Preventing things from becoming damaged, broken or unusable.

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11
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I handle significant snow and ice dams on a 4/12 gable roof with ridge vents?

It is our first winter in a new-to-us house, that has a pretty flat roof (3/12-to-4/12 pitch), and a ridge vent along the entire top of the roof. We just had the snowiest December on record ...
3
votes
3answers
79 views

What outdoor materials can be damaged by by ice?

I'm relatively new to this snow thing. I also have a new vinyl deck and paver stone walkway I'd like to take care of. I have a basic understanding of how water can get into things, freeze, and break ...
6
votes
3answers
337 views

How do I clean a 96-gallon automated trash can?

The town provides us one of those automated trash collection 96-gallon trash cans. Ours really stinks... you do not want to be down wind from it in the summer. I have been avoiding cleaning it for ...
5
votes
2answers
285 views

What maintenance does a cedar deck require?

We just moved into a house with a very nice 16'x16' cedar screened porch. The problem is I've never had a cedar deck and am not sure what maintenance to expect or how often to do it.
25
votes
11answers
4k views

What are the “must do” tasks before winter hits?

I've had my furnace serviced in time for winter, but what other things should I consider doing before the snow and the ice come?
5
votes
3answers
5k views

Can I use a PVC cleanout plug in a Cast Iron Cleanout?

There's a cleanout plug on this pipe that I simply can't get loose. I've tried liquid wrench, PB blaster, heating up the area with a torch, everything I can think of. All that's really left is to go ...
2
votes
2answers
969 views

How do I clean an AC condensate pan?

I have a Ducane HVAC system that started leaking out of the evaporator coil housing. Mine looks like the EU1P. I read that i need to clean out the drip pan. II tried cleaning it by sucking out the ...
4
votes
1answer
5k views

How does one know if a well pump is “Short Cycling” or pressure tank is water logged?

Is there any calculation that can be performed to estimate the amount of water a well water pressure tank should output between pump cycles? E.g.- I have a 40 gallon pressure tank (non bladder) with ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there a home made solution that will clean drains?

Not sure if this counts as "Home Improvement", but it's worth a shot: I'm currently in an apartment where I'm not supposed to use chemicals to clear drains, like in the sink/tub. I've cleared out ...
2
votes
1answer
344 views

Are High End Furnace Filters worth the cost?

There are many levels of furnace filters. I can get cheap ones at walmart of a few bucks. Then there are ones that cost upwards of $30. I realize that if you have allergies or low immune systems, ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

How often should the air filter in the furnace be changed?

Does the period of change of this air filter have an affect on the longevity of the heating and a/c system? What is a good rule of thumb to require replacement?
18
votes
1answer
5k views

Humidity Levels

What is a healthy and safe humidity level that I should try to keep my house at?
8
votes
2answers
578 views

What type of regular maintenance should I be doing on my central air conditioning unit?

I have not done any maintenance on my central air conditioning system since I bought my house five years ago. Everything seems to be running fine but is there some sort of maintenance I should be ...
4
votes
1answer
775 views

How do you descale a dishwasher heating element?

I've tried something I got at Lowes (with the wax plug, you put upside down) and CLR. The CLR worked the best, but didn't really get it off and it's building up again. I've heard vinegar will work ...