Homeownership comes with a lot of responsibility. You need to keep up with so many things to maintain your home that it can feel overwhelming. Conducting a professional home inspection is undoubtedly the best way to keep everything in your home running smoothly and in top-tier condition without having to do much. An experienced inspector can help you catch and solve potential problems early and provide honest feedback on your home's current condition. This way, you have a clue of where to start with your routine maintenance.
While some maintenance tasks may require a professional's help, some basic projects are easy to complete on your own. Below are five crucial things you need to know about your home.
How to Shut Off the Water to the Home
If you're going away for a long time, shutting off your main water supply is always best to prevent any water damage while you're gone. To do this, you will need to locate the main shut-off valve. The location of this valve and the type used can vary depending on your home's age and the climate of your area. If you stay in colder areas, you'll find it in the basement. In warmer regions, the valve can be found outside your home, attached to a wall or below ground, with a lid on top. Older homes typically have a gate valve, while a ball valve is more common in modern homes. Once you've located the main valve, get yourself a bucket, some slip joint pliers, and a crescent wrench. Turn on a sink somewhere in the house before shutting off the valve to ensure the water flow stops. If your home has a gate valve, handle it gently since it can break.
How to Turn On/Off/Reset Electrical Breaker
When your home's electrical breaker trips, are you be able to reset it? Fortunately, resetting a tripped breaker is pretty simple and can be completed within a few minutes. You can find your circuit breaker inside your home's service panel. The main purpose of this breaker is to cut off the power supply to a room in case of an electrical overload. To reset your breaker, start by switching off all the lights and unplugging devices. Ensure that your hands, the surrounding area, and the floor are dry before reaching for the circuit. Turn the breaker handle off and then turn it back on. Finally, test your circuit to see if it works.
How to Replace Batteries for Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Find something sturdy to stand on if the detector is too high from the floor. Carefully remove the cover by twisting it to the left. Take out your old battery and replace it with the new one. Ensure you align the positive and negative signs on the battery. If your Smoke Alarm & Carbon Monoxide alarm is 10 years or older it's time to replace the whole device.
How to Shut Off Water at a Specific Water Fixture
Most modern homes allow you to shut off the water supply at a specific fixture without having to stop your home's entire water supply. This way, other fixtures in your home can still operate normally while you work on the affected one. The first step is finding the fixture's shut-off valve. If it's a sink faucet, you will find the valve below the sink. Any sink that produces cold and hot water will have two separate valves. Turn them clockwise to effectively shut off the water supply.
How to Shut Off the Gas to the Home
Knowing how to shut off the main valve regulating your home's gas supply is essential during major renovation or construction projects involving gas pipelines. In rare scenarios, you may need to shut off your gas supply in case of a natural disaster. Start by finding your main gas valve. It's usually located near your gas meter fitted outside or inside your home. Next, use a wrench and turn the lever until its perpendicular to the pipe. Once you've shut off the gas, leave it like that. Avoid turning it back on yourself. Let professionals do this as they will thoroughly check your system and help you to relight appliances safely.
Being aware of these helpful tips by yourself can help you save money and time. However, not every homeowner can successfully perform them. During your home inspection, you are welcomed to ask for the inspector to show you the following tips above as they may come in handy.