Chicago Home and Lifestyles – Home maintenance tips

Summer is definitely the season for outdoor activities. However, don’t neglect the indoor tasks that will help to maintain your home. The following list will help you keep your home up to standard:

Clean the sediment from your hot water heater. This will extend the life of your water heater and increase its’ efficiency. Release at least half of the water in the tank from the bottom. This will rinse out any sediment on the bottom of the tank. Do this yearly.

Clean your gutters. It is best to have a professional do this; as ladders can be very dangerous. Clogged gutters cause roof and foundation damage as water does not flow freely away from the house. Do this after all the leaves fall every year. While you have your guy up on the ladder have him do a visual inspection of the roof for any missing or damaged shingles.

Dirty brooms and dustpans spread germs and bacteria all over the house. Clean them every two months or so by soaking in a pail of water and dish soap for an hour. Let dry thoroughly before using. 

Keep your garbage disposal blades clean and sharp while getting rid of lingering odors. First, drop in some eggshells and let the disposal run with the water running also. Follow up with a lemon cut into chunks to give a lovely fresh scent.

Clean your dryer vent. This is the cause of many home fires every year. It can also cause damage to the dryer. You can use a flat vacuum attachment to clean the dryer vent. You can also use a brush. You can locate a DIY dryer vent kit found at home stores. 

Test your smoke detectors. Do not just press the button. Light a few matches then blow them out letting the smoke drift up to the detector. If it does not go off, replace the smoke detector immediately. The newer detectors have batteries that last ten years. 

Clean your refrigerator coils. Most are on the bottom by the floor and end up with all the dirt, dust and pet hair that swirls around your kitchen. Unplug the refrigerator and vacuum the coils thoroughly. You may need to use soap and water to remove greasy residue. 

Do reseal your stone surfaces yearly. Use sealer meant for your specific stone. Apply the sealer with a rag. Wipe away any excess with a towel when dry. Always follow instructions on the sealer for the number of coats needed and drying time. 

If you have a fireplace that is in use, remember to have it professionally checked and cleaned every few years depending on usage. This can help prevent a fire hazard. 

We hope you find these tips useful.

Kathleen Weaver-Zech and Dean’s Team Chicago