Show Your House Some Love

Repairs to do NOW & Elect. Safety

6 Repairs to do NOW before things get worse.

DO NOT Procrastinate!
These things will only get worse!

1.) Replace Washer Hoses to Avoid a Flood
Inspect your washing machine hoses regularly to make sure the connections are secure, and it is free from cracks. Make sure there are at least 4 inches of clearance between the water connection and the back of the washing machine. This reduces the chances that the hose will kink. Do not leave your washing machine running while you are not at home. Even “burst-resistant” hoses can fail – usually at the coupling. If your hoses are more than five years old, replace them with braided stainless steel hoses. That $20 investment for a two-pack can eliminate thousands of dollars of damage from hoses that fail.

2.) Clean Refrigerator Coils Before Performance Deteriorates
Coils underneath or behind a refrigerator attract dust, and debris. This restricts airflow and makes the fridge work harder, which could reduce efficiency and shorten its life span. Use a $10 refrigerator coil brush twice a year (unless you have a newer model w/ enclosed coils – in which case cleaning isn’t necessary).

3.) Remove Dryer Lint Before It Catches on Fire
The U.S. Fire Administration estimates that clothes dryer fires occur about 15,600 times each year. Cleaning out the lint trap inside the dryer after each use is easy, cleaning out the vent itself is a multi-step operation. Here’s a quick step-by-step:

– Unplug the dryer & pull it away from the wall.
– Uncouple its connector to the wall (replace if it’s dented, cut or severely kinked).
– Use vent-cleaning rods, or brush by hand to make an initial pass to clean out the dryer vent.
– Remove the exhaust grille outside and repeat the procedure from the outside.
*If the dryer vent run is more than a few feet long, you can use an electric leaf blower to blow the vent clean.
– Remove the dryer’s front panel and clean the inside of the appliance, being particularly fastidious to remove lint accumulation near the heater-element box.

4.) Free a Stubborn Sliding Door Before It Gets Stuck
If it’s difficult to open and close your sliding glass door, debris may be clogging the track and jamming the wheels. To fix the problem, start by remove from the track. It’s a good idea to have a helper since the door is heavy. Remove the screws at the top and bottom rails, pull off the stile cover that keeps the door panels from lifting out, then lift up the door and pull the bottom toward you. Lay the door flat and look at the wheels along the bottom. If they’re broken, you’ll need to replace them. Otherwise, clean the wheels, door bottom, and door track with warm, soapy water. Wipe everything dry, and replace the door. Spray silicone lubricant on the track, and slide the door back and forth a few times to spread out the lubricant across the track.

5.) Snip Wayward Carpet Strands to Eliminate Runs
This one’s easy, but surprisingly important. Strands of loop carpet that stick up higher than the rest of the floor need to be cut down to size. Otherwise, you can catch one with your vacuum cleaner or have a curious kid pull on it, which will cause it to unravel and leave a run across the floor.

6.) Fill Cracks in Your Driveway
Small driveway cracks quickly turn into planters for grass and weeds.  Start by using a herbicide to kill weeds &/or grass, then pull them out and rake the joint clean with an old hacksaw blade, wire brush, or putty knife. Fill asphalt a cold patch or crack filler; use Quickrete or similar patch for concrete. Be sure to rigorously follow the manufacturer’s advice, and consider sealing the entire driveway.

Electrical Safety
Electricity is an essential part of our lives. However, it has the potential to cause great harm. Electrical systems will function almost indefinitely, if properly installed and not overloaded or physically abused. Electrical fires in our homes claim the lives of 485 Americans each year and injure 2,305 more. Some of these fires are caused by electrical system failures and appliance defects, but many more are caused by the misuse and poor maintenance of electrical appliances, incorrectly installed wiring, and overloaded circuits and extension cords.

9 Safety Tips to remember:
1 – Correct overloaded circuits / double tapped breakers.
2 – Never use anything but the proper fuse / breaker to protect a circuit.
3 – Never use extension cords as permanent wiring.  
4 – Never place extension cords under rugs.
5 – Outlets near water sources should be GFI-protected.
6 – Keep trees near power lines trimmed.
7 – Keep ladders, kites, and anything else away from overhead power lines.
8 – Routinely check your electrical appliances and wiring.
9 – Replace all worn, old and damaged appliance cords immediately.

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