Five Essential tips and tricks to save money, solve problems and improve your home.
A Leaking Water Heater is a Time Bomb
Water heaters sometimes leak from the drain valve or relief valve. Those valves are easy to replace. But if a leak is coming from the tank, you’ve got serious trouble. The tank is lined with a thin coat of glass. Eventually, that glass begins to crack, the steel begins to rust away and a puddle appears. Left alone, the tank will rupture, causing an instant flood. It may take months for a leak to become a flood, or it may take days. But it will happen. Don’t gamble. Replace that leaking time bomb now.
Don’t Squish Ants
Place liquid ant bait stations in areas where you’ve seen ants, like under the sink and along walls, to make it as easy as possible for the ants to take the toxic bait back to the nest. Expect to see more ants (initially) when you set out the bait. That’s a good thing. It means more ants are taking the bait back to the colony where they’ll share it with the rest of the ants, including the queen.
Flush with a Bucket
Even if a power outage stops your well pump or the city water supply, you can still flush the toilet. Dump a couple gallons into the bowl or fill the toilet tank. This works just as well as the usual flush but won’t refill the bowl.
Find Your Property Lines
Iron stakes mark property lines in most communities. They’re typically located at corners and places where property lines meet. To get started, request a plot plan from city hall. You may be able to find the stakes by dragging a rake over the suspected location. But more likely, the stakes will be several inches underground. In that case, your best bet is to buy or rent a metal detector (inexpensive ones cost less than $40). When you’ve found your target, dig to make sure that it’s really a stake and not just a lost quarter.
Choose Colors That Work Now and Later
Neutral colors—shades of white, gray or beige—are a wise choice for fixtures, like toilets, tile, tubs and countertops, that are not easy to change. They don’t provide much drama, but you can add pizzazz with paint or simple, inexpensive accents like rugs or pottery. And as trends change, you can update the look without costly remodeling
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