May – the tail end of spring and the precursor of summer – is the time when homeowners really need to kick their home DIY projects into high gear. With mild weather and sunny days, it’s the perfect time to take care of smaller outdoor tasks that aren’t ideal to handle in winter.
Follow these handy tips to keep your home up-to-date with repairs and maintenance during the month of May.
1. Inspect and Tighten Screws and Nails on Decks and Patios.
Wood changes from season to season, warping and contracting with the changes in weather and temperature. Boards have a tendency to loosen if they aren’t maintained, which can cause accidents if they aren’t taken care of. To keep your deck or patio in top shape, tighten screws and hammer in protruding nails carefully to ensure that you don’t cause the boards to crack by over tightening.
2. Clean and Seal Decks and Railings.
Decks and railings should be cleaned and sealed every year to extend their life. Usually it’s the top horizontal parts of the railing that need the most attention. It is also important to keep in mind that whatever product you start using should be used continually year over year to prevent any incompatibility issues.
3. Inspect Concrete for Cracks.
Cracks, chips and shifting can occur in concrete. Make sure that you thoroughly inspect for all of these things. For cracks, you can grind with an angle grinder to a minimum of 1/8” and fill with a DOT spec “Bridge Grade Self-Leveling Caulk”. Only fill halfway, since it will expand as it dries. This will take care of filling cracks.
For any separation between the concrete and a wall over ½”, add a backer rod (a foam, flexible rod) to fill the gap and give the caulk something to sit on top of and stick to. If chipping and/ or missing chunks are the problem, scrape off any loose material and fill it in with “rockite”. Afterwards, texture it to match the surrounding finish for a perfect final appearance.
4. Test Smoke Detectors.
Always test smoke detectors and CO2 detectors to make sure they’re still in working order. Replace batteries to prevent the possibility of them losing power. Also, push the button to test if the device is working.
5. Double Check for Carpet Damages.
Stains, popped seams, and rumples are typical issues that homeowners face with carpet damage. Small stains can be removed easily with WD-40 or other household cleaners (test a small area first for discoloration). Popping seams in small areas can typically be fixed with a glue gun and frayed pieces need to be cut and covered with glue to prevent further unraveling. “Rumples” are areas where the carpet has a wavy look. These can be fixed with a “knee knicker” – a tool with a pad and teeth that grabs carpet and tightens it by pulling it further over the tack strip at the outside edge.
6. Check for Rips, Tears and Curling in Linoleum.
For common rips in linoleum, re-glue with the manufacturer’s recommended glue. For tears that might happen, re-glue with a clear vinyl-seaming adhesive. Curling means that nothing is holding down the outside edge. These edges need to be covered and held down by molding, transition strips, adhesive caulk or other materials to prevent curling and allowing water and dirt under the flooring.
If any of these DIY projects are too much for you to take on or you just simply don’t have enough time in your day, call the experienced professionals at Handyman Matters today at 1-866-FIX-MY-HOME or enter your zip code above to find a location in your area.