Listen to this episode of the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show to learn how to rid your lawn of moles, seal and keep your outside concrete clean, and more.
How to Deal with Moles in Your Yard
A homeowner has struggled with an influx of moles in her backyard — and she’s tired of spending lots of time and money just to be outsmarted by these burrowing beasts.
She wants to know: “Are there any suggestions on how to get rid of the moles — besides digging up the whole yard and starting fresh with new dirt?”
Moles don’t mean any harm to your backyard. They’re just searching for grubs and other sources of food. But that doesn’t make them any less of a pest for many homeowners.
Ultrasonic pest control, a method commonly suggested, rarely works on these creatures, but there are other options.
Since these animals are interested in food, the best option is to eliminate their food source.
To do this, go to a local home improvement store and check the garden department for an herbicide specific for killing grubs while keeping moles safe. Spread this around your yard like fertilizer, and hopefully, the moles will move on.
Another technique for getting rid of moles is to trap them. Place traps such as spring-loaded spike traps into the tunnels. When the moles walk through the tunnels, they will trigger the trap.
While moles can be frustrating, don’t give up! You may be outnumbered but try these solutions, and you may finally defeat them.
Here’s more information: How to Get Rid of Moles in Your Yard
How to Keep Poolside Concrete Clean
A homeowner finds it difficult to clean the porous concrete around her inground swimming pool. She pressure-washes the pool surround but still cannot get it to look pristine.
She asks, “Could you suggest a non-slip product to seal the concrete surrounding my pool?”
Porous concrete requires constant cleaning efforts. This is because dirt, water, and other things get down into the pores, causing mold and mildew.
Because of this, you need to seal the concrete.
However, not just any sealer will do. Outside surfaces need to be able to breathe, so you don’t want to put urethane on them like you would on an indoor floor.
Fortunately, there is a solution.
Go to a home improvement retail store near you and buy a clear masonry sealer.
Next, put that into a pump sprayer like you would use in your garden. Then clean the concrete to the best of your ability and let it dry. Finally, spray three coats of clear masonry sealer directly on the concrete.
The sealer will darken your concrete slightly, but only for a short time. Once it dries, you won’t even be able to tell it’s on there. The seal will keep moisture from sinking into the pores, and your concrete will stay cleaner for much longer!
Listen to get advice on how to remove dark spots from your hardwood floor, reduce moisture in your bathroom, coat your cast iron sink, and more.
Learn How to Remove Black Spots on Hardwood Floor
Sometimes, upgrading a room with beautiful hardwood floors just means removing existing carpeting. However, you don’t always know what you’re gonna get during the process.
A homeowner who removed the carpet over his hardwood floor says he made a shocking discovery: dark spots on the hardwood.
Now, the frustrated do-it-yourselfer is in damage-control mode — and needs our help. He says, “I was wondering what I should do to get the black spots off the floor.”
These black spots most likely were caused by a spill that made its way through the carpet and the pad—improper cleaning of the stain would result in a problem on the underlying floor.
To remove the black spots, take a white cloth, soak it in hydrogen peroxide, and set it on top of the black spots or stains. Let it sit there for several hours or even overnight.
Make sure the cloth stays wet. To do this, cover the cloth with a piece of plastic wrap or something similar so it does not evaporate so quickly.
This process will usually take out the black stains.
Typically, hydrogen peroxide will at least lighten the stains. When the stains lighten, repeat the process and see if those dark spots disappear entirely.
The Best Way to Reduce Humidity in a Bathroom
A homeowner has been struggling with humidity in her bathroom — and the damage it’s inflicted in the space. In fact, she says the excessive moisture has caused her door hinges to rust.
“Would stainless steel hinges suffice, or should I be searching for something else to prevent this rust from occurring in the future?” she says.
When it comes to hinges, yes, stainless steel hinges are durable and rust-resistant. However, the hinges are likely not the only things suffering from excess moisture.
They’re just a symptom of a much bigger problem in this bathroom.
