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Hardwood Floor Repair

 I have a townhouse build in early 70′s with original hardwood flooring. There is a 2″ x 1/2″ knot missing and a light stain on the floor. What is the best way to fill the hole and blend it into the rest of the wood without redoing the entire floor?

Frank,

Thanks for being part of the show – we appreciate you listening!

You have a large gap in your wood floor from a missing knot! What to do?

There are LOTS of wood-fillers out ..read more

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Fixing a Running Toilet

I have three toilets that run off/on. I have to hold down the lever on one of them whenever I flush. It’s been like this for years. Is there something I can easily do to fix this problem?

Susan,

Those toilets that continue to run end up wasting a lot of money and water!!!! They can be fixed inexpensively with kits available from local hardware and big box stores.

Take a photo of the inside of the tank on the back of the toilet ..read more

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Water Heater Blanket

Are water heater blankets helpful for saving energy/money?

Amy,

Thank you for listening. We appreciate you.

Conventional water heaters heat and store water so it is “standing by” - waiting to be needed. As the tank gives up its heat to the surrounding air, the unit is “told” to re-heat the water, but the wasted energy is referred to as “standby loss”.

One of the easiest ways to immediately see energy savings is to insulate a water heater tank.

According to the Energy Information Administration, EIA, unless the ..read more

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Am I Flushing Money Down the Drain?

I received a bill from a plumber to fix my toilet – the part was only about $10.00 but the total bill was quite high. I have to hire out everything I get fixed and I wondered if you could explain why it’s so expensive when the parts are cheap.

Jean,

Thanks for your question. You feel you may have been overcharged for an installed part you could purchase inexpensively. It is a fair observation until you understand where the costs come ..read more

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Bathroom Mold

Our house was built in the 50′s and the bathroom has a drop-down above the shower curtain. After a shower, the ceiling and sides of this cubicle stays moist for quite some time and we get some mold in several areas. I have installed a ceiling fan which is for a slightly larger bathroom (but not much larger) thinking this would help; it did some, but not enough. I am wondering if this drop down should be removed or opened up to allow more air flow ..read more

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Spiders in the House

Ew! I think we have a black footed spider nest somewhere in our house, or else they just like us. We find at least 2 (usually more) every day in our home, and one time in a cup! Is there any way to get rid of these little intruders safely? Please help!

Nikki,

Thanks for listening – we do appreciate you!

The Black-Footed spider you mention is a small, pale yellow critter found in gardens and houses. It actually has dark brown feet ..read more

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Brrr!! Help Me Keep the Cold Out!

Is there anything that I can put around my gas water heater, to keep the cold out of my bathroom? The bathroom floor is finished with tiles, but nothing under the heater, and the cold comes up from the crawlspace!

Pat,

That cold floor is the result of heat moving downward through the floor to try to heat your crawl space! Chances are good that you can’t “lose” enough heat to accomplish this because the crawl is not insulated AND likely has ..read more

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Tipping People that Work on Your House

Should you tip people that work on your house? If so, how much? And what if the person doing the work is the company owner?

Jeff,

Thanks for listening – we appreciate it.

Great question! The answer though is, “It depends”.

A professional company has structured all applicable costs into the fees and charges they put on the invoice – this includes the wage and benefits for service techs. So tipping is truly a statement of “thanks” – but not expected.

On the other hand – if you ..read more

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Wet Windows in the Morning

We have had trouble with condensation on the inside bottom few inches of our windows each morning.  None of the seals on the windows are broken. Our humidifier has been broken for the past couple of years. I have been told there is a chance that our house is too sealed up. Do you recommend cutting a vent by the furnace ductwork?

Keith,

Thanks for listening and for your follow-up.

If you have moisture on the bottom of your windows, the problem is either excessive moisture in the ..read more

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Mouse in the House

Why do I have so many mice around my home and how can I get rid of them?

We hate to be so blunt, but mice only live where there’s a good food source and places to nest.

What you really need to do is deep clean, vacuum and wipe down places like cupboards and food pantries.

Once the deep cleaning is done get some peppermint plants and some peppermint oil. Mice and all other rodents hate peppermint. We like using peppermint because ..read more

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