Today’s Homeowner Radio Show | March 26, 2022

In this week’s radio show, we’re helping homeowners tackle cracks in columns, prevent rusting swamp coolers and peel off a sticky backsplash.

How to Prevent Rust on a Swamp Cooler

Swamp cooler on a roof top

Laurie has a downdraft swamp cooler in her northern California home, and every few years she has to replace it because of the rust.

Now, she’s wondering: How can she prevent rusting to extend the life of her swamp cooler? 

Here’s our advice: Swamp coolers are evaporative coolers. They have a motorized fan that blows air through damp pads, which moisten and cool the air without refrigerating it like a traditional air conditioner.

They date back to ancient Egypt, when the pharaohs used jars of water, ponds and pools to cool an area.  

Because these coolers are metal and use moisture to cool the air, it’s particularly difficult to prevent them from rusting.

You can invest in a stainless steel swamp cooler, which is less likely to rust. If that’s not an option, you can amend your existing unit. Just coat the bottom pan that holds the water with a marine sealant. Then, scrape the rust with a putty knife or sand it off. To prevent rust, you need to eliminate all of it, because if you don’t, it will keep corroding. 

Next, wipe your swamp cooler down with a rust treatment and coat it with rust-proof paint. Be careful to not clog any openings when painting it. 

Skip to [33:31] for the full segment on the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show.

Remove a Stuck-On, Self-Stick Backsplash

(Photo by Dawn Baldwin)

Dawn Baldwin in Rossford, Ohio, wants to remove her self-stick kitchen backsplash from her Corian surface, but that’s easier said than done.

Unfortunately, this easy-to-install peel-and-stick backsplash is not that easy to peel off when you’re ready for a change! 

Here’s our advice: The first thing you should do is to try to dissolve it with some paint thinner. Peel off as much of the material as you can, and brush the paint thinner on the stuck-on adhesive.

Don’t use a metal tool to scrape off the tile, as this will scratch your Corian surface. Start with a plastic putty knife, and ease the peel-and-stick tile off. If you scratch the surface, just sand it to smooth out any imperfections. 

To get rid of any leftover adhesive, put some Goo-Gone on it to dissolve it. 

If paint thinner isn’t enough, try acetone. It’s more expensive, has stronger fumes and evaporates faster, but it will melt away the peel-and-stick adhesive. Run a bead of it behind the tile and it should come off in pieces. 

Skip to [41:09] for the full segment on the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show.

How to Correct Cracked Caulking

(Photo by Art Yerger)

“We have been trying for years to properly seal our columns in the front of our house, but all the caulking we have tried cracks in a few weeks,” says Art Yeager of St. Johns, Florida. “Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.”

Here’s what you should know: Temperature changes can cause caulk to crack. By noon in the summer heat, most caulks expand, and once the weather drops a few degrees, they contract and leave unsightly cracks.

Fortunately, there’s a solution to that problem.

Titebond DuraMaster is formulated to withstand these routine temperature changes. It’s is an elastomeric, water-based sealant that’s flexible and adapts to environmental changes.

It spans gaps up to 2 inches wide, stays flexible, crackproof, paintable, and is VOC-compliant.

DuraMaster is UV-resistant and is available in 13 colors, so you can most likely match the color of the surface you’re caulking.

Skip to [49:45] for the full segment on the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show.

Also on this episode:

Best New Product

 Snap Install Hook and Rail rack from The Home Decorators Collection.Stylishly store your essentials in plain sight with this easy-to-install hook and rail rack. Learn more>> 

Further Reading

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