Today’s Homeowner Radio Show | January 15, 2022

Split view of railroad tracks and dirty toilet

In this week’s radio show, we have tips for inside your home and out! Listen, and read along, for our solutions to common, and not so common, house problems.

Mold and mildew in a toilet
Fuzzy mold can form in toilets that aren’t used frequently. (Canva)

Why is Fuzzy Mold Inside My Toilet?’

When you think of fuzzy mold, your mind may wander to moldy bread, not moldy toilet bowls.

The fuzzy mold issue has to do with how often the toilet is used. If a toilet isn’t flushed frequently, sitting water in the bowl provides the perfect environment for this mold to grow.

Some cities add chlorination to the water supply to help kill mold. However, if a toilet is not used often, the chlorination deteriorates and won’t kill the mold. The best way to clean it is with a handheld steam cleaner.

To prevent the fuzzy mold from coming back, drain the water from the bowl, add a toilet cleaning tablet and flush the toilet more frequently. You can also try Fluidmaster’s Flush ’N Sparkle Self-Cleaning Toilet System.

Skip to [53:37] for the full segment on the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show.

Blurry view of railroad tracks
Although it can’t be eliminated, sound from railroad tracks can be lessened. (@jingoba/pixabay)

How to Fight Noise from Freight Trains

David from Tennessee purchased a home near railroad tracks and has tried many ways to block the sound of freight trains — a white noise machine, retro foam and sound blankets in the attic. Nothing seems to help.

Although there is no way to eliminate the noise, there are other ways to lessen it.

For instance, plant as much vegetation as you can between the home and the tracks. Evergreen shrubs and trees are best because they keep their foliage year-round. Along the property line, plant shrubs on a high dirt berm, at least 6 feet tall, and build a solid board fence with no spaces. 

Inside the home, you can also try some window inserts to kill the sound. Also, National Gypsum recently released retrofit sound-blocking boards that can be installed right over your existing walls. 

Skip to [44:56] for the full segment on the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show.

Ceiling fan in large room
The best placement for a ceiling fan in a large room is in the center.

Where to Place the Ceiling Fan

Melissa from Minnesota needs to install a ceiling fan in a 20-by-20-foot living room to help circulate hot air downward.

The heat registers are over her seating area, not in the center of the room. She wants to know if she should install the fan between the heat registers or in the center of the room.

While there are many opinions about ceiling fan placement, we suggest installing the ceiling fan in the center of the room. This will create balance in the room and not give the room a lopsided appearance.

Also, don’t undersize the fan when placing it in such a large room — the bigger, the better.

Skip to [7:00] for the full segment on the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show.

Caulk is best used in the seam between tile and the bathtub because of its flexibility.

Where to Use Caulk vs. Grout in the Bathroom

Do you struggle with whether to use caulk or grout when making bathroom renovations? It depends on what part of your bathroom you are working on.

Grout is rigid and best used in places where there won’t be much expansion and contraction, like wall tiles. 

In areas that you will be using frequently, like around tubs and toilets, you should use caulk because it provides more flexibility than grout. Find a good-quality caulk that matches that of the grout. 

Caution: Never caulk all the way around the base of a toilet. It may be tempting to encapsulate it so water doesn’t leak onto the floor, but doing this will keep you from knowing when you have a leak. Also, some municipalities have building codes that forbid this.

Skip to [42:52] for the full segment on the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show.

Also on this episode:

• Fixing a leaking kitchen window
• Removing white haze from shower tiles
• Getting rid of rotten egg smell in water
Auto body filler to repair soft spots in wood window frames

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