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More stories about Q&A

  • Hiding Knotholes in Exterior Trim

    Q. I'm doing an addition on a house I built several years ago. Some of the eastern white pine exterior trim - which was primed on all four sides with oil primer and top-coated with white latex - is showing sap stains. None of the knots or obvious sapwood was preprimed with BIN (www.zinsser.com)...

  • Frozen Polyurethane Glue

    Q: The label on my bottle of Rhino Ultra Glue states (in capital letters) "Keep from freezing," but doesn't say what to do if you don't. Can polyurethane glues be thawed and reused? When they freeze and then thaw, is it obvious that they've been affected? Even though these glues are pretty...

  • Is Fiberglass Insulation A Health Hazard?

    Q: As a home inspector, I'm exposed to fiberglass insulation almost every day, and although I wear a dust mask, I'm concerned that this may not provide enough protection. I also am concerned about the possible health hazards to the occupants of these home

  • Preventing Condensation Under Basement Flooring

    Q: My clients want to use as living space the new walkout basement of an addition I'm building for them, but they're concerned about potential moisture-related problems with the planned carpet flooring. I've proposed installing a layer of rigid EPS foam f

  • Borate-Treated Lumber Okay For Mudsills?

    Q: I know that some framers are using lumber treated with SBX (sodium borate) as a substitute for ACQ because it is less corrosive to fasteners, but I'm concerned about short-term exposure to rain and the longevity of the borate treatment itself, which co

  • Making Long Trim From MDF

    Q. Because it's a lot cheaper than most primed stock, I'd like to use MDF for running trim. But that means I'll have a lot more butt joints, especially if I use 8-foot sheets, which I find to be more manageable on site than 10- or 12-foot sheets, which we can also get. What's a good way to make...

  • Skip the Primer?

    Q. Recently I discovered that an inexperienced member of my crew mistakenly used finish paint instead of an actual primer to prime a fir exterior door. Now the door has two coats of a 100 percent acrylic house paint, but no primer underneath. Since it leads to a covered porch, the door is protected...

  • Q&A: Fixing a Noisy Condo

    Q. Fixing a Noisy Condo I'm renovating a condominium that shares a wall with the adjoining unit. Sound from the neighboring unit the ringing telephone, the dishwasher, and especially the TV travels right through the double 2x4 common wall, which has fire-rated drywall sheathing on one of the...

  • Does Flooding Damage Framing Lumber?

    Q. My son's house has been sitting in 10 feet of water since the levee between Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River broke following Hurricane Katrina. He's considering tearing the two-story home down to the studs. I'm wondering if wooden studs sta

  • Keeping Garage Fumes at Bay

    Q. I'm building a house that has an attached 24-by-24-foot garage with a master suite above. The owner is concerned about fumes getting into the living spaces next to and above the garage. What's the best way to seal out the fumes?