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Articles filed under DeMarne, Henri

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  • Pressure washers can be powerful tools when used correctly Jun 1, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I am thinking of buying a power washer and would like some advice on which type to buy. It will be used to clean my deck, fence and vinyl siding. Thank you for any help you can provide.

  • Reader’s patio condition backslides May 25, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. We have a patio in the back of our house. Part of it is starting to slope toward the house and we want to replace it. One contractor tells us not to concrete the patio to the foundation, especially if we worry about water getting in to our finished basement. The other guy tells us we should concrete all the way to the house, including affixing it with pins to the foundation but using something to allow it to rise and fall with the weather. Which one is right?

  • Use of wrong type of lumber may have led to rotting, mold May 18, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I’m afraid I’ve got something really bad happening to the “knee wall” I built up under part of my house five or more years ago. Here’s my situation:

  • Window air conditioners do not take up much space May 4, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. We want to put an in-the-wall air conditioner in the kitchen of a small summer home. The kitchen gets unbearably hot, even when just using the stove burners.

  • Drying out after a flood can cause additional issues Apr 27, 2014 1:01 AM
    Q. I need some advice. Last October I had a drainpipe back up, which caused flooding in my finished basement and some of my first floor. I called my insurance company and it had a restoration company come out. That company removed sections of carpeting, drywall and insulation. Then workers brought in dehumidifiers and ran them for 11 days.

  • Energy-efficient housing is a worthy goal when done right Apr 20, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I have a zero-net house with 16-inch-thick walls and have the same condensation problems, even on triple pane windows, as your recent reader from Vermont had.

  • Air flow, not gutters, is to blame for ice dams Apr 13, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q: We have lived in Rolling Meadows for over 40 years and have always had problems with ice dams. All the articles we have read regarding ice dams state they are caused by water freezing and thawing, running down and backing up against the gutters. We have no gutters — and haven’t had any for 40 years.

  • Milsek polish superb at cleaning, protecting wood Apr 6, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I just read your recommendations for Milsek as the best wood cleaner for cleaning greasy kitchen cabinets. That is what I am trying to do with mine — get the old grease off them. I am not planning on repainting — just cleaning.

  • Bathroom fans are creating a soggy mess in the attic Mar 23, 2014 12:01 AM
    I have a two-story colonial built in the late 1970s in Shelburne, Vt. The two full baths upstairs have fans that just vent into the attic, which has blown insulation and a vent on each gable end.

  • Ice, mold and a lazy contractor cause some major problems Mar 14, 2014 11:43 AM
    Q: I have a two-story home in the Pittsburgh area that was built in 1998. In 2012, we had a new roof installed due to a severe hailstorm. In December 2012, when I went into the attic to get my Christmas decorations, I noticed that the entire roof on one side was damp, black and covered with mold.

  • Ice in a microwave not normal Mar 9, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. The interior of my microwave has ice droplets in it right now because of the below-zero temperatures in northern Illinois. I’ve included a photo. The stove hood (below the microwave) is vented to the exterior of the home. Does the ice pose a danger to the microwave?

  • Shower panel systems have track record of reliability Mar 2, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. What do you think of the new panel shower systems? If they’re OK, do they work in old tub/shower areas with old tile?

  • Water’s high acidity requires a specialist’s attention Feb 23, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. Our house was built in 1967. Over the years, we’ve been having a problem with corrosion on the hot-water fittings, mostly around the faucets. It is green and the faucets get a thick buildup on them.

  • Clean cabinets thoroughly before attempting to paint them Feb 16, 2014 1:01 AM
    What can I do to get greasy residue off wooden kitchen cabinets? The greasy buildup is from using aerosol spray cans to coat pans for cooking.

  • Constructing second wall should help quiet neighbor Feb 9, 2014 12:56 AM
    Q. I am 79 years old, and my wife is 78. We recently moved into a condo. The fellow next door to us is a single man. We can hear him walking, partying, etc. Just wondered if this is normal for a condo?

  • Old concrete may have been attempt to trap air bubbles Feb 2, 2014 12:25 AM
    Q. I have a friend who purchased a house that had been built in the 1940s or '50s. She is now having the bathroom completely “gutted.” The contractor told her that behind the existing walls in the shower area the original builder had put metal shavings (wire) with concrete then poured over this wire.

  • Cabinet cleaner can be removed after a few days Jan 26, 2014 12:18 AM
    Q. You have spoken many times in your column about Milsek cleaner and what a great product it is. My daughter and her husband plan to paint their cabinets. I am sure the cabinets need to be cleaned before they can be painted. I bought a bottle of Milsek for them. I know it will shine cabinets, but will it also clean them in preparation for painting?

  • Metal garage doors weigh less than wood Jan 19, 2014 12:43 AM
    Q. I am going to replace two 9-by-7-foot single garage doors in our 35-year-old raised ranch in the spring. I am being told that metal doors are not available in black; is that true? Also, I seem to remember in one of your columns that some of the door opener companies were having trouble with doors opening by themselves in cold weather.

  • Removing skunk spray stain will require some scrubbing Jan 5, 2014 12:15 AM
    Q. I have a white car and a skunk sprayed my back bumper. I’ve tried everything possible to remove the yellow stain with no luck. Would you know what I could use to remove this?

  • Home repair: Identifying, fixing heat-loss issues could save money Dec 29, 2013 4:42 AM
    Q. We have an older home that is supposedly well insulated. But there are voids, and we can’t tear off the siding and redo the whole house. So what can we do?

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