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Common Home Problems And How To Deal With Them

Common Home Problems And How To Deal With Them

Common Home Problems And How To Deal With Them

When it comes to home ownership the home owners are the ones responsible to make repairs or call a professional to help out.  An unmaintained home can quickly lead to disaster as little things like plumbing leaks, leaking gutters, electrical problems can turn into major repairs requiring a lot of money to fix.  On the other hand fixing those minor issues can be a great cost savings to the owner and results in a home that works great and stands the test of time.  Check out some of the common home problems and how best to deal with them below.

Clogged Toilet

Nothing can be worse than a clogged toilet.  Especially if there is only one toilet in the house avoiding a clogged toilet is not possible.  Whether the clog is a result of children putting things in the toilet that don’t belong, old drain lines or something else, clearing a clogged toilet can be easy with the right tools.  A plunger and a toilet auger are must haves for any homeowner as their onetime cost alone should total no more than $50 dollars for a good set.  On the other hand a call to a plumber for clearing any toilet clog can be $75 or more per call and that sometimes is just the starting fee.  If a particular toilet is prone to clogging the cost of calling a plumber can add up over time.  To learn how to properly plunge or auger a toilet be sure to check out this article here which takes you through the steps of unclogging drains.

Clogged Sinks

Clogged sinks are another common issue that generally will happen to most homeowners in their home. Depending on the nature of the clog a plunger or auger may be able to help clear the clog.  Be cautious of some drain cleaning chemicals as some can do more harm to the drain pipes than good.  Some of the drain cleaning chemicals can be pretty harsh so one should make sure the chemicals are used in accordance with the directions and wearing the appropriate protective gear like gloves and whatever leaking pipeelse the label calls for. Additionally make sure you are not mixing chemicals as sometimes the combination of some cleaners with drain cleaning chemicals can create toxic gasses.

Leaking Sinks

Leaking water from sinks is not a matter to let go and hope nothing major happens.  Water dripping on wood over time will cause water damage and as that water sits it can also cause mold problems.  For under sink leaks homeowners need to look to the connections holding the pipes together.  Sometimes these connectors can come loose from items underneath the sink bumping into them or if they were not properly installed in the first place.  If the connectors are loose, tightening them can help stop the leaks.  If tightening the connections does not help, the homeowner should look at the washers that are used to help seal the connections.  Those washers are made of rubber or some other flexible material that helps keep water in the pipes and are found between pipes that are joined together.  Over time the washers can wear down especially if harsh drain cleaning chemicals or other harsh chemicals are poured down the drain.  By removing the connections and replacing the washers the leak should stop.

If the under sink leak is happening due to a cracked pipe then kits with new pipes and washers can be purchased at your local hardware store.  When replacing whole pipe sections it is also advisable to change the washers out as well so everything is sealed together tightly.    Using some sort of sealant such as waterproof putty or liquid nail on a leaky pipe or pipe joint is not a good way to fix the leak. While those methods might work temporarily, over time water will find a way out of those quick seals and the leak problem will start anew again.  Instead it is better to replace washers and pipe sections where needed.

If there are leaks behind walls or above the ceiling then it may be better to call in a professional as repair of those leaks will require cutting open of drywall and replacing pipe connectors or whole pieces of pipe in tight spaces.  The professionals are trained to repair those pipes without having to do extensive removal of drywall.  Once done a drywall specialist will likely need to be called to patch and fill in the removed drywall.  

Electrical Outlets That Don’t Work

While most electrical work is best left to the professionals there are some simple troubleshooting techniques homeowners should have in the event they find themselves without power to a certain outlet or no lights in a certain room.  For bathroom outlets on a (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) GFCI outlet resetting the outlet by pressing the “Reset” button should restore power to that specific outlet.  Sometimes multiple home circuits may be tied into the same GFCI so while power is off for outlets in another part of the house by checking GFCI outlets and resetting them the homeowner may be able to fix those issues.

