Archive for March, 2015|Monthly archive page

Carbon Monoxide / Air Gap Device in a Sink / Alligator Paint / Sealing a Marble Tabletop

In Uncategorized on March 25, 2015 at 3:31 pm


Will carbon monoxide from a car come through drywall into the insulation and the house?


Absolutely, it won’t actually pass through the drywall, but there are numerous (and I emphasize “numerous” cracks, voids and gaps that allow the carbon monoxide (CO) to pass from a garage into the living space of a house. Just about every year or so we hear about someone poisoned or killed from carbon monoxide because they left their car running in the garage to warm up while they got ready in the morning.

In reality, these are approximately 800 CO exposures annually in Michigan alone.

In 2002, Family Handyman magazine published research that revealed dangerous levels of CO from garages migrate into homes because air pressure in the cold garages was higher than that of the warmer indoor air. “The homes were depressurized so they sucked foul air from the garages through cracks and gaps, even when the doors were closed.”

The bottom line: Once you start your car, move it out of the garage. Caulk and seal all gaps, voids and joints between walls, floors and ceilings and between the house and the garage. Make sure the weather stripping on the door from the house to the garage is sealed properly.


When I run my dishwasher water comes out of this thingamabob at the edge of my sink. Why does it do this?


When you run your dishwasher and water comes out of that “thingamabob” (as you called it) which by the way is called an “air gap device”, is because that is what it was designed to do. The air gap device is to prevent wastewater from the sink backing up into the dishwasher. When is gets plugged, the dishes usually don’t get clean. In your case, that device could be defective or the line between the air gap and the disposer could either be obstructed or kinked. If kinked, straighten out the line. If obstructed, place a pail under the area and remove the hose between the disposer and the air gap. Next, disconnect the other end between the air gap and the dishwasher by just lowering the clamps. Then run a piece of wire hanger through it and flush it out with water. If it is defective, a new one won’t be difficult to install and it’s not expensive to purchase, so you can breathe easier now.


The paint on my walls looks like and alligator what can I do to fix this?


If the paint on your walls or ceilings looks like the back of an alligator, you’ve most likely re-painted them and even put the paint on thicker thinking this will solve the problem, but a year or so later those hairline cracks have reappeared even worse than before, then you are not going to like this answer.

Extreme cracking (also known as alligatoring) is caused by any one of the following:

  1. Applying a second or third coat of paint before the previous coat dries.
  2. The finish was not compatible with the undercoat.
  3. It was a poor-quality paint.

The only solution (grit your teeth, here it comes) is to remove the cracked or alligatoring surface by sanding, using a heat gun, or with chemicals. Wipe the entire area to remove loose paint particles and apply a good-quality undercoat. Wait until it thoroughly dries and then apply a second coat.


My marble table appears to have the original finish stripped off. Can this be repaired or do I have to replace the table?


Don’t loose your marbles if the original finish has been stripped off your marble table. Marble sealers may help restore the finish you’re missing. They are generally available wherever marble furnishings are sold. Another product that I have used is called Gel-Gloss™, which is a cleaner, polisher and sealer, for a multitude of home furnishings. It works on Formica, ceramic tile, chrome and marble. Spray it on, rub with a dry, soft cloth and allow it to dry to a haze. Then using a fresh soft cloth, buff the marble. Gel-Gloss costs about $6.50 per 12-ounce can and is available at home and hardware stores. Now you know how I became so polished!

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