Eliminating that Skanky Front Loading Washer Smell

This is the best way I’ve found to eliminate that skanky smell from frontloading washing machines.
  1. Clean out detergent dispenser drawer of all laundry detergent and fabric softener.
  2. Purchase and use a washing machine "cleaner" found in grocery stores or follow the manufacturer’s instructions
  3. Clean all rubber gaskets around door.
  4. Only use powered laundry detergent.
  5. Always leave door ajar when not in use.
  6. Do not use liquid fabric softener, use only dryer sheets. 
We spent a lot of time and money replacing hoses, etc… and these steps are what worked!

* Image: istockphoto

Sometimes you just have to stop and start again…

The ice machine in the refrigerator was not working. The water dispenser in the refrigerator was not working. Two very convenient features, which when one looked at the control panel, there was no reason why they shouldn’t be working…all systems should have been: “GO!”

First step: Empty all ice out of icemaker. After all, it could simply be jammed. It wouldn’t explain the “no water” situation but, oh well.

No luck.

Push a few buttons, open and close the door (like that is going to somehow help), converse about who pushed what button and why (a polite blame-game), open and close the door again.

And then from my vast experience of sitting in front of computers that have a tendency to sometimes stop working for no apparent reason (I’m sure you all have experienced that frustratingly frozen screen), I suggested: “Let’s turn it off, unplug it, let it sit for a moment, plug it back in, and see if it reboots.”

Worked like a charm—ice and water flowed freely.

Lesson learned: Sometimes you just need to unplug, reconnect, and reboot. Works with more than just refrigerators!

Image: istockphoto.com

10 Spring Maintenance Tips for Property Managers (and homeowners)

It's that time of year again, time to start thinking about your Spring clean-up projects!
  1. Check all gutters and down spouts for blockage and make sure water is draining properly.
  2. Power-wash wood decks, sidewalks, and driveways to remove slippery moss.
  3. Replace rotten deck boards and inspect stairs for wear.
  4. Tighten or replace handrails on stairways, inside and outside of house.
  5. Check caulking around shower and tubs for wear - replace if worn and/or discolored.
  6. Make sure dryer vent is clean and air is moving through.
  7. Remove all tree limbs near roof, because they can cause damage and invite insects and rodents.
  8. Seal all holes in roof eves, siding, anywhere rodents make their home.
  9. Clean up all junk and blackberry bush areas where rats live.
  10. Advise tenants not leave dog/cat or bird food outside overnight. This is to prevent attracting rodents.
If you need help with any of these seasonal tasks - please contact Nick at nick@liamshandyman.com

10 "Get Ready for Winter" Home Maintenance Projects

Here are ten of the most common “winterizing” tasks to be done before bad weather sets in.

1. Clean gutters and down spouts
2. Power-wash decks, walkways, and driveways
3. Disconnect water hoses from outside faucets
4. Cover all outside/exposed water faucets
5. Remove low hanging  tree limbs, or limbs close to house
6. Inspect deck and steps and have any rotten boards replaced
7. Install new filters to heating system
8. If not in use, turn off water supply to toilet
9. Repair any loose roofing
10. Replace any rotting fence posts and boards

Ceiling Repair

I just completed a fix-up on an older house that will now be rented out. The house had water damage in one of the upstairs bedrooms from water seeping through the flashing around the chimney. After sealing the chimney flashing, I went to work on the inside.

It was a challenging project of cleaning the ragged paint and paper off the ceiling, sanding, texturing and then priming and painting.

The photos below are the before and after of one of the rooms in this project.



Rust Never Sleeps: Shower Doors

Recently on an apartment maintenance project, the shower’s glass door was not sliding properly. After examining the door closely there seemed to be an obstruction that was interfering with the door’s smooth operation.

Solution: Reaching my hand up and running it along the top track area, I found rust deposits had built up on the rail track. Using a very fine grade of sand paper (150 to 250 grit) I lightly sanded the inside rail track and removed the rust debris, then I applied WD-40 to the track and it now glides, smooth as glass

The Starting Point

In 2002 after 25+ years of start to finish carpentry with Little & Little Construction (Pt. Townsend, WA) I left that position and spent a couple of years totally remodeling the custom log home my wife and I built in 1978. Our goal was to sell our log home and acreage, and relocate in Edmonds, WA. During this transition I also worked  a short time at Indian Island. (Indian Island is an ammunition dump for Navy ships coming into the Puget Sound – and also the main resource for my book “Handyman to Hand Grenades – in one easy weekend” yet to be published.)

Liam’s Handyman Service was started in 2004 and served the property managers of Pt. Townsend, WA before moving with us to Edmonds, WA.

The primary service Liam’s Handyman provides is to Property Managers, Realtors and home owners in the maintenance and upkeep of their homes, for sale properties, and rental properties.

Thus begins the Liam’s Handyman Blog… My plan with this blog is to share building and maintenance expertise, handyman tips, and vendor recommendations.