Today’s Homeowner Radio Show for April 21, 2018

Hour 1

Hour 2

Simple Solutions

Orbital sander trick – Save time when using an orbital finishing sander by putting three or four sheets of sandpaper under clamps. Then, just tear off one sheet when it gets ripped or worn out to expose a fresh sheet.

Improvised Lawn Sprinkler – Here’s how to convert a two-liter soda bottle into a makeshift lawn spinkler. Drill three of four 1/8-in.-dia. holes along one side of the bottle, then twist on a female-to-female hose connector. Attach your garden hose, set the bottle in place and turn on the water. The soda-bottle sprinkler is great when you need to temporarily water smaller areas, such as newly planted grass seed, trees, shrubs and flowerbeds.

Straight from the Pros
Tune in to hour 2 when we chat with Ryan Larsen, aka “Dr. Drainage”. Ryan Larsen is a civil engineer at NDS, Inc. , which manufactures drainage products. He is also known as Dr. Drainage on YouTube as host of NDS’s series of educational videos about how to correctly use drainage products. Ryan joins us to answer this listener question: My property slopes toward the backyard but my septic tank is on the side of the house. Water flows over it in a heavy rain and lately has standing water on the side of the house. I’m going to put in French drains from the front to the back to make water flow quicker but should I put solid pipe near the septic tank so water doesn’t diffuse near it? Right now two inches of water are sitting on top of that area.

Hour 1

Richard in TN
I have a french drain next to my driveway that I want to improve and make it more attractive in front of my house. What suggestions would you have? Can you use pavestones as the top finish? Any suggestion would be appreciated.

Jim in IA
I have a home that was built in 1940. I seem to have a problem with the house being very damp…high humidity in the wintertime – 70%. I don’t have water leaking in the house anywhere and I don’t leave a shower running all the time. In fact, I have my exhaust fan for the shower and the stove blow outside and leave them running for a while. I even took the intake from the high efficiency furnace and routed it so that it sucks the air from the inside trying to dry out the air, but it just stays like 70%. What can I do?

Mike in IL
I live in an older home with steam radiators, which work great. But this past winter they suddenly started banging and squeaking like crazy. What’s causing all the racket and can I fix this myself? I don’t want to listen to all this noise again next winter.

Glen in FL
I have a paver driveway that’s over concrete. They’re about 1.25” thick, 6×9 inch. I’m going to re-seal it and re-sand it but my gaps between the pavers is only 1/8th or maybe a 1/16th”. I was reading the polymer sand and it says it should be at least a quarter inch thick, so I don’t know if I should use more of a powdery sand and then seal it with a sealer, or what?

Jenny in WI
I’ve had to deal with big spiders, mice & now chipmunks getting into my basement. I want to inspect the foundation around my house for possible entryways. Where should I be looking and what should I be looking for? And what’s the best way to seal up any holes or cracks?

Dave in WI
I just built a wooden desk out of red oak. What would be the best finish to put on the desk top?

Iver in DE
My concrete driveway is about 11 years old and it’s developing several minor cracks that extend across the drive. I’d like to repair the cracks before they get any worse. What should I use to seal these cracks?

Hour 2

Rita in AL
I purchased my 1st home and the previous owners had lots of dogs that destroyed the weather stripping on all of the exterior doors. I purchased some to replace it, but soon realized I have no idea how to get the old ones off and the new ones on. Could you please help me? The home was built in 2007.

Letty in CA
I bought a property with a trio of houses almost a year ago. The original cottage was built in the 30s with a poured slab foundation. The entire property has a gentle slope and there has been erosion of the ground around the slab. There’s a crack in the slab and there’s been some settling in the cottage. I don’t know how to retrofit a perimeter footing for the slab or even if that’s what needs to be done. Help!

Barbara in GA
My property slopes toward the backyard but my septic tank is on the side of the house. Water flows over it in a heavy rain and lately has standing water on the side of the house. I’m going to put in french drains from the front to the back to make water flow quicker but should I put solid pipe near the septic tank so water doesn’t diffuse near it? Right now two inches of water are sitting on top of that area.

Angela in VA
We are experiencing a loud cracking sound from upstairs master bedroom and bath. Started about 3 to 4 years ago. A contractor added screws to the master bedroom floor. Noise subsided, the returned about a year or so later. In the meantime they tore out and replaced flooring in master bath. Momentarily, I was in heaven. Noise stopped, but returned a year or so later. (by the way, I had tile added to the bathroom floor). This noise is elevated more during cold months. I believe due to expansion and contracting. You hear this noise when walking across floor for the first time in a day or after returning home after work. The floor pops throughout the day. It’s not as noticeable during warm months. Please help. Tired of spending money and the embarrassment when entertaining guests. I’ve had other contractors come in for estimates, but it seems like they are all guessing.

House built in 1997. Original owner. Master bedroom experienced some noise first year, but builder fixed the problem by doing something to floor from underneath by cutting hole in ceiling.

Louise in ME
We just realized that our home was built without drip edge, so rainwater runs behind the gutters. And this past winter, we had lots of ice on our front porch and along a ramp in the back of the house. Any remedies?

Chris in WI
My husband and I want to install porcelain tile over the vinyl flooring in our laundry room. I found plenty of helpful videos on your website, but we’re not sure about the transition between the tile and the adjacent wood floor in our hallway. Right now, there is a strip of wood T-molding there (between the wood and vinyl). How do we make the transition from tile to wood?

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