Streams

The Gurus of How to Talk Home Repair

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Gurus of How-To, Al Ubell and Larry Ubell, are here to offer advice on home repair matters, from sealing cracks to ceiling cracks.

Call 212-433-9692 with your questions or leave a comment below!

Guests:

Al Ubell and Larry Ubell

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Comments [37]

upholstered headboards

A headboard is something that you do not realize how much you would enjoy until you own one. Many individuals enjoy sitting in their bed at night to either read a book or watch some TV before go to sleep. If you do not have a headboard, you are forced to lean against the hard wall. I do not know about you, but my back can not handle that for long, I think so. If someone have a headboard attached to your or our bed, if, you can comfortably rest up against it instead. While all headboards are a comfortable alternative to resting up against a wall, upholstered ones or you are by far the softest and most comfortable.

Nov. 14 2012 05:58 AM
upholstered headboards from DHAKA

A headboard is something that you do not realize how much you would enjoy until you own one. Many individuals enjoy sitting in their bed at night to either read a book or watch some TV before go to sleep. If you do not have a headboard, you are forced to lean against the hard wall. I do not know about you, but my back can not handle that for long, I think so. If someone have a headboard attached to your or our bed, if, you can comfortably rest up against it instead. While all headboards are a comfortable alternative to resting up against a wall, upholstered ones or you are by far the softest and most comfortable.

Nov. 04 2012 01:03 AM
Matthew from manhattan

I know it is late but the term for carnival lighting is Frieze

Apr. 11 2012 02:34 PM
Nancy from UWS

I have found it very difficult to smooth acrylic caulk with water on a fingertip. Silicone caulk, smoothed with mineral spirits on the finger, is far easier to apply. I last did my tub a few years ago, and have had no problems with mold -- in fact, GE Premium Quality Silicone II caulk touts 5 year mold-free product protection" on the tube.

Apr. 11 2012 02:30 PM
GG from Brooklyn

Regarding bed bugs: be thorough! Call an exterminator then gather all your clothes, sheets, curtains etc. Anything that can go in a dryer must be dried on high for at least 45 mins. Washing does not kill them, the drying does so coats for example can go straight in the dryer. After laundering put everything in clear plastic bags and seal them until it's over(keep smaller bag for everyday access). Invest in a Packtite, a heating contraption for anything that can't go in a dryer such as books and shoes. after extermination do a lot of caulking, everywhere you see cracks. Throw out any furniture you can live without and get a mattress protector of course.

Apr. 11 2012 02:12 PM
Kenneth

What was their email address?

Apr. 11 2012 02:00 PM
Finn

Festoon lighting is defined in article 100 in the NEC as:
A string of outdoor lights that are suspended between two points.

As an electrician I am familiar with this term ad believe it is a correct answer to the question.

Apr. 11 2012 02:00 PM
Hannah M from Brooklyn

Chase, or chaser lights?

Apr. 11 2012 01:59 PM
Kathleen from Nyc

Quiz--Is it " electric garland" ?

Love the show!!

Kathleen

Apr. 11 2012 01:58 PM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

Acrylic caulks no good. Silica Caulks no good. GE silica plus fungicide works. Forget the rest.

Apr. 11 2012 01:56 PM
Ned Baldwin from Hastings on Hudson

Festooned lighting is most lighting designer's terminology for lightnh sources strung string like along a wire.... Dismissing "festoon lighting" as incorrect is not correct....

Apr. 11 2012 01:56 PM
liz

Is the answer Running lights? I've been thinking someone would have said that already...

Apr. 11 2012 01:55 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Can non-chlorine bleach be used for some of the things the Gurus are saying to use bleach for? Some of us don't want to use chlorine bleach, because (last I heard) its manufacture produces dioxin.

Apr. 11 2012 01:54 PM
John Street from Charleston, WV

Is your answer CHASE lighting?

Love the show!

Apr. 11 2012 01:54 PM
Hal from NYC

BELT lighting.

Apr. 11 2012 01:52 PM
Danielle Jensen

I have to take issue with your comment about vinegar-remember we ingest vinegar. It cannot be that dangerous esp. mixed with water which is a common recipe for a non-toxic cleaner. Also how about baking soda in the washing machine.

Apr. 11 2012 01:51 PM
Anonymous

I live in a !00 year old building on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn half a block from the BQE. I've noticed there are signs of possible foundation problems: the stairs are slanted, there is a diagonal crack above an interior door frame, molding is separating from the walls, there is a crack in the center of the fireplace mantle, and the bricks in the fireplace are sagging. Since there is such heavy truck traffic in the area, the building is often shaking. I called 311 and requested an inspection from the Department of Buildings but it has been a couple of weeks and I've yet to hear back. Should I be concerned about imminent foundation failure and ask my landlord to have a structural engineer inspect the building?

Apr. 11 2012 01:49 PM
Sara B. from nyc

I didn't hear the question but is the answer "Bay St. Lights"? or "Bay Lights"?

Apr. 11 2012 01:47 PM
Paula from Montclair

Is it necessary (or advisable) to clean a dishwasher? I never cleaned my dish washer before -- but now my 5 year old Bosch has a moldy smell upon starting, and there is black gunk near the door seal.

