Today’s Homeowner Radio Show for Week of Sept. 30, 2017

Hour 1

Hour 2

Simple Solutions

Whole-House Humidifier Tip – Furnace-mounted humidifiers can become clogged with lime and hard-water deposits, which prevent moisture from escaping. So, before turning on the heat this fall or winter, remove the humidifier’s filter and soak it in white vinegar mixed with lemon juice for about 30 minutes or so. If any lime scale remains, try using a commercial lime remover, such as Lime Away or CLR (Calcium-Lime-Rust). Now, in severe cases, you won’t be able to clean the filter, and you’ll need to replace it.

Keyhole Slot Tip – Many electrical products, such as power strips, wall-hung telephones, and modem-routers, have keyhole mounting slots on the back to attaching to a wall. However, lining up the mounting screws with the slots is no easy feat. Try this trick next time: Make photocopy of back of device (at 100%) then simply hold the photocopy in place to mark screw-hole locations with an awl or nail set. Partially drive in the screws at the marks and then slide on the device. Perfect fit, every time!

Hour 1

Jeff in NE
I have a 2,300 sq. ft. attic in a 1 1/2 story home, 36 ft. of ridge vents and soffit vents. The attic gets over 115 degrees in the summer, and we can’t use our two upstairs bedrooms when it gets over 85 degrees outside. The roof is a 6/12 pitch, so it is over 15 feet tall at the peak. I want to put in a venting fan, but I’m not sure that will solve the problem and wanted to ask your opinion first.

Nina in GA
I’m having a pergola installed and want to pave with 16×16 concrete pacers. The problem is the ground is not level and is also very soft. It used to be a garden. How do you suggest I prepare the ground to put these pavers in?

Mary in OH
I painted a room a month ago and I’m still smelling the paint fumes and it’s bothering me. I want to paint over it with no VOC paint and I don’t know how to go about it. What product should I use and will it really help?

Mary in AR
I’m turning a storage building into small house. I need to attach a second storage building. They will form an L shape. What’s the best way to attach roofs? One is metal and other is shingle. Thanks.

Delores in AL
I have a washed out area in side yard – it has been filled in twice before. The problem is worse now and not sure how to fix it. I live in a patio home, zero lot line. Only a few feet between me and the house next door. What category of person should I contact for advice?

Joyce in NJ
I am considering having my driveway redone with pavers. How do they hold up? When it snows, how do I clear the driveway and walkway? I was told shoveling can crack the stones. What can I put down for the ice? The contractor says he is using polymeric sand. Does this mean it is sealed and weeds wont grow through?

Jim in CT
In reading your website on lawn care it is not recommended that grass be cut short, that it can lead to diseases. However, I have read that the last mowing of the season should be very short to prevent disease, such as a winter fungus. Do you agree with this “last mowing” recommendation or not?

Hour 2

Alfie in TN
We recently moved into a house with an elevated screened-in porch. We hat our options are for painting exposed wood and what would you suggest for flooring?

Ben and Betty in NH 
We’re completely renovating the exterior of our home and are considering fiber-cement siding. I removed some of the old vinyl siding and beneath it found house wrap over ½-inch plywood. I want to increase the energy efficiency of the home by nailing rigid foam board over the house wrap. Can fiber-cement siding be installed foam board? And if so, how? Do I need to cover the foam board with house wrap first?
– Hear the answer Straight from the Pro: Joe Massari, technical sales representative at James-Hardie Building Products, the world’s leading manufacturer of fiber-cement siding

Carol in CA
I have several olive trees and two redwood trees that are in need of pruning. When is the best time to trim these trees? I live in the San Fernando Valley in California where it’s very hot in the summer and usually we do not have a winter, just cool to cold weather.

Manny in MI
I am remodeling our guest bathroom and my wife wants to change the grout color. Do I paint the old grout or do I remove the old grout and apply new grout? The current grout is in good condition.


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