keep your bill consistent all 12 months.
Tip 3: Clean your AC Units. It’s important to have your units serviced yearly and at the very least clean the units yourself. To clean your units, you’ll want to make sure the system is off and breaker powering that unit is also off for added safety.
3. Maintain Your Sump Pump
Some sump pumps are equipped with alarms to notify you if the pump is experiencing issues or alert you of water back up problems. However, it’s still important to check your equipment occasionally to ensure everything is running up to speed.
Checklist for Sump Pump Up-Keep
Make sure the pump is plugged in to a working ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet, always check to make sure water is away from outlet.
Ensure the pump itself is standing upright. Vibrations can sometimes cause the pump to tilt or fall to one side.
Periodically pour a bucket of water into the pit to make sure the pump starts automatically and the water drains quickly once the pump is on.
Physically remove a submersible pump from the pit and clean the grate on the bottom. The sucking action of the pump can pull small stones into the grate, blocking the inlet or damaging the pump over time.
Ensure the outlet pipes are tightly joined together and draining out at least 20 feet (6 meters) away from your foundation. Make sure the vent hole in the discharge pipe is clear.
4. Use Colored Dye to Check for Toilet Leaks
Water leaking from your toilet tank will not only cost you money when it comes to your utility bill, but it can also cause water damage to your bathroom floor and premature wear of your toilet’s internal workings.
Pro Tip: To check if your tank is leaking use red food coloring in the water tank, check an hour later. If it’s Pink or a lighter color than you originally- you have a bad flapper.
If you find that your toilet is leaking from the tank to the bowl, the flapper needs to be replaced.
Faucets in bathrooms typically leak due to warn out washers. You can remove the old washer and take it to any hardware store to match it up.
Pro Tip: Always make sure to turn off the water supply when working with water.
5. Clean Out Your Dryer Lint Vent – (Bi-Annually)
It’s important to clean your lint traps (at least every 6 months).
For a thorough cleaning of the ducts leading from the dryer to the outside of the home we recommend using/purchasing a wire brush lint cleaner from your local hardware store.
Unplug your dryer, disconnect the dryer hose and use the wire brush lint tool to remove lint stuck farther than 6 inches in – Some individuals use a household vacuum to remove the lint.
Upkeep: A clean lint screen prevent fires, but it will also increase the life of the dryer. Physically remove the lint from the screen between each load of laundry. Also, be sure to remove fabric softener residue by washing the screen with warm water and dish detergent once per week.
6. The Unknown Costs of Home Improvements May Leave You Blindsided
The Average cost of a kitchen remodel for 2019 is $21,500 (materials and labor). If you’re planning on doing any projects or improvements around the home, you’ll want to make sure you have the right budget to achieve the desired results. Cabinets and appliances are some of the biggest costs that will go into your kitchen. A smaller sized kitchen may require $5,000 to $8,000 just in cabinets – many “do-it-yourself” enthusiasts will paint existing cabinets if they are in good shape and could save you thousands.
Home owners may be eligible for up to $35,680 (or more depending on your location) in cash and it’s easy to see if you qualify. Many home owners use this cash to make home improvements or pay off debt, consolidate credit cards, take a much-needed vacation or plan further ahead for retirement, but you can use the cash for anything – such as buy a new car.
7. Correct Efficiency Throughout Your Home
Outside air entering the home is inevitable. In climate sensitive locations the temperatures quickly rising and decreasing due to seasons can case expansion around window edges, over time caulking starts to crack, more frequently under hard conditions. Check twice, there is a good chance that it’s happening around your home and it’s an easy fix that can extend the life of your windows and keep your home just a sliver more energy efficient. You’ll want to use a caulking that is water resistant (silicone).
Replace incandescent bulbs with LED. If you can’t do the entire home do areas that are most commonly used such as the kitchen/living areas. LED bulbs last many years and consume about 1/8th of the energy of older bulbs.
Check the seals around entry ways (especially the front door). Most door seals are black and line the framing of the door, commonly these seals can wear down or even tear over time.
This is our favorite one. If you have a pitched roof, we recommend using spray foam for the attic to coat the interior slopes of the pitched roof. This eliminates the usual heat pocket, almost all newer build homes use this and the energy savings can be very noticeable especially in very hot locations.
If your home is older, we highly advise adding extra insulation to your home, this will easily make the most noticeable difference in cost.
Pro Tip: Caulking will be your best friend when it comes to making proper seals around the home. Always examine any openings into the home and patch them appropriately.
8. Flush Your Water Heater
Don’t get frustrated – You go to take a shower one day and notice there is no hot water. Regular upkeep can extend the life of your water heater and keep everything running efficiently cost wise too!
Pro Tip: Water heaters should be flushed yearly for best results.
9. Replace Your AC Filters (Cheaper is Better)
When it comes to air filters using cheap fiberglass filters is actually preferred as opposed to more expensive HEPA filters for two reasons: First, replacing the more expensive filters often isn’t cost-effective. Second, the fiberglass filters actually allow for more air to flow into your climate-controlled unit, reducing the amount of energy needed to effectively heat or cool your home.
You should aim to replace the filters every 30 days for best results.
10. Check for Roof Damage
Routine maintenance for your roof is key. You can extend the life and save on big costs that can come from a bad roof – of course that doesn’t mean your roof will last forever, however regular maintenance will definitely improve the life.
Tip 1: Regularly remove debris from the roof such as branches, leaves and other loose debris – this should especially be done after storms.
Tip 2: Moss and mold removal: Gently spray a roof moss remover and cleaner on affected areas, then gently brush away the moss and mold with a soft bristled broom and wide handheld brush.
Tip 3: Aim to replace shingles or tiles on your roof as needed or check annually. You can also use a roof tar to fix patches or problem areas on the roof.
Tip 4: Clean the Gutters: Healthy gutters make a world of difference for shingle longevity.
Asphalt shingles are more prone to moisture damage on their undersides. Moisture- damaged shingles begin to swell and curl, decreasing their effectiveness at preventing leaks. Clean your gutters to prevent problems.
…And Never Forget These Items
Check the water softener and replenish salt if necessary. Check for leaks as well.
Clean faucet aerators and showerheads to remove mineral deposits – You can use vinegar or WD-40 to remove hard water build up on shower heads.
Inspect outside drains, outflow areas where water exits for debris or clogging.
Inspect tub and sink drains for debris; unclog.
Test smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, and all ground- fault circuit interrupters.
Inspect electrical cords for wear.
Vacuum heat registers and heat vents.
Clean the garbage disposal by grinding ice cubes, then flushing with hot water and baking soda.