Things Every Homeowner Should Know

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Protect your home, your best investment, by making the right decisions and avoiding costly mistakes.

Softwood could betray the presence of termites.
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Softwood could betray the presence of termites.

These critters can feed on the wood in your home for years before being detected because they eat the inside of the studs and leave the outside intact. Frequently check available wood in crawl spaces or unfinished basements to see if it has been attacked. Firmly plant a screwdriver every 20 cm (6 in) to see if it does not have a spongy texture.


garage door
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For added security, close the garage door.

Some people “close” their garage by unplugging the opening mechanism. But closing the garage door physically is even better. An opening mechanism will not prevent a thief who entered the house from opening the garage from the inside, from entering a van backward and from using the garage as a loading dock for his booty. Make thieves’ jobs more difficult by locking the door. If you don’t have a lockable latch, drill a hole in the rail just before a roll and slip a padlock into it.


Empty your drawers in resealable bags
By Saami Ansari / shutterstock.com

Empty your drawers in resealable bags

Rather than wasting precious space in your kitchen drawers, put anything you don’t often use in sturdy resealable bags (then store the bags in a closet or garage). You will instantly find what you are looking for in these bags.


Refrigerator temperature control

Refrigerator temperature control
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Great room in the house: the kitchen and its refrigerator. Check the temperature control, if your refrigerator does not cool, make sure it has not been moved. The kids may have had fun, or someone may have accidentally hooked it.
Also, check if a container is blocking the refrigerator’s ventilation openings – they are the ones that supply cold air to the appliance. Technicians report that about three times out of ten, their intervention is limited to pushing a button or activating a switch. Small gestures that, with minimal service charges, will cost you at least between $ 50 and $ 100 – and some embarrassment. In short, try to understand first.


Reset the circuit breaker for your electrical outlet

Reset the circuit breaker for your electrical outlet

It sometimes happens that all the appliances in the bathroom – or several exterior lights – are powered by a single circuit breaker (the small red or white button in the center of the outlet) in the bathroom or elsewhere – in the basement, for example. If there is a cut, push the reset button on the outlet, and the power could very well return.


By Chris Hill / shutterstock.com

Test house outlets

If an electrical device refuses to turn on, do not immediately think that it is broken. Connect a lamp or clock to the outlet to find out if the problem does not come from there.


Inspect the circuit breakers

When light does not come on, or an outlet does not work, check on the electrical panel if a circuit breaker has not tripped. To find out, see if one of the circuit breakers is no longer aligned with the others. Close it entirely if it is not done, then reopen it completely.


Get a low-flow showerhead

The shower is the second device that consumes the most water in a house, and one of the most energy-consuming since 70% of the water used is heated. Reducing hot-water consumption will save you the cost of a low-flow shower in just a few months. And this will not result in a drop in pressure. Most low flow showerheads these days have new technology that gives the impression of very high flow.


Fill the holes under your sink.

Remove the badges (these often chrome washers) that are placed at the junction of the pipes and the walls, and you will see that there is often a vacuum around the tube. Use expanding foam to seal it. Shake the canister vigorously then apply the expanding foam in the wall. Do not fill the space because the foam will expand.

Block air leaks at doors

It is never a good thing to feel the breath of the wind through your door or to see the light of day there. But this is a problem that you should be able to fix quickly since most door sills can be lowered and raised in a few turns of the screwdriver. Adjust the screws until the door opens and closes without rubbing too much, and you no longer feel a draft.


Seal your electrical outlets

These enclosures can be a significant source of heat loss, an issue that can be quickly resolved with foam weather stripping. They are straightforward to install: simply remove the plate covering the switch or socket and place the precut polystyrene weatherstripping before screwing the plate back on.


Install a ceiling fan
By Lisa F. Young / shutterstock.com

Install a ceiling fan

Air movements increase the evaporation of sweat on your skin and increase the feeling of comfort when the temperature rises. For each degree gained below 25 ° C, you consume 5 to 10% less air conditioning.


Inspect your gutters safely

You don’t need a ladder to find out if they need cleaning. Attach a small mirror to the end of a long PVC pipe (you’ll find it in all DIY stores) that you will have cut at a 60-degree angle so that the mirror reflects the inside of the gutter.


Paint your switches with neon paint

You are no more fumbling around in the dark. You will find fluorescent paint in DIY stores.


Attach the TV remote control under the end of the living room table

Velcro-type adhesive strips allow you to stick the remote control under the coffee table. It will be easy to access without dragging on the table.


Use an old dishcloth to touch up your paint.

No need to dirty a brush. Just dip an old dishcloth in the paint, touch up and throw the laundry away when it’s done. A dishtowel leaves the same texture as a brush, and, once dry, your touch-up will blend into the whole.


Storage for measuring cups

Attach a few studs to the inside of a cabinet door and add a few hooks to it, and you’ll have the perfect storage for your measuring cups. Just make sure the measuring cups are not banging on a shelf.


Storage spaces
By Grigvovan / shutterstock.com

Storage spaces

Mount wire mesh shelves on the side of the beams for a row of easy-access storage. Unlike full shelves, it is easy to see through the wire mesh.


Sink and bathroom archives

Do not put away the manuals and spare parts that came with your kitchen and your kitchen and bathroom accessories. Instead, place them exactly where you may need them by putting them in a resealable bag and hanging it on a hook at the bottom of the cabinet.


S-hooks for your cleaning tablet

Buy a pack of S-hooks at a DIY center and transform a wire mesh shelf into a storage shelf for your cleaning equipment.


Maximize storage behind a door

A door that opens onto a closet or a utility room offers a convenient space to hang certain things. The problem is that some entries have no surface flat or solid enough to fix hooks or shelves. The solution: screw a ¾-inch plate onto the door. (On a hollow door, use screws and construction tape.) Then mount as many hooks and shelves as you want.


Mold, synonymous with probable leak

If you notice mold near pipes, drains or plumbing fixtures, it’s likely to grow on a nearby leak. Let the water run while you check the hoses and the surrounding area for any source of moisture. If you find mold on or near the ceiling, your roof may be leaking. Water can take many paths – down, to the sides and even up if it falls on an absorbent material such as drywall – so the source may be some distance from the mold.


A circuit breaker that trips continuously could indicate an overload.

Unload the circuit by connecting the devices to another course. Appliances that consume a lot of electricity are generally responsible for these overloads (heating and air conditioning equipment, etc.). If you cannot resolve this surcharge, the problem may be more serious. Call an electrician.


Should you replace or repair your hot water tank?

The life expectancy of a hot water tank varies from 10 to 15 years. The slightest repair will cost you at least 10% of the replacement cost – and more likely between 20 and 30%. If yours is about ten years old, it’s better to replace it squarely. And even if he is only eight years old!


Should you file a claim with your insurance company?

Do not do this for a claim of less than $ 1,000 in addition to your deductible. Paying a small loss or small damage out of your pocket will cost you less than the insurance premium increase you will incur later.

redo the insulation
By David Papazian / shutterstock.com

Is it an excellent investment to redo the insulation?

It’s possible … or it can turn out to be a costly mistake. First, you have to do an energy audit – it takes a few hours and a few hundred dollars. The specialist will come to your home, do some tests, give you advice on how to save energy, and possibly replace the insulation.


shut off the main water supply
By Kritsana Maimeetook / shutterstock.com

To avoid flooding, shut off the main water supply

All insurance experts have tons of stories like this: the owner leaves his home on Friday and, on returning home on Sunday, finds thousands of dollars in damage due to water damage. The lesson is simple: before going on vacation, shut off the main water supply. In less than a minute, you eliminate the number one danger in your home.

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