dcsimg
Resources
 
 
Get a Free Estimate
 
Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Kitchen Home renovations
  • Roof Leaks
  • Water Pressure
  • Bathtub Caulk
  • Repairs of holes in drywall
  • Replacing a shower head
  • Tape and bed
  • Uneven floor
  • help!! basement is a pool
  • Sputtering faucet

    Top of Page

     

    -----Original Message-----

    Sent: Wednesday, January 20, 1999 1:40 PM
    To: repair@repair-home.com
    Subject: Kitchen Home renovations

    Hi

    My name is Michelle and I am e-mailing you from Ontario, Canada. I'm hoping to get some advice on a home renovation project. I am a first time home owner who is 23 years old and therefore my knowledge on this subject is quite limited. My home is about thirty-five years old. It is a brick bungalow and the kitchen is a corridor style kitchen. Therefore the kitchen area is very small. There are two (2) windows in the kitchen both on the same wall. We are putting a patio door in the second window and the other window is above the kitchen sink. I just got a new floor layed, it is a greenish grey tiled laminated shiney floor. All the walls are white in color. Here are my questions:

    1. I've seen on a home improvment show (Cityline) that you can actually paint you counter top. Is this difficult and what material would I need? I would like to paint the counter top in a dark green to match the floor. Have you ever heard of this and do you recommend doing this?

    2. My cupboards are made of wood. The wood is not a good grain it almost looks like press board. I would like to paint the cupboards white. I heard there was a technique with glaze that I could use to refinish my cupboards. I am planning on a dding all new doors and hinges that are white with a gold touch. Can you give some idea on how to paint the cupboards? This is going to sound like an odd questions, but I don't want the cupboards to look flat.

    3. When I am done the cupboards and the counter top, I am wondering how to tie the whole kitchen together. I want a clean look but not a country look. Do you recommend wallpapering all the walls in the technique with a dark green paper on the bottom, a thick border in the middle and a white paper on the top? Do you think that the dark green paper will make the room seem smaller than it is?

    I appreciate your time spent in answering these questions and I am hoping that you can also quote some prices for the materials and where I can purchase them.

    ----------------

    Hi Michelle,

    Thanks for visiting the Home Repair web site. Congratulations on your home purchase.

    I would not recommend painting counter tops. Your best solution would be to re-laminate the counter tops. Laminates clean easily and is more durable than paint. There probably are specialty paints, however I have no experience with them for counter tops.

    As for painting the cupboards, you have a couple of options. You could either cover them with a laminate or a wooden Veneer or you could paint them. Since you're considering painting them, I'd recommend you scuff up any glazing with fine sand paper, prime and paint them. I'd recommend a gloss paint for easy cleaning.

    Finally, I generally don't give decorating advise. I believe what one person might find suitable another might find repulsive. Although this sounds extreme, it prevents me from giving advise on decorating. I would suggest you thumb through a few magazines to get ideas for tying it all together.

    I hope I've been of some help. Please stop back by our site to sign our Guestbook located under Feedback.

    With warmest regards,

    Frank White
    Home Repairs
    http://www.repair-home.com


    Top of Page

    -----Original Message-----

    Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 1999 3:11 PM
    To: repair@repair-home.com
    Subject: roof leaks

    Our roof is leaking due to ice back-up from gutters. Is there any way to remove ice from the gutters without damaging the roof?

    -------------------

    Hi,

    The condition you are describing is generally referred to as an ice dam. Fortunately, in my service area, ice dams rarely happen. When they do, they last a very short period of time. I have no experience attempting to remove ice resulting from ice dams. However, I do have experience with roof leaks.

    Ice dams commonly result when the attic is not properly ventilated, assuming your gutters are not clogged. A properly ventilated attic causes the roof to be uniformly cold. A cold roof prevents water from melting at the top of the roof, when the temperature is below freezing, and running down to the lower parts of the roof and re-freezing. Hence, a cold roof would allow any ice and snow to melt and run off without creating a heavy build up of ice at the edges.

    When ice builds at the edges its generally because the heat in the attic has melted the ice or snow closer to the ridge of the roof. Again, the water runs to the bottom of the roof line and re-freezes. The result is similar to the condition you described.

    You could try to remove the ice manually. You probably would have to break the ice so that you could remove it from the gutters without affecting the ice on the roof. The shingles are probably stuck to the ice and attempting to remove this ice would cause you to remove the shingles as well.

