Winter DIY tips

Cam the Handyman
Cam the Handyman plastering a brick wall as pre-painting preparation

It might be cold outside, but it can be a great time of year to catch up on some of those jobs inside the home. Here are some winter DIY tips for home maintenance.

  • When patching holes in plasterboard, use patching plaster (such as Lafarge MastaFix 20) as it sets faster and shrinks less than top coat plaster. Fill the hole with plaster and level off with a bread knife – don’t overfill the hole. When dry, apply a second, level coat. Keeping the fill level with the existing plaster will cut back on sanding and plaster dust – which can be very messy!
  • Under the kitchen sink is a prime spot for leaks which can come from a number of sources such as tap valves, O-ring, washers and flexible couplings. All are fairly simple to replace and will stop that swamp developing under your sink.
  • When painting indoors, start painting closest to the light source i.e. window, and working out from there. Light from a window or a floodlight will help you pick up the edge of the wet paint, which is handy when applying the second coat.
  • Door locks and handles get a bit of work in high traffic areas, particularly in winter when you want to keep rooms closed off. If they start to grab a bit and become harder to open, they tend to need replacing. However, before you go to that trouble try a graphite-based lubricant. Hardware stores have a large selection of door sets and most of them are fairly easy to install. If you get stuck you can always ring me!

If the days are warm and the chill factor isn’t too great, winter can be a good time to get some of those areas outside ready for the summer months.

  • Clean your gutters regularly. Anyone living with deciduous trees close by will know what a mess they can make, including clogging up gutters. Blocked gutters are easily fixed with regular maintenance, potentially stopping storm water pipes from blocking or water pooling in the ceiling.
  • Lately I’ve been using Sikkens Cetol HLS as an exterior surface application on timber outdoor furniture. It seems to be an excellent water barrier and looks good too. They have a number of coatings for different applications. If it handles the test of time, which they say is 1-2 years (but you might get longer wear out of it), it’ll be a handy product.

Need a hand with any of your home maintenance jobs this winter? Give me a call!

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