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Plumbing Repairs

Tangit PVC-U Weld adhesive for PVC pipes
When you are using PVC pipes for installing a water feature, repairing a swimming pool, or for any craft or DIY project that uses PVC pipes, you need an adhesive that sticks fast and sticks strong. Tangit PVC-U Weld is the product you need.
Banging pipes or water hammer
Do you have banging pipes - or water hammer? A banging noise in the water pipes normally occurs when the water is turned off too quickly, especially on valve-type taps and fittings. There still seems to be some confusion as to this topic, so I decided to find as much information as possible on the topic of banging pipes and water hammer.
Stop leaks immediately
Rust-Oleum Leak Seal is an easy-to-use, rubberized protective utility coating designed to fill and seal leaks and cracks. It provides a water-tight, flexible seal that prevents moisture penetration, rust and corrosion. Leak Seal dries to a semi-smooth, firm finish that will not sag or drip, and can be top-coated with oil-based paints.
Repair a leaky garden tap
Catastrophe at my home this morning upon discovering that my main stockcock tap was leaking, and not in a small way. I could actually hear running water in my office, which is about three metres away. Thank goodness I could hear it, or who knows how much water would have been wasted.
Where to find a professional plumber
Research shows that consumers worry about the quality of plumbers in South Africa. It is frightening to acknowledge that many so-called plumbers actually don't have qualifications or experience which tarnishes the reputation of professional plumbers that do. So how do we know if the plumber we hire is qualified and registered or not?
Understand your home plumbing
Unless you can afford to fork out every time something goes wrong in your home, it pays to know a few plumbing basics just in case ...
Repair chipped basin, toilet or tub
Repairing chips and gouges in a porcelain or enamelled bath or basin is fairly easy if you use the right products for the job.
Banging or vibrating water pipes
Where banging noises seem to be in the walls or ceiling, this is commonly referred to as Water Hammer and is caused by a lack of air in the pipes and occurs whenever taps with valves are closed quickly. Water pressure in the pipes is not cushioned by air and this causes the banging noise.
How to fix a leaking toilet
If there are brown stains or water is dripping from the back of the toilet - where it connects to the outlet pipe - you need to replace the seal. It's a quick and easy job - although a bit messy - that takes about five minutes!
How to seal around bath or basin
It is essential to have a seal around basins and bath tubs to prevent moisture access to furniture, walls and floors.
How to unblock a toilet
You don't have to get into a panic or call a plumber if the toilet blocks up. All you need to do it don a pair of rubber gloves and grab a plunger.
Do you have damp or mould?
Damp can affect any home and, with the obvious health and comfort issues, it is always wise to spot any problems early and remedy them quickly. Bathroom can be prone to damp, so here's what to keep a look out for...
Understand how a toilet works
Most homes have at least two, so it pays to have some understanding of how your toilet works. If you have a basic knowledge you could save yourself hundreds of rands on minor repairs. Here are a few things that it helps to know...
Why do drains block up?
Imagine standing in the shower with water up to your ankles, or spending essential 'reading' time on the toilet and then it won't flush! Most blockages are due to poor maintenance and bad habits, and while a twice yearly inspection may not stop blockages entirely, it will prevent a big build up that could cause flooding.
Quick fixes for a home
There are certain jobs in and around the home that can be tackled easily and quickly. Here's a quick round up of DIY products that are helpful to have at home in case of an emergency DIY fix up - and you'll find everything you need at your local Builders Warehouse!
Why do drains block?
Imagine standing in the shower with water up to your ankles, or spending essential 'reading' time on the toilet and then it won't flush! Most blockages are due to poor maintenance and bad habits, and while a twice yearly inspection may not stop blockages entirely, it will prevent a big build up that could cause flooding.
Adjust or replace a toilet seat
Every time I sit on the toilet seat I feel like I'm going for a roller coaster ride! Over time the screws that hold the seat can work loose and simply need to be tightened, but should they break off, you will need to replace the entire seat.
Remove and replace bathroom basin or sink
You don't have to live with ugly fittings when they are so easy to replace. Simply pull out and remove the old hand basin to install a new, modern hand basin to update a bathroom.
Install a new shower head
Start creating your new personal shower space by choosing the showerhead that meets your needs and desires. There are two main categories of showerheads to choose from: fixed or handheld. But within these categories is a wealth of options - from rainshowers to multi-setting versions.

