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Articles filed under DeMarne, Henri

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  • 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?

  • Black & Decker’s snake light won’t be ready for holidays Dec 22, 2013 12:32 AM
    Q. Recently, you recommended a new Black and Decker Snake Light. Which model was it exactly? Seems like these lights would make a nice addition to our sons' tool collections and something very useful.

  • Ceramic tile is not the best choice for front stoop Dec 15, 2013 12:52 AM
    Q. I’ve sent you pictures of the cracks in my front stoop. Can I ceramic tile over this or will the cracks appear in the new tile? I live in the Chicago area, so there are severe weather conditions.

  • Moisture within double-paned window inhibits the view Dec 8, 2013 12:31 AM
    Q. We have a passive solar house built in Shelburne, Vt., during the “first” energy crisis in the 1970s It includes three large double-paned windows, directly facing south, of course. These are the original windows.

  • Bug expert may be able to explain mysterious stains Dec 1, 2013 12:03 AM
    Q. All of the sudden this past summer, on two occasions, the wood siding on our front entryway was covered with black/brown spots from some type of bug. They also appeared under both exterior lights. I literally had to scrub each board with soap and water and a hard scrub brush to clean it off.

  • Multiple ridge vents could lead to problems, not solutions Nov 24, 2013 12:32 AM
    Q. I read with great interest your article in which you recommended continuous baffled ridge vents. In my research, I came across an article stating that if there are other parallel or perpendicular ridges more than 3 feet in distance from the main ridge, they should be separated by plywood or plastic sheeting in the attic or should not have a vent.

  • Bleach or acid solution may help ligthen water stains Nov 17, 2013 12:08 AM
    Q. A leak wetted my interior paneling. At the extremities of the water stains, as they dried, a very dark coloring has occurred. Do you know of any method or product that can be used to minimize or eliminate the dark coloring?

  • Caulking may help gaps in roof Nov 10, 2013 12:39 AM
    Q. I am an elderly widow who needs roof repairs. Light is showing in around two chimneys, and I need several slates replaced. Two roofers claim they fixed the problem, but my neighbor checked and said that the light is still showing through and that this is not normal, since rain can get inside and cause damage. They said I do not need flashing.

  • Allow latex paint to cure fully to avoid sticky situations Nov 1, 2013 4:07 PM
    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 12:31 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 — 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 12:14 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?

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