Dorothy Gale from “The Wizard of Oz” once said, “There’s no place like home.” However, when kitchen pipes burst and the washing machine suddenly leaks, a tranquil and comforting abode can quickly turn into a house of blues. The good thing is not all home repairs require an expert, obscene amounts of money or stress to make things right again.
If everything – including the kitchen sink – falls apart, Guild Mortgage suggests following these budget friendly tips below to help keep your home intact.
1. Drain no? Take the Local Plumber off Speed Dial – In any household, clogged drains are inevitable. Fortunately, not all situations require a plumber or expensive and toxic products. Judy Ostrow, author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Simple Home Repair” and Terri McGraw, creator of Mrs. FIXIT, suggest using a toilet plunger the next time the kitchen or bathroom drain misbehaves. “What people don’t often realize is to clear a clog you have to use some force, you have to use a rapid motion and you have to do it several times,” Ostrow said in an ABC News interview. If this is unsuccessful, pour one cup of baking soda and vinegar down the drain, then chase with boiling water. After these steps, your abode will most likely have a renewed, fully operational set of pipes again in no time.
2. Tile Tantrums, Minor Setback – Although tiling a floor or wall is time consuming and costly, tiles can easily be patched or replaced if armed with a few simple tools and a steady hand. The first question to ask: is the tile salvageable? If so, DIY Network recommends mixing the matching color paint with a tile filler (available at any hardware store), then dab the crack with a cotton swab. If the only option is to remove the tile, cover the spot with a towel and with a hammer gently, break the damaged tile. This is when the steady hand comes into play! Once the tile shatters, remove the chips with a chisel, and clean out the old adhesive and debris with a putty knife. After the spot is clean and the surface is level, use a notched trowel to spread adhesive on the back of the replacement tile, and set it in place. Allow ample time to dry and voila!
3. Hole Control – Did the kid’s rough housing create an accidental hole in the wall? Before phoning local carpenters, or staging house plants and living room furniture to hide the eye sore, Good Housekeeping suggests inserting crumbled newspaper into the dent, leaving about a one-fourth-inch gap between the newspaper and the rim of the dent. Next, use a putty knife to fill the gap with joint compound (available at any hardware store) and smooth it over with a blade or sandpaper. Allow the compound to dry for 24 hours before painting over the spot.
4. Squeaky Floor No Mo’ – Rain falls, fire burns, wood floors squeak. Before tearing up and replacing, HGTV recommends sprinkling baby powder, baking soda or powdered graphite over the whiny floorboard and massage into the seams. This will grease the wood and keep the floorboards from rubbing together and making a racket.
5. Own the Cleanest Magic Carpet – In a home full of busy bodies, shoe prints, pet dander and the occasional juice spill, all are sure to take a beating on those once pristine carpets. Instead of spending a bundle to steam carpets or replace them altogether, Ostrow and McGraw suggest blotting a dash of white shaving cream onto the stain (not the gel variety) and apply cool water. For pet stains, try the same method only using dishwashing soap or white vinegar.
With an investment of under $20 and a little well-applied elbow grease, you could become a home repair guru, saving yourself hundreds of dollars in the process!
Michelle Castle provides mortgage loans to all of North Texas and Southern Oklahoma. Call Michelle Castle at (903) 892-1998 if you are looking for a home loan in North Texas and Southern Oklahoma.