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Electrical

Replace incandescent fittings with CFL
As and when budget allows I am systematically going from room to room and replacing my old incandescent lights with light fittings that use CFL globes. The most recent replacement was at the top of the stairs. I have previously tried the option of simply replacing the globe in the fitting but found the light too dim for this area, so I have replaced this with a CFL circular tube that provides plenty of light.
Convert single power socket to double or fit modern cover plate
There are some modern plug outlet and light switch covers available at your local Builders Warehouse. As part of my kitchen revamp I switched all the single power outlets to double, and replaced the old metal double plug outlets with new modern covers.
Install ceiling lights
Some rooms in my home have light fittings that were installed when the house was built - way back when. I thought it was about time I took my own advice - and installed more modern fittings!
How to wire a 3-pin plug
Although you can strip almost any wire or cable with nothing more than a craft knife, for safety reasons it is better to use a wire stripper. If you plan to do home improvements or your own home repairs, a wire stripper is affordable and easy to use, and they produce results that are reliable and safe.
How to connect wires
Most electrical problems - some of which can be extremely dangerous - can be prevented with a properly applied wire connector. In most cases, a connector is nothing more than a plastic cap with a spring inside.
Fit a 3-pin plug
By law, appliances, tools and other bought electrical items have to be fitted with a plug, but how many are fitted with a 2-pin plug. Stop running around trying to find a 2-pin adaptor.
What to do in a power failure
While our day to day lives are dependant on electricity, if you are sitting comfortably in front of the TV or PC and the power goes off. What do you do?
Test your earth leakage
Do you know why a switch trips? Here is a simple guide to how your fusebox gets electricity to your appliances.
Electrical repairs
There are some minor electrical faults that can be repaired yourself - without calling out an electrician. Save yourself some money and time spent waiting by doing a bit of research...
What to do when circuit breaker keeps tripping
Eskom power is cabled into a home via the circuit breaker. An electrical panel mounted within the home, a circuit breaker is a safety mechanism that is designed to trip and switch off the power when safety has been compromised. Here are some of the problems that can cause a circuit breaker to trip...
How to use a continuity tester
You need to perform a continuity test to ascertain whether or not a switch has failed. A continuity test will determine if a continuous electrical path flows through a switch. If a switch has continuity it should be working, but no continuity indicates that the electrical path is broken and the switch needs to be replaced.

