REPAIRS YOU CAN DIY BEFORE CALLING A HANDYPERSON
DIY With Emma
Meet Emma Downer, DIY educator and founder of DIY With Emma. After a burst pipe left her with an eye-watering bill from a tradesperson, and a defeated sense of "I could have done that If I had known how to find it", she decided to learn the basics of home repair, and become a role model for people who are new to DIY. Now she's empowering thousands of people with super useful hacks and how-tos around the home, across social media!
Scroll below to pick up a few practical skills for fixing around the home with Sugru Mouldable Glue, from the fixing extraordinaire herself. 👇
How to fix your guttering
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There are many home repairs that are achievable without needing to call upon your local handyperson. So, if you need to save money and time, reduce waste, or you just want an opportunity to build up your DIY skill set, then here's the ultimate how-to guide for repairing a leaking gutter.
Dripping guttering can be a real nuisance and prevents water from travelling away from your house correctly. Sometimes overflowing water is caused by build-up of debris, so it can be a good idea to clean the guttering first.
Most leaks are caused by one of three things:
- Loose pipework
- Failing joints
- Cracked or chipped pipes
This guide will show you a simple repair for each of these issues. You'll need are a stepladder, a wet cloth and some Sugru Mouldable Glue.
This downpipe was loose and falling out of the gutter outlet. The clips that normally connect the pipe to the wall and stop it moving were old and no longer holding it in place. Rather than call a tradesperson to complete this minor job, you can use Sugru to keep the pipe in place. Once you've cleaned the area with a wet cloth and let it dry, add Sugru around the rim of the pipe, pressing it into the gap with your thumb.
Push the loose pipe upwards into the gutter outlet by hand, until the excess Sugru squeezes out, and the pipe is secured in place.
Remove the excess Sugru with the remover tool, which can be found in all 3 Sugru Kits. It's normally used to remove already set Sugru, but is also very useful for smoothing surfaces and removing any excess Sugru as you go.
To keep the downpipe it its new position, you can use something to support it from the bottom, like a rock. Remove the supporting object when the Sugru has fully set.
Once the Sugru has set, the pipe should no longer be falling out.
Heads up: Sugru sets in 12-24 hours, however in load bearing applications, and where Sugru is squashed between two surfaces, it is recommended to leave Sugru to set for up to 48 hours. Colder temperatures increase the setting time, so leave Sugru to set for longer if you need to.
Fixing leaking joints
A leaking gutter outlet can happen when the rubber seal inside the gutter outlet joint gets old and starts to fail, allowing the draining water to escape.
Start off by cleaning the area with a wet cloth, to remove any dirt or debris. Then let it dry.
Apply Sugru onto the joint, pushing slightly into the gap and smoothing out the surface with your finger, so that the Sugru is sticking to, and is flush with both sides of the joint. Ensure there are no gaps or shadows between the Sugru and the surface of the gutter outlet.
Once the Sugru has fully set, check that the leak has been repaired by pouring some water into the gutter. You can do this with a watering can.
Fixing cracks and chips
Sometimes waste water pipes get cracks in them. To fix a crack, start by making sure the area is clean, removing any dirt with a wet cloth. Then let the area dry.
Apply one piece of Sugru in a colour that matches your pipework. Smoothing out the shape with your thumb until the hole is covered.
Allow the Sugru to fully set, avoiding using the waste water pipe until it has done so. Then you're good to go!
This gutter hopper was also chipped after something heavy fell on it, leaving a huge hole. The missing piece was rebuilt with Sugru, meaning the hopper was saved!
Top tip: To get a smooth finish, try wetting your finger with some soapy water and rub the surface of the Sugru.
Easy home fixes from DIY With Emma
Fix your sink
Sugru is a great way to repair a chip or crack in a sink, toilet or bathtub. Take this old Victorian Butler's sink that has a large chip in the side, for example.
You can mix Sugru colours to reach the perfect shade for an invisible repair. Find out all you need to know about colour mixing here: How to mix Sugru colours.
Once you're happy with your Sugru shade, press the Sugru into the crack, using as much as you need to fill it in. Blend the Sugru along the edges so that it is flush with the surface of the sink, ensuring there are no gaps or shadows.
You can use the soapy water trick to get a super smooth finish on your Sugru.
And there you have it! No need to buy a new sink, when you can fix it yourself.
Repair your home tools
This broom needed a pair of pliers to fix the head back onto the stick. But if you don't have the right tool, you don't always need to go out and buy a new one just for one job. If you've got Sugru to hand, this'll work perfectly.
Once you've opened a pack of Sugru, you've got 30 minutes to mould, stick, shape and perfect your repair.
Sugru has 10 playful colours to choose from, so a Sugru repair in a matching colour, means you'll hardly notice it's been fixed! Or you can embrace the repair with a pop of colour, using a contrasting shade.
The little things
Sugru's brilliant for all sorts of repair, big and small. That's what makes it so useful to have around. Watch DIY With Emma fix and hack the little things that can make a big difference around the home.
Did you know Sugru is waterproof, weather-proof, UV resistant, and all good in temperatures up to 180˚C and down to -40˚C? It's what makes it such a versatile glue for both indoors and outdoors too. Watch DIY With Emma work her magic in the garden. 🌳
Rebuild missing parts
Did you know that you can use Sugru to rebuild missing pieces, like knobs or handles on home appliances?
This range cooker was missing the screw needed to turn the knob. So it was rebuilt with a small piece of black Sugru, to match the colour of the cooker.
You can use Sugru to repair cracks or replace broken parts in a range of white goods like fridges and dishwashers.
That means you don't have to rely on sourcing spare parts from manufacturers. Happy days!
Inspired to do your own home repairs?
More repair and DIY around the home
Remove calcium buildup
Water pressure in the shower not what it used to be? It might be due to calcium buildup in your shower head. Our friends from the iFixit community have a repair guide to help you remove the calcium buildup. Take a look. 👀
DIY tips with Jo
TV presenter, author, columnist and entrepreneur Jo Behari's got the home DIY know-how. Read about her handy home improvement tips, or watch her catching up with Sugru founder Jane in our Who Gives A Fix? series, where they discuss must-have tools and empowering women to DIY. Tap the links below.
You inspire us
Sugru-er Deborah showed us just how she got her stove in working order again with Sugru.
"My Viking stove had seen its better years. I inherited the stove with much of the lettering missing, and it always pained me to see it faded. But Sugru allowed me to revive the stove so it looks brand new!"
Being the DIY superhero that she is, Deborah pressed some black Sugru into the faded lettering areas using a popsicle stick, and wiping away any excess with a dry paper towel. After a quick and gentle clean with a magic eraser, her stove was refreshed and ready for plenty more years in action!