Today’s Homeowner Radio Show Podcast | January 7, 2023

This week, hear how to replace rotten soffit and keep an old paint color from showing through. (LindaCharlton, Getty Images Signature/georgejportfolio, Canva)

Hour 1

Hear how to keep an old paint color from showing through, what to do about peeling paint on a bathtub and more.


Covering Old Paint Color

Paint roller painting blue paint over pink colored wall
Proper prep work and the right primer are keys to making sure the old paint color won’t show through the new one. (georgejportfolio, Canva)

A homeowner is trying to paint interior walls, but the old color keeps coming back. 

“I have now put three coats of primer on the walls, and the old color is still shining through!” they say. “Is there anything I can do to cover up that paint successfully?”

There are a few steps you can take to try to improve the coverage of the primer:

Sand the walls: Sanding the walls will create a rough surface for the primer to adhere to, which may improve its coverage. Be sure to wipe down the walls with a damp cloth to remove any dust after sanding.

Use a high-quality, high-adhesion primer: Some primers are specifically formulated to adhere to difficult surfaces, such as glossy paint or oil-based paint. Using a high-quality, high-adhesion primer may improve the coverage of the old paint.

Learn more: How to Choose the Right Sandpaper Grit for the Job

Use bonding primer: Bonding primer, also known as adhesion primer or glue primer, is a type of primer that is specifically formulated to adhere to difficult surfaces. It is designed to bond to surfaces that are otherwise hard for paint to stick to, such as glossy paint, metal, or plastic. Be sure to allow each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next.

Tint the primer: This type of primer has been mixed with a small amount of paint pigment to give it a slight color. Tinted primer can be used to help cover up dark colors or imperfections on a surface, or to improve the overall appearance of the finished paint job.

If the paint is still showing through, you may need to paint the walls a dark color to conceal the old paint.


Peeling Paint on a Tub

Dirty cast iron bathtub with paint cracking and peeling
Cracking paint on a cast iron tub can be caused by a variety of factors, including age, wear and tear, and exposure to water and other elements. (Hemera Technologies, Photo Images)

The paint is peeling like crazy in a new homeowner’s bathtub. 

She says, “It has been like this since they moved in, and we’re wondering if it’s okay to take it all off.”

It is generally not a good idea to remove all of the paint from a bathtub. If the paint is peeling, it is likely that the underlying layer is not well adhered to the tub surface, which could cause further peeling and damage.

One option is to remove loose and flaking paint using a scraper or wire brush. Then, sand the surface to create a rough, porous surface for the new paint to adhere to. The tub should then be thoroughly cleaned and dried before applying a new coat of paint.

If the paint is in poor condition and cannot be salvaged, remove all of the paint and start fresh. However, this can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive process. It’s also important to be aware that the underlying surface may not be in good condition.

Before beginning any work on the tub, it is important to protect yourself and the surrounding area. Wear protective gear and cover any nearby surfaces with drop cloths.

Read Painting a Bathtub? Here’s What You Need to Know for more information.

If you are not comfortable refinishing the tub on your own, you may want to consider hiring a professional to refinish the tub for you.


Hour 2

Listen to learn the pros and cons of tankless water heaters, how to repair rotten soffit, how to keep snow from getting into ridge vents and more.


Pros and Cons of Tankless Water Heaters

Modern gast water heater with temperature control knob
Tankless water heaters are much more compact than traditional tank water heaters, making them a good choice for small homes or apartments. (djedzura, Getty Images)

A homeowner is thinking about replacing his standard water heater with an electric tankless water heater and wants to know the pros and cons.

Pros of tankless water heaters:

  • They can provide an endless supply of hot water: Because tankless water heaters heat water on demand, you’ll never run out of hot water.
  • They’re more energy efficient: Tankless water heaters only heat water when you need it, so they’re more energy efficient than traditional tank water heaters. This can result in energy savings of up to 40 percent. 
  • They have a longer lifespan: Tankless water heaters have a longer lifespan than traditional tank water heaters because they don’t have a tank that can rust or corrode.
  • They’re more compact: Tankless water heaters are much more compact than traditional tank water heaters, making them a good choice for small homes or apartments.

