While a lot of big repairs might require a professional (i.e. you’ll never see me messing with anything electrical), some small repairs I can do myself. Doing small repairs myself—like fixing loose outlet covers and squeaky door hinges—really saves me money towards future larger repairs.
By doing routine household maintenance and addressing minor issues as they occur, you’ll save money since you’ll be preventing great financial payouts towards your electricity bill, water bill, and home repair bills. Here are six household maintenance tips that you can do yourself—instead of calling a pricey professional.
1. Examine your window caulking
Preparing your home to keep cool air in and hot air out is a prime example of home maintenance that a novice can do. Inspect the caulking to see if it’s cracked or dried out. If so, remove the old caulk with a knife, and apply new caulk.
2. Inspect your gutters for obstruction
The purpose of a gutter is to collect debris and water to pull it away from the home’s foundation. Many home owners experience flooding in their basement, which is due to gutter debris piling up. Hop on a ladder and give it a good cleaning out every now and then. Cleaning out a gutter is a lot quicker than cleaning out a flooded basement (and a lot less expensive than having to fix the foundation of your home).
3. Don’t automatically reset your dryer timer if your clothes didn’t dry the first time
I admit it—I’m a bit of a procrastinator. Instead of thinking about why something may not work, I repeat my usual routines. One clue that my dryer may not be functioning properly is when my load of towels doesn’t dry the first time. First, check the dryer lint filter and remove any lint. Second, check the dryer exhaust duct for kinks or restrictions. Third, remove the exhaust line from the dryer to the exterior and clean out the lint. This should be done yearly to avoid any issues (especially to avoid a house fire!).
4. Check the seal of your refrigerator
Just this morning I must have been in and out of the fridge about 10 times. That’s 70 times per week! Opening and closing the door so many times a day can loosen the seal of the refrigerator, and you can lose valuable cool air. Take a dollar bill, and close it in the refrigerator door. If you can pull it out, your seals are too loose and valuable cool air is escaping. If the dollar bill is not easily removed, your seal does not need to be replaced. If you need to replace the refrigerator door seal, check out how to do it here.
5. Evaluate a leaky toilet
If you’re not sure about a leaky toilet, add some red food coloring to the water in the toilet tank. Let it sit for one to two hours. Look at the water in the toilet bowl. If the water is pink, then you have a leaking toilet easily fixed by replacing the flapper in the back of the toilet. For easy how-to directions on how to fix it—check it out here.