The Gurus of How-To

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The gurus of how-to, Al and Larry Ubell, answer your home repair questions! Call us at 212-433-9692 (212-433-WNYC) or leave a comment below.

Comments [13]

Joque from long island

I live in Long Island, we moved in a year and 3 months ago.
We have an unfinished basement and there is dehumidifier that the previous owner left and we were told we should have it running all the time, all year round..
If we stop the dehumidifier for a couple of days, you can see the paper gettin a bit "humid" and what we do now is run it during the day and stop it at night.
Do we really need to leave it running all day? or is there something we can we do like painting the walls with a specific paint to stop humidity coming in? or is there any other product you can recommend we could use?

Oct. 08 2008 01:54 PM
paul from boonton, nj

Fire rated enclosure is called an "assembly" or sometines a "housing".

Oct. 08 2008 01:50 PM
pam from nj

money saving tip -
use cold water to rinse off your dishes and pots - soap is made with an enzyme that causes it to bubble/react with warm and hot water.
To stop the reaction and rinse your dishes/pots faster, use cold water. You'll use less hot water and lower the bills on that end as well.
PLUS it'll keep your hands/skin from drying out as much, and you won't have to buy as much handcream. As for a cold shower, you're on your own.

Oct. 08 2008 01:46 PM
Ana from Summit

How do you prevent peeling paint on the bathroom walls. It starts with a cracking then it starts peeling. The bathroom does have a fan.

Oct. 08 2008 01:43 PM
Tisha from Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ

Hate to say it, but seems plain that possibly ONLY the Ubells actually knowthe answer. Please. Take us out of our state of suspense, tell the answer, and maybe start a new quiz.

(I see plenum above and feel that answer has been sent already.)

Oct. 08 2008 01:42 PM
Mike from Brooklyn

Hey, is the answer to Al and Larry's "fireproof" question in a beam or whatever, a plenum? I know that cabling in tall building that passes through this type of space has to be 'plenum' cable, meaning that it's fire resistent.

Oct. 08 2008 01:35 PM
fred from ridgewood queens

Where can learn about rules and regulations concerning installing a wood burning stove.

ps. I purchased a bunch of surge protectors and plug most everything that trickles electric into those and then flip the switch at night. We saved 50.00 bucks last month

Oct. 08 2008 01:34 PM
Joel from Edgewater, NJ

We have a black slimy build up in our water. The toilet bowls show it the worst, a black ring at the water level and trails coming down from under the rim. The shower head is clogged with it and the taps all have a layer in the screens. We clean it and it comes back in less than two weeks. What is in our water that is causing this? We are getting concerned for our health.

Oct. 08 2008 01:11 PM
paul from nyc

Low Flow Toilet

my flush toilet does not always empty the bowl, paper is a particular problem.
Can this be repaired or does it have to be replaced?

Oct. 08 2008 12:41 PM
kenneth from NYC

I have a leak coming in from the roof somewhere but have not been able to pinpoint it even after sealing areas in the roof I taught where the leak is from. Why is it so difficult to know where the water is getting in through the roof without ripping out a barely 3 years old new roof.

Oct. 08 2008 12:40 PM
jason from Brooklyn

I live in a condo in a brick row house in Crown Heights. My apartment is a duplex and has access to the air shaft between the buildings. Every time there's a heavy rain the water backs up and nearly floods my basement unless the water is pumped out. Is there anything I can do--short of calling a plumber to come check the drain--to find the problem and fix it?

Oct. 08 2008 12:29 PM
Andy from Bkln

why do light fixtures on a dimmer buzz and what can I do to stop it?

Oct. 08 2008 12:24 PM
stu in nyc from take a guess

please ask their opinion on how to repair the US economy, the losses on Wall Street, and how to secure windows so we don't jump out of them. thanks.

Oct. 08 2008 12:04 PM

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