5 Emergency Home Repairs You Should Know How to Do Yourself [Guest Post]
Most emergencies are really out of our expertise, but there are ways to keep damage at bay by simply following a few good tips and precautions. Here are 5 emergency repairs that you can do yourself.
1. Clogged Drain
A clogged drain is not the best way to start your day. But unpleasant surprises usually have a terrible timing. If a drain is blocked, you need to fix it as soon as possible. Fortunately, there is no need to call in a handyman yet. The first thing you can do to fix the problem is to use a sink plunger. You know how it works. You put it over the drain and you plunge a few times very quickly. Some people suggest adding petroleum jelly to the plunger before using it. Sometimes it helps to run some water into the sink and then plunge up and down over and over again.
If that doesn’t do the trick, you will have to clean everything by hand after removing the P-trap. If nothing works, feel free to call the plumber.
2. Leaky Faucet
A dripping faucet is often overlooked. Although it may seem harmless, don’t underestimate the risk. Chances are it will raise your water bills or – even worse – it will cause flooding. So instead of waiting for the worst to happen, roll up your sleeves and fix that leaky faucet. The first thing you want to do is to turn the water supply off. You can either shut the water off to the whole property or solely to the faucet. There must be a shutoff valve adjacent to the faucet. Next, unscrew the handle of the faucet and take it off. At first it may be difficult to find the screw because they often conceal it for aesthetic reasons. But you will spot it eventually. Check the back of the handle as it might be located there.
Now grab some pliers and take out the packing nut. Remove the valve stem after you unscrew it. Also, remove the screw that holds the faucet in place. Remove the faucet. You should determine the type of faucet you have. Check the manufacturer’s website and buy an appropriate replacement. Then simply reverse the steps you carried out in order to take off the old faucet and you are done.
3. Overflowing Toilet
What’s more gross than a clogged drain? An overflowing toilet. We say: yuck! But don’t panic, here is what to do. First things first, shut the water off. Use a toilet plunger to cover the hole of the toilet and plunge up and down in a fast manner. If that doesn’t do the trick, opt for a toilet auger (30$ to 40$). It’s more expensive than a plunger, but once you buy it, you can use it for the rest of your life. So what you need to do is extend the hand of the gadget and insert the head into the bowl. Now pull the handle and start turning the cable. Keep turning until the water starts pulling aside. It may take a while for the blockage to clear.
4. Frozen Pipe
When a pipe is exposed to cold air during winter, it can freeze. If that is the case, you need to locate the frozen pipe in the first place. Try to warm it up with a heating pad or hair dryer. You’ll know you have done a great job when there is a steady flow of water. So keep heating until you get things flowing.
5. Grease Fire
Grease fires happen more often than you wish they did. If you experience this in your home, remember to turn the burner off in the first place. Take a lid and slide it over the pan that’s on fire. You don’t want to just drop it over the pan because this may actually spread the grease and aggravate the situation. Also, don’t try to carry the pan to some other place. It can be dangerous.
Still no luck? Don’t let things get out of control. Call in a qualified technician before it’s too late.
The article is contributed by Anna W. Aamone who runs a team of decorators in SW London.