It is that time of year again!  With winter upon us and the holidays fast approaching it is important to complete some housekeeping tasks.
From replacing the batteries in smoke detectors, caulking around the bathtub and cleaning faucets most are quick and easy repairs and take only a few tools.
Number 1:  Carbon Monoxide & Smoke Detectors
Let’s face it, the weather is getting cold outside.  Many of us are cranking up the heat and firing up the fireplaces.  One of the most important times to be certain the detectors are functioning properly.
On the front of the detector there is a “test” button.  Press and hold the button and listen for a “beep”.  If you do not hear a beep or if the batteries are more than a year old, replace the batteries and test again.  It is good practice to write the date of batter replacement, and it is often suggested to use a piece of tape and stick it to the back of the cover with the date the batteries were last changed.
A dirty detector will often give false alarms.  It is important to blow out the detector.  If you have a can of compressed air, use that to clean each head.
The useful life of these detectors are often about 10 years.  If they need to be replaced, take the head down and go to your nearest supply store and ask for assistance.  They will be happy to help you choose a new product for your home.
Number 2: Bathtub Caulk
Damage to your home and possibly to a neighbor can be avoided by this simple task.  Replacing failing caulk in the bathroom can reduce damage and mold growth.
If the caulk is cracked, worn out or unsightly it is time to have it replaced.
  • You will need a chisel or putty knife to remove the existing caulk.
  • Put some bleach in a spray bottle and dilute it with water.  Use the spray to clean around the tub to kill any unwanted bacteria, mildew or mold.
  • Dry completely (pro tip: use a blow dryer to dry faster).
  • Apply silicone caulk to the joint.
  • Here is a video we found with a great step by step
Number 3: Water Line Filters – Washing Machine
Did you know that the water lines leading into the washer have filters to prevent sediment from entering the machine?  If you machine is taking a long time to fill up, it is time to get them cleaned!
Here is how:
  • Turn the water off (this is an important step)
  • Be careful pulling the washer away from the wall.  If you need an extra hand, be sure to do so.
  • Unscrew the supply lines
  • Locate the filters on the inlets
  • scrub the filters with a brush to remove all debris
  • Reconnect
  • Turn water back on
Number 4: Clean the Garbage Disposal
You will need –
  1. About a half cup of baking soda
  2. About a full cup of vinegar
  3. A pot of boiling water
While you are waiting for your water to boil –
  • Put 1/2 cup of baking soda in drain
  • Pour 1 cup of vinegar down the drain
This is going to cause some bubbling – that’s a good thing!
  • When the bubbles go away, pour the hot water down the drain
Number 5: Clean out gutters and downspouts
This is really something that should have been completed in the fall.  However, if not completed yet it is very important to make sure you have cleaned your gutters and downspouts.
You will need:
  • Gloves
  • Trash bag
  • Ladder
Make sure you look for any overhead wires before getting started.
As you pass around your house it is best practice to have someone hold the ladder while you clean the gutters.  Be careful!
Number 6: Replace your Furnace Filter
You may have an oil, gas or electric furnace.  Doesn’t really matter when it comes to the filter.  However, if you have a gas furnace you will want to check to make sure the blue gas can escape properly.
  • Shut your furnace off
  • Take off the access panel
  • Remove the filter (to find out the size if necessary)
    • If needed pick up a new filter
  • Take a vacuum and clean out the excess dirt and grime
  • Replace the filter
  • Replace access panel
  • Turn gas back on
    • Light pilot light if necessary

If you are looking for maintenance to complete these projects please contact our sister company Multifamily Maintenance and Construction!


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Phone: 720-665-2576