5 Common DIY Home Repairs: Your Solution for Surviving the Covid19 Shutdown

Whether you’re working fewer hours, or you’re stuck at home for a couple of weeks – or longer – you’ll be able to tackle the following DIY home repairs yourself…no expert needed.

1. Leaky pipe(s)

Collecting water under your cabinet sink?

Don’t let visions of the Three Stooges run through your head…a leaky pipe is an easy DIY fix…if you’ve got the right tools for the job.

See if you can find where the water is coming from. If it’s coming from behind the wall you’ll need to call a plumber. But if it’s leaking around the slip-nut near your P-Trap (the piece of pipe that curves downward to trap smells) try tightening the nut.

If there’s a hole in the pipe itself, a flexible coupling and a couple of hose clamps will solve your troubles.

2. Garbage disposal jam

Garbage disposal clogged up? 

If you have a newer garbage disposal you probably already own a garbage disposal wrench as it’s often sold with the unit. If not, you can buy this specialized wrench online or simply use a common ¼ inch Allen wrench.

Begin by unplugging the unit, or if it doesn’t have an external plug turn off the power at the breaker box.

Use a flashlight to look for what is causing the jam.

If you can see what it is, either use your hand or a pair of needle-nosed pliers and remove the obstruction.

Next, look for a hex socket on the bottom of the garbage disposal, in the middle of the unit. It should be inside a hole in the motor housing. Insert your wrench in the hole and move it back and forth to ensure that the impellers are able to move freely.

Plug the disposal back into the power source (or switch the breaker back on).

Hit the reset button (it’s typically a red button on the bottom of the unit).

Test it to see if the jam is now gone. Repeat the process until you’ve cleared the jam. However, if it still doesn’t come on, you probably need a new garbage disposal unit.

3. Running toilet

We’ve all heard it…the sound of water continually running and leaking into the toilet.

Not only is the sound annoying, but it can drive up your water bill too.

If you know which part(s) are causing the problem you can buy only the new items you need (e.g. a float with a hairline crack) and save a little money.

Or, if you’re just not sure, use a toilet rebuild kit and replace everything at one time. Simply follow the directions and in less than an hour – no more running toilet.

4. Holes

If you’ve been hiding ugly nail holes in your drywall there’s no reason to keep trying to hide it when you can easily DIY home repairs. Fill any holes with lightweight putty using a spackle knife, scraping off any excess.

Wait until the putty is dried, then sand the spot until it’s smooth then wipe off any dust.

Finally, apply primer followed by paint.

5. Regrouting tile

If the grout in your bathroom or kitchen tiles is discolored and/or damaged you can repair it yourself.

Begin by determining which type of grout you need. There are four types:

  • ⬥ Sanded
  • ⬥ Unsanded
  • ⬥ Acrylic latex
  • ⬥ Epoxy

To figure out which one you need, measure the space in between the tiles. 

For spaces that are more than ⅛ inch, a sanded grout works best. Otherwise, an acrylic, epoxy or unsanded grout can get the job done. 

Next, clean the grout well, then use a grout saw (available at your local home improvement store) to remove damaged grout. Use a wet rag to dampen the joints. 

Then, following the manufacturer’s directions, mix the grout compound and apply it to the spaces between the tiles.

Fill the joints completely, then use a damp sponge to remove any excess. Let it cure the recommended time and then once the grout is completely set, wipe everything down with a damp rag.

Note: Be sure to match the grout color before you purchase it.

You can track all these DIY home repairs using HomeZada’s home maintenance app.