Simple Repairs and Fixes for Your Home

Standing in front of Blanton home with pressure washer.

Marrs Zakary and Arria Blanton with Allen Lyle and Danny Lipford.
(Photo by Carolyn Wilson, Mobile Chamber of Commerce)

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In the two years that homeowners Billy and Arria Blanton have lived their 1950s brick house, they have compiled a rather lengthy and varied to-do list of home repair projects from door repair to covering ceiling stains.

Home Repair To-Do List Projects:

  • Clean Brick Steps: We started by thoroughly cleaning the brick steps on the front of the house using a Generac OneWash pressure washer.
  • Brick steps with wrought iron railing.

    Brick steps after repair.

  • Repair Brick Steps: We used a hammer and cold chisel to remove any loose mortar between the bricks on the steps, then filled in the gaps using Quikrete Zip & Mix FastSet Repair Mortar (No. 1241-15).

    This multi-purpose polymer-modified mortar mixes right in the bag, sets quickly, and provides high strength. While you can apply the mortar by hand, a grout bag makes filling mortar joints less messy. Watch How to Repair Brick Mortar Joints to find out more.

  • Reattach Porch Railing: The screws holding the wrought iron railing to the concrete slab on the front porch had worked loose over time. To reattach the railing, we used concrete screws coated in fast-setting epoxy glue. Watch How to Repair and Paint Wrought Iron Railings to find out more.
  • Attach Vent Cover: To attach the loose heating/cooling air vent cover on the ceiling, we used self-tapping screws drilled into the side of the metal ductwork.
  • Red entry door with brass kickplate and centered doorknob.

    Entry door after painting and repair.

  • Refinish Entry Door: Auto body filler was used to fill the damaged area round the center mounted door knob on the entry door. The door was then painted on all sides, including the top and bottom, to prevent swelling. To clean the brass kickplate, we scrubbed it with steel wool dipped in water.

    Since the door knob lock was missing the key, we had a locksmith replace the lock cylinder and key it to match the deadbolt. Watch How to Refinish an Entry Door to find out more.

  • Paint Ceiling Water Stain: To repair the water stained ceiling, we applied several light coats of KILZ UpShot spray paint. Make sure the leak has been fixed before repairing a stained ceiling. Watch How to Cover Over a Ceiling Water Stain to find out more.
  • Install Screen Door Closer: To keep the screen door closed, we installed a new pneumatic door closer to replace the one that was missing. Watch How to Install a Pneumatic Door Closer and read Adjusting a Pneumatic Door Closer to find out more.
  • Repair Back Door: We mixed up two-part auto body filler, and used it to fill any rotten spots in the back door. Once the filler had hardened, it was sanded smooth, and the door repainted. Read How to Repair Rotten Wood to find out more.
  • Replace Door Threshold: We removed the old threshold on the back door and installed a new metal one, using concrete screws to attach it to the slab.
Metal threshold on black door.

Back door after repairing and replacing threshold.

Other Tips from This Episode

plastic container with hole drilled in top

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Reusing Plastic Containers in the Workshop

Rather than recycle plastic containers, start reusing them in the workshop for extra storage. Cut off the top of the jug, including the handle. Drill a hole in the tab, and hang it anywhere in the workshop. (Watch Video)

LED light

Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Commercial Electric LED Utility Light

Commercial Electric’s LED Utility Light is a bright, long-lasting, energy-efficient light fixture. It’s designed to simply screw into most existing lamp holders and can directly replace a light bulb. 11.5-Watt is equal to 60-Watt light. It is available at The Home Depot. (Watch Video)


Ask Danny Lipford:
Brush, Roller, or Spray Paint

When painting large, flat surfaces, such as walls and ceilings, a roller works best. Spray painting gives a very smooth surface but requires covering the area around it to prevent overspray. Brushes are the best choice for woodwork and trimming around walls. (Watch Video)

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Simple Repairs and Fixes for Your Home