The Gurus of How-To

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Winter is here, with snow, ice, and freezing temperatures. The Gurus of How-To, Al Ubell and Larry Ubell, are here to offer advice on  combatting drafts, fixing your furnace, keeping your pipes from bursting, and tackling other home repair issues!

Call 646-829-3985 with your questions or leave a comment!


Al Ubell and Larry Ubell

Comments [13]

bryan from downtown

Wax on shovels, just like skis, great. But Please, do not encourage millions of people to add more chemicals to the runoff on our streets, which drains, untreated, into the ecosystem.

Jan. 12 2011 01:52 PM
Lianne from Brooklyn

Thanks sumukha...hope your call gets thru.
I would be interested to know if you have a general contractor who could refer me to some other specialists for high end renovation/ restoration ? Unfortunately station says they will not give you my contact info....
Ps ( I aspire to a library!)

Jan. 12 2011 01:51 PM
sumukha from Short Hills, NJ

The company that installed my radiant heat is Argent plumbing. 908 522 0489

Jan. 12 2011 01:46 PM
Susan from Nyack from Nyack NY

I do understand that to finish raw wood you stain first, then finish [varnish.] HOWEVER, is ther a way to seal first, then later decide on a [wood tone] and apply over top? ie. can I add a 'tint' to a sealing coat of something?

Jan. 12 2011 01:44 PM
Mark from Brooklyn

Answering the question: A pile driver is used to drive the caisson, or form into the ground and I believe an auger is used to remove the soil.

Jan. 12 2011 01:44 PM
Tim from NJ

I have a Dutch Colonial. Would it make sense to fill the space between the inside wall and the sloping outer wall of the second floor. Currently there is only 4 in of fiberglass between the studs of the inner wall - the space between that insulation and the outer wall is empty.

Jan. 12 2011 01:43 PM
gary l. from p. slope

contest answer = hammer

Jan. 12 2011 01:34 PM
Gerry from Park Slope

What is the best way to insulate and/or sound proof a brownstone exposed or interior brick wall.

Jan. 12 2011 01:31 PM
Lianne from Brooklyn

Hi I spoke to Al about a flooring question previously, but I am actually hoping to connect up with previous poster sumukha. ( I am redoing a brownstone and having trouble finding a flooring Co that can do the kind of restoration work I am interested in. It sounds like sumukha has the level of quality in his/ her home that I am hoping to find.) Will try calling station and leaving my contact info, in hopes they will pass it along to you. Thank you WNYC and ubells!

Jan. 12 2011 01:19 PM
Ben In Orangeburg from Orangeburg NY

I have a 2300 sq ft typical suburban house (2 floors with an attic). Built in 1954. My heating bill last January was $313.37. I have tried stuffing fiberglass insulation in my attic. Should I spring for the foam insulation? A friend on mine did it (just the attic perimeter) and it cost him $4000. Worth it?

Jan. 12 2011 01:14 PM
Johanna from Manhattan

Does it make sense to replace a non-functioning electric floor heating system under the bathroom tile floor or consider just replacing with an electric baseboard? I assume you can only use tile to lay over a new electric floor mat - not linolium - and was trying to keep the costs down as the electrician said although the mat was about $350, the tile replacement would be another $1500. This project is upstate in the Adirondacks. Thanks for your advice.

Jan. 12 2011 01:09 PM
Jennifer from Princeton

Hi I will try and call in but may not get through.

I have a weeping wall--in my kitchen, in the eat-in area, which is a step down area from the rest of the kitchen, where the roof meets the wall, the wall leaks when it rains or when there's snow on the roof.

Despite valiant attempts by my boyfriend to make sure the roof over the eat in area directed rain to the gutter, the wall still has water running down it when it rains hard or when there's snow on the roof. I've thought of painting a religious icon on the wall, and opening a pilgrimage site in my kitchen, but decided that would be more trouble than fixing the leak.

so my question is: is this a roof problem or a gutter problem? do i call a roof guy or a gutter guy and can you recommend someone good in the Princeton area?

Jennifer, aka Our Lady of the Weeping Wall

Jan. 12 2011 11:44 AM
sumukha from Short Hills, NJ

Hi, I have radiant heating on the floors of my Library. I don't use the library everyday, but quite extensively in the weekends. should i Keep the temperature at a constant through the week, or program it get it up to 70 for just the weekends and bring it down(there is a programmable thermostat). I am getting different suggestions from different professionals. Its seems its most energy efficient to keep it at a constant. what is your take. thanks

Jan. 12 2011 08:04 AM

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