The 10 Most Frequent Home Repairs
Being able to make home repairs yourself isn’t always a time-saver, but it can save you some money and give you control of the repairs so that you don’t have to worry about keeping to someone else’s schedule by having a contractor in your home. Plus, the sense of accomplishment in fixing something right you’ll gain is empowering! If you have the DIY mentality, then you will be interested in learning about the 10 most frequent home repairs, and how to fix them:
- Mildew stains on paint. Not sure if your exterior paint has dirt or mildew that needs to be removed? To tell the difference, mix one-part bleach with three parts water and apply a few drops to the affected areas. Rinse off after 20 minutes. If it’s mildew, there will be a faded mark left behind by the bleach. And while it’s not always possible to prevent mildew, you can keep it from returning by repainting only on clean, dry surfaces on a wind-free day, using mildewcide paints with high gloss levels.
- Drywall nail pops. When the wooden frame inside a wall shrinks, the shank of a screw or nail pops through, so that the head appears as a bump that breaks through the drywall. This can happen in a home of any age, and the best way to fix drywall nail pops is by inserting a new screw into the same stud. To do this, drive a drywall screw 1 ½ inches below or above the pop, making sure to press the panel firmly against the framing to set the screw. Then, you can either remove or refasten the popped screw or nail. If there is damage to the surface from the nail pop, you can conceal it with mesh tape. In more extreme cases, after making the repairs, any crumbled drywall can be removed and filled in with a lightweight patching compound, sanded, and repainted to look good as new.
- Truss arching. When the top wood chords of the trusses expand and the bottom chords contract due to fluctuations in humidity, there can be a build-up in moisture on the top chords, leading to possible partition separation. To correct the problem, install a ventilation system in your attic or consult with a contractor.
- Asbestos siding. While damaged or loose asbestos-fibered materials should be removed, siding made from asbestos shouldn’t have to. Asbestos fibers are nonfriable so that they aren’t posing a problem if not cut, drilled, broken, or sawed. Therefore, you can cover up or seal siding or shingles made from asbestos without worrying about health risks. One solution is to repaint them. When doing so, do not sand or scratch the shingles or siding; instead, scrub them with soap and water and hose off, and then proceed to paint it with a latex-based masonry primer and latex paint. Another solution is the cover the siding by installing an insulation board and vinyl siding onto the asbestos siding. As a last resort, you can have the shingles or siding removed by a licensed contractor who specializes in removing asbestos materials, but it should not be taken lightly since if done improperly, it can harm you and your household.
- Popcorn ceilings. Keeping them clean, or changing the look of popcorn ceilings can be challenging. Because dirt is easier to become trapped on the surface, it’s better to smooth out the surface entirely by removing it and repainting. After ensuring that the ceiling paint is asbestos-free (possibly by having a small sample sent to a lab for testing), you can use a scraper for ceiling paint removal to do the job. As you work, the plastic bag included as part of the tool will help in minimizing the amount of debris you will have to clean up, as most of it should fall into the bag. Once done, you can apply a few coats of joint compound and then sand the surface smooth. Then finish off with a drywall primer followed by ceiling paint.
- Sloping floors. Defected, rotted sills, subpar floor beams, or a faulty foundation can all cause your floors to sag. When that happens, it can put stress on your walls, causing cracks to appear, and making it harder to open windows and doors. If caused by water or insect damage, especially on upper floors, you might want to consult with a contractor. To fix the problem yourself, you will need to use jack-posts and a steel or wooden beam for bridging the jacks, and the foundation must be firm. Keep in mind, however, that further floor damage and more cracks can occur on the walls as you raise the floor.
- Damp crawl space or basement. If water is leaking into your crawl space or basement, it could be that the downspouts in the gutters need to be diverted, or that low spots on the ground that are 10 feet or closer to your foundation are puddling. You will need to ensure proper drainage and fill in the low spots and install a sump pump. If wetness persists, defer to a professional for help, who might even need to install a subsurface draining system.
- Condensation on windows. When the dew point of the air inside (or outside) your home causes the temperature of the glass on your windows to drop, moisture collects. If inside, it can lead to the build-up of mildew, mold, paint damage, and rotted wood along the walls. For outdoor condensation, the Sun’s rays and wind patterns will break it up and in most cases keep damage from occurring. If in excess indoors, you can correct it by using proper ventilation (such as in bathrooms or kitchens) and a dehumidifier, or replace the windows with low-E, double glazed windows, to help keep the glass temperatures warmer overall and minimize moisture.
- Peeling paint on exterior surfaces. Extreme temperatures, inadequate painting, and moisture seepage behind the paint are all contributing factors for exterior paint to peel. Preventative measures include sanding before painting, painting only on dry, clean surfaces. To remove peeled paint and repaint, you will need to sand down to a solid base, and then apply two topcoats of an alkyd-based primer, making sure to back-brush it for better seating of the paint.
- Soft, rotted sills, beams, and joists. If there are stains, mildew or mold, soft spots, and the presence of insects around the wood, chances are that you are dealing with rotted sills, beams, and joists. You can use a screwdriver to poke at it to check the extent of damage before proceeding with a fix. If the problem affects more than 10% of the beam, a structural repair should be done by either using an epoxy patch or replacing it with pressure-treated wood.
If you need assistance in selling your Naperville property please do not hesitate to contact us at www.RyanHillGroup.com. Call Listing Agent and Managing Broker of Ryan Hill Group, Teresa Ryan at 630-276-7575 for a no-obligation home sale consultation.
Get a copy of our Home Seller Guide written by Teresa Ryan for Chicagoland home buyers, visit: FREE Home Buyer's Guide
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