Fireplace Repair

How do I stop my fireplace from leaking?


Thanks for the inquiry.

A leaking fireplace…is it leaking smoke when you have a burn in the unit or is it leaking water during a rain event?

If it is water, it is most commonly a mechanical flashing issue where the chimney exits through the roof and could be tied to any of several issues.

Mechanical flashing and “counter-flashing” would consist of custom installed “pieces” of metal – usually aluminum, that direct water away from the more

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What Causes Ghosting on Walls?

I am experiencing “ghosting” on our interior walls. What could be causing this?


The ghosting issue is likely caused by combination of issues.

Usually un-combusted matter from candles, gas stoves, etc. deposits on the juncture of exterior walls and ceilings – where heat is lost at an accelerated rate. The issue can be minimized by having quality sidewall air sealing and insulation in both the sidewalls and attic properly done.

Humidity control can also be a part of the issue/solution.

It is also possible more

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Caring for a Wood Countertop

How should I care for the wood top on my kitchen island?


Thanks for the inquiry   – we appreciate you.

If the island top is “raw wood” and is already usable in terms of being level and smooth, you need only to maintain it to keep it in use for food prep for your kitchen.

Check with the people you purchased the unit from – the top should be a hardwood – Ash and Maple are commone species – and it should not more

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Moving Dryer Vent

I want to move my dryer vent so the exhaust pipe is shorter/safer.


Thank you for the inquiry and the very kind words – we appreciate you.

The best way to do this would be to have a very slightly over-sized hole and pack fiberglass batt around the pipe where it goes through the wall.

The batt would serve has a heat disipator without letting a lot of “free” air move in and out at that point.

When you install the outdoor rain hood, use more


Cracked DIY Concrete

My husband tried to fix the cement between my house and driveway but it’s all cracked up.  I need some advice.


Thanks for the inquiry – we appreciate you!

If your husband attacked this as a DIY project, he may simply have lacked the skill and understanding required to make a ground-supported concrete pad last.

Many factors are involved – from the nature, condition and ratio of the various materials involved in mixing the concrete, to the nature, condition and substance of the supporting more

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Protecting a Window in Shower Wall

How do I protect a window in a shower wall? 


Thank you for the inquiry – we appreciate you!

Regarding that window smack-dab in the middle of the wall in the shower…Is it surrounded by ceramic tile?

If so, there may be a way to install a window overlay  – made of tempered glass or poly-carbonate plastic that is shower-safe – that catches/sheds all the shower water but keeps it from contacting the wood.

You might speak with a gentleman we know that builds more

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How to Install Hardwood over Concrete

Can I lay hardwood over concrete floors?


Thanks for the inquiry – we appreciate it.

Concrete has a natural ability to absorb and transfer moisture while remaining dimensionally stable. This means the concrete itself will not change size and shape simply because all or part of it is wetted.

Wood has similar characteristics except that it may change shape when wetted, especially if the bottom only – the side laying on the concrete below – is wetted while the top remains dry.

For this more

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Wasps Are Bugging Me!

Wasps are nesting in a gap by my front door – what do I do?


Thank you so much for the great comments – we appreciate them greatly!

Those wasps in a concealed space could be dealt with one of two ways.

You could call a Professional – Creature Control at 800-441-1519.

OR you might try an insect fogger.

You can purchase three-packs of aerosol  fogging cans at hardware and big-box stores.

Following manufacturer’s protocols and exercising safety precautions to protect yourself, insert the device in more

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What Size A/C Do I Need?

How do I know what size air conditioner do I need for my home?

A lot of considerations play into this including cubic footage of the space, ratio of exterior wall to enclosed space, percentage of exterior wall represented by windows and doors, building shape and orientation to weather, construction type including thermal insulation, etc.

Too many practitioners use only finished square footage to arrive at “rule-of-thumb” sizing. This often results in oversized units that “short-cycle” and do no run or de-humidify more

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Reducing Dampness in Finished Basement

We’re finishing the basement and have some periodic dampness on parts of the wall where I want to build a finished wall. 


Thanks for the questions. You have obviously been listening and spent some time thinking about the potential issues with moisture in a finished space.

One perspective we like to maintain with regard to water is never to “mask” it.

Applying a closed cell foam over the wall might minimize moisture infiltration at the point it appears – but you would have more

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