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Your Latest Inside Questions
Answered by Beth Hodge

Q. I recently removed wallpaper from my Kitchen walls. I did not want to put wallpaper back up and decided to paint instead. I removed all the paper, used stripper (wall paper) to remove the glue, scrubbed the walls with TSP. Then I filled all holes, primed all the bare paper spots that were on the sheetrock. Then sanded the entire surface. Wiped it down again with clean water, let dry overnight. Then I painted with a semi-gloss, eggshell latex enamel recommended by my local Hardware store to hide any imperfections in the walls. After about 3-weeks the paint has now alligatored in quite a few places and now I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to fix this mess?? Do you have any advice on what I can do?

A. Wow, Well you have certainly done everything I would normally suggest. The only other step I can think to offer would be to try to scrape any loosening paint and cover the spots with a good primer/sealer then try to paint the surface again.

Q. I want to hang some artwork - nothing fancy, but some are rather heavy. What should I be using? One wall is kinda concrete-like (it's very hard). Another place I'd like to hang something is on the door between 2 rooms, but I think the door is hollow. How do I know what's best to use and how much weight it will carry?

A. On the concrete-like wall would be best to use a predrilled hole with a "molly bolt" - this will insert inside the hole and spring open a clamp on the inside to give you more support for heavy items, for lighter items in that wall type you may get away with using a plastic anchor inserted into a predrilled hole, this gives the screw something to grip and keeps the wall from turning to dust and losing its hold. The hollow door I would only hang light items on.

Q. OK - here's what happened. My granddaughter and her friend colored on my carpet. Crayons!!!! So I scrubbed and scrubbed, but of course it is still visible. Is there anything I can do?

A: You might try "goo-gone" a liquid solvent, or even try "spot-shot" an aerosol spray that seems to take almost anything stained out of carpet. My last resort would be to try non-acetone nail polish remover (a small amount so the carpet is not saturated)

Q. Where should I install smoke detectors - I live in a colonial with a basement and an attic. What about the carbon monoxide detectors?

A. Smoke detectors should be placed at least one on each floor of the home.

Ideal places are near the kitchen and bedrooms. Beware that too close to the kitchen or bath may set your detectors off with excessive smoke or steam.

Carbon monoxide detectors should also be used on each floor.

Q. Whenever I turn on certain appliances my lights dim. What's happening? Is it a problem?

A. Sounds like there may be too many small appliances on the same circuit or group of plugs/outlets connected together within the walls.

This may be resolved by trying to use a different outlet for the appliances causing the dimming. The danger is blowing a fuse or breaker. You could try using a different plug for the appliances that cause the problem.

Q.I have six fluorescent shop lights - 4 footers with 2 lights. After a few months one side goes out and the light is good but will not light. Can you please advise?

A: The only thing I can think may be the problem is that the bulb may not be secure after a while. This could come from vibrations in the ceiling the light is attached to (even nearby heavy traffic or footsteps on the floor above).

Try to rotate the entire tube slightly to see if it is restored. The ends of the light are spring loaded but could loosen over time. If it lights when new bulbs are installed I would not think it was the ballast.

Have a question or tip about home repairs? Let us know at Repair@ClevelandSeniors.Com

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Beth Hodge
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