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Brick Staining

Q. Some of the brickwork on a house I built has developed a white stain that resembles efflorescence but is limited to only two areas: a mailbox and a window. The gutter above the window overflows occasionally, but the water doesn't appear to actually fal Read more

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Q&A: Installing New Stucco Over Old

Q: The owner of a house with existing exterior cement stucco is unhappy with the finish. How difficult is it to install a new coat of stucco over the existing stucco? Read more

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Q&A: Finish for Bare Slab

Q: What is a good, durable, transparent finish for a bare radiant slab? I’ve tried Glitsa over colored concrete. The finish looked great initially, but was not water-resistant. A year later, there was a fair amount of delamination and flaking. How should I refinish the floor? Would a polyurethane finish bond better? Also, for the future, should new concrete be acid-washed before applying a coating? Read more

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Troubleshooting Common Chimney Problems

Most chimney problems stem from a few root causes, such as improperly mixed mortar and poorly constructed crowns. Unfortunately, once done, the resulting damage can be expensive to repair. A chimney expert shows how to recognize and prevent Read more

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Specialty Finishes for Concrete Slabs

Exposed concrete slabs don’t have to look dull and gray. Here’s how to use dyes and stains, stamped patterns, and exposed aggregate to create an attractive and durable finished slab. Read more

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Q&A: Patching Water-Damaged Plaster

Q: My company has done plaster repair work for many years. After repairing water-damaged walls or ceilings, we occasionally get called back to "fix" an unsuccessful repair. Our second repair attempt involves digging out a very bumpy, chalky substance, and more often than not, we have to repeat this process a number of times until the patch finally takes hold. What causes this reaction on some water damage jobs and not others? What is the most efficient way to deal with this problem? Read more

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Repairing Plaster Walls and Ceilings

Hairline cracks in old plaster require more than just forcing in some spackle. A plaster repair specialist describes his techniques. Read more

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How Retrofitting Can Hurt Bricks

Canadian correspondent Jon Eakes explains how adding insulation to a brick wall or masonry foundation can do more harm than good—unless you deal with moisture movement first. Read more

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