Basic home maintenance: are you ready? 

Basic home maintenance: are you ready? 

If you live in an older home, maintaining it can be expensive. Statistics show that the you should be prepared to spend roughly 1 percent of your home’s value on maintenance every year. 

There’s good news, after all. You can save some of that maintenance money by completing some simple and basic tasks yourself. Here are five that you can do without professional help. 

1. Keep your gutters clean 

Clogged gutters can cause water to drain another way. Uncontrolled leaks may lead to costly damage to your home’s foundation, siding, and landscaping. You should remove debris and leaves from the gutters at least twice a year, or when you notice it collecting. 

2. Open your garage doors manually  

No need for a garage technician every time the power’s out — simply locate the (usually red) cord, suspended from the ceiling-mounted operator, and pull it to disconnect the cord from the motor. 

3. Remove stripped screws — here’s how  

There is a trick to causing more damage when screws slip from a screwdriver. Place a rubber band or piece of steel wool over the screw and then try to remove it. If that fails try using a screw extractor. 

4. Repair leaky faucets  

Even the tiniest water leak can cost hundreds of dollars in wasted water. While professional help is recommended in case of a bigger issue, there are things you can do. First, shut off the main water supply, remove the faucet’s knobs, and check the washers, stems, and O-rings for signs of damage. If anything is broken, take the pieces to the hardware store to find exact replacements. 

5. Stop a Running Toilet  

Check the lever, rubber flapper, lift chain, float ball, pump and overflow tube. A running toilet usually requires just a simple adjustment or replacement to fix.

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