For Father’s Day, how about tackling a few DIY projects that will make Dad’s life easier? I’ve put a list together of thoughtful fixes that typically fall in the dad’s chore camp. Knock these easy projects out of the way and help Dad’s Honey-do list go from To-Do to To-done!
Let’s face it, it’s less likely that the wads of hair caught down the drain are Dad’s! Do some drain duty as a preventive measure to keep clogs at bay. Pour ½ cup baking soda and ½ cup white vinegar down the drain, let it bubble up, then flush with boiling hot water. Also, pick up some Drainbo® Natural Drain Cleaner and follow label instructions. While this product doesn’t breakdown hair like a caustic chemical drain opener, it does eat away at the biofilm and grease that hair clings to in the pipes.
* If your pop’s drain needs a heartier overhaul, dig in to my previous fix… How To Unclog A Blocked Shower Drain. He’ll thank you for the extra effort.
Garage Clean Up
What dad wouldn’t like to walk into a clean and organized garage?
- Wipe down his tools and organize them by type – drivers with drivers, tapes with tapes, etc. If they’re thrown into a bucket, pick up a bucket apron with tons of pockets and sleeves.
- Wrap messy extension cords in a plastic cord reel for easy carrying and neat storing.
- Sweep and if possible hose down the floor. Clean oil stains with a product like Griot’s Oil and Grease Cleaner that’s safe for the environment.
- Seal any cracks in concrete with a concrete filler like Quikretes Concrete Repair.
Wash His Wheels
Treat Dad to a good, old-fashioned and eco-forward carwash, right at home!
- Use pure castile soap that’s effective and safe for the car finish and environment.
- Work from 2 large plastic buckets – one with soapy water to wash, the other to rinse. Avoid running the hose.
- Use cellulose sponges and/or several microfiber towels.
- For windows, in a spray bottle mix a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water and use old newspaper to wipe them down… say “NO” to paper towels.
Lawn Mower Maintenance
A mower can’t work right with caked up grass cramping it’s style, nor can it cut properly with dull blades. Here’s what you do:
- For safety, you must first unplug the spark plug—it’s easy to locate (see pic below). For electric, make sure it’s unplugged.
- Gently tip the mower on its side and brush away all the grass with a whisk broom. (Make sure you’re not tipping it in such a way that gas or oil is leaking out.)
- For the blade, find the appropriate size socket wrench. Wearing gloves, hold the blade, loosen the bolt and remove the blade. Be sure not to lose any mounting hardware. Bring the blade to a garden/home center for sharpening or replacement. If you’re not comfortable removing the blade, take a photo of it, jot down the make and model of the mower, and buy pops a new one that he can install.
Happy Hose, Happy Life
Dripping hoses and hose bibs are not only terribly annoying, but waste gallons of water.
- Replace any washers from last season for a water-tight connection to your sprayers.
- For a hose-bib that drips in the off position, first try tightening the packing nut behind the handle with a wrench. Tighten it turning clockwise. If it still drips, you’ll need to replace the washer:
- Turn off the water to the hose-bib from the water main.
- Unscrew the packing nut (turning counter clockwise).
- Pull the handle and stem out of the hose-bib housing.
- Unscrew the screw at the end of the stem and remove the worn rubber washer.
- Bring the old washer to the hardware store for proper replacement… and while you’re there, buy a couple extra.
So on this Father’s Day, armed with this list, let Dad kick back, and tell him, “Dad, I got this…”
Wishing all Dads and “like a Dad to me” guys out there a very Happy and Relaxing Father’s Day!
Got A DIY Question? Ask-The-Expert!
If you have a DIY home repair, maintenance or improvement question for Norma, now is your chance to ask-the-expert and have her answer. Your burning question may just be the “star” of an upcoming Fix-It Friday column.
Add your question to the comments section below or email it to Women You Should Know.
Fix-It Friday is an exclusive Women You Should Know® editorial series authored by seasoned veteran of home improvement, Norma Vally, the former host of Discovery Home Channel’s series “Toolbelt Diva” and a show on Sirius Satellite Radio by the same name. The weekly column is designed to inspire women – weekend warriors, aspiring handywomen, and even seasoned DIYers – to take on home repairs and maintenance projects with confidence and gusto.