By Vicky Anscombe on 19 February 2015

Your home is your sanctuary, and you want to keep it - and your belongings - safe and protected. 

Well, that's where we come in - our home insurance is top dog, and we'll make sure that the things that matter to you are looked after.

However, what about all the little everyday irritations which you can deal with without our help? We've compiled a list of the most annoying gripes householders face every day, and the best ways to solve them. 

Red wine stains: Firstly, blot the stain as much as possible, but don't rub it, and make sure you're using super-absorbent paper towel, not a tea towel. Pour cold water onto the stain and soak up the excess, diluting the stain as much as possible. Then, make a paste of one part baking soda to three parts water; mix it well, and apply to the stain. Make sure you apply the paste to the edges. When it's dried, hoover the dried baking powder up, and the carpet should be as good as new. If you can still see the stain, apply more baking soda paste or carpet cleaner, allow to dry, and hoover. Repeat until the stain is gone.

Creaky chipboard floorboards in new-build houses: Creaking chipboard floors are common in houses built since the Eighties. As a rule, chipboard is not suitable for domestic flooring; it sags under its own weight, causing the joints between adjacent boards to open up, and the edges to creak. Temporary measures include sprinkling French chalk or talc into the joints, and if this doesn't work, it might be best to remove the chipboard and replace it with proper timber.

Noisy neighbours: There are multiple ways of dealing with noisy neighbours; the first is to pop round and explain what the issue is clearly and calmly. Don't be confrontational or passive-aggressive; many noisy neighbours who can't watch TV without the volume on full turn out to be elderly, deaf people who will be frightened and confused by unexpected aggression. If this doesn't work, keep dates and times of loud noise, try a second visit, and explain that if the noise doesn't stop, you'll report them to the authorities. If the noise continues, you can report your neighbours to their landlord, attend a mediation meeting or complain to the council; it's all explained on the website.

How to remove pet hairs from clothes: Wet your hard and rub it in a downwards motion across your clothes; the hair should 'ball up' and stick to your hand. This works because the hair becomes wet and much heavier, and can't stick to your clothes due to static electricity. If you don't fancy getting wet, a velcro roller rolled across your clothes will do the job just as well; a length of sellotape wrapped around your hands and pulled tight will also remove hairs in a jiffy. Of course, lint rollers are the obvious choice - buy them in bulk if you can.

Deter thieves when you go on holiday: We looked at this last Christmas, and the good advice we gave out then still applies. From fooling wannabe-burglars into thinking you're still at home to avoiding social media updates that put your home at risk, it's all covered here.

Improve your Freeview reception: If you're suffering with dodgy pictures, freezing, clicking sounds, sound dropping out or no reception at all, firstly, check with your neighbours to see if they're experiencing the same thing. If only your TV is affected, the problem is likely to be in your TV, digital box or aerial. If other TVs are affected, it's more likely to be caused by work at your local transmitter, or possibly the weather. At this point, try restarting the Freeview box, check your TV to ensure that all leads are properly connected, and when the box has rebooted, try repositioning your aerial. Don't forget that any of these problems could be the result of a weak signal, so your aerial may need upgrading or repairing. Bad weather can also play a part; don't be surprised if sound and picture quality is reduced during high winds or storms.

Low water pressure in the shower: Go to your local DIY shop and buy a cheap replacement shower head. Look inside; you'll see a washer which constricts the water flow. Take a drill and enlarge the hole; you'll increase the flow, and the water pressure will improve. 

Mould and mildew on walls: If you spot mould in your house, treat it as soon as you can as it can cause allergic reactions and poor health. When tackling the area, make sure you wear protective eyewear, gloves, and a face mask, as contact with the spores can be harmful. Don't forget to open windows and use a fan.

Firstly, make a solution of one part bleach to three parts water, and using a stiff-bristled brush, scrub the area with the mixture. Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry.

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