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Articles filed under DeMarne, Henri

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  • Allow latex paint to cure fully to avoid sticky situations Nov 1, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. I have a pine board that is mounted inside in my family room. About two months ago, in warm, dry weather, I painted this new board after lightly sanding it, with two coats of Benjamin Moore Super Spec Interior latex Semi-gloss, allowing the first coat to dry for 24 hours. Everything seemed fine with the finish. I did not put any objects on the board for another three days.

  • Basement access through stone foundation basement may be tricky Oct 27, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. Our tiny cottage has a stone foundation with a trapdoor in the living room for access to the basement. We are getting a trifle arthritic to climb the ladder monthly to change water filters and add salt to the water conditioner ó not to mention the fact that we are not the favorite site at which to work for boiler maintenance.

  • Do a little extra digging to find the right contractor Oct 20, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. Two of my neighbors are having work done by different contractors. I see a little progress for a day or two, then nothing for a few days to a week. Is this the way construction is usually done?

  • Varying humidity levels will affect laminate flooring Oct 13, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. We had a laminate floor installed in our dining area one year ago. When it is dry outside, it is quiet. But when the weather is humid, the floor crackles when you walk on it.

  • Pour new concrete instead of pouring money into patio fixes Sep 29, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. I enjoy your column every Sunday. My patio is the problem. The previous owner put latex paint on it for a quick sale. Over the winter, the paint started to lift and by spring, it was a real mess. I cried for days.

  • Painted concrete patio can be salvaged Sep 15, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. The contractor who laid my concrete patio left the job with a deep texture of brush marks. I understand that he may have wanted to produce a texture that would make it skidproof. However, they are very deep and dirt gathers in the bottom of each line.

  • Use friends and family to find reliable contractors Sep 8, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. We are currently having a water problem with our concrete porch roof. We have access to the roof through a door and occasionally use the area. Our problem is water seeping through and wetting the bottom of the concrete slab, which we can see from below.

  • Donít mess with asbestos Aug 25, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. My daughter and her husband are in the process of purchasing a home built in 1950. Their inspector found vermiculite for insulation in the attic and guessed that it probably has asbestos in it. One suggestion he made was to add a layer of cellulose on top of it for a couple of reasons.

  • Electrical questions should be answered by an expert Aug 18, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. We are planning to replace our vinyl bathroom flooring with tile. We have an electric line to the bathroom initially installed for an electric radiator, but it has not been used. Would this electric line suffice for electric radiant heat?

  • Staining concrete is often a better option than painting it Aug 11, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. We have an in-ground pool surrounded by concrete totaling 1,050 square feet. I have power-washed these areas for the last few years and now the concrete is pitted.

  • Try an easier option to stop leak before digging up yard Aug 4, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. I need your opinion please. Last fall, we had a tornado sighting in Palatine. My finished basement had water coming in due to the heavy downpour. We called a large, well-known waterproofing company we had used before to fix three leaks in the foundation. It looks like the water is now coming from the window where it once did before.

  • Locating roof leakís source may take some detective work Jul 28, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. I have a perplexing problem. I have a flat roof on a house built in 1975. The previous owners had a foam roof installed shortly before I purchased the home in 1997. I had the roof coated within a year of moving in.

  • Some stain-fighting products can be found in your kitchen Jul 21, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. A few weeks ago, someone wrote to you about a stain in his toilet at the water line. He was having trouble finding a cleaner that would remove the stain. You suggested a product he could use. We have a similar problem. I assumed the product worked for him and would like to give it a try. Would you send me the name of the cleaner?

  • Home repair: Try spray-on options to remove unwelcome roof guests Jul 14, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. I have various forms of mold and algae growing on a shingled roof facing east over my kitchen and mudroom. I have not had any luck finding a contractor or roofer to come take a look. I am wondering if there is a spray that will kill the molds and algae and not stain the roof or painted shingles.

  • High-quality metal roofs can last a long time Jul 7, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. What is your opinion of metal roofs? Durability? Quality? Longevity?

  • Excess moisture from cellarís dirt floor can cause trouble Jun 30, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. My son lives in an old house that has a dirt floor cellar that gets damp in the spring. I was wondering what could be done about covering the floor with plastic, or maybe you have another idea. He runs a dehumidifier down there and it helps some. Any ideas would be appreciated.

  • Multiple options available to clean algae and other stains Jun 23, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. The question I have relates to having my roof shingles replaced in 2003 with gray, 25-year Owens Corning fiberglass/asphalt shingles. As time has gone on, the shingles have turned black where they donít get a good exposure to the sun, and seem to have leached a black residue that has run down and discolored the white, aluminum-clad fascia.

  • Garage ceiling should have been insulated when enclosed Jun 16, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. I finished my attached garage with insulation and drywall last year, and now the inside of the garage is wet in the winter. I did not insulate the ceiling. The walls get wet, and so does the ceiling, and then it all freezes ó this cannot be good.

  • Ceiling fans are designed for constant cooling Jun 9, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. My neighbors leave early in the morning and come home between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. They have room air conditioners and ceiling fans, which they run for hours so fast that the noise jumps out. Could running ceiling fans full speed cause a fire, or make them spin out or dangle? It would take only a few minutes to turn on the air conditioners when they get home.

  • Drainage and dryness make basement walls paintable May 26, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. I have a story-and-a-half brick home built around 1940. The house contains a drainage system on the interior of the basement walls that the previous owner had installed. The installation included trenching around the interior perimeter, laying 4-inch drainage pipe, and installing two cisterns with sump pumps.

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