Quick Fixes That Every DIYer Should Know

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Not every DIY task is as time consuming and expensive as you may think, there are plenty of projects and repairs that can be done in a couple of minutes with a few pieces of equipment, but they can make a massive difference.

Squeaky Door Hinges

Squeaking door hinges can be a common problem and annoyance especially in older homes with older hinges. However, this can be easily fixed with minimal effort and minimal cost.

The process is simple, apply a lubricant to the hinges (WD-40 for example) and swing the door back and forth to work the lubricant in to the hinges. If this does not work, there are a few other solutions that are just as easy to do. Try the same process but with petroleum jelly, and if this still doesn’t solve the problem, lift the hinge pins to about half way and lubricate them with an oil, being mindful of dripping while you do this.

Squeaky Floorboards

The problem of squeaky floor boards can be solved with both a temporary and permanent solution. The temporary fix involves a simple bottle of baby powder sprinkled between the floorboards to reduce friction between the boards that causes the squeaking. If you want a more permanent solution or the temporary fix didn’t work, simply drill some short screws into the underside of the floorboards.

This method has the same effect as the baby powder but with much more permanent results. It is still quick and easy to do, the only thing to note is that it is important to use screws that are short enough not to penetrate the other side of the board, because that creates another problem in itself and can cause injury.

Patching Up Holes In Walls (Small Holes + Dents & Dings)

Whether they occurred from damage or old wall hangings, holes in walls can be an unsightly part of your home, luckily filling them in is easy and when completed, the hole is completely invisible.

For dents in your wall, all you need to do is firstly make sure the dent is completely clear of debris then proceed to cover it with quick-drying spackle and make sure it is level with the drywall surface. Let this dry for 24 hours then sand smooth. The finishing touch will be painting with the colour that matches the rest of the wall, then your dent will have completely disappeared.

As for small holes, this requires slightly more work and equipment, but not much. This requires a self-adhesive mesh over the hole for structure, then using the same process of covering the surface with spackle, but this time in a criss-cross motion.

Let the spackle dry for as long as it needs and apply a second coat if needed. The finishing process remains the same, sand the surface smooth and paint over the spackle.

Re-Grouting/Fixing Tile Grout

Cracked tile grout can be unpleasant to look at as well as unsafe to walk on, but whether you choose to fix the cracks or re-grout the entire surface, there is a simple solution.

If you decide to go with fixing the cracks in your tile grout, caulk is the ideal material to use. The first step is to remove any loose or cracked grout with the appropriate tool, to ensure a clean end result. After this, the caulk needs to be applied carefully to the crack, and either smooth it down with a plastic spoon, or by hand with wet fingers.

The caulk must be allowed to fully cure for at least 48 hours before you walk on the tiles or heavy furnishings are placed on to it. Make sure you purchase a caulk that is as close in colour to the original grout as possible.

On the other hand, if you would like to cover the cracks with an entirely new layer of grout, these easy steps will help you create a clean, uniform look for your tiles.

    1. Drag a skewer across the grout line, this will loosen any cracked or damage grout that can easily be vacuumed afterwards.
    2. Mix the grout with water in a cup or bowl, make yourself aware of the manufacturers mixing instructions before you do this.
    3. Spread the grout over the damaged grout lines using a grout float for ultimate precision, apply the grout with slow movements and in several directions to ensure an even application and to avoid air bubbles.
    4. Using the edge of the grout float, scrape any excess grout away.
    5. Let the grout sit for around 5 minutes.
    6. Once the grout is semi dry, wipe the tiles over with a damp sponge, until a hazy layer appears over them.
    7. Buff them dry with a rag or microfibre cloth.

Removing Dents From Wood

The process of removing dents from wood is not as complicated as it may seem, and doesn’t involve the equipment you would initially think of.

The first step is to soak a washcloth in water and ring out the excess, then place the cloth over the dent. After this, take your iron and put it on the highest setting, then proceed to move the iron over the washcloth in small backwards and forwards motions and in circular motions. Continue this until the cloth is dry then repeat the process by adding more water until the dent has disappeared.

