Q&A / 

August 18, 2009 AsktheBuilder News And Tips

What's in This Issue?

Washable Air Filters
Spacking Compound
Extreme Defy Deck Sealer
Husbands and Mermaids
Latest Columns and Videos

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I'm in the final few days of an enormous remodeling project at my home. It was time to update the master bathroom and bedroom. In fact, in just a few minutes, the carpet installers will arrive to put down the bedroom carpet. In the next four days, I need to grout the tile, connect all the plumbing fixtures, hang the wallpaper and install all the mirrors and light fixtures. Whew, I'll be busy! Then I drive with Tristan back to New Hampshire so he can start school next week.

Washable Air Filters

Moments ago, my best friend Richard Anderson called me. In my opinion, he's perhaps the best heating and air-conditioning technician within 100 miles of Cincinnati, OH. Now that we're in peak air-conditioning times, Richard had some great advice. He said that he's going on more service calls where a clogged air filter has caused the interior coil to freeze up. When this happens, you have no air conditioning and possibly a huge mess if the ice thaws and ruins your house or your possessions.

The big problem Richard is seeing are washable air filters where the garden hose pressure is not cleaning them. They look clean, but in reality dirt deep inside the filter is not being removed. If you have a filter like this, you should consider trying a pressure washer. If you don't own one, go to a self car wash and use the one there. Clogged air filters reduce air flow across the interior cooling coil. This makes your unit work harder to cool, and wastes energy.

A Great Spackling Compound

The past week, I've been spackling my share of nail holes. Installing all new woodwork in the bedroom and bathroom was part of the project. In the past I used lightweight spackling. It worked well. But a spackling manufacturer, Crawfords, sent me a quart of product that I thought I could use as a weight-training aid. I've never held a heavier one-quart can! I thought it had lead in it, but my guess is that the product contains massive amounts of powdered limestone.

Anyway, I resisted using it for fear of extra sanding work. I'm here to tell you that this product is the best spackling compound I've ever used. It didn't shrink, it dried quickly and most important, after painting you simply can't see the spackled hole. With the lightweight spackling, I could always see the hole, even after priming the material. The spackling was flush with the wood, but it's texture was different. The opens in a new windowCrawford's material is so dense, it matches up well with the density of the wood.

This product was easy to apply and it sanded with no effort. I urge you to try it.

Extreme Defy Deck Sealer

Just after my birthday, it feels great to be 35 again!, I told you about my golf game and lunch with John Meredith, the president and owner of Saver Systems. John had shown me photographs of ultraviolet (UV) light testing of his latest advancement in deck sealers. Nanotechnology chemistry has produced a deck stain that simply doesn't fade at the drastic rate of the other deck sealers on the market. The photo results were stunning.

Anyone can buy this product now in the clear version, as I used it on my boat dock in New Hampshire back in June. But many customers want the deck stain in a color, as did I. The clear is fine, but I really wanted that rich cedar color for my dock. John's cedar tone color is far away his most popular color in his regular line of deck-sealing products. Based on what I saw in the photographs, I begged him to make a batch of Extreme Defy in cedar tone so that you could protect your deck before this winter. With Labor Day just around the corner, it's the perfect time.

John agreed, and the best part is that no one else in the world can buy this tinted deck sealer except for you. It's only available to subscribers of this newsletter. The only problem is that John only made 3,000 gallons. You may think that's a huge amount, but it's not. With his ten-gallon limit per customer requirement, that means you will be in a select group of only 300 people who get to treat their decks with perhaps the best deck sealer in the world. This product will not be available to the general public until the spring of 2010.

Oh, I forgot to mention, John said you can have free shipping! I can't believe he's doing that. I urge you to take a opens in a new windowlook at the photos of the UV testing. They speak for themselves.

P.S. I don't get one penny from John for mentioning this opens in a new windowspecial pre-release batch of Extreme Defy. My motivation is to get you a great product and to prove to John that my subscribers listen to what I have to say. Show John that's true. Order a few gallons right now and be part of a very select group.

Husbands and Mermaids

Jackie Pitruzzello wrote to me from steamy Huntsville, Alabama:

"I so hope you can help us. We have a driveway that the builder sloped toward the house, so when there are heavy rains, the driveway ponds the water and comes into the garage. We have had two different foundation repair companies look at this problem.

The first wanted to cut out the driveway, install a open drain and have the water come out at a different place through a pop up valve. The second said this probably would not help due to the absence of sloping in the yard. Yes, the ground is almost level on the entire area. If we don't get help soon I'm afraid one of these days when it rains, my husband will find a mermaid and run off with her!"

Here's my advice, Jackie. It's possible that you have a nearly level lot, but I doubt it. I've seen lots that look absolutely flat, but in 50 feet, there is perhaps 12 to 16 inches of fall. To get an open trench drain to work at your garage door, you need about 12 inches of fall.

Contact a remodeling contractor that has a builder's level. This is an optical or laser instrument that can project a level line outdoors. Using a grade pole, you can quickly determine how much fall you have on your lot. Here's a opens in a new windowcolumn I wrote about these fantastic tools.

I'll bet you can hire a contractor to do this for you now in this poor economy for less than $50. It takes minutes to set up the instrument and take the reading.

As for worrying about mermaids, I suggest that you mimic one around your home one day and see if your husband even has an interest in these mythical creatures!

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