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Over time, things go wrong in all houses. Although it’s essential to seek help from professionals when it comes to electrical issues or gas leaks, there are plenty of things you can learn to do for yourself at home to avoid expensive call out charges. Learning a few essential home maintenance skills will not only save you time and money, they can help prevent major issues like blocked toilets and burst pipes.  Here a few simple things that all thrifty home owners should know how to do themselves.

Check the toilet for leaks

More expensive water bills and potentially astronomical plumbing fees, a leaking toilet can be a double whammy when it comes to home finances.  A simple way to find out whether your loo is leaking is to add a drop of food colouring to your tank. If the water in your bowl shows splashes of colour, this means the toilet is leaking and you’ll need to replace the flapper. A relatively simple job, you can buy a flapper valve from any DIY store for less than £10.

Newington Green estate agent, M&M Property advises on how to change the flapper quickly and easily- “First, shut off your water supply to the toilet by turning the valve at the rear. Remove the lid and flush the toilet a few times until the tank is empty. Remove the chain and slide the existing flapper off over the tube. Then all you need to do is slide the new one in place, put the chain back and turn the water on.”

Replace worn out tap washers

Because washers inside taps are usually made of rubber, they wear out over time. Replacing the washers should be a quick and simple task that even a novice can undertake with ease- just turn off the water supply, unscrew the handle and replace the washer.

Protect your washing machine from water damage

Every day insurance companies take hundreds of calls about broken washing machines, and it’s one of the biggest home issues that can impact on family life. Over time, washing machines suffer from build-up of hard water, which can lead to leaks and poor performance. Schedule in a yearly maintenance check and replace any rusty or worn parts.

Keep your pipes clear

Over time, fatty deposits and other yucky things like build-up of hair and grease can build up in pipes, leading to blockages and leaks. Never pour fats and food down the sink, and invest in a good food catcher that snugly fits into the plughole. Clean it out regularly and dispose of all fats and oils in a vat.

Your local council will be able to advise you on waste disposal, or you can arrange a collection service if you have a particularly busy kitchen. If any food or oil does make its way down the sink, flush it through thoroughly with boiling water. Kubie Gold says, “Not taking care of your home’s day to day maintenance needs can impact heavily on its value and lead to significant costs. Always keep your house in good condition and keep on top of any issues.”

Ask for professional help

If DIY isn’t your thing, you’ll find plenty of professionals online. “Contact your local trading standards department for lists of recommended professionals or use online review sites to find trusted tradespeople who can take care of your property maintenance needs”, advise the experts at Plaza Estates.

Investing a little time and effort into looking after your property will help it hold its value and give you peace of mind. LDG concludes “Prevention is always better than cure- very few buyers want to take on a money pit and prefer to purchase a property that won’t be loaded with issues.”