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Window, Doors & Floors

Clean and strip slate tiles
I have been receiving quite a few queries on cleaning and stripping slate tiles. Over time slate tiles, especially black and autumn colours, can become dull and cloudy, losing their beautiful colour under layers of wax polish. There are products at your local Builders Warehouse that will restore dull and faded slate tiles. 
How to fit a door knob
We have  covered fitting a door handle and lock to an exterior or interior door, but what if you prefer to fit a door knob. While the pricinpal is basically the same, a door knob is easier to fit. Here are the instructions for fitting a door knob to any interior or exterior door.
Keeping a home draught-free
It's time to say bye-bye to summer and hello to winter, and while we may not like the cold weather, winter is a brief change from the usual and a chance to snuggle up in a warm home until the summer once again makes her appearance. But before you start snuggling there are a few essential tasks that need to be done.
Seal gaps around wooden windows and doors
Gaps in and around window and door frames should be sealed as soon as any cracks or opening in the joints occurs. Failure to fill in these gaps will result in moisture gaining access to the wood and leading to wood rot and eventual disintegration of the wood.
Cut out and replace damaged windowsill
When wood rot attacks a wooden windowsill, you need to fix this as quickly as possible unless you want to replace the entire window frame. Cutting out and replacing damaged wood is easy if you use a Dremel cutting tool.
Repair damage by wood rot
Where wood is not properly treated wood rot will eventually occur. Lack of protection allows moisture ingress that leads to a fungal infestation that destroys the wood fibres and causes eventual disintegration. Early treatment is essential, especially on window and door frames.
Fit a new exterior door
Many homeowners put this project on the back burner thinking that a new door is too expensive and it isn't easy to fit. You would actually be surprised at the selection and affordability of wood doors at your local Builders Warehouse, and once you get started you will realise that fitting is not as difficult as you originally thought.
Strip natural stone floor tiles
If there is one project that instantly refreshes a home, it's stripping excess wax build up from natural stone tiles and applying a fresh coat of sealer. Over time the build up of wax on stone tiles dulls the finish and looks drab. Simply by stripping and resealing tiles you up the shine and refresh any space.
Fix cracks around wooden windows and doors
Cracks around wooden window and door frames are common enough and these need to be attended to as soon as possible if you want to prevent further problems.
Replace interior hollow core door
Hollow core doors that you buy at Builders Warehouse cost around R350 and come in ‘one size fits all’, but unfortunately that is not the case. Door heights will differ depending on the flooring installed and you will invariably have to cut the door to fit.
Treat rust in and around the home
It is important to prime and paint all iron and steel fittings in and around a home. Unpainted iron and steel will, under the right conditions, rust and deteriorate. Add salt to the equation and rust will attack unpainted iron even faster. So how do you prevent or repair rust on furniture and fittings?
Treatment for aluminium corrosion
Aluminium window frames in homes are one area where aluminium corrosion often occurs for various reasons. While many are under the impression that aluminium rusts, since it does not contain any iron - aluminium does not rust but rather corrodes.
Remove bitumen and glue from floors
In an older home where parquet floor has been laid, when lifting the old parquet floor to instal tiles you may find that the parquet blocks have been stuck down with bitumen. Although lifting the parquet blocks will be easy due to degradation of the bitumen, removing the bitumen before tiling can be a mission.
Use liming wax for interior and exterior wood
Wooden doors, floors and furniture can be transformed by the simple chalky tones of liming wax. Liming has long been used as a traditional finish on exposed timbers, floorboards and furniture. Inside the home, limed wood has mild antiseptic properties so was favoured for hygienic reasons.
Maintain wooden window & door frames
Wooden window frames do more than hold glass in place, they also add aesthetic appeal to both the inside and outside of a home. Like any timber product, wooden window frames require regular maintenance to keep them looking good and extend their life.
Restore parquet floors
You either love or hate parquet floors but when cared for and maintained, parquet floors are a valuable investment in a home. If you have parquet floor buried under layers of carpet, perhaps consider the option of restoring the floor to its original condition.
Paint security gates, burglar bars, rails and fencing
As a nation that takes home security seriously, our homes are fitted with security gates and burglar bars, as well as pallisade or steel railings. Over time these become dull or pitted with spots of rust, and this can easily be remedied.
Maintain an automated garage door
If the workings on your garage door look like those on the left, it's way past the time to get in there and do some annual maintenance tasks. Simply by undertaking a few regular tasks, you can maintain the life of a garage door and prevent it from looking tired and worn.
How to adjust shower door
If the sliding doors on your shower don’t glide smoothly, repair them soon. A door that drags on the lower track will eventually do permanent damage to both the door and the track. A dragging roller at the top of the door will wear and require replacement.
Does your home have woodworm?
The name may cause some confusion, especially since it isn't a worm at all but rather grubs of the Common Furniture Beetle [Anobium punctatum]. But confusion aside, woodworm can cause extensive damage to your home and furniture if left untreated.
Sand, stain and seal a wooden floor
This weekend our major goal was to sand, stain and seal the wood floors. The wooden floors are in pretty rough shape and are covered with water stains, scuffs and scratches.
Maintain doors in good condition
Slamming, banging, sticking or jammed, doors take a lot of beating on a daily basis. If you have doors that need repairs here are some tips to get you started...
Easy DIY cabinet or cupboard repairs
While most modern fitted kitchens are designed to withstand constant use and abuse, an older kitchen may be taking strain. We have put together some quick and easy do-it-yourself repairs you can tackle in a day.
Care for wooden windows & doors
There is a beauty to timber windows and the homes they grace, and if they are well maintained, they can last a lifetime. Charl Jacobz from Swartland offers some tips and advice on how to best maintain their beauty.
Remove and rehang an exterior door
Removing and replacing an exterior door, especially a front and back door, is as easy as removing the old one, making a few adjustments and then hanging the new one in place.
Remove and replace skirtings
In an older home you may find that skirting boards need to be replaced either due to rotting, damage over time, or simply to update a home. In this do-it-yourself project we show you how to remove and replace skirting boards.
Hang a new interior door
Replacing a door in an existing door frame is easier and much cheaper than pulling out the trim and frame and installing a prehung door, because you have the old door as a template.

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Interior Maintenance & Repairs

Keeping a home draught-free
It's time to say bye-bye to summer and hello to winter, and while we may not like the cold weather, winter is a brief change from the usual and a chance to snuggle up in a warm home until the summer once again makes her appearance. But before you start snuggling there are a few essential tasks that need to be done.
Fix a broken tile without power tools
Let's get back to basics here by removing and replacing a broken tile... without using power tools. Not everyone can afford to buy the latest power tools and repairs still need to be done. So, with this in mind, try the following step-by-step for removing a replacing a broken wall or floor tile.
How to replace a cracked or broken tile
A floor covered with ceramic tile is about as durable and low-maintenance a surface as you can get. Replacing a broken or chipped tile is pretty simple to do and one that any homeowner can handle.
How to replace a broken window pane
It is very easy to replace a broken window pane with the right safety gear, tools and materials. Here's how to do-it-yourself ...

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Exterior Maintenance & Repairs

Fix up damp before the rainy season
If you haven't yet got round to solving the problem of rising damp, now is the time to do it before the rainy season gets in full swing and you end up with even more problems. Set aside one day this weekend and pop into your local Builders to stock up on what you need to stop rising damp in its tracks.
Polycell Rockset to fix up chips
There's nothing more frustrating than finishing off a plastered wall with perfect edges and then some twit comes along and knocks a big chunk out. I have previously used Polycell Rockset for filling in dings and bumps on corners in the house, and it came in handy again today for fixing up damage to exterior walls. 
Fixing and repairing cracks in concrete
Cracks in concrete happen all the time as a result of shrinkage or movement. As concrete cures and dries out it has a tendency to shrink, and that's why it is important to lightly spray concrete with water during the curing or drying process. Another reason why concrete can crack is incorrect preparation of the mix, which is why it is essential to know the right ratios of sand, stone and cement.
Curing damp in walls
While many homeowners tend to paint over damp to try and fix the problem, with damp it's important to find the source of the damp first before you can proceed with curing damp walls. Simply painting over any areas of damp causes further problems, as the constant supply of moisture is then diverted to other areas.
Makeover for the ugliest house on the block!
There's always that one house - the one that sticks out like a sore thumb with its peeling paint, cracked walls and rotten windowsills. You really have to see beneath the ugly to realise the potential of what this house could look like... and boy does this house get a makeover !
How to paint palisade fencing
When you go to the expense of installing palisade fencing around your home, you want it to not only provide security but look good too. Because palisade fencing is generally made of steel - it requires regular maintenance to keep it in tip-top condition. Here are some tips from Plascon Metalcare on painting and maintaining a palisade fence.
Time to get cracking on annual home repairs - II
Don't put that ladder away just yet. There are still some areas of your home exterior that need to be inspected. Wooden and steel window frames and doors need annual maintenance to keep them in tip top condition.
Time to get cracking on annual home repairs - I
Owining your own home is one of the biggest investments that you will ever make, it can also be one of the most costly if you don't look after it. Taking the time to do an annual inspection could save you a lot of money.
Repair chipped or damaged plaster finish
Cracked, chipped or plaster that has fallen off the wall are all easy repairs to tackle yourself, and if you have acquainted yourself with basic plastering techniques, these are jobs that can be done in a weekend.
Repair cracks in concrete
Whether it is on the patio, in the garage or across the driveway, cracked concrete looks unsightly and if left unattended will only crack and crumble even more.
Repoint a loose brick
When a brick works loose, you can’t just shove mortar in around it and expect the repair to last. Pull it out and fix it right.
Replace roof tile
Missing or broken roof tiles allow water to penetrate the roof space and wind to lift more of the neighbouring tiles. If you attend to the problem immediately you won't end up with serious repairs later on.
Repair, restore or renovate concrete
Conventional wisdom holds that old concrete, with cracks, surface discolouration, or surface imperfections, must be removed and replaced if improving the look of the concrete is the goal. But there are many options available for transforming that drab concrete patio, driveway, or floor into a new, decorative, coloured concrete surface.
Maintain or repair a flat roof
As one of the most cost-effective ways to add on an additional room, building with a flat roof design reduces the cost of additional roofing materials and labour costs.But shoddy workmanship on existing flat roofs and over time these roofs can be a big problem.
Winter home maintenance projects
Traditionally winter is the season most likely to make you wish you'd never become a homeowner. But before you snuggle back under the covers, your new found zeal for all things homely can start right now.
Time to clean or paint the roof
A cement tile roof is an affordable and attractive way to top off a house. This type of roof looks good for up to 10 years but the colour does tend to fade over time. The problem is solved by applying cleaning the roof tiles and applying a quality roof paint to ensure that your home looks good for many more years.
Fix a leaking roof before it becomes serious
If you notice water stains on the ceiling, cornice or down the walls it's time to take a look at the roof. Regular inspection of a roof can prevent costly repairs later on.

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