Monday, August 6, 2012

August home-maintenance checklist - cont.

Fix leaky faucets
Check faucets for leaks and install new rubber gaskets by unscrewing the faucet end, removing the old gasket and reassembling it. Also fix dripping faucets. First, shut off the water under the sink. For sinks with independent hot and cold water faucets, dismantle each faucet, removing the washers (rings made of rubber, plastic or brass). Put the washers in a sandwich bag and bring them to the hardware store to look for replacements. Reassemble the faucets and turn the water back on. For a single-arm faucet, fix leaks by replacing the faucet’s inner workings. That’s not hard, because you can just note the brand and buy a faucet rebuild kit (about $50 at hardware stores). Dismantle the faucet, laying out the pieces on a paper towel. Shoot a photo or make a sketch to refer to when assembling it. Put the faucet back together and turn the water back on.

Clean and replace grout and caulk
Inspect the grout in tiled areas of your home, particularly in bathrooms and the kitchen. If grout is cracked or missing, remove and replace it in the affected areas. Grout should be cleaned regularly, particularly if it comes into contact with moisture, to keep it free from stains and mold. Use an old toothbrush and one of these cleaning products: TSP, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, bleach or grout cleaning solutions (available at tile stores or on the Internet). Inspect the seal around sinks, showers and tubs and recaulk any spots where caulk has cracked or separated. Use silicone tub and tile caulk.

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