Not everyone is handy with repairs. In fact, for some, the idea of getting up a ladder is enough to send them running for the Yellow Pages.
This is partly because many homeowners and renters, particularly at the younger end of Generation Y, never learned to fix anything. Gen-Y has grown up in a disposable world where everything is replaceable, plus classes based around handiwork (such as shop class and home economics) have been scaled back or removed completely from school curriculums. The result is a skill shortage and an increasing demand for more craftspeople and handymen.
There’s never been a better time to start taking on your own household repairs, especially those that don’t require as much skill as you’d think. Here are just a few examples of household repairs that can be done quickly and easily:
There’s nothing worse than paying call-out fees for a plumber to unblock a drain only for him or her to fix the problem with a plunger.
So, before you pick up the phone, pick up the plunger. Whether it’s your sink or toilet that’s backed up, around ten good thrusts on the plunger should be enough to dislodge a small blockage. If water does not begin flowing normally after this point, then it’s unlikely that further plunging will have any effect.
Usually, a plumber will remove larger blockages using an auger, often known as a “snake.” A snake is a simple device that can be fed down a pipe to dislodge larger blockages. Using a crank, a plumber will unfurl the auger, which will follow the course of the pipe like a snake. The end has a snare or hook that grabs the blockage, allowing it to be pulled out.
While augers are not normal household items, they are also not so specialized that they can only be operated by a plumber. You can pick them up at most trade supply stores, and while more expensive than a normal household plunger, they, are a worthwhile investment if your pipes and drains regularly clog.
Air conditioner problems
Is your air conditioner not working? If so, then there’s no need to get hot under the collar. Before you call in a repair technician, check some of the common air conditioner problems against a key DIY list. You may be able to solve the problem yourself quickly, easily, and at minimal expense.
For example, a popular problem is a unit failing to cool even though the fan is running. In many cases, all that’s required is a simple coolant top-up, or it may just be too hot outside. Either way, check the list before picking up the phone.
Should you find that your air conditioner causes frequent problems, however, you should consider taking out a home warranty. It will ensure a quick repair and will keep down service costs.
Holes in walls
A little spackle is all that it takes to fill small holes in walls. This is especially useful if you’re renting the property that you live in, as landlords can be fussy about damage done to walls. They will often withhold part of your security deposit. So, simply purchase spackle wall filler foam from any hardware store, spray it into the hole and let it dry for a few hours – overnight is perfect.
Once the spackle is completely dry, sand it down to create a smooth surface using some fine-grain sandpaper. If you’re a stickler for color matching, then give the wall a quick “once over” with an appropriate style and shade of paint.
Blocked shower head
This is perhaps the easiest of household repairs, Cover the shower head with a Ziploc bag half-filled with vinegar. Any kind will do, but normal white vinegar is the cheapest option. If your shower head is fixed, then tie the bag in place over the top using rubber bands to secure it. If the head is detachable, then unscrew and submerge it in the vinegar and tie it closed as securely as possible. Resting the bag in a large bowl will help avoid a huge clean-up operation if the bag springs a leak.
Leave the bag in place overnight, and first thing in the morning, remove the shower head and rinse it out.
Sliding doors sticking If you have a sliding door that isn’t sliding well, then simply pick up some silicone spray lubricant from your local hardware store. All you need to do is grease up the skids by spraying some lubricant onto a rag then wiping the tracks.