Today’s Homeowner Radio Show | June 11, 2022

Dirty ceiling vents can cause health problems. Also: You don’t need a pro to fix a chip on a granite countertop. (Photos from Donna De Cant and MichaelRLong, Getty Images)

This week, we’re giving advice on how to repair a cracked sloped ceiling, how to clean a popcorn ceiling around a vent and how to fix a chipped granite countertop.


A Solution to a Cracking Sloped Ceiling

This sloped vaulted ceiling is starting to bubble and crack. (Photo illustration using images from Jim Marsh)

The sloped vaulted ceiling in Jim Marsh’s Thousand Oaks, Calif., townhome is loosening from the rafter and starting to bubble and crack.

Contractors have advised him against patching the problem areas because of how big the ceiling is (it’s 17 feet wide by 53 feet long!). He wants to know if it’s structurally sound to place drywall over existing drywall.

First off, we agree with what the contractors are telling Jim. With such a large ceiling, if you were to try to scrape the spots and blend them in with a knockdown finish, they would still stand out.

Also, more cracks could pop up. 

And yes, you can put drywall over existing drywall. The process of doing that is called veneering, and quarter-inch drywall is available for this. 

You’ll need to identify where each ceiling joist is and pop chalk lines on each one. Then, insist on using screws, not nails, so they’ll stay in place and won’t pop out.

Another option is to tear out the ceiling and start from scratch. The bubbling could be caused by a moisture problem, so doing this will expose if that is the case.

Skip to [10:52] for the full segment on the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show.


Cleaning a Popcorn Ceiling

If you have a dirty A/C ceiling vent like this, you may need to replace more than just the air filter. (Photo by Donna De Cant)

Dirt is accumulating outside the ceiling vent in Donna De Cant’s home in Live Oak, Fla. She’s tried to clean the ceiling, but only the popcorn texture comes off, not the dirt.

To clean a popcorn ceiling, use the upholstery brush on your vacuum cleaner to remove the dust. Unscrew the vent from the ceiling and clean the grill with oxygen bleach or another cleaning agent. Oil up the moving parts with machine oil

If the dirt has stained it, mix some warm water and oxygen bleach in a spray container, and carefully spray the ceiling. Don’t oversaturate it or the popcorn ceiling will come loose. 

Once it’s dry, go over it with a stain-blocking primer and paint it. 

So what’s causing this? The vent is blowing air out, and in that air are dust particles. Anytime you’re changing your A/C filter, vacuum out the space behind the return air vent. 

Also, moisture in the air can make those dust particles stain the ceiling. Moisture could come from the air or you could have leaky ductwork. Make sure the humidity in your home isn’t too high, and have an air conditioner technician check your ductwork to make sure it’s sealed properly. 

Skip to [22:17] for the full segment on the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show.


Repairing Chips on a Granite Countertop

There is a quick fix for repairing chips in granite countertops. (MichaelRLong, Getty Images)

Granite is a natural material, so there are different layers of stone that can loosen up. This, in turn, can make them susceptible to chipping.

Simply dropping a can from a cabinet can cause a knick on the surface.

To repair chips in granite, you can use epoxy glue. It dries a cloudy gray color so it will blend in with darker-colored countertops.

It can be tough to blend it to match since each granite countertop has a unique color texture.  

For a more precise repair that won’t stand out, buy a ProCaliber Granite Repair Kit. No color matching is necessary for this kit.

Skip to [56:24] for the full segment on the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show.

Also in this episode:


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