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The Honey Do List: Here comes the sun

It’s coming. I can feel it in my bones. Well, not really. What I really feel as I write this is cold and damp, because it’s 30 degrees in April.

But, just as sure as there are cows in Texas, warmer temps and dryer days are practically here.

A big part of spring is “spring cleaning,” and that means opening the windows and doors and letting the fresh air and sunshine flow through the house. Modern homes are built to be well insulated and free of drafts. This, in turn, means that stuff doesn’t get out like it should.

Over the winter, things like dust, dirt, mildew, pet dander and pollutants from products we use on a daily basis can really build up inside our homes. Even the “cleanest” of homes are subject to dust and waste. When you replace your air filter on your central air return, how much dust do you find? And how much do you think stays trapped inside? It kind of chokes you up just thinking about it, doesn’t it?

Before you can let the fresh air in, you have to make sure the critters (such as flies, mosquitoes and wasps) can’t get in with it. Repairing, or replacing, door and window screens is a great place to start.

To repair the screen, start by first measuring any holes or tears. Holes that are a quarter of an inch or less can be patched with a little dab of nail polish, clear glue or an adhesive such as rubber cement. After the glue is applied and hardens, it forms a seal that keeps out little intruders.

If the hole is bigger, you can make a patch. If you have an old window or door screen sitting around somewhere, you can cut out a patch from it. If not, your local True Value® hardware store will have replacement screening and screen patches available for purchase.

Cut a square patch that is one to two inches larger than the hole, using a utility knife or shears. For aluminum screens, unravel about six strands on all four edges of the patch, leaving single strands sticking out along each edge. Overlay the patch on the damaged area and weave the loose strands through the screen; then bend the strands on the other side to secure the patch to the screen. Use needle-nose pliers to maneuver and bend the wires.

For fiberglass screens, you can use a self-adhesive patch. Once the patch is on, you can then add a touch of nail polish or clear adhesive for even more stability.

If the hole is bigger than the bottom of a coffee mug or something equivalent in size, you’re better off replacing the whole screen. We’ll talk about that next week. Maybe, by then, spring will be here. That is, unless all the cows walked out of Texas yesterday.

Remember, help is just around the corner at your local hardware store.

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