Useful Tips for Basic Household Repairs

The Right Tools Help Solve Problems

These useful tips for simple home repairs can save you from issues growing into major problems around the home.

Hidden Dangers in Clothes Dryers

An estimated 15,000 fires are caused by clothes dryers each year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. They can cause serious injures and have resulted in deaths.

  • Some fires are caused by lint build-up in the exhaust duct. Corrugated vinyl ducts seem more likely to lead to fires than metal ducts. The simple solution is to remove and clean ducts and lint traps frequently. Also important is to never leave the home when a dryer is running.
Check Out: Check for Highly Flammable Dryer Lint in Duct Vents and Exhaust

Stick With the Right Adhesives

  • Adhesives have improved considerably over the years. Always choose a name brand adhesive made for the specific surfaces that require repair or mounting.
  • Epoxies are good for metals. Heavy-duty adhesives can permanently attach heavy objects to walls. The key word is permanent. Removal of the object and adhesive could take the walls with it.
  • Cars have their own set of adhesives for various projects. Some are transferable to home repairs and some are not. Read directions and always follow the instructions for surface prep and applications.
Check Out: How to Select the Right Caulk for the Job

Running Toilets

  • When the water in the toilet tank runs for a short time, stops and then periodically repeats the process, the probable cause could be a worn flapper. The rubber becomes soft and allows water to leak out of the seal at the base of the flush valve.
  • Replace worn parts. Some toilet tanks have snap-in systems and that means the entire system needs replacement.
Check Out: 5 Simple Toilet Repairs Anyone Can Do

Sink Drips

Problems in faucets can be attributed to failed valves, O-rings, washers and other moving parts. Faucets, which are compression (stem) or washerless (handle movement controls water flow), can be taken apart easily. Worn parts should be replaced with new items that conform specifically to the make and model of the faucet. Wrenches, screwdrivers and pliers will be needed.

Check Out: Faucet Replacement Guide if you decide to replace instead out repair

Shower Water Flow

Slow water flow in shower heads can be a simple repair. Often, the cause is minerals in the water collecting and clogging holes in the shower head.

Unscrew and remove the head. Soak it in vinegar to break down the minerals. A toothpick should be used to poke through clogged holes. Hand-held shower heads should be replaced if the tubing has pin-sized holes and slits. Don’t rely on temporary patches with tape or adhesives.

Basic Home Tool Kit

These and other basic maintenance projects around a home can be completed with a little knowledge and the right tools. Basic tools that every household should have readily on hand for basic projects include:

  • Hammer;
  • flat-head and Philips screwdrivers;
  • needle-nose pliers;
  • locking-grip pliers;
  • slip –joint pliers;
  • Putty knife;
  • power drill;
  • sandpaper in various grits;
  • a variety of all-purpose adhesives;
  • A retractable steel ruler and level;
  • Plunger and drain auger;
  • Safety goggles;
  • dust or insulation masks.
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