Today’s Homeowner Radio

Woman holding her nose due to bad odor

It was a rough start to a Wisconsin man’s summer vacation. Once he walked into his season cottage he was hit by a sewer gas smell. He installed a new septic system the previous year. Danny and Joe offer up some suggestions that could help make sure this problem doesn’t happen again next year.

Unfortunately, it’s not unusual to see erosion on landscaped ditches. It’s a big problem for a listener in Michigan. What she can use to fill the ditch.

Plus, Joe has a simple solution that will give more use out of your used orange juice cartons, especially the next time you’re about to light up the grill.

Listener Questions

Sewer Gas Smell Coming from a New Septic Tank

Loren in Wisconsin says, “In a seasonal cottage, we had to put in a new septic system last year. This year when we opened the cottage, it was filled with sewer gas. We have always drained the traps and toilet but never had a problem before. I suppose the traps could be filled with RV antifreeze, but it would likely evaporate over the winter, leading to the same problem. Do you have any suggestion for how to block the sewer gas?”

Repairing Joints on a Tiled Gunite Pool

Jack in Alabama says, “We have a 20-year old tiled/gunite pool, with a coped (“overhung”) tile top edge. The mortar is coming out of the joint under the edge of the coping tiles. I have tried to “push” repair mortar into the joint but over time it comes back out. Is a product I can use – perhaps in a “caulking gun” configuration – to refill and seal the joint?”

New Life for an Old Deck

Donna in Missouri says, “My deck is 20 years old and still holding up very strongly; however, the time has come to do some cleaning and staining. In the past, we have used a tinted stain/sealer and then the last time we had a thorough cleaning done by a company called Wood Renew which has now been a few years back. I have recently cleaned my deck with the Wet and Forget and am very impressed. I was just wondering when would be a good time to apply a tinted stain to the deck, or should I just leave it natural? I live in the south-central region of Missouri, so right now we are experiencing a lot of rain and humidity with temps in the 90s. By this fall, I would like to stain the deck. Any advice would be much appreciated.”

Filling an Eroded Ditch

Margaret in Michigan says, “The best way to fill erosion on side of the ditch…about 3’ long by 2’ wide by 10” deep.”

Mystery Drip

Jim in Virginia says, “I live in a small town in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and I’m getting a condensation drip from a 2-ft section of gutter and it’s been going on for quite a long time. It occurs most nights in Summer. I wake up 4:30-5am and go out to retrieve my newspaper and a 3-ft circular section of my concrete sidewalk is saturated with water. This dripping continues until the sun comes up and by 9-10am dripping has stopped and the sidewalk starts to dry out. The roof is asphalt shingles.”

Simple Solutions

joe truini

Recycled Charcoal Starter

Make a quick-start charcoal starter out of old milk or orange juice carton.

Easy Pet Hair Removal

If vacuuming alone doesn’t remove pet hair from carpeting and upholstery, try these two tricks.

Best New Products

Smart Lighting for Your Home

One of the most common bad energy habits is leaving the lights on all day. We all forget about flipping the off switch from time to time, but now thanks to the Philips Hue LED Smart Wireless Lighting Starter Kit you can flip the switch without even being in your house. So, forgetting to turn them off isn’t that big of a hassle.

Products Mentioned


Wet & Forget

Daich Coatings

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,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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