10 Home Maintenance and Repair Skills All Homeowners Should Be Familiar With

It might be easy to change a light bulb or tighten a loose cabinet handle, but there are several other tasks that will need to be done around the house over time. If you constantly call in a handyman to take care of these little jobs for you, you’ll be spending a fortune.

Instead, handling these jobs yourself can help you get better acquainted with your home and save a few bucks.

Here are a few skills you may want to become familiar with in order to keep your home in proper working order.

1. Shutting Off the Main Water Source

Imagine the kitchen sink pipes bursting, or the toilet valve leaking. Such scenarios can quickly lead to flooding, which can wreak major havoc on your home. When this happens, shutting off the main water source can help to put a stop to the gushing water and minimize any damage that may occur. But what if you don’t know where this source is?

Knowing where to shut the water off can help you prevent water damage that can end up costing you dearly.

2. Turning Off the Gas

If you smell gas in your home, call the gas company right away. In the meantime, knowing how to turn off the gas can help to minimize the dangers you may be exposed to. The shut-off valve for the gas running into your home is typically located at the gas meter outside of your home. You’ll need a wrench or something similar to turn it off.

3. Fixing a Leaky Faucet

Faucets tend to drip, but you don’t necessarily have to call the plumber just yet if the issue is minor in nature. Not only is a leaky faucet annoying, it also wastes a ton of water, which you’ll quickly notice when you get your water bill.

4. Cleaning Your Gutters

The gutters outside of your home play a crucial role in protecting the structure. Namely, they’re responsible for directing any water from rain away from the home. If they’re not working properly, they can allow water to pool near the foundation of the home, which can then seep into your home and cause water damage.

Your gutters should ideally be cleaned out every year and inspected for any signs of damage. If you’re comfortable climbing a ladder, you can clean these gutters out yourself to make sure they’re free and clear of any debris that could be blocking proper drainage.

5. Powering Off the Circuit Breakers

It’s not uncommon for a fuse to blow every so often, and when this happens, it’s helpful to know where your circuit panel is and how to switch the breakers on and off. Some homeowners may mistakenly think that there’s a power outage when the power goes out in one room but not another. But if power is still on in certain parts of the home, most likely all that’s needed is a flip of a switch in the breaker box.

Sometimes all that’s required is a reset of the breakers to help power up small appliances without having to call in the electrician. Grounded outlets tend to come with reset buttons, especially those in kitchens and bathrooms where they may be exposed to water.

Be sure to check out the circuit breaker and all grounded outlets when you first move into your home to get familiar with them so that if there’s ever a problem, you’ll know how to deal with it.

6. Changing the Temperature on the Water Heater

Do you really need scalding hot water flowing out of your faucets? Probably not, but your water heater is working hard to keep the water hot, which costs money and uses energy. You can save some money by turning the temperature down. If you know how to turn the thermostat on your water heater down to a lower temperature, you can not only save money and energy, but you can also prevent any chances of scalding.

7. Changing Your Air Filters

In order to ensure high air quality in your home, your air filters will need to be changed every so often. You might notice your home being dustier than it should be, and changing the air filters can help alleviate this issue. Every three to six months should suffice, but they’ll probably have to be changed more frequently if anyone in the home suffers from allergies or respiratory issues.

8. Caulking Cracks and Air Leaks

Caulking is highly used in home construction and is used to seal up cracks and gaps that may allow air and other elements to enter or escape the home. You’ll notice caulking around your windows to prevent any cooled air from escaping or hot air from seeping in. You’ll also notice caulking around your faucets or shower heads to prevent any water from going anywhere other than out into the sink or shower stall.

But over time, the caulking can break down and loosen. When this happens, the affected areas will need to be recaulked. You can easily do this yourself with the right tools, including a caulking gun and caulk material.

9. Fixing a Running Toilet

Toilets that don’t stop running are noisy and waste water. Instead of calling a plumber, you can easily fix this yourself by getting familiar with the flush valve assembly. In order to gain access to this component, you’ll need to lift the top of the toilet tank, then simply reposition part of the assembly until the running stops.

10. Cleaning the Refrigerator Coils

Think about how hard your fridge is working to keep all of your food products chilled. After all this work, this major appliance will need a little attention once in a while, and that includes having its coils cleaned.

Filthy coils can cause the fridge to work harder than necessary, which can lead to a breakdown sooner rather than later. To clean the coils, all you need to do is pull the fridge off the wall, unplug it, and vacuum the coils (which are usually under or at the back of the fridge).

The Bottom Line

Getting acquainted with certain home maintenance and repair tasks can help ensure your home is working as smoothly as possible without constantly having to call in the repairman to deal with these issues for you. Not everyone is necessarily handy, but you can still learn a trick or two to keep your home in tip-top shape.