Home Repairs Everyone Should Know
By Stephen Davis
Special to VanLines.com
When moving into a new home you may notice a leak or a minor repair that needs to be fixed. These DIY home repairs are simple and you won't have to spend a lot of money. Follow our simple home improvement guide for the next time you need to repair something around your house.
Know the main switches. One of the first things you should know about your home is the location of the main switches. You should know where the main electricity switch is, where the main heat switch is and where the main valve to the water mains is. That way you should be able to shut of mains supply in case of need. This is particularly helpful during most of the electrical and water equipment replacements.
Replace water pipes. Shower pipes and pipes leading to the sink valves eventually burst or leak. Before removing the pipe shut the valve behind it. If there isn’t, shut the mains valve to prevent water spilling all over the place. Remove the pipe using a wrench and take it to the local hardware store to get a replacement. Putting in a new pipe is easy. Make sure you also replace the water seals and washers. Once you are done, turn on the water supply.
Fix the toilet. Toilet flush systems often get stuck, especially when there are guests. This causes a great nuisance, especially if it happens at night. Familiarize yourself with the workings of the flushing mechanism. Remove the lid of the water tank and observe the mechanism when flushing. Visiting a hardware store and getting a few tips from the rep also helps. Often when the flushing mechanism malfunctions, it’s merely a component or two that need a little nudge.
Unfreeze water pipes. During a severe cold spell, water pipes may freeze. Unfreezing a water pipe safely isn’t a very difficult process. The first thing that you should remember is to turn of the main supply to prevent water pressure from bursting the pipe. Locate the frozen portion using a metal object. A spoon will do nicely. Frozen sections will give a rigid sound. Once this is done, sections of the pipe can be heated to melt the water inside. You can use a “piping hot” machine which can be rented at most hardware stores. The machine has two clamps with a spring between them. The spring heats the section of the pipe when the power is turned on. Alternately you can use a heat gun or blow torch.
Replace door locks. Installing a door only requires a screw driver and a small crow bar (or a spoon). The mechanism can be easily unscrewed at the door-width section and removed from either end. The new lock can then be put in at either side and screwed in at the door-width.
Repair your fence. If your fence is about to fall after a storm, it is very easy to shore it instead of paying for costly repairs. Dig a small hole next to the fence at the place where it sags the most. The hole should be about 18inches deep. Place a post in the centre and prop the fence against it. Fill the bottom of the hole with gravel and then top it off with quick drying cement. Finally screw the post to the fence using four or five screws.