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Your Latest Outside Questions
Answered by Beth Hodge

Q. I'm pretty sure I have a family of skunks living under my porch. I currently have that criss-cross lattice type material around it. Is there any reason I can't make that solid and maybe keep the critters out?

A: There is no reason you cannot put a more solid surface up if you would like, try to give yourself a vent on each side to allow a small amount of airflow from each side. You may want to use a "sulfur candle" (works like a stick of incense) under the porch first to rid the area of the animals first and not trap them under there, they cannot stand the smell and will vacate the area. If you chose not to fill in with a solid surface you could also try to bury broken glass or chicken wire along the perimeter, skunks will not dig through either of them.

Q. Every winter I am plagued with massive icicles. I know this is poor insulation (isn't it?) Is there a simple (and inexpensive) way to correct this?

A. You may want to try putting a heat tape lining into your gutters, they can be found in the D.I.Y stores or hardware stores. They plug in and give off just enough heat to keep the water from run off from freezing in your gutter and causing icicles.

Q. The City has told us we must remove moss from our garage roof. They suggest using bleach. Our roof is green and we are concerned that the bleach will alter the color of the roof. Do you have another solution? If this is the way to go, is it just bleach or a bleach and water mixture or what? Thank you.

A. Bleach and water is exactly what you need to do the trick, it should not damage the color of you shingles or harm your gutter.

A clever trick is to use a hose attachment bottle (found at the D.I.Y. stores). Fill it with bleach, the water from the hose will mix with it on its way out and it gives you an easier reach and water pressure to wash it down. I just did my own garage this spring and it was quite easy.

Q.I have a metal screen door. It was quite expensive when I bought it about 4- 5 years ago. It seems to be corroding or being eaten away at the bottom. What would cause this? It's a very heavy door. I can't imagine what this would be or what to do about it. Any idea?

A: The only thing I can think may be "eating" at the door would be possibly salt in the winter. If your walk or stairs is salted to melt the snow, I would be sure not to get it too close to the door so no direct contact could damage it.


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Beth Hodge
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