Help! Household Woes Edition

November 29, 2009

Although I adore our home, keeping it up is a never-ending list of chores and difficulties. The following items are just three examples of obstacles we are facing. Anyone have any good suggestions?

1. The Broken Key


The key to our back door broke off in the lock, and we tried long and hard to remove it without success. We don’t want to have to replace the whole thing, so I’m looking for bright ideas of how to get that sucker out. After two weeks, the dogs still scratch at this door to be let out; they haven’t caught on that we have to go through the laundry room now.

2. The Mysterious Drips


Drips and streaks like the ones in this picture (if you can see them) can be found on every wall of our bathroom. They are a rusty color and feel kind of greasy. The drips are activated after long showers. We know there isn’t a leak, and we also know that the wrong kind of paint was used in this room. Any clue as to what’s causing this eyesore? We don’t want to repaint if they are only going to come back.

3. The Disappearing Windowsills


This is one of three windowsills that has been almost completely eaten away by our dog(s). Okay, it was Cleo. So we know what the problem is, but my question is, how on earth do we fix this kind of thing? Or make it look presentable without spending a bunch of money? Right now I’m just glad these aren’t at eye level.

Send me a winning suggestion, and I promise to make all your dreams come true. That, or I will write you a haiku. Whatever I feel up to that day.

Posted in: home

Comments on Help! Household Woes Edition

  1. 1

    From kait:

    Oh man. I’m sorry to be of no help– but this is the exact reason I’m renting rather than owning!

    Re: the drips in the bathroom: did the previous owners smoke? It may be nicotine remnants, but that is an absolute long shot.

  2. 2

    From Julienne:

    We had those drips too and it was just from the steam in the bathroom and the little bit of dust and grime that naturally accumulates on walls. We washed down all of our walls and it kept the streaks at bay for a little while.

    The broken key in the lock? Maybe a locksmith could come and you wouldn’t have to replace the whole thing, but that might cost as much as just replacing it.

    And I am no help on the windowsills! Sorry!

  3. 3

    From Scott:

    maybe this will help with the key:

  4. 4

    From Emily Jane:

    Ack! The key reminds me of a situation I had with an old roommate – he was such a mooch he used all my stuff, left my plates and stuff to mold in his gross bedroom, didn’t pay his share of the internet so we got cut off, so when I signed up with another service provider for my computer (in my bedroom) only, and had a lock put on my door, he tried to force a key into the lock just like that, it snapped off and left me unable to get into my own bedroom!! You can buy a new doorknob and key, just unscrew the one you have and it’s pretty easy. You can pick them up at any hardware store :)

    We had those drips in our last apartment too, and some on the ceiling – do you have a fan in your bathroom? That was our problem – it took a bit of scrubbing when we moved out but some cleaning solution, a good arm and some scouring sponges took care of it for us. And keeping the doors/windows open while we used the shower.

    Good luck! :)

  5. 5

    From Brittney:

    Hrm, being as we are new home owners and playing the fun game of “How do I fix whatever that is without tons of cash?” I decided to google ideas! LOL.

    It seems lots of folks with older homes who repainted have found this happens.. It appears to be surfactant leaching:;jsessionid=fSp5KjtGLnXQq0tzb5LPgJJW8xJgnb1Pd9MZyhBsQkHjp0N4Y9kG!1516808341?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=fc_businessresources&np=public_site/articles/learn_how/lh_int_surfactant_leaching

    Super glue extraction method:

    Hrm. They may just need replacing. The previous owners of our house left a window open during a storm and it had a lot of water damage. We were able to break it off, then nab some cheap plywood at Home Depot to nail back in its place. Painted it high gloss white like the rest of the sills and ta-da!

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