Ice Dams

Why do some houses have ice dams on the roof and others do not?

Uneven Flat Roof

My house has an addition that was constructed with a flat roof. Years ago, we had a leak from the flat roof that forced me to install a rubber membrane, with the result that the roof is not perfectly flat anymore. Water collects where there are dips and valleys. Is there anything I can do to eliminate the dips and valleys, or must I install a slanted roof to correct the problem?

Leaky Bricks

Every time a heavy rain blows on the east side of my two-story brick house, water enters through the wall, runs along a steel I beam connecting the first and the second floor, and drips through the ceiling onto my living room floors. How is the water entering the house and how do I fix it?

Leaky Windows

I caulk all my windows regularly but I still get water leaks during big rainstorms. Is there anything wrong with the wall?

Leaky Tar-and-Gravel Roof

I have a flat tar-and-gravel roof above my garage. I have experienced numerous leaks from the roof into the garage. I sealed all the cracks that I could find on the roof, but the problem persists. What can I do?

Sloping Decks

I have an extension to my house with a deck on top that acts as a roof. But the deck does not slope away from the house, so every time it rains, the deck fills with a puddle in its center. I have heard that I can build a slope on the deck using thin-set mortar and acrylic milk. Is this possible?

Leaky Foundations

My house has a poured concrete foundation with brick walls on top. Every time there is a strong rainstorm, water enters the house at the exact point where the foundation and the brick meet. What is the best way to seal the wall?

Leaky Eaves

My aluminum eaves constantly leak at the seams. I have tried to seal the seams with a variety of products, but nothing seems to help. What can I do?

Flooding Lights

The light attached to the soffit above the front door fills with water every time it rains. Excess water then drips down to the porch below. Is this a roofing problem?

Removing Paint From Concrete

I have been removing old tiling from the concrete floor in the basement of my 60-year-old house. Underneath the tiles is an old layer of paint. The paint is so old that where it is not still adhering to the floor, it has turned into a powdery substance. Do I have to remove the paint on the floor before I paint again?

Paint Strippers

I want to strip the paint off several pieces of furniture but I am worried that this will be expensive. The last time I did a job like this it took a lot of paint stripper. Is there any way to make the stripper go further?

Protecting Cedar

We recently added a cedar deck in our backyard. What would you suggest we apply to the wood to protect it and maintain the natural color of the cedar?

Staining a Deck-2

I have a problem with my nine-year-old pressure-treated deck. It was never painted or stained, and lately when the kids are playing on the deck they are getting splinters. What should I coat the deck with to eliminate the problem?

Staining Spindles

I plan to stain the spindles that form the wall on my backyard deck. Should I use a paintbrush to apply the stain, or is there a better method?

Staining a Deck-1

Last week I installed a new deck in my backyard. How long should I wait until I apply a stain and a water protector to the wood?

Paint Spray Gun

I recently built some kitchen cabinets, which now have to be painted. I want to make sure the finish is as smooth as possible. Should I use a paint spray gun?

Odorous Varathane

I built a pine bread box for my wife, which I protected with varathane. It has been some time since the varathane was applied but the bread inside the box continues to hold the odor of the varathane. What can I do to eliminate the problem?


I bought some unfinished, unstained pine furniture. I want to put a finish on the furniture, but I do not want a high-gloss finish. What are my other options, and what is the best method for applying the finish?

Painting Tiles

I have some ceramic tiles on my bathroom walls. Most of them are beige, with a smaller number of different-colored tiles. I want to keep the beige tiles and paint over the others. Can I paint tiles? If so, what kind of paint should I use?