Look inside for these specials and many others.
HOME & GARDEN • SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2017
chill THE BIG
BE S T P R AC T IC E S F O R E N E RGY- E F F IC IE N T H E AT I N G S AV E E N E RGY A N D M O N E Y 2017 C O L O R A D O SP RI N G S H O M E & L A N DS C A P I N G SH OW
Jan. 20-21-22 Colorado Springs Event Center
FRI. 1-7 SAT. 10-6 SUN. 11-4
Improve the Value of Your Home!
3960 Palmer Park Boulevard, just off Academy ‘How To’ FREE PARKING! Demos Saturday!
d by esente
Adults $6 Youth 11-16 $3 10 & Under FREE
2-for-1 Admission Coupon at ColoradoSpringsHomeShow.com
THE HOUSE COUNSELOR:
Design presentation with HGTV’s Laurie March at the 2017 Colorado Springs Home & Landscaping Show
BY GINA CRONIN, GINA.CRONIN@GAZETTE.COM
COLORADO SPRINGS HOME & LANDSCAPING SHOW Colorado Springs Event Center 3960 Palmer Park Blvd. at Academy
FREE PARKING! Friday, January 20: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m. Saturday, January 21: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sunday, January 22: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Adults, $6; Youth 11 – 16, $3; 10 and under, free
aurie March, the host and creative force behind HGTV’s “The House Counselor,” has been involved in interior design and home improvement her whole life: “I built a deck with my dad when I was 10, and was always changing room colors and designs with my mom,” says March. “We always looked at our surroundings as something we can change for the better.” She started her own home remodeling business around 2005, and has been at it ever since. March will be a special guest at the Colorado Springs Home & Landscaping Show, taking place at the Colorado Springs Event Center from Jan. 20 to Jan.
22. The event will feature hundreds of new and innovative products for home remodeling and updating. From interior home improvement designs to exterior home upgrades, this show will display the hottest new trends with many at huge discounts. March will be speaking and doing “How To” demonstrations Saturday, Jan. 21 at the show. She guides homeowners through remodeling decisions, helps them find their style and shares handy life hacks. Attendees will get a chance to check out her top HGTV home makeovers and DIY projects. “Narrowing down what you don’t like is just as powerful as discovering what you do like,” says March. “Customize for you. It’s not always about paint colors and decorations, but sometimes about structural shifts, enlarging a bathroom, carving out a space — these changes might not be sexy, but they C O N T I N U E D O N PAG E 12
HG 2 I THE GAZETTE I SATURDAY, JAN 14, 2017
Cozy & cost-effective BEST PRACTICES FOR ENERGY-EFFICIENT HEATING
BY GINA CRONIN, GINA.CRONIN@GAZETTE.COM
Nothing is like coming home to a toasty space after being out on a frigid day. The warmth provides comfort and stress relief, but may be costing you more than it needs to. There are many heating practices and alternatives that can ensure a cozy, cost-effective, energy-efficient and ecoconscious winter season.
are blending two percent, 20 percent or converting to 100 percent biofuel, it’s a good idea to receive guidance and assistance from a heating professional. Though biodiesel can be phased in gradually without making any adjustments to the furnace, a professional can lead you through to prevent any mishaps.
The change you make does not have to be extreme. Even by adjusting your thermostat you can significantly lower you energy consumption. Homeowners can save 10 percent on heating by lowering the temperature by 10 degrees for eight or more hours a day. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a good rule of thumb is to keep it set at 68 degrees while awake, and lower while sleeping or out of the home. Programmable thermostats are a great idea, as they can be conveniently set to adjust temperature at certain times of day automatically.
Improving your home insulation is crucial for saving money and energy, and retaining heat in the home. Poor insulation can cause major air leakage and result in a massive waste of money and resources. To learn if you can benefit from better insulation, you can get an energy audit of your home. From there, you may be urged to improve insulation in certain parts of the home; like the attic, ducts, cathedral ceiling, exterior walls, floors, foundation, basement or crawl spaces. There are many different types of insulation to choose from, including fiberglass, Rockwool, cotton, loose fill cellulose, spray foam and more. Your contractor can guide you through choosing which is best for you.
For eco-conscious homeowners, biofuel can be used to heat the home. Biodiesel burns in any oil-fired furnace or boiler, reduces hydrocarbon emissions, is biodegradable, burns cleaner, has a lower toxicity and is a renewable, domestically produced energy source. Whether you
Radiant heating can prove to be a costly and in depth change to make, but it can save you money in the long run, and even increase the value of your home. Installing radiant heat may reduce energy bills BY up to 40 percent over time. Other advantages include no ductwork needed, more floor space, better indoor air quality and uniform vertical heat distribution. Radiant heat comes in two different forms — electric radiant heat and hydronic radiant heat.
Solar panels may be a pricey initial investment, but are said to be the most efficient option available for heating a home. Once the system is set up, there are no operating costs and the energy harnessed from the sun comes at no charge. Active solar heating — whether liquid or air — is suitable for radiant heating systems, boilers, hot water radiators and absorption heat pumps. There are many options out there to help homeowners afford the upfront cost of solar — whether purchasing, financing or leasing options. Those purchasing or financing a system are often eligible for federal and state tax credits towards their system.
REPLACE YOUR SYSTEM
If your energy bills seem to be going up for no reason, or the furnace is not heating the home properly, it may be time for a new one. If your furnace or boiler is more than 15 years old, and your heat pump is more than 10 years old, it more than likely needs to be replaced. When replacing the system, make sure to look for Energy Star appliances to ensure higher-efficiency heating.
