Home improvement: fix-it and profit

Will repairing your rain gutters add value to your home? Ask any realtor and they will tell you, "Yes!" So will caulking your driveway, painting rusty faucets and cleaning your deck.

Summer time is the best time to get to all those annoying maintenance projects that seem to pile up during the year. Many end up on a "to do" list that eventually falls onto the floor and slides under the fridge to be ignored forever. Don't let that happen to you! A home that is regularly maintained costs less to run and retains its value for when you decide to sell.

Here are five simple home maintenance projects you can do this summer:

Repair your rain gutters

Remove leaves and other debris from your gutters and drain pipes using barbecue tongs or by spraying water from your hose. Repair or replace any loose or missing gutter nails.

Clean and stain your deck

First, clean your deck with a power washer. (They are easy to rent if you don't have one.) Take care to make sure you know how to operate the washer. Next, sand the deck with a palm sander. Finally, apply a deck preservative.

Repair cracks in concrete

Clean cracks with a high pressure hose nozzle and let it dry. Apply concrete caulk for cracks less than ". For larger cracks, use concrete patch.

Recaulk your shower or tub

Cut the old caulk out completely. Clean and dry the area carefully. Apply a new bead of silicone caulk. Use your gloved fingers to smooth the fresh bead.

Paint rusty fixtures

Use paint specifically formulated to go over rust. Your gate hinges, latches and other rusty fixtures will get a much needed face lift and you will stop corrosion from continuing under the paint.