Ask Danny | Ep. 25: Chores to Tackle When You’re Home for the Holidays

Lubricating your garage door and cleaning windows are easy chores to tackle during downtime when you’re home for the holidays. (knowlesgallery, Getty Images/Manuel-F-O, Getty Images)

In this special Ask Danny podcast, Danny talks about some simple home maintenance tasks to do during the downtime of the holidays.

Hands applying lubrication to squeaky garage door opener
Lubricating your garage door is a great way to help it run smoothly and reduce noise. (knowlesgallery, Getty Images)

Lubricate Door Hinges

An easy chore to tackle while you’re home for the holidays is silencing squeaky doors.

With just a few simple steps, you can easily lubricate your door hinges and keep them running smoothly!

To lubricate door hinges, you’ll need some lubricant like WD-40. Use graphite lubricant on exterior hinges, like fence gates. 

Start by opening the door and spraying the lubricant onto the hinges. Next, close the door and use a clean rag to wipe away any excess lubricant. Finally, open and close the door a couple of times to make sure the hinges are properly lubricated. 

Don’t forget about your garage door! Lubricating a garage door with lithium grease is a great way to help it run smoothly and reduce noise.

To start, you’ll want to make sure the garage door is completely clean and free of dust and debris.

Once the garage door is clean, you can apply a thin layer of lithium grease to any metal-on-metal contact points on the door.

Make sure to avoid any plastic or rubber parts, as the lithium grease could damage them.

After you’ve applied the grease, you can test the door to make sure it’s working properly. 

Watch: How to Fix Squeaky Door Hinges

downspout with water pouring
Gutter downspouts should carry water at least 10 feet away from the home. (ziggy1, Getty Images Pro)

Direct Drainage Away from Your Home

Proper home drainage is incredibly important for keeping your home safe and preventing damage to the structure.

Poorly drained homes can suffer from issues such as foundation damage, cracked walls, and mold or mildew growth. Additionally, poor drainage can lead to flooding, which can be both costly and dangerous.

Depending on your situation, there are a few options you could consider for directing drainage away from your home.

If you have rain gutters installed, simply direct the downspouts away from your home.

Another option is installing a French drain, which is a gravel-filled trench with a pipe that diverts water away from the area.

You could also install a sump pump, which pumps the water away from the area.

If you’re looking for a more natural solution, you could consider planting vegetation that can absorb water and direct it away from your home. 

Watch: Importance of Proper Drainage Around the Foundation of Your Home

View of an organized garage with container bins and wall storage
A great way to get started on organizing your garage is to divide the space into sections and designate a purpose for each. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Organize Your Garage

Organizing your garage can save you time and energy in the long run, so it’s worth making the effort to do it when you’re home for the holidays.

It can help you to find items more quickly, as you’ll know exactly where everything is located. It can also free up more space for storage, making it easier to store items that need to be kept out of the way. 

Furthermore, it can help to protect valuables from the elements and make your garage look more presentable. 

Watch: How to Organize and Add Storage to Your Garage

Woman's hand cleaning window with yellow rag cloth
Cleaning windows with microfiber cloths is a great way to get a streak-free shine. (Manuel-F-O, Getty Images)

Clean Windows and Doors

Cleaning house windows is a relatively straightforward task that can make a big difference in the overall appearance of your home. Here are some tips to help you get started: 

  1. Start by using a soft cloth to wipe away any dirt and dust that has accumulated on the windows.
  2. Once the windows are free of dust, use a mild cleaning solution (diluted dish soap, a store-bought cleaner or a combination of white vinegar and water) to clean the glass. Don’t forget to clean the tracks too!
  3. Use a squeegee or a soft cloth to wipe the windows clean. Start from the top and work your way down in overlapping strokes.
  4. For extra sparkle, finish by wiping the windows with a cloth dampened with distilled white vinegar.
  5. Use a microfiber cloth to buff the windows dry.

Watch: How to Make a Custom Squeegee for Cleaning Small Window Panes

Hand attaches hose to a home water heater to perform maintenance
Draining some of the water out of your hot water heater annually removes sediment that settles in the bottom of the tank. (C5Media, Getty Images Pro)

Drain Water Heater

Draining your water heater can make your water heater more efficient and extend its life by draining the tank and flushing away sediment at least once a year.

A perfect time to do it is after all your guests have left your home for after the holidays.

Here’s all you have to do.

For electric heaters, turn off the power at the breaker box. For gas units, turn the fuel control to the off setting.

Next, turn off the cold water inlet valve, and attach a garden hose to the outlet valve at the bottom of the tank. When you open the outlet valve, be careful; it is hot water, after all.

To get the water flowing, you also have to flip the pressure relief valve near the top of the tank to break the vacuum inside.

Once the hot water drains, open the cold water valve to flush out the tank, and then simply reverse the process to restore normal operation.

Watch: How to Drain a Water Heater 

Further Reading


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