For many homeowners, bathrooms can be tricky areas to maintain; with water coming and going in multiple zones, flooring meeting toilet and tub, and at least a handful of fixtures per bathroom, keeping up on repairs can be overwhelming. Fortunately, 5 of the most common bathroom problems have easy, affordable solutions, so roll up your sleeves and get ready to DIY your way to a better bathroom!
1. Slow Drains
If your slow drains are caused by the usual accumulation of soap buildup and shed hair, you may be able to clear it with a few whooshes of a plunger. Make sure there’s enough water above the drain to give the plunger enough to send rushing through, then plunge the drain as you would a toilet.
If the plunger trick doesn’t work, you should be able to get your drains flowing in an afternoon. Stop by the hardware store, and ask for a small snake or zip tool to clear a clogged drain. By running a snake tool through the clog, you should be able to remove the bulk of it.
Simply zip the line down and slowly reel it back up; you may be shocked by the gross clump of clog you snag! Once you’ve run the snake several times and cleared as much of the clog as you can, run hot water down the drain for a few minutes to flush out anything that remains.
Your drain should now be running swiftly, but if not, be sure to call a plumber promptly. Your issue could be something more serious, like a tree root or clogged main vent. If not resolved, these issues can cause sewage to back up into your home, potentially causing expensive damage, not to mention a whole lot of unpleasant smells in the process.
2. Dripping Fixtures
Even if find that you’re able to tolerate that nonstop plinking sound, leaving a faucet or showerhead dripping still isn’t a good idea. Leaking fixtures waste clean water, add to your water bill, and may even cause costly water damage if moisture trickles where it shouldn’t.
Take heart, though: your leaky fixture is unlikely to be caused by anything more complicated than a worn gasket or loose component. Take a look, and be sure to nip that leak in the bud.
3. Hard Water Buildup
If you live in an area with hard water, you’ve no doubt run into issues removing the buildup that can occur. Because hard water leaves behind a small number of minerals (limestone, calcium, and magnesium carbonates are common culprits), you’ll have to work a little harder to get your bathroom clean than do folks who live in soft water areas.
To remove hard water build-up from a showerhead, you can mix an equal ratio of white vinegar and hot water in a plastic bag, then use a strong rubber band to tie the bag closed around the showerhead. Leave this mixture to soak for at least a few hours, though leaving it overnight may be best for severely clogged showerheads. Run the shower on hot for several minutes after the soak, and repeat the soaking process if needed.
To remove hard water buildup from glass shower doors, you can turn to vinegar and water yet again; sponge the mixture generously onto the glass, let it sit for a few hours, then get scrubbing! Your shower door should be now film-free and sparkling.
If you discover that some of your hard water stains are more stubborn, a gentle, inexpensive chemical remedy like Barkeeper’s Friend should do the trick. Just make sure to wear gloves and keep all corrosive chemicals away from skin and eyes.
4. Loose Toilet Seats
This issue ranges from mildly annoying to flat-out dangerous, so it’s important to fix it before someone gets hurt. If you’ve already tried tightening the nuts without success, there’s still one quick fix you can try.
Head to a local hardware store and pick up a toilet seat tightening kit. It shouldn’t cost more than ten dollars and will include a tool that will help you add washers to keep the bolts themselves secure.
5. Dirty Ventilation Systems
Even if your bathroom does have a properly installed, adequate ventilation system, it won’t work effectively if it isn’t kept clean. Clear away dust from the vent cover as often as you dust the rest of your home, and open the vents up for a thorough cleaning once or twice a year.
Every so often, you may notice that your ventilation system still isn’t working as well as it once did; at that point, it’s a good idea to hire a professional to give the whole system a true deep cleaning. Doing so will only set you back about $300, and the resulting reduction in moisture is essential for the long-term maintenance of your bathroom.
We hope this guide gives you the confidence you need to take care of these 5 common bathroom problems. Remember, you aren’t stuck between living with the annoyance and shelling out $175 for a professional diagnosis!
As a homeowner, you’ll find that there are a good number of household repairs that you can handle on your own; if you can follow instructions and aren’t afraid to break a sweat, you’re already most of the way there.