November Home Maintenance To-Do List
To-Do #6: Test Smoke and CO Alarms
With cold weather arriving and furnaces and fireplaces cranking up, this is a good time to test your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors to make sure they’re functioning properly.
Press and hold the “test” button on the smoke or CO detector to make sure the alarm goes off. Replace the batteries if the alarm doesn’t work, or if the batteries are more than a year old, then test again.
Be sure to write the date the battery was replaced on the battery or on a piece of tape stuck to the back of the alarm. It’s also a good idea to blow out smoke and CO alarms with canned air periodically to remove dust. Also, be sure to replace any alarms that are over than 10 years.
Check out our article on Fire Safety for Your Home to find out more.
To-Do #7: Check and Repair Bathtub Caulk
Last, but not least, head into the bathroom to give a little attention to the caulk around the bathtub. When the caulk gets cracked or falls out, water can get behind the tub and cause water damage to your home’s framing, as well as mold growth.
Inspect the caulk around your tub. If it’s worn or cracked (or stained and unsightly), it’s time to replace it, here’s how.
How To Replace Bathtub Caulk
- Use a putty knife or chisel to scrape out and remove the existing caulk, being careful not to scratch your bathtub.
- Use diluted bleach in a spray bottle to kill any mold or mildew growing in or around the tub joint.
- Dry the crack completely with a hair dryer.
- Apply a bead of 100% silicone caulk to the joint between the tub and surround. Be sure not to overdo it, a narrow bead of caulk looks better than a wide one!
- Smooth out the caulk by misting caulk with denatured alcohol, or dipping your finger in mineral spirits, and running your finger along the caulk bead. For best results, smooth the entire bead with one stroke. Be sure to put on disposable gloves first!
For more information, check out our video on How To Caulk Around a Tub.