Smoke Detector Innovations That Make Life Easier | Ep. 68

Smoke detector
Smoke detectors have come a long way. Do you know about the latest innovations?

Smoke detectors are a necessity and a code requirement. They’ve changed a lot over the years, so it’s good to get a refresher on what’s available.

You used to hear all the time how important it was to replace a smoke detector’s battery twice a year. But lithium-ion batteries changed everything — they can power these devices for up to 10 years.

You want to know another great innovation? Multi-station alarms. These wired smoke detectors have wireless companion devices that amplify alarms throughout the house. First Alert and Kidde are just two of the manufacturers, and these are perfect for larger homes, especially those with multiple levels.

Listen to the Today’s Homeowner Podcast for more home improvement tips!

  • [02:10] Danny and Joe talk about smoke detection innovations
  • [06:43] Tips for venting fumes from cleaning products
  • [08:24] Tips for replacing a poorly installed shower grab bar
  • [13:41] Simple Solution: The best way to paint louvered doors and shutters
  • [15:49] Carpet cleaning tips you may not know
  • [20:36] Tips to remove layers of paint from wood floors
  • [26:27] How to build a fire pit into a paver patio
  • [29:07] Question of the Week: What causes a water hammer?

Simple Solutions

Pro Tip for Painting Louvers: Painting louvered doors and shutters is no easy feat, but pro painters have a technique that works well.

First, roll on the paint without much regard for neatness; just get the paint on the louvers.

Then immediately come back with an angled sash brush and spread out the paint to an even coating.

Repeat for the backside of the louvers. 

Trimming Border Tiles: When installing a tile floor (vinyl or porcelain), you usually have to trim the last row of tiles to fit against the wall.

Here’s how to accurately mark those border tiles for a perfect fit every time: Start by laying a full-size tile on top of the tile in the second-to-the-last row.

Place another full tile on top, and slide it up against the wall. Draw a pencil line along the edge of the top tile to mark the tile below; the pencil line represents the cut line.

Remove the middle tile and cut it along the line.

Question of the Week

Q: “When I flush my toilet on the second floor of my townhome, I have been hearing what I’ll describe as a knocking noise. (The noise sounds like it’s in the wall behind the toilet).

“It knocks immediately following flushing and continues for 30 to 60 seconds. It started getting louder recently. Do you know what’s causing this?  I don’t know who to contact to fix it. Thank you!”

A: We know what that is: the old water hammer! Water, which is under pressure, rushes through the pipes, and when there’s an abrupt stop, like when you close the water valve, the water bangs into the pipes.

That’s the sound you’re hearing, and there is a way around it. Listen to learn more!   

DIY Project of the Week

How to Make a Hot Patch Drywall Repair: Almost every home has a bit of damaged drywall here or there.

Whether it’s a rowdy child or a door that swung too far open, most of us will have to deal with repairing small holes in drywall at some point.

One of my favorite ways to do that is called a “hot patch,” and it’s super simple.

Watch this video for the step-by-step guide.

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