9 Quick Home Maintenance Tips

Home maintenance isn’t restricted to repairs. In fact, certain tasks–when performed regularly–may actually prevent things from breaking in the first place. But when things do go wrong (and it’s inevitable that they do), we have some backup plans that you can try before you grab the phone to call for pro. Appliances and plumbing are the most frequent offenders, but they also often can be the simplest to care for. From the gutters to the living room carpet, there’s a reliable method for keeping every part of your home clean, safe, and well maintained.

Quick Home Maintenance Tips. Handyman, Commercial and Residential Real Estate Care Services for Boston and Greater Boston

9 Quick Home Maintenance Tips

MUST-DO MAINTENANCE:

The quickest fix is to not have the problem in the first place. Here’s a checklist of items every homeowner should get to regularly.

1. Test your garage door opener monthly to ensure that it reverses when it hits an obstruction or when its sensor beam is interrupted.

2. Vacuum the clothes dryer’s exhaust duct at least once a year. If the duct is plastic, replace it (it’s a fire hazard). Rigid sheet-metal ducting is best.

3. Replace furnace filters quarterly, or as recommended by the furnace manufacturer.

4. Test all GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets monthly. Press the test button and use a voltage tester to make sure the power goes off.

5. Clean leaves and debris from the condenser of a central air conditioner seasonally.

6. Once a year, vacuum the refrigerator coils underneath the appliance.

7. Have the fireplace chimney inspected and cleaned annually.

8. Inspect window and door caulking and weather stripping yearly.

9. Replace the batteries in smoke detectors yearly. And remember, even recent hard-wired smoke detectors have backup batteries that must be replaced. If you have never checked yours, do so.

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How to Prevent and Deal With Frozen Pipes

A 1/8-inch crack can leak up to 250 gallons of water a day, causing flooding, structural damage and the immediate potential for mold.

How to Prevent and Deal With Frozen Pipes advice by Boston Home Services

How to Prevent and Deal With Frozen Pipes? Advice by Boston Home Services.

Why Frozen Pipes Are a Problem

Water expands as it freezes. This expansion puts extreme pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor water faucets, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. Also, pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.

A 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can leak up to 250 gallons of water a day, causing flooding, serious structural damage, and the immediate potential for mold.

In the US, frozen pipes cause significant damage every year, but they often can be prevented. Taking a few simple steps, even now, may save you the aggravation and expense.

Prevention

There are three common causes of frozen pipes:

1. Quick drops in temperature

2. Poor insulation

3. Thermostats set too low

There are a number of preventative steps you can take to keep your pipes from freezing:

  • Check the insulation of pipes in your home’s crawl spaces and attic. Exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing.
  • Heat tape or thermostatically controlled heat cables can be used to wrap pipes. Be sure to use products approved by an independent testing organization, such as Underwriters Laboratories Inc., and only for the use intended (exterior or interior). Closely follow all manufacturers’ installation and operation instructions.
  • Seal leaks that allow cold air inside near where pipes are located. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, and pipes, and use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out. With severe cold, even a tiny opening can let in enough cold air to cause a pipe to freeze.
  • Use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. This reduces the chance of freezing in the short span of pipe just inside the house.
  • A trickle of hot and cold water might be all it takes to keep your pipes from freezing. Let warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall.
  • Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during both day and night. You might be in the habit of turning down the heat when you’re asleep, but further drops in the temperature – more common overnight – could catch you off guard and freeze your pipes.
  • Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.

If Your Pipes Do Freeze…

Don’t panic. Just because they’re frozen doesn’t mean they’ve already burst. Here’s what you can do:

  • If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, leave the faucets turned on and call a plumber.
  • If your house or basement is flooding, turn off the water valve and immediately call 911.
  • Do not touch or use electrical appliances in areas of standing water due to electrocution concerns.
  • Never try to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flame because it could cause a fire hazard. Every year, many building fires are caused by people trying to thaw frozen pipes. All open flames in homes present a serious fire danger, as well as a severe risk of exposure to lethal carbon monoxide.
  • You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe with the warm air from a hair dryer. Start by warming the pipe as close to the faucet as possible, working toward the coldest section of pipe.
  • Again, if your water pipes have already burst, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve in the house; leave the water faucets turned on and call 911. Make sure everyone in your family knows where the water shutoff valve is and how to open and close it. Likely places for the water turn-off valve include internal pipes running against exterior walls or where water service enters a home through the foundation.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat set to a temperature no lower than 55ºF.

