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Copyright Mackenzie Hughes 2020
Welcome to the second blog in our 3-part series on DIY projects for your Edinburgh home during Lockdown. Last week we focused on the exterior of your property including the roof, drains and repointing your brick or stone walls. If you missed part 1 you can read it by clicking on the link here. The other news is, according to the Scottish Government’s recent announcement about easing lockdown restrictions, that garden centres may join the list of retailers in reopening after the 28th May. With that in mind let us leave your garden DIY project until next week and instead focus on the interior of your home with some handy tips from Edinburgh builder and restoration specialist Mackenzie Hughes.
Unless you are a key worker you no doubt have some time on your hands during lockdown and may have noticed some things about the interior of your home that could do with a bit of TLC. For instance, the doors may now more beige than white and the tiles around the shower have seen better days. By now you may be starting to feel that you’ve neglected your home maintenance for a while because you’ve been so busy but, don’t despair – things may not be as labour intensive as they seem. We may not have our own personal Mary Poppins to smarten things up with a snap of the fingers, but we can take this piece of advice from her and ‘start at the very beginning…it’s a very good place to start.’ And the very beginning is about making a list.
Giving your home a proper deep clean will give it a new lease of life. Here are some key areas to pay particular attention to:
Black mould can gather on the window where the glass pane meets the frame and if spotted should be removed, preferably with white vinegar. If preferred, you can dilute the vinegar with a ratio of 2 parts vinegar to 1 part water. In either case fill a spray gun with the liquid, spray onto the affected area and leave for 30 minutes before wiping off with a cloth. For health reasons wear gloves when carrying out this task protect yourself from spores with eyewear, long rubber gloves and a mask that covers your nose and mouth. Remember to open the windows for ventilation and keep doors closed to prevent spores from spreading to other parts of your home. When you have finished dispose of any rags or cloths in the bin and wash your clothes to remove any stray spores. This may sound overly dramatic, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Please note you can also use a solution of bleach and water rather than vinegar, but remember that bleach is an irritant, so be careful not to get it on your skin.
If you spot black mould around your bath or shower, follow the same procedure as for your windows and remember – safety first.
Now that you have deep cleaned your home those dull skirtings and doors will much brighter and you may be able to put off the painting for the time being to focus on the other key tasks. So, whittle your list down to what needs done now and put them in order of priority with 1, 2, 3 and so on. Here are some of the tasks you may be left with.
Remember the hinges? Well now is the time to deal with them. If you have squeaky hinges resist the urge to coat them in a lubricant such as WD-40 which can turn the hinge pin black over time and is messy to use (as is oil). Instead rub a little Vaseline petroleum jelly into the hinge which will solve your squeak in no time.
If your bath or shower sealant is damaged, you will need to replace it to avoid water leaking down behind. It’s not a difficult job, but it does take time and patience as you will have to remove the old seal before adding the new one. You can buy sealant from most DIY stores and you will need the application gun which goes with it. Here is a handy little video on how to reseal your bath or shower which covers all the points you will need to know.
If you don’t already have one, an annual maintenance agreement with a reputable Gas Safe registered boiler engineer is a good investment and can save you a small fortune by extending the lifespan of your central heating system. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your central heating is working as efficiently and it’s better to take care of it now while the warmer is here rather than wait until winter when you need it most.
We hope these home maintenance tips prove useful and if you have any questions please contact Mackenzie Hughes for details. Keep a look out for the final part of our DIY home maintenance blog which will be on preparing your garden or outdoor space for summer. Until then, stay safe.