August 26th, 2021 by
You may think that a heat gun is a bit of a specialist DIY tool that’s only of real use for stripping paint but that’s simply not the case. In fact, a heat gun is one of the most versatile tools you can buy and has plenty of uses around the house, even if you’re not a DIY enthusiast.
Here are 5 uses for a heat gun that just about any household could take advantage of:
1. Paint Stripping
So OK, yes this is the one you’re most familiar with, but we can’t write an article about heat guns and not mention paint stripping, simply because it’s so suited for this purpose. We all have the need to remove paint from something at some point, whether it’s to strip doors or bannisters back to natural wood, get rid of some terrible paint job you’ve inherited in a new house, or some furniture upcycling project. A heat gun softens the paint so it can easily be scraped away. The benefit of doing it this way, rather than using a chemical stripper, which is the most common alternative, is that it’s quick and you don’t have to use harsh paint stripping chemicals
2. Thawing Pipes
When pipes freeze in the winter, they can cause major problems such as burst pipes, drainage issues, and even boiler breakdowns (if the condensate pipe freezes). A heat gun can very effectively thaw the pipes out, avoiding all these issues. Obviously, it’s only appropriate to use them on metal pipes and not plastic as plastic pipes can melt and warp. You should also avoid any solder joins and use as low a heat setting as you can get away with. This is a very useful solution and much faster than using a hairdryer (meaning less time standing outside in the cold).
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3. Removing Wallpaper
Most people’s ‘go to’ method for removing wallpaper is taking to it with a scraper or using a steamer. The former is time-consuming and messy, and the latter can leave you in a sweaty mess and your room like a sauna, not to mention making your walls quite damp. A heat gun can be used to remove wallpaper really well because it melts the adhesive underneath. Not only does this make the job easier, but it also offers you the immense satisfaction of being able to pull the wallpaper off in long strips! When you consider that a steamer is really only useful for this job and a heat gun can be used on a wide variety of tasks, it makes the heat gun a much more cost-effective tool.
4. Removing Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl flooring is notoriously difficult to remove as it tends to be very firmly stuck to the floor (after all, that is its job). Trying to prise it up with a scraper usually results in it breaking up and you’re often left with messy adhesive stuck to the floor underneath, not to mention the toll on your knees. Using a heat gun for this job is the same principle as removing wallpaper; the heat melts the adhesive, enabling you to pull the flooring up intact and easily remove the adhesive as well. It’s particularly useful for flooring that comes in strips, such as Karndean, as you can focus the heat very specifically and just remove one or two damaged pieces if required.
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5. Releasing Rusted Nuts and Bolts
There’s always a job that requires you to remove screws or nuts and bolts that are so rusted up, they’re impossible to turn. This can be very difficult even with an electric screwdriver, never mind by hand. It can also cause you to damage the bolt head rendering it impossible to get off. Rust acts as a kind of natural glue but applying heat can help to break it down. It will also cause the nut to expand which gives you extra wiggle room for turning the bolt.
We actually could have given you 20 uses for a heat gun as there are so many useful applications but hopefully, this gives you a flavour of how versatile this tool is. We’d recommend one with different heat settings so you can choose a gentler heat for the jobs that require it, and a choice of nozzles increases the range of tasks you can apply it to.
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