Cons of tankless water heaters:

  • They have a higher upfront cost: Tankless water heaters have a higher upfront cost than traditional tank water heaters. However, the energy savings over time can offset this initial investment.
  • They require more maintenance: Tankless water heaters require more frequent maintenance than traditional tank water heaters. This includes cleaning the burners and replacing the filter.
  • They may not be suitable for large households: Tankless water heaters may not be able to provide enough hot water for large households with multiple showers and appliances running simultaneously.
  • They may not be suitable for homes with low water pressure: Tankless water heaters require a certain minimum water flow rate to operate effectively. If your home has low water pressure, a tankless water heater may not be a good choice.

Replacing Rotten Soffits

View of rotten soffit board and gutter on a home
Left unrepaired, a rotten soffit can lead to further damage to the roof and the structure of the house. (LindaCharlton, Getty Images Signature)

A homeowner’s soffits are bowing downward and rotting. He asks: “I’m not sure what to replace them with. What do you suggest?”

It sounds like you may have an issue with the structural integrity of your soffits. Bowing and rotting soffits can be a sign of water damage or poor ventilation. If the damage is extensive, it may be necessary to replace the soffits entirely.

There are several options for replacing soffits:

  • Wood: Wood is a traditional material for soffits, but it requires regular painting or staining to maintain its appearance. It can also rot or become infested with pests if not properly maintained.
  • Vinyl: Vinyl soffits are low maintenance and resist rotting, but they may become brittle over time and can be prone to cracking in extreme temperatures.
  • Aluminum: Aluminum soffits are durable and resist rust, but they can be prone to dents and may require periodic painting.
  • Fiber cement: Fiber cement soffits are a more expensive option, but they are extremely durable and resist rotting, warping, and insect infestations.

Preventing Snow from Entering Ridge Vents

Close up of a ridge vent and shingles on a roof
A ridge vent is designed to allow hot air and moisture to escape from the attic, helping to regulate the temperature and humidity inside the home. (skhoward, Getty Images Signature)

Snow keeps getting into a homeowner’s attic space through the ridge vents every time there is a blizzard with strong winds. 

He says, “There is enough snow that I have to use a shovel to remove it. Snow gathers on the beam under the ridge vent where light bulbs are affixed. How do I alleviate this problem?”

There are a few steps you can take to prevent snow from entering your attic through the ridge vents:

  • Install snow guards: Snow guards are devices that are installed on the roof to prevent snow and ice from sliding off and accumulating at the eaves.
  • Install heat cables: Heat cables, also known as roof de-icing cables, can be installed along the eaves and the ridge to prevent snow and ice from accumulating. The cables use electricity to generate heat, which melts the snow and ice on contact.
  • Install a snow fence: A snow fence is a physical barrier that is installed on the roof to block the wind and prevent snow from blowing into the attic through the ridge vents.
  • Insulate the attic: Proper insulation in the attic can help prevent snow from melting and refreezing at the eaves, which can cause ice dams.

It may also be helpful to have a professional inspect your roof to ensure that it is properly sealed and in good condition. If the snow is entering through gaps or openings in the roof, these issues will need to be addressed in order to prevent future snow accumulation in the attic.


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Simple Solutions

Joe Truini busts nuts loose with a wrench in his workshop.
Whether you need to tighten or loosen nuts or bolts, here’s the Simple Solution. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Wrong Size Wrench? No Problem! — What do you do when an open-end wrench is a bit too large for the nut or bolt you’re trying to loosen or tighten? This happens when working on a metric fastener and you’ve only got a standard-size wrench or visa versa.

Well, you may have heard of the trick of using metal washer or coin to fill the gap in the wrench. And while that does work — sometimes — here’s a better solution:

Place the too-large wrench onto the nut or bolt and then jam a slotted screwdriver into the gap between the fastener and wrench.

The wedge-shaped tip of the screwdriver tightens up the fit and really locks the wrench in place. 

Watch: Do It! Hack Your Wrenches to Bust Nuts Loose

Cleaning microwave
To easily clean a microwave, pour 1 cup of water and 1 cup of vinegar into a bowl. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Steam Clean Your Microwave Oven — Here’s an easy, effortless way to clean the inside of your microwave oven:

  • Pour a 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar into a glass bowl.
  • Set the bowl in the oven and microwave on high for several minutes.
  • Carefully remove the bowl, then scrub the inside of the oven with a scouring sponge. The steam created by the water and vinegar will loosen even the most stubborn, caked-on stains.

Watch: How to Steam-Clean Your Microwave in Minutes


Further Reading


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