Learn how to prevent a concrete step from sliding and some tips on deck treatment.

    Hour 1

    Listen to hear about how to repair a concrete porch step, fix a chip in a sliding door, and more!

    How to Repair a Concrete Porch Step

    This concrete step pulls away, or slides away from the concrete porch. This image shows the step  and the gap that has been created by the sliding.
    This concrete step pulls away from the porch — but there’s a fix for that. (Manny Gonzales)

    Manny Gonzales has a concrete step that has separated from his porch. He used backer rod when building the steps, but that didn’t prevent the situation.

    Now, he wants to know, “How do I prevent the step from continuously pulling away?”

    This often happens to concrete steps, but you’re probably wondering why it’s such a common problem.

    When water hits the step, it runs off and rolls underneath the step, deteriorating the soil quality under it. That is where a lot of the settling takes place. For this reason, it’s important to make sure no water can get underneath the steps.

    It is possible that the seal in place has cracked due to thermal expansion and contraction.

    The homeowner was right to use backer rod, but if the seal cracks, the rod is useless.

    So, here’s what you should do: get some caulk. We recommend DuraMaster by Titebond. It’s rated to have 100% flexibility, so when the concrete expands, the caulk goes with it.

    To ensure the best application, use a putty knife and scrape off all the previous sealing. Then, work the caulk in there with the putty knife or your finger. Let that dry for about 10 minutes, and apply more.

    For even better results, also apply the caulk down the sides of the step. Remember to keep this process neat! This will keep the water out and prevent the step from sinking.

    For more information on step repair, read: How to Repair and Resurface Concrete Steps

    How to Fix a Chip In a Sliding Glass Door

    The sliding door can easily be repaired if there is a chip that did not go through both planes of glass. This image shows a representation of a sliding glass door.
    If the chip does not go through both planes of glass, a sliding glass door can easily be repaired. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

    A homeowner was weeding her lawn, and a stone hit her sliding glass door. It only made a tiny chip and didn’t crack at all.

    So, she asks, ” Is there a way to repair the door, or does it need to be replaced?”

    Yes, the door can be easily repaired. Because the chip did not go through both planes of glass, there’s still hope! However, if there is fogging and moisture build-up between the panes, a new door might be necessary.

    Since the glass in the sliding door is similar to the glass on your car windshield, the crack can be easily mended.

    First, buy a windshield repair kit from an auto parts store. These tend to be inexpensive.

    For optimal results, take off the door and lay it flat because windshields are not perfectly vertical like the door is. Then, apply the windshield repair to the chip, following the instructions on the kit. Do this as soon as possible so the chip does not get any worse.

    Once you’ve fixed the door, here’s a pro tip: check the door for other issues, such as smooth movement along the track, and address those problems as needed.

    Finally, for peace of mind, always make sure the door is secure!

    Hour 2

    Listen to learn how to paint tumble stone backsplash, treat a wooden deck, enhance your concrete porch, and many more!

    Can You Paint Tumble Stone Backsplash

    Tumble stone backsplash can easily be painted. This image shows an example of what tumble stone backsplash looks like.
    A tumbled stone backsplash can easily be painted. (©SMedia from Getty Images)

    A homeowner wants to paint the tumbled stone backsplash in her kitchen white to match her cabinets.

    She’s just not sure if that’s actually possible!

    “Can I paint the tumbled stone backsplash?” she asks.

    A tumbled stone backsplash is made from stones that have been tumbled or smoothed to look weathered.

    Can you paint one? Yes! Even better, you can paint the backsplash with just about anything. Just remember this: a backsplash is something that you need to be durable — for those inevitable cooking oil splatters — and it needs to be washable.

    Because of this, you’ll need to use the right tool for the job. We would recommend epoxy paint.

    Before beginning the paint job, it’s important to read the product instructions to properly prep the project surface. They may vary based on the manufacturer and product.

    To start, tape the areas around the backsplash. Use quality painter’s tape, a brush, and make sure there’s good ventilation. These things are the key to a successful paint job.

    For this type of paint job, you most likely only need one coat. Make sure that you have adequate light to guarantee that your painted backsplash is fully covered and consistent.

    And, if you think it needs another coat, do so!

