by blackStones

Small and easy repairs you can actually do yourself

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
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Who needs a professional around the house? Well that depends on what you need done, obviously. Experts are definitely the go-to persons to call if you need a major task completed like tearing down a wall, re-wiring the entire kitchen, or building new garden fencing.

But since not all of us are equally talented (or energetic), some may opt for phoning up a professional for the teeniest, tiniest jobs around the house, such as a faucet that just won’t quite dripping.

For the rest of you who feel like flexing your DIY muscles, put down the phone and fix it yourself – we’ll show you how!

1. A broken tile

Brick Tile Series:  Walls by Tileflair
Tileflair

Brick Tile Series

Tileflair

No need to rip up the entire floor or wall just because one little guy’s a bit damaged. Remove the grout around the tile with a grout saw, a small tool you can cheaply obtain at paint- and hardware stores. 

If a tile has already started to chip, continue to break off little pieces and remove the entire damaged tile. If not, make a hole in the centre with a masonry drill, which will break the tile, and remove the pieces from the centre outward. 

Glue the new tile in place with an adhesive, then apply fresh grout around the edges.

2. Torn vinyl

With a silicone-base seam sealer, fill the tear and wipe off the excess with a dry cloth. 

If it's a no-wax floor and the tear is small, take a bar of soap and rub it sideways along the cut until it is filled. You'd think the soap would disappear when you wash the floor, but unless you immerse the vinyl in water and use a brush, the soap will stay in place. 

It won't be as good as new, but it will go a long way to hide the problem.

3. A scratched wooden cabinet

Hardware stores sell various scratch fillers that look like brown pencils or crayons. Find the shade that most closely matches your cabinet and rub it into the scratch. 

Or you can opt for a similar product that is more like a felt-tip pen and comes in different shades of ink.

4. A frozen icemaker

Bishops Park SW6: modern Kitchen by CATO creative
CATO creative

Bishops Park SW6

CATO creative

Remove the ice bin from the freezer and find the tray where the water freezes into ice cubes. Open the tray and search for a little piece of plastic pipe where the water flows into the ice-cube tray. The end of that pipe usually freezes up. 

Thaw it out by aiming a hair dryer at the pipe, which generally doesn’t take longer than five minutes.

5. Loose laminate countertops

Grey Acacia wood laminate kitchen​: modern Kitchen by LWK Kitchens
LWK Kitchens

Grey Acacia wood laminate kitchen​

LWK Kitchens

Buy an adhesive (ask the hardware/lumber store salesperson for the correct kind) and apply it beneath the laminate. Press the laminate down and rest a heavy object on top until it dries.

6. Worn-out or dried caulk

With some adhesive remover on a damp cloth or sponge, wipe over the silicone caulk. Let it soak in. Remove the old caulk and clean the area with a ceramic tile cleaner. 

Allow for it to dry, then simply re-caulk.

7. Stained grout

Mould- or mildew stains in tile grout can effectively be removed with tile cleaners like Tilex. Be sure to soak the stain well with the tile cleaner and let it sit for at least a few days. Mould and mildew need time to die, which is when they’ll turn white. 

If it’s a wine stain, remove the affected grout with a grout saw, then re-grout. About 48 hours later, use a grout sealer to reduce the chances of the grout being stained again.

8. A dripping tap

First stop the flow of the water by turning off the stop valves under the sink. If it's an old faucet, remove the handle by unscrewing it. 

Once the handle is off, take off the chrome cylinder underneath, then remove the nut that holds the stem in place. Pull out the stem and replace the washer. 

New faucets have seats that serve the same purpose as a washer, but you need to buy one that's specifically for the brand and model of your faucet. If you need help in identifying the model, disassemble the faucet and take it to the hardware/plumbing store. 

Since we’re on a DIY roll, check out: 25 home improvement ideas under £100.

What other handy DIY tips can you add to our list?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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