Insulate that crawl space and save money
Dear Glenn: My home is a one-story ranch house built on a crawl space. The crawl space has the walls and band joists foamed. There are six vents for the crawl space, all open, and there is an outside access door. The crawl space also has a sump pump so that moisture is not a problem.
My goal is to make the crawl space a self-contained space that will maintain a consistent temperature throughout the year. How best can I accomplish this, and can you recommend any area contractors? Much thanks.
Don, Fort Gratiot
Dear Don : You belong in the front row of the home improvement class. Money well spent. Draft Stop Energy and Comfort Services, (810) 329-9033, www.ismichigan.com, does space insulation.
Poured basement walls should be injected for long-lasting results
Dear Glenn: I was looking for what you would recommend to seal the gap between my brick house and mortar-and-brick patio. The house was built in the mid-'70s, so I am assuming the brick patio wasn't far behind since some of its mortar joints need some care but the joint between the house and patio is all cracked, chipped and missing.
I am getting some water coming in underneath the sill for the door and I have no idea what I should be using to repair the joint and, hopefully, keep out the water. I also have a joint in the basement wall along where the house and patio meet and it is also leaking. I believe it should be pressure-treated like a crack would be. Please help.
Ryan, via email
Dear Ryan: Poured basement walls should be injected for long-lasting results. Mr. Sponge, (800) 491-4686, www.mrsponge.com, has more blue ribbons and trophies than anyone when it comes to concrete injection.
To fill those joints, first use a backer rod and push into the joint leaving about 1 ½ inches below the surface then fill with a self-leveling caulk material such as Pecora NR-201 Self-Leveling Sealant available at Specialty Sealants, (586) 979-7770, www.specialtysealantsinc.com, in Sterling Heights.
You can have the color of a refrigerator changed successfully
Dear Glenn: Do you know anything about painting appliances? I have a refrigerator that's like new, but I'm switching out colors in my kitchen so I want to go from cream to black. Also I'm not able to find another refrigerator that is the same size. We have an issue with the depth of the newer models.
Anyway, is painting the existing refrigerator an option? Can you refer any one?
Dear Judy: You can have the color of a refrigerator changed successfully. I would contact a collision shop for a price. Then I would contact an appliance dealer like ABC Warehouse and ask them for their better ideas.
These products should remove the barbecue stains from your deck
Dear Glenn: We recently bought a newer model house that has a couple of large synthetic decks. There are a few barbecue stains, darker in color, like grease on the deck, and I was wondering what is the best cleaner to get rid of the stains without harming the deck? I have tried dish soap and bathroom cleaner but wasn't successful in my quest for stain removal. Do you have any ideas?
Jay, via e-mail
Dear Jay: Spray Remove-It by Dewitt Products, (800) 962-8599, www.dewittproducts.com, full-strength. Scrub it into the deck, mist with water, scrub again. Rinse the deck off with a garden hose set on a strong stream, no need for power washing.
If this method does not satisfy everyone involved, using Pour-N-Restore, (800) 508-7939, www.pournrestore.com, is your next choice. This is a heavy liquid that you pour on and leave to soak until the product becomes a powder. Then just sweep it up.
Blush-resistant masonry sealer stops water spotting
Dear Glenn: I have 1-inch cement pavers. I had a painter seal them. He used a water-based sealer bought at Lowe's. Less than one year after sealing, I am getting milk-colored spots on the pavers.
I contacted the paver company and was told water was getting under the sealer, causing the spots. They suggested stripping the sealer. I contacted the company that made the sealer and asked what to use. I was told they make sealer not stripper; they had no idea what to use. The painter suggested denatured alcohol. I tried Zylene and it had no effect.
What can you suggest as a stripper? I am handy and would like to try something myself. I would appreciate any suggestions you may have.
Dulane, via email
Dear Dulane: Use Dad's Paint and Varnish Remover, then use a sealer that allows moisture to escape. Try Euclid Chemicals Everclear VOX, (800) 321-7628, www.euclidchemical.com. It has a gloss finish and resists blushing -- you know, the milk-colored spots.
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