High humidity, left untreated, can cause mold and mildew. Unfortunately, it can even grow in areas that are not visible to you, such as inside the wall.
Because of this, it is crucial to have proper ventilation. And, fortunately, that is easy to achieve!
Here’s a calculator that determines what size vent fan you need for the room. After you’ve taken the measurements, install a good, quiet exhaust fan.
The key to success is ensuring the fixture vents to the outside, not just the attic. If not, the moisture would move to the attic without solving the problem.
For the best results, leave the vent on for about 10 minutes after finishing a shower to prevent moisture.
Cast Iron Sink Coating Solutions
A homeowner is concerned about his cast iron sink. It is an older fixture with a white coating that he is trying to maintain.
He asks, “Is there something to recoat the sink to make the white look brand new?”
The answer is yes. You can find DIY kits for this purpose at your local home improvement retailer. Those kits, however, can be cumbersome to work with and involve a lot of prep work and time. But this option could be an excellent fit if you are interested in home DIY projects.
It is great to restore your sink, but if you are not interested in doing it yourself, call a professional service. Hiring a pro may not save you money, but it will save you time.
To many people’s surprise, they still make cast iron sinks, so buying a new sink is also an option if you are interested.
Your local home center may even have a similar sink to the one you currently have. If the faucet is in good shape, continue using the same faucet.
Either way, buying a new sink may just save you time and money.
Best New Products
Ryobi EZClean Cordless PowerCleaner
Power washers greatly help homeowners, but only some cleaning jobs need a full-size pressure washer. So, RYOBI has introduced the ONE plus HP Brushless EZClean Power Cleaner. It’s a powerful and portable tool for lots of cleaning chores.
It delivers up to 600 PSI to blast away dirt, light debris, and other messes. The 3-in-1 nozzle allows you to choose between spray three patterns: turbo, 15-degree spray, and rinse, so you can match the tool to the job. There’s also an adjustable pressure button to switch between gentle and high-pressure cleaning.
It connects to a garden hose, a 2-liter bottle, or the included 20 ft. siphon hose to supply water. And it all runs on the same 18-volt ONE plus batteries you already have… they’re just protected in this water-resistant battery enclosure.
Find the Ryobi EZClean Cordless PowerCleaner at The Home Depot.
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Making Long Plywood Cuts Safely — When using a circular saw to make long, narrow rip cuts in plywood, it’s important that the cut piece is fully supported to prevent it from sagging down. If it’s not supported, the saw blade can get pinched in the cut and the saw might kick back to you. So to prevent the plywood piece from sagging down, all you need is some duct tape. Start the saw and cut 12 or so inches into the plywood. Next, slip the duct tape through the kerf and stick it to the top surface of the wider piece of plywood. Then pull the tape under the sheet, flip the tape over, and bring it around and stick to the top surface of the narrow plywood strip. Now, with this duct-tape truss in place, the plywood strip is fully supported and unable to sag down.
8 Pro Tips for Installing Cement Backerboard —When tiling over plywood, you should always put down a layer of cement backer board first, which will provide the necessary support for the tile. Here are eight important steps to keep in mind when installing cement backer board:
1. Check the plywood subfloor for any movement and squeaks. Use 2-inch drywall screws to fasten down any trouble spots, driving the screws through the plywood and into the floor joists below.
2. Use a notched trowel to spread thin-set mortar over the plywood subfloor.
3. Lay the cement backer board into the thin-set, making sure to overlap any seams in the plywood subfloor by at least 4 inches.
4. Fasten the backer board using an impact driver and backer board screws; space the screws 4 inches apart around the perimeter of the backer board sheet and 8 inches apart across the center.
5. Leave a 1/8- inch gap between the backer board sheets and stagger the sheets so that four corners don’t meet at a single intersection.
6. Cover the seams between the backer board sheets with adhesive-backed fiberglass mesh tape. (Wipe off the dust first.)
7. Spread a thin layer of thin-set mortar over the taped joints.
8. Once the mortared joints have cured, you can start setting the tile.