There’s no need to spring for a plumber, electrician or handyman to take care of the small repairs and quick fixes that an average home requires. When you own a home, you can expect a little wear and tear. It will give you a real sense of pride, independence, and ownership to be able to handle small repairs by yourself. Here are four simple repairs that you can undertake yourself.
Fix a Leaky Washing Machine
In nine cases out of ten, a leaky washing machine is the result of a crack in the rubber hose connected to the back of the machine. If this is the case, turn off the water supply and buy a new hose at the hardware store. Unscrew and remove the old hose and wipe down the mouth where the hose feeds into the machine. Screw on the new pipe and tighten it with a wrench. Always address a cracked hose immediately even if the crack is very small. If you ignore it, the water pressure will widen the crack and the whole hose might split open flooding your house. A more permanent solution to this problem is to buy a steel braided hose, which is a far more durable option.
Get rid of small to medium-sized mold spots
Mix a cup of bleach and about 1 gallon of warm water and use an abrasive sponge dipped in the solution to scrub any mold spots on the wall. Be sure to wear a mask and protective rubber gloves while you do to limit your exposure to the bleach fumes and bleach solution. Let the spot dry completely before painting over the treated area. Mildew-resistant latex paint can prevent further growth of mold.
Fix a Running Toilet
With a faulty toilet, the first thing is to identify the problem area. If the water in the tank is overflowing into the vertical tube, you need to lower the level of water by bending the arm on the float downward. If you have a newer toilet model squeeze the adjustment clips and gently slide the float further down into the tank. If the water level seems fine, squeeze a few drops of food coloring into the tank. Watch the water in the toilet bowl and see if it changes color in twenty minutes. If it does, the rubber diaphragm at the bottom of the tank (the flapper) needs to be replaced. Turn off the water supply and pop the flapper out with your hands. Replace with a new one. Be sure to take the flapper to the hardware store so you buy the correct replacement.
Cracks in the Driveway
Small cracks in your driveway are easy to ignore and when this happens they widen and become difficult to fix at home. Even a small crack is a risk to your whole house, since moisture may seep into the foundation. Luckily fixing a crack involves only a water hose and some crack filler designed for asphalt. Remove the debris, spray the area down and use the crack filler to fill the gap left. Smooth it down and let it dry. A deep crack can be filled with sand first and then topped up with filler for the last ¼ inch.