Q. Our problem is our new roof. We bought our house eight years ago with a 15-to-20-year-old roof that needed replacing, no problems with staining that I can remember, having put a new liner in the chimney after purchasing the house. The old roof remained until two years ago when we replaced the roof. It looks as if the flashing is rusted, but upon looking closer it appears maybe a staining problem from above? The chimney is stained with a brown dripping, on all four sides.
- The Flemings, Winchester
A. Those brown drippings on the chimney are condensation from the oil exhaust, which is not completely burned, hence the brown color. The exhaust up the new stainless chimney cap is restricted by the liner being too close to the cap, forcing it sideways and down the sides of the chimney. Take off the chimney cap for starters. Also, make sure your oil burner downstairs has enough combustion air and is not in a closed space. Open the door and open basement windows for more air. Or, cut a vent, about 6-by-15 inches, in the foundation wall, to bring in more air. There may be no need to clean the liner, unless you see heavy brown stains inside. Clean the chimney by pressure-washing it.
Q. A few old vinyl tiles with asbestos on my basement floor are losing their adhesion after 33 years. The edges also appear to be separating from the adjoining tile. I installed the tiles myself with spread adhesive after sealing the floor. Can I safely replace the loose tiles with spare tiles I saved? Is there a safe method to re-adhere the loose tiles?
- Tom Grandel, Plymouth
A. Those vinyl-asbestos tiles contain relatively low amounts of asbestos, but still have to be handled carefully. Yes, you can put in the spare tiles with the spreadable adhesive. Save the smallish old tiles to fill in any other places the tiles fail.
Q. A friend wants a simple redo for her small kitchen. The cabinets are knotty pine. If they are sanded, won’t the knots ooze sap? What would be a good primer, sealant to prepare the wood for painting?
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