Streams

The Gurus of How-to Prepare for Winter

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The Gurus of How-To, Al Ubell and Larry Ubell, are here to offer advice on home repair matters, from leaves in your gutter to ice on your stoop steps to furnaces on the fritz.

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

Today's Quiz

Q: Name the impervious material and technique used to provide drainage control, moisture or rain water penetration through a building’s roof, walls, exterior doors and windows?

A: Flashing

Guests:

Al Ubell and Larry Ubell

Comments [30]

marty from manhattan

can you recomend what to put on your windows to keep out construction noise or to mute it a little

Nov. 09 2011 02:05 PM
Michele from Queens

I'm a new homeowner and have come to the horrifying realization that I need to replace all my windows. I'm overwhelmed by the amount of choice - how do I navigate this process? I have terrible vinyl windows now, and would like to do a little better. Do I have to go with wood windows? Or are there any good vinyl windows out there? I don't want to over-spend on my modest house.

Nov. 09 2011 01:50 PM
Candy from Morristown, NJ

The answer to the quiz is "drip edge."

Nov. 09 2011 01:49 PM
Dale from Brooklyn

I accidentally kicked the door frame of my bathroom the other day. I took a pretty good chunk out of it and finally noticed there is some pretty advanced dry rot going on. I haven't told my landlord yet! Little afraid I'm going move out because it might be such a big problem. I guess I don't really have a question here, this is just a complaint.

Nov. 09 2011 01:47 PM
jim a.

TYVEK HOUSE WRAP...answer to quiz

Nov. 09 2011 01:46 PM
Tommy Morrongiello from Cranford NJ

Tyvek ?

Everybody needs a generator. And the elentary knowledge of proper usage.

Listening at the gym in Cranford NJ

T M

Nov. 09 2011 01:46 PM

to: too hot in harlem

i, too, had that problem. i went to home depopt or go to a hardware store and get insulated pipe covers. i used 3 per pipe. coole dthe place by 30 degrees.

stay cool,
ted

Nov. 09 2011 01:45 PM
Mike Jones from Prospect Heights Brooklyn

Tyvek!

Nov. 09 2011 01:45 PM
Candy from Morristown, NJ

The answer to the question is "drip edge."

Nov. 09 2011 01:44 PM

FLASHING???

Nov. 09 2011 01:42 PM
Joe from Working )c: Parsippany

Could the material and technique you're referring to be as simple as "insulation"?

Nov. 09 2011 01:42 PM
ted from manhattan

flashing???

Nov. 09 2011 01:41 PM
Christina from Brooklyn

Aswer to your prevention of water penetration question...
Is it Flashing?

Nov. 09 2011 01:41 PM
Andy B. from New York

I bought a Whirlpool dishwasher. It has a plastic removable cap to pour in the liquid for their "Rinse Aid" drying.

It is something like a bottle cap - a 25 cent part. I lost it.

I called up - they wanted 12 dollars for the part and 9 dollars for shipping - they refused to just put it in an envelope and put a 30 cent stamp on it.

Nov. 09 2011 01:41 PM
Nan from Westchester County

The radiators in our house make a horrible clanking noise. What can we do?

Nov. 09 2011 01:40 PM
Andy B. from New York

I bought a Whirlpool dishwasher. It has a plastic removable cap to pour in the liquid for their "Rinse Aid" drying.

It is something like a bottle cap - a 25 cent part. I lost it.

I called up - they wanted 12 dollars for the part and 9 dollars for shipping - they refused to just put it in an envelope and put a 30 cent stamp on it.

Nov. 09 2011 01:40 PM
Sasha from Jackson Heights

We live in a co-op with 12 apartments with working fireplaces. I know that some of the owners never have their chimney's swept. I worry that someone else will have a chimney fire and it will damage all of our flues/and or apartments. Wouldn't it make sense for the co-op to have everyone clean them at the same time every couple of years?

Nov. 09 2011 01:39 PM
Sasha from Jackson Heights

We live in a co-op with 12 apartments with working fireplaces. I know that some of the owners never have their chimney's swept. I worry that someone else will have a chimney fire and it will damage all of our flues/and or apartments. Wouldn't it make sense for the co-op to have everyone clean them at the same time every couple of years?

