Basic Home Repair & Maintenance

Home MaintenanceDo you know how to do minor repairs on your apartment or home? Being able to do minor repairs can save you a lot of money. Also, recognizing something small that needs to be fixed before it becomes a huge problem is easier at the beginning. 




One apartment we lived in the outside wall faced an open field.  We had a particularly harsh winter and the ice formed about 1″ thick on the inside wall…bbbrrrr, it still makes me shiver. Drafty Windows and Doors

  • A simple and inexpensive quick fix is to use self adhesive foam weather stripping. It can be rolled around the frame of the door. 
  • Choose the smallest size that will seal; too large and the door will not close.
  • Calking cord or rope caulk is a great option for windows to go around the edges to seal out the air from coming in.
  • Clear plastic film is a another option for windows.  Simply stretch the film over the window and it mounts to the window frame.  Then use a hair dryer to stretch and seal the film over the window, preventing escaping air.

  I remember as a kid thinking my grandparents had a monster in their bathroom because their toilet ran, and ran, and ran Toilet Tank That Keeps Refilling On Its Own

  • First try loosing, tightening or untangling the chain. Any of these issues could prevent the flapper from sealing tightly and allowing water to leak out the flush valve.
  • If that doesn’t work, try slightly bending the tube connected to the float ball.
  • If none of these work, you can replace the flapper and valve inside the toilet yourself.  My mother-in-law fixed her’s; so can YOU!

  



  I’ve never had running water smell like rotten-eggs, but we do have Sulphur Springs that is located near a larger city we drive by frequently, and boy does it smell.  If I had that in my house all the time, you can bet I’d be dumping hydrogen peroxide down the drain and calling someone asap! Rotten-Egg Smell When You Run The Water

  • It could be caused by bacteria in the drain.  First try pouring a bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution down your drain.
  • Generally if the rotten-egg smell only happens when hot water is running after the peroxide, the water heater is the culprit and you need a plumber.
  • If the rotten-egg smell occurs when hot and cold water is running after the peroxide, it is a good idea to call your water supplier and health department.
  • I found this neat link with uses for hydrogen peroxide also – click HERE

  Ceiling Fans To use them most efficiently to heat and cool –

  • In the summer have them rotating so the air is being pushed down
  • In the winter have the air being drawn up

  In a little old house we rented many years ago, I could smell smoke.   I kept insisting there was a fire and dragging Stan around the house.  Finally, we could see a bit of smoke coming from old wiring.  We were so blessed the house didn’t burn down! Correctly Test Smoke Detectors


  • Pushing the bottom only shows they still make noise
  • Light, then blow out a couple of matches.  Hold them under the smoke detector to see if it goes off.
  • Be sure to replace the batteries twice a year.  I read that: smoke detectors are installed in 58 percent of homes that have fatal fires, but they are working in only 37 percent of those fires.  WOW

  Squeaky doors are the loudest when you get the baby/kids to sleep, or trying to sneak a bit of chocolate to have all by yourself! Have Squeaky Doors  – Here’s How to Fix it in only 10 minutes! click HERE   Heating and Air Conditioning Replace the filters monthly.  This will save you money as well as allow the units to function more efficiently too.   Vents and Fans Vacuum the duct-work, fans and coils on –

  • The refrigerator and kitchen exhaust fan
  • Ceiling Fans and Bathroom Fans
  • Dryer Vent (this can also prevent a fire as lint can build up)

  I managed to royally plug up the disposal, twice!  Once I put peach peels down when canning peaches. The second when shelling a bunch of eggs.  Do not do either of those things, trust me Garbage Disposal

  • These jam and usually at the most opportune times.   It can be from too many egg shells, fibrous peels such as peaches or celery or a utensil.
  • When the disposal jams it stops working and kinds hums or buzzes.
  1. First shut off the power.
  2. Then look into the disposal chamber with a flashlight to see what the problem is – do NOT put your hand in the unit.
  3. If you can see the problem, pull it out with a pair of pliers.
  4. If you can’t clear any debris away with a wooden spoon or other device.
  5. Then with as much pressure as possible, try to turn the rotor in either direction; remove the blockage with pliers.
  6. You will most likely need to push the reset button on the bottom of the diposer, or trip/flip the circuit breaker associated with the disposer to make it work again.
  7. If not, clear away any debris with a wooden spoon or tongs and insert a wooden broom handle into the disposer.
  8. Using as much pressure as possible, try to turn the rotor in either direction.
  9. *If you cannot make it work, call a professional, do not risk your safety.

  This seemed to always happen when Stan was out of town and the kids had been playing with the flashlights that were not supposed to be moved so I would know where they were when the lights went out, so I could light the furnace – yeah…. Furnace Pilot Light

  • This is another one of those things that seems to go out at the most inconvenient of times; usually when there is a storm or high wind.
  • Before this happens, familiarize yourself with the instructions on the relighting instructions printed on the front of the heater.  If it does not have these instructions, you will need to call a professional to come and light the pilot light for you.
  • Tip:  Keep a box of long-stemmed fireplace matches handy to use for this purpose.  It makes lighting the pilot light much easier.

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

Comments

  1. Carrie,

    This post is packed with helpful tips on how to make repairs in your home. We are thinking about downsizing our house and putting it on the market soon. Carly is in medical school and Casey will be going to college this fall. Our home is way to big and way to much yard to move. I cannot wait to get rid of the yard. We have a lot of repairs to do. I truly needed this list.
    I will be looking at it often.
    Blessings,
    Diane Roark

  2. These really are great tips that I don’t think we think about all the time! Very nice!

    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week!

  3. Popping over from Merry Monday =) Great tips! Until a couple of summers ago, I had no idea ceiling fans had 2 settings. Ours was on the winter setting most of that summer! What a hot one that was… Be sure to share your recipes, crafts, upcycles & DIYs at Two Uses Tuesday (Mon 11pm EST to Fri 11pm EST) over at Sarah Celebrates if you don’t already!

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