Are you ready for the incredibly sexy world of gasket maintenance? Well, watch out because it’s coming straight at you in this post.
But first let’s start with my though process anytime a home repair project pops up.
Visualize a thought balloon saying…
Can it be repaired?
Can it wait?
What’s the cost?
What are the pros & cons to repair vs. replacing the problem?
To me, it seems to be a fine balance between cost and time to keep the home operating smoothly. Spend your money and time wisely to maximize the benefits. And although I am inclined to try to fix a problem, sometimes you just have to spend money to fix a problem.
Recently our freezer drawer became an issue. We bought a french door refrigerator with a bottom freezer drawer when we moved in almost five years ago. I love this fridge configuration except for one thing – how dirty the freezer drawer gets. In fact I find it pretty amazing how much stuff ends up in it. Beverages gets spilled. Particles and dirt find their nasty little way into every crevice. It basically never stays clean.
Recently I noticed that the drawer liner (or gasket!) began to stick when I opened the drawer. I cleaned it the best I could, but under closer inspection, I realized the liner had actual torn in many places and the magnet that keeps the door tightly sealed was working it’s way out of the liner.
Well I kept an eye on it, trying to wait out the repair. Then the the magnet started falling out each time we opened the door. I didn’t realize what a problem this was until the freezer drawer wouldn’t be fully sealed when closed so the drawer would freeze over to compensate. And that’s when I knew I has to replace the gasket.
After shopping around, I ended up ordering a new one from Sears Direct for $58.00. (Ouch.) When it arrived, I let the new gasket stretch out a little while I cleared out the freezer. Then I simply removed the old one by pulling it out of it’s grove and then off the freezer door.
Next, I cleaned the heck out of the whole freezer drawer. When it was squeaky clean, I stretched the new gasket over the drawer and simple pressed it into groove on the door.
Simple pricy solution, but was it worth it?
Well, now the freezer is sealing correctly which means I am saving energy and not over-stressing the appliance and it should it will last longer. So yes, the money was worth it to me.
Moving forward. What’s the plan?
1. Gasket cleaning.
For good measure, I’ve added gasket cleaning to my monthly to-dos so I don’t forget. Plus if it gets really dirty, I now know how to take it off to clean it.
2. Keep them lubed.
I read that a thin coat of petroleum jelly can keep the gasket from cracking and sticking. I am going to try this out on the fridge doors that are a little torn. They are twice as expensive to replace so I am really going to work at keeping them operational.
And if I am really smart, I will look for other parts of our house I can improve my upkeep skills. Maybe one weekend a month will be devoted just to those sort of tasks that make the house run more smoothly. What do you think? Is gasket and other home maintenance on your to-do list now?