Home Maintenance Mistakes That Only Take a Minute to Fix: Part 1

Keeping your home in top-notch condition doesn’t mean spending all your free time on maintenance chores; some upkeep and repair projects can be done quickly and without the help (and expense) of a pro. If you have just a few minutes here and there, you can perform the following fast fixes without taking time away from your daily activities. Stop procrastinating and start getting your home shipshape!

Worn Fridge Seals

fridge door seal not sticking

If the magnetic seals on your refrigerator door aren’t sealing tightly, air can leak into the fridge, which forces the appliance to work overtime and shortens its useful life. Fortunately, replacing the seals is a super-quick DIY project. You’ll need a screwdriver to remove the metal strip that holds the old seal in place (look under the lip of the seal). Replacement seals can then be attached in the reverse manner. Contact your appliance manufacturer for details on how to repair faulty refrigerator seals.

how to fix sticky vinyl windows

Sticking Vinyl Windows

Vinyl windows are affordable, long-lasting, and great at keeping out cold drafts. One downside of vinyl windows, however, is that over time dirt and grime can accumulate in the window tracks, which can make it difficult to open and close the windows. Banish the gunk and lubricate the window tracks with a little dry-type silicone spray, such as 3M Silicone Spray. Point and spray the crevice between the window and the jamb, then open the window and wipe the inside of the track with a clean cloth.

 

loose shower head holder

Wobbly Shower Head Woes

A shower head can begin to wobble when the pipe in the wall works loose over time—but stabilizing the pipe and steadying the shower head is a snap! Slide the shower head trim ring away from the wall (you may need a screwdriver) to reveal the base of the pipe and the hole beneath. Spray a little bit of expanding foam, such as GREAT STUFF Foam Sealant into the hole (not into the pipe), using the straw that comes with the can. The foam will swell and harden around the exterior of the pipe, stabilizing it. Slip the trim ring back into place and enjoy your new firm shower head.

quick fix for squeaky hardwood floors

Squeaky Wood Floors

When wood rubs against wood it squeaks, sometimes quite loudly. If you have hardwood floors, you probably have one or two areas that always squeak when you walk on them. You can silence a noisy wood floor with a little bit of cornstarch. Just sprinkle it over an area that creaks, and then use a broom to sweep it into the cracks between the boards. The cornstarch will act as a dry lubricant between the wood surfaces to quiet the creaking.

Ceiling Stains

Ugly Ceiling Stains

A leaky roof or a dripping pipe can run down and stain the ceiling below, leaving a dirty yellow mark that makes the whole room look dilapidated. If you’re not in the mood to repaint your entire ceiling, there’s a great way you can remove (or at least noticeably fade) the stain. Repair the leak first, and then fill a spray bottle with household bleach and water, using one-part bleach to five parts water. Spray the stain thoroughly with the solution. Within hours, the stain will fade noticeably—or even completely.

low water pressure in faucet

Reduced Faucet Flow

Hard water deposits and little bits of debris can clog faucets and affect water flow. Good news, you don’t have to replace the faucet, but a little cleaning is in order. On the end of the faucet is a tiny aerator screen where debris can become trapped. When the screen is full of debris, it slows the water flow or forces it to spray out to one side. The aerator screen can be removed by twisting it to the left. Soak the screen in white vinegar to dissolve hard water deposits overnight and then reattach it.

wallpaper seams showing

Loose Wallpaper Seams

Wallpaper that wasn’t glued properly during installation has a tendency to come loose at the seams, making the entire wall look shabby, but it takes only a minute to fix. Soften loose paper by spraying the area with hot water, and then squeeze a little seam adhesive, such as Red Devil Wallpaper Repair Adhesive beneath the loose section. Press the paper firmly back into place, and then wipe away any excess with a damp cloth