50 Home Care Tips Homeowners Should Know Before 50


As you approach or celebrate your fiftieth birthday, your home should reflect your life’s memories and your mastery over its maintenance and quirks. Knowing how to handle common household fixes ensures your sanctuary remains comfortable and efficient. Here are 50 essential home care tips that every homeowner should know by age 50.

How to Flush the Toilet When the Power’s Out


In the absence of power, your toilet can still function with a bucket of water. Simply fill a bucket with water and pour it directly into the bowl to flush, bypassing the need for electrical pumps.

Locate Your Main Water Shutoff Valve


Identify and label your main water shutoff valve to quickly prevent your home from flooding in case of a plumbing emergency. This simple knowledge can save thousands in potential water damage repairs.

Find Your Property Lines

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Clarify your property boundaries to avoid disputes and to ensure any landscaping or extensions are carried out within legal limits. It’s practical knowledge that also aids in future property transactions.

Deal with Drainage


Ensure your home’s exterior drainage systems are clear and properly directing water away from your foundation. This prevents soil erosion and structural water damage, protecting your home’s long-term integrity.

Adjust Your Water Heater


Optimize your water heater settings to balance comfort and energy efficiency. Adjusting the temperature can reduce power consumption and prevent scalding, enhancing safety and saving money.

Understand Electrical Panels

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Know the layout of your home’s electrical panel. Quickly identifying and flipping the right breaker can save you from calls to electricians during minor issues.

Test the Sump Pump


Check your sump pump’s function by pouring water into the pit to see if it works. This prevents basement flooding, especially during the wet season.

Clean Dryer Vents


Clean out your dryer vents annually to remove lint buildup. This can greatly enhance your dryer’s efficiency and reduce the risk of fire.

How to Stop Under-the-Door Air Leaks

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Stop air leaks around doors by installing or replacing sweep seals. This can keep your home’s temperature steady and lower heating and cooling bills.

How to Fix a Loose Doorknob


Your doorknob needs to be securely fastened or replaced to make sure it is stable. A stable doorknob makes your home more secure and prevents wear and tear on your door frames.

How to Sharpen Lawnmower Blades

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Maintain sharp lawnmower blades to ensure clean cuts, which promote healthier grass growth. Sharpen blades annually or as needed for a pristine lawn.

Loosen Stuck Pipes with Heat


The easiest way to loosen the joint of a stuck metal pipe is to heat it with a hairdryer or heat gun in order to expand the metal and expand the joint.

Touch-up Without Cleanup

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Keep leftover paint from your walls stored in small jars for quick touch-ups. This allows you to easily correct dings and scratches without a full repaint job.

Don’t Choose a Problem Tree

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Avoid planting fast-growing or large-root trees near your home to prevent future foundation, sewer, or sidewalk problems. Research or consult an expert when choosing new trees for landscaping.

Fix Loose Joints With Epoxy Resin

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Strengthen loose furniture joints with epoxy resin. It’s a durable solution that can extend the life of your cherished household items.

Fix a Loose Screw

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When a screw keeps turning in wood without tightening, remove it, stuff a few wooden toothpicks into the hole, and re-screw for a tighter fit.

Suck Out Drain Clogs

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Use a plunger or a manually operated drain snake to clear sink or tub clogs before they become serious blockages, avoiding the need for harsh chemicals.

Replace Loose, Popped Nails


Hammer down or replace any popped nails you find in your decking or flooring to prevent injuries and prolong the life of your wood surfaces.

Loose Gutters Maintenance


Regularly check and secure gutter fasteners and clean out leaves and debris to ensure efficient rainwater diversion and prevent water ingress into your basement or foundation.

Refrigerator Maintenance


Clean your refrigerator coils annually to remove dust and debris that can impede efficiency. This will reduce energy consumption and help prolong the appliance’s life.

Fix a Wobbly Ceiling Fan


Check and tighten all bolts on your ceiling fan to reduce wobble, minimize noise, and ensure optimal operation. This also extends the life of the fan.

How to Change Locks


Change your home locks yourself to maintain security, especially after losing keys or moving into a new home. It’s a simple task that can greatly improve your peace of mind.

Paint Like a Pro

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Use quality brushes or rollers and painter’s tape for clean edges to achieve professional-looking paint jobs. Proper technique can save time and yield better results.

How to Fix a Running Toilet

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Check the flapper and fill valve inside the tank to fix a running toilet. These often degrade and can be replaced easily, preventing water wastage and noise.

How to Fix Squeaky Floors

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Address squeaky floors by locating the noisy spot and securing it. Use specially designed squeak-reduction screws for a quick and permanent fix.

HVAC Maintenance

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Replace your HVAC filters regularly and schedule annual maintenance checks to improve air quality and efficiency, reducing energy costs. Keeping the system clean and properly serviced prevents common mechanical failures.