Nov. 09 2011 01:37 PM
Orchid Garbutt

I am about to have the bricks pointed
on my old house. Should the bricks be steam cleaned, pointed and sealed?

Thanks,

Nov. 09 2011 01:37 PM
Mark from west village

I had rusty hot water with grit for about an hour yesterday. Cold water was clean. The hot water tank looks and feels normal.

Now it is running clean, but I am worried about this being a sign of near future tank failure.

Nov. 09 2011 01:35 PM
Philip Feil from Manhattan

Several years ago the Landlord replaced the wall next to the Bathtub and put in new hot and cold water pipes for the shower which are exposed and run along the top of the bathtub.
Is this legal?

Nov. 09 2011 01:33 PM
Andy from Parsippany, NJ

How do you deal with an over heated apartment?

I live in a garden apartment complex with centralized heating and heat sensors, not thermostats, in the apartment. Now that it's Winter, my windows are wide open and will stay that way until I have to turn on the A/C next summer.

Nov. 09 2011 01:33 PM
Len from Forest hills

I have perennial paint peeling on the walls of my apartment...the super says the problem is throughout the building dating back to when original plaster had incorrect lime content. I scrape, plaster, and wait for the next time. Also this seems to be predominant on beams, in which their may be pipes. I am thinking of doing a primer coat with Zinnser Peel Stop which should hold things intact before my next paint job. (Havent painted in 10 years) Thoughts? Thanks

Nov. 09 2011 01:30 PM
Jon from West Villiage

Hi there.

We have no radiator in our bed room but we do have a vertical pipe.

When the steam comes on the pipe creaks horribly like an old wooden boat for several minutes. Loud enough to always wake us.

2 questions.
Is there anything we can do about the creaking?

What is the best way to insulate the pipe?

Nov. 09 2011 01:29 PM
Jack from Sunnyside

Can you talk about injected insulation? I wanted to use it to insulate my porch. Can I install it myself? How does it affect electrical wiring?

Nov. 09 2011 01:13 PM
Lois from West Milford

How much insulation does wall-to-wall carpeting provide? I would like to replace my carpeting with area rugs over wood laminate, but am concerned that the house will be a lot colder in the winter. House is small (700 sq ft), one story, no basement, just a crawl space underneath.

Nov. 09 2011 12:29 PM
Richard from Brooklyn

Many thanks in advance for your attention.

I am a renter and my bedroom has an old fireplace in it. The building was built in the 1800s. The fire place is no longer working, but there is a draft that whistles down into the room on windy days.

What is the best (least expensive way) to seal this draft off? There is a pipe in the fireplace (haphazardly stuffed with packing paper - from the previous renter I am guessing). But the draft seems to come down in other areas besides this pipe. There seems to be a thin metal sheeting on the inner top of the fireplace as well.

I will probably have to do this myself, but Is the landlord legally responsible for sealing this off?

Nov. 09 2011 12:27 PM
Barbara Coccioletti from Carroll Gardens Brooklyn

I have two window air conditioners. I was wondering if there is a safe way to leave them in year round. My apartment is always warm if not hot in the winter so I am not worried about loosing heat. I live on the first floor and the air conditioners are somewhat covered by the outside of the building and the bars over the window area. Could I cover the units with something on the outside that would keep them protected?

Thanks.

Nov. 09 2011 12:19 PM
Too Hot from Harlem

My apt is too hot. I don't even turn on the radiators, the heat is from the pipes. I have opened windows and resorted to using my A/C in the middle of winter (I almost burned out the AC motor b/c the fan belt was frozen and it took me 20 min to realize).
Any tips on how I can cool down my apt? The maintenance folks tell me that the heat is run to keep the "old ladies warm"...I say, start a program to get the old ladies moving and get their blood flowing to warm them up.
I am suffering! :) thanks.

Nov. 09 2011 11:09 AM
Laura from UWS

What do I need to do my bathroom ceiling and air vent through which the contents of an upstairs tub flooded when a pipe failed?

Bleach, steam? Or does the ceiling need to be opened up to air out?

Thanks.

Nov. 09 2011 10:33 AM

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