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HELPFUL HINTS


Check the screws on your ceiling fan occasionally.  This can prevent damage or serious injury.

Check your smoke detectors and fire extinguishers the first day of each month.  Replace smoke detector batteries at least once a year.

Cover your ceiling fans and chandeliers with garbage bags when you paint ceilings.  This is much easier than removing them.

Waterproofing your deck every year or two prevents the wood from splitting.  Pressure-treated lumber resists rot and insects, but not water.

The time to paint your house is when it first shows signs of peeling.  For a long-lasting paint job, prime the bare wood and use top quality paint.

To prevent ceramic tiles from coming loose, the grout should be treated with a silicone sealer at least once a year.

Do not paint over dirty walls.  Dirt and grime must be removed for a paint job that lasts.

It may be cheaper to replace that leaky faucet than to repair it.

If you do your own painting, buy good brushes and roller covers.  Buy the best paint you can afford.  You cannot do a good job with poor tools, and cheap paint is no bargain.

When working on an extension ladder, keep your hips between the rails.  Do not over stretch.  Never stand on the top step of a step ladder.

When you want to take a break from painting, place brushes, rollers, and trays in plastic bags to keep them from hardening.  Or wrap tightly with foil.

If you break a light bulb off in the socket, a wad of gum on a broom handle will often remove it.

Cleaning gutters now can prevent expensive repairs later.  Neglected gutters pull away from the house and overflow which can rot away your facia boards.

If your lawn mower is hard to start, many times a new spark plug will solve the problem.  For top performance, change plug and oil every year.  Keep air filter and engine cooling fans clean.

When washing windows, wipe up and down on one side and back and forth
on the other. Then if  you miss a spot, the direction of  the streak will tell you
which side of the glass the spot is on.

Wash windows with a mixture of 4 parts water and 1 part ammonia.  Dry with wadded newspapers.  Saves money and no streaks!

To rid your home of ants and roaches:  mix 1 part powdered boric acid (available at drugstores), 1 part sugar, and 1 part corn starch.  Place mixture in bottle caps and set out in places where bugs are found.  Keep away from pets and children.

Use a nail to punch some holes in the lip of your paint can.  Excess paint will drain back into the can, saving paint and mess.

You can sometimes stop your faucet from dripping by removing the rubber washer from the stem and turning it upside down.

Remove stubborn rust stains in your sink with Naval Jelly.

To start small nails without hitting your thumb, stick them through a thin piece of cardboard and hold the cardboard, not the nail.

When changing a broken window pane, carefully soften putty with a propane torch for easy removal.              

Rubbing a bar of soap on wood screws will make them much easier to drive in.

When working with a tube of caulk, if you don't use the whole tube, you can stick a nail in the nozzle to keep the remainder from hardening.

After using a can of spray paint, flip it upside down and spray for 2-3 seconds to clean paint from the nozzle.

When securing the end of a board, angle 2 nails in opposite directions.  A nail driven in straight tends to pop out.

When driving a nail near the end of a thin board, if you blunt the tip of the nail it will be much less likely to split the tip of the board.

Flip cans of paint over when storing to guarantee an airtight seal.

When a wood screw strips out its hole, remove screw and fill hole with white glue and insert several toothpicks.  Screw will now drive in tight.

When working over a drain, cover the opening with a rag to prevent small parts from falling in.  If you do lose something down a drain, you can easily retrieve it by removing the "J" pipe under the sink with a pipe wrench or channel lock pliers.

MIKE THE HANDYMAN SAYS:
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HELPFUL HINTS