Today’s Homeowner Radio Show for the week of October 29, 2016

Hour 1

Hour 2

Let’s kick off this week’s show with death, more specifically, premeditated murder…of gnats! There are all kinds of sprays, home remedies and tips to deal with these annoying little pests.


I had a minor infestation at my house several months ago and had an enormous amount of success by baiting them with red wine vinegar. But rather than just place a shallow pan of the vinegar along with a drop or two of dish soap, you need to construct a gnat-specific trap. Here’s one of the best YouTube videos I’ve seen for a very simple-to-make trap that will do wonders.

Many plumbers will tell you that if you haven’t drained your water heater EVER, and it’s several years old, then to drain it now would be a mistake because it could shorten the lifespan of the appliance. Well…I think they’re HALF right. In my opinion, this is a true statement only if you have a gas water heater. Why do I think that? Be sure to listen to Hour 1 of the show and hear my full explanation!

Our buddy, Brian Santos, The Wall Wizard joined us once again this week to talk about a couple of good options when you’re faced with stubborn-to-remove wallpaper.


If you live in an area of the country that has a frost line and you’re planning on building a deck, then it’s important to make sure you place your deck footings BELOW the frost line. One of the best products you can include in your project is the QuickTube from Quikrete. Here’s a great video on their site that explains how and why you should dig the post footings below the frost line.

Got a squeaky wood floor? You’ve got a couple of good options to solve that noisy problem, but a quick (and temporary) fix involves using talcum powder. Watch this video to see the explanation.

And, here are a few more topics from this week’s show:

Pat in TN
I’m having a terrible time with gnats! I’ve tried a pan with apple cider vinegar and caught a few, but it’s just not enough. What can I do?

Sally in MI
I’m putting up a kitchen backsplash. The drywall is newly installed. Do I have to tape and cover the seams still before installing the tile?

Steven in NC
I have run into a little trouble. I used 100% silicone caulking to caulk around the tiled shower, where it meets the wall drywall. I went to paint in that area and noticed that the paint does not stick to the wail (the silicone to be exact). Can you please give me some advice on how I can remove the silicone caulking from the drywall in order to paint in this area?

Mariam in NC
I have lived in my home for 7-years and have never drained the hot water heater. I recently had a plumber come out to my house to check the plumbing and requested that my water heater be drained. He informed me that being that it had never been drained, it would damage it and shorten the life if I did so at this point. The current warranty on it is for 10-years, would it shorten the life if it was drained now?

Ken in AL
Will my patio floor still sweat if I enclose it? I am pretty sure no vapor was installed. I have tiled with ceramic tile.

Janet in TX
I have a ranch-style house with concrete porches. The concrete is a sore spot with me, and it’s about 41 years old. I’ve considered a rough tile, stain and wood, but any change would be an extensive expense, as there are four long porches. Considering expense, looks and longevity, can you give me any advice as to which would be the best choice?

Lindsay in AL
I’m trying to remove wallpaper that is at least two layers thick. The top layer comes off fantastically, but the one directly on the drywall is like removing super glue! Are there any special tricks to remove it or am I fighting a losing battle?

Anthony in AL
What do I need to do to paint my old countertops? Is there a special paint I need?

Denise in NC
I need new windows. What should I be looking for when shopping for them? Also, I don’t have enough fresh air going into my attic. Should I install new soffits from Hardie board and add more vents?

Linda Lou in IN
I want to set posts for a new deck. Do I dig down below the frost line?

Linda in LA
My home was affected by the flood in Louisiana and everything is down to the studs, so perfect timing. I would like to open the kitchen/ living room area but have an upstairs and was told I need to figure out if it’s a low bearing wall. How do you determine that, can it be done and what size beam if it can be done?

Jeff in IL
10 days ago I re-glazed outside of wood windows with Dap33 putty. I will apply a shellac based primer 5 days from now. It’s getting colder, is it OK to wait until Spring to paint over the primer? I do have storm windows protecting the wood windows.

Larry in AL
I am installing tongue and groove pine on a wall as a focal wall. I want to paint it white, but I know that the knots will bleed through even after lots of layers of primer from past experience. What primer or paint should I use to stop this from happening? Ever use shellac primer and would that work?

Johnny in SC
My bathroom ceiling edge where it meets the wall has several buckles in it where the tape has apparently come loose. How do I repair that?

Terry in GA
A tree fell on my Camilla bed with approximately 50 old camellias! Some very special plants that had been grafted years ago! The contractor that removed the tree also dug up the whole plants!!! Root and all!!! Can I replant these plants with any luck of them surviving?

Ken in LA
How do you attach wood blocking to a porcelain tile for a kitchen island? Do you glue pieces of wood to the floor and then screw the island to them?

Billy in GA
Our house was built in 2008 and we have had an extreme dust problem since soon after we moved in. I have spent thousands with different HVAC and home efficiency companies trying to fix the problem with very little success. Do you have any suggestions or advice on someone that might help us solve this problem?

Matt in KY
I have an older home with wood floors and the squeak a lot. How can I remove the squeak without using nails or screws?


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