Q. 1: Recently our Cadillac had a water pump leak that left several orange stains on our concrete driveway before we had a chance to get the water pump fixed. How can we remove those antifreeze stains? 2. I am having a problem with the glass top on my electric stove. All of my current pots and pans seem to scratch the surface. Are there any products and/or materials on the market that you would recommend for glass top stoves to prevent the scratching?
A. 1. Try power-washing those antifreeze stains. 2. I’d say you have very heavy pots and pans, and drag them off the stove instead of lifting them. It’ll happen every time. You could get a new glass top and buy some lighter weight utensils, or simply stop dragging them across the glass.
Q. Water often comes outside between the clapboards and between the boards of the soffit. We have a relatively new roof (5 years old) which has an ice shield. We also have a roof vent and spaced soffit vents. We used the roof rake on this side of the house and removed about 18 inches of snow from the edge. What is the cause and solution to this problem? Should we install snow melt wires on the roof and/or in the gutters this spring?
A. Try to avoid raking snow off the roof. It does little good, except it just raises the location of ice dams and leaks. The problem is that you do not have adequate insulation on the attic floor and the wrong kind of vents. Make sure you have lots of insulation on the attic floor (several feet of insulation is not too much, but make sure you don’t cover the eaves (soffits). Replace the roof vent with a ridge vent, and replace the spaced soffit vents with a 2-inch-wide continuous screened strip. If that doesn’t work, contact an insulator, and a ventilation expert.
Q. I have laminate (Wilsonart brand) on the wall behind my stove. It has a matte finish. I would like to paint the wall. Can it be done and what kind of paint should I use? The surface of the wall is in excellent condition.
A. If the wall is only behind the stove and gets hot when the stove or oven is on, paint it with Krylon’s HHR spray paint. If the wall extends beyond the stove, and there is adequate ventilation between it and the stove, prime the wall with a latex primer, then paint with an eggshell finish latex wall paint.
Q. A few weeks ago I had my brick chimney lined with a stainless steel liner as required by code, to prepare for my conversion to gas. However, the chimney is making a loud roar. The installer came back and said there’s nothing he can do because the metal liner creates a whooshing sound and there is not a lot of space between the liner and bricks. My neighbors are not happy. What can I do?
A. If you are still on oil, the flame is under heavy power and makes that whoosh in an under-sized liner. A gas flame is quieter, which you will find out when the gas is installed. An alternative is to rebuild the chimney larger to make more room for the liner to fit into.