You never really know when problems around the home are going to strike, and they can range from the slightly annoying to the very serious. All you can do is be prepared to deal with them in the most effective way possible.
Of course, with some problems, you are better off calling in the professionals, particularly if the job is complicated and urgent like emergency air conditioning repair. But in this article, we are going to focus on a few of the most simple tasks that you can undertake yourself to solve common issues. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get started!
Heat Exposed Indoor Pipes
This tip is particularly relevant now that summer is well and truly over and the cold weather is really starting to set in. If you have any exposed pipework – for example in your laundry room, basement or utility room – this may be at risk of freezing up during the winter months. A simple solution is to install heating cables to insulate them. All you need to do is run the cables up the pipes using electrical tape to attach them. Once they are attached, you can cover them up with insulating foam before plugging in the cord.
Hide Hardwood Floor Scrapes
While hardwood floors are a good-looking feature that many of us choose to have in our homes, any scrapes and gouges look a lot less attractive. You can conceal basic shallow scratches with stain markers that match the colour of the wood floors. While this is more of a hiding act than a true fix, it is still an effective approach. Paste wax is something that you can use for deeper scratches and gouges. Try to deal with issues quickly before they end up multiplying.
Fix a Leaky Faucet
If you are used to hearing the drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet, you need to do something about this at the earliest possible opportunity. You can start by doing a quick internet search of the make and model to determine if it is a common issue, and get some advice about fixing it. O-rings and cartridge replacements are just two of the most common ways to solve this issue. Getting these spare parts will always be significantly less expensive than investing in a brand new faucet.
Repair a Vinyl Tile
With a bit of effort and the right tools, repairing a vinyl tile is something which should be well within your reach. First of all, you need to loosen the adhesive of the damaged tile using a heat gun or warm iron. Remove the tile from the floor using a putty knife, beginning at the corners and moving your way into the centre. Once it has been removed, even out the surface and apply some new adhesive. Lay the new tile and use a rolling pin to get it flat. Wipe away any excess adhesives and leave the tile to dry.
Quieten Down Squeaky Doors
Squeaking door hinges can be extremely irritating, so you will want to stop the noise at the earliest possible opportunity. WD-40 is your most obvious solution, but a few of the other options out there include petroleum jelly, cooking oil, a paraffin candle, a bar of soap or maybe even a stick of butter if you are struggling to find anything else! Pull the hinge pin out of the door, cover it in lubricant and replace it.
Stop a Running Toilet
Another very wasteful issue in the home is a running toilet, and it is also one that you are likely to be able to solve yourself. The most common cause is the rubber flapper which seals out water. It may also be the chain which connects it, so make sure that it is not too short or long before attempting to replace it. Turn off your water supply, drain out the tank, disconnect the chain and remove it. Make sure you have the right replacement model before attempting to switch it.
Remove Rust in a Porcelain Sink
The look of your porcelain sink can be completely ruined when it starts to accumulate rust, but why not try a touch of toothpaste to sort out the problem. Yes, you did read that right! Cover the stain with some toothpaste and leave it to sit for around 10 or 15 minutes. After it has dried, sprinkle on some baking soda and rub it with a clean, soft cloth.
Patch Up Holes Left By Pictures
If you have tiny holes in the wall which have been left by pictures, try patching them up rather than simply covering them something else. You will need a putty knife and patching plaster. If you are going to repaint it, you will need a plaster and primer. When it comes to hanging new pictures, don’t simply align these with the ceiling or floor as they might not be level. Draw a faint line a few inches down from the ceiling instead.
Get Rid of Fingerprints from Stainless Steel Appliances
Stainless steel looks great on many appliances, but not if they are all covered in fingerprints. To prevent them from getting covered in these smears, you can apply a thin layer of olive oil to the surface using a soft cloth. As for cleaning them, a microfibre cloth and water are the best starting point. Always go with the grain when wiping the surface. You can tackle tough spots with rubbing alcohol. Don’t forget the handles which are fingerprint magnets.
So, there you have it, eight actionable tips which you can use around the home. From solving minor cleaning issues to dealing with bigger and more wasteful problems, use this advice to make sure that your house is operating to its full potential. As well as fixes, there are also plenty of preventative measures that you should be looking to take in order to stop issues from occurring in the first place which we have also discussed a little bit here.
Disclosure: This is a contributed post.