Today’s Homeowner Radio Show for March 17, 2018

Hour 1

Hour 2

Simple Solutions

Restoring Tarnished Copper Pots – Most home cooks love using copper-clad cookware because the copper conducts and transfers heat really well. The problem is that copper has a tendency to stain and tarnish over time. Here’s a quick way to clean up a pot to like-new condition. First, pour white vinegar into a skillet to a depth of about a half-inch or so. Sprinkle some coarse salt into the vinegar, and turn on the heat. Wait until the vinegar is just about to boil, then turn off the heat. Partially fill the tarnished pot with water, just so it won’t float, and set it down into the hot vinegar. Wait for about 10 minutes, then scrub the bottom of the pot with scouring pad. If there are any spots that didn’t come clean, dip the scouring pad in vinegar, sprinkle on a little salt, and scrub the spot off.

Epsom Salt in the Garden – Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, which is rich in minerals that plants need. By adding Epsom salt to your garden, the plants will absorb much more nutrients from the soil and fertilizer. Here are three ways to grow healthy plants with Epsom salt:

Plants in the nightshade family-tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, potatoes-need magnesium to produce greater yields and more flavorful fruits and vegetables. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt around the base of your plants. Or, mix the salt with a gallon of water and water the plants with the mixture. Repeat every two weeks.

Is your lawn looking dull? Add 3 pounds of Epsom salt for every 1,250 square feet of grass and then watering your lawn.

Want robust roses? Sprinkle Epsom salt at the time of planting and when the flowers are in bloom. The salt encourages the rose bushes to produce larger flowers with deeper colors.

Hour 1

Von in AL
Can I lay ceramic planks done on top of hardwood floor that is glued to the concrete slab? I can’t seem to get it up without chipping the concrete. Could I sand it with 80 grit sandpaper and lay on top?

Debbie in PA
My husband always painted everything with high gloss oil based paint – walls, baseboard everything. I have to say, the finish is wonderful. You can clean it and it does not rub off. My husband has passed, but I need to paint a couple rooms and I am no spring chicken. Someone told me I had to clean and sand the surface if I wanted to paint over it —- is that true?

Dale in CO
I just had my 16 yr old York forced air furnace inspected and received the bad news that tech found a crack in the heat exchanger, high resistance on the igniter, and higher than normal amperage on the motor. I’ll call for a 2nd opinion to verify these findings. If you were replacing a furnace in a crawl space in 2018, would you do it yourself in order to save the cost of labor? Could you do-it-yourself? What make and model would you recommend (good, better, best)? Would you include refrigeration cooling along with the heater? I’m looking for some recommendations on what to do next. With only a couple months left of the heating season, I have time to plan and a summer to execute before I have to be prepared for the next heating season.

Belinda in AL
I have a horizontal hairline crack in the stucco on the front wall of my home. It is about 4 feet up from the brick wall and runs between the frames of the front door and the windows. Should I be concerned? There is another small one (same direction but very small on the opposite side of the windows but about 2 feet up from the other one.

Mark in ON
I have a very weird problem. Water occasionally drips out of my bathroom vent fan and onto the toilet and floor. It’s also causing water stains on the ceiling. The fan is ducted into the attic and through the roof. What’s causing this dripping and how can I fix it?

Carol in OR
How do I paint over varnished wood trim so that the paint doesn’t chip or peel off? I have trim throughout my house that I need to paint and update.

Hour 2

Dorothy in VA
How can I make my stainless steel sink look new again? It has scuffs and scratching mostly, but there is an area that is discolored.

Curt in FL
I recently purchased a used home and noticed a leak. During hard blowing rain water lands on the concrete porch, then seeps through the brick veneered wall and then enters the living room concrete slab floor along about a 12 inch length of baseboard (a few ounces of water in total). It is obvious the previous owner attempted a fix- old cracked caulk outside along the wall/porch interface at the point where the water apparently enters.

There are weep holes along the perimeter of the house between the bricks. These holes are all at the slab floor level *except* along the living room which has a 1980s style sunken floor. So along the living room you can see the weep holes are higher than the slab floor level. Would you suggest removing the old caulk and installing new better caulk all along the exterior wall, drill a couple new lower weep holes, or what?

Robert in TN
I recently moved to Tennessee. My lawn is ok during the spring and summer, but goes brown in late fall and winter. I would like to start a fescue lawn. I have seen it in my neighborhood. Should I have all the existing grass removed or will they mix together and later the fescue will take over?

Pam in CA
I have 1170 sq ft home. My bathroom with the shower has never had an exhaust fan and I am constantly battling mold. I don’t want to drill a hole for ducting. What are your thoughts on duct free exhaust fans?

Reginald in GA
In our carpeted bedroom we have a tall dresser that sits against one wall. When we walk across the floor, the dresser rocks back and forth. Why is this happening and how can we stop it?

Susan in CA
We have a detached garage with an entry door on the sidewall. When it rains, a big puddle forms right in front of the door. It only accumulates right there for some reason and we have to tip toe through it, or jump over it. Well, we are getting too old to jump, so what can two women do ourselves to solve this problem? There are stepping stones there now, but they are under water!

Dan in MN
I have calcium deposits on my vinyl siding caused by the lawn sprinkler. Can this be removed without damaging the siding or fading its color?


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