If more than the outlet is out in a room, such as wall or ceiling lights, then the problem may be fixed at the circuit breaker or fuse box of the home.   Every homeowner should know where their circuit break is in case they need to turn off electricity to certain parts of a home.  First off if the power went off in a certain area the homeowner needs to check to make sure the circuits are not overloaded.  Too many electrical devices in particular location can make a circuit breaker trip or a cause a fuse to blow.  Before resetting the circuit breaker the homeowner should unplug electronic devices in order to reduce the load on a particular circuit.  If the problem is too many electric devices drawing too much current for a circuit to handle then the homeowner should consider relocating some of those devices to other parts of the house.  Resetting the circuit breaker or replacing a fuse should restore power to that part of the house where it was lost.  When replacing a fuse make sure to only use the appropriate size fuse for the fuse box and the circuit.  Using a larger fuse can result in damaged appliances or worse start an electric fire.

For more complicated electrical problems where a GFCI or circuit breaker reset do not solve the problem an electrician should be called in to evaluate the problem.  The electricity in a house can kill or cause severe injury to those untrained in how to handle the work.  Short circuits or exposed circuits can also start fires so hiring a pro to take care of the work is the best way to go.

Pest Control

Where ever humans live pests are bound to follow.  Mice in search of a warm place and an easy mealant love to take up residence in homes. Prevention is one of the best methods of pest control and in order to prevent mice from taking up residence in a home the homeowner should make sure the exterior of the home is sealed up so mice don’t have a way in.  Small holes in siding make an easy entry point for mice and other pests.  Trees too close to the house or that overhang on the roof of the house give mice a way to enter through the attic as well.  Mice also can climb up and down brick walls! So the best way to keep mice out is to make sure there are no entry points into the home. 

Once in the house mice seek out human or pet food.  Making sure foods are in secure containers and food waste is properly disposed of can discourage mice from making your home their home.  When present getting rid of mice requires trapping (humane or lethal traps) in order to remove them from the house.

Ants are another pest that when indoors can be a nuisance as they will scavenge for even the smallest crumb in the house.  Ants can break off and form new colonies where sources of food can be found and a person’s house can be one of those locations.  Cleanliness helps as if ants don’t find crumbs to take back home they have little reason to hang around.  When ants have taken up residence in a home the best way to deal with them is to use ant bait that they take back home with them to share with the others in the colony but in actuality is a poison.  The ants do not die immediately but over time as the poisoned ant bait is taken back to the colony and consumed by the ants.  So if you see ants finding their way back home leave them alone so the bait can do its job. 

Fruit flies are attracted to more than just fruit contrary to what their name suggests.  Fruit flies like the smell of fermentation.  So whether there is a glass of wine, fermenting fruits or vegetables or even bread the fruit fly will be attracted to it. Getting rid of fruit flies can be difficult until the source of the fermenting food is found and disposed of. Sometimes trash bags that are not emptied frequently can be a source for a fruit fly breeding ground based on disposed of fruits in the trash.  If fruit flies are observed getting in and out of the trash it may be time to throw that trash bag out regardless if it could take more debris or not.  Once the source of food for a fruit fly is removed getting rid of fruit flies can be done with fly paper or natural vinegar traps.

Bottom Line

With owning a home comes responsibility for maintaining the home in order to make sure the value holds. Simple problems involving water, electricity, pests and more can quickly turn a home in good condition into one that cannot be lived in.  By keeping up on simple problems that pop up in the home homeowners can enjoy a great functioning home that will provide a great living space for years to come.

Additional Resources

About the author: The above article “Common Home Problems And How To Deal With Them” was provided by Paul Sian. Paul can be reached at paul@CinciNKYRealEstate.com or by phone at 513-560-8002. If you’re thinking of selling or buying your investment or commercial business property I would love to share my marketing knowledge and expertise to help you.  Contact me today!

I service the following Greater Cincinnati, OH and Northern KY areas: Alexandria, Amberly, Amelia, Anderson Township, Cincinnati, Batavia, Blue Ash, Covington, Edgewood, Florence, Fort Mitchell, Fort Thomas, Hebron, Hyde Park, Indian Hill, Kenwood, Madeira, Mariemont, Milford, Montgomery, Mt. Washington, Newport, Newtown, Norwood, Taylor Mill, Terrace Park, Union Township, and Villa Hills.

Discussion

#1 By Gabe Sanders at 6/29/2019 7:06 AM

Excellent tips that all homeowners should be aware of.

#2 By Paul at 6/29/2019 9:27 AM

Thanks Gabe!

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