    I regret that I couldn't offer a more straight forward solution. I hope you will continue using Home Repairs as a resource and I invite you to return to our web site to sign our Guestbook located under Feedback.

    With warmest regards,

    Frank White
    Home Repairs
    http://www.repair-home.com


    Top of Page

    -----Original Message-----

    Sent: Monday, January 11, 1999 10:56 AM
    To: repair@repair-home.com|
    Subject: Water Pressure

    Dear Home Repairs & Etc.,
    My husband and I purchased a brand new two story home about a year ago. The home sat vacant for four years. The shower head in the master bath has never had the proper water pressure. And now it seems to be getting worse. We have checked the shower head and it seems to be fine. Is there a way to bring more water pressure to an upstairs shower?

    Sincerely,
    Tina Denning

    -------------------

    Hi Tina,

    I suspect there is debris in the shower head. Simply screw off the existing shower head with pliers, rinse the debris out and replace it by screwing it back on. However, be sure to wrap the threads with Teflon tape (available at home center stores and plumbing supply stores) before screwing it back on. That should solve your problem.

    Note: To avoid damaging the shower head, wrap masking tape around the teeth of the pliers.

    I hope this information is useful and I hope you'll continue using Home Repairs as a resource. I invite you to return to our site and sign our guestbook located under Feedback.

    With warmest regards,

    Frank White
    Home Repairs
    http://www.repair-home.com


    Top of Page

    -----Original Message-----

    Sent: Saturday, January 09, 1999 8:52 AM
    To: repair@repair-home.com
    Subject: bathtub caulk

    We used a name-brand white tub & tile caulk for our shower after remodeling the room. It has mildewed & discolored horribly. It is difficult to remove, any tips for removal & what can we use to replace it?

    ~~~Jennifer Sowders

    --------------

    Hi Jennifer,

    Thanks for visiting the Home Repairs web site. I've clipped the text below from our tips page.

    Recaulking Your Bathroom Tub Surround

    Carefully remove the old caulking using a 2 inch putty knife or a painter's 5 in 1 tool. Take care not to gouge your tub or tiles. If the caulking isn't terribly brittle you may be able to slowly pull it out of the cracks. Using a standard caulking gun, draw a bead of tub surround caulk about 5' along the cracks. Use a wet finger, force the caulk into the cracks and wipe off any excess. Note that if you use silicone to recaulk your tub surround, draw your beads about 2 feet and tool, or smooth it out immediately. Silicone is more durable and less forgiving than the water cleanup types of surround caulk.

    Mildew can be found on many different surfaces. It is a thin, black, or sometimes white, growth produced by mold. Molds are simple plants belonging to the group known as fungi. Though molds are always present in the air, those that cause mildew need moisture and certain temperatures to grow. They commonly develop in humid summer weather, especially in closed houses.

    These molds grow on anything from which they can get enough food. In homes they develop most often on cotton, linen, rayon, silk, wool, leather, wood and paper. The caulking material in your shower is less resistant to mold than the fiberglass or enamel fixtures.

    Molds that cause mildew flourish wherever it is damp, warm, poorly lighted and/or where air is not circulated — in cellars, crawl spaces of houses without basements and clothing closets. It can also be found on draperies and rugs in basement recreation rooms, on shower curtains and on damp clothes rolled up for ironing. These molds are also likely to grow in a new house because of moisture in the building materials.

    As the molds grow, they cause considerable damage. They leave a musty odor; they discolor fabrics and materials; and sometimes they eat into them until the materials rot and fall to pieces. They also discolor leather and paper.

    Preventing mildew

    Keep things clean!!!

    Soil and soap scum on the surface can supply enough food for mildew to start growing when moisture and temperature are right. Greasy films, such as those that form on kitchen walls, also contain many nutrients for mildew-causing molds.

    Get rid of dampness. If your home has a bathroom fan use it when showering or bathing. Leave it on for a few minutes after exiting the shower or bath. You'll want to remove as much excess moisture as possible.

    To remove the mold, clean the tub, stall or surround with a mixture of Chlorine bleach. Mix 2 tablespoons of liquid chlorine bleach with 1 quart (0.95 liters) of warm water. Sponge the stain or soak the stained area in the solution. Allow the bleach to remain on the surface from 5 to 15 minutes, then rinse. An additional soaking in weak vinegar (2 tablespoons to a cup of water) will stop further bleach action. Never use a chlorine bleach on finishes that may be damaged by chlorine bleaches.

