Water heater and humidifier
In most instances, moisture is a bad word for homeowners. But that’s not always the case.

Get your feet wet on this week’s radio show, because we’re talking about household problems that have to do with moisture.

Humidifier and plant
Heat can lead to dry indoor air, so humidifiers come in handy during the winter.

Clean Way to Increase Humidity

Winters in Alaska are extremely cold! Amnd cold weather means heaters are running hot, but the heat also dries out the air. Marjorie, from Anchorage, keeps getting a white film on her surfaces when she runs her humidifier. 

“Obviously, it must be the water, not the machine,” Marjorie said. “I don’t want to buy distilled water; I don’t have a soft water system. Can you think of a practical way I can increase the humidity in my home without getting film and dust?”

Minerals in the water are causing the white, powdery film on surfaces. They can get released into the air when the humidifier is blowing and will settle on nearby surfaces. It’s not harmful, but it is a pain to clean.

You can install a desalination cartridge in the humidifier to trap them before they are released into the air. Certain humidifier brands have this built-in.

An old country tip is putting a boiling a large pot of water on your stove to release moisture into the air in the house.

Some enamel cast iron pots have a lattice top that can release steam. This isn’t recommended because you could forget about it and all the water will boil away and become a fire hazard.

Skip to [skipto time=28:59][28:59][/skipto] for the full segment on the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show.

Wood paneling
Moisture can cause wood paneling to delaminate and buckle.

Correcting Buckled Paneling

The painted wood paneling in Ken and Kathy’s 1970s Myrtle Beach townhouse is starting to delaminate and buckle. 

Moisture might be coming through the wall and it can’t escape through the front because of the paint. Enough moisture will cause it to buckle and delaminate. 

Repairing this is tricky. Delamination starts when the glue separates from the paneling. You can use wood glue to patch the paneling together. 

Buckling is a lot different from delamination because it affects more of the structure of the paneling. You can try to nail the paneling down in the buckled areas, but eventually, you’ll need to replace the paneling.

If you don’t want to completely get rid of your wood paneling, Home Depot actually sells multiple styles!

Skip to [skipto time=4:13][4:13][/skipto] for the full segment on the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show.

Water heater knob
Water heater elements should last the lifetime of the heater, but certain factors can kill them.

Failing Water Heater Elements

Stuart from Marshall, Mich., is frustrated because the heating elements in his water heater keep dying, and he’s stuck having to replace them every other year.

The electric element in your water heater should last the lifetime of the water heater. However, there are a few reasons why heating elements die.

Heavy gauge wires provide electricity to components. If your electrical work was poorly installed, this could cause the element to burn out.

Also, sudden power surges can damage the element. Install a surge protector to increase the lifespan of your heating element.

And, if the water heater element is not fully submerged in water it can burn it out. Make sure your water heater is not running on an empty tank or has a low water level.

Finally, water with a high mineral content can speed up the demise of a heating element. The minerals create a coating on the element, which makes it work harder to heat your water. 

Skip to [skipto time=19:10][19:10][/skipto] for the full segment on the Today’s Homeowner Podcast.

Also on this episode:

Best New Product

 2D8A6033.jpgThe Keeper Combat Ratchet Tie-Down Strap gives you peace of mind when moving your belongings. Learn more>> 

Radio Show & Podcast: Send us your question!

If you have a comment, general question about home improvement, or something we've featured on Today's Homeowner, call us at 1-800-946-4420 or fill out this form and we will get back to you:

"*" indicates required fields

Drop files here or
Accepted file types: jpg, jpeg, gif, mov, avi, png, mp4, Max. file size: 300 MB.
    Add up to 80Mb of images and/or video to better illustrate your question.
    Subscribe to Tips for Today's Homeowner
    This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

    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.

    Learn More