The best way to cut down on the potentially high cost of home maintenance is to tackle the simple jobs on your own. Here are some basic repairs that you should be able to handle without too much difficulty:
• Plugged Sinks- Pull out and clean the sink stopper. If the problem persists, turn off the water supply under the sink before removing and clearing the trap (the curved section of drainpipe under the sink). Avoid using chemicals if you suspect a serious blockage.
• Plugged Toilet- The first resort is the tried and true toilet plunger. If that doesn’t work, use a plumber’s snake to clear the pipe.
• Electrical Failure- Check the circuit breaker to see if the circuit has been tripped to the off position. You may need to replace a blown fuse (replacement fuses usually cost less than $5).
• Leaky faucet- Shut off the water under the sink and replace the washer on the faucet. If the dripping persists, you may need a new faucet unit.
• Damp areas- Make sure that gutters extend away from the house and that the earth is graded away from the walls. A dehumidifier can help dry the air, but you may need to call a professional if you find cracks in the foundation.
• Damaged caulking- Crumbling caulk around tiles, windows and doors needs to be replaced periodically. Caulking guns and caulk run about $20 total and are easy to use.
• Gouges or holes in walls or woodwork- Holes in plaster walls and drywall are easily fixed with plaster patching compound or spackling compound, respectively. Holes in woodwork should be filled with wood putty and sanded lightly. Refinishing may be necessary.
I hope these tips help you with the upkeep of your home! I’d be happy to give you recommendations for home repair experts should your house need additional attention. Let me know if I can be of assistance in any way.
Tammy Hayes, Realtor
Re/Max Palm Realty, Port Charlotte, FL