Jen's Take 5 | Save These Home Maintenance Solutions For Later.

Jen Clements

Happy February! I came across this information and thought it was worthwhile sharing. While you think this might be more for older homes, it might want to still keep this onhand as your home ages.

And always remember, "I know a guy" which means I have a network of sub-contractors that are trustworthy, affordable and dependable.

Sometimes your home makes the strangest sounds, or the water smells funky, or the lights flicker. 

You didn’t notice any of this when you first bought but now, well, it’s starting to make you wonder. Should you be concerned?

In most cases, no. But sometimes, your home really is trying to tell you something’s wrong. Here’s how to interpret your home’s strange quirks, and how to fix them for good:


Flickering Lights.

Cause:  Odds are eerie light flickering isn’t paranormal activity. But if groups of lights flicker together, it could be something just as scary: dangerous, loose electrical connections that can cause power to jump over the gaps. Pros call this “arcing,” which can cause fires. If, however, lights dim when the refrigerator or another appliance turns on, the circuit might be overloaded.

Cure:  Call in a licensed electrician. The $150 to $250 you’ll pay for a new circuit (or $500 to $700 for a new electrical panel) is way less than what you’d spend to recover from a fire.


Rustling in a Wall.

Cause:  Typically, it’s termites or carpenter ants — tiny beasts that love to feast on your home’s bones. Tap on a wall and then press an ear against it. If you hear a rustling sound, it could be termites. A sound like crinkling cellophane could mean carpenter ants.

Cure:  Call a pest control professional. Cost is $65 to $100 for an inspection.

Luckily we don't have many of these issues here in the Treasure Valley, but they do exist.


Peeling Exterior Paint.

Cause:  Moisture is probably getting underneath the paint. Leaky gutters or a steamy bathroom on the other side of the affected area are often the culprit.

Cure:  If it’s a brand-new problem (you know it wasn’t there a couple of weeks ago), you might be in time to save your siding — and a costly replacement bill. What to do:

  • Stop the moisture at the source so the problem doesn’t repeat.
  • Scrape off the loose paint, then prime and repaint.

Delay too long and the siding might rot. Patching and repainting the whole house could easily rise to $10,000! 

If the root cause is a damp bathroom, a with a humidity-sensing switch (about $250) should take care of it. 


Musty Odors.

Cause:  Mildew is the root of all that’s musty. It’s a yucky, not-good-for-you fungus. Basements are favorite haunts for this nasty life form. But basically, any place that is humid enough to allow condensation to form on cold surfaces can grow mildew and assault your senses.

Cure:  Keep surfaces dry. A few ways include:

  • Running a $20 fan to keep air moving, which creates dryness.
  • Adding a dehumidifier (about $175 or so) to stubborn spaces that a fan can’t handle. 
  • Make surfaces warmer by throughout your home.

Loud Knocking.

Cause:  If the knocking occurs when you turn off water, you have what’s known as “water hammer” — when fast-moving water comes to a sudden stop and there’s no air chamber (usually a short pipe) to cushion the shock wave. If knocking occurs when your furnace switches on or off, metal ducts are expanding or contracting as temperature changes.

Cure:  If there’s an air chamber, it may be filled with water and only needs to be drained. If it’s missing one, it needs one installed. Call a plumber to add one. Those snapping ducts? They aren’t a cause for concern — just part of your home’s personality.


The Hit List

5163 N Glenwood St
Garden City, Idaho 83714

Next time you're craving a burger, check out The Hit List in Garden City on the corner of Glenwood and Chinden. SO INCREDIBLY GOOD. The Angus beef arrives fresh daily from a ranch in Mountain Home. If you're a pastrami fan, it's house-cured and freshly sliced for each sandwich. DELICIOUS!

And if you like fries, I would ask for them extra-crispy!




  1. 2024
    1. February (1)