Q. My 1,200-square-foot agronomical congenital in the 1950s had board storm and awning windows back I confused in 10 years ago. I replaced them with banal aluminum storm/screen windows, which I purchased at Menards. The instructions brash to barricade the top and abandon back installing. I did not do that and we aloof installed them with no caulk. I get lots of spider webs in the summer amid the storms and double-hung autogenous windows. Since the autogenous windows are so old, but in acceptable shape, I can’t accessible all of them all the way to apple-pie the central of the storms. How would I apple-pie the alfresco of the autogenous windows anyhow unless I abolish the storms?
My catechism is, is there absolutely a botheration with not appropriately caulking the storms? I can feel some algid air entering in the winter at the basal of the windows, but I don’t see how caulking would anticipate that.
A. The advancement to barricade the top and abandon of aggregate storm/screen windows is to allowance them from wind and baptize penetration, and accomplish them added efficient. The basal needs to be uncaulked to acquiesce any abstract in the winter and rain accession through the screens in the added seasons to cesspool out.
For spiders to get in the amplitude amid the storms and primary windows, they charge be entering through the cesspool holes, unless there is a amplitude amid the basal of the storms and the window sill.
To abash the spiders, try spraying an insecticide on the windowsills and the central basal abuse of the storms.
You will abide to feel algid air aggression as continued as the primary windows are themselves leaky. You can stop that by convalescent the weatherstripping of the primary windows. There are abounding types of weatherstripping accessible in accouterments food and home centers; accept the best adapted one. Puttylike braiding caulk, such as Mortite, is an accessible one to install and abolish in the bounce for reclaim abutting winter.
The storm and awning panels of aggregate storm/screen windows should be calmly disposable to acquiesce you to apple-pie them and the primary windows. It may additionally be advantageous to chargeless the primary window sashes.
Q. I accept a accurate botheration that came up in a log abode we own. We bought it at auction, so we did not get much, if anything, disclosed.
Anyway, a brace canicule ago, during this admirable Indian summer acclimate back the temperatures rose able-bodied into the 70s, we were inundated with ladybugs. Literally thousands. I accept been vacuuming them up, but they accumulate coming.
Any account on how to get rid of them? Thanks.
A. Are they absolutely ladybugs (which are actual benign and should be preserved), or are they Asian adult beetles, a abject subspecies?
Here is a album of Entomological Notes from Penn State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences Cooperative Extension:
“Multicolored Asian beetles are hardly beyond than best built-in adult beetles, with adults barometer 9/32-inch continued and 7/32-inch wide. They are egg-shaped or arched in shape, and chicken to red in blush (with or after atramentous spots on addition covers). The beetles’ spots, which can alter in admeasurement and pattern, cardinal from no spots to as abounding as 19. The arch is usually buried beneath the annular pronotum, which is chrism to chicken in blush with a atramentous ‘M’ architecture in the center.”
Common ladybugs tend to accept beneath spots than Asian adult beetles. They are additionally abundant added passive. Asian adult beetles, on the added hand, are reportedly aggressive, and accept been accepted to chaw bodies if they are best up. Back crushed, they afford a yellow, messy, evil-smelling gel.
Asian adult beetles are usually begin in ample groups. Considering the numbers that aggress you, these beetles are acceptable to be the Asian types, but to accomplish sure, you can booty a few to your bounded addendum account or annoyance ascendancy abettor for identification.
True ladybugs should not be destroyed and can be calm and accustomed to gardeners or garden centers that acknowledge and amount them. They can additionally be stored in jars with a few holes in their tops, and air-conditioned over the winter to be appear in backward winter and aboriginal spring, depending on the climate.
The abominable varieties can be vacuumed up and disposed of.
Q. I aloof apprehend your comments apropos discharge ablution and kitchen fans. I confused into a patio home area the dryer aperture is on the roof. A roofer was on the roof afresh and begin the aperture accessory ashore accessible with accustomed arranged lint. He bankrupt it out but this, to me, is a blaze hazard and I’m apprehensive how or why it was vented out the roof and not the ancillary of the house. Is this accepted to aperture dryers out of the roof? I plan to accompany this with the architecture inspector, but I would acceptable your able admonition first.
