Split image of home improvement application and a digital tablet and moss on roof shingles
Hear a free way to improve your DIY skills and the secret weapon to preventing moss and mildew from growing on a roof. (Monkey Business Images/Justin Smith, Getty Images)

Hour 1

Hear our advice for installing self-sticking flooring tiles over linoleum, the secret weapon to preventing moss and mildew from growing on a roof, and more.


Tips for Installing Self-Sticking Flooring Tiles

Split image of a hand peeling away the plastic from peel and stick tile and a linoleum floor
Give your linoleum floors a budget-friendly makeover with DIY self-sticking tiles! (Benjamin Clapp, Getty Images/Chimperil59, Getty Images)

A homeowner wants to know: “Can I install self-sticking tiles over my existing linoleum flooring?”

As long as the existing linoleum flooring is structurally sound and level, you can install self-sticking flooring tiles over it. However, there are a few important factors to consider before you begin.

First, make sure that the existing linoleum flooring is completely clean and free of any debris, dirt, or grease that could prevent the new tiles from adhering properly. Use a degreasing cleaner or mix one gallon of hot water, one cup of white vinegar and a few squirts of dish soap. 

Next, ensure the existing linoleum flooring is completely level. If there are any bumps, dips, or other irregularities in the surface, these can cause the new tiles to become uneven or create gaps between the tiles. You may need to use a leveling compound to level the existing surface before installing the new tiles. 

Before you make any changes to the linoleum floor, test it for asbestos. Older linoleum floors can contain asbestos. If you find that the flooring does contain asbestos, don’t panic — you can still clean the surface, but avoid breaking it up or sanding it.

Lastly, don’t skimp on the quality of the self-sticking tiles you choose. Cheaper tiles might not be the same size or shape, which can leave unsightly gaps that can’t be adjusted. Two brands we highly recommend are Peel and Stick Foor Tiles by Wall Pops and ACHIM.

Overall, if you take the time to properly prepare the existing linoleum flooring and choose the right type of self-sticking tiles for your needs, you can create a gorgeous, long-lasting result that you’ll love.


Preventing Moss and Mildew from Growing on a Roof

moss on roof shingles
From blocking drainage to causing water damage, moss can wreak havoc on your roof’s health. (Justin Smith, Getty Images)

Moss and mildew growth on a roof can be a frustrating and unsightly problem for homeowners. Fortunately, there are effective methods to prevent the growth of moss and mildew on your roof.

One simple way to prevent moss and mildew growth is to trim any tree branches that are blocking the sun from reaching your roof. Overhanging branches can create a shady and damp environment that is ideal for moss and mildew growth. Increasing your roof’s exposure to sunlight keeps it drier and discourages these unwanted organisms from growing.

Another effective method is to install copper or zinc metal strips on the highest point of the roof. These strips work by releasing copper or zinc minerals when rainwater washes over them. As the minerals flow down the roof, they kill the moss and mildew, keeping your roof clean and free of these unwanted organisms.

These strips are known as sacrificial strips, as they will eventually corrode and need to be replaced. However, they provide a natural and long-lasting solution to keep your roof free of moss and mildew.

Regular roof maintenance can also help prevent moss and mildew growth. Keep your roof clean by removing any debris, such as leaves or twigs, that accumulate on the roof. Regularly inspect the roof for signs of damage or wear, and address any issues promptly to prevent moisture from penetrating the roof and create a favorable environment for moss and mildew to grow.

Read: How to Remove and Prevent Algae Stains on Asphalt Shingle Roofs


Hour 2

Hear the secret to long-lasting stone and brickwork, a free way to improve your DIY skills, one reason why your water heater pipes are rusting, and more.


Protecting Stone and Brickwork

Front of home with stone siding
Sealing brickwork and stone protects it from weathering, staining, and other damage. (PC Photography, Getty Images)

“I have stone and brickwork on the front of my house,” a homeowner says. “Do I need to do anything with that? Do I need to seal coat it or do anything to keep it nice?”

When bricks and stones are new, they have a natural protective coating that helps to repel moisture and prevent staining. However, as they age, this protective layer can wear away, leaving the material vulnerable to damage from moisture and other environmental factors.

To keep them looking their best, here’s what you need to do:

  • Clean it regularly. Over time, dirt, dust, and other debris can accumulate on the surface of your stone and brickwork, making it look dull and unappealing. Regularly clean the surface with a mild detergent and water to remove the buildup and restore its shine.
  • Seal coat it. Applying a sealant to your stone and brickwork protects it from water damage, stains, and other environmental factors. This can be especially important if your home is in an area that is prone to harsh weather conditions.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals. Bleach or acids can damage the surface and cause discoloration.

