When Pacific Northwest rain and winter storms keep you stuck indoors, you might consider passing the time with some simple home maintenance tasks.  These simple projects can alleviate your boredom while protecting your family’s safety and the value of your home.

1. Change smoke and carbon monoxide batteries.  Don’t wait for detectors to start chirping at you ... replace all the batteries at one time.  At most you’ll need to do this once a year, so why not take care of it in a single go?

2. Test your ground-fault circuit interrupter outlets.  These are the outlets typically found in bathrooms and kitchens which are designed to prevent catastrophic electrocution.  A video on GFCI outlets and how to test them can be found on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vkd43t2y2to.

3. Clean kitchen stove and dryer vents.  Clogged kitchen vents reduce the efficiency of the exhaust system and lint built up in dryer vents can be a major cause of house fires.  Here's a video on how to clean them using a leaf blower:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dO9Y5j1uhqk

4. Lubricate water shut-off valves.  Since they’re so seldom turned, these valves can rust and seize up over time.  Use WD-40 to lubricate the valves, letting the lubricant work into the metal if need be.  Turn and test the valves under sinks, around toilets, and to the lines supplying water to your washer.

5. Inspect hoses.  Cracked or leaking drain hoses, ice machine water lines, hot water heaters and washing machine supply lines can all lead to unexpected flooding.  (This is a good job to pair with lubricating your valves.)  If your hoses are cracked or worn, have them replaced to keep your home from flooding.

6. Silence squeaky floor boards.  Did you know a little talcum powder worked into the cracks between floor boards can help reduce friction and quiet down noise?  You can learn how to do this by watching this YouTube video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=529KAs_BCl4

7. Tighten loose knobs and handles.  Break out your screwdrivers and work through cabinets, drawers, and all other doors.  You’re likely to find a few places you can tighten up a nagging screw.

If you come across any larger projects you’d like handled and need a referral for a plumber, electrician, or contractor, get in touch with one of our agents or call the office at (425) 903-8900. We would be happy to share our recommendation list with you!