Image via Adobe Stock

Simple home maintenance jobs you can tackle on your own

Earn some brownie points with your significant other by getting busy with our step-by-step DIY guide


Image via Adobe Stock

Why not tackle some of those nagging DIY maintenance jobs that have been giving you the hairy eyeball around the house? You’ll likely enjoy being busy and productive, all while improving your property and earning some brownie points with your significant other.

Simple DIY home improvements

Bust that rust

As we all know, prevention is almost always easier and less expensive than extensive repair jobs after the fact. Rust, especially in South Africa’s coastal regions, can be a bugbear that will almost certainly come back to haunt you if you don’t nip it in the bud when it first appears. It’s therefore well worth your while to work your way around your property with a good oil lubricant and attend to all locks, padlocks, and hinges.

If rust has appeared on any metal or steel surfaces, you need to take immediate action to prevent further damage. After brushing off any loose rust, treat it with a good rust converter/primer. Afterwards, paint it with good quality paint – it will more than likely need several coats to make sure that no air gets in to encourage further rust.

Check fascia boards and clean out gutters

Diverting rainwater away from your house is crucial, as a build-up of water can do serious damage to walls and foundations. Make sure that your fascia boards are in good nick and are preventing rainwater from getting in, and then clean out your gutters.

This is something that you actually have to do on a regular basis, especially if you are lucky enough to have some lovely big trees in your garden. Get up on that ladder and physically remove all leaves and debris that has accumulated in the gutters and downpipes. Finally, rinse them well with a hosepipe.

While you’re up there, check that everything is still firmly screwed on, and that there are no sections that are deteriorating. If there are any dodgy sections, replace them. It might also be a good idea to trim back any tree branches that are overhanging the house, if it’s possible to do so safely on your own.

Why not give your walls a DIY face-lift?

Nothing brightens up a home, a room, or just a few walls quite as much as a new fresh coat of paint. It really is maximum reward for something that doesn’t require too much effort.

If you have some paint left from your previous paint job, you can take it down to the hardware shop and have them match the tint for you. It might not be exactly the same colour, but it will be close enough that you could possibly get away with a single good coat if your wall surfaces are still in reasonable nick. If you change the colour completely, you will need two coats for that really sharp, professional look.

Before you paint:

Make sure that you fill all holes, cracks, and irregularities in the wall with a good crack filler, followed by a thorough sanding after it has dried well. Also create a proper surface for the new paint by giving the whole wall a bit of a sanding. This is particularly important if you will be applying a water-based paint to a wall that was previously painted with enamel paint.

Check all your appliances

Most of us seem to acquire a collection of appliances over the years that are no longer in active use. Some break (I will fix that one day!), or we get newer models, but can’t quite bring ourselves to get rid of the old ones.

It is a good idea to collect them all in one place and then go through them systematically. Decide which ones might be worth repairing, which ones you could possibly resell, and which have to be ditched or recycled. You will appreciate the space that you gain by decluttering like this.

Check for any water leaks around your property

The amount of water that gets wasted by a dripping tap, shower head, toilet cistern or garden hose is significant and can often be an easy repair you can do yourself. It could be as simple as replacing a washer in a tap, or replacing a toilet tank flapper.

However, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the different types of taps and fittings before you attempt a DIY repair. There are plenty of videos on YouTube to guide you in this regard.

Your hardware shop should also be able to give you good DIY advice. You don’t want to create a bigger problem by tackling something that needs the specialised skills of an experienced plumber.

Give that cluttered and messy garage a clean-out

There seems to be a malign force that makes it almost impossible to keep garages clean and tidy. This lockdown offers you the ideal time to have a really systematic go at the contents of your garage. Assess everything in there with a clear and unsentimental eye.

Decide what you need to keep (for reals) and what you haven’t used in ages and should get rid of. Decide which items can be recycled or possibly sold, and ditch the rest. If nothing else, your car will be grateful for a nice, clean, and well-organised garage; and that nagging weight will be off your mind.

This lockdown has been very trying for us all. Putting this extra time to good use is a great way to maintain a positive perspective — and we could all use that.