Today’s Homeowner Radio Show | July 25, 2020

Cracked concrete driveway
Our homes will develop problems — like this cracked driveway. It happens. Fortunately, there’s always a fix.

You may have heard about planned obsolescence — the idea that everything is made to break or at least become outdated and need replacement.

But things break down even when it’s not deliberate; that’s true with people and with homes.

Hairline cracks form on your concrete driveway and exterior mortar. Your basement walls develop efflorescence. Your vinyl siding has a chalky residue.

These problems are common and solvable, and we’ll discuss each of these issues on this week’s Today’s Homeowner Radio Show.

  • [2:09] Tips for dealing with the summer heat outdoors and keeping your AC running cool and efficiently
  • [8:29] Danny and Joe discuss trends in food gardening
  • [15:34] “I’ve read online that I should cover the gable vents because it could ‘short-circuit’ the soffit-ridge vent system. Looking for a trusted opinion on this matter.”
  • [28:27] Best New Product: ApolloPEX Water Pressure Regulator with Gauge
  • [30:22] “My carport does not have a ridge vent placement. Does the lack of a ridge vent pose a problem?”
  • [39:26] “Our house sustained damage from Hurricane Michael. I’m wondering what product I can use to repair several cosmetic cracks in the exterior mortar.”
  • [49:53] Simple Solution: Joe’s formula for a safe, non-toxic mosquito repellant
  • [55:53] “My basement is basically poured cinder with some concrete mixed in. It’s granulating badly … It also has some efflorescence that I need to get rid of. Help!”
  • [57:56] “About a year ago I had a brand new AC put in and in the daytime it cools but at night it’s really hot and stuffy in the house. Help!”
  • [59:09] “I’ve got some chalking going on with my vinyl siding. Got any tips?”
  • [1:01:25] “My home has laminate flooring, hardwood flooring, ceramic tile and Mexican Saltillo floors. I would like to install new water-resistant or waterproof flooring because I want one consistent floor color throughout the house. Help!”
  • [1:12:33] “Is there any way to cover wall tile that goes halfway up our bathroom wall instead of taking it out?”
  • [1:22:39] “I have some cracks in my concrete driveway. I repaired these about four years ago. The repairs did well for a couple of years; now the same crack lines are back. Help!”
  • [1:33:41] “There’s a funky smell coming from our kitchen sink and I traced it back to the dishwasher’s drainage hose. Can I replace the hose myself or must I call a plumber?”
  • [1:37:03] “I want to make a raised flowerbed with landscaping timbers. How do I connect them to each other so they do not fall over?”
  • [1:43:44] Simple Solution: How to contain dust and debris when drilling holes in walls

Which Size Window Air Conditioner Do You Need?

Planning to purchase a window air conditioner? As a general rule, you need about 20 British thermal units of cooling for every square foot of living space.

So, for example, a 12-by-16-foot room would require an air conditioner with a cooling capacity of approximately 4,000 BTU (12 x 16 = 192 sq. ft. x 20 = 3,840 BTU). 

Here’s a simpler, no-math way to determine which size air conditioner to buy. Listed below are the most common sizes of window air conditioners for rooms ranging from 150 to 1,600 square feet: 

Room Size (sq. ft.)Air Conditioner Size (BTU)
150 – 3505,000 – 8,000 
350 – 5508,000 – 12,000
550 – 1,05012,000 – 18,500
1,050 – 1,60018,500 – 25,000

Best New Product

Apollo PEX pipe water pressure regulatorWhy the ApolloPEX 3/4 inch Bronze Double Union PEX Water Pressure Regulator with Gauge raises the bar for water pressure regulation. Learn more>>


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