Tuesday, November 20
DIY

Beware the Cape Doctor

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When south-easter blows, strange noises will pinpoint problems

The south-easter is not my favourite accompaniment in summer. I tend to find it depressing even though it does keep down temperatures, blows away pollution, and makes our favourite mountain well-dressed.

I don’t think we had too many days of really strong north-westers during winter, but I’m sure the southeaster will find mischief to get up to. Use it as a reminder about tasks you need to do by listening for unusual sounds, such as flapping or banging.
The south-easter is showing you where damage lies and is giving you plenty of warning to get it fixed before next winter. I already have one example: my neighbour found a large chunk of roofing malthoid that had blown off the roof of our garden shed. How many of us check on the condition of our sheds?
The way costs are going up we will not be able to replace a lot of what we have, so we need to protect and maintain it all. Start by looking at the roof of your sheds or other outbuildings. The south-easter will also speed up evaporation on our dams. I hear the levels started to drop for the first time this week. If anyone in the know at the City of Cape Town is reading this, I would be interested to know how far we are down the road with desalination and sinking boreholes, and how much water this is pumping into the system. 
Or is everything okay until we start running dry again? With the sun creeping through the curtains earlier every day, Mrs Mac demanded a bout of “let’s make space and clean up.”
At the end of a hectic morning, I want to endorse two products. The first, No More Nails, I have mentioned before. I was tasked with refixing ceramic door handles on to their spindles on kitchen cupboards.
After a hunt in the workshop, I found a tube of No More Nails, manufactured by Pattex, and the problem was solved. The next task was oil on the garage floor. Mrs Mac’s almost “classic” Mercedes has developed a leak. A good spray of Super 10, from Golden Products and a gentle scrub, and the floor looked as good as new.
*Handy Mac, aka Don MacAlister, is our expert on household DIY issues. If you have a question for him, please send it to don@macalister.co.za or SMS only to 082 446 3859. Find Don on FB: Like us on Facebook

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