In the spirit of contribution, collaboration and community, I am pleased to bring you this, the first of many partnership interviews with experts I love and trust to improve the value of your home.
Household Repairs You Can Do Yourself
Not every household repair requires a professional. If you have the right information, instructions and a few tools; you can do it yourself and avoid the really BIG repair bills.
Here are some common household repairs and the instructions to get you started on your own repairs:
PROBLEM: A running toilet will waste gallons of water and greatly increase your water bill.
HOW TO FIX: Lift off the tank's lid and take a look. If water is overflowing into the vertical tube, you'll need to lower the water level in the tank. To do so, simply bend the arm on the float downward or, in newer models, squeeze the adjustment clips and slide the float down. If the water level isn't the problem, add a little food coloring to the tank and wait about 20 minutes. A change in color in the toilet bowl means the flapper — a rubber diaphragm at the bottom of the tank — is leaking and needs to be replaced. Turn off the water supply behind the toilet and pop out the flapper with your hands. Take it to a hardware store and ask for a replacement. The new one should pop back in the same way.
PROBLEM: Mold spots on the walls could cause you to develop allergies along with other health problems.
HOW TO FIX: Remove the fungi with a mixture of 1 cup of bleach and 1 gallon of warm water. Scrub the area thoroughly and then rinse with clean water. When the spot is dry, repaint. Consider using a mildew-resistant latex paint to help prevent further mold growth. If the problem is widespread, consult an expert.
PROBLEM: A leaky washing machine could mean a flood in the laundry room.
HOW TO FIX: Check the water hoses connected to the back of the machine — the leak is most likely coming from a small crack in the rubber. If so, you'll need to replace the faulty hose immediately, before a major break occurs. Turn off the water supply (so you won't come home to a flood) and buy a new hose at a hardware store. To install it, unscrew and remove the old hose, then screw the new one in and tighten it with a wrench. Buy steel braided water supply hoses – they are more expensive but will last much longer.
PROBLEM: Cracks in the driveway will only get bigger and harder to repair.
HOW TO FIX: Remove the loose debris and spray the area with a hose. Apply a crack filler that is designed for asphalt and let it dry thoroughly. If the cracks are deep, fill them with sand and then use the filler for the last ¼ inch.
Sam Lepore is a Realtor with Keller Williams in Moorestown, NJ. Call him today at 856.297.6827 ....