All houses need upkeep and as a homeowner, that responsibility now falls on you. While your brand-new Hayden home won’t need as much maintenance as an older home, there are still home maintenance tasks you should stay on top of. Some repairs should be left to the professionals but here are 6 basic home maintenance tasks you should know how to do yourself.
Turn off the water and gas
Knowing where and how to turn off the water and gas is vital for homeowners to know. You may need to shut them off in case of an emergency.
The water main is usually located where the water enters the home. It may have either a wheel-style handle or a lever-style handle. If you have a wheel-style handle, turn the handle clockwise (to the right) to turn off the water. For lever-style handles, turn the lever one quarter-turn so it’s perpendicular to the pipe.
The gas shut-off valve is normally located near the meter and will require an adjustable pipe or crescent-type wrench to turn off. Turn the valve a quarter turn; the valve is closed when the valve head (the part you put the wrench on) is perpendicular to the pipe. Do not turn on the gas yourself after shutting it off. Contact the gas utility so they can conduct a safety inspection and restore service.
If you’re not sure where either shut-off valve is located, contact your local utility and they can help.
Resetting circuit breaker
If you suddenly lose power in part of your home, the most likely culprit is a tripped circuit breaker. Thankfully it is a simple fix! Turn off all lights and appliances in the affected area and then locate the breaker box (it may be in the garage or a utility closet). Look for the breaker that is in the ‘off’ position and flip it to ‘on.’ If you can’t find the offending breaker, you’ll have to turn each breaker off and on.
Change the HVAC filters
Swapping the HVAC filters is a simple yet effective way to keep your furnace working efficiently. Energy Star recommends changing your filter once a month, especially during the winter and summer months when your HVAC unit is most commonly used. At the least, you can change out them quarterly.
How to caulk
Caulking prevents water, air, and bugs from getting into your home. The caulk should be replaced about every 5 years. It’s a simple process that requires just a tube of caulk and a caulk gun. Cut the tip of the tup at a 45-degree angle (the closer you cut the tube to the end, the smaller the line of caulk) and load the tube into the caulk gun. Apply the caulk to the affected area and smooth it out with your finger and allow to dry.
Fix a leaky faucet or running toilet
A leaky faucet or running toilet can waste a lot of water over time and can be annoying. Fixing both issues is easy and doesn’t require an expensive plumber.
Fixing a leaky faucet is straightforward. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to stop a leaky faucet. You’ll want to have a towel, flathead screwdriver, needle-nose pliers, hex wrench, toothless wrench, and penetrating oil on hand.
For a running toilet, check that the flapper is fitting snugly over the drain inside the tank. You may need to adjust the chain so there’s enough slack for the flapper to settle back into place. If that doesn’t work, then it may be time to replace the flapper. The flapper’s rubber seal can harden over time, making it difficult for it to resettle inside the drain, leading to the leaky tank. Here’s a step-by-step on how to replace the flapper.
Clogged drains happen, even when you’re careful about what you pour – or don’t – down the drain. Chemical drain cleaners are popular for their ease of use but can be hard on your pipes. If you want to skip the chemicals, an inexpensive drain snake and plunger can remove the blockage.
Moving from renting to owning can be an adjustment, especially when it comes to tackling maintenance tasks. But learning these basic skills will help you become a confident and self-sufficient homeowner. Looking for more tips? Check out our home maintenance resource for more great tips for caring for your Hayden home!
When you buy a new construction home from Hayden Homes, you won’t have to worry too much about maintenance and upkeep. If you’re thinking about buying a home in the Northwest, we have brand new homes for sale in Montana, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho you’ll be sure to love.