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Archive for the ‘How-to’ Category

Home Tip - Minimizing the Risk of Wood Rot

Wood rot threat #1Wood rot is one of your home's most deadly foes. Here are two common causes of the scourge, as well as practical ways to limit the threat.

One common cause we encounter is gutters filled with leaves. When they don’t drain correctly, gutters not only keep the facia and soffit wet, but can deposit decaying leaves on wood which can trap moisture, intensifying the problem. We even see the edges of roofs rotted. Put in the money or labor to keep gutters clean before you have a bigger problem on your hands!

Wood Rot Claims Another VictimDid you also know that wood can suck up moisture like a rose in a vase? Any place that you have wood ending at concrete, or another source of moisture (like a metal threshold), it is imperative that it be maintained to avoid rot. I have a door casing that rotted inside of a nice thick paint layer, because we could not get to the lowest point. If you can get to the end, soak it with primer and paint several times. Keep everything well caulked. Repairs can be done by removing the whole piece (difficult when it is the door jamb), cutting out the rotted piece and splicing in a piece to match (preferably with a composite such as PVC), or with Bondo® type products like body putty for cars.

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HRM Home Tip - Addressing Issues With Shutoff Valves

Shutoff valveWe often see problems with shutoff valves for sink faucets and toilet supply lines. Since it's such a common occurrence, it might be an issue you face someday, also. Fortunately, there's a fairly easy trick that usually fixes the problem.

A lot of valves, start leaking around the shaft when turned off after a period of non-use. It is hard to see where it’s coming from, but tightening the nut just under the handle often ends the problem. This can be done with a proper size wrench, Crescent wrench, or even pliers. Don’t make it too tight, though, or you won’t be able to turn the valve at all.

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Interesting Ways to Build Threshold Ramps

I was walking through a DIY home store and asking myself what material to use for a threshold ramp. I received an idea, and got some PVC 1x4, cut it to length, countersunk a couple of screws deep into the PVC and into a board beneath, then took a power planer and cut the ramp with a series of passes until it was the needed shape. No rot, no curl, white (no paint), etc. I built something similar with ironwood (Ipe) at a beach house, where we wanted to remove the threshold for sweeping so sand could be swept straight out without catching it in a dustpan.

Another idea came to memory where a guy took some aluminum and made a removable threshold ramp to be used only when needed. I like that.

Either of these would be removable. I’ll bet you could even use hot glue, for a more temporary ramp, to hold it down, if you didn’t want to screw it into tile or sheet vinyl.

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