Garbage Disposal Repair


Keep your garbage disposal running smoothly by routinely cleaning it and clearing jams using a wrench to manually turn the blades. To prevent future jams, avoid putting hard or fibrous materials down the disposal.

How to Fix Light Switches

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Faulty light switches can be replaced by turning off the power, removing the faceplate, and swapping out the old switch with a new one. Ensure the new switch is properly connected to avoid electrical hazards.

How to Fix a Crack in Drywall

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Address drywall cracks by applying joint compound with a flexible putty knife. Smooth it over, let it dry, and then sand it down for a flush finish. A final coat of paint will make the wall look as good as new, effectively hiding any signs of the initial damage.

How to Fix Cracked Grout


Revive your tile work by reapplying grout to any cracks. Clean out the damaged grout, apply new grout, and seal it to prevent future moisture damage. This not only restores the look but also supports the integrity of the tiles.

Repairing Decks

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Inspect your deck annually for loose boards, protruding nails, and signs of rot. Repair these issues promptly to maintain safety and appearance. Applying a weatherproof sealant can also help extend the life of your deck.

Fix Windows


Seal drafty windows with caulk or weatherstripping to improve energy efficiency. Check the frames for rot or damage, repair them to prevent further deterioration, and maintain your home’s insulation.

How to Fix an Unbalanced Washing Machine


Stabilize your washing machine by adjusting the legs until it’s level. This prevents noisy vibrations and excessive wear on your machine, ensuring longer operational life and smoother running.

How to Replace a Toilet


Replacing a toilet involves shutting off the water, draining the tank, and disconnecting the water line. Once removed, install the new unit by setting it on a fresh wax ring and securing it to the floor. Ensuring a proper seal at the base will prevent leaks and odors.

Foam a Loose Showerhead


Fix a loose showerhead by unscrewing it, applying thread tape to secure the connection, and screwing it back on. If the showerhead wobbles due to the arm, use expanding foam inside the wall for additional stability.

Solution for a Small Leak

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For small leaks in pipes or hoses, apply waterproof tape or a patch as a temporary fix. To ensure a more permanent solution, replace the damaged section or call a professional if the repair is beyond your skill set.

Air Filter Maintenance


Maintain your HVAC system’s air filters regularly to improve air quality and improve system performance. Clean filters reduce energy costs and prevent wear on your system.

Clothes Dryer Repair Guide

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Maintain your clothes dryer by regularly cleaning the lint filter and venting system to prevent fires and improve efficiency. Checking the thermal fuse and heating element can resolve common issues if it stops heating or tumbling.

Restore Free Flow to a Faucet


If your faucet has low water pressure, it may be due to a clogged aerator. Unscrew the aerator, clean out any debris, and replace it to restore water flow and improve performance.

How to Adjust Oven Temperatures


If your oven cooks unevenly or inaccurately, recalibrate the temperature settings according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This can involve adjusting the thermostat or simply recalibrating the digital controls.

Lubricate a Lock with a Pencil


If a key sticks in a lock, rub the teeth of the key with a graphite pencil. The graphite is a lubricant, making the lock mechanism smoother and easier to operate.

Fix a Broken Light Fixture

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To repair a broken light fixture, first ensure the power is off. Replace any damaged parts, such as the socket or wiring, and secure all connections before reinstalling the fixture. This prevents electrical hazards and restores functionality.

Fix a Shutoff Valve


If a shutoff valve under a sink or toilet is leaking, it may need to be tightened or replaced. Turn off the main water supply, remove the faulty valve, and install a new one to prevent water damage and ensure proper operation.

Electric Stove Repair


For electric stoves that are not heating properly, check and replace faulty coils or elements. Ensure all connections are tight and clean any debris that may be blocking the heat.

Protect the Air Conditioner


If your outdoor air conditioner is located outside during winter, it should be protected from debris and harsh weather conditions. The cover should also be breathable so that condensation and rust can’t occur.

Swap Out the Gas in Small Engines Before Spring


Drain old gas from the previous season to prepare small engines for spring. If the engine doesn’t start, consider cleaning or replacing the carburetor to ensure smooth operation.

How to Remove Carpet Yourself


Removing carpet involves pulling up the edges, cutting it into strips, and rolling it up for disposal. If you plan to replace the tack strips, remove them and ensure the subfloor is clean and intact for new flooring.

How to Fix a Clogged Drain

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When clogged drains cannot be cleared with a plunger or plumber’s snake, disassembling the trap under the sink and manually removing the blockage can be helpful.

Cut the Power to Your A/C or Damage Your Compressor

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To save energy and protect your air conditioner, turn it off at the breaker during extended periods of non-use. This prevents unnecessary strain on the compressor and reduces wear.

Clean Attic Venting or Invite Ice Dams


Keep attic venting clear to ensure proper airflow throughout your home. As a result, mold does not grow, and ice dams do not form in winter due to a steady roof temperature. By stabilizing indoor temperatures, regular vent cleaning helps protect your home’s structure and improves energy efficiency.


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