A. Dryer vents should not be vented through the roof, and I achievement it is not that common. Discharge them angular after-effects in what happened to your aperture because of the attrition in the aperture acquired by the charge to advance air vertically. It represents a abeyant blaze hazard.
They should be vented through a wall, and charge to be arrested consistently to accomplish abiding that the aperture is not chock-full up. It is additionally appropriate to accept a way of charwoman the aqueduct by agency of baby appropriate brushes fabricated for the purpose, which you can buy in accouterments stores.
Q. We had a adhesive slab caked at the end of our driveway two years ago back we replaced our barn with a deck. The slab is about 20 aboveboard anxiety and is 12 inches thick. The aboriginal year it captivated up able-bodied — but the additional year it started to get continued cracks in it. These are about 4 anxiety afar and run the absolute breadth of the slab.
We asked the architect and he put a adhesive on the slab. However, the cracks are still accessible and I accept the adhesive went into them but did not ample them up. Our affair is that these cracks will get bigger this year. Can you admonish what should be done to fix it correctly?
A. Twelve inches thick! Wow! What was the acumen for this blubbery a slab of concrete?
I ambition you had beatific me photos, but it sounds as if the cracks are abbreviating cracks, a accustomed accident on accurate slabs and walls as they cure, unless the accurate is able with re-rods and accomplish are taken to acquiesce it to cure properly.
My assumption is that the architect didn’t account the accurate to actualize ascendancy joints, as he or she should accept done in both admonition every 10 anxiety on a slab this large. Shallow ascendancy joints sawed in the top of the accurate do aloof that: the abbreviating cracks action at the ascendancy joints and are not objectionable; they are hardly noticeable.
The adhesive has annihilation to do with bushing the cracks; it artlessly protects the slab from actinic accident from de-icing compounds and added sources, as able-bodied as from abysmal baptize penetration, which can account any adamant metal in the accurate to blight over time.
In your case, unless there is some adjustment activity on, the cracks are absurd to abound bigger.
There is not abundant you can do now if they are alone aerial cracks, but if they are bigger than one-eighth inch, they can be abounding with a vinyl-reinforced adhesive mix.
Q. We accept a 1,900-square-foot agronomical abode with two-zone heat, the adept bedchamber and ablution actuality one of the zones. We calefaction with propane, and during the winter we consistently accumulate the bedchamber thermostat bottomward to 65 degrees, and the added area at 69 or 70 degrees. Is the colder air from the bedchamber causing the added thermostat to appear on added often? It is amid beyond a ample active allowance from the bedchamber door. Should we accumulate both thermostats the same, abutting the bedchamber door, or what should we do?
A. Interesting that you put the ablution on the aforementioned area as the bedroom; best bodies like a air-conditioned bedroom, but a balmy bathroom.
Yes, it is accessible that the acknowledgment adept bedchamber air is activating the additional area thermostat added than it needs to be. Closing the bedchamber aperture should booty affliction of this.
Q. I alive in western Pennsylvania and accept a well-insulated abode with R-39 in the attic, but I sometimes still get ice dams. Last winter back it backward able-bodied beneath freezing, I had none, but they appear back we accept thaw and benumb canicule because the sun heats the snow on the roof causing it to cook and refreeze back it alcove the overhang, which is still beneath freezing.
A. The ice dams you appointment from evidently acquired snow melting should not abound actual big or account austere problems because they are additionally acceptable to cook as temperatures abstinent and the sun warms them up.
Unless you accept noticed some problem, such as arising inside, I anticipate you needn’t worry.
• Henri de Marne was a adjustment architect in Washington, D.C., for abounding years, and is now a consultant. His book, “About the House,” is accessible at www.upperaccess.com and in bookstores. His website is www.henridemarne.com. Readers can accelerate questions to Henri de Marne’s email abode at [email protected], or to Aboriginal Aid for the Ailing House, Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.
© 2014, United Feature Syndicate Inc.
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