Hidden Home Maintenance Tasks
There can be a lot of upkeep required around the house, some more obvious than others. We have previously addressed common home maintenance tasks and how to tackle them, as well as how to save money on them. This time we’re talking about six household to-dos, according to Realtor.com, that you might not have even considered.
- Cleaning the Refrigerator Drip Pan
What is the refrigerator drip pan, you may ask. Well, it’s a collection pan on the bottom of your refrigerator that catches condensation. Because of the moist environment, it can get moldy, so it’s important to clean and disinfect it on a regular basis.
To find it, take off the kick panel at the bottom of the refrigerator. Look for the defrost drain line; follow it until it meets the drip pan. Be careful when you remove the drip pan, as it may contain water. Dump the water, then clean, disinfect, and dry the pan before replacing.
If your drip pan can’t be removed, you can use a wet/dry vacuum to suck up excess water. Then spray a cleaner onto the pan; follow up by drying with a paint roller or brush.
- Flushing the Hot Water Heater
This is an overlooked task that few people know to do but it’s very important, since water heaters accumulate a lot of sediment. The mineral deposits can cause corrosion; eliminating the sediment can extend the life of your water heater and save you money.
To flush, you first have to turn off the electricity or gas that’s powering your hot water heater. Turn on the water in the tub or a faucet to let the hot water out and keeping it running for the duration of the flush to prevent a vacuum. Next, turn off the cold water. Place a bucket water heater drain valve and drain the water until it runs clear and free of sediment.* It may need to be completely emptied. Turn the cold water back on and run the cold water through to flush everything out. You’ve finished and can put everything back the way you found it.
*As a bonus water heater maintenance tip, you can also check you pressure relief valve. Before draining through the water heater valve, place a bucket below the drainage pipe of the pressure relief valve. If water doesn’t come out, it’s time to replace your pressure relief valve.
- Resealing the Grout
Like most people, you probably thought that once the grout between your tiles was sealed, you didn’t have to worry about it. Grout should be resealed yearly because it absorbs water, bacteria and stains.
Luckily, resealing grout is an easy process. Just apply the sealant, remove any excess that ended up on the tiles and wait 15 minutes. Repeat the process and let it sit for 1-2 days. Be sure to test the water absorption after it has fully cured and make any necessary fixes.
- Resealing the Countertops
As with re-grouting, re-sealing your countertops should be done on a yearly basis, unless you have a pre-sealed countertop. This is also an easy fix. Just clean and dry the counter tops, apply a stone sealer, let sit for 15 minutes and wipe away. Avoid using the counter for about an hour and avoid cleaning it for a couple of days to ensure proper curing of the sealant.
- Testing for Water Leaks
Catching water leaks can save you a lot of money on your water bill, help cut unnecessary water usage, and alert you to any spots around the house that could be susceptible to water damage.
Instead of searching every faucet and pipe, first check your water level. Try not to use any water for a couple hours and re-check the reading. If the reading is different, you have a water leak; now it’s time to check for leaks. Obvious leaks include dripping faucets and hoses but be sure to keep an eye out for pipes of appliances that use water.
- Washing the Dryer Lint Screen
Unfortunately, just wiping the lint away isn’t enough. It’s important to soak your lint screen in hot, soapy water to remove grease and oil and scrub away any excess dirt. This helps prevents clogs and dryer fires, as dryer sheet residue can cause a blockage.
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