Feeling Handy?

Glass Stove Tops

 "A scrubby sponge, Barkeeper’s friend & a razor blade if needed is what I use when I clean our cook top. I also like using a surface cleaner to keep it nice when it isn’t so bad."

"Instead of a razor I use a pampered chef scrapper on mine, perhaps a little safer for me."

 "When the stove is off and cold I pour a 1/4 cup of lemon concentrate (juice) onto the stove and then turn on all four burners. Allow the lemon to begin to boil off (within a couple of minutes) then turn off the burners. Allow the lemon juice to cool and then wipe clean. No scraping at all and the glass looks brand new. Bonus: The kitchen smells like lemons."

Stainless Steel Appliances

Vinegar & Olive Oil

"1: Add white vinegar to a clean spray bottle.

2: Spray down your stainless-steel appliance.

3: Wipe clean with a microfiber cloth.

4: Once clean, dip your cloth into a small amount of olive oil.

5: Move the cloth in the direction of the grain. This will add some deep shine to your appliance and remove any remaining streaks or marks."

Club Soda

"1: Add club soda to a clean spray bottle.

2: Spray down your stainless-steel appliance.

3: Rub the cloth in the direction of the grain to polish and shine your appliance."

Store bought solution

Weiman Stainless Steel Wipes

Test the Sump Pump or Risk a Flood

It's easy to forget about your sump pump, but it's important to make sure it's in good working order. If you don't, you could end up like the homeowner who returned from a weekend trip to discover his entire basement floor covered in 1/2 in. of water. After shutting down the power, he waded over to the sump pump and noticed it wasn't working. Upon closer inspection, he realized that the cable attached to the float must have gotten tangled somehow. It took him two seconds to untangle the cable, and then he spent the next 15 hours dragging out waterlogged carpet, running the wet/dry vac and moving fans around.

To avoid a similar disaster, be sure your pump has a vertical float switch. Also, check your pump at least a couple times a year by dumping water into the basin to make sure everything is working properly.

Check for High Water Pressure or Wreck Fixtures and Appliances

A technician was assisting a water softener installer who was replacing a fairly new softener because the first one had ruptured and filled the pipes with little zeolite beads.

The installer didn't seem too worried about why the first one failed, but the assistant did a little investigating. A water pressure test gave a reading of more than 110 lbs. psi. The culprit was the 20-year-old pressure-reducing valve. After a new valve was installed, the pressure went down to about 75 lbs. Pressure-reducing valves are usually found near the main water shutoff valve, but not all homes have them. It depends on your municipality.

High water pressure can harm pipes, connections, and appliances. It also creates water hammer and waste massive amounts of water. Checking for high water pressure is an often overlooked maintenance item, and one that's easy enough to perform. A new pressure-reducing valve and a simple pressure gauge like this one that hooks up to a spigot or laundry tub faucet are both available at home centers.

Clean Window Weep Holes or Invite Rainwater Into Your House

Many sliding windows and vinyl replacement windows have weep holes on the exterior bottom of the frame. These holes are designed to drain away rainwater that can collect in the frame's bottom channel. Weep holes can get plugged with bugs and debris, and if that happens, water could fill up the channel and spill over into your house.

To see if your weep system is working, simply pour a glass of water into the track or spray the outside of the window with a garden hose. If you don't see a steady stream of clean water exiting the weep hole, poke a wire hanger into the hole, or spray it out with compressed air, and wet it down again. If the little flapper (designed to keep out driving wind) is stuck shut, it can be removed with a putty knife and replaced.

Clean Refrigerator Coils or Pay Unnecessary Repair Bills

Refrigerator condenser coils are located on the back of the fridge or across the bottom. When coils are clogged with dust, pet hair and cobwebs, they can't efficiently release heat. The result is your compressor works harder and longer than it was designed to, using more energy and shortening the life of your fridge. Clean the coils with a coil-cleaning brush and vacuum. A coil-cleaning brush, which is bendable to fit in tight areas, does a thorough job. Look for one online or at appliance stores.

Keep Window Wells Clean or Risk a Broken Window and Wet Basement

If you've never had a problem with water in a window well, you may never think to clean it out. Here's what happened to one homeowner who neglected his window wells. After an average rainfall, not even a heavy downpour, a clogged gutter dumped a lot of water next to his house and into his window well. The leaves in the well acted like a pool liner, preventing drainage, and the water level rose higher and higher until the pressure broke the basement windows. Gallons and gallons of water poured into the basement, ruining everything in sight. Unfortunately, he had no insurance coverage for that type of flood. Don't let this happen to you. Keep window wells clean with a cover, available at home centers.

Drain Sediment From Your Water Heater or Expect a Shortened Life Span

A distraught homeowner called a plumber because her water heater wasn't heating, and furthermore, it was leaking. Right away, the plumber asked if the homeowner had been draining some of the water from it every year. The puzzled homeowner said, 'No. Why?' It turns out that sediment will collect at the bottom of the tank. This creates hot spots on gas-powered heaters that can damage the tank and cause premature failure. On an electric water heater, sediment buildup can cause the lower heating element to fail. So, occasionally draining a water heater will lower energy bills and extend its life. We recommend draining water heaters at least once a year.

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15215 SE 272nd St Suite 202
Kent, WA 98042

All information is believed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified with a real estate professional. Agency Real Estate is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® Equal Housing Opportunity.

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