    Tips for Finishing Your Pressure-Treated Deck

    Pressure-treated decks can be treated and stained. This image shows a deck after it has been treated.
    You can easily stain a pressure-treated wood deck — just make sure the deck is ready for treatment. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

    A homeowner recently added a new pressure-treated deck to his home. Now, he wants to know, “Do I have to put a finish on the deck? And if so, what do you recommend?”

    If the deck is pressure-treated, it’s hard to know what kind of moisture level you have. Did the lumber yard store the wood outside? Or inside? You need to consider many factors.

    Of course, once the deck is installed, you can use a moisture meter to see exactly how much moisture is in it. But, when you first install the deck, it is not the time to do any type of treatment.

    There are some simple tests to determine if your deck is ready for treatment.

    First, take a half-glass of water and pour it on the deck. See if it soaks into the wood or beads up above the surface. If it beads up, then you need to wait longer for treatment.

    Another option is to wait for Mother Nature to take care of it with some rain and sun.

    There is no exact estimation of how long you should wait for treatment, but we would suggest three to six months, depending on the local weather. Once you can put water on your deck and it soaks it up, it is ready for treatment.

    However, remember surface preparation! Before staining your deck, you always need to make sure that the deck is cleaned and ready for staining.

    For staining your deck, we recommend a semi-transparent stain — it should be made for the outside and be able to soak into the wood and seal the pores.

    You can stain the wood a different color or, if you like the finish that you have, find a stain to match!

    How to Enhance Your Concrete Patio

    Concrete patios can be easily updated. This image shows how a concrete patio would look after a few updates.
    Want to enhance your concrete patio? Score the slab or tile over the concrete. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

    A homeowner has a 10-by-14 patio. It’s functional, but not attractive, and he would like to change the look. He even has an idea in mind!

    “I was thinking about tiling over the concrete,” he says. “What do you think?”

    When it comes to enhancing a patio’s look, there are many options. One of them is adding detail to your porch. Even the smallest element of design can make a big difference.

    First, clean the concrete really well. Then score the slab. Do this by taking a circular saw, putting an abrasive blade on it, setting it about a quarter-inch deep, and creating either lines or some type of pattern. You can keep it simple or create something more extravagant, but it is up to you.

    At this point, the concrete will already look better, but if you want to do the next step, try a concrete stain. But here’s our advice: do not paint the concrete. The surface will be too slick, and the paint job will not last.

    Another patio-enhancing method would be to tile over the concrete. Just a word of caution: If you are in a place that experiences extreme weather, you first need to cover the slab with an uncoupling membrane. This will act as a plastic sheet. The membrane isolates any cracks or moisture in the slab and prevents it from soaking through to the tiles.

    The most important thing to remember when choosing exterior tile is to not choose a ceramic tile. You want a high-quality porcelain tile with a porosity level of 3% or less. These tiles are typically designed for the outdoors.

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    Simple Solutions

    In this simple solutiob, Joe shows you how to use a brown paper bag to scare off bees. This image shows bees on a honey comb.
    Make a paper bag look like a hornet’s nest to scare away bees. (PollyDot from pixabay)

    Bee Deterrent—Take a brown paper bag, fill it with plastic bags, tie it up and hang it anywhere near your pool or patio. Bees and wasps will think it’s a hornet’s nest and stay far away. I’ve been doing this for years and it works great without killing the bees!

    In a Simple Solutions segment of Today's Homeowner, Joe Truini attaches pipes to the legs of a folding table to make it into a taller and more comfortable surface to work on.
    Repurpose a folding table to use in your workspace. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

    Repurpose Old Banquet Table—Folding banquet tables are great to have when you’re hosting extra people for dinner. However, once they’re beaten up and past their prime, they’re no longer appropriate for parties and holiday celebrations. But you can repurpose an old folding table for use in your workshop or garage.

    Folding tables are sturdy, but at just 29 inches tall, they’re uncomfortable to work at from a standing position. So, you need to extend the legs with 1-inch diameter PVC pipe. Cut four pieces of pipe to about 12 inches long. Tap a plastic PVC cap onto one end of each of the four pipe sections. Then, slip one pipe over each metal table leg, and now you have the table that has a working height of about 36 inches. And when you’re not using the table, simply pull off the pipe sections, fold the legs closed, and store the table away.

    Further Reading

    Editorial Contributors
    Danny Lipford

    Danny Lipford


    Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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