This process works by letting the water absorb in to the wood, causing expansion in the fibres to bring the dented wood back to being level with the rest of the board.

Fixing Wobbly Tables & Chairs

There are plenty of items that can be used to fix the irritating issue of a wobbly table or chair, all of which share the same 1 step process.

All you have to do is stick something to the underneath of a table or chair leg to level it out. Suggestions have ranged from small pieces of wood, metal or plastic, to slightly more out of the box objects such as pennies and pieces of wine cork, all of which will work just as well as each other.

Fixing Scratched Wood

When wood gets scratched, many think there is no saving their piece of furniture, but this simple trick will have your table or cabinet looking like new again.

All it takes is a mixture of one-part vinegar to two parts oil mixed together and applied with a polishing cloth. It is suggested that you can just wipe this solution over the scratches until they disappear. The only thing left to do is wipe off the excess oil with a clean rag.

Refinishing Flooring

A quicker and less expensive alternative to the sanding and staining process, refinishing your hardwood floors is the best solution for when your floor loses its lustre.

The first and very important step is to select test areas for your refinishing, one in an area with high footfall, the other near a wardrobe or wall. Then, clean these areas with wood cleaner and roughen the area with some sanding screen. Once you have wiped away any dust or residue from your test area, mark it off with masking tape and apply a coat of polyurethane to the area.

Let the polyurethane dry for at least 24 hours, then test the surface by scraping a coin across it. If no residue is produced from doing this, finish with sanding screen. If flakes are produced, the polyurethane has cracked or has a finish that resembles that of an orange peel, the floors will need to be sanded.

The floors will then need to be cleaned thoroughly, removing any surface and stubborn dirt. Then take your sanding screen and roughen up any areas where the buffer will not reach, such as along walls and in corners.

It is important to only make three or four passes along the surface, this process is for roughening the surface not sanding it. It should also be noted that gloves should be worn during this process to prevent any injury that may occur from using the abrasive sanding screen.

Now it is time to set up your buffer, place the screen under the buffer, which will stay in place under the weight of the machine. Make sure the handle of the buffer is locked in place before you begin.

Begin buffing the floor, starting at one wall and making your way backwards across the room. Successful buffing consists of slowly swinging the buffer left and right and only pass over any area once or twice to ensure the best finish.

When your buffing is finished, it is important to clean up any sawdust or residue from the floor using a combination of vacuuming and wiping with mineral spirits and a cloth for windowsills and mouldings. When working with mineral spirits, it is highly important to use a lint-free cloth and an organic vapour respirator to protect against fumes.

Apply masking tape around the perimeters of the walls then you can proceed with finishing the floor. Use a high-quality brush with your chosen product and create a line around the edge of the masking tape. After this, an applicator pad can be used to apply more polyurethane to finish the rest of the surface.

Creaky Stairs

Just like creaky floorboards, creaky stairs can become a nuisance, especially if the problem persists up the entirety of the staircase. The temporary solution to this problem is the same as fixing creaking floorboards, sprinkling talcum powder in between the joints to reduce friction.

Again, just like with the floorboards, there is a permanent solution as well. Glue blocks are usually fitted between the tread and the riser of the stairs, fixing the creaking is as simple as injecting wood glue in to the joint and re-fitting the blocks.

Fixing A Leaking Roof

A leaking roof is not only an inconvenience, water and moisture can cause countless problems and can even create permanent damage to floors and ceilings.

To fix this issue, all you need to do is locate the leak, and depending on what part of the roof is leaking, you can proceed with fixing the leak.

In most cases, fixing a roof involves a patchwork process, removing old caulk and sealant from the area before removing the problem part of the roof and replacing it, making sure the application of your sealant is done in such a way that it is completely weatherproof to minimise the possibility of future leaks.

Those are some quick fixes that you can do before a bigger problem occurs that can cause irreversible damage, or just to neaten up the aesthetics of your home.

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