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» Home Repairs:Duct Tape

How Did I Do It? > Home & Garden > Home Repairs:Duct Tape
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The traditional shiny silver tape known as Duct Tape is a very strong vinyl fabric tape that’s applied by hand using a little pressure. It originated in the late 1940s when the military needed waterproof sealing and a quick repair implement.

So it was that Johnson & Johnson created an adhesive that is now a treasured part of nearly any homeowners repair kit. It was named duct tape because the most popular not military use initially was to hold or close damaged heating/cooling ducts in place. Clever consumers, however, didn’t take long to start using it in many, many other ways. So much is the case that engineers call this the “ultimate material.” Duct tape has even gone into space and appeared on TV!

Think of duct tape like a bandage suited for nearly any material. If you don’t have a glue gun, you can tape up that hem or rough edge quickly and easily. On any flat surface, this has the extra advantage of not creating an unseemly bump over which someone might trip. Over rounded surfaces like cords, it keeps things secure so they don’t slide (out of their sockets, or into a place where an accident could occur).

If you’ve got a loose hinge, duct tape it so the door doesn’t get cracked or damaged until you can get a proper new fixture. When the vacuum hose springs a leak, duct tape springs into action and lets you finish cleaning. In fact, you’ll probably be able to get several more cleanings before having to replace the hose.

But let’s think out of the box a bit. How about using duct tape to neatly tie up excess computer cable? Or, if you’re putting away holiday decorations use it to bundle the wires and cords together neatly so you don’t have to untangle again next year. Better still, you can use the leftover tape to hang those decorations the next season. And, those of you with pets – duct tape makes a great fur remover before work!

Outdoors duct tape continues to be a homeowners friend. Tape up that broken handle, bind the leaking hose head, tape up the small hole in your pool float, and even keep your exhaust pipe from falling off on the way to the garage. I advocate keeping several rolls indoors and out, where everyone can reach them quickly. Don’t forget, in a pinch this is an effective bandage too!

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