Most kids lack the coordination and patience required to carefully navigate their surroundings, resulting in periodic accidents around the home. Things kids break can range wildly in value, from irreplaceable to inconsequential, including those which are essential to the function of your home. Fortunately, many can be repaired to cut down on costs, and depending on your skill level, you may want to attempt some projects yourself before calling for help from a professional. Here are five things kids break that you can likely fix--for the rest, call Mr. Handyman.
1. Your table top
Wooden surfaces such as your dining or living room table, are a favorite for working on art projects or homework assignments. Unfortunately, many of the materials used in these activities, including permanent markers, scissors or paint, can cause permanent damage to table tops; either on top of, or below the surface. There are a number of options for repair, depending on the damage, including the following:
- Minor scratches may be repaired using a wax filler stick, the same color as the table, according to label directions.
- Deeper scratches may require a light sanding and refinishing, and may be best left to a professional.
2. A chair or stool rung
Kids love to stand on chair rungs and if yours should become dislodged or broken, consider these options:
- If the rung has been knocked out, you'll need to lightly sand the end, and remove any old glue from the rung hole. Apply fresh wood glue to both parts, and reinsert, clamping the joint while it dries overnight.
- Try using wood glue to re-secure the broken rung and clamp it until dry. Lightly sand and stain to match the chair.
Slats from your window covering may become bent or broken, and in need of repair. Follow these steps:
- Remove the plug hole on the bottom rail of your blinds.
- Undo the knot on the lift cord and pull it through the routed holes, up to the slat(s) you are replacing.
- Replace the damaged slat(s) and restring the cord, retying a knot at the bottom and replacing the plug, ensuring all rails are hanging straight before completing.
4. A broken window
Baseballs and other hard objects can easily break glass, but while you may be tempted to replace a damaged pane yourself, it's a tricky repair that may be more trouble than it's worth, and best left to a professional. Double-pane windows may require a replacement of the entire window sash.
5. The toilet
Among the most common things kids break are the toilet, in an attempt to flush items such as toys or other objects. You can try plunging if you suspect there is a foreign object lodged in the plumbing, but you'll likely need to use a closet auger, to try to grab the object. If that doesn't work, you may need to remove the toilet from the ground and push or pull the object out:
- Purchase a new wax ring.
- Turn off the water supply, and drain as much water as possible from the toilet by flushing and holding down the handle.
- Remove as much remaining water as you can from tank and bowl using a sponge.
- Disconnect water supply.
- Unbolt the toilet from the floor and gently rock back and forth to remove.
- Tilt the unit and look for the toy, removing it with pliers, your hand, or a closet auger.
- Remove old wax from the bowl and flange, set the new wax ring in place, and reinstall the toilet.
Toilet repairs and installation require some skill and if done incorrectly, can create leaks and damage to flooring and even walls below. For help with any of these projects, or for professional repair, maintenance, or installation services around your home, Contact your local Mr. Handyman or call (877) 256-3376 to talk about your home repair, maintenance and improvement projects.