Common Home Repair Jobs You Can Do Yourself
There’s no doubt that your home is one of the, if not the most, expensive things you will ever pay for. Thus you should take good care of it. There will be times when something breaks in your home that you would immediately call a professional.
But these days, pros charge exorbitant fees that you might be tempted to take care of the problem yourself. There are certain home repairs that you can do yourself. You don’t have to be a very skilled DIYer to pull off the job.
Of course, it helps if you do some research on things you don’t have any background in, like when dealing with electricity. You must also have the tools ready like a drill or screw driver if you are to handle some home repair jobs.
How to Repair Ceilings and Walls
Even the grandest homes can develop cracks in the ceilings and walls. The good news is that you can repair these cracks rather easily.You’ll need the following tools and materials for this simple repair:
- Mud pan
- Painter’s tape
- Utility knife
- Dust mask
- Taping blade
- Drywall tape
- Joint compound
- Setting type compound
Using a utility knife, start by cutting a V-notch across the entire length of the crack. This should remove all the loose material on the wall. Using a taping blade, embed the paper tape in the joint compound.
Moisten the paper tape with water, then lay it over the crack to avoid trapping those unsightly air bubbles under the tape. Squeeze the excess air from underneath using the blade. Then put an extra layer of joint compound, applying around 2 inches of it on both side of the tape.
After letting the joint compound dry, apply another coat of it. Smooth it out to around six inches on both sides of the joint. Using the taping blade, you have to smooth out the compound to a thin and even coating. Sand it smoothly then paint it after the compound has dried out.
Bathroom Sink Pipe Leaks
Perhaps the most common type of pipe leak happens under bathroom sinks. This usually is due to a worn out washer, or because the compression but sealing it is loose or broke. You will have to turn off the shut off valve right near the sink, or in some cases, in the basement.
Then you can proceed to fixing the leaking bathroom sink pipe. Put a bucket underneath the pipe and then twist off the compression nuts. Those are the big pieces that you can unscrew.
Once you have unscrewed the compression nuts, you can also rinse the curved pipe. Replace the washer and screw it back in. You can then turn the water back on.
Clearing a Clogged Drain
A clogged drain is usually due to build up of debris in the pipes. We’re talking here of crumbs, hair, dirt, and grease, among others. You don’t really need to use chemicals marketed to clear drains.
These products are harsh enough to damage your pipes; which is why you’d rather not use them. One way to clear clogged drain without using harsh chemicals is to pour boiling water down the drain. This should dissolve any organic matter clogging the drain.
But you shouldn’t resort to this trick if you have PVC pipes, as the heat may cause the pipes’ joints to loosen. You should also not pour boiling water into a porcelain sink bowl as the heat can cause it to crack.
Another trick is to use a combination of baking soda and vinegar. You can begin by pouring several tablespoons of baking soda down the drain. Don’t add any water to the drain. After a few minutes, pour a cup of vinegar down the sink.
Wait for 30 minutes before you pour boiling water down the drain. The combination of baking soda and vinegar will loosen up any grimy sludge that has been clogging pipes. Then adding boiling water will jolt all those sludge loose.
If those two tricks still won’t clear a clogged drain, then it may be time to use a hand plunger. Get a cup-shaped plunger for your sink. You can choose from a full length or handheld plunger as both are equally effective.
Take out metal strainers in the sink or metal stopper in the bathroom sink. Pour water into the sink then place the plunger over the drain. There should be a firm seal to it. Using sharp and fast plunges should remove the clog.
Check if the sink is draining. This would mean that this trick is working. Or you can use a hand-operated drain snake. This tool is available at most hardware supply stores for less than $10.
These are long, with spring steel wire that can twist and catch debris when up against a clog. If all these tricks fail, you may need to remove the drain pipe so you can remove the clog manually.
Those clogs are usually trapped in the U-shaped piece known as the P-trap. The P-trap usually has a nut on either end that you can twist off. You may use a large adjustable wrench for this job. Just make sure to put a bucket underneath the P-trap before twisting off a nut.
Repairing ceilings and walls, clearing clogged drains, and repairing pipe leaks are three simple repairs you can do yourself. You won’t have to pay a pro for these jobs, so you can save some money in the end.
The bottom line is that there are several home repairs that you can do yourself. You just have to know which home repairs you can do, and how to do them.