Here are some of the highlights from the August 15, 2009, Homefront with Danny Lipford radio show.
Guests on This Week’s Show:
- Chip Wade is an Atlanta native whose carpentry skills landed him a role on HGTVs Designed to Sell. To test the durability of Mohawk’s SmartStrand carpet, Chip installed over 1,000 square feet of carpet on the floor of Ricko the Rhino’s enclosure in the Birmingham Zoo). Go to the SmartStrand Rhino Challenge website to follow Ricko’s progress via live webcams from August 14-August 28. You can find out more about Chip at chipwade.com.
- Keeping with our animal theme, we also have wildlife control expert Mark Dotson to discuss problems you might be having with wildlife. Mark is the author of the book The King of Cages and also heads the wildlife control company A All Animal Control.
Tips for Pest Control Problems:
- Sprinkle salt on ant hills.
- Sprinkle baking soda around your home.
- Spray with one capful of peppermint soap to one quart of water.
- Make a DIY roach motel by placing a piece of bread on a board smeared with petroleum jelly, or place bread on a sheet of flypaper.
- Trim back trees and foliage to reduce roof access.
- Install hardware cloth on roof vents and chimney openings.
- Seal up all outside openings to your home using expandable foam with pieces of broken glass added to deter gnawing.
- Use peanut butter rolled in oats for bait in traps, or hot glue sunflower seeds to the trigger plate of the trap.
- Place traps in groups of 2 or three.
- Sprinkle talcum powder around traps so you can check for rodent tracks and follow them to their hiding place.
- Repair any leaks under your home.
- Check the shower pan and caulking around tub for leaks.
- Direct water from sprinklers in yard so they don’t hit house.
- Provide adequate outside ventilation to basement and crawlspace.
Questions Answered on This Week’s Show:
How can I find and repair a roof that leaks only during a heavy rain?
Heavy rain coupled with strong wind can:
- Turn seldom noticed small leaks into big ones.
- Cause rainwater to back up behind flashing at chimneys, dormers, and valleys.
- Overwhelm gutters and downspouts.
To locate a leak in your roof:
- While it’s still raining, go in the attic and mark the highest wet spot on the rafters or sheathing.
- After the weather has cleared, transfer this mark to the roof, either by measuring the distance from landmarks in the attic (such as the ridge, plumbing vent, and chimney) and transferring to the roof, or by driving a nail up through the roofing at the highest point of the leak.
- Look for the leak in or above the area it was observed.
The leak may be coming from:
- A damaged piece of siding.
- An uncovered roofing nail.
- Improperly installed, rusted out, or gaps in metal flashing.
- Roof cement that has worn off or developed a crack.
To repair a leak in a roof:
- Replace or repair gaps in flashing.
- Fill any gaps or holes with roofing cement.
- Replace any damaged shingles, or slide a piece of sheet metal under the damaged shingle.
What is the best material to use between a subfloor and flooring?
That will depend on the type of subfloor and flooring:
- For nailed down wood flooring, put felt paper over the subfloor to provide a barrier from dust and moisture and to reduce noise and squeaks. Staple the felt paper down perpendicular to the wood flooring and overlap joints 4”.
- For glued down wood flooring on a plywood subfloor, apply the mastic directly to subfloor.
- For wood floor over a concrete slab, put down 6 mil plastic then nail treated 2x4s to it, or attach the 2x4s to the concrete with mastic then put the plastic down on top.
- When installing two layers of plywood subfloor, you don’t need to put a barrier between them, but it’s good to glue them together with construction adhesive, staggering the joints between the two layers by 2” or more.
- For laminated flooring, use the foam underlayment that is recommended by the manufacturer.
When insulating your attic, which is better, blown or batt insulation?
Batts provide higher R-Value per inch than loose fill:
- Fiberglass, batts: 2.9-3.8 (high density 3.7-4.3)
- Cellulose, loose: 3.1-3.8
- Fiberglass, loose: 2.2-2.9
While batts are more DIY friendly, they need to be cut to fit tightly between joists to prevent air leakage. Wear mask and protective clothing and don’t attempt to go in attic during hot weather.
While a blower can be rented to install blown insulation yourself, it’s usually done by professionals. Blown cellulose settles 20%, compared to 2%-4% for blown fiberglass, but cellulose provides a better barrier to air infiltration than fiberglass.
Be sure not to block soffit vents when installing insulation in your attic. This is especially true with blown insulation. Don’t cover recessed light fixtures with insulation unless the cans are approved for it and local building codes allow them to be covered.
What’s the best way to paint oxidized aluminum siding?
- Clean siding thoroughly to remove dirt, mildew, and any oxidation (chalking) by scrubbing with a mixture of TSP and water (can add bleach or other chemical to remove mildew if needed), using a scrub brush or an abrasive sponge. Rinse with hose (angle spray downward to keep from getting water behind siding). Can also pressure wash, but make sure to point downward to avoid getting water behind siding.
- Allow siding to dry, then prime oxidized aluminum siding and any bare metal with a thinned, oil-base, exterior primer made for priming metal. Siding in good condition can be primed with an exterior latex primer made for priming metal. Adding a bonding agent, like Emulsa-Bond, to the latex primer may make it adhere better.
- Allow primer to dry and paint with high quality, exterior, satin, 100% acrylic, latex paint (some is formulated specifically for painting aluminum siding).