Kelli Brandenberger

Articles and Advice

Maintenance Skills Every Homeowner Should Have

Home maintenance is easier than you think when you master a few simple skills. Owning a home is like having a piece of the American dream. However, when you buy a house over leasing one, don't forget — you also have the added responsibility of repairing maintenance issues when they arrive. Learning basic home repair skills can save you substantial money in the long run.

While it's unlikely that you'll be able to correct every problem that crops up, there are some basic home maintenance skills you should learn. You'll be glad you did!

  1. The Location of Water Valves
    You can prevent a great deal of damage simply by learning where the water valves are located and how to turn them off. This simple skill has the potential to save you thousands of dollars in water damage. As soon as you find a leak, you should shut the water off and decide if the plumbing problem is something you can manage on your own or if you should contact a plumber.

    Once you've settled into your home, it's not a bad idea to go to each of the water shut-off valves and turn it off and then back on every month or so. This prevents the handle from getting stuck. Each time you turn the valve, check all exposed pipes and make sure there aren't any signs of leaks.

  2. Patching Leaking Pipes
    Not only will learning how to patch pipes save you the money you would have given a professional plumber, but it also spares you the headache of having to go without indoor plumbing while you wait for the plumber to work you into their schedule.

    Patching pipes is easier than you think. The simplest method requires that you scour any rust from the leaking area with steel wool before using a file to roughen the pipe. Apply some pipe bonding putty to the hole or crack. Follow the directions for preparing pipe repair tape and then wrap the tape around the leak.

  3. Regulating the Water Heater Temperature
    While you're in the house, you might not have any reason to think about the temp of the water stored inside the water heater, but when you go away for a few days, turning it down can save you a considerable amount of money. This is why you should learn how to control temperature settings. You should also learn how to turn the heater off in the event it starts leaking.

  4. Touching Up Interior Paint
    Touching up interior paint is a regular task when you own a home. It's something you can easily do yourself. Simply clean the spot that needs to be touched up. If the reason you need to touch up the paint is that the wall has gotten a minor dent, ding, or scratch, fill the damaged area with a small amount of spackling compound. Let the spackling dry for a few days before applying a layer of primer to the spackling. Once the primer has dried, you simply paint over it with the same color interior paint as the rest of the room.

  5. Basic Appliance Repair
    Simply having an appliance repair expert come to your home to tell you what's wrong with your appliances can cost you over $100. Instead of relying on a professional, take some classes at your community center (or watch YouTube tutorials) and learn how to maintain, troubleshoot, and repair your household appliances.

With these skills mastered, you'll be able to quickly address issues around your home in a cost-effective way.

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