Today’s Homeowner Radio Show for Week of Nov. 18, 2017

Hour 1

Hour 2

Hour 1

Phil in NC
The home I purchased has two water heaters (about 40 gals each) plumbed in series. By this I mean cold water enters one tank, the outflow of tank 1 goes to tank 2, and the final result is delivered to the home. While I assume this is to increase the total amount of hot water available, I infer that the builder found it cheaper to do than just purchasing a larger tank. The question is: What is the “proper” way to operate these units? Is series plumbed the preferred way? If so, should the temperature settings be the same or should the first be lower than the second?

Kay in Ontario, Canada
I live in an apartment with sliding doors. There’s an outside one, then a screen door, then the inside one. The outside door is covered with condensation on its inside. I’ve tried wiping it clear, but it just steams up again. I’ve tried RainX, but that doesn’t work.  We have the most wonderful view out our windows and it’s a pity we can’t see it. This also happens on some of the windows. Help please.

Ann in CT
My house was built in the ’60s and has rough cedar siding that’s being attacked by birds, squirrels, bees, etc. They’re drilling holes in the top portion of it because it’s so old and dry. I can’t afford new siding right now, so I’m wondering if I could put 4×8 sheets of rough cedar-look plywood over it to make it durable against the animals.

Barbara in MS
Our renters painted latex point over oil and now it’s all peeling. What can we do about this?

Heather in KY
We recently found beautiful tongue-and-groove boards behind the drywall in our kitchen. After removing all the drywall, the tongue-and-groove boards were covered with paper from the drywall. We’ve been successful at wetting and scraping the paper off the walls, but the ceiling has been very difficult to clean up. Can you offer any suggestions?

Genee’ in KS
I need your advice about a concrete patio addition that’s gone bad. Not only does the new concrete color not match the existing patio, it has already begun to crack. Can bricks or pavers be laid on top of the patio? Our home is only 3 years old and this is a big eyesore. My husband suggested staining it, but I’m worried it will look even worse.

I’m removing an old bathtub and installing a combination tub/shower unit. The problem is that there’s a window where the acrylic shower wall will go. Is it possible to install a small tilt-out window above the shower wall for ventilation? My house exterior is brick and the window opening is 32 in. X 42 in.

Hour 2

Elizabeth in FL
Is there a true way to fix moisture buildup on my interior concrete slab? I have laid a vapor barrier and vinyl plank flooring, and now discovered moisture build up between the slab and the flooring. I am pretty confident no vapor barrier was laid before slab was poured 40 yrs ago. I know moisture is moving up through slab, so it is not a water leak problem, or a temp condensation issue. I have had carpet up until now but would really like to lay this vinyl flooring, however mold would be of great concern. Have you had any experience or luck using the waterproof paints to seal the surface?

Brad in MS
I have a floating slab porch that is slanted in the wrong direction – it sheds water TOWARD the house, rather than away. Other than demolishing the slab and pouring a new one, is there a remedy?

Beth in OK
I have two large windows with acrylic glass blocks. The sealant used in between acrylic blocks is coming out and I’m wondering what can be used to fix it. Must you take it all out as it is all one connected piece and recaulk with something like a glaze?

James in NC
Whenever I turn on the water at my bath vanity sink, there is a foul odor. However the water doesn’t stink nor taste bad. What could be causing the odor?

Chuck in AL
I purchased a condo and one wall has floor-to-ceiling mirrors. Each mirror is about 3 ft. wide x 8 ft. tall. I’m not sure how to remove them safely, so I was wondering about drywalling over them. Is it possible to stick drywall to mirrors with some sort of adhesive? If not, do you have any other suggestions?

Janet in OH
We’d like to add an island to our kitchen, but we’re not sure if there’s enough room. How do you determine if a kitchen can accommodate an island without cramping the space?

Lisa in AL
I’d like to build an outdoor kitchen, but I’m not sure there’s enough room between the house and our swimming pool. How far should the kitchen be from a pool area?


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