Daily Express

My do-it-yourself guide to surviving lockdown AND improving your home


GIVEN we’ve all got a bit more time at home at the moment, I’ll be sharing simple DIY fixes and projects that can improve your surroundin­gs and give you something fun to do to pass the time while we’re still locked down.

Quite simply, I want to help you fix something that’s been annoying you for ages – while saving you the cost of getting someone in to do it.

DIY can be fun and, with my help, you’ll be painting, drilling and creating like a profession­al.

For more help and inspiratio­n, head to my YouTube channel ‘Martin Roberts Property Titbits’ where you’ll find all sorts of property purchase, investment and renovation advice plus step by step DIY project ideas, DIY Hacks and quick fixes. Plus, there’s a whole section dedicated to DIY ideas for kids that will teach them basic skills and show them how to build things like a bike jump, a swing ball and a funky bedroom light for themselves.

DIY has become a lost art but, by encouragin­g you and your kids to have a go, I hope to reverse that trend.

I’m not suggesting you’ll be up on the roof replacing tiles or fitting out a bathroom or kitchen – for some jobs like electrics and gas work you MUST call in the profession­als – but there are oodles of simple DIY tasks that you will find are well within your capabiliti­es.

Safety is paramount, so be careful when using ladders (the No. 1 cause of DIY accidents) and power tools (the No. 2 cause of DIY accidents) and do wear safety glasses, gloves and a dust mask when necessary.

But you will be surprised by what you can achieve with my help – plus you’ll have all the mental wellbeing benefits and satisfacti­on from seeing a job that’s bugged you jobbed!


Mouldy sealant in your bathroom or kitchen looks terrible and could easily be leaking water where it can’t be seen but where it can do major damage. Nip the issue in the bud by replacing mangy old silicone with sparkly new.


Remove the old sealant. This is a tedious job, but you need to get all the old stuff properly out. You can buy products that dissolve sealant, but there’s no real substitute for scraping and cutting it out with a small, sharp knife or scraper.

STEP 2 Thoroughly clean the area with white spirit, not water, to remove all residue, then clean up with a dry cloth. STEP 3

Pick the correct type of sealant for the job. They generally come in long, plastic tubes and look similar, but are often very different. First there is a choice of colours – white, cream or clear are the most common, but you can get darker colours. Choose sealants that are suitable for the area of intended use. Bathroom ones will contain extra mould inhibitor. You’ll need an applicator “gun” that the plastic tubes fit into, but these only cost a few pounds and can be used time and again.

Cut the plastic tube nozzle so the hole is around 5mm in diameter. Gently squeeze the applicator gun which will force the sealant out of the nozzle and into the gap you’re filling. Try to apply in one long squirt and ideally in a straight line, but don’t worry too much as you can tidy up any mess afterwards. You need to allow a 2-3mm overlap from either side of the gap to help adhesion.


Use either a special profiling scraper or a bit of plastic cut from a bottle to run down the length of the bead of sealant, clearing away any excess and creating a rounded, bulging outwards (convex) profile. Clean any spills or mistakes with a tissue before it dries.


If you’re sealing around a bath, fill the bath with cold water and leave full until the sealant has fully cured (usually 24 hours). This will stop the newly filled gap splitting when you use the bath in the future.


●●For more inspiratio­nal DIY ideas and practical advice on projects for adults and children, head to “Martin Roberts Property Titbits” onYouTube or for more general, property-related advice visit www.martinrobe­rts.co.uk

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