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Homeowners Tips

  • Homeowners Tips West Coast Handyman

Water Leaks:

I’ve been to several houses where there was catastrophic water damage from a leak that could’ve been controlled  if the owner or family member could’ve shut the water off in time. Every homeowner and occupant should be aware of where the main water shut off valve  is for any emergency situation. Most of the fixtures in your home,  (kitchen and bathroom faucets, toilets, washing machine, etc.) have something called a  shut off valve , and these shut off water to that individual fixture without affecting the water to the rest of the house. This can be very effective in turning off water to a particular area if there is a leak, however, much of the time these Individual shut off valves do not work anymore because they have not been turned on or off in several years and they are basically frozen in an open only position due to a buildup of calcium, rust and other  corrosive materials in water. So in an emergency situation where you have a severe leak from a pipe or broken line that could end up with catastrophic property damage,  the only resort is to turn off the main water supply to the house. It’s a good idea to have every member of the household know where this shut off valve is, and to test it once every year or so to make sure it’s functional.

Changing batteries in smoke alarms:

Everybody knows they should change the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors on a regular basis, but it’s easy to forget, So it’s a good idea to do it when you change the clocks for daylight savings time.
Change the clocks,  change your batteries!

Filters:

Another thing I see all too often is air conditioning and heating filters that are not changed (Or cleaned if there are reusable)
Cleaning and changing your AC filters regularly is one of the cheapest ways to prolong the life of your very expensive Air conditioning and heating equipment, while at the same time reducing your energy bill by making it run more efficiently.

Thermostat adjustment:

Did you know it’s easy to adjust the thermostat on your hot water heater?  Most people don’t pay attention to it and their hot water heater heats the water far hotter than is ever required  for their shower, dishes or laundry. This wastes energy,  money and presents a danger for scalding if there are any small children in the house.

Dryer vents:

One thing I see on a consistent basis is clogged and dirty dryer vents. This always represents a potential fire hazard in addition to taking your clothes twice as long to dry. Sometimes the accessibility to clean out the vent is quite inconvenient which is why most people don’t do it or think about it. They also think if they clean out their lint screen after every use, which you should always do, that no lint escapes into the dryer vent. But believe me over time, a lot of lint escapes into the dryer hose and gets really clogged up. If you are able and you have some help to pull the dryer away from the wall to remove the vent hose and clean it or even install a new vent hose, you will be amazed at how much quicker your clothes will dry.

Have you painted any part of your home recently?

Don’t throw out that paint! Keep in a safe place of course, but you would be amazed at the number of people who just needed a wall or two touched up and they don’t have the paint anymore, so they are forced to paint the entire room.
Sure most of these big paint stores all have computer color matching and they can match it pretty close, but I have rarely used a can of paint that was computer color matched that was good enough for spot touch ups. They can get it pretty close, but I’m pretty picky;  so when the homeowner has a can of the actual paint  that was used it is a lot better and a lot cheaper to touch up small areas. So keep a little leftover paint after you have redone your master bedroom, you will not believe the headaches you will avoid if you want to do some touch up here and there!

Keep in touch for more tips,
Doug

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