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Simple Repairs And Tips

There are many home repairs that you can do yourself, you just need the know how. Here are some easy jobs around the house that you may want to tackle yourself instead of calling in an expensive professional. Just click on a link below or scroll down to find out how you can be your own handy person.

Clothes Dryer Venting
Removing Calcium Deposit from Brick
Recaulking Your Bathroom Tub Surround
Sealing HVAC Vents
Caulking and Sealing Cracks
Deck Maintenance

Clothes Dryer Venting
When it comes to venting clothes dryers, straight and firm aluminum ducts are the way to go. While flexible ducts may be easier to work with, they tend to hamper air flow. Plus, lint can get trapped in the duct's grooves and that can become a fire hazard if too much lint builds-up.

Since it is usually impossible to install dryer vents on a completely straight path, turns will sometimes be necessary. When they are, avoid installing the vents at a 90 degree angle. Instead, use a 45 degree angle which will allow the air to flow more freely.

When it comes time to join the ducts together, go with the adhesive that gets its name from the job at hand: duct tape. Duct clamps along with foil tape are also acceptable. However, screws or rivets are not since they could damage the ducts.

 Removing Calcium Deposit from Brick
Muriatic acid is often recommended to remove calcium deposits from brick. If you are looking to bleach or stain your bricks, and possibly corrode any nearby aluminum, then this is an excellent choice! However, if this is not your goal, then look for a cleaning product that is specially formulated to get rid of those calcium deposits.

If your local hardware store does not carry any suitable products, then contact a brick dealer for some recommendations. And don't forget to apply an appropriate sealant after you've cleaned your bricks.

Recaulking Your Bathroom Tub Surround
Carefully remove the old caulking using a 2 inch putty knife or a painter's 5 in 1 tool. Take care not to gouge your tub or tiles. If the caulking isn't terribly brittle you may be able to slowly pull it out of the cracks.

Using a standard caulking gun, draw a bead of tub surround caulk about 5' along the cracks. Using a wet finger, force the caulk into the cracks and wipe off any excess.

Tip: If you use silicone to recaulk your tub surround, draw your beads about 2 feet and tool or smooth it out immediately. Silicone is more durable and less forgiving than the water cleanup types of surround caulk.

Sealing HVAC Vents
If your HVAC vents are improperly sealed, you could be spending extra money on your heating bills. Help make your home more effecient by sealing up all those little cracks in your ducts. However, avoid using duct tape for this job.

As surprising as it may seem, duct tape is actually not the best choice when it comes to sealing vents. In fact, the Model Energy Code has actually banned it from being used for this purpose because it does such a poor job. Instead of duct tape, use aluminum tape wherever straight vents join. In those areas where tape just won't do, use 100% silicone caulk.

Caulking and Sealing Cracks
Caulking is the wonder treatment for making sure your heating bills stay low and gross things, like bugs and dust, stay out of your home. Best of all, pretty much anyone can be a caulking-pro. Before you get started, check all your windows and doors for any gaps, cracks or holes where air can leak out.

Once you have identified your problem spots, clean the area then apply your caulking. Wipe away any excess caulking and voila - your cracks are sealed! For a more detailed look at caulking, visit our Tools and Materials section.

Deck Maintenance
Keeping your deck in top shape is necessary to help extend its life. To keep it in peak condition, make sure you give it a good
cleaning at least once a year. Also, be sure to repair any problems that pop up right away. This will not only help to make sure your deck looks great, but it will help keep you and anyone else who walks on that deck safe.

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