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.”


Latest Stories

You Only Need P5,000 To Work On These Home Improvement Projects

The best part? These can increase the value of your space, too.

What's Inside The Vatican Walls?

Aside from having one of the largest collections of art in the world, the Vatican holds many other treasures

Meet The Architect Behind This Industrial-Pinoy Home

Inspired by the Bahay Kubo, this architect worked with industrial details and affordable building materials to create an inviting space

Is It Possible to Paint Over Tiles?

No one likes the sight of lackluster tiles. Know what to do with these tips from an interior designer.

A Sneak Peek at the New Clark City

A Singaporean consulting firm has been tapped for the development project

You Can Use Wallpaper On The Ceiling, Too

Talk about having a one-of-a-kind accent in your space

Rockwell's Glasshouse Is The Chicest Restaurant Out There

Fashion retailer Harlan + Holden's response to the global trend of lifestyle dining is this airy and beautiful restaurant

6 Ways Wallpaper Can Enhance A Very Small Room

Wallpaper isn't just for huge, sprawling homes—the colors and patterns of this wall finish can visually enlarge a tiny space

Divisoria Home Finds You Can Buy For P500 or Less

Shop ‘til you drop at this bargain hotspot

Practical Tips For Collecting Art From An Art Gallery Owner

You don't have to spend a fortune to have a sizable collection

6 Places To Visit in Angono, Rizal This Long Weekend

Take a day trip to this artists' haven in Rizal and enjoy local art with a side order of culture and exotic food

Did You Know That Color Can Control Your Mood?

Believe it or not, your paint choices play a huge role in how you feel
Load More Stories

Get inspiring design ideas and handy hints.
Subscribe to our newsletter now!