• icon-wishlist
  • icon-cart

8 tips for indoor home maintenance

While many homeowners devote considerable time to outdoor maintenance, often they do no more than light housework on the inside. Yet regular and thorough indoor maintenance not only keeps the home looking new but also prevents having to spend time and money on repairs or replacements a few years down the road. Here are a few tips for a preventive maintenance of the cupboards, the range hood and other often overlooked places.

Clean the range hood

Grease and grime build up when cooking on the stovetop because they are drawn under the hood by the exhaust fan. Keeping the hood clean maximizes its efficiency and makes the air healthier. To clean it, remove the filter and either soak it in soapy hot water or put it in the dishwasher. Wearing rubber gloves, clean the inside of the hood and the fan blades with a sponge soaked in a degreasing agent.

Hard-to-reach places can be sprayed with degreasing agent and then wiped with a rag wrapped around the end of a small spatula.

Make preventive maintenance lists

When things go wrong in a home, more often than not it's due to lack of preventive maintenance. Take a tip from the auto repair industry and draw up a 26-point inspection list. Make two lists, one for spring and one for fall, itemizing the most common jobs that must be done to prepare the inside of your home for the summer and winter seasons.

Throw lemons in your garbage disposal

If your kitchen garbage disposal unit gives off an unpleasant odour, add about ten ice cubes and a few slices of lemon. That should do the trick!

Vacuum inside the dryer duct

Clothes dryers produce fine particles of lint that can build up in the vent pipe, especially if the pipe is corrugated. This can not only cause fires but also shorten the life of the dryer because it has to work harder.

Unhook the duct from the dryer and vacuum thoroughly around the dryer inlet. Then gently push the vacuum hose as far you can into the duct. Ideally you should replace a hose-style duct with the smooth, rigid kind, but regardless of the type, you should still vacuum the dryer inlet regularly.

Re-caulk your bathtub

Start by filling the bath with water so that the tub stretches. Next, dig out the old caulk with a putty knife and make sure the area is clean and dry. Apply the caulking at a 45° angle in an even bead (you might want to practice on a garage or basement wall). Smooth the caulk with a soapy finger or plastic spoon. Wait for the caulk to dry before emptying the tub.

Revamp your cabinets

One of the simplest and most effective ways to spruce up a kitchen is to change the cabinet pulls and handles. Take advantage of annual sales in home improvement stores, or try a used building-supply store to source great-looking hardware at a fraction of the cost. New drawer pulls and door handles will make an amazing difference in your kitchen!

Fix wall cracks

To fix a wall crack, scrape off the surrounding paint with a putty knife. Use the same knife to spread on some spackle and knead it into the crack. Scrape off the excess, leave to dry, then sand smooth.

For wider cracks, push a strip of drywall tape into the spackle and smooth it out. Leave it to dry, then spread a thin layer of spackle over the tape. Let it dry and lightly sand. Make sure to smooth out the edges. Now you can prime and paint.

To learn all the steps for repairing a crack, see our DIY How to repair holes and dents in drywall.

Wash horizontal blinds

In the spring or fall, take your blinds out to the patio or porch and wash them down with a special outdoor window-cleaning product that can be fixed onto a hose nozzle. Simply spray, rinse well and leave to dry.

Suggested products