Solve sky-light condensation with use of a fan
Dear Glenn: We have six skylight windows. Our home is about 10-11 years old. For the last four years, we have had a problem with them sweating and leaving streaks on the ceiling. First we thought it was the stain (we stained around the windows), and then we thought maybe they are leaking (every now and again we get this cool air come down). As far as we can see, everything looks intact. Any idea what we should do?
Tammy, Rochester Hills
Dear Tammy: I doubt there is anything wrong with the windows. Condensation causes the moisture problem. The hottest air in the house meets the coldest surface in the house. Result: condensation. Try turning the furnace fan switch to "On." After 24 hours of operation, check to see if the problem has lessened. If it has, install a ceiling fan. If it hasn't, call your heating contractor and tell him your home needs to increase combustion air.
Re-insulate your attic with a cellulose spray
Dear Glenn: I have a 1,800-square-foot brick ranch. I want to re-insulate my attic in the spring. I sprayed in cellulose about 10 years ago, but I noticed that it has settled. Should I go with a high R-value un-faced fiberglass batting or re-spray cellulose to a comparable R-value?
Jack, Royal Oak
Dear Jack: You will get a more draft-resistant job if you top off with more cellulose. Go to R-49.
Maintain your flat roof with A & Z Roofing
Dear Glenn: I live in a historic home and have a flat rubber roof, which is approximately 15 years old. I'm told it is a 25-year roof and should be fine. However, I notice small surface cracks starting to appear, and the edge of the roof is starting to curl up. Is there anything I can do to extend the life of the roof?
Dear Dave: A flat roof is often a problem roof. The best way to get the longest possible life out of a flat roof is to have it maintained by a flat roof expert like A & Z Roofing, (248) 395-7300.
Soften your water with a magnetic product or potassium from Reynolds Water Conditioning instead of salt
Dear Glenn: Is it true that there is a great magnetic product out there for softening water? I really do not want to use salt to soften the water.
Stephen, Farmington Hills
Dear Stephen: This system has been around for 20--30 years. If you own a car wash, you might want to look into it. If you just want to get rid of the salt, try potassium from Reynolds Water Conditioning: www.rey noldswater.com/saltfreewater. html.
Ask township's inspector for building demolision reference
Dear Glenn: We have to have our cottage torn down because of extensive water damage. Is there anything on your Web site about tips of how to go about getting someone to do this and what steps to go through? I was told that an excavation company would be cheaper than a construction company. Any clues, suggestions, Web sites please?
Dear Kathy: There is nothing on my help site, www.mast erhandyman.com, about this. Turn off the water, gas and electric. Consult with your township. Ask the building inspector whom he would call for the tear down. He knows who has a good track record in your area.
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