Owning a home is a big job. While there are many tasks that you can outsource to a professional, it’s important to stay knowledgeable about the basics so you know when you can fix the issue with a quick DIY job, and when you really need to invest in outside help.

Signs of Roof Trouble

It’s easy to forget about roofing maintenance since you see this area so seldom, but it’s important to give your roof a once-over a couple times a year to look for signs of trouble. Spring and autumn are ideal seasons for this because the weather is comfortable enough to make any necessary repairs. Climb a ladder and look for cracked or missing shingles and replace these as needed. Inspect between roof peaks for debris like pine needles that can settle there.

While you’re up at roof level, check your gutters for debris. If your gutters are clogged, they won’t drain properly in rain and snow. During the winter this can create hazardous ice dams that will cause serious damage to your roof. You can clean the gutter easily with a plastic trowel or scoop and a bucket for the muck.

How to Seal Windows and Doors

Leaky windows and doors will cause your energy bills to skyrocket as your climate-controlled air slips out. You should check for cracks and leaks at least once a year. Caulk any non-moving parts, such as the window frame. Use weather stripping to seal moving parts of the windows and doors. Inspect existing weather stripping once or twice a year for fraying or cracking and replace as needed.

Indicators of Electrical Trouble

Electrical problems aren’t a DIY job, but they are something to stay knowledgeable about. Ignoring an electrical problem could put your home at risk for a fire or other damage. Watch out for lights that flicker or dim frequently, circuits that regularly trip, or outlets that buzz. Strange smells are a big problem sign as well; any appliance, outlet, or circuit box with an odor is cause for a call to your electrician.

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The Essentials for Clearing a Clog

Most clogged pipes and drains are simple DIY jobs that you can take care of yourself with basic tools. Begin by plunging the drain. If you’re working on a sink with two drains, make sure you block the other one before you begin, or you won’t get adequate suction. In a bathtub, you need to block the overflow hole.

If your plunger doesn’t do the trick, look beneath the sink. Place a bucket under the pipe to catch the water, and remove the sink trap with a pipe wrench. You can often clear the blockage from here. If you’re dealing with a clog farther down the pipe, use an auger to break up the clog.

Stay on top of these basic maintenance jobs, and you can keep things running smoothly and efficiently in your home. Tackling DIY tasks regularly will help you save big on standard upkeep, ensuring that you have the necessary funds on those occasions when you have to call a professional.

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