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Archive >> January 2009

Jan 22
2009

Something to do on Saturday - Flush your Water Heater


Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: water heater, plumbing, maintenance

Mason:

A plumber was recently at my home to repair our malfunctioning water heater.  He replaced something (a rod?) and everything seems to be fine.  He did tell me that we should FLUSH our water heater more often.  WHAT?  I have never heard of such a thing.  Is this for real??

Rob M., Chesterfield

 

Rob:

Yes; this is one of those home maintenance routines often unknown or overlooked by most homeowners.  Although not quite as simple as flushing a toilet, you can, and should, flush your water heater regularly.  (What does that mean?)  Depends on the quality of your water supply and age / condition

Jan 05
2009

Fun with Refinishing Cabinets


Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: kitchens, DIY

  Dear Mason,

I am updating my kitchen, but want to avoid replacing the cabinets for cost reasons.  The present cabinets are in pretty good shape, but I don't like the appearance.  They're 1960's or 70's knotty pine.  I would like to paint them white.

One painter that we had look at the job told me that the paint might not stick to the old cabinets and that the knots will show through the paint job.  I have heard of painting old wood cabinets before; how should it be correctly done?

Debbie K.  Madison, WI

 

Debbie:

Cabinet refurbishment often includes partial replacement with factory-finished doors

Jan 05
2009

The French Conspiracy - Rotten Doors


Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: repairs
 

Mason:

I have a pair of wood French Doors on the exterior of my 25-year-old house, that have rotted over a number of years.  The bottoms of the doors are deteriorating, as well as the wood frame and moldings around the door.

I see that these are pretty expensive to replace; is there any way to repair this mess?  They are not leaking, but it looks awful!

Bill S.  Richmond, VA

 

Dear Bill:

Take heart that your situation is not at all unusual.  I see this problem on a regular basis.  If the French are conspiring to destroy a piece of the American housing stock, at least they are supporting the

Jan 05
2009

Plasterboard Ceiling Repairs


Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: repairs, cracks
  

Mason:

My husband and I have been fixing up a 1950's ranch home for several years.  We patched a long crack in the ceiling (did it ourselves; we're pretty handy).  It looked great for maybe six months, but it has reappeared recently.  Is there anything we should consider before patching again, to make it go away forever?

Wendy S.  Midlothian Va

 

Wendy:

Consider a government bailout!

Really, the influence of the U.S. Government during times of special need, likely had a great deal to do with your ceiling crack.  You are likely aware that many older homes have thick plaster-on-lathe walls and

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