Forgotten Chores

A lot of work goes into owning a home, and while you’re busy maintaining the obvious, you may be missing smaller, hidden tasks that could lead to damage or health and safety hazards if left unattended. Here are several to consider:

➊ Test for water leaks. Water leaks not only waste water, but can also increase your water bill and cause serious damage inside walls or other hard-to-see places.  The easiest way to check for leaks is to take a reading of the water meter, avoid using your water for a few hours and then take another reading. If it changes, then you have a leak.

➋ Seal stone countertops. Natural stone countertops are porous and absorb liquids, bacteria and stains, leading to irreversible damage.  To seal countertops, clean them with a stone-safe cleaner or soap and water, then let them dry.  Then apply the sealer, wait 15 minutes and wipe off any excess.

➌ Clean dryer ducts. Lint, dirt and other residue can build up on the dryer screen, inside the lint trap, and around the machine and vents.  Buildup blocks airflow, leading to less efficient drying or fires.  Wash the lint screen with soap and water, use a long brush to clear out the lint trap, and vacuum out the tube and any stray lint.

➍ Reseal tile grout. Most grout is a mixture of sand and cement, which can absorb liquids, bacteria and stains.  Before sealing, scrub the grout and tiles to remove dirt and particles.  Then apply sealant and wipe off the excess.  Wait 15 minutes, apply a second coat and remove the excess.  Grout is successfully sealed when water beads on top.