Common Problems With Your House And How To Fix Them
Is your house feeling a little under the weather? Have you been neglecting those little problems you notice everyday? Perhaps you've recently moved into an older home and it could use a little TLC? Here is a list of some common problems that can occur in older home, and how to fix them.
Symptoms: Plaster cracks, uneven wall-board, bumpy joints, lacerations, nicks and abrasions of wall surface.
Prescription: For minor cracks, nail holes, and other abrasions, fill with any commercial wall putty using a flexible putty knife. Use cross-strokes and down-strokes over each dent or bruise. When filled carefully, repaired abrasions will not need sanding. For larger cracks, use a wide plasterer's trowel for a smoother finish. When it comes to large holes or uneven/bumpy walls and joints it's best to call in a professional. While the the tools and products aren't complicated to use in these situations, it does take a certain amount of skill to get a smooth, flawless finish.
Symptoms: Blackened brick facing, smokey fireplace, flames shooting from chimney when fire is hottest.
Diagnosis: Hearth Failure.
Prescription: Before doing anything, have a specialist inspect your fireplace to ensure the damper and flue are working correctly. If your flue does not open correctly it could cause flames to come into your home instead of up the chimney. For minor carbon and tar build up try burning a specially prepared chemical compound, such as the Chimney Sweeping Log. For a more serious build up, wire bristled chimney sweeps are available at any hardware store. If climbing on your roof is not your cup of tea, consider hiring a professional chimney sweeper.
Symptoms: Sudden collapse of window sills and baseboards. Appearance of swarming, thick- waisted, winged insects.
Prescription: Not successfully cured via home medication! Call in a termite specialist to exterminate professionally. Be sure to check the exterminator's qualifications and hire someone who is licensed in your state. Cost is usually based on the square footage of your home and starts at around $1,300.
Symptoms: Listless kitchen floor coverings with stained, scuffed, and abraded surfaces, but basically not worn.
Diagnosis: Linoleum Scurvy.
Prescription: Level out minor scratches by gently sanding with light sandpaper. Remove the old layer of top wax by using a scrubbing pad and a lot of elbow grease. Using a linoleum cleaner at full strength, without watering it down, works great. Once all the wax is removed, apply two or more coats of acrylic wax, available at your local hardware store. Be sure to follow the directions on the wax product you purchase
Symptoms: Over-varnished, discolored, and drab floors with gouges, furniture scrape-marks, or scuff marks.
Prescription: Rent a floor sander and remove the top layer of varnish down to original wood. Be sure your floors are actually hard wood, and not soft wood, before you begin sanding. Apply a wood sealer. Once sealer has dried, wax floors according to directions on your wax product.
Now you have the skills to take care of your home's ailments! Remember to always consult a professional for serious problems, or if you feel uncomfortable making minor repairs yourself.