The Gurus of How To Fix It Up

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hydrant with sprinkler cap, West 92nd Street between Columbus and Central Park West in July (Alison Murphy/WNYC)

Summer is heating up! The Gurus of How-To, Al Ubell and Larry Ubell, answer questions and give advice on how to repair and maintain your home or apartment.

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


Al Ubell and Larry Ubell

Comments [11]

Catherine from Riverdale/Bronx

Two years ago our neighbor's apartment flooded. Water accumulated under our wood floors. We brought in industrial dehumidifiers and the problem seemed to take care of itself. We had our wood floors resanded and stained this winter, with some gaps filled in. Just this week one small portion of the floor is swollen. It makes a noise when walking over it.
Could this be humidity? Or remaining water? We do not want to redo the floor. Please advise.

Thank you!

Jun. 12 2013 01:51 PM
robert butcher from elmira, ny

these are oriel windows.

Jun. 12 2013 01:43 PM
Raymond from Hudson Heights

This time every year, my wood doors don't close as they swell with the humidity. We tried sealing the unpainted tops and bottoms last fall, but the doors still don't close. Is it the wood framing? How do I fix this annual problem?

Jun. 12 2013 01:37 PM
TJ from Brooklyn

What are the best ways to determine if your home should be re-wired with updated wires and circuits?

Jun. 12 2013 01:33 PM
Meredith from Astoria

How do I get rid of silverfish?

Jun. 12 2013 01:33 PM
Peter from Rockland

What humidity percentage should a basement dehumidifier be set at?

Jun. 12 2013 01:28 PM
Michele from Queens

Can you talk generally about replacing windows? I have a modest home and need to replace my older vinyl windows. I'd like to get something better, but I think that really great wood windows might be an over-investment. Are there good vinyl windows? What kind of glass should I get?


Jun. 12 2013 01:27 PM
Joe M from Brooklyn

I have a window that is way up the wall. The base of the window is about 12 feet off the floor. The window is about 42" by 96".

What kind of window treatment can I use on this? If a blind would it need a very long cord & wand? Or can I get a motorized one with a remote control?

Also, can I rent some kind of scaffolding to get there to install it?


Jun. 12 2013 12:45 PM
antonio from baySide

Is it possible to use the same plaster for ornaments that can be find in brownstones etc. everywhere? Like in place of drywall? I would imagine it would keep the apt/house cool...

Jun. 12 2013 12:34 PM
stuart from nyc

After Sandy, we contacted our insurance company to make sure our weekend house in Seaside Park was in good shape. The adjuster found that shingles were missing from the roof, and replacements were no longer being manufactured. Since there was an older roof on top of the present roof, it was explained to us that everything has to be torn off and done from scratch. We received a check for a new roof. What questions should we be asking prospective roofers?

Jun. 12 2013 12:22 PM
Carol from Bay Ridge ,Brooklyn

My AIr conditioner when it is on it makes loud rattling and buzzing sounds. We had new windows installed and had the AC installed on top of window instead of the traditional on the window sill. Could this be the problem?

Jun. 11 2013 07:52 PM

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