Apr. 11 2012 01:47 PM
Greg from Brooklyn

I am not sure about the answer given to Jim from Manhattan. My understanding that since fuel oil boilers burn cooler than fuel oil, there is more of a problem of condensation in the chimney, thus the need for the liner. I don't think even a chimney in good condition can handle the condensation without degrading very quickly.

Apr. 11 2012 01:44 PM
Danielle Jensen

what is your opinion about leaving the washer door open when not in use. We have a weekend place-I like to leave the door open when we are not there-my husband says it should be closed so that the rubber casing around door doesnt dry out.Please settle this !

Apr. 11 2012 01:44 PM
k from Brooklyn

i am currently trying to decide between 2 general contractors for a gut renovation. As expected, both are quick to get me to choose them, but both have done things that gave me pause.

1 of them presents a proposal that is categorized while the other just lists all areas together.
Both refuse to place a $$ amount next any of the descriptions for the work to be done. Both give the total $$ amount at the end of their respective proposals.

In checking their license #, one of them is no longer at that address listed with the NYC Dept of consumer affairs.

How serious is this?
I am in the process of contacting their past clients for references.
What else should I look for in order to decide who I should choose?

Apr. 11 2012 01:44 PM
frances from brooklyn

fyi - for the guy who just brought up the roomate's bedbugs - there is a product available that wraps your entire mattress in a super-tightly woven material, which is liquid proof and bed-bug proof. they are expensive, but commonly available in big stores like bed, bath and beyond.

Apr. 11 2012 01:43 PM
Amy from Manhattan

And especially, don't use vinegar in your washer (or anything else) after using bleach--it releases chlorine gas, which is poisonous.

Apr. 11 2012 01:41 PM
pico from new jersey

Our house is 36 yrs old and needs to be re-sided. We have gotten quotes which include tearing off the old cedar shakes and others which say we can side over them. My feeling is we should tear off and see what's underneath before covering it again. The argument is that we would lose the insulation value of the old siding if we tear it off. Which is best?

Apr. 11 2012 01:41 PM
laurie from brooklyn

Please repeat the Brooklyn event information!

Apr. 11 2012 01:35 PM
Shelbyb from UWS

Cafe lights?

Apr. 11 2012 01:34 PM
Betty Anne from UWS

I can't recall what those are called but I bought a set made with LED lights for my patio. They look beautiful and the color is very close to the real thing. Very energy efficient.

Apr. 11 2012 01:33 PM
Kelby from Astoria

When I bought this 2 family row house in Astoria, Queens, the radiator had already been removed from the vestibule, leaving a capped pipe in its place. It seemed to me like a sensible thing to do, since nobody spends time in the vestibule for more than 10 seconds, but immediately above this vestibule sits the upstairs tenant's children's bedroom, (which has its own radiator), but is a few degrees colder than other spots in the house. I'd like a more even distribution of heat around the house and to the child's bedroom but would it make sense in terms of heating conservation/expenditure to re-install the radiator in the vestibule, which is about 4'x4' and is almost always closed off by the front door and the entrance doors to the first and second floors. In other words, would installing a radiator here increase the gas usage of the whole system or would it be the same?

Apr. 11 2012 01:32 PM
pico from new jersey

Other source of smell from a washer could be a missing sewer trap; another related question : our washer does not rinse all the lint out. Could this be a symptom of age? It's 18 yrs old

Apr. 11 2012 01:31 PM
ddbk

the lights are festoons!

Apr. 11 2012 01:26 PM
Kay from Brooklyn

We recently discovered a large rat at the entryway to our brownstone, and are now busy cementing up and otherwise sealing up the house from entry to basement. There are currently three major gut-renovation construction projects just on our block alone, complete with dumpsters and construction debris. Could this explain the new presence of the rat? I've heard that's just a comforting myth, but I hope it's at least a possibility!

Apr. 11 2012 01:23 PM
Lorna from Connecticut

I cleaned my washer with white vinegar and baking soda - which worked when bleach and soap did not.

Apr. 11 2012 01:22 PM
clark from nj

I use white vinegar in my washing machine because it's less toxic and the manufacturer forbids bleach. It's a Bosc.

Apr. 11 2012 01:22 PM
Jim Sparks from Manhattan

My apartment building wanted to install a natural gas burner on its boiler to save money on oil, but we were told we would have to reline our 12 story chimney with a stainless steel liner costing about $10,000 per floor. The chimney has a terra cotta brick core and brick exterior. Why would a liner be needed? Is it code? Is there a more economical work around?
Thanks,
Jim

Apr. 11 2012 01:21 PM
Brett from Williamsburg

I live with one roommate in a two bedroom apartment. An inspector found bedbugs in my roommate's box-spring yesterday. What immediate precautions can I take to stop them from spreading?

Apr. 11 2012 01:18 PM
James Gelineau from Princeton, NJ

Our master bedroom is two floors above where the water heater is. Turning on the shower and waiting for the hot water to arrive is wasting a LOT of water. Is there any way to have the hot water arrive faster and wasting less water?

Apr. 11 2012 12:03 PM

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