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What are the most common home maintenance repairs?

8th May '18 • By Luke Oleenik

It’s often easy to find help and advice for undertaking highly challenging and specific repairs that need to be done around the home. What’s not always so easy is finding useful information about some of the more common home maintenance repairs!

Whether you’re a first-time homeowner, or simply don’t know where to start, here’s everything you need to know about general work your home may need:

Changing light bulbs

 

How long your light bulbs will last will largely depend upon the type of bulb you’re using. While most of us will now be opting for more energy efficient LED bulbs, which can last for around 25,000 - 50,000 hours, many homes do still have the older incandescent bulbs, which may only last for 1000 or 2000 hours. That means that it’s important to know how to change a light bulb (contrary to popular belief, it is not illegal to change a light bulb in Australia without a license!). In many cases, all you will need to do is unscrew the bulb from the fitting, before screwing the new bulb in. However, make sure that the light switch is turned off, and that the bulb is completely cool before touching it. If you’re still unsure, a clever house design trend is to make good use of natural light; it could be handy in an emergency situation!

changing light bulbs.jpg

Clearing gutters

 

If you’re noticing an unusual amount of water at ground level, small cracks in your foundation, or even a green, discoloured, or mouldy appearance on your brickwork and walls, then you may be having a little bit of a gutter problem. Don’t panic. Blocked gutters don’t often mean there’s anything majorly wrong. In fact, blocked gutters are usually the result of fallen leaves, moss growth, or, in some sad cases, a dead animal. The good news is that cleaning and clearing your gutters is actually easier than it sounds. All you need is a ladder long enough to reach your gutters, a scooping tool, some stiff wire (preferably a long piece), thick gloves, and a bag for collecting waste. It’s best to try and be proactive when it comes to gutters, cleaning them before they get clogged. Ideally, try to clean your gutters at least once per year. 

clearing gutters.jpg

Leaky taps

 

There are 4 main problems with a tap that drips all the time. Number 1: It’s annoying. Number 2: It could cause damp and damage. Number 3: It can end up being pretty costly over time. Number 4: It’s not great for the environment. In fact, it’s estimated that just 4000 drips from a leaky tap could waste around 1 litre of water. In many cases, a leaky tap will be caused by a worn washer or an old O-ring. Neither are particularly expensive and as you’ll need to dismantle the tap to make the repair, it’s often recommended that you replace both while you’re at it, just in case. Before getting started, be sure to turn the mains water off, and then turn on the tap to drain out any excess water. The washer and O-ring can then be replaced; remove the tap to expose the spindle, and then use a spanner to loosen the body.

Leaky taps.jpg

Patching holes

 

Holes in the walls don’t just look ugly; depending on your purchase or letting agreement you may actually have a responsibility to fill any holes before selling or vacating your property. Therefore, keeping up to date with patching is a good idea; it means you won’t need to do it all at once if you decide to move out! Small holes in the walls happen any time you drill into them to hang something, such as a mirror, a photo frame, a TV bracket, or anything else, so they’re very common. All you need to do is sand the area to remove any rough edges, add filler, and sand again. Paint the filler when dry to help it all blend together nicely. If you have a very large or deep hole you need to deal with, don’t be afraid to take a shortcut: add some newspaper into the hole to fill most of the space before adding in your filler. 

Patching Holes.jpg

They often say that ‘man’s home is his castle’, so treat it like one! While home maintenance repairs can seem tricky and time-consuming, they can actually help you to keep your home looking and feeling great, and can actively help you to prevent bigger — and much more costly — repairs in the future! 

About the author

 

Luke Oleenik serves as the Managing Director of XL Building, a trusted building company specializing in second storey additions and custom home construction across Melbourne. Prevent your dream home from turning into a nightmare with his free ultimate building guide.

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