Tips and Guides

Building 101: Home Maintenance

Take note of these home maintenance problems and how you can solve them


Maintaining a home is no easy task, especially if the problems have been caused by years of neglect. “It will cost a lot if you leave it for several years, and attend to it only now,” says Dr. Eleanor Malicdem, a former home economics professor at University of the Philippines Diliman.

To keep a home in tip- toe shape, she advises homeowners to maintain cleanliness all the time. “Make time for it. Once a week, once a week there should be a general cleaning, and have the right materials for cleaning. It you don’t, it will contribute to the deterioration of your house.” She adds that checking for insects and rats, and buying the necessary insecticides for pest control, is also a must.

You can choose a DIY route for some home maintenance problems but keep in mind that you can also seek the help of a professional for those that require intensive treatment or solution.

Interviewed by Katherine Lopez. Photographed by Miguel Nacianceno.

Read the original article ("Home Maintenance Basics") in the December 2012-January 2013 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details.

Take note of these common problems and solutions:

Termite Infestation

What to do: “Before you start your renovation from the roof down, you need to hire a termite control person to check and treat your soil, because termites come from the soil,” says Eleanor. Some signs of termite infestation include having an ant- like insects crawling around your house, cracks and bloating in your ceilings and posts, and your wood members having a hollow sound when you knock on them.

Tip: Have your home checked for termites every six months as it might be in the neighborhood and may transfer to your space.

Roof Leaks

What to do: Invest on sealants and roof paints to seal the different holes and parts of the roof that are no longer aligned. You can repair minor roof leaks yourself, but if you find it difficult to climb up onto your roof, hire a carpenter to do so. If there’s a need to change the ceiling, it is better to hire a pro for exact measurement and quotation.

Tip: Keep in mind that as the years go by, the roof gets affected by weather. It will not be aligned. It warps and it pops out. When it pops out, water will seep into the rafters and also to the ceiling. When it is ignored, it will caused water to drip 

Clogged Drains

What to do: Have a net in the sink. These items are available at the mall. You may also consider changing the material under the sink as they also rot.

Tip: Eleanor says soaps and falling hair clog bathroom drains, while in the kitchen, oils are the culprits. If these are ignored, water would go back to you. It’s also the same with your toilet bowl.

Detached Floor Tiles

What to do: Sand the bottom of your detached floor tile attach it back to the floor using tile glue. Attaching just one tile can be DIY but if you’re changing everything, keep in mind that it needs to be computed and everything has to be aligned. This requires professional help.

Tip: Floor tiles lose their adhesion because of age. You keep on stepping on it and having some heavy things on it. The contact material will soften. And also, during the construction of these tiles, if I was not done properly, especially the evenness of the base or surface, and then you just place the necessary glue, after several years, it will warp. 

Busted Light Bulbs

What to do: Changing busted light bulbs can also be DIY. Consider the energy-saving kind.

Tip:  You’ll know when it’s time to change your light bulbs when they start blinking, and sometimes, there will be a black color around the head of the bulb.

Bonus Tip: “If you don’t take care of your house, it’s very expensive to repair. It’s usually expensive, that’s why you should have a portion in your budget for maintenance, especially house repair.”


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