Six little-known home maintenance items you should do are small things – but their maintenance can lengthen the life of these appliances, etc in your home.
Thank you to a post on Realtor.com for the list!
- Clean your Refrigerator Drip Pan. Did you even know that your fridge has a drip pan? (I didn’t. You are not alone if you did not.) How do you find your drip pan? First, you will need to remove the kick panel at the bottom of your fridge. Find the defrost drain line, and follow that line to the pan, which is where it empties. (A flashlight may be useful.) Carefully pull the pan out, as there may be excess water in it. Wash, dry, and put it back in place.
- Flush Your Hot Water Heater. First, you will need to turn off the electricity (or gas, depending on your type of hot water heater) to the hot water heater. Next, you will need to turn on a bathroom hot water tap and let the hot water run for a few minutes to lower the temperature of the water that is currently in the tank. Turn that water tap off, and shut off the cold water valve at the top of the tank. Put a bucket under the water heater drain valve. Open the valve and drain the water until it runs clear, with no sandy sediment. Once the water runs clear, close the valve, and turn the electricity and/or gas back on to the unit.
- Reseal grout. Floor tile, counter tile, kitchen, bath…all of that grout is supposed to be resealed yearly! (Again, news to me!) Apparently most grout is a mixture of sand and cement, which can absorb water and bacteria. Sealing the grout protects it by making it waterproof. Follow the directions on the grout sealer you buy – it sounds like it is pretty straightforward.
- Check for water leaks. Instead of going from room to room, a good way to check would be to find your water meter. Take a water meter reading, and then avoid using any water for a few hours. If after two hours the reading on your meter changes, you most likely have a leak. If you discover that have a leak, inspect the pipes of your appliances like the dishwasher and washing machine for cracked, bulging, or damaged hoses. You can also hire a plumber to help.
- Reseal Stone Counters. Like grout, these are supposed to be resealed each year. There are some that are pre-sealed, so they wouldn’t need this step. A way to check is to put some water on your countertop. If it is absorbed quickly, that apparently means your stone is porous, and it may need to be sealed. Follow directions on the sealer you get and protect that stone.
- Wash your dryer lint screen. You should clean lint from it after every cycle, but fabric softener can build up on the screen, which could block the airflow. Bad airflow can lead to less efficient drying and can potentially cause a fire. Remove the screen from your dryer, and soak it in hot water and dishwashing soap that is designed to remove grease and oil. Gently scrub the screen with a soft brush, rinse it, and let it air-dry before reinstalling.
Doing these six items can help extend the life of these items in your home and hopefully prevent a bigger issue from happening.