Q&A / 

March 5, 2013 AsktheBuilder Newsletter & Tips

Just nine days ago, I was at the Capital Home and Garden show. Guess where I'll be this Saturday and Sunday? Come see me at the Central New Hampshire Home and Garden show at the Opechee Inn and Conference Center.

This time I'll be an exhibitor showing the attendees all the magical things Stain Solver can clean. This is the FIRST home and garden show where Stain Solver will be exhibited with live demonstrations.

I'll be selling our newest size - the 0.4-pound jar - on the show floor. If you live near Laconia, NH consider stopping by to visit me at the show. This new size is a perfect way to sample Stain Solver.

If the sales of this size continue to grow at their current pace, this small jar will soon be our best seller! If you've never tried Stain Solver, it's now affordable to do so - less than $10 delivered to your door!

Stain Solver SS01 Bottle

This sample size ships anywhere in the USA, US Territories, Guam, etc. for just $9.97. Ask Sheri. I put her bottle in the mail last Thursday afternoon, and she opened it on Monday in Honolulu, Hawaii! That was speedy service by the US Mail!

Believe me, I'm trying to figure out how to send this size affordably to anyone in the world. I'm working on it.

If you want a BIGGER size of Stain Solver, our 4.5-pound size is now on sale at 15% off. There's a limited quantity of these in the warehouse, and I'm pretty sure they'll sell out. You better hurry if you want a deal on Stain Solver.


Just about one year ago, I got to meet Linda Hayes in person in Savannah, GA. She's a subscriber like you, and Linda was kind enough to knit me three hats! I also got hats from Maggie and a few others. Many thanks for those!

Linda emailed me last week the following note with a photo:

"For a long time I had wanted to put tiles on the back kicks of our staircase. (I had seen it on "Two and a Half Men" - which I had watched when it first came out). I really had my heart set on Mexican tiles and could imagine a little child sitting on the steps pretending different events from looking at the various tiles.

I googled "cheap Mexican tiles" and ordered a box of "seconds". I ordered 4x4 by mistake instead of 6x6, so when they arrived we had to come up with an alternative to make them fit. We went to Lowe's and found the 1" tiles in a sheet for about $2.00+.

They are thinner, but since all the Mexican tiles are irregular sizes, it didn't matter. My husband put them up for me, and I really love the way they turned out. Are they perfect? Not at all, but I'm really happy as to how they turned out."

decorative tiles on steps

Linda, you should be thrilled! They look magnificent! It's a good thing you used the 4x4 tiles. The smaller 1-inch tiles do a great job of setting off the colored tiles.

Thanks for sharing the story and photo and for keeping my head warm!


For over a decade, I tested countless gutter guards on my own home. I had a personal interest as my house in Cincinnati, OH was surrounded by huge deciduous trees that rained down leaves and debris on my roof like snow in a blizzard!

I've written many columns on gutter guards and published the story about how I discovered the Holy Grail of gutter guards. In fact, the inventor of the gutter guard micromesh technology, Alex Higginbotham, was standing with me on my roof explaining how it works.

Spring is when you NEED gutter guards. That's when all the small tree flower blossoms, and tiny bits of bark, etc wash down your roof. Just about all gutter guards work well in the autumn months to stop huge, dry leaves from entering gutters, but only micromesh will keep everything but water out of your gutters.

gutter guard with pine needles

If you want the Clean Gutter gutter guards I put on my home, you can get the DIY version now.

These gutter guards install EASILY by just sliding them up under your shingles. There's nothing to it. You can easily install these and save HUGE money. Believe me, nothing but water will get into your gutters when you install these.

If you live in the USA and order just three boxes (120 linear feet) or more, you get FREE SHIPPING. Use the promo code: tim to get the FREE SHIPPING.

CLICK HERE to order the gutter guards I use.

This promotion is only available for a short time. You better hurry. What's more, you NEED to get the gutter guards up now, not in May when it's too late.

I do get paid a small affiliate commission if you do order the Clean Gutter guards. But that's okay as I believe in the product and use them. I know you want the products I put on my home.



Liz, who lives near Bridgeport, CT, contacted me via Facebook. Yes, AsktheBuilder.com is on Facebook and if you are too, I'd sure appreciate it if you would go there and LIKE my page.

Liz asked if it was okay to have her chimney open to the weather. I replied, "Liz, masonry chimneys have been designed for hundreds of years to be totally open to the weather. The rain that comes down the opening collects on a smoke shelf and soaks into the masonry core of the chimney."

But the photo she posted on my page at Facebook was priceless. It's a great teaching moment for you if you have a brick chimney with a mortar crown. Look at the photo.

chimney top

First, I don't see a flashing poking out from under the crown material and overlapping the brick. That's a huge no-no.

See the cracks? They're probably shrinkage cracks from the mortar or concrete being a little too wet when it was poured. It could have dried too quickly too because the mason failed to cover it with plastic or spray it with a curing compound.

My guess is there's no steel mesh in the crown material. That would have made sure the cracks didn't get larger than hairline.

Look at how there is no overhang of the crown at the edge of the brick. That's completely wrong.

See where the crown contacts the clay flue liner? See the crack there? That joint was supposed to have expansion joint material, about 3/8-inch thick, and then be caulked.

In other words, the mason who installed this crown on Liz's house totally messed up.

Read these past columns of mine to discover the CORRECT way to install a chimney crown.

Chimney Cap and Crown

Chimney Crown Construction Tips

Chimney Caps

Chimney Construction Resources

Finally, if you still have questions and need help with your chimney, I can CALL you on the phone.



Do you work at or own a business that makes prescription eyeglasses? If so, I've got a question for you. Can you reply to this email?


If you are one, married to one or work for one, can you do me a favor and contact me? Simply REPLY to this email.



I'm wearing a dunce hat around the office today. Why? Because each week I'm supposed to be sharing with you the latest column I've written. Most should save you time and money!

Well, here's a list of the last five columns and a cool video.

From now on the newest one will be in each future newsletter.

Dealing with Efflorescence

Working With Wood Shims

Exterior Door Flashing Ninja Tricks

Wood Rot Repair Tips and Tricks

Control Joint Tool Video

Working in the Weather

More AsktheBuilder.com news next week!

Tim Carter - Founder

Do It Right, Not Over!


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