5 Home Maintenance Tasks You Can Do Yourself

You’re washing dishes when your kitchen faucet springs a leak. What do you do?

Learning how to fix common household problems like this is not only empowering but could also save you lots of time and money, says Beth Allen, a contractor and DIY expert in Pennsylvania. “With a little bit of knowledge, you may be able to skip calling the pros for everyday hassles,” she explains. “Plus, you’ll get the fixes done faster and more affordably.”

Here are the five of the most common problems she gets asked about.

Running Toilet

When water is continually leaking from the tank to the bowl, it’s a waste; plus, the noise can drive you crazy. A part called the flapper—the round rubber stopper, often red, that sits at the bottom of the toilet tank and is attached to the handle chain—is usually to blame. If the flapper is covered with mineral deposits or is misshapen, you’ll need to replace it, she says.

Leaky Faucet

“Most faucets have a metal or plastic cartridge inside the base of the handle,” says Allen. “Over time, these can rust out from mineral buildup or just break with age.” If you see water leaking from the handle onto the sink top, or if a faucet doesn’t turn off completely, you’ll likely need to replace the cartridge.

Clogged Drain

When sinks and tubs drain slowly or back up, something’s in the way. When that happens, Allen recommends spending a couple of bucks on a drain-cleaning tool from the hardware store. It looks like a thin plastic twig dotted with barbs, and you just snake it down the drain. “I love this thing,” she says. “It‘ll pull up all the clumps of hair and gunk that build up in the pipes.”

Hole in Drywall

If the hole is smaller than a green pea, it’s easy to fix with spackling paste.

Replacing a Door Lock

Whether you’ve just moved into a new place or want to swap out your existing knobs, tackling a lock change doesn’t have to be difficult, says Allen.

By Patrick Rogers

What’s even easier than unclogging a drain? Calling the GEICO Insurance Agency for a free quote on homeowners insurance or renters insurance.

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