4 home fixes that might surprise you

July 28, 2015

Do-it-yourself home repair is is sometimes straightforward and sometimes less so. But sometimes a fix that seems difficult, can be surprisingly simple.

4 home fixes that might surprise you

1. Use auto-body putty to fill rot

  • To repair rotted wood, dig away the rot with a knife or chisel, then mix up a batch of auto-body filler (available from home centres or auto supply stores) and fill the hole with it, smoothing or shaping the patch with a putty knife. Sand it to match the surrounding wood. Prime and paint the area.

2. Make good use of roof cement

  • If you accidentally cut the building paper or housing wrap behind the siding while replacing a section of siding or making another repair, just seal the damage with asphalt roofing cement.

3. Banish board bulges

  • Has a board in your siding developed a bulge? Just screw it down. Drive a long wood screw through the siding and the sheathing beneath it, then into a stud. To find a stud, look for a pattern of nail heads or seams between boards.
  • To avoid splitting the board, drill a pilot hole for the screw. Then drill a second, larger, shallow hole at the surface (called a countersink) for the head of the screw to sink into. Drive the screw in as far as it will go.
  • Cover the screw head with exterior-grade wood putty and sand it smooth. Prime and paint the area.

4. Fix a sagging gate

  • A wobbly gatepost can be set straight by pushing it back into place and securing it to the top and bottom rails with a pair of L-brackets.
  • Pick up a sagging gate by tightening the hinge screws. If the screws are stripped, replace them with longer ones or fill the holes with wood putty, and refasten the hinges.
  • To keep the gate from sagging, raise it on support blocks, fully extend a turnbuckle, and install it diagonally across the gate with lag bolts. Tighten the turnbuckle with a pry bar or wrench.
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