Filed Under: Do it yourself, Home repair, Remodeling    by: ITC

Plasterboard is a sandwich of gypsum plaster held between two layers of thick paper. You can plaster lower it, paint or paper it to match other walls. It is ideal for cladding a timber framed partition, the panels being simply nailed in place.

Always handle pasterboard carefully; it is easily broken. If you intend plasteringit, fit the gray side outermost, but if you want to paint or paper over it leave the ivory colored side showing.

Fix all the full size panels to the framework first then the smaller pieces, completing one side at a time. If the partition does not span the rppm filly, work from the outer end towards the wall.

To cut plasterboard, use a sharp knife and steel straightedge; after cutting through one side, stand the board on edge and snap it back to break the plaster. Cut through the remaining paper layer. For right-angle cuts mark both sides of the panel and cut through from both sides. Trim full panels to measure about 1 in less than the floor-to-ceiling height; this will allow you to push them up tight against the ceiling with a “footlifter” before nailing.

Fix the board to the frame, using 11/4in galvanized plasterboard nails or screws, spacing them at 6in intervals and working outwards from the center of the panel. Keep the fixings at least 11/2in from the edge of the panel to prevent them from breaking the edge. Drive the nails or screws in so that their heads come just below the surface. This is enough to allow for a thin skim of filler.

To fill the joints, apply a layer of proprietary joint filler then press in a length of paper or fiberglass jointing tape. Apply more filler up to the level of the surrounding plasterboard, feathering the edges with a damp sponge. When dry, apply one or two thin layers of joint finish, again feathering the edges.

Home Repair Tips – Preparing Walls for Paint

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Home repair, Redecorating    by: ITC

Applying the paint is the smallest part of a paint job. The real work is in preparing the surface and cleaning up afterward. Before you begin to paint:

• Wash the surface

• Remove any fixtures

• Fill depressions

• Sand smooth

• Prime the surface

First, protect furniture, floors, or shrubs with drop cloths. Knock loose dirt and paint off exterior walls with a high pressure hose. Remove all flaking paint with a scraper or a wire brush.

Interior walls that are already painted are usually washed with trisodium phosphate (TSP) and a stiff brush. TSP is a caustic powder that must be mixed with water (one tablespoonful to a gallon of water). Be sure to wear rubber gloves. TSP removes skin almost as fast as. it removes dirt and grease from old paint. Then rinse the walls with water and dry completely.

Fixtures are removed to make it easier to paint and to keep from getting paint on the fixtures. Remove switch plates only after the wall has been washed. After the switch plates are removed, you may find dirty rings on the wall. This should be carefully wiped off. Wring your sponge as dry as possible.

Most walls have cracks, nail holes, or dents. Fill them with wood putty,’ spackling compound, or another fill, depending on the material the wall is made of. Before applying spackle, wet the area. Build up the patch slightly above the wall. When it is dry, sand the patch until it is even with the rest of the wall. Old painted wood must be sanded smooth.

The final step, priming, prepares the surface for paint. Prime patches and seal wood knots with shellac or sealer. Use primer over new wood because new wood absorbs paint like a sponge.

Everything must be thoroughly dry before you begin to paint. There is a lot of work in preparing to paint.

Build up patches above the surface. Let them dry, and sand the patch flush with the surface.

Home Repair Tips – Sink and Basin Traps

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Home repair, Plumbing, Remodeling    by: ITC

When you look at the gooseneck shape of the trap under a sink or basin, it looks as if someone put it there to catch dirt and clog the drain line. It does trap everything from hair to wristwatches. But the real purpose of the trap is to keep sewer gas and germs from getting back into the house. Water runs through the trap, but there is always enough left behind in the bottom of the trap to make an airtight seal.

There are four basic ways to clear a clogged trap:

• With a plunger

• With a small plumber’s snake

• By removing the cleanout plug if the trap has one

• By removing the trap

The best and safest way of clearing a trap is with a plunger. Chemicals sometimes work, but when they don’t, you have a trap full of a toxic and dangerous substance besides

Every plumbing fixture—sink, basin, bathtub, toilet and floor drain—has a trap. The trap prevents sewer gas and germs from entering the home. a clogged drain. If the sink has an overflow, as most bathroom basins do, you will have to cover the overflow with a sponge or a rag while you are plunging. Double sinks or laundry basins present a similar problem. Water will be forced through the sink you are not plunging. Where a plunger won’t work, a plumber’s snake will sometimes clear the drain. Turn the crank to work it around bends in the pipe.

To use a plunger put a little petroleum jelly around the force cup to make a tighter seal. Place the plunger over the clogged drain and run two or three inches of water into the sink. Press down firmly on the plunger. As you pull up, a vacuum is created to loosen the clog. If the plunger doesn’t work, try a plumber’s snake (auger).

Every plumbing fixture—sink, basin, bathtub, toilet and floor drain—has a trap. The trap prevents sewer gas and germs from entering the home.

Some traps have a cleanout plug. Put a pail under the trap and remove the plug. Use a piece of stiff wire to clean out the trap. Replace the washer and plug. If that doesn’t work or if there is no cleanout plug, remove the trap. An old trap may be corroded or even fall apart when you remove it. Replace it with a plastic lasts longer, and is less expensive. If the trap is still usable, run a wire through to clear it.

A little petroleum jelly will help the ends go back together. Tighten the slip nuts by hand and then slightly more with a wrench. Run some water through to make sure there are no leaks.

A trap with a cleanout plug is fairly easy to clean. Use a piece of wire to break the clog.

Double sinks are connected to the same drain. This may also be true when sinks are back-to-back with a wall between. It is useless to plunge one without blocking the other. One solution may be a plumber’s snake (auger).

To remove a trap, put a pail or pan under the trap. Loosen the slip nuts and pull the trap loose. If the trap is not clogged, the problem is farther down the line. Run an auger through the pipe that enters the wall.