    Maintain a regular schedule of using a weak bleach solution for cleaning the stall.

    I hope this information is useful and that you will continue using our web site as a resource. I invite you to return to our web site and sign our questbook.

    With warmest regards,

    Frank White
    Home Repairs
    http://www.repair-home.com
    .


    Top of Page

    ----Original Message-----

    Sent: Saturday, January 09, 1999 11:36 AM
    To: Repair@repair-home.com
    Subject: holes in dry walls

    I need to know the correct procedures and materials necessary to repair holes in drywalls.

    -----------------------------

    Hi,

    Depending on the size of the holes, you can patch them by filling them with joint compound or you'll need to replace the missing piece of sheet rock. In any case you will need the following items:

     

    • Joint Compound
    • Sheetrock joint tape
    • Taping knife 3 1/2"
    • Sand paper - medium grit
    • Dust mask

    Additional items for large holes:

    • Sheetrock
    • Sheetrock screws
    • Taping knife 6"
    • Lumber 1" x 4" (depends on size of the hole)
    • Framing square
    • Measuring tape

    If the hole is smaller that a golf ball, you should be able to patch them by taping and filling them. First tape the hole. Then spread joint compound over the hole. After it dries, sand it and apply another application of joint compound. Sand it smooth again. If needed, feather out the compound about 1 or 2 feet around the hole to give the wall the appearance of being flat.

    If you need to replace the missing piece, use a framing square to mark the cut and a drywall knife to cut out a square or rectangle. The hole should be cut large enough to get a piece of wood into the hole. The wood should be longer than the hole. Attach the wood inside the wall using drywall screws. With the wood attached, cut a new piece of sheetrock small enough to plug the hole and attach it to the wood backer with drywall screws. Tape the joints with sheetrock joint tape, and apply joint compound over the joints. Once it's dry, sand and apply another application. Each application of joint compound should be feathered out 6" or so. This causes the wall to appear to be flat. Sand smooth and prime and paint the patch.

    I hope this information is useful and that you will continue using Home Repairs web site as a resource. I would appreciate it if you returned to our site and sign our guestbook.

    Good luck! And best regards,

    Frank White
    Home Repairs
    http://www.repair-home.com
    <

     


    Top of Page

    -----Original Message-----

    Sent: Saturday, January 09, 1999 2:53 PM
    To: repair@repair-home.com
    Subject: just wondering (replacing a shower head and door knob)

    I WAS WONDERING IF YOU COULD SEND ME SOME INFO ABOUT HOW TO CHANGE A SHOWER HEAD AND ALSO DIRECTIONS ON HOW TO REPLACE A DOOR KNOB.

    THANK YOU, TAMMY

    ---------------------------

    Hi Tammy,

    We appreciate you using the Home Repairs web site as a reference.

    To remove the shower head, simply screw it off counter-clockwise. Once it is off, inspect the threads on the pipe for damage and debris. Clean away any excess debris. Layer the threads with Teflon tape and screw on the new shower head. You will need to use pliers to remove the old shower head. It's a good idea to use masking tape to prevent the pliers from damaging the new shower head as the teeth of the pliers may scar the finish.

    If you are having problems removing an existing door knob, the following information should be helpful:

    There are several ways to release the flanged cover so that you can remove the knob. It depends on your brand.

    1. There is a very small hole in the flanged cover. You'll need a small key that you press into the hole while turning the knob slightly and prying it off (requires release tool)

    2. There are no holes in the flange but the flange has 3 or 4 depressions on the side. Flange is a snap on. Try prying it off.

    3) There is a hole in the flange and you can see a metal piece inside the hole. The metal piece inside the hole has to be depressed. Some models require turning the knob slightly. Then pry or snap off the flange (requires release tool)

    4. There are no holes or depressions in the flange. The flange must be screwed off.

    I hope information is helpful. Thanks again for using Home Repairs. I would appreciate it if you took a moment to sign our guestbook located under Feedback.

