Drains

Replacing sump pump with drain pipe?

Published on August 30th, 2012 | by Henri

Q.    I have a basement sump pump that operates during heavy prolonged rains. I have a steep slope in the front of my house and was wondering if a straight 4″ PVC open-ended gravity drain pipe ... Read More


Chimneys

Rusty metal chimney stains roof

Published on August 29th, 2012 | by Henri

Q.    Even though we applied a galvanized spray paint coating on the metal chimney of our boiler some time ago, we are still encountering a rust-colored stain on our now newly roofed motel. First, what would ... Read More


Insulation

Adding attic insulation

Published on August 29th, 2012 | by Henri

Q.    I have faced insulation that I want to install over existing insulation in my attic. Should the insulation be placed with the facing up or down? Thank you for any information. A.    The vapor retarder ... Read More


Water heaters

On-demand water heaters

Published on August 29th, 2012 | by Henri

Q.    I recently was in Home Depot and saw a water heater that hangs on the wall and heats on demand – it is a propane unit. I wonder about the efficiency of such a unit ... Read More


Crawl space

Cold floor over crawl space

Published on August 29th, 2012 | by Henri

Q.    I have an extension on the rear of my home that is built over a cement slab with a 3-foot crawl space. The space between the floor joists seems well insulated. However, the floor in ... Read More


HVAC

Covering an AC compressor

Published on August 29th, 2012 | by Henri

Q.    I need your advice about covering whole-house air-conditioning compressors located outside the home. I have been partially covering mine with a plastic tarp across the top, leaving about 12 inches of the sides towards the ... Read More


Bathrooms

Black mold on bathroom ceiling

Published on August 28th, 2012 | by Henri

Q.  Can you give me some help with a problem of recurring black mold on a bathroom ceiling? The house was built in the 1930s and originally had only a tub in the bathroom. There is ... Read More


HVAC

Utilities in a temporarily empty house

Published on August 10th, 2012 | by Henri

Q.    My home has been on the market for several months and I am getting a little anxious as I would like to get settled in my new apartment before the bad weather arrives. I may ... Read More


Pests

Humane mouse traps?

Published on August 10th, 2012 | by Henri

Q.    I have been a faithful reader for years, and I think the expert advice you offer is great! But I object to your mention of a mousetrap that electrocutes the mouse! I am not sure ... Read More


Concrete

Re-surfacing a concrete patio

Published on August 10th, 2012 | by Henri

Q.    My 15 feet by 22 feet concrete patio is 30 years old. Several years ago, I had it power-washed. The force of the water washed away the smooth top finish which left a coarse surface ... Read More


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