When it comes to caring for your home, do you ever feel like you do the same things over and over and over again? It may seem like you are diligently attending to the needs of your property, but could you be working smarter instead of harder?
When you are performing maintenance tasks around the house, in many cases there is a fix--and then there's a solution. The fix often only involves treating and repairing the symptom of a problem. And when we simply fix the issues around our homes, we often find ourselves back out to do the same task next month or next year because we never really solved the root problem.
So in honor of Groundhog Day (and as a tribute to one of my favorite movies), here are some of my personal household "repeat offenders." If you have some of the same issues around your place, this time try the root fix, and break the cycle for good!
- My dishwasher smells. You keep running sanitizing cycles, flushing with vinegar, cleaning the rubber seals, you've even occasionally used a scented powder pack like we've suggested on this blog to deodorize and refresh your washer. But have you cleared debris from around the drain? Did you know that you can remove the grate at the bottom of the washer? You can. You'll need to unplug the washer for safety and be careful not to drop any screws as you work. Here are some great how to instructions.
- My sink gets clogged/is slow to drain. You use drain cleaner regularly to keep your sink drain clear and functional. But if you don't want to keep buying chemicals over and over again, you might want to delve a little deeper into the problem (pun intended). One thing that is often overlooked is habits. Anyone using the sink should remember not to rinse debris, nail clippings, strands of hair, or hair gel down the drain. I had a habitually slow sink drain in my master bath, and since my husband and I don't normally use it at the same time, I actually didn't know that he had been trimming his beard into the sink. Now, he uses old newspaper and the clippings go in the trash--voila! That sink no longer clogs.
- I am constantly repairing water erosion in my yard. Do you spend much of the fall and spring fixing bare spots in the lawn, replacing mulch in flower beds, repairing and replacing decorative borders and wood elements around your yard due to water erosion and damage? I did too...until I happen to observe my yard from an upstairs window during a rainstorm. It helped me to notice that I had a huge grading and water drainage issue. When I took the time to redirect the water properly, the other issues melted away.
What are some of the solutions you've found around your house--after weeks, months or even years of fixes that didn't work long-term? We'd love to hear them! (And save ourselves from a Groundhog Day nightmare of our own).
Posted By: Chrissy Doremus, U.S. Inspect Blog