Being a responsible homeowner means staying on top of the required maintenance projects houses demand. While your house won't immediately explode or randomly fall apart by neglecting these projects, doing so could cause some pretty severe issues down the road.
But don't start stressing about money just yet, most home maintenance projects can be done by you - the homeowner. Learning to do some DIY home repair basics on your own will save you a ton of time and money, especially when compared to skipping it altogether.
Check out our tips below.
DIY Home Repair Tips
We all know how busy your modern life can be. You work full-time, maybe have kids, and could even be going to school on the side. However, to keep your home in prime working condition, you have to keep up on maintenance.
Sure, you could hire it all out, but it would be much more cost-effective to learn some DIY home repair tips yourself. And best yet, most of these projects don't actually take very much time.
1. Don't Let a Running Toilet Run
While a constantly running toilet may not seem like a big deal, you're not just losing water down the drain, you're basically flushing money down the toilet. You could be wasting up to 26 gallons of water a day. Over the course of a month, that's an extra 780 gallons of water a month you have to pay for!
Instead, take the lid off the toilet tank and see why it's not sealing after you flush. It could be as simple as the chain of the flush valve getting caught. Or perhaps the flush valve needs to be replaced. Either way, it's typically a quick (and cheap) fix.
2. Replace Your HVAC Filter Regularly
Another important DIY home repair tip people forget about is replacing their HVAC filters. These are cheap filters that play a big role in your family's health and well-being.
The filters in your HVAC system trap allergens such as pollen and pet dander. They also collect pet hair, mold spores, dirt, and dust. A full filter will have trouble collecting any more particles and will even slow the airflow in your home, making it less energy efficient.
3. Get Strainers for All Drainage Pipes
If you want to avoid calling the plumber once a year for a costly drainage clearing, take preventative steps to keep it from getting clogged in the first place.
The shower, tub, and bathroom sink commonly get clogged with hair that naturally falls off our heads as we shower, brush, or comb. Did you know the average person loses over 100 hairs a day?
Placing a simple hair strainer on all the drains in your bathroom will go a long way toward saving you plumber fees. Read more about common plumbing issues you can fix yourself.
4. Take Care of Water Leaks Immediately
A leaky pipe means one thing to experienced homeowners, contractors, and plumbers alike - water damage. Water is an amazing life-giving substance that nearly every living thing on earth thrives on. However, it can also be quite destructive.
Any leak in your home that allows water to go where it's not supposed to be can be potentially hazardous in terms of structural damage. Water can destroy drywall, cause wood rot, and create a major mold problem.
Start by identifying the source of the water. Then, turn off your home's water at the water shut-off valve. Finally, try to fix the leak yourself (tighten a loose joint, add sealant, etc.).
5. Keep Your Gutters Clean
Another important DIY home repair tip is to keep your gutters clean. This is more of a preventative measure than a repair tip. However, failing to keep your gutters clean could result in a whirlwind of problems.
Improperly draining gutters won't divert water away from the home as designed. Instead, water will flow over the sides of the gutters rather than down the drain pipes, creating the potential for water damage to the fascia near the roof and the foundation of the home.
You should clean or at least inspect your gutters every three months.
6. Keep Vegetation Off the House
Next, to further avoid water damage and help keep pests out of your home, make sure you keep all vegetation trimmed back so it isn't touching your home.
Vegetation near the base of your home holds moisture near the foundation, which can cause water damage. However, they also create highways for ants and other insects leading directly onto your house, which could lead to an infestation.
Finally, if tree branches are long enough that they can touch your home, they could cause serious damage during wind storms.
7. Disconnect Your Hose Before Winter Strikes
Before the outdoor temperatures drop below freezing, make sure your hose is disconnected from the outdoor spigot. The connection naturally holds water in the pipe, spigot, and hose. When temperatures drop, the water will freeze, expand, and possibly burst a pipe or ruin your hose.
8. Keep Pests Out
Another important DIY home repair tip is learning what to do about pests. If you've already got pests, you can use poison, traps, or gases to eradicate them. However, keeping them out is much easier.
Start by making sure your home is sealed up well. Then, ensure that you're never leaving food or messes out that will attract pests. Finally, remember that animals and bugs are attracted to water sources, so make sure you don't have any leaks or excess moisture around the home.
9. It's Easier to Keep Up Than to Catch Up
One of the most important DIY home repair tips to remember is that it's always easier to keep up than to catch up. Basically, it's easier to stay on top of things and handle them as they come rather than procrastinating.
Letting multiple projects build-up or escalate will be more time-consuming and expensive.
10. Know When to Call a Professional
Finally, you've got to know when to throw your hands up and admit you're in over your head. Don't let a situation get worse because you're intent on doing everything on your own.
A vital DIY home repair lesson everyone homeowner should learn is when to ask for help.
Now that you've learned some helpful DIY home repair tips, it's time to get the toolbelt out and get to work. However, before you go, check out the rest of our articles if you're looking for more tips and advice about things around the home!