Wednesday, September 2, 2009

House Preservation and Renovation - - Home Repair Tips

Owning your own home comes with several advantages. Aside from having the wonderful feeling of living in your own property, there's no rent to worry about and you're free to do as you please with it. Homeowners have their share of headaches of course- property taxes, insurance, the normal problems of aging of building materials and everyday wear and tear.

Maintaining one's home in order to keep its original looks and value takes dedication and a bit of money. A lot of folks get caught up in the daily grind and overlook the responsibility of home maintenance. A lot of beautiful homes have been lost after incurring irreparable damage due to neglect.

The more common forms of time-related problems are issues with the roof, plumbing and cracks in the walls. Missing or damaged shingles should be checked every six months along with possible leaks in gutters and downspouts. Holes in the roof should be patched up right away to prevent them from getting bigger and avoid water damage to your furniture and appliances.

Walls, bricks and woodwork should also be checked for deterioration. Cracks in walls are pretty normal due to earthquakes or settling in old homes. To ensure historical integrity, the materials used in repairing old homes should be the same as the original. Plaster is usually used for walling in homes with some age. Aside from settling, plaster gets cracked because of deterioration due to poor quality and water damage also.

The first step in repairing cracks in walls of plaster is clearing them up and making sure dust and loose chunks of plaster are cleaned out. This can be done easily with a carpenter's 5-way scraping tool specially designed for this task. There are two steps to applying new plaster to cracks in old walls. Applying the base coat plaster to bind and fill-up the cracks, and the top coat finish for a smooth finish. In preparing the new plaster, make sure to follow instructions by the manufacturer to prevent back-jobs which can cause significant waste of time and money.

Another common and usually recurring problem in homes is the toilet bowl. Since these have a fair amount of moving parts, the necessity to do minor troubleshooting is quite expected. When the handle for the flush becomes tight or sticky, it's just a matter of cleaning the mounting nut (after accessing it by removing the tank cover, of course). A handle that is loose or one that doesn't flush means the chain is either too slack or has been broken. Remedy this by adjusting the chain, using different hole or replacing it in case of breakage.

When the toilet becomes clogged and a plunger won't help, it's time to call in the big guns. A "snake" otherwise known as an auger can reach inside the drainage deeper and unclog whatever is blocking the water and waste from being flushed.

A leaking toilet if left unchecked will inevitably flood your floor and cause expensive damage to your subfloor and woodwork. It could just be a problem with the bolts or couplings around and inside the tank. If after checking you can't find any problem with those, most likely the sealant around the base has to be replaced or worse, there's crack somewhere and you'd have to replace the whole thing.

If you encounter problems or remodeling issues that you think is way beyond anything you've experienced or read in those DIY manuals and videos, it might be a good move to look around for a good contractor. House and building contractors although more costly, can save you loads of time and effort as well as take care of issues with permits and such.

Jo is a writer for 'EBL Group Limited' (, a family managed, recognized and accepted house insurance repairs outworker stationed in Runcorn Cheshire. If you need home insurance repairs because of storm, flood, fire, malevolent or accidental damage or any other reasons or if you have house and commercial buildings upgrading needs then you should check out EBL Group.

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