Maintenance and repairs are just part of life when you’re a homeowner. Thankfully, many of the most common tasks are ones you can tackle yourself. Here are some everyday issues you can grab your toolbox to complete, instead of hiring a handyman.
Refresh your filters
Every few months, there is a basic but important task all homeowners should accomplish, and that’s replacing the filter in your HVAC system. Experts at Ross and Witmer point out changing air filters benefits your household in many ways. It keeps the air cleaner, reduces energy use, and, in the long run, extends the life of the system. When changing your air filter, follow these step-by-step instructions, bearing in mind the correct filter size is crucial to replacement.
Failure to replace your filters regularly can lead to other issues, like a frozen coil on your air conditioner unit. If you run into trouble, you can try replacing the filter first. A word of caution: common HVAC maintenance and repairs fall beyond the skills of most homeowners.
Caulk your bathroom
Many bathroom repairs require some expertise, especially if plumbing is involved, but one simple fix most homeowners can comfortably handle is caulking the tub, shower, or sink. Eventually, the caulk in a bathroom can become crumbly, cracked, and peeled. A proper seal helps keep mildew and mold from accumulating in the high humidity of a bathroom environment. When it’s time for a refresher, start by removing the old caulk and then clean the area completely. Once it’s dry, set a line for installing new caulk with painter’s tape. Caulk is applied straight from the tube, and you can wipe away any excess with a damp fingertip. Always let caulk cure for a full day before using the area.
Ease sticky drawers and doors
Struggling to open a drawer can be frustrating, and little things like changes in humidity can make wood swell so the glide mechanism doesn’t work as it should. Thankfully, there is an easy method for unsticking them. Simply pull out your drawer and flip it over, then rub some candle wax over the frame where it slides. You can use the stub of an old candle or tealight, and also apply it to the interior slides of the dresser or cabinet.
If you have a door sticking, it can be just as simple a fix, but as This Old House explains, you need to determine the cause first. You might need to tighten hinge screws, swap top and bottom hinges, or fill and redrill the screw holes. Sometimes it’s a bit more elaborate, and a shim is necessary or the jamb needs adjustment. To shim a door, you install shims directly into place in at least two spots, wedging the frame into alignment, and then secure the shims when the frame is straight. You can also remove the jamb and rehang it or install a new one. Both tasks require basic tools and minimal skills, so you can rest assured, no more sticky doors!
Fill a stripped screw hole
Whether you have a wobbling drawer pull or sticking door, a stripped screw hole can be the root of the cause. Filling a screw hole is a quick, easy fix. Just fill the hole with wood glue and toothpicks, then cut the toothpicks even with the frame. Once it sets, redrill your hole and reinstall the screw.
Think about the bigger problems
Of course, not every household project is so simple, and sometimes, you’ll find yourself needing extensive repairs or replacements — or a total renovation. In those instances, it’s important to think about what you’ll do with all of your possessions. While some items can be covered to prevent damage, you might do well to pack things up and get them out of the way. Take your heirlooms and other beloved and cherished possessions to a shed or garage to protect them from breakage. If you don’t have a garage/shed, you might need to consider a temporary self-storage unit. And while these units can get expensive, many of them offer great deals that will allow you to squeeze the expense into you budget. For example, CubeSmart Self Storage 4100 Central Avenue SE in Albuquerque offers 15 percent off on all of their available units. Regardless of how you choose to approach this objective, make sure your items are safe and secure until the repairs are finished and you can move them back into your home.
As a homeowner, there is an almost endless list of things to do. Thankfully, when it comes to many household repairs, you can do many of them yourself with a bit of skill and a few tools. Next time a little job pops up, tackle it confidently.