Concrete

Cleaning stains from fireplace hearth

Published on October 19th, 2012 | by Henri

Q.    Last year we removed a wood-burning stove from our fireplace insert, and now have the original attractive fireplace wall again. However, the raised hearth is stained with black marks that are quite ugly on the ... Read More


Floors

Asbestos sandwiched into old flooring

Published on October 19th, 2012 | by Henri

Q. During the 1970s, a friend of mine had a house built. The main section had tongue-and-groove oak flooring of varied widths. It was a beautiful job when completed. The base was tongue-and-groove plywood and, in ... Read More


Water heaters

Water drips from valve on water heater

Published on October 19th, 2012 | by Henri

Q.    I have a gas water heater in my home that was installed six years ago. About four months ago it started dripping from the pressure relief valve. Thinking that the valve was faulty, I replaced ... Read More


Drains

Use washing soda to clear drains

Published on October 19th, 2012 | by Henri

Q.    My question relates to plumbing and drains that are beginning to show signs of clogging in our upstairs bathrooms. I seem to recall reading at some point in time that using Liquid Plumr or Drano ... Read More


Wood heat

Converting fireplace back to burning wood

Published on October 19th, 2012 | by Henri

Q.    I have a fireplace that was re-lined by the first owner (over ten years ago) with new terra cotta brick. The second owner converted to gas with no changes to the flue, just a gas ... Read More


Patios

Composite decking on patio

Published on October 9th, 2012 | by Henri

Q. We have a concrete patio on two courses of blocks at the rear of our house. Twice now, we have tried outdoor carpeting. It gets only the morning sun. After it rains, it stays damp ... Read More


Bathrooms

Radiant heat in bathroom

Published on October 3rd, 2012 | by Henri

Q. We are remodeling an 8-foot by 10-foot existing bathroom. It is an inside room and will contain a separate tub and shower. We are considering a tile floor with a SunTouch Radiant Heat Mat. These ... Read More


Walls

Studs show through Sheetrock

Published on October 3rd, 2012 | by Henri

Q. Our house is 25 years old. The stairway from the first to second floor is against an exterior wall. I want to paint that stairway but I have a minor problem. If you look at ... Read More


Lawns

Grass stops growing

Published on October 3rd, 2012 | by Henri

Q. We have a problem with our yard in back (shade to sun with large Norwegian pine nearby). Where we had grass is now dirt (and mud in the winter). This problem seemed to happen this ... Read More


Ceilings

Covering plaster ceiling with Sheetrock

Published on October 3rd, 2012 | by Henri

Q. The ceilings in our 70-year-old colonial home are plaster and are beginning to show lines horizontally and diagonally, making the ceilings look like a patchwork quilt. We are thinking of having Sheetrock put on over ... Read More


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