Every homeowner should have some basic skills to perform small repairs or bypasses until a licensed handyman can come and address the root of the problem. Below are 10 tips for doing your own handy work.

  1. Fix a jammed lock: Spray WD-40 into the keyhole and around the lock mechanism for lubrication. If that doesn’t do the trick, the problem may be a broken spring or tumbler, which will require a professional locksmith.
  2. Repair a leaky faucet: Most small leaks are caused by a failed washer, which should be replaced. Turn off the water supply valve under the sink and lay a rag over the drain to prevent small parts from falling down. Then take the handle apart. Open the screw cover on top, remove the screw and pull off the handle. Disassemble the stem using a wrench and line up the parts on the counter in the order you took them off so you can put it back together easily. Any rubber or plastic pieces with cracks or other damage should be taken to the hardware store for an exact replacement. Reassemble the handle and your leak should be fixed.
  3. Unclog a sink drain: Chemicals don’t fix the whole problem. Rather, remove the stopper, plug overflow holes, fill the basin with water for pressure and plunge the drain with a flat-faced plunger. If that doesn’t do the trick, you may need to examine the trap underneath the sink or call a plumber for a more thorough solution.
  4. Stop an overflowing toilet: If you’re toilet spews water, the first thing to do is stop the water from flowing over the top. Remove the tank lid and pull the float up to close the valve that lets water in. If there’s no clog, the water in the bowl will begin to drain. Meanwhile, you can clean up and shut off the water until the problem is fixed by a plumber.
  5. Find a stud: Some people find it difficult to find a stud by knocking on the drywall. Instead, you can measure. Most studs are placed at 16-inch intervals, so if you find one, you can find the others. Begin at a corner (where there’s always a stud) and measure across the wall. There should be a stud at each 16-inch mark.
  6. Repair a dent on wood trim: Insert a needle into the damaged area several times and sprinkle with a few drops of water. Cover the area with a damp cloth and iron over it. The water inside of the wood will evaporate and expand the dented wood. You can help concentrate the iron’s heat by using an upside down bottle cap. Repeat this process until the wood regains its normal shape.
  7. Find termites: Routinely inspect areas where wood framing is exposed, such as crawl spaces. You’re looking for raised, branchlike tubes that contain yellowish bugs or their clumps of salt-sized droppings. If you ever find any, call an exterminator immediately.
  8. Remove a broken light bulb: Unplug the lamp and press a potato half onto the jagged glass. You can then safely turn the bulb base and remove it from the fixture.
  9. Open a garage door manually: If the power is out and you need to exit through the garage, pull the red cord hanging from the ceiling-mounted operator. This disengages the chain drive, allowing you to manually pull the door open.
  10. Use a fire extinguisher: Use the acronym “PASS.” Pull the pin, aim the nozzle at the base of the fire, squeeze the trigger and sweep the nozzle from side to side. Always call the fire department even if the fire appears to be extinguished.
Protect your home and your loved ones inside of it. Call Heritage Insurance at (306) 693-7640 for more information on Moose Jaw home insurance.
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