Plumbing Services:   by Cape Town Handyman

​11 home maintenance tasks you can do yourself

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Google+
Loading admin actions …

When it comes to home maintenance, repairs aren’t the only thing on the agenda. In fact, some tasks (if performed regularly) can actually prevent things from going awry in the first place. So why wait until that roof gutter breaks or that showerhead falls off before doing something about it? 

Let’s check out 10 simple tips and tricks (that shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes to complete) to keep those household headaches at bay.

1. Fix a shutoff valve

Plumbing Services:   by Cape Town Handyman
Cape Town Handyman

Plumbing Services

Cape Town Handyman

Experiencing a leak? Underneath your sink, we mean. Sometimes that darn shutoff valve underneath the sink or toilet just won’t shut off. Fortunately, some shutoff valves are easy to replace. 

For those that aren't, turn off the main water valve, remove the packing nut, and then unscrew the stem and take it to the hardware store to find a replacement washer. 

Be sure to clean any grit out of the valve body and pop on the new washer. This should take care of business!

2. Fix a chair

Why would you want to go through the trouble of taking apart that vintage chair and re-gluing it because of one wobbly little leg? 

Just drill pilot holes and drive trim-head screws through the bottom of the rungs and into the legs.

3. Foam your loose showerhead

A wobbly showerhead (or any pipe, for that matter) can be fixed with a few squirts of expanding foam. The foam nicely encases the pipe in the wall and locks it into place, eliminating the wobble.

4. Lube that sticking vinyl window or door

A build-up of gunk in vinyl window and door channels can cause them not to open as easily as they should. Try spraying dry PTFE spray lubricant on the contact points and wiping it off with a rag. 

Be careful to avoid oil lubricants; they can attract dirt, and some can even damage the vinyl.

5. Clear your gutters

Installed Gutter & Fascia:   by Waterproofing Durban
Waterproofing Durban

Installed Gutter & Fascia

Waterproofing Durban

Get on top of that ladder and start removing leaves, pine needles and other debris that have accumulated over time – your gutter system needs to be ready for the forthcoming showers!

6. Save your siding

Banish dirt and grime that can cause mildew and shorten the life of your house’s siding. All you need is a bucket of warm and soapy water, a long-handled brush and a killer playlist to treat your ears!

7. Be kind to your deck

modern Garden by homify
homify

Small town garden

homify

With a flat-bladed screwdriver, pry the gunk out from between wooden deck boards – this prevents staining and reduces the chance of rot.

8. Pretty paints

Whether it’s a door or a garden fence, keep those painted surfaces in good condition by scraping off any chipped and peeling paint and spot-painting exposed surfaces. 

Never ever leave wood exposed, as that’s when rot begins to set in.

9. Trim your bushes

New garden for Nico and Jolande: mediterranean Garden by Gorgeous Gardens
Gorgeous Gardens

New garden for Nico and Jolande

Gorgeous Gardens

Spring is the best time to trim your garden’s shrubs and trees away from your house. Get on that trimming project before the leaves grow and while you can still see individual limbs.

10. Check for a leaking toilet

classic Bathroom by Taps&Baths
Taps&Baths

Retro toilet

Taps&Baths

Simply add some red food colouring to the water in the tank. Check back in an hour and see if the water in the bowl is pink. If it is, you have a leak.

And we definitely advise you to call in a professional plumber should your plumbing skills be rather limited!

11. Bleach away a water stain

No need to repaint that entire ceiling because of one little water stain. Just spray the spot with a bleach and water solution (approximately 10% bleach), and wait a day or two. 

An old stain might require a mould and mildew remover from the grocery store. 

Please remember to wear safety goggles and make sure you protect the walls and floors with taped-up plastic.

Next up for all our DIY fans: 7 cleaning hacks you probably haven't thought of.

What other easy DIY home maintenance tasks did we overlook?
modern Houses by Casas inHAUS

Need help with your home project? Get in touch!

Discover home inspiration!