Home Maintenance: 3 Common Problems
The easiest way to avoid household repairs is to do what you can to prevent problems in the first place. It is recommended that you create a maintenance calendar to check potential issues around your home before they become a problem.
Maintenance preparedness can easily be compared to having a home inventory, as both serve as a way to prepare, which can minimalize your time and save money in case a disaster happens.
Maintaining your home means a little extra work on a regular basis, but it can save you hassles, inconvenience, and time later. Additionally, it could also prevent high repair bills.
Three common preventable issues are a clogged kitchen sink, stopped-up or running toilets, and clogged gutters.
Clogged kitchen sink
This is one of the most common household “issues” that homeowners face. To remedy this, fill the sink with water and let it sit for one to two hours. The weight and pressure of the water may be enough to push the stoppage down.
Just boiling water alone might be enough. Boil water in a large pan, then slowly pour about half of the water down the drain; after a few seconds, pour the remainder of the water.
If that doesn’t work, unbend a wire coat hanger. Create a small hook on one end, and start fishing. After all the drain gunk has been removed, flush with hot water. A plunger might also work.
If just muscle and boiling water don’t remove the clog, try a mixture of one-third of a cup of each of baking soda and vinegar. Pour it down the drain when it starts to fizz. Let it sit for at least an hour (preferably overnight), then flush with hot water.
A running or stopped-up toilet
If you find you need to jiggle the handle after each flush, or when you realize that the toilet is “running” frequently – or eventually – all the time, what can you do? Jiggling just goes so far, and it doesn’t really fix the problem.
The first thing to do is turn off the water to the toilet. There is a valve near the base; turn it counterclockwise. With the water shut off, replace the flappers and fill valves. To prevent your toilet from running in the first place, maintain your toilet by replacing these parts every few years.
When you discover a stopped-up toilet, use a plunger to free the blockage. Another option that can work is to boil 4 cups of water. Once boiling, add a few drops of dishwashing detergent and pour the mixture into the toilet. Let it sit for 20 minutes, then try to plunge again. The hot water and detergent should help break up the clog.
Gunk in the gutters
Gutters and downspouts can fill up with debris, then become clogged when it rains. This can cause flooding in your yard, creating the potential for major issues with your home’s foundation. Seemingly simple rainwater can turn into a major repair bill!
With your gloved hands or a garden tool, scoop out all the debris that has accumulated in your gutters, downspouts, and downspout extensions. Take caution, as sharp sticks or other objects can cause damage to the gutter or can cut your hands.
After most of the leaves and other foliage is removed, use a garden hose to wash out the remainder. This will finish cleaning the gutters and also ensure that water flows properly through each downspout.