    Frank White
    Home Repairs
    http://www.repair-home.com


    Top of Page

    Sent: Monday, January 04, 1999 5:56 PM
    To: repair@repair-home.com
    Subject: tape and bed

    We recently put new sheetrock up in our bathroom, i tried to tape and bed the sheetrock but i put to much putty on the sheetrock before i put the tape on and i also put to much putty on the tape afterwards. i have sanded it all down but now the tape is rough. so what do i do when i put the second coat of putty on?

    thanks

    -------------

    Hi,

    Sounds like your tape is not bedded close enough to the sheet rock. The result is a rise in the joint where the tape is.

    There are two fixes, depending on your situation. You can strip the tape and re-bed it or your can cover the rough tape and feather out the compound about 3 or 4 feet so that the wall appears to be perfectly flat. If you feather it out you'll want to lightly sand the area over the tape.

    I hope I've been of some help. I invite you to sign our guestbook and I hope you'll continue using our website as a resource.

    With warmest regards,

    Frank White
    Home Repairs
    http://www.repair-home.com


    Top of Page

    -----Original Message-----

    Sent: Saturday, January 02, 1999 6:38 PM
    To: repair@repair-home.com
    Subject: uneven floor

    I would like to know how to adjust my teleposts in order to even my hard wood floor which is bulging in the center of house.

    ----------------------

    Hi

    Thanks for visiting the Home Repair web site. I am not exactly sure what you mean by "telepost". However, if I can not provide you with the information you seek I would be happy to point you where you can find the answers.

    With warmest regards,

    Frank White
    Home Repairs
    http://www.repair-home.com


    Top of Page

    -----Original Message-----

    Sent: Monday, January 04, 1999 4:36 PM
    To: Frank White
    Subject: Re: uneven floor

    i guess what mean are called lally columns in the u.s. the metal posts under the floor joists that you screw either up or down.

    frank

    --------------

    Hi Frank,

    We generally refer to them as house jacks in my area.

    First of all, when removing or installing them, it a good idea to allow 24 hours per 1/4 inch of movement. This gives the frame time to adjust to the movement and decreases the chances of causing plaster or sheetrock to break.

    I'd suggest you remove and reinstall the jacks. Upon reinstalling them, you'll want to distribute the load across more than one joist. I generally use a couple of 2" by 6" or 2" by 8" lumber. If the crawl basement is too low, you may have to remove some earth. Cut the 2x's so that they will span perpendicular to the joist and nail the 2x's together. Be sure that you cut them so that you can nail one of them to the joist, on both ends. A span of at least 3 joist might be sufficient, depending on your situation. Then reinstall your telepost (jacks). Make sure the post will not sink down into the earth. Your geographical location may require using a concrete foundation for them. Enlist a helper.

    I hope I've been helpful. And thanks again for using our web site.

    Frank White
    Home Repairs
    http://www.repair-home.com


    Top of Page

    -----Original Message-----

    Sent: Sunday, January 03, 1999 2:52 PM
    To: repair@repair-home.com
    Subject: help basement is a pool!!!!!!

    how can i stop this at a low cost?

    ---------------------

    Hi,

    Thanks for visiting Home Repairs. There are two things you can try. First try diverting rain water away from your basement. Some grading may be required. Next try sealing the basement foundation. There are a number of products, available from your local home center, that you can select.

    Finally, consider installing a sump pump. The pump should remove most of the water as it comes in. Ultimately, the condition may require exposing the wall(s) where water is entering the basement and water proofing them.

    I hope I've been of some help.

    Frank White
    Home Repairs
    http://www.repair-home.com


    Top of Page

    -----Original Message-----

    Sent: Sunday, January 03, 1999 8:29 PM
    To: repair@repair-home.com
    Subject: sputtering faucet

    Hello, I sure hope you can help. I live in Illinois and have a private well. For the past couple of days whenever I turn on the water, anywhere in the house, it sputters. It happens with hot or cold and occasionally black granules will come out. Have any ideas what could cause this? I am desperate, please get back to me ASAP, even if you can't help.

    Sincerely,

    Katie

    ------------------

    Hi Katie,

    Thank you for visiting the Home Repairs web site. I suspect you have a break somewhere in your lines that is allowing air to invade the pipes. Since I do not have a lot of experience with well systems, I have provided the link below. By posting your question here, you may get feed back from contractors and homeowners from all over the country.

    http://www.dejanews.com/bg.xp?level=alt.home.repair&ST=BG

    With warmest regards,

    Frank White
    Home Repairs
    http://www.repair-home.com


    Top of Page

     

    Hammer Have a question of your own? Visit our forum for all the answers.