Water heaters

Water heater

Detecting leaks in water heater

Published on November 24th, 2016 | by Henri

Q.  My water heater is coming to the end of its 12-year warranty. It is in the basement, most of which is finished with carpeting, etc. I’ve got a water alarm near it since I don’t ... Read More


Masonite siding

Formaldehyde in Masonite siding

Published on November 24th, 2016 | by Henri

Q.  We bought a 1900-square-foot house in 2007 and, not knowing about formaldehyde in Masonite shingles, immediately had the whole house covered with vinyl siding. Now in 2016 still looks great. However, I have a question. ... Read More


Backfill removed to waterproof basement

Removing backfill from basement wall

Published on November 23rd, 2016 | by Henri

Q.  If I were to remove a four-foot-wide section of backfill down to the footer in order to expose the block wall for waterproofing purposes, how would it affect the integrity of the wall? Is it ... Read More

Paint, stains

cleaning cedar siding

Stain, don’t paint, cedar siding

Published on November 23rd, 2016 | by Henri

Q.  We have a 90+ year old farm house in Kansas. We have painted it several time in the past 40 years. Each time the paint lasts for a few years. Mold is starting to appear ... Read More


Repairing sliding glass door

Modifying and repairing sliding glass doors

Published on November 16th, 2016 | by Henri

Today I received two questions about modifying or repairing existing sliding glass doors. Since the issues are related, I decided to combine them into a single post. Q.   My 1958 eight-foot sliding glass doors do not ... Read More


House with red front door

Avoid south-facing storm door

Published on November 12th, 2016 | by Henri

Q.   In the spring we are going to replace our front entrance door, which is currently a wooden one with a sidelight and sorely in need or replacing. This door faces the south, therefore gets direct ... Read More


Sealing a concrete walkway

Published on November 12th, 2016 | by Henri

Q.  I need to seal my stamped concrete walkway.  What sealer should I use? A.  There are two types of concrete sealers: topical and penetrating. If the concrete walkway has not been sealed before, it is ... Read More


Bluestone Pavers

Keeping bluestone slab from heaving

Published on November 12th, 2016 | by Henri

Q.  I have a 10×10-foot  bluestone slab  at the entrance to the house. The base is a cement  3 to 4 inches thick, with stone dust under the bluestone.  The spaces between  the blue stone slabs ... Read More


Repelling squirrels

Published on October 27th, 2016 | by Henri

Q.  We live in a lovely wooded neighborhood. We have a serious problem with squirrels. There are too many of them! Earlier this spring, I planted pansies around our walk and in planters on our deck, ... Read More


Caulking a window on a brick house

Rainwater dampens wall, ceiling

Published on October 27th, 2016 | by Henri

Q.  Can you please help me find a solution to repair the intermittent water incursion I have on the front of my 13-year-old two story brick home? The water dampens the inside ceiling and wall of ... Read More

Paint, stains

Painting a Metal Fence

Painting a metal fence

Published on October 26th, 2016 | by Henri

Q.  I bought an older home with a wrought-iron fence. I painted it with a rust-conversion paint and it is still rusty. What kind of paint do you recommend? The fence is even pitted. A.    It ... Read More

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