Tag Archives: home maintenance

Five Lawn Mower Maintenance Tips

If you are anything like me, you look a the lawn mower and just hope it magically starts… when it does not respond to mind control, I close my eyes and pull the cord as hard as a can and home the drat thing does not take off without me!  This article is perfect for all levels of lawn mower users… and even if you cannot change the oil yourself, you will at least know when to find someone to change it for you!

The lawn mower is the workhorse when it comes to outdoor maintenance. To keep your machine in working order all season long, continued care is essential. One of the most important maintenance tasks is changing the mower’s oil, say the experts at Briggs & Stratton, an outdoor power equipment provider. Oil from the previous season may be mixed with grass and other debris, inhibiting its use and the machine’s overall performance. Generally, oil should be changed at least once a year, or after 50 hours of operation for a push mower and after 100 hours of operation for a ride mower.

Most homeowners can conduct an oil change for a push mower in less than 15 minutes—a significant savings compared to having it serviced by a professional. The steps:

  1. To allow oil to drain more easily, run the engine for a short time to warm it up.
  2. Shut the engine off and disconnect the spark plug. Remove the oil fill cap or dipstick, and place a pan (or other container) under the oil fill. Tip the mower on its side, with the air filter side facing up and the oil fill facing down, to drain the oil.
  3. Once oil has been collected, fill the mower with new oil. Pour in an amount (and specific type) recommended by the manufacturer; this information can be found in the operator’s manual. Screw the oil fill cap back into place, and wipe up any drips with a rag or towel.
  4. The oil may also be changed using the oil drain, which is located on the underside of the mower deck. Consult the operator’s manual for instructions specific to the mower.
  5. For a ride mower, unscrew the plug from the drain funnel located at the bottom of the engine, and let the old oil flow through the hose into a pan or bucket.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.

Spring Staging Tips

Any home stager will tell you that “staging is staging” and the principals remain the same throughout the year—keep things clean, clutter free and colorful. But that doesn’t each season comes without its own brand of staging magic. For spring, there are a number of things you can do both inside and outside to take advantage of the beautiful weather.

spring flower gardenBarb Schwarz, creator of Homes Staging® and CEO of Stagedhomes.com, suggests adding splashes of color to your porch with potted flowers. She favors larger pots placed on each side of the front door bearing tulips or daisies with greenery in the middle.

Bringing spring colors into a home is just as easy, especially with accessories like throw pillows, area rugs, artwork, towels and bedspreads. “Change accessories and the whole house changes,” Schwarz said. Swap-out decorative pillows on a sofa for a fresh, new look. “This year nature colors are really in; green is really big and hot orange is an accent that is strong.”

Designers recommend using other knickknacks that speak of spring, such as pears, eggs, sea shells, nature, leaf patterns in fabrics, wicker, real leather and rust metal as contrast. Schwarz said it’s also a good idea to replace the drapery panels in a home or office. She recently changed a den from a daisy pattern in blue to cream plain panels that went from ceiling to the floor “and the whole room looked bigger and more elegant,” she said.

Of course, all rooms in the house are important and there are ways to liven up each one as the spring season blooms. You want the buyer to buy the whole house, not just one or two rooms staged, so it’s important to create a cohesive design.

Yet don’t forget your “great outdoors.” Clean up your yards, remove fallen leaves and dead plants, and trim bushes and hedges. Indeed, spring brings more buyers so take advantage of all that the season has to offer.

Maintain Your Bathroom in 3 Easy Steps

QuestionBathrooms need to be cleaned and maintained often, just like your kitchen. In the long run, it can prevent costly problems such as mold, mildew and plumbing leaks. Here are three ways to keep your bathroom looking great and working well for years to come:

1. Maintain grout and sealant. Moisture, heat and humidity can cause the tub and tile grouting in your bath to crumble and crack. Apply new grout to crumbly tiles and seams to prevent water from leaking into the walls or beneath the floor. When you are cleaning the bathroom, use bleach to disinfect the area and kill any mold growth. Keep an eye on the grout for new growth and be ready to scrub.

2. Look for leaks around the shower, bathtub, sink and toilet. Check the basement beneath the bathroom too, if possible. If you find puddles of water anywhere, look for the source of the leak and use waterproof caulk to seal it.

3. Clean your bathroom once a week. It may seem like a lot to fit in, but think about how many times you and your family use the bathroom each day. A clean bathroom will make it easier to maintain appliances and fixtures that should last for years.

Do you make time to clean and maintain your bathroom every week? Be sure to keep an eye out for drips, cracks, leaks and mold, and don’t put off any necessary repairs. They can quickly turn into bigger messes and cost you more in the long run.

This great article is compliments of our friends at HMS Home Warranty