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Sprucing Up Stain on Wood Deck

Can I use the same stain on my wood deck that was used just a few years ago to “spruce” it up?

Michelle,

Thank you for the inquiry – we appreciate you.

If sanding down to bare wood and “starting over” is not on your list of most pleasurable things to do, you can prep the wood per manufacturer’s specifications and reapply the same product.

The good news is that the stain products don’t peel – but simply fade making reapplication far easier.

Will it ..read more

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Properly Vented Attic

I think I need to replace my attic power exhaust fan. What do you think?

Steve,

Thanks for the question – we appreciate you.

When we speak with professionals regarding “cold” roofs – those that have an attic space and are intended to be ventilated –  the general thinking is to avoid using power devices if possible.

A properly vented attic space consistanly allows for the outflow of warm, moist air and the in-flow of cooler, dryer, replacement air. Moisture that builds up in ..read more

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Hot Water Shut Off

The hot water in our tub will not shut off.

Barbara,

Thank you for the inquiry. We appreciate you.

Water valves, like most everything in the house, require periodic maintenance and repair. Depending on the frequency and type of use and water quality, this can mean every decade or other year.

Every home should have a working relationship with a good plumbing company – for these issues and all the other “water” issues that may arise in a home. Call Pete at RooterMD 248-888-7777 ..read more

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Sagging Hip Rafter

A home inspector noted a Hip Rafter sagging and in need of additional support. What can you tell me about that?

Ralph,

Thanks for the inquiry – we appreciate you.

A Hip rafter is a “sloped beam” that supports one end of shorter rafters called Hip Jacks. It would typically run from the top of the intersection of two outside walls up to the ridge or top rafter of the roof.

Like any beam, over time it could begin to sag from the constant ..read more

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Help with Hard Water

Help! I have hard water.

Karla,

Thank you for the inquiry – we appreciate you.

Hard water can destroy plumbing fittings and appliances.

There is a myth that all treated and softened water has to “feel” as though you can’t rinse it and a lot of people don’t like it for that reason.

But the truth is that something has to be sacrificed in order to maintain the home’s appliances and mines, so filtering and conditioning the water before it gets in to the house ..read more

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We’re thinking of buying a log cabin – what should be considered?

Jerry,

Thank you for the great comments – we appreciate you.

Like any home, a log cabin needs to have a good foundation and a good roof.

Log cabins are unique in terms of how they “load” the exterior weight-bearing walls, so care must be taken to make certain the builder did things properly so you won’t have windows and doors that jamb or crack or interior partitions with stress cracks in ..read more

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Tuck Pointing Brick

I have to tuck point my exterior brick every year. Can this be done professionally?

Kathy,

Thank you for the inquiry – we appreciate you.

Tuck pointing is the process of repairing mortar joints. Properly done, it can last for decades.

If failing mortar is ignored, the brick will begin to deteriorate and water may infiltrate the home and create problems.

Mortar is the material that we create mixing cement with other materials for the “bond” in the joint that holds the brick or stone ..read more

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Installing a Wood Burning Stove

Can you recommend someone to install a wood burning stove?

Dianne,

Thank you for the great comments – we really appreciate them and you!

Retro-fitting wood burning stoves – or any more efficient solid fuel device – to an existing home or chimney set up can be far more complicated than people think.

Flue cross-section size and chimney height, as well as chimney material and condition, can play a huge role in efficiency and safety.

Additionally, manufacturer’s of such devices, as well as  building codes, ..read more

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Trouble with Wall Furnace

Our cottage wall-hung furnace will not keep running. Any suggestions?

Shirley,

Thank you for the inquiry – we appreciate you.

This past winter was not kind to buildings or equipment.

Depending on the age of the unit, there could be several things that need to be considered.

You should have the unit serviced by a professional to establish a “ground-zero” for the mechanical issues and to establish a local contact you can trust.

It could be as simple as a gas valve that is not properly ..read more

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Crumbling Bathroom Tile

Help! The tile in my bathroom is crumbling. 

David,

Thanks for the inquiry – we appreciate it.

If the tile in your bathroom is actually “crumbling” as you say, you probably have some substrate issues that are the result of long-term moisture and dry rot.

We would suggest you discuss this with an expert remodeler to see what your options are and what is involved.

Kitchen and bathroom remodels tend to have the highest residual value in a home – so they are generally considered ..read more

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