15 Hacks for Everyday Home Repairs


|6 min read

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Home repair is an essential aspect of homeownership, ensuring that our living spaces remain safe,  comfortable, and aesthetically pleasing. However, the mere thought of home repairs often conjures images of high costs, daunting tasks, and stressful endeavors. The reality, however, can be quite different  – home repair doesn’t have to be expensive or stressful. In fact, with the right approach, it can become an empowering and even enjoyable experience. Here are 15 Hacks for everyday home repair: 

1. Lubricate Squeaky Hinges

Those pesky doors that announce when anyone enters or exits with a resounding squeak don’t have to stay that way! Spray a little cooking oil on the door hinges. The oil will lubricate the hinges, leaving you with a quitter door. You may also use a little WD-40 or silicone spray. These items can be found at your local hardware store for less than twenty dollars. 

2. Fix a Nail Hole

Nail or pin holes can become unsightly. For a quick fix, use soap or crayons to fill the hole. Follow this step by painting back over with matching paint. This quick temporary fix will be helpful if you have last-minute visitors coming over!

For long-term repair, grab spackling paste from your hardware store or a nail repair kit. Follow the repair by painting over the spot with the corresponding paint. 

3. Quick Paint Touch-ups 

Speaking of paint – having paint handy is highly convenient for a homeowner! This resolves the hard work of paint matching and mixing. Anytime you paint or repaint an area in your home, save leftovers for future use. Store leftover paint in small, airtight containers like baby food jars for easy touch-ups without opening a big can. 

4. Unclog Drains 

Slow or clogged drains are a common problem for homeowners. In fact, you are almost guaranteed to run into this problem at some point in your life as a homeowner or even renter. Before spending a lot of money or calling a plumber, try pouring a mixture of baking soda and vinegar down the clogged drain. We all know the classic volcano science fair experiment – where the student uses the same ingredients to produce a raging volcano. The same principle applies here. The chemical reaction and subsequent bubbles can help dislodge items stuck in your drain,  clearing the way for water to drain properly. Follow up by running hot water through the drain for at least 60 seconds. 

5. Fix a Leaky Faucet

Another common experience for homeowners worldwide is the faucet that never stops dripping. Many times, this can be a quick fix. The problem is usually caused by a worn-out or misaligned washer. Turn off the water supply, remove the faucet handle, replace the washer,  and reassemble the faucet. This should re-establish the connection and allow the water to finally stop dripping! 

6. Replace a Broken Tile

Tiles can break for many reasons. Unfortunately, this can become a  hazard to anyone living in the home. A broken tile can create a trip hazard, splinter, or break off completely, becoming a hazard for young children. Minor cracks can be repaired with epoxy, and, if needed, a little paint. Tile repair kits are relatively inexpensive and user-friendly.

To permanently fix a broken tile: Carefully remove the broken tile, clean the area, apply tile adhesive, and install a new tile in its place. Allow time to set and dry before opening the area back up.

Pro Tip: If you are moving into a new construction home, ask the builder for any remaining materials/tiles. If your tile or design details are no longer available years later, you’ll have the perfect match for our future repair! 

7. Recaulk Window Seals 

Wondering if your energy bill is too high? Windows and improper sealing are often a factor in how much energy your home uses. Do you feel a draft around your windows? Is it much colder or much hotter in some areas than others? It might be time to check all windows and ensure they are adequately sealed.

Remove old caulk around windows and wipe down the area. Follow up by applying an airtight seal with new caulking. Purchase caulking from your local hardware store, and be sure the color matches your space. 

8. Replace Weatherstripping

The same principle applies to doors. If you feel a draft around some doors or find little critters are getting in, it might be time to update the weather stripping. Replace worn-out weatherstripping around doors and windows to keep your home better insulated. 

9. Unclog a Showerhead

Is your shower head not spraying evenly? This can make your relaxing shower time…not so relaxing. Cleaning your shower head and unclogging the holes will regulate the water flow. Cleaning your shower head is easy! Simply soak the showerhead in vinegar to remove mineral deposits and restore water flow.

10. Remove Hard Water Stains 

Hard water stains are those little spots left on your faucets or stainless-steel appliances that never disappear. No matter how often you wipe it down or what cleaner you use, it stays in place.

Luckily, a simple solution to get rid of these unsightly spots is to soak a paper towel in white vinegar and wipe the spots clean.  If stubborn spots remain, make a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and Blue Dawn. Spray, wipe, and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before wiping it off.

11. Fix a Drawer

If a drawer in your home keeps falling off the tracks or becomes hard to open, the tracks may need a bit of a refresher. Use a bar of soap, WD-40, or petroleum jelly along its tracks for a  smoother opening and closing. 

12. Remove Pool Stains

Love to enjoy time in the pool with your family? Of course! But chemicals like sunscreens,  lotions, body oils, and suntan products can leave behind residue in the pool that builds up over time. The fibers on a tennis ball can help soak up these products and maintain your pool. Throw a tennis ball or two in after your next swim. 

13. Extract a broken bulb 

This one might seem a little off the handle. But it works! A potato is a dense object that can properly grasp the remaining piece of the bulb in the light socket. Before performing this trick, be sure to turn off the power to the area completely

Cut the potato in half, press it firmly against the broken socket, and turn counter-clockwise. The ensure that the potato is gripping the broken light for a successful removal of the broken bulb.

14. Solve a Dryer Not Drying

Wait! Before you decide to replace your dryer, try this. Locate your dryer vents both inside and outside. Make sure the surrounding area is breathable and free of debris and lint. Use a broom brush and vacuum to clear the area both inside and outside of the dryer. If the dryer vents outside of first floor, try removing outside vent cover to clear lint stuck at the exit.

If the problem persists, call a professional that will use a snake to get years’ worth of lint, dust, and dirt from out of your dryer vents. You may be surprised to find a few lost items and dollar bills! This important maintenance job should be completed once a year to prevent increased fire risk. 

15. Fix a Running Toilet 

This is another common problem that can seriously run up your water bill! When your toilet runs, you’ll notice water constantly streaming inside the bowl or hear a whistling noise as the water continues flowing. This can seriously affect your water bill!

To fix this problem, lift the lid on the tank. A toilet “flapper” inside creates a proper seal after the handle is released during flushing. If this is not properly sealed, visit the local hardware store and buy a new flapper. They often come in kits with straightforward instructions. Try this before calling in a plumber! 

Wrapping Up

Remember, while DIY home repair can be rewarding, it’s essential to know your limitations. Consult a professional for more complex tasks or if you’re unsure about safety or code requirements. Safety should always be a top priority when working on DIY home repair projects. Additionally, gather the necessary tools, materials, and resources before starting any project, and follow instructions carefully.

Kiana King Doug Erdy Group

Kiana King is an award-winning real estate professional with a more than 20-year history in the Greater Houston Area. After graduating from the University of Houston (Go Coogs!), she excelled in the hospitality industry before using her customer service expertise to lead her way into real estate. Kiana is committed to her clients and enjoys finding solutions to the daily challenges of real estate. She prides herself on being personable, knowledgeable, and going above and beyond for her clients. Whether buying, selling, leasing or learning - Kiana is ready to assist you in your next real estate experience.

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