Today’s Homeowner Radio Show for Week of August 12, 2017

Hour 1

Hour 2

In the first hour, we talked with Teri from Illinois about a gap between her front porch and house. She and her husband are not sure how to attach the sill. She sent us these photos:

Sill 1

Sill 2

Hear our advice on how they should go about fixing this problem in hour 1 of the show.

Andrew from South Carolina wrote in a question about grout: “I’m tiling a small bathroom in my house and I’ve done tile work before, but after a few months the color of the grout always seems to change from one area of the floor to another. What can I do to avoid that?”

What Andrew is experiencing is either staining of the grout, inconsistent grout color, or possibly a combination of the two. People often only think about staining in kitchens where spills are common, but sanded grout is porous, so it can absorb moisture and over time grow mold and mildew, which discolors the grout. Using a grout sealer after installation will help with the staining but that can be a tedious process that often needs to be repeated every year or two. Another option is to use a stain-proof grout like Fusion Pro Single Component Grout from Custom Building Products. The color is always consistent, and it never needs sealing.

Tip of the Week

Wood fences need to be cleaned and sealed or stained from time to time to keep them looking good and protect the wood from cracking, warping, or cupping caused by the sun’s UV rays and the weather.

Start by thoroughly cleaning the fence or deck using a specially formulated fence or deck cleaner following the manufacturer’s directions. Allow the cleaner to remain on the wood the recommended time (usually 15-20 minutes). Scrub the wood with a long handled scrub brush, or use a power pressure washer.

Once the fence is clean, it’s important to stain or seal the wood to help protect it from the sun and weather. An oil stain is the best choice to really penetrate and protect a fence for years to come.

Watch How to Clean and Maintain a Wood Fence to find out more.

Here’s what else we tackled in this week’s show:

Hour 1

Curt in FL
What is your opinion on the use of the various types of “quick install brackets” that are available to speed the installation of interior and exterior pre-hung doors? I am concerned that they may not hold the frame as rigid as traditional shims. Also, I noticed that most of the hinge screws on the pre-hung exterior door in a house I just bought were installed crooked. It is just a cosmetic issue that bothers me. Do you think it’s worth the effort to straighten these? If so, should I fill the old screw holes with something like Gorilla glue and then re-drill and re-install the screws straight?

Diane in OH
The back door of our church has a gutter over the door, but heavy rains cause flooding under the double door into the hallway. We thought an awning would help direct the water away from the doors so the flooding would stop. The hard rain causes a waterfall hitting the sidewalk backing up under the doors. How far out does the awing have to reach to avoid the flooding. They are double doors that are flush with the building. Also, would the sidewalk have to be sloped away from the doors?

Amber in FL
My A/C condensing unit is not level. Is this something that I can rectify on my own? How do I lift the unit and do I have to disconnect the piping before moving the unit?

Susan in MA
What is the best way to paint louvered doors?

Danny in AL
I have a hot water heater in my garage. Unfortunately my garage often holds water due to a drain issue. I’m seeing rust around the bottom. Should I try to put a seal around it when it when it is dry or maybe drain the water heater and lift it enough to put plastic pan under it? Any other suggestions.

Bonnie in AL
We are going to tackle a DIY flooring project of replacing carpet in 3 bedrooms and living room and adjoining dining area. We have wood subfloor and a very well built subfloor. Do you have any tips regarding materials and installation?

Hour 2

Sharon in PA
We want to tile our covered front porch. Our home was built in the ’50s and porch has several layers of paint. Can we scrape any loose paint and then apply the RedGard, or do we have to remove all the paint to ensure a good seal?

Joni in OR
Several years ago I had new gutters installed. I believe they are aluminum — they’ve lasted quite a while, but how long should gutters last? And, I originally complained about them “sweating” so much. I was told that they would stop sweating after they’d been on the house for a while. Do all gutters “sweat??

David in AL
We’ve got one exterior door that keeps sticking (won’t open or close easily, hits door frame). Probably due to frame swelling in our high moisture or our door shifted some. I’ve chiseled back some of the hinge supports slightly in the frame to try to realign the door in the frame but it still sticks. Any suggestions?

Lisa in CA
I have Spanish tile “Saltillo” right now in my entire home. Can I put laminate flooring on top of that, and if yes what do I need to start my project? Is it easy for me to do it myself?

Steven in FL
Bathtub is not draining. May be more than hair. It may be roots. What is the best thing to do?

Naimish in GA
Can porcelain tiles used in backyard? Is it durable in outdoor use?

Jake in TX
My wife and I just moved in to a new house and have been told by two people (an a/c repair man and an insulation expert) that our attic is very hot which I believe is causing our home to be hot. We replaced a pre-existing powered ventilator and it helped, but I was wondering if it would be beneficial to install another ventilator or if we should turn to a small ridge vent.

Denise in WY
We have a side of our home that gets so hot in the summer and gets hugely affected in the winter. We have a deck coming off of home but we continually are replacing boards and railing. We created a fenced back yard with lawn, but because of the sun exposure we don’t go back there anymore. Any ideas on what to do? We love the outdoors and want to enjoy our back yard but can’t deal with the hot sun exposure.


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