Winter is a great time to get things done around the house. Blistering temperatures keep you holed up inside, but you can still put that time to good use. If you stay on top of these easy fixes, your house will be in tip-top shape—and the last thing on your mind when those warm temps return.
1. Patch Some Holes
Rambunctious kids, inexperienced furniture movers, and carelessly swung doors all have one thing in common: they can make a hole in a wall in the blink of an eye. Fortunately, the repair is almost as fast.
Buy a peel-and-stick wall patch. It consists of fiberglass mesh backed by an aluminum screen and a peel-and-stick backing. These patches come in various size square ranging from 4 inches on each side to as big as 8 inches.
Peel off the backing and place it over the hole then apply drywall compound over the screen using a 6-inch drywall knife. Sand the patch smooth and repeat until the patched area blends in with its surroundings. Then prime and paint the repair or paint the entire wall for a truly invisible repair.
2 Ceiling Fan
A ceiling fan can spend all year getting loaded with dust and it’s easy to forget that the thing needs to be cleaned. Cleaning it takes just minutes.
The simplest method is to use a ceiling fan duster, such as the gadget by Ettore, the same company that’s famous for its window cleaning tools. Run the duster over each fan blade and the top of the motor housing, then vacuum the floor below.
This ladder-free method works for quick, routine cleaning but you can also get up on a ladder and wipe each blade individually with a microfiber cleaning cloth or use an old pillow case slid over each blade. Wear a dust mask if you’re allergic to dust, and if the fan is extremely dusty, place a drop cloth on the floor and nearby furnishings. Take the drop cloth outside and shake it off. Complete the work by vacuuming the floor below.
3 Recaulk Your Bathtub
A tub surrounded by mildew-blackened caulk is gross, but it’s easy to fix.
An overview of the process is this: Cut out the old caulk with a utility knife and a painter’s 5-in-1 tool. Thoroughly disinfect the area with a bleach-based cleaner. When the surface is dry, caulk the cleaned-out joint with a high-quality tub-tile silicone caulk.
Hardman’s has all the supplies you need to get your caulking brand new again!
4 Fix Squeaky Doors
Next, wipe the pin clean with WD40, alcohol or a little clean motor oil. Wipe a little grease on the pin, and slip it back in.
5 Fix Loose Drawers
It’s an amazingly fast and efficient repair, many times outlasting the cabinet or furniture.
6 Fix the Drip
In almost all cases today your faucet’s water flow is by means of a cartridge. The cartridge itself may wear out or its rubber parts such as its O rings may be shot. Sometimes, you can peel these off the cartridge, replace them and reinsert the cartridge. You’re back in business faster than you can say “drip.”
7 Fix the Toilet
If the toilet sounds like it flushes itself in the middle of the night or it makes a trickling sound, chances are good that its flapper valve is worn out.
This is the easiest fix of all. Turn off the water, flush the toilet, and then reach into the empty tank and move the existing flapper.
Its chain unhooks, and the flapper itself unhooks from two small plastic knobs on which it pivots. Then install a universal toilet flapper and you’re good to go. Available at Hardman’s, of course!