6 typical problems around the house and how to fix them

Wall coating team working in the Costa Blanca

No matter how hard you try and keep your home in good condition, from time to time, niggling problems occur, so we are going to show you to how fix 6 of them.

The thing is, people enjoy their houses when everything is going well and there is nothing to do, but if you stop and think for a minute, surely there is something that needs doing, right?

Of course! You’ve just remembered that leaky guttering!

Here are our top 6 most common problems and solutions around the house to keep your property in tip-top condition, things that you can do yourself and save money in not having to call out a tradesman unless you’ve found a REALLY bad problem!

Tip 1:  Leaking gutters.

Gutters are the system of half pipes, joins and tubes that carry rainwater away from the roof and walls into ground drainage to be soaked up by the ground or evaporated.

If gutters are leaking it is usually because of either damage by storms or winds, a build up of dirt, leaves or moss which block the flow of water, or your gutters are very old and now need to be replaced.

The only way to tell is to actually get up there and check the affected area, although if you are not used to ladders as we could be talking 25 feet off the ground, then get someone experienced (and brave!) to check them.

rainwater goods and upvc gutters from NPA

If they are blocked, remove the blockage of course and then sluice them down with water by taking a hosepipe up the ladder to them, but check the drains on the ground to make sure the water is flowing out.

If they need to be replaced then get them replaced, and in some cases it is quite easy to do yourself, but again be aware of working at height.

Tip 2. Sticking drawers or cupboards.

This is quite a common thing to happen and can be for a variety of reasons and the action you take will depend on how old the runners (the things that make it slide in and out) actually are.

An older style kitchen

Many older kitchens have small strips of wood attached to the sides of each drawer and they are the worst kind to stick but are easy to unstick too!

Simply REMOVE the drawer and you will see a groove for the runner and the other matching part being a thin strip of wood. Liberally run a candle along each surface and then put the draw back in, remembering to slide it in and out a few times. You should now find the draw glides in and out smoothly.

If the runners are metal, again take the drawer out and then spray WD40™ on them, or run a small amount of Vaseline™ over the metal and you should have no problems at all after that.

Tip 3: Dark marks or scuffs on the walls

This is a common problem, especially if you have kids or pets around and it is surprisingly easy to remedy. If decorating fills you with dread, never fear as this type of problem is easily fixed with only white vinegar, some water and one of those little sponges for washing up, the ones with the abrasive side.

It’s very easy to do, simply mix the water and the vinegar together (about50% each) and apply gently with the abrasive bit of the sponge, onto the affected area of the wall. Don’t rub too hard. Then with the sponge side, soak up the water and the stain should come off!

Tip 4: Cracks in the walls.

Walls are damn important things but are often taken for granted until they develop a problem. Cracks can happen inside and outside and they are caused by a variety of reasons.

Solutions for cracks in walls

There are bad cracks and also cracks that you shouldn’t worry too much about and a simple check requires only a small amount of common sense. The worst cracks are usually very large or wide as a rule, so if your home has a lot of cracks inside you may need to call in a builder as your home could be slowly sinking!

This can be verified if the cracks continue outside and also your doors and windows become hard to open.

The sort of cracks you fix yourself are the minor ones, so internal cracks usually appear through poor plastering, constant slamming of doors over time or gradual movement or shrinkage within the building.

Get a fine surface filler from your DIY store such as Polycell hairline crack filler (approx £5.99 from homebase), some sandpaper and a spatula or a flat bladed tool. Fill the crack, pushing the filler in deeply and allow to dry overnight. Then sand down the affected area and paint over it!

For exterior cracks, do NOT use silicone mastic as it will shrink over a short space of time, especially with the sun on the wall.  Use a proper hard wearing filler such as Sika Sikaflex EBT which is a high strength, high grab exterior filler used by professionals and costs around £6.99 for 300ml.

Tip five: Problems with condensation

There could be various reasons why you are having problems with condensation and if left unchecked, the moisture can start to breed damp, which is never good in anyone’s house.

how to cure condensation

So why does condensation happen?

Having condensation appear on windows like in the photo above, usually happens when at the beginning of the colder months  in Autumn where the walls of the house are much colder than the interior of the property.

This is because the moisture content in the air inside the house cannot physically travel through the walls and when what is known as the “dew point” is reached, the liquid in the air inside your home condenses and forms water, which collects on your windows.

Condensation, and the damp mould that goes with it, blights many homes across the UK and if you are not adept at controlling the humidity in your home, or if you do not have a breathable exterior coating fitted to the outside, then the appearance of black mould is inevitable, which can cause some pretty serious health problems

The best remedy is to attack this short and long term. Short term, either buy or hire a dehumidifier, plus leave bowls of salt in the room as they will soak up the water in the air. Then LONG TERM consider a breathable weatherproof coating to be fitted to the exterior walls, meaning they will be warmer, moisture will not come into the home and damp and mould will not occur.

Tip six: Low water pressure in the shower

This sort of problem happens to most people from time to time, and is more common in areas that have “hard” water.

Make sure your bathroom doesnt have damp

This is normally caused by a build up of limescale which then blocks the tiny holes where the water comes out but relax, it’s every so easy to fix and of course a whole lot cheaper than buying a new shower head!

All you will need is a de scaling solution which you can buy in any DIY store, or to save even more money, use white spirit vinegar instead. You will also need a screwdriver and possible cocktail sticks to poke the loosened lime-scale out through the holes in the shower head

 All you need to do is to unscrew the shower head at its base and then remove the “spray plate” the bit with the holes in it. Place that in a bowl of descaler or vinegar for an hour or two and you should see the solution become cloudy and chunks of limescale floating around the solution. Take it out and soak it in warm soapy water to get rid of any traces of vinegar.

Then make sure the hose is not clogged also, refit the spray plate and screw the head back on and run your shower for a minute on hot and hey presto, your shower should work ok again!

I hope that these tips have been of use to you, please share them using the buttons bellow and stay tuned for another helpful home improvement and DIY blog post coming your way very soon!

Alex

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