Today’s Homeowner Radio Show for Week of Oct. 21, 2017

Hour 1

Hour 2

Simple Solutions

Whole-House Humidifier Tip
Minimize airborne bacteria by washing the humidifier’s water chambers with a diluted bleach solution: Pour two tablespoons of chlorine bleach into one gallon of water. Put on rubber gloves and use a sponge or soft-bristle brush to scrub the inside of the chambers. Repeat once a month throughout the heating season.

Homemade Lazy Susan
Place several ball bearings or marbles in between two round metal pie tins. Great for use in the workshop, on a kitchen counter or inside a cabinet.

Hour 1

Tina in NC
We have mold forming anywhere HVAC air comes out of our registers. I don’t know how to clean the HVAC ducts – help!

Leo in OH
Our house was built in 1947 before they had electric dryers. Recently we had electric run to our dryer and now we need to vent it. We’ve got a concrete block foundation and a small window to vent it. Can you give me some tips on how to go about this?

Kristen in TN
I recently had my soil tested thru the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. My phosphorous tested at 650 and my Potassium tested at 280 – both are excessively high. We are getting ready to aerate and over-seed our lawn and the lawn care company insists on using a starter fertilizer. I am hesitant to add more of these to my soil. Unfortunately, I don’t see results for Nitrogen testing. Those were left blank. Would you recommend a starter fertilizer or not? We will be using Tall Fescue.

Bill in OR
The mortar in our chimney is cracking and when it rains for long periods of time the water is getting into our house. How do we fix this?

Sid in FL
My bathroom exhaust fan is old and makes a lot of racket when it runs. I’m thinking it needs to be replaced, but I don’t know how to do that.

Eban in FL
I live in Miami, Florida and my home has central air conditioning, but no heating system. I’m looking to add more insulation to save energy. Which way should the moisture barrier on the insulation face in a home that has air conditioning, but no furnace?

Rahim in Puerto Rico
A few months ago, I hung a large framed picture — weighing about 35 lbs. — on a concrete wall. I used hooks and nails, and plastic anchors. The picture recently crashed to the floor, at 3 a.m.! The hooks, nails and wire were fine, but I noticed that the nails had slipped out of the anchors. Any idea what went wrong? And can you suggest a better way to hang the picture?

Hour 2

Lisa in OK
I am attempting to add on to my patio all by myself. I have a large square of dirt already (I’ve dug out most grass space, beside my existing patio space). What are my next steps?

Carol in KY
I have a 100-year-old house and I’m painting, and all the doors have painted hinges (screws and all). How can I clean these? Do I need to take them off?

June in MI
We have a 12-year-old house which is sided with white CraneBoard. It is a large, two story house and, on one side, there is mold/mildew forming. We would like to power wash the house down but have been told that we must be very careful not to get water up into the weep holes in the CraneBoard or the water can seep back into the structure and cause rot. The house is very tall and we don’t know how to get above it to power wash downward but washing from below upward may present the above problem. What should we do?

Terry in OR
My house is 13 years old. It had vinyl siding on it when I purchased it. I replaced the siding with HardiPlank, but the wall insulation under the vinyl siding was just a foam board. I wanted to upgrade the insulation and put a vapor paper in but the contractor said they couldn’t do either as there wasn’t enough room. My house is so cold during the fall and winter. What can I do to check if the insulation in the walls is adequate? Also, the garage wasn’t insulated, so I added insulation in the attic , but the walls had sheetrock on them, so they are not insulated. How can I insulate the walls without removing the drywall?

Pat and Pete in FL
Our home was custom built 13 years ago. But we now have cracks and separation at a number of places where the drywall joints were taped. And some of the tape has come loose. How can we fix it?

Dianne in SC
I have a new pressure-treated wood deck that I’m preparing to seal and stain once the wood dries. My question is: Do I have to apply sealer and wood stain to the underside of the deck as well? There is room to crawl underneath. Thanks!

The wooden arbor that supports my rose bushes is badly rotted and has begun to fall apart. How can I remove and replace the arbor without damaging the rose bushes? Thanks for your help.


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