Follow these tips, and your stone and brickwork will look great for many years to come.

Watch: Importance of Sealing Concrete and Masonry Surfaces


Enhance Your DIY Skills With The Home Depot’s Workshops

Home improvement application and a digital tablet
Home Depot’s livestream workshops offer free interactive lessons on home projects and maintenance. (Monkey Business Images)

Did you know The Home Depot offers more than just the latest and greatest tools and equipment? You can also learn new skills through free, interactive livestream workshops led by experienced Home Depot associates who are experts in their respective areas.

The workshops provide step-by-step instructions and tips on a variety of projects, from basic repairs to more advanced projects. And the best part is, these workshops are interactive! That means you can ask questions in real-time and get immediate feedback and support.

Whether you need help with your lawn and garden or want to learn how to install various types of flooring, they’ve got you covered. They even have workshops that focus on more creative projects, like making a headboard or building custom furniture.

But it doesn’t stop there! The Home Depot also offers children’s workshops that are fun, engaging, and educational. These workshops teach kids how to build and create their own projects and develop important skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity. Plus, they’re led by Home Depot associates who are specially trained to work with kids, so you know they’re in good hands.

And this year, The Home Depot is expanding its commitment to education beyond its online workshops. They’re quadrupling its investment in HBCUs to $4 million. Half will go toward preparing students for their future careers through needs-based programs, and the other will double the Retool Your School Campus Improvement Grant, which provides grants to HBCUs supporting sustainable campus enhancements.

Go to homedepot.com/workshops to see what’s available and register today.

This portion of the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show is sponsored by The Home Depot.


One Cause of Water Heater Pipe Rust

Galvanic corrosion could be the cause of the corrosion inside these water heater pipes. (Julie Wynne)

The pipes have rusted on a homeowner’s seven-year-old electric water heater. She wants to know: “Is it OK to break this rust up and just clean the pipes, or do I need a new water heater?”

Cleaning the rusty pipes may provide a temporary solution, but it’s unlikely to address the underlying issue of corrosion. 

In this case, the corrosion seems to be caused by electrolysis in the dielectric nipples on the hot and cold water pipes. 

Dielectric nipples are short pipes with threads on both ends that prevent electrolysis in plumbing systems caused by different metals being in direct contact with each other.

However, even with the use of dielectric nipples, galvanic corrosion can still occur due to electrolysis. This happens when an electrolyte is present in the plumbing system, and there’s a difference in potential between the two metals that make up the dielectric nipple.

The more reactive metal in the nipple, typically steel or iron, will act as an anode and begin to corrode, while the less reactive metal, usually copper or brass, will act as a cathode and remain unaffected.

Have a plumber look at it to confirm if this is the cause of the corrosion. 

Given the water heater is already seven years old, you might want to consider just replacing it. Generally, the life span of a water heater is about eight to 12 years.

If you do decide to replace your water heater, choose a model with anti-corrosion features like a glass-lined tank or sacrificial anode rod. Also, install a water treatment system to help prevent corrosion.

Read: How to Choose a Water Heater


Best New Products

Whether you’re hanging a gallery wall or installing cabinets, Dewalt’s Self-Leveling Cross Line Laser Level removes all the guesswork!

Simple Solutions

Cardboard boxes in a kitchen mimicking a kitchen island for design purposes
A makeshift cardboard kitchen island allows you to visualize how much space a real one will look like. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Kitchen Island Design Tip — If you’d like to install an island in your kitchen, but aren’t sure it’ll fit, try this quick trick:

Build a full-scale, three-dimensional island out of cardboard boxes. Stack and tape together boxes to replicate cabinets, then use large sheets of cardboard for the island top.

Now, you can very easily shift the mock island around the kitchen to check for the proper clearance spaces. And the cardboard top can be widened or shortened, as needed. 

Close up of a pile of bamboo skewers on a wooden surface
Wooden skewers make for perfect caulk hole pokers. (Photography by Tonelson, Getty Images)

Multi-Purpose Skewers — Wooden skewers used for barbecuing are handy to have around the shop.

Use them to puncture the foil seals in tubes of caulk, sealant and adhesives. They’re also great for spreading glue into mortises, dowel holes, biscuit slots and other tight spaces.

And the skewers can be used to plug stripped holes in hinges.


Further Reading


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

Location*
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.
    Editorial Contributors
    Danny Lipford

    Danny Lipford

    Founder

    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