Here's how to keep the tools you use in tip-top shape. 

1. Clean and check hand tools.
 These are your screwdrivers, wrenches, hammers, pliers, levels, wire cutters, and such. After each use, wipe them with a rag and put them away. Periodically check handles for cracks and metal parts for corrosion. Repair or replace damaged tools.

2. Store tools correctly.
 Never leave hand tools out. They get damaged by the elements outside and pose a danger to your family indoors. Store in a tool box, tool bag, storage container, shelving unit, or on a pegboard. Hang lawn and garden tools, such as rakes and shovels, to protect them from ground moisture.

3. Keep power tools clean.
 Wipe them clean with a rag at the end of every job. Clean exhausts and intakes with lightly oiled cotton swabs or a rag wrapped around a thin tool. A can of compressed air is the best way to remove dirt and dust from vents and crevices. Regularly replace filters.

4. Store power tools properly.
 Protect them from dust, moisture, and other damage by storing in original cases, drawers, or tool chests. Keep instruction manuals in a drawer or cabinet in your workspace.

5. Inspect power tools for damage.
 Every so often, check for signs of wear or damage, paying special attention to power cords. If you see frayed insulation or exposed wires, have a professional repair or replace the cord immediately. Check for bent or loose prongs on plugs. Damaged power cords can give you a shock or start a fire.

6. Oil moving parts.
 This makes the tool run smoothly and helps prevent rust. Common machine oil works, but consult your owner's manual for manufacturer recommendations.

7. Look after batteries. 
Cordless tools are great, but pay attention to their rechargeable batteries. Follow manufacturer recommendations for charging and discharging. Clean contacts with cotton swabs and alcohol. Store batteries you won't be using in a clean, dry place away from heat.

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P.S.: As the housing market recovers, mortgage rates remain at historically attractive levels, but they can be volatile. When buying or refinancing, it's smart to start the process early. Please call or email us to explore the appealing options available now.

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