If your vacuum cleaner is underperforming (read: not able to pick up even a hint of dirt), you might be tempted to just chuck the thing and buy a new one. Especially if, like me, your vac is a hand-me-down upright from...well, who knows when. But before you justify a Dyson purchase, check to see if your current vacuum cleaner's belts are in working order.
You'll want to unplug the thing -- as if I need to remind you, but just in case -- and turn it over. Remove the tiny screws holding the bottom plastic casing in place. You should see the belt immediately. If it's broken, you'll immediately be able to tell. It'll either be limply hanging there, or cracked. While you're there, you might as well cut off any hair, threads or any other debris wound around the cleaning brush. This is your cue to note your vacuum cleaner manufacturer and model (this is usually inelegantly written on the bag cover) and head to your local home improvement store. Certain department stores, like Sears or Target, will also have a small selection of belts. If completely clueless, just bring the broken belt and ask a helpful clerk for direction.
Once home, stretch the belt in place and replace the bottom case. Then, plug in the vac, turn it on and keep your fingers crossed. You should find that suction has been restored. Congratulations.
For a more, shall we say, technically-detailed approach to this repair, watch the video above. It's not glamorous, but hey, we're talking about vacuum cleaner repair.
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Nailing Down Squeaky Floorboards
We all have that one room with that one specific spot that we know will squeak every single time we walk over it. Stop walking on eggshells and put an end to the noise. After you locate where the floor joints are, mark it with a nail. Then, cut a slit in the carpeting (carefully) and run the screw in. For more details and tips, <a href="http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,203171,00.html" target="_blank">head on over to This Old House</a>.
Cleaning Out Funky-Smelling Washing Machines
After several rounds of washing laundry, our machine's might start to reek of an unappealing odor. To remove this smell (and ensure that it continues to run smoothly,) all you need to do is empty out the machine's contents and run it on a regular cycle using a washing machine cleaning solution (<a href="http://www.tide.com/en-US/product/tide-washing-machine-cleaner.jspx" target="_blank">Tide has a great product for this.</a>)
Re-Painting Faded Wall Trims
Part of what makes painting so tedious is the amount of preparation that goes into the project. But delegating this task to the weekend is efficient, less stressful and an all around strategic plan of attack. But before you start painting, be sure to lay down plastic sheeting or drop cloths to protect your floors, open and mix your paints advance to avoid spills and always work on your walls from the top down. For more useful tips on how to paint a room correctly, check out <a href="http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to-paint-a-room/index.html" target="_blank">Do-It-Yourself Network's step-by-step tutorial</a>.
Steadying Wobbly Chairs
Stop balancing your chair on a precisely folded magazine or piece of cardboard so that it will stop wobbling, and fix it for good. First, figure out what is causing the chair to be unbalanced. If the problem is caused simply by a loose joint, you can easily remove the piece and reglue it in place. Make sure to use a clamp to hold the glue as it dries. For other types of chairs, the problem might lie within the screw, and in that case, you will need to retighten it to fix the issue. For more information, head over to <a href="http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to-fix-a-wobbly-chair/" target="_blank">Do-It-Yourself Network's tutorial</a>.
Smoothing Concrete Driveway Cracks
If you're tired of seeing cracks on your concrete driveway or sidewalk, it's probably high time to fill it up. First, clean the cracks out by chiseling any residual debris using a brush and vacuum. Once it's smooth, take your concrete filler and inject the substance into open cavities, evening it out afterwards with a trowel. For more in-depth information on sealing a concrete crack, head over to <a href="http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to-repair-concrete-cracks/index.html" target="_blank">Do-It-Yourself Network's tutorial</a>.
Cleaning Dirty Windows
Now that spring's here it's time to open up our curtains and let some more light in. And to maximize the amount that filters in, you'll need to thoroughly clean your windows. To do this as efficiently as possible, we looked to Martha Stewart for some helpful tips. Watch the accompanying video where she walks us through this project step-by-step.
Patching Up Holes In The Wall
<span style="text-decoration:underline;"></span>Whether you tried your hand at installing a wall shelf or simply inherited a space riddled with holes, your home might need some re-patching. Watch the accompanying video to learn the best way to complete this DIY project.