5 Home Maintenance Skills Every Homeowner Should Master

Like it or not, owning a home requires constant upkeep. While there will be many times when you’ll want to give a plumber, contractor, or other specialists a call, it pays to master a few home maintenance skills yourself to save time and money.

Here are a few basic tasks every homeowner should master.

1. Changing Your Air Filters

HVAC systems use filters to trap dust and pollen, preventing these pollutants from spreading throughout your home. Changing your air filters quarterly will keep your system running smoothly and help cut your energy bills.

2. How to Caulk

Caulking is a simple task that helps keep air and water at bay. Remove old caulk with a utility knife and make sure your surface is clean and dry. Cut the nozzle of the caulk tube about ¼ inch from the end for the perfect-size bead. Use even pressure when applying and smooth the line with a wet finger.

3. Resetting a Circuit Breaker

When a circuit breaker becomes overloaded, it “trips” or stops supplying power to that area. Restoring power is as simple as flipping the designated circuit breaker switch or hitting the ‘reset’ button on a grounded outlet (typically located in areas close to water like kitchens and bathrooms).

4. Shutting Off Your Water

Water can lead to major damage in your home, so in the event of a leak or a burst pipe, you’ll want to be able to shut off your water quickly to avoid costly repairs. Have a home inspector, plumber, contractor, or knowledgeable friend help you locate and tag your home’s main water valve.

5. How to Clean Your Gutters

Clogged gutters can cause damage to your home’s siding and foundation, so it’s important to clean them at least once a year. Use your hand, a gutter scoop and/or trowel to remove twigs, leaves, and gunk starting near downspouts. Finish by flushing the remaining debris with a garden hose.

Sources | www.trulia.com• www.realtor.com