Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford

Outdoor Projects for Your Home

By: Danny Lipford
In categories: Concrete and Masonry, Painting & Finishing, plumbing, Repairs and Installation, Today's Homeowner

Danny Lipford

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Spring is a great time to get outdoors and take care of all those nagging repair jobs around your home. From fixing outdoor faucets and pressure washing your home to repairing an asphalt or concrete driveway, we’ve got you covered!

Dripping Outdoor Spigot

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A dripping outdoor faucet can waste thousands of gallons of water. To stop a faucet from dripping, use adjustable pliers to tighten the packing nut behind the handle 1/8 to 1/4 turn.

Repairing a dripping outdoor faucet

Tightening the packing nut on an outdoor spigot can often stop a drip.

If the spigot still drips, it’s time to replace the faucet washer:

  • Turn off the water supply to the faucet.
  • Unscrew the packing nut and remove the handle and valve stem.
  • Use a screwdriver to take out the screw on the valve stem holding the washer in place.
  • Remove the old washer and replace it with a new one of the same diameter and thickness.
  • Insert the valve stem back in the faucet, and tighten up the packing nut.
  • Turn the water back on and test the faucet for leaks.
Pressure washing siding on a house

Be careful not to damage siding and other surfaces when using a pressure washer.

Cleaning with a Pressure Washer

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Pressure washers, such as those from Generac, are great for cleaning your home; but if you’re not careful, they can damage softer surfaces, so follow these tips:

  • Use a wider nozzle on softer surfaces like wood to spread out the spray and reduce the chance of damage.
  • Experiment with the distance between the nozzle and surface until you find the optimal cleaning range.
  • Move the wand with the grain on wood to avoid splintering.
  • Use a cleaner made for use with pressure washers, and the nozzle designed to apply cleaner.
  • Avoid using chlorine bleach in a pressure washer. If you must use bleach, use an oxygen bleach instead.
  • For large horizontal areas, consider using a pressure washer surface cleaner attachment for better results.

Prime Before Painting

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Prime with a product like Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Plus Primer from Zinsser before painting to:

  • Seal bare wood and other surfaces.
  • Allow the topcoats of paint to adhere properly.
  • Prevent peeling, flaking, or blistering.
  • Block stains from bleeding through the paint.
Tamping down asphalt repair material in a driveway

Tamping down asphalt repair material in a driveway.

Patch Hole in Asphalt Driveway

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Asphalt driveways can develop holes and damaged edges over time. To repair an asphalt driveway:

  • Remove any loose asphalt and other debris.
  • Take out any roots.
  • Cut out any damage around the hole using a circular saw and masonry blade.
  • Remove any loose dirt in the hole.
  • Use a board as a form on edge repairs.
  • Add a base layer of crushed limestone or gravel.
  • Fill hole with asphalt repair material, such as Quikrete Blacktop Patch.
  • Even out and tamp down the asphalt repair material in the hole.
  • Place a sheet of plywood on the patch, and drive a car over it to further compact the patch.

To prevent holes in an asphalt driveway from forming, repair cracks and seal an asphalt driveway when it becomes worn.

Filling a crack in a concrete driveway with concrete repair caulk

Filling a crack in a concrete driveway with concrete repair caulk.

Repair Crack in Concrete Driveway

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Repair cracks in concrete driveways to keep rainwater from eroding the soil under the concrete and causing the driveway to settle. To repair a crack in concrete:

  • Use a screwdriver, followed by a wire brush, to remove any debris from the crack.
  • Clean out the crack with a whisk broom or leaf blower.
  • On wider cracks, press foam backer rod down into the crack.
  • Apply a concrete repair caulk, such as Polyurethane Concrete Crack Sealant from Quikrete.
Repairing concrete on steps with concrete resurfacer

Repairing concrete on steps with concrete resurfacer.

Repair Concrete Steps

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Concrete steps can become damaged over time. To repair concrete steps:

  • Rough up damaged surfaces and remove loose concrete using a chisel and wire brush.
  • Make wood forms to support the concrete patching material while drying.
  • Clean the surface to remove any debris and dust.
  • Mask any surfaces you don’t want concrete on.
  • Apply concrete patching compound, with added concrete acrylic fortifier to increase bonding.
  • Apply concrete resurfacer to the top of the steps.
  • Smooth the concrete and use a brush to add texture to prevent slipping.

Watch Videos from This Episode

Other Tips from This Episode

Pulling nail

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Nail Pulling Tip

To pull out finishing nails or nails with broken heads, place a block of wood next to the nail, position the nail puller on a hammer around the nail, clamp a pair of locking pliers on the nail to keep the hammer from slipping, and pull out the nail.

Scotts Nature Scapes Mulch

Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Scotts Nature Scapes Mulch

Adding mulch to your garden is a great way to prevent weeds and hold in moisture. Scotts Nature Scapes mulch does both and is guaranteed to keep its color for one year. Scotts Nature Scapes mulch is available at The Home Depot.

Eco-Friendly Bamboo Products

Thinking Green with Danny Lipford:
Eco-Friendly Bamboo Products

Bamboo is a sustainable material that grows rapidly and can be used for everything from flooring to clothing. But be sure to look at all the processes used to make a bamboo product, including glues and chemicals, as well as the effect of harvesting on surrounding land.

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