Find the original article How to Prevent and Deal With Frozen Pipes here.

Summer home maintenance tips

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Summer isn’t just sunshine and trips to the beach. It is also a good time to complete some of your home improvements! Here I have combined a few DYI items:

Keep your cool with a fan. There’s an easy trick to keeping cooler and saving money, and it’s as close as your ceiling fan. Switch the ceiling fan’s blades so the leading edge is higher as the fan turns, so you can feel the breeze from the fan as it rotates. This simple action will push cool air down, enabling you to set the air-conditioning lower and save money on energy. Air moving can be performed just as well by a floor fan or high velocity oscillating pedestal fan.

Clean Your Dryer Vent. Without some maintenance, your dryer could cause a house fire. The U.S. Fire Administration reports nearly 16,000 dryer fires occur annually, which happen largely because dryers’ vents get clogged with lint and dust. Thankfully, you can avoid any unnecessary dryer-caused danger with a few simple steps. First, you’ll need a vent-cleaning brush kit, which can clean your dryer vent tubing more thoroughly than a vacuum cleaner can. Begin by cleaning the dryer’s lint trap housing with a smaller brush to remove as much lint and dust as possible. Then disconnect the dryer duct from the dryer and the wall for a thorough cleaning. Also use a brush to clean the vent on the outside of the house to keep both ends clean and free of lint. A dryer fire is just the sort of thing you’ll want to be sure you’re covered for.

Air conditioning tune up: The number one priority for your summer home maintenance checklist is to have your air conditioning (AC) unit tuned up. As important as getting your car tuned, your AC needs to be tuned to inspect and prevent unwanted emergencies. The tune up is used to inspect refrigerant levels, which is important for your AC to keep running cool and keep your summer electric bills low, as well as to ensure your fan is functioning well, your coils are thoroughly cleaned and there are no potential fire hazards with faulty wiring. Homeowner tip: You can keep your AC bill running smoothly by changing or cleaning out your air filters often. Experts advise changing or cleaning them them once a month when using your unit on a daily basis.

Roof check. Your roof should be inspected annually to ensure that you don’t have any problems. Whether you have just ended your rainy season or are about to begin it, checking your roof regularly will assist in finding a small problem before it becomes a large, leaky one. Contingent on the type of roof, you may also want to clean your roof to avoid any permanent water damage.

Clean gutters. Cleaning gutters regularly will help prevent clogging and unnecessary leaks. It is recommended that gutters are cleaned twice a year: once at late fall/early winter, after all of the leaves have fallen and prior to the first snowfall, and once at late spring/early summer after flowers, seeds and blossoms are done blowing off.
Window check. Ensure that the hot summer heat stays outside by checking and maintaining your home’s windows. One of the key items in window maintenance is routinely checking the sealants. Ensure that both inside and out are secured, and caulk any open areas in between. Also, check weather-stripping for any faults and replace it immediately if there is an issue. Taking care of windows will keep your home looking and feeling good. Homeowner tip: Use a small paintbrush or toothbrush when cleaning windows to get to hard-to-reach areas.

Pressure wash the exterior.

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An important element of maintaining your home’s exterior is to routinely clean it, and the easiest way to do so is to pressure wash the walls. Do it to remove dirt, stains and mildew, especially prior to painting. Before you wash, just ensure that you cover plants, electrical outlets, windows and doors to avoid any DIY mishaps.

Keep Your Deck Healthy. Your deck provides a great place to hang out in the summer, but it needs a little TLC to stay in good shape. Visually inspect the boards to look for curling, cracked, or rotting wood. If you see a board that’s damaged, remove it and replace it with a board that you’ve cut to fit the same space. Go underneath your deck to make sure the support structure is in good shape, and keep an eye out for cracked boards and missing screws or nails. If you see signs of insects or unwanted animals, such as spider webs or chewed boards, call a pest-control expert to take care of the problem. Lastly, if your deck is sealed or stained, some experts say you should refinish it annually. Start by power washing the deck, then letting it thoroughly dry. Remove the finish or seal with a remover/stripper, and let it dry again. With a sander and medium-grit sandpaper, lightly sand the deck, then remove all of the dust before continuing. Before you apply your finish, do a small test area to make sure you’ve got the right color. If you do, apply the finish with the wood’s grain and don’t stop in the middle—that can cause uneven coloring and streaks. Two things to remember: make sure you’re wearing a mask to prevent inhaling dust and fumes, and don’t do any of this work if it’s going to rain.

