Your furnace is most efficient while running, rather than shutting down and starting up
Dear Glenn: I recall you talking about a woman who will calculate the correct size furnace for your home. My daughter recently had a new addition put on her house and now the furnace seems to run forever. Could you send me the woman's name so I can pass the information on to my Daughter?
Dear Mark: Having the furnace run almost continuously during cold weather is not necessarily a bad thing. The furnace is most efficient while running and most inefficient while shutting down or starting up. Heat loss and heat gain studies are the only way that the equipment can be sized correctly.
Mary the Heat Plan Lady does these studies for several contractors. Her phone number is (586) 731-7363.
Structure problems can cause leaks in your home
Dear Glenn: I have had a problem with my cement basement wall for the past several years. It has cracked four times in the same spot and I have had it repaired from the outside four times. They have dug out the ground and repaired the crack with concrete and tar, but it still leaks. I do not have water on the floor, just the wall and it is droplets.
I really do not know what to do to fix this problem.
Dear Jerry: It sounds like you have a structural problem. There is enough force heaving against the wall to make it crack repeatedly. You need a company with a great deal of experience shoring up houses that has strong working relationships with structural engineers expert at this type of problem. One such company is Calculus Foundation Systems, (888) 746-5464, www.calculus foundationsystems.com.
You can get information on other companies with this type of expertise on the Web at the National Association of Waterproofing and Structural Repair, www.nawsrc.org, or by calling (800) 245-6292.
Removing wallpaper without leaving a mess
Dear Glenn: We bought a house that is about 18 years old, and so is the wallpaper. I have read your articles and used the paper tiger, the garden sprayer with the solution and the scraper.
It appears that underneath the wallpaper is a latex primer or sealer; when I scrap off the wallpaper, this layer is partially coming off, leaving a mess.
I have also tried using a steamer, but this doesn't work well either.
Dear Susan: Here is one way to bring out the heavy artillery.
Spray on a very thick coat of Zinsser Dif Gel ( www.zinsser.com). Cover with a thin plastic drop cloth so that it does not dry out. Let it work for at least a day. Scrape off with Zinsser Paper Scraper. I am specifying the brand because this product does not gouge the wall.
Rinse several times with warm water. If the dry wall feels ricy, spray on another coat of Dif Gel. Wait 20 minutes, then scrape off and rerinse.
Track the source of water in your house
Dear Glenn: I have a 30-year-old ranch home. During September 2004, we had a new roof installed after removing two layers of old shingles. In addition, all rotted wood was replaced, a 1 1/2 -foot aluminum drip edge installed around all eaves and edges, an ice and water shield and new and additional roof vents were installed.
A few weeks ago, I noticed a 2 1/2 -foot-long water stain on my bedroom ceiling. When I touched the stain, my hand was very wet. Prior to getting a new roof, it leaked in that same spot.
When I called to complain, I was told that not even the ice guard is 100 percent effective and if ice forms in the gutters, the water will back up with no other alternative.
The original installer told me that I needed to get a roof rake and put salt in my gutters. He indicated Channel 2 News did a story recently informing people of this.
Please let me know if you think his advice is acceptable or should I be more aggressive on my complaint.
Carol, Sterling Heights
Dear Carol: It sounds like your roofer did a very good job. You have not said whether you have ice dams or have been up to your attic to see where the water is coming from.
Unfortunately the water damage could be caused by a severe case of condensation in the attic due to lack of insulation.
You don't know until you track the source and route of the water.
If you have trouble tracking the water, call Bob Carey of Infrared Services of Michigan, (810) 329-9033, and have the area scanned.
Carey will shoot an infrared scan showing the route of the water. He can also tell insulation in the attic or if he sees something else that may be causing your problem.
She feels sunk dealing with sink's tile grout
Dear Glenn: Our house is very old and the sink is surrounded with tiny tiles that defy cleaning. Is there anything that we can do by ourselves to fill the grout between these tiles?
Dear Patricia: You can do it yourself with a Dremel No. 568 Tile Grout Removal Kit. Set the bit at 1/8 -inch and just follow the grout lines.
The Dremel will remove just enough to be able to put in a new layer of grout. Re-grout. Wait 72 hours, then seal using a penetrating grout sealer. Wipe off excess from tiles.
Note: This article was accurate at the date of publication. However, information contained in it may have changed.
If you plan to use the information contained herein for any purpose, verification of its continued accuracy is your responsibility.