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Skip The Handyman: 5 Simple DIY Repairs

Skip The Handyman: 5 Simple DIY Repairs

As a homeowner, household repairs can become increasingly costly, especially if you neglect to fix them in a timely manner. Learning how to make common repairs, and only calling the handyman for major crises, can save hundreds of dollars.

Skip the handyman by learning how to fix these five common household issues.

Clean Your Refrigerator Coils

Refrigerator Coils

    If your fridge isn’t cooling as well as you think it should, check the temperature dial and cooling coils before hollering for the professionals. Sometimes the dial gets bumped or otherwise accidentally changed, so you just have to move the temperature dial to a cooler setting. If that doesn’t do it, pull the unit out, grab a flashlight, and check out the cooling coils on the bottom or back of the unit.

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    The coils could easily be covered in pet hair and dust, which could cause the unit to act sluggish. To prevent this from happening in the future, make a conscious effort to clean this part of the refrigerator each month as part of a cleaning routine.

    Repair Drywall Holes

    Drywall Holes

      As sturdy as it is, drywall can only withstand so much abuse. Doors flung open with too much verve can easily leave a doorknob-shaped hole, for instance. Heavy artwork or mirrors can fall off the wall, taking a chunk of the wall with it, not to mention quite the sharp mess to carefully sweep up.

      The easiest way to tackle repairing these mishaps is to pick up a drywall repair kit at your local hardware store. If one of these isn’t available, all you’ll need is a scrap of drywall, a leftover piece of window screening, a container of joint compound, and a putty knife, and you’re in business. If you see issues like this while you’re looking into home buying, don’t let it deter you from the property; you’ll easily fix that in no time. On the other hand, of course, you could still use it for leverage in the negotiation process.

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      Fix a Faulty Faucet

      aerator on the faucet

        Before calling the handyman for this one, check the aerator on the faucet in question. The aerator is the round attachment at the end of the faucet that has a mesh filter. Over time, these things can get clogged with minerals and other gunk from the water, as well as debris that can break loose inside the piping.

        Remove the aerator by turning it counter-clockwise, using a set of pliers to grip it. Now you can clean it and any other parts of the faucet that could be causing a backup. Sometimes it’s better to simply replace it. Take it to the hardware store to make sure you choose the correct size, and screw the new one in place.

        Check the Pilot Light on a Water Heater

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        water heater

          If you’re noticing that your hot water isn’t so hot, don’t call the plumber just yet. Take off the metal cover on the water heater unit and check to see if the pilot light has gone out. If the flame isn’t there, follow the instructions on the user manual to re-light it.

          If you have a high-efficiency water heater, the pilot light won’t be lit all the time. If that’s the case, thoroughly read through the owner’s manual for FAQs or troubleshooting guidance before reaching for the phone and calling your resident handyman.

          Clean the Power Source on a Gas Stove

          gas stove

            Every now and then, gas stoves require certain maintenance measures, but it’s something you could potentially handle yourself. Before calling in reinforcements that can cost you a pretty penny, take a good look at the problem.

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            Can you hear or smell gas coming out of the burner when you turn it on? If so, it’s likely an issue with the lighter. Check to see if there’s been a power interruption (even gas stoves need electricity). Lastly, if you can tell that gas is coming out and the unit has power, clean the ignition near the burner and the ignition hole with a dry toothbrush.

            If you don’t hear or smell any gas coming out, check the gas supply to make sure there hasn’t been an interruption there.

            According to the home insurance map, some states can pay up to $1,500 for home insurance. This is great to protect your home if anything were to go wrong, however there will inevitably always be other expenses you’ll need to cover top keep your home safe. Knowing how to identify which ones are easily fixed and which ones need a professional’s touch will save you a lot of money. No matter your financial situation, knowing these basic tips will come in handy, whether you’re trying to avoid paying a handyman, or if it’s a holiday or weekend and they aren’t available. Next time you run into repair issues around your home, remember these simple tips.

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            Last Updated on November 11, 2019

            How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

            How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

            Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

            To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

            Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

            1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

            Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

            Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

            To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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            2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

            Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

            If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

            Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

            3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

            Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

            Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

            4. Feed Your Brain

            Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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            This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

            Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

            Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

            5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

            According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

            Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

            Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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            6. Write it Down

            If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

            It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

            You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

            7. Listen to Music

            Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

            8. Visual Concepts

            In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

            Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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            Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

            9. Teach Someone Else

            Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

            Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

            10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

            Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

            So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

            Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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            Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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