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Articles filed under DeMarne, Henri

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  • Sometimes, there are no easy fixes for old windows Dec 14, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I need advice as to what I can do with my windows without having to replace them. They are 28-year-old Lincoln windows, and of the crank-out type.

  • Holiday gifts for your handy men and women Dec 7, 2014 12:01 AM
    Following my annual practice, here are holiday gift suggestions for the handy men and women in your life. At the top of my list this year are several tools for your shop or home toolbox.

  • Caulking top and sides of storm windows helps create seal Nov 30, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. My 1,200-square-foot ranch built in the 1950s had wooden storm and screen windows when I moved in 10 years ago. I replaced them with stock aluminum storm/screen windows, which I purchased at Menards. The instructions advised to caulk the top and sides when installing.

  • ‘Miss Muffet’ strikes back against eight-legged pests Nov 23, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. We have lots of spiders on the outside of our house. A friend of ours told us that he used a special spray on the outside of his house, and it kept the spiders off for the summer. Do you know what this may have been?

  • Wet or moldy carpet pad could be the source of bad odor Nov 16, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I need help concerning a bad odor in the basement. We had a water line leak from the ceiling above about a year ago. A dehumidifier has been used for a year since the leak. We feel that the area is completely dried out. It didn’t smell much over the summer, but now with the heat on it smells bad again.

  • A special video camera can reveal condition of air ducts Nov 2, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I read your column in the Daily Herald. My house was built over the winter of 1962-’63 in northwest suburban Chicago. I have air ducts embedded in the concrete slab in my lower level.

  • White vinegar can remove deposits, but needs time to work Oct 26, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. Can you tell me how I can remove mineral deposits from rubbed-oil bronze faucets? I have tried salt and vinegar, but I am afraid to leave it on too long.

  • Wet & forget products will kill moss and stop mold Oct 19, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. A couple of years ago, you mentioned in your column a method to spray shingles to get rid of moss. Moss is becoming quite apparent on an area about four feet wide by 10 feet long.

  • Oil-based driveway sealer exists, but its use is uncommon Oct 12, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. My sister-in-law just had her driveway newly asphalted, after which the contractor immediately applied a sealer. You can imagine how alarmed we were when we read your reply to my previous email advising that it not be sealed for two years. So I called the contractor and requested his side of the story.

  • Ivy tendrils can be burned off with a propane torch Sep 21, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. How do I clean my brick-sided home of ivy, specifically the tendrils that are attached to the bricks?

  • Attack rust spots on metal with sanding, primer and paint Sep 14, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. We have a white metal garage door that’s about 20 years old. There are some rust spots showing on it and we’ve tried everything to remove it without success.

  • Shingle underlayment protects both structure and shingles Sep 7, 2014 5:01 AM
    Q. Architectural shingles were installed over bare roof boards on our house four years ago. Will the absence of felt underlay affect the shingles’ life?

  • Handle aluminum gutter cleaner with care Aug 31, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I enjoy your articles. A past article included a “recipe” for cleaning aluminum gutters. I’ve used it before but have misplaced it. I believe it included TSP and possibly another detergent. Could you forward the copy?

  • Unqualified contractor makes poor attic repairs Aug 24, 2014 1:01 AM
    Q. We had bathroom vents incorrectly installed into the attic, rather than being vented outside. We had a contractor convince us it needed to be encapsulated with a special paint, rather than fixing the problem and letting dry conditions kill the mold

  • Leave ‘professional installations’ to the professionals Aug 17, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I wanted to let you know I installed 10 Magnetite windows — several were cut wrong and they sent me a YouTube installation video after my installation. I was looking for soundproofing and cold protection.

  • Seal off entry points to cut off insect invasion Aug 11, 2014 4:00 PM
    Q. Bees and wasps are making our home theirs. How do we deter them from doing this? We’ve had D-Bug and Terminix come to no avail.

  • Additional insulation may not be worth it in some cases Aug 3, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. My house is a 50-year-old, two-story colonial. The attic already has blown-in insulation up to the top of the joists with an attic blanket over that. I have no trouble with ice dams, etc., on my roof. Should I blow foam into the walls?

  • Powerful odor is intermittent, difficult to pinpoint Jul 27, 2014 12:01 AM
    Our problem is an odor that smells much like a dead animal outside, although sometimes a bit like propane. The odor began suddenly late last fall. The smell is intermittent and there seems to be no correlation between heat or cold, wet or dry. It is most prominent on the north side, which is the driveway side, and it existed even during subzero Chicago winter, so dead animal unlikely.

  • Aim to keep frost at bay when insulating basement walls Jul 20, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I have a concrete block foundation that ranges from fully exposed to totally below grade. The basement area is dry, and I intend to finish the space. What method of insulation would you recommend for the walls, and would you recommend a vapor barrier?

  • Chimney leaves black stains on bricks Jul 13, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. Please help! We have a wood-burning stove in our basement. Last fall, my husband put a chimney cap on and now we have creosote on our chimney brick and vinyl siding. What can we use to clean this off?

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