5 On Your Side

Homeowners: You need to replace this every 5 years

Posted December 7, 2020 2:03 p.m. EST
Updated December 7, 2020 6:38 p.m. EST

While landscape re-dos, painting and organizing are typically among the most popular home projects, there are a few chores you should see to regularly to keep your family safe.

Start in your laundry room. The washer and dryer are workhorses that need attention to keep from causing you a flood, or worse, fire.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, dryers spark nearly 17,000 fires each year. So at least once a year, vacuum and clean out the air duct and port in the back of the dryer.

“Cleaning the lint out of your dryer can actually help the appliance run more efficiently and dry better and cleaning the duct work in particular can help prevent dryer fire,” says Paul Hope with Consumer Reports.

Next, check the water hoses on the back of your washer. They should be replaced every five years. If they look brittle, swap them out with a braided, stainless steel version.

Check all doors for loose hinges and tighten screws.

If they just spin, try this contractor tip: Remove the screw and coat two to three toothpicks with wood glue, then push them into the screw hole. Break off the ends that stick out. Once it dries, tighten your screw back in.

In the bathroom, unclog the shower head by soaking it in distilled vinegar for an hour.

For grimy grout and caulk, try a bleach pen.

"If you find that bleach doesn’t get out all the stubborn stains from your bathroom, it may be time to re-caulk or even re-grout between the tiles. Caulking is an easy job you can do yourself in an hour or two. While re-grouting between tiles is usually a job best left to the pros,” said Hope.

Finally, clean the windows. Choose a cloudy day. Full sun could increase streaks, so can using an ammonia-based cleaner.

Our commenting policy has changed. If you would like to comment, please share on social media using the icons below and comment there.