When your AC breaks, your sewage is backed up, or your kitchen is flooded with water, you better call the professionals.
But when your gutter leaks and your floor squeaks and your window sticks, why not take care of it yourself? All of these have simple fixes anyone can handle. In fact, we're willing to bet there are lots of problems going on in your house that you can fix yourself.
It's true. And we have 8 of the easiest DIY house repair tips right here in this article. If you have any of these problems, scroll down to learn how to take care of them.
1. Seal Cracked Grout In Showers
After years of wear-and-tear, the tiles near the corner of the shower start pulling away from each other. The grout becomes cracked, which can lead to mildew, mold, or water damage.
One simple-yet-effective fix is filling the cracks in the grout with silicone caulk. Do not use plumber's putty.
We say this because there are some very common misconceptions about when to use plumber's putty vs silicone. Plumber's putty is only for joining and sealing certain types of plumbing fixtures. Silicone is a durable, flexible, waterproof sealant for joining most non-pressurized parts.
To apply caulk, first cover the edge of the tile adjoining the crack with painter's tape. Apply the caulk all along the full length of the tiled area.
Dampen your finger and a washcloth with alcohol. Rub your dampened finger over the caulk from one end to the other to smooth it out. Wipe the excess caulk off your finger with the washcloth.
Remove the tape immediately and let the caulk dry.
2. Fix a Leaky Gutter
Aging gutters often develop gaps or cracks around the junctions and joints. This makes for a leaky, drippy gutter and puddles all along the edge of your house.
Sealing these leaks is another job for caulk. But this time you'll want to use butyl rubber caulk. Clean and dry the crack, apply the caulk, then smooth it out.
3. Fix a Squeaky Floor
You know the spot we're talking about. It's that spot in the carpeted floor of your house that squeaks every time you step on it. You might even have several spots that have been squeaking for years.
Well, get ready to slap your forehead in disbelief when we tell you how easy they are to fix. All it takes to fix a squeaky floorboard is a stud finder, approximately one screw, and one minute of your time.
Once you've located a squeaky spot, use a stud finder to find the floor joist under the floorboard. Then drive the screw through the carpet, pad, and floorboard, into the joist.
You'll want to use a screw that has no threading on the top inch. This ensures the floorboard is pulled tight against the joist. Also, use a trim head screw so the head doesn't pull down the carpet and make a crater.
4. Lubricate a Sticky Window
If your window is hard to open and close, you don't want to use a messy, oil-based lubricant to fix it. This would attract more dirt and dust and eventually make the problem worse. It may also stain the windowsill or damage the vinyl.
What you do want to use is a dry PTFE spray lubricant. Spray it on all contact points and then wipe it off with a dry washcloth.
5. Bleach Mold Spots
Houses in some areas are much more prone to mold than others. If you're sick of painting over unsightly mold spots, there's an easier way. You can use bleach and other cleaners to dissolve the stain naturally.
As always when dealing with bleach, you'll need to make preparations first. The bleach you'll be spraying could land anywhere else in the room and cause stains.
You'll want to wear clothes you don't mind getting bleach spots on. Turn on the bathroom fan or open the window to ventilate the area.
Also, remove any bathroom rugs, towels, or anything else that could be stained by bleach. Using plastic wrap and tape, cover any non-removable surfaces that could get stained.
Next, make a solution that's 10% bleach and 90% water and put it in a spray bottle. Thoroughly saturate the moldy area with the bleach solution.
The stain should disappear in a few days. Tougher stains may require a mold/mildew cleaner you can buy at the store.
6. Fix Stripped Screw Holes
No matter how many times you tighten that screw, it always comes loose again. What's the deal?
It's stripped. The grooves that are supposed to hold the screw in place are broken.
Technically, you can often fix these easily enough with some kind of screw anchor or material-specific filler. But there's an even easier way.
Remove the screw, put a toothpick down the hole, then put the screw back in. That's it; you're done!
7. Keep Cupboard Doors Closed
A common kitchen annoyance is a cupboard door that won't stay shut. It makes your kitchen look messy and lets dust and flies into the cupboard.
For a few bucks and 10 minutes of your time, you can install a magnetic door catch. Roller catches work okay, but there are more advantages to the magnetic catches.
Over time, the roller mechanism of roller catches wears out. Plus, they don't always line up correctly. The magnetic ones catch easier and don't change much over time.
8. Plug a Ceiling Hole With a Smoke Detector
Sometimes, when you move into a new home, you find little flaws left behind by the previous tenant. Sometimes, it's a fist-sized hole punched into your ceiling.
One solution is to fight against gravity to spackle this disaster without getting any in your eye. The easier way is to just buy a cheap smoke detector and plug the hole.
Be a DIY House Repair Boss
Now, when your house gives you trouble, get your DIY house repair on! Use these tips to fix your house, save money, cut stress, and live better.
Next, read 6 Budget-Friendly DIY Home Improvement Ideas.