Questions and Answers

In Q&A on February 21, 2012 at 1:03 pm

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I have heard of paint that helps insulate your home. I am interested in using them on the interior of my house, especially in the bedroom, which sits over a garage and the lower basement level. Do they really work?

According to the Journal of Light Construction the effectiveness of the paint will be reduced by dust and have no benefit on walls covered by pictures, bookshelves or furniture.

Keep in mind, almost all heat loss occurs not through radiation, but due to leakage and conduction, which is reduced by caulking, weather-stripping, filling gaps and insulating.

You would be better off adding more insulation to the garage ceiling and walls, as well as the lower level walls.

We’ve got older aluminum windows. Short of replacing them all, what’s the best way to minimize heat loss? We put up shrink window film, but found that after it was on there all winter, the adhesive from the two-sided tape used to secure the film at the perimeters was difficult to remove and takes most of the paint off with it. It looks terrible plus it ruins wallpaper. This makes for very unsightly window perimeters after just one use of the film. What about putting the plastic sheeting directly on the aluminum frames?

Obviously, you cannot afford to replace the windows, but don’t put shrink-wrap film directly on the windows it will not provide any dead-air space. An inexpensive suggestion, install enamel-painted trim spacers (3/4” x 3/4”) and then attach the tape to the trim. Better yet, cut light plexi-glass storm windows and caulk them to the new trim with 3M removable caulk.

I read your column about using vinegar to clean a showerhead connection and I hoped it would solve my problem. I tried putting the vinegar in the showerhead base and kept it there for a while. I think some rust may have gone down the pipe because now when I turn on the tub faucet, slightly rusted water initially comes out. Is this a permanent thing? Have I messed up my pipes? Are my pipes old and need replacing?

The vinegar did what it was suppose to do, loosen the minerals so the water flows better. The rust may also be because you were banging on the pipes and knocked corrosion loose. Remove the aerators on the faucets so they don’t get obstructed and yes; expect to need to replace your old, rusting galvanized plumbing in the very near future.

My windows are ruined.  There is “fog” between the glass panes. Can it be repaired or do I have to replace them?


Until recently your only choice was no choice but to replace them. The good news is that for the most part, bad seals are an aesthetic problem and had no minimum effect on the insulating quality of your windows.

More good news, R&R Window Repair (734-326-2657) has the local franchise that can actually get the fog out. They install a patented micro defogger that allows the vapor to vent out. The costs vary but expect to pay a minimum of $80.00 per window. There is a 20-year warranty and it’s worth looking into. Check out their website at http://www.getthefogout.com.  Don’t wait too long once you get streaking, spotting or small white dots between the panes, the windows cannot be restored.

We recently moved into a 17-year-old house, but new to us. After we use of the showers we notice a vinegar-type odor around the shower area (it is difficult to pinpoint exactly where the odor is emanating from). The odor is only noticeable after the shower is used. We are stumped as to what might be causing the odor. Any ideas?

The odor may be emanating from the showerhead. The previous owners may have soaked it in vinegar to get rid of minerals restricting the flow of water. They also might have used it on the tiles since vinegar makes a good glass cleaner. Don’t worry, the odor should pass.


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