5 Basic Home Repairs Anyone Can Do
Some home repairs are simple, and some are not. While you probably don’t want to try and fix faulty wiring yourself, there are some basic repairs that just about any homeowner can do themselves to save time and money. All you need is a bit of advice, a few tools and a little time to tackle each issue.
Here are some common household problems and what you can do about them.
Squeaky floors are usually just a sign of normal, minor settling of the home.
Easy Repair: There two things you can try. Sprinkle talcum powder between the cracks to see whether that fixes the issue. It can create a buffer to the wood that is rubbing together. If squeaking remains, install some supporting braces (2x4s cut to length) underneath the squeaky spots.
Grout eventually will look dirty despite cleaning and even fall out in some places as it ages.
Easy Repair: You can carve it out carefully with a screwdriver, but the best option is to use a grout-removal attachment on a rotary tool. Then you’re ready to replace it, maybe with a color-coordinated grout to give the bathroom a whole new look. Spread grout with a damp sponge into all the areas around each tile. Gently remove excess and leave the haze. This gets washed off with a clean sponge once the grout has set — usually several hours later.
Dingy Bathroom Caulking
Caulk can look very old and dingy as it ages, especially around the bathtub.
Easy Repair: There is a tool that removes calking easily that costs about $5 at the hardware store. You also will need a caulk gun and replacement calking – buy the special bathroom kind for extra durability. Remove the old caulking, clean the area well, dry it and then use the caulking gun to carefully line the area where the walls meet the tub.
Nobody likes the idea of cleaning the gutters, but they protect the structure and foundation of your home from run-off water damage, so they must function well.
Easy Repair: Gutter issues can be fixed with cleaning and replacement parts from the home improvement store. Cleaning and inspection should occur in the spring and after the leaves have all fallen in autumn. Get an extending cleaning brush (available at the home improvement store) to help make the reaching easier and safer while you are on the ladder.
Leaky toilets are a common problem. The extra water can cause the septic tank to fill up too quickly, so it’s important to find and fix leaks.
Easy Repair: Check the ball float first. It controls the water level in the tank, and if it lets the water rise too high, water will start to flow into the overflow pipe and right out the drain. You can adjust the arm for the ball float by tightening the screw at the top of the arm mechanism or by bending the arm gently downward. This will stop the water flow sooner after a flush.
The other cause of a leak is the flapper. Clean around the area to remove any sediment that might keep the flapper from sealing properly after each flush. If there is still a trickling sound, you can buy a new flapper for less than $5 at the home improvement store. Simply remove the old one and put on the new one.
Sticking or Squeaking Doors
Squeaky or sticky doors are annoying, but it’s simple to fix them.
Easy Repair: You need a rotary tool with a shaving attachment, or even some high-grade sandpaper. Simply shave or sand off the edge of the door that’s sticking. Repaint the door when you are certain it fits the doorframe again.
To fix a squeaky door, rub a dab of petroleum jelly on the hinges. It’s not as messy as oil, it works just as well, and you probably have it on hand.
You can save some serious cash by doing all these small home repairs yourself. Many local home improvement stores even offer classes on how to do basic repairs and improvements, so you may even want to consider signing up for one.
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