Spruce Up Your Paint Job. When your house looks good, it makes your entire property look better. So every summer, rent a power washer and use a mild detergent to clean your house’s exterior. With just a little work (that’s actually pretty fun), you can get rid of dirt, dust, bird droppings, tree sap, and more. And it provides a good opportunity for you to inspect your house and make sure everything is still in good order.

Pool maintenance. Depending on where you live, it’s probably been a good six months since your pool has been used for swimming. Get it ready for summer by cleaning it up, leveling the water, ensuring that your pumps are working and balancing your chemicals. Start at least a week prior to swim season to ensure that the water and your new bathing suit are safe from chemical harm. Homeowner tip: Look into an energy-efficient pool pump to help keep your electric bill down during the summer months.

Boston Handyman Services for Homes and Businesses

Every project is original and here is how Boston Home Services can help you with yours
Here are just a few of many ideas how Boston Home Services can help you.

Just moved? Congrats! You’ll be relaxing in your new space in no time as we get your home feeling like home smoothly and quickly.

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FLAT RATE PRICING

Hanging Wall Decor? We are experts at that! From pictures to mirrors and shelves, we have you covered. Our team will always come prepared with all proper tools and hardware to get your job done right.

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Boston Furniture Assembly Let us assemble your furniture – we will save you tons of time and frustration! Setting up your IKEA? Awesome! We are superstars at IKEA furniture assembly. Seriously. Trust us with yourIKEA furniture assembly project in Boston. Our handyman and home services are insured and come with a 6 month warranty.

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Flat Screen TV Wall-Mounting. Book Boston Home Services to have your TV mounted. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about TV Wall Mounting service.

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Flat screen TV mounting at a flat rate. We cover Greater Boston area.

Moving Help.  We can help with the packing, lifting and loading. Just Moved? Get Help to Set Up Your New Home!

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Boston Home Services will help you with packing and loading.

Interior and Exterior Painting. From small touch ups to larger interior and exterior painting projects. Hire us when a large painting crew is not required.

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Hire Boston Home Services pro for your painting project.

Window Treatments. Experts at installing all types of window treatments, including blinds, curtains, shades and shutters.

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Window Treatments Installing? Boston Home Services has got your back!

Knobs & Locks. From doorknobs to chain locks, we have you covered.

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No job too small to Boston Home Services – call us today.

Drains and Toilets. Sometimes calling a licensed plumber is not necessary. We troubleshoot all sorts minor plumbing issues, replace your toilet with new and lower your expenses for plumbing jobs that do not require a licensed plumber by the Massachusetts Plumbing Code. When your plumbing project requires a licensed plumber we will help you find one.

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Call Boston Home Services when a licensed plumber is not necessary.

Light Fixtures.  When calling a licensed electrician is not necessary we can lower your expenses. We will replace hard to reach high ceiling lightbulbs, install prewired light fixtures, replace light covers and complete electrical jobs that do not require a licensed electrician by the Massachusetts Electrical Code. When your electrical project requires a licensed electrician we will help you find one. 

We will replace hard to reach high ceiling lightbulbs, install prewired light fixtures, replace light covers and complete electrical jobs that do not require a licensed electrician by the Massachusetts Electrical Code
To lower your expenses hire Boston’s best handyman team when a licensed electrician is not necessary.

Power Washing. Oily driveways, mud-caked semi trucks, or barnacle-ridden boats . . . You name it, we’re equipped with specialized power-washing equipment can clean it. Call is for spotless results!

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Power washing / pressure washing is part of what Boston Home Services offer.

Air Conditioner. Save yourself from the summer heat and let our professional handyman install your window AC.

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Hire a Boston handyman to install or remove your window unit!

Do not see your project listed above? Please call for a consultation #617-651-2582 or Send us an Email.

Boston Handyman proudly serves the residents of:

Our technical background is a combination of experience in construction, home repairs and mechanical systems. Our property care services are used by tenants, homeowners and businesses in Boston, Metro Boston, Greater Boston and we are committed to earn your trust.

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Boston Home Services services: Handyman, IKEA Furniture Assembly, Painting, Flat Screen TV Wall Mounting, Property Management, Cleaning, Gardening, Landscaping, Carpentry and more!

HOME CLEANING + HOUSEKEEPING FOR THE GREATER BOSTON

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Property Management, Handyman, Repair, Cleaning Services and much more by BHM of Boston!

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