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More Home Repair Questions
Answered by Beth Hodge

Q.It's almost time to start using our fireplace again, but the problem is the house smells like vinegar for a few days after we use it. we clean it and there's certainly no animals living in the chimney - it's capped. Any idea what this is or how to get rid of it?

A: This smell could be creosote. Even a small amount of creosote could fill the entire house with the bad scent.

The home improvement stores do sell a chimney deodorant that will take care of the smell if that is the cause. It is a bottle of liquid with a wick that is burned in the fireplace and the smell is masked.

Q. Is there anyway of getting oil (transmission fluid actually) off of my concrete driveway?

A: There are some cleaning agents on the market that will get rid of it for you. There are also some acids that will take care of it, but be sure to ask which is safe for your concrete.

Q. I installed drywall in my basement - and I thought i was being very careful. I used adhesive and drywall screws.

Soon after I primed and painted the walls I saw these circles - less than an inch round protruding walls and ceilings from many of the places I put the screws. I had sanded everything smooth - I know I did. What did I do wrong?

A: The only explanation I can think of is that since basements seem to hold even a slight amount of moisture, if the back of the drywall was not sealed prior to installation, the sheets may be absorbing the slight moisture and swelling at the point the seal is broken (where the nails are).

Q. What can I do about paint that is peeling on my interior walls and how do I stop it form happening?

A: Be sure there is no water getting in behind where the paint is peeling.Chip away any loose paint.

Put a coat of primer on before trying the new paint. Primer will help bond the paint to the wall if you are having trouble with peeling.


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Beth Hodge
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