CAPE TOWN – At any given time, there are a number of things that can go wrong in our homes as wear and tear, weather or time take their toll. Whilst some jobs require professional contractors, there are those that can be easily done by just about anyone! In first part of our #FixForwardFix series on common household DIY problems, this week we look at five pesky problems and how you can repair them quickly, easily and cost-effectively.
A leaking loo is a major waste of water and is likely a result of corrosion as the toilet parts wear down through extended use. This might manifest as a leak at the water inlet pipe or via the overflow into the bowl. No need to call a plumber though – hardware stores sell inexpensive toilet kits complete with detailed installation instructions. Remember to turn the water off first!
Damp in the home is not only unsightly, it can have potentially adverse health effects too. There are some cases where all you need is a sealant and some paint, but others might require the use of a professional if the cause of the damp is a burst geyser or other more complex problem. You can find more information on DIY Damp issues in a previous #FixForwardFix.
Filling Wall Cracks
When hanging pictures or shelves, we’ve all had experience when a hole doesn’t quite end up where it’s meant to. This is no trains mash though and small holes can easily be filled by neatly applying some clear white toothpaste over the hole, allowing to dry, then gently sanding smooth so that it sits flush with the paint, letting it dry completely and then repainting it.
Scratches in Wooden Floors and Furnitures
With almost every household containing at least some element of wood furniture or flooring, daily wear and tear means scratches on your wood surfaces are just about unavoidable. While bigger cracks might need professional carpenters there are smaller cracks that you could get away with doing yourself. Floor surfaces might require re-sanding and polishing over cracks while other furniture cracks are a little simpler. One method is to use wood filler to smear into the crack and then sand even, or alternatively, wet a cloth well under the tap. Wring out excess water and place the towel flat over the crack. Iron over the towel in circular motions for three to five minutes and the wooden should swell to recover the crack!
If you’ve tackled a little painting at home, chances are the thought of cleaning the rollers or paint brushes at the end was the least enjoyable part of the job. With toxic turpentine and thinners being the regular choices, we’ve found a more eco-friendly solution that is just as effective! Simply place your paint brushes into an old, deep saucepan and fill it up with cheap, clear vinegar. Boil on a hot surface for 5 minutes and then rinse the paintbrushes under running water and watch the hard chips and stubborn paint rinse right off. You might need to repeat the process once more if the paint brushes are really old.