It's amazing how many small things can go wrong around your house. Small household problems can have a big effect, but you don't always need to call for repairs. If you have an issue with a crumbling wall or bubbling wallpaper, you probably can fix it yourself.  (Bing: What are the latest home-repair scams?)

Here are a few common wall-related problems and the solutions.

Patch perfect

Patch perfect (© Popular Mechanics)

A little roughhousing seemed harmless enough until someone's elbow found its way through the drywall.

The quick fix
Cover the hole with a peel-and-stick drywall-repair screen. If you can't find one at your local hardware store, try this: Use a wallboard saw or utility knife to cut a square around the hole. Insert a short piece of scrap wood as a brace, holding it against the back side of the wall while you insert screws into it from the front. Cut a drywall patch using the square you removed as a template. Coat the back of the patch with compound and press it into place against the brace. Now tape and compound the patch, and paint it to match the rest of the wall.

Repeat offender

Repeat offender (© Popular Mechanics)

Hairline cracks in your living room wall are driving you crazy as they come back months after you've spackled, sanded and painted.

The quick fix
First, widen the crack slightly by scraping it with the pointed end of a can opener. Remove all dust and cover the crack with 2-inch-wide, adhesive-backed, fiberglass-mesh drywall tape.

Cut the tape if necessary to follow the crack, but don't overlap pieces. Use a drywall knife to apply a thin coat of joint compound over the tape.

The next day, sand lightly and follow with two wider, thinner coats of compound.

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Deflation concern

Deflation concern (© Popular Mechanics)

A large bubble in your wallpaper sticks out like a sore thumb.

The quick fix
Cut an X in the bubble using a utility knife with a new blade. Peel back the edges of the cut wallpaper and carefully apply wallpaper adhesive. Smooth down the edges so the cut lines are blended in and disappear.

Fissure fix

Fissure fix (© Popular Mechanics)

A split in wood siding isn't just unsightly. It's an open highway for water and other elements to get in and damage your walls.

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The quick fix
Vince Butler, president of Butler Brothers Corp. in Clifton, Va., and chairman of the National Association of Home Builders' Remodelers Council, suggests a way to avoid the expense and effort of replacing the entire board.

"Wedge a small shim under the siding board until the bottom half of the split is exposed, then coat the exposed edge of the split with a high-quality waterproof wood glue. Use a syringe to apply the glue as deep into the crack as possible," he says.

Then it's just a matter of ensuring the split dries tight.

"It's best to wedge or clamp the board if you can," he says, "but if not, you should nail the board above and below the split, pre-drilling for the nails. Cover the nails with wood putty; sand and repaint the siding board to match."

Crumble cure

Plaster walls have a way of coming apart with little prompting. Make sure your walls don't go to pieces when you hang a mirror or picture by making a small pilot hole that is slightly smaller than the nail. The drill bit must be long enough to penetrate completely through the plaster and the lath behind it. When in doubt, use a screw instead of a nail to spare brittle plaster walls the force of impact.

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