Today’s Homeowner Radio Show for the week of September 24, 2016

Hour 1

Hour 2

We have officially made it into the Fall Season of 2016! A lot of our questions this week also focused on preparing for the chill that will ultimately find its way to your home. Be sure to listen to the first hour for some tips to consider if you have a fireplace you use to supplement your home heating, or if it’s your main source.

I have to tip my hat to the folks at Duck Brand for their weatherization products. Aside from being inexpensive, they’re so simple to install and can account for significant savings on your energy bill each month. Here’s a few of my favorites from the Duck!

Charles Cottrell the Vice President of Technical Services for the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association joined us in the first hour to talk about the best insulation to use when trying to retrofit a house with no insulation in the walls. Be sure to check out the Insulation Institute web site for some great information to help you with any of your insulation questions.

Composting was the topic of this month’s conversation with our lawn & garden pro, Julie Day Jones. Starting a compost pile is a smart move and to help accelerate the process, grab yourself a handful of worms! You can read my experience with wormy composting here!


I think my favorite question of the day dealt with closet doors that liked to…..belch. Yep…..belch. If you have gassy doors, then make sure you listen to Hour 2 of the show!


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

Thomas in AL
Our roof leaks at the junction to the chimney. What can I do to repair this so it won’t leak anymore? Do I remove the chimney or lay a bunch of tar along the joint between the roof and the chimney?

Danielle in ONT.
We have just finished building a front and back deck with pressure treated wood. Both decks are in mainly sunny areas, so need 4 weeks before treatment. Do we seal the decks this year and stain it next Spring. Or do we stain the deck this year and seal them in the Spring. Someone mentioned to me that if we seal it the stain may not penetrate the wood accurately. Is this accurate?

Charlotte in AL
Can you recommend a high quality caulk to use in a bathroom to use around shower, counters, etc.? The previous owner used some that fine lint/dust that blows around seems to settle on stick to. I guess it never got really hard. Other that we used has yellowed over time.

Roger in ONT.
We have an early 50’s home which has had vinyl siding and slate board siding removed to find out it was never insulated. A local insulation company want to blow in particles, like in the attic, giving the walls an R-10 factor. Is this sufficient insulation?

Brenda in ONT.
We are building a small cabin with a three piece washroom and no kitchen. We are considering a 23 gal tank or a 12 kw tankless system. The cabin will be used about 6 weekends a year and when not in use electricity will be off. Also the cabin is not used in the winter so we need to drain all plumbing pipes. Which system would you recommend?

Tina in FL
My current fence was installed in 1996 and due to weather and such needs pickets replaced- many, OK probably all. To save money I am going to try to enlist help from my son and hopefully a few friends over several weekends. When we remove the pickets what is the best way to install the new ones- using a nail gun or screws?

Andy in AL
I have a 20 inch crawl space in my approx. 1400 ft2 house in Mobile AL. I have enclosed the perimeter with landscape cloth and lattice. Should I open each side for ventilation? Will this cause mold and wood rot? Is this practice acceptable for Mobile weather?

James in TN
How do you get rid of mold in the attic?

Steve in NV
I have just finished filling in all the cracks on the driveway. For the deep cracks I used QPR. (Quality Pavement Repair). According to the directions, it states that it needs to cure for 180 days (6 months). Would it be possible to seal the driveway WITHOUT touching the large filled cracks, and wait until next year to seal those cracks?

James in PA
I have a walkway and front porch made of paving brick. My problem is that ants keep excavating under the bricks, it’s a real problem on the porch, as the bricks move. I am thinking of pouring a slab under then repaving. How thick do I need it to be?

Wava in NH
We watched one of your shows on grouting floors. There was a hint of putting something on the tiles so the grout would clean off easily. We are grouting a floor tomorrow and would love to know.

Jack in NH
Can I replace my flexible dryer vent hose with a PVC set up?

Lucy in CA
3 years ago, I moved into this house. The house is quiet and out of the blues the closet doors make a loud noise. It doesn’t happen much so I just ignore it. Today, in a span of 4 hours it belched again. I heard that things expand and contract in different times of the year. Is this a expand/contract issue? At times the noise is unsettling.

Rodney in VA
My stairs squeak when going up and down. How can I fix this?


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