Hello and Welcome to the Home Repair module at HomeandGarden911.com. My name is Dave Christensen. My wife JoAnne and I have done quite a bit of work on the several homes we’ve had over the past 35 years. We’ve learned a lot and hope to convey some useful information to you.
Whether you are a home owner or an apartment dweller -there is bound to be some repair activity awaiting your attention from time to time.
I will attempt to impart my experience and knowledge to you -in small doses divided into several categories filled with additional sub-topics. Check the Categories section often for updates that should appear on a regular basis.
Some of the topics we will cover in future posts may include:
- ‘How-to’ repair: Window Glass Repair, Screen Door, Window Screens, Home Foundation Repairs, Home Roof Repair, Garage Floor, Cellar Floor, Chimney Repair
- Guide to repairing: House Siding, Walls, Plaster, Drywall, Tile, Shower
- Learn How: Waterproof A Basement
- Do-it-yourself (DIY): Moisture And Humidity Control, Rain Gutters, Foundation Drainage,
- Remove: Water Stains On Walls Or Ceilings
- Tips: On Home Air Conditioning Repair, Floors, Sub-Flooring, House Siding
- Review of: Home Tools and Hardware
- Coaching on: Electrical Repairs, Electrical Safety
Some items of Home Repair may be accomplished by the homeowner possessing rudimentary skills with tools of the trade. Other things require more expertise. You will find perspective on making an evaluation about whether the task is something you want to tackle, or not, based upon the skill sets required.
For example, I am able to check out my forced hot air furnace -if it quit or didn’t seem to be working properly. I could check the electrical supply, the fuel level, the thermostat to see if it was set properly. If all that checked out and it wasn’t functioning properly, it’s time to call the heating specialist. There are a lot of electronic controls in modern units requiring a high level of training. But, quite often, the problems we encounter are not that technical at all.
Another example comes to mind: The thermocouple on a gas hot water heater. Modern units don’t use them anymore but older units do. The thermocouple element sits right in the pilot light (flame) and converts the heat to an electrical signal which, in turn, holds the gas valve open to supply the pilot light (flame). If the pilot flame extinguishes for any reason, lack of heat on the thermocouple will cause the gas valve to close -thereby preventing a safety hazard that would be present if gas was allowed to spew out unnoticed.
So, if your water isn’t hot, you check your pilot light (keeping in mind this example involves a gas fired unit). If no pilot flame is detected, try to light it. The flame will ignite but if the thermocouple is faulty, the flame will again extinguish. If you are handy, you can replace the thermocouple yourself or, call in the repairman.
We here at HomeandGarden911.com will provide instruction on doing a repair like that and also provide guidelines on who to call if you need someone. And, perhaps as important, who not to call.
And, of course, electrical work deserves special mention. It is surrounded by Life Safety Issues and should only be attempted by Qualified Personnel. We will provide insight to troubleshooting common problems that may be encountered in the home. The idea is, if you know enough to check certain things when a problem is encountered, you’ll be in a better position to know when to call in an expert. See Electrical Maintenance and Precautions.
Troubleshooting is a big item. If you know how things are supposed to work and what to check if they don’t, you’ll be more confident in knowing when to call in the SME (Subject Matter Expert).
For example, say your heating system quits on a cold night in January. What is the first thing to check? I would check a couple of things. First would be the circuit breaker to see if it tripped off on overload. How about the fuel –is there any? If you have a steam boiler –is there enough water in the system? There is always a ‘low water cutoff’ device.
If you have an older gas fired unit with a pilot light, is it lit?
I was in a diner once years ago and it was quite chilly in there. The waitress was complaining how cold it was. I looked over at the thermostat on the wall and noticed the coffee maker was on a table right under the thermostat. The heat from the coffee maker was ‘tricking’ the thermostat into thinking it was warm in the room and was not allowing the heating system to turn on. Why would it? It was nice and toasty at the thermostat. The coffee maker was just placed there the day before. Strange things do happen. (They moved the coffee maker and I got my breakfast for free that day).
So, check back often, if you can. We’ll update this frequently with new posts covering a wide variety of topics regarding repairs at home. Whether you need to replace a basement window or try to determine how the bats are getting in and out of your attic, we might have something for you. We’ll provide references for you when we can, for additional information. We hope to be your ‘go-to’ source for pertinent information to keep things running smoothly around the home -with hardly any bats
If you have a specific question, fire us a quick note and we’ll do our best to provide insight about it -if we have any.
Some additional resources for your perusal: