How To Patch a Bathtub

Bathtubs can be made from several different materials.

Many tubs are ceramic or metal, but there may also be fiberglass or even plastic tubs that need to be patched.

The first step in knowing how to patch a bathtub must be to identify the materials used to create it.

If there are cracks that look dark and deep, then this generally means a plastic tub.

Cracks in ceramic may also look dark, but also appear to be on the surface only.

Once you’ve identified the material, you’re ready to begin the repair process.

You’ll want to make sure that you have fine-grain sandpaper, a paintbrush, a putty knife, a utility knife, and sponges or clean lint-free towels on hand in addition to the repair materials needed to complete the job.

1. Clean Your Bathtub.

Make sure that your tub is clean.

It’s fine to use your standard household cleaning chemicals for this process.

Just make sure that you pay extra attention to the repair site so there isn’t anything that could affect the integrity of the repair you’re about to make.

After completely cleaning your tub, allow it to dry for 24 hours.

2. Prepare Any Large Cracks Or Holes.

Anything that is more than 0.25 inches wide will need to have mesh or cloth placed on it for a solid repair.

What you’ll use is based on the base material of your tub. Make sure you give yourself an extra 0.5 inches on all sides of the repair area with your mesh or cloth for a tight seal over the crack or hole being patched.

3. Prepare Your Filler.

Depending on what you need to use to seal the area, you may need to mix your filler so that it is ready to set.

If you’re using a caulking-style tube filler, then you’ll want to make sure you have the repair site taped off with painter’s tape to avoid placing the filler in a location that doesn’t need a repair.

4. Apply The Filler.

Place your repair filler on top of the repair site.

This includes repairs that required a mesh or cloth.

If you needed to tape your cloth or mesh in place, now is the time to remove it so it doesn’t become part of the permanent repair.

Place another layer of mesh or cloth on top of the filler and then add another layer of filler.

If just the crack needs to be filled, then make sure the filler is oozing out of the crack before stopping the application process and then scrape the extra filler away for a flush surface.

5. Allow The Filler To Dry.

It may take 6-24 hours for the filler to properly dry.

Some epoxy fillers may begin setting within minutes, however, so make sure you proceed in a timely fashion based on the materials that are being used.

Your filler must be completely dry before moving to the next step of the patching process.

If you have missed any areas of the cracks or holes that need to be patched, now is the time to repeat Step #4 before proceeding with the repair.

6. Sand Down Any Extra Filler.

Don’t use a rough grade sandpaper for this job because it will damage the surrounding surface of the tub.

You want to create a completely flush surface at this point.

You will create dust, so use a damp sponge or lint-free towel to remove any debris that comes from your sanding efforts.

Allow the repair site to dry.

Please note: It is advisable to have some sort of breathing protection in place during this step.

The fine dust particles that are created by the sanding process may be harmful to your air passageways.

7. Paint The Tub To Match.

You may need to paint your bathtub to complete your repair.

You may also have a sealant or other coating surface that must be applied depending on the materials used to create your tub.

You’ll want to brush whatever coating you’re using in a consistent one-way stroke to achieve the best results.

Allow the first coat to dry naturally, which may take up to 24 hours depending on your product, and then add a second coat to the first coat in the same fashion.

It can take some time to complete this repair, but knowing how to patch a bathtub can potentially save you over $1,000 when compared to a complete tub replacement.

Follow these steps and you’ll be able to experience success.

How To Replace a Toilet Seal

If you notice that water is puddling around the base of your toilet, then there’s a good chance that you need to replace the wax seal.

This repair can prevent a lot of structural damage, but it is often an uncommon repair because a seal can last for decades.

The first thing you should do is tighten the bolts that hold the toilet in place. This may fix the issue.

If not, then you’ll want to follow these steps.

1. Remove The Water From The System.

After shutting off the water to the toilet, make sure the entire unit has drained.

Use a sponge to soak up any loose water in the tank or bowl.

Then remove the nuts that help to keep the toilet in place.

You’ll need to rock the toilet gently back and forth to get the toilet seal to break.

2. Check The Flange.

The wax seal may need to be replaced, but so might the flange.

You’ll need to scrape the wax seal away from the floor and/or the toilet and this will reveal any damage to the part.

3. Install The New Toilet Seal.

Most toilet seals are made from pure wax and they’ll be able to conform around the opening to create the needed barrier.

New seals have urethane foam in them, however, and these provide a better seal that can last much longer when compared to the traditional repair.

4. Replace The Toilet.

This is your opportunity to upgrade your toilet.

If you have a copper supply tube for your toilet, then it is probably time to make an investment into a new one.

Whether new or old, place the toilet back into place.

Grip the bowl near the hinges and lift the unit up and over the flange.

Set it down on the new toilet seal and use the bolts as a guide.

Press down on the toilet before tightening the bolts to help compress your new seal.

Please note: Some building codes will require you to caulk around your repaired toilet as a final step.

Knowing how to replace a toilet seal can help you save your home from costly future repairs.

It may not be the easiest DIY job you ever do, but over the course of an afternoon it will prevent your toilet from leaking for decades to come.

How To Seal an Asphalt Driveway

Your asphalt driveway sees a lot of wear and tear thanks to its use and exposure to the elements.

To keep your driveway healthy, it needs to be sealed every few years.

Knowing how to seal an asphalt driveway seems daunting on the first attempt at it, but as you will see the steps required to get the job done are pretty simple and straightforward.

1. Clean Up Your Driveway.

This means you’ll need to sweep away all dirt and debris.

If there are cracks in the asphalt where weeds have begun to grow, these will need to be removed.

Should pressure washing be used to clean the driveway, you’ll need to allow 24-48 hours for the asphalt to dry enough to apply the seal coat.

2. Patch Your Cracks.

Pick up some asphalt patching compound to fill in any cracks that may have formed.

If you have a deep pothole in your asphalt driveway that needs to be repair, you’ll need some actual asphalt patch and a few extra days to allow the patch to cure so the driveway can be sealed.

3. Choose Your Seal Coat.

You’ve got two basic options available: tar or asphalt emulsion.

You’ll often see a tar emulsion used on parking lots because this protects the asphalt from fluids that leak out of vehicles from time to time.

It’s also the cheaper version.

Asphalt emulsion is easier to apply, but may not last as long.

4. Paint On The Seal.

After mixing your seal coat according to its instructions, you’ll want to pour out some of it on your driveway and begin to “paint” it on using a squeegee.

Work in small areas at a time to prevent the seal coat from drying prematurely.

You’ll need to do two coats to properly protect the driveway – one vertical coat and one horizontal coat.

The final step is to allow the driveway enough time to properly dry, which is about 24 hours.

Some sealants may require extra time.

You will want to make sure that you’ve put up caution tape or roped off the driveway to prevent any unintended damage to the sealant you’ve just applied.

That’s really all it takes to know how to seal an asphalt driveway.

How to Patch a Metal Roof

Metal roofing can be a cost-effective method of protecting a home.

Over time, however, it can also receive damage that will cause it to begin leaking.

Instead of trying to replace the entire thing, here’s how to patch a metal roof for a fraction of the cost.

1. Loose Nails Are The Most Common Culprit.

Inspect your metal roof for loose nails, screws, or bolts.

Pull any that have become bent and replace them.

Tighten all others so that they are once again water-resistant.

If screws were used, make sure to look at the gasket underneath the screw to make sure it is intact.

2. Repair Any Spots Of Deterioration.

If you find corrosion has struck your metal roof, you must prepare that site for a patch.

Use steel wool or a wire brush to remove any rust.

Make sure any dust/debris has been removed from the site with a damp cloth. Allow the area to completely dry.

Then you will want to use a metal primer made for this type of roof to cover the corroded area.

Use an application process that will not shed bristles or foam into the primer.

A second coat that matches the color of the metal roof will then protect it against future damage.

These are often found in spray paint containers.

3. Seal Up The Roof.

If there is more than just a bit of corrosion or a loose nail to the leaking roof, then a metal roof cement will be required to seal up the surface.

Urethane tends to be the best form of cement because it stands up to sunlight better.

Cheaper options are plastic or asphalt cement.

Apply directly to the leaking area.

A flashing membrane may also be suitable in some instances.

4. Restore Your Flashing.

Sometimes the expansion and contraction of the roof will cause a small separation of the flashing.

If this has happen, just tighten it up and use the same cement to seal off the edges, seams, and joints.

Knowing how to patch a metal roof can help you save a lot of time and money when it comes to stopping a leak.

 

Follow these steps and you’ll be able to complete this chore in no time at all.

How to Seal an Attic Door

One of the most common places for heat to escape your home is through the roof.

When there is an unsealed attic door present, it becomes even easier to lose this energy resource.

That’s why knowing how to seal an attic door can help you quickly save some cash during the colder months for a relatively small investment of time and money.

Here’s what you’re going to need to do.

1. Install Weatherstripping.

You can find weatherstripping that is self-sticking for a quick installation.

You can also apply your own through tubing if you prefer.

If your attic door rests on its moldings, then you’ll also want to install 2.5 inch wide stops during this process to make sure the attic door doesn’t create premature wear and tear on your weatherstripping.

Make sure to press the weatherstripping in firmly and give it time to dry properly before closing the attic door on it.

2. Insulate The Back Of Your Door.

Most attic doors have an open hatch that will still allow energy to escape despite the weatherstripping. By adding insulation to the back of the door, you’ll be able to do a better job of sealing in the energy. You can use something as simple as a piece of foam board cut to shape or install fiberglass, newspaper, or your preferred insulation.

3. Install An Attic Stair Cover.

If you have a pull-down set of attic stairs, then you’ll want to make sure they are covered to prevent energy loss.

These install just like insulation does to help make sure you aren’t spending more on your utility costs than you should be.

4. Do a Final Check Of Your Attic.

Many attics aren’t finished and often don’t have any insulation covering the wiring that runs between the joists.

Sealing your attic door won’t do any good if your attic is completely bare because the heat will just escape through your unprotected ceilings instead.

Knowing how to seal an attic door means treating this door as if it were an outdoor entry point.

Whether your access point is in your garage or in a bedroom, following these steps will help you save some cash now and in the future for less than 60 minutes worth of work.

Get started today and your tomorrow will be much warmer.

How To Seal a Basement Floor

Knowing how to seal a basement floor can do more than just make sure you keep the moisture out.

It’s also a necessary step to take if you plan to install a finished floor at some point in the future.

These simple steps will help you make sure the job gets done correctly the first time around.

Step #1: Clean the Floor

You’ll need to remove all dirt and debris from the basement floor to prepare it for the sealing process.

This includes all paints, glues, and oils as well.

Use a cleaner that is specifically designed for the materials that must be removed.

Then allow the basement floor to naturally dry if needed before proceeding to the next step.

Step #2: Vacuum the Surface

Take a vacuum cleaner to the basement floor to remove any dust and crumbling concrete that may still be lingering.

Pay close attention to the edges and corners of the floor in particular.

If there are any small cracks in the floor, you’ll want to run the vacuum over the area multiple times to ensure all debris has been removed.

Step #3: Place the First Coat of Sealant

Many basement floor sealants are epoxy-based, so you’ll want to have the floor be a cool surface so the sealant can adhere well.

Roll out the sealant in a thin first layer, making sure to cover the entire area of the floor.

If you need to do one side of the basement floor first and then the other side later because of what you have stored down there, that will also work.

Then add a second layer of sealant after the first layer has completely dried.

Step #4: Make Repairs

If there are any cracks that did not seal well with the sealant, then now is the time to have them repaired.

You have multiple options to create a water-resistant seal, from tar to epoxy to caulk.

Some may require you to place a third layer of sealant over the repair site.

Knowing how to seal a basement floor requires only a few tools and a couple of days to complete.

Get started on this process today so that your basement can stay dry all year long.

How To Patch a Shingle Roof

A large windstorm just blew through your neighborhood.

Moss and algae accumulation has caused damage.

A long summer has caused shingles to curl from the heat.

There can be numerous reasons why it is important to know how to patch a shingle roof.

How you get the job done follows these steps.

1. Locate the Damage

You’ll need to know where the exact leak is occurring on your shingle roof.

This may be obvious because of missing shingles, but may not always be that way.

You may need to inspect the interior of your attic to look for water stains.

Watch for nails that have turned white as an indication of where the leak is strongest.

2. Repair Water Damage

You may have water damage which needs to be repaired.

This may mean replacing insulation, removing damaged shingles, or repairing the boards which support the roof.

Any moisture which remains can encourage mold to grow. You may also need to replace the roofing paper and any weatherproofing membranes in the leaking area as well.

3. Replace the Shingles

You’ll next need to replace the shingles that have been damaged once any repairs have been completed.

Make sure to follow the overlapping pattern that has been placed on your roof to make sure moisture is unable to get through.

You may also need to check your flashing, soffits, and other components of the roof while replacing shingles to make sure you have a proper seal.

4. Seal the Shingles in Place

Some shingles can be installed with a few nails and the job is done.

Others require you to seal the shingles into place for greater moisture resistance.

Make sure to follow any specific instructions listed on your preferred shingles to receive the best possible experience.

5. Make Routine Inspections

It is far cheaper to repair minor roof issues than to replace an entire roof when water damage occurs.

Once you’ve patched your shingle roof, make monthly inspections of it if you live in a high moisture or high sun environment.

This will allow you to repair damage while it is still in its beginning stages.

Knowing how to patch a shingle roof can extend the life of this integral part of your home.

Follow these steps and you’ll be able to have a potentially successful DIY repair.

How To Patch Concrete Cracks

Concrete cracks can cause some major damage to paths, sidewalks, and driveways if they are left unaddressed.

They need to be fixed as soon as possible to prevent water from getting underneath the concrete, eroding the soil and causing even more damage.

The good news is that a simple 10 minute fix can help you prolong the life of your concrete. Here are the steps you’ll want to follow.

1. Make Sure You’ve Cleaned Out The Concrete Crack Completely.

You’ll need to remove all dirt, debris, weeds, roots, and other items that may be in the crack.

Take a screwdriver and scratch away at the crack, then follow it up with a wire brush or small whisk broom. I

f there is a lot of debris coming out of the crack, then a leaf blower or multipurpose vacuum cleaner.

2. Install a Backer Rod If Needed.

Whenever you’re filling in large gaps on the exterior of your home, you’ll be using a backer rod.

The same is true when fixing a large concrete crack.

Take the backer rod and cut it to the size of the crack.

Push it in as firmly as you can with your fingers.

Then take the screwdriver and push it in even further, being careful not to damage the backer rod.

You should follow this step if the crack is wider than 0.25 inches in size.

3. Fill In The Crack With Concrete Caulk.

It’s best to use a self-leveling bead when filling in the concrete crack with caulk.

Start at the beginning of the crack and slowly work your way down, keeping the bead as consistent as possible.

This will fill-in the area of concern, whether you’re dealing with a cold joint or a crack due to settling.

There are different colors available for asphalt and colored concrete as well so a direct match can be made.

4. Take a Finger Down The Crack To Seal The Joint.

This step is optional.

If you want to have a more seamless look for your repair, press your finger into the bead to flatten it out.

This will seal the crack a little more, but also reduce the appearance of the repair.

Knowing how to patch concrete cracks will save you many future headaches from soil erosion. Get started today and you’ll be done in no time at all.

How To Patch Cracks in Drywall

Cracks in your drywall can appear for a number of different reasons. Even the natural settling process of a house can cause cracks to form.

The good news is that fixing this problem is very easy, only takes a couple of tools, and can be completed over the course of an afternoon.

Here’s what you’re going to do.

1. Grab Your Supplies.

You’ll need a putty knife, joint compound, spackle to match the texture of your walls, and matching paint if it is needed.

If the crack is particularly long or wide, you may also need some drywall tape.

A drywall sander and breathing protection are also good ideas.

2. Prepare The Crack.

Make sure the drywall crack is as clean as possible.There will always be some drywall dust in there.

You’re looking to remove any foreign debris and excessive dust that could interfere with the joint compound patch.

Apply the drywall tape over the crack once it has been cleaned out if necessary.

3. Apply The Joint Compound.

Take your putty knife and press the joint compound directly into the crack.Then with a vertical movement, smooth the compound for a flush surface.

Repeat with a horizontal stroke.

Continue doing this until the entire crack has been filled.

Allow to dry, which usually takes about 2-4 hours for most cracks.

4. Sand It Down.

Your drywall patch may have some ridges or bumps in it.

Sand it down to create a flush surface with the wall.

5. Finish It Off.

If you need to add spackle to your repair site to match your wall texture, then now is the time to do it.

Apply according to instructions and allow to dry. Then paint the repair site to match.

Knowing how to repair cracks in drywall can dramatically improve the visual aesthetics of a room.

Take these steps and you’ll be able to complete this repair in no time at all.

How To Seal Granite Countertops

Granite is one of the hardest substances on Earth. This makes it the perfect countertop material.

Because of how sturdy it is, it can be easy to think that the granite doesn’t need some routine maintenance in order for it to keep its shine.

If neglected long enough, even granite can become receptive to stains and other damage.

That’s why knowing how to seal granite countertops can help you maintain the value of this material with a minimal time and monetary investment.

You can pick up a granite sealer for about $15 at most local stores. Here are the steps to take so you can get the job done.

1. Gather Your Materials.

You’re going to need some dry towels, a wash cloth, your preferred granite sealer, and some anti-bacterial dish soap to have on hand for this job.

Plan on it taking between 40-60 minutes once you have all of your materials ready to go.

2. Clean Your Granite Countertop.

You’ll want to clean your countertop with warm water mixed with liquid dish soap.

You’ll need to make sure any debris, dust, or other foreign particles are completely removed from the surface.

Do not use bleach or caustic cleaning agents with a high acidity or high base for this process.

Allow the granite to completely dry before moving onto the next step.

You can use your lint-free dry towels to facilitate the drying process.

3. Protect Your Coordinating Surfaces.

Many granite countertops have a tile backsplash which compliments the look.

There may also be drywall, sink fixtures, or other items which may be damaged by the granite sealer.

Cover any items that can’t be moved with plastic to avoid getting some sealant spray on them to avoid having another headache come your way.

4. Apply The Granite Sealer.

Granite sealers generally work best when they are directly applied to the countertop with a spray bottle.

Make sure you properly label the bottle since sealants can look like other items.

Spray the countertop so the surface is completely saturated with the sealant. It should have a mirror-like quality to it when you’re applying enough of it for up to 5 seconds.

You may see some small bubbles of sealant begin to appear – this is fine.

5. Allow The Sealant To Sit.

For the granite sealant to work, you will need to allow it to sit on your countertop for at least 10 minutes.

This will give it time to soak into the material. Make sure that your room is properly vented so the smell of the sealant doesn’t become overwhelming.

Many sealants can cause dizziness, headaches, and breathing difficulties if the exposure is too long.

Don’t open doors or windows unless you’re confident debris will not get into the sealant as it is sitting.

6. Remove The Excess Sealant After 10 Minutes.

Using a blotting motion with your lint-free dry towels, remove any extra sealant that hasn’t soaked into the granite.

Once all of the excess sealant has been removed, take another dry towel and use a circular cleaning motion to make sure it has all been removed from the countertop.

7. Repeat The Process.

Granite is a porous enough material that it requires a second coat of sealant after you’ve applied the first.

You’ll need to go back to Step #4 and complete it, as well as Steps #5 and #6 once again.

Apply the sealant in exactly the same way for a second coat.

8. Give The Countertop a Chance To Cure.

You’ll need to refrain from using your countertop for about 6 hours after you’ve applied your second coat, let it soak in for 10 minutes, and then removed the excess sealant.

Some sealants have specific instructions which must be followed at this stage.

Because there is so much variability in each product, you’ll need to check with the manufacturer’s instructions for guidelines to this step completion.

9. Give Your Granite Countertop One Final Good Cleaning.

Once you have waited an appropriate amount of time, it is important to give your countertop one more good cleaning.

This will remove any remaining excess sealant that remains on the surface.

You’ll once again want to use warm water and your dish soap for this process.

Clean with the wash cloth, using a circular cleaning motion, to make sure the counter is ready for use.

Most sealants that you’ll find in stores will last between 6-12 months when properly applied. Some sealants, however, are rated to last for up to 15 years.

Choose your preferred sealant, follow these steps, and you’ll know how to seal granite countertops quickly and effectively on your own.