Five Easy Home Repair Fixes

Allen Lyle and Madison Faust standing by repaired and painted mailbox.
Allen Lyle and assistant Madison Faust work on repairing mailbox.

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We’re making five common repairs to homeowner Michelle Thomas’s house, to put it in good shape again.

Fix #1: Curtain Rod Repair

When hanging curtain rods, it’s best to use a stud finder to locate the wall studs above the window and attach the curtain rods directly into wall studs.

To attach curtain rods to walls where studs aren’t present, drill holes through the drywall and use toggle or molly bolts to attach the curtain rod brackets to the wall.

Read our article on How to Hang Anything on Anything to find out more.

Fix #2: Peeling Ceiling Paint

Danny Lipford applying drywall joint compound to ceiling.
Danny Lipford repairing ceiling.

Peeling ceiling paint is usually the result of a roof leak. Start by carefully examining the roof above the leak, paying particular attention to any flashing where the roof meets a wall or around a chimney.

Caulk any cracks or gaps in the roofing or flashing with roof repair caulk or roofing cement, and nail any loose flashing securely down.

Also, be sure to caulk around windows to prevent water from running between the casing and siding.

Watch our videos on How to Repair Chimney Roof Flashing and our article on Caulking Around Windows and Doors to find out more.

Once the roof leak has been fixed, scrape off any peeling paint, apply joint compound to level the ceiling, sand the joint compound smooth, prime, and paint.

Fix #3: Running Toilet Repair

A running toilet is usually caused by a faulty fill valve mechanism or a warped flapper valve. If the toilet tank refills periodically when it hasn’t been flushed, the problem can usually be solved by replacing the rubber flapper valve at the bottom of the tank.

If the toilet runs all the time, the problem is either:

  • A flapper valve that’s stuck open.
  • The water level in the tank is set to high.
  • A faulty fill valve mechanism.
Replacing a toilet fill valve mechanism.
Replacing a toilet fill valve mechanism.

To replace a faulty fill valve, start by turning off the water and draining the tank. Next, remove the water supply line and defective fill valve mechanism. Install the new fill valve, reattach the water line, fill the tank, and check to make sure the water level in the tank is below the overflow tube when the tank is full.

Watch our video on How to Repair a Toilet to find out more.

Fix #4: Door Hinge Repair

When a door won’t close properly, the problem is often in the depth of the hinge mortises or loose hinges screws.

If the hinge mortise was cut too deep, remove the hinge, insert a wood shim in the mortise, and reattach the hinge. If the mortise isn’t deep enough, use a hammer and chisel to cut it deeper.

If the hinge screw holes in the door or casing are wallowed out, fill the hole with auto body filler or use longer screws to pull the hinge up tight.

If the door still hits the frame, use a hand or motorized plane or a belt sander to remove excess stock from edge of the door.

To find out more, watch our videos on:

Fix #5: Mailbox Repair

Mailbox before repair.
Mailbox before repair.

Our final fix was to repair a rusty mailbox that didn’t close properly.

The mailbox door had been attached to the inside of the mailbox, rather than the outside. Removing the door and repositioning it, had the mailbox door closing again in no time.

The mailbox was then painted with a rust proofing spray paint to make it look as good as new.

Read our articles on How to Paint Anything Outside and Curbside Mailbox Requirements to find out more.

Other Tips from This Episode

Hinge pin sandpaper and oil

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Fixing Squeaky Door Hinges

To stop squeaks in door hinges, use a hammer and nail or nail set to tap the hinge pin out from the bottom. Wipe the pin off with a cotton cloth to remove any dirt, grease, or grime. Sand the hinge pin lightly with medium (120 grit) sandpaper to remove any rust. Apply machine oil to the pin, then tap it back into the hinge. (Watch Video)

Ryobi Ultimate Combo Kit

Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Ryobi Ultimate Combo Kit

The Ryobi ONE+ cordless Ultimate Combo Kit is perfect for tackling almost any home improvement project. The kit includes a cordless drill, impact driver, reciprocating saw, circular saw, multi-purpose tool, flashlight, two 18-volt lithium-ion batteries, charger, and carrying case. The Ryobi Ultimate Combo Kit is available at The Home Depot. (Watch Video)

Anti-Sag Gate Repair Kit

Ask Danny Lipford:
Sagging Gate Repair

To repair a sagging gate, purchase and install an anti-sag gate kit, which comes complete with metal corner brackets, steel cable, and a turnbuckle. Attach the kit diagonally to the top of the hinge side of the gate and bottom of the latch side, then tighten the turnbuckle to remove the sag. (Watch Video)


  1. Danny, I normally watch your show every Sunday morning right after “Face the Nation.” I have several rental homes, so I’m always doing some kind of repair and have a good handle of how to make everyday repairs. Today’s show enlightened me on two nagging repairs I’ve struggled with in the past, and never came up with just the right solution. I’m doing a house right now that has both problems, so I intend to try both: a sagging deck gate and a door that doesn’t close properly because of a tight fitting corner. Thankful so much – love your show.

  2. Your last episode featured an outdoor cleaner that you sprayed on and then rinsed off. What was the name of that product and where can I buy it? I went to the Home Depot and asked but they had no idea what I was talking about.

    • Marty,
      That would probably have been Wet & Forget, which is used to kill mold and mildew on exterior surface. You don’t rinse it off, but allow it to dry on the surface.


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