Tuesday, April 1, 2014 / by William Culp
While a house doesn't come with an owner's manual, there are several things you can do to stay on top of, and ahead of, your home. Knowing how to handle small maintenance fixes will save you stress and money. Save your dollars for when it's really time to call in a professional. In order to feel confident handling simple maintenance tasks, read through the following tips and tricks.:
1. Open the garage door when the power is out. Need to leave the house in a power outage? Pull on that red cord dangling from the ceiling-mounted operator. This disengages the chain drive, allowing you to manually slide the door up its track.
2. Remove the base of a broken light bulb. Accidentally break a lightbulb while it's still screwed into your lamp? No need to panic, as long as you have a potato in the pantry. Take a raw potato, cut it in half, and press the sliced end onto the jagged glass. Then, simply unscrew. This is also a great party trick.
3. Learn how to locate a stud. Trying to hang a heavy mirror? Nothing is worse than ripping a hole in your drywall. Many people know how to rap on walls to locate a stud. But there is a systematical approach, as well. The majority of studs are placed at 16-inch intervals, so once you knuckle one out, you can usually find the others.
4. Remedy a seized lock. Can't jiggle your keys in the door any longer? Don't worry - your spouse didn't change the locks. Chances are, your lock is seized. Instead of calling a locksmith who will hand you a hefty bill, head to the drug store and arm yourself with WD-40. Spray some into the lock to get the gears moving again.
5. Unclog a sink. No, not with a chemical pour, which really only burns a hole in the blockage. To really clear out a block, you need to clear out the mechanism. To do so, remove the stopper and block off overflow holes. Then, run water into the sink and as the water runs, plunge the hole with a plunger. Not enough? Get yourself a hand snake and push the coil down the drain to clear out the block.
It's important to remember that you can only DIY so often. Know when it's time to bring in the professionals – anything involving electricity or wiring is usually a good time for the real deal.
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