SOILS, FERTILIZERS AND SOIL AMENDMENTS CLASS Research shows that 80% of plant problems begin with poor soil conditions. This in-depth class is research-based and taught by CSU Extension faculty. Thurs, Jan 19 from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm 17 N. Spruce Street, Suite 226
Pre-registration required. EPCExtension.eventbrite.com Or call 719-520-7688. When you have questions, Colorado State University Extension has credible answers. SATURDAY, JAN 14, 2017 I THE GAZETTE I HG 3
ADDRESS AIR LEAKS to save energy and money
A METRO SERVICES
ir leaks around doorways can waste energy and cost homeowners substantial amounts of money. Rising energy costs coupled with the continued adoption of ecofriendly lifestyles are two factors driving homeowners to seek ways to reduce energy consumption in their homes. Reducing energy consumption is reason enough for many homeowners to make changes around the house, but saving energy sometimes means saving substantial amounts of money as well. Energy-efficient appliances and eco-friendly building materials can help homeowners reduce energy consumption. But homeowners looking for additional ways to cut cooling and heating costs can address air leaks around the house to make their homes more energy efficient.
IDENTIFY AIR LEAKS AROUND WINDOWS AND DOORWAYS
AIR LEAKS AROUND A HOUSE CAN WASTE ENERGY AND CONTRIBUTE TO HIGH ENERGY BILLS, PARTICULARLY DURING THE WINTER AND SUMMER WHEN TEMPERATURES OUTSIDE TEND TO BE AT THEIR MOST EXTREME. HG 4 I THE GAZETTE I SATURDAY, JAN 14, 2017
Autumn is a great time of year to identify air leaks. Fall, and particularly late fall, tends to be characterized by cold air that makes it easy to detect air leaks. Feel for leaks around windows and doorways, ideally conducting such tests on cold, windy days when you can quickly detect if air is flowing in from the outside. Leaks around windows and doors waste energy because the interior of the home is either colder — in the winter — or warmer — in the summer — than it needs to be, prompting homeowners to turn up their thermostats or rely more heavily on air conditioning units.
LOOK FOR LEAKS ELSEWHERE AROUND THE HOUSE
While windows and doorways are where
many leaks are found, leaks also may be found around plumbing, electrical fixtures and dryer vents. Inspect such areas by feeling for drafts or looking for signs that insects and critters might be entering.
LOOK UP AND DOWN
Evidence of air leaks may be noticeable on both the floor and the ceiling. Dirty spots on carpeting and the ceiling may be indicative of air leaks at interior wall/ ceiling joints and wall/floor joists. Fixing such leaks may be as simple as applying some caulk.
GO WITH GASKETS
The United States Department of Energy recommends installing foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on walls. Outlets and switch boxes on exterior walls provide another place for air to leak into a home and drive up energy costs. Properly installed gaskets can cut back on air infiltration, providing an inexpensive way to save energy and money.
COVER THE KITCHEN EXHAUST FANS WHEN YOU ARE NOT COOKING
Kitchen exhaust fans can help prevent fires and unfavorable indoor air conditions when preparing meals at home. But such fans provide opportunities for air to enter a home, so make sure they are tightly closed or covered when no one is cooking in the kitchen. Air leaks around a house can waste energy and contribute to high energy bills, particularly during the winter and summer when temperatures outside tend to be at their most extreme. Homeowners looking to reduce their energy consumption and save money can inspect various areas of their homes for air leaks and immediately address any they discover.
Scrapbooks HELP DOCUMENT YOUR YEAR
Many interesting and special events take place during the course of a typical year. While the trend is to share photos and anecdotes via social media, these memories tend to be forgotten soon after they are posted. Rather than relegate birthdays, holidays, school milestones and other such yearly events to the black hole of cyberspace, crafty men, women and children may want to display them in more prominent ways. Scrapbooking is a popular hobby that can help people document various events over the course of the year. But scrapbooking can be much more than that as well. Scrapbooks can serve as valuable resources that speak to the way life once was. Such traditions are not new. Books highlighting family memorabilia, such as recipes, poems, letters and illustrations, were popular in England as early as the 15th century. Even school yearbooks
are a type of scrapbook, highlighting students and events in a single convenient book. The reasons for scrapbooking are the same today as they once were. Scrapbooks preserve memories, record family stories and pass down information through generations. Scrapbooks can even be customized in any manner their creators desire. For those who have resolved to devote more time to documenting happy times and special events in the year ahead, scrapbooking is a great way to do just that. Here’s how to make the process creative and successful.
DEVOTE A BOX TO “SCRAPS”
At the beginning of the year, set aside a medium-sized box, such as a shoebox, that can store various items you want to include in your scrapbook. These may include
ticket stubs, receipts, brochures from trips, or any other items you deem worth saving.
MAKE TIME TO SCRAPBOOK
Set aside a few days each month to go through collected items and organize them so you have an idea of what will be included on your pages. Every event may not make the final cut, but that’s up to you.
INDULGE IN SOME CRAFT-STORE SHOPPING
Not everyone has the time to design each scrapbook page from scratch. Fortunately, there are numerous pre-designed templates or slip-in pages that require little work on the part of scrap-bookers.
USE YOUR OWN HANDWRITING
Handwritten sentiments can make the scrapbook even more meaningful.
DON’T OVERLOAD WITH PHOTOS
Let one or two photos on a page best convey the emotions and stories. Create balance with white space, text and other accents.
CATEGORIZE YOUR PHOTOS
Disorganized photos can make scrapbook creation more challenging and ultimately frustrating. Organize your photos by month and rely on cloud-based photo storage systems to keep them safe. Then, when you need them, you can print only those images you want to include in your book.
HAVE FUN WITH THE PROCESS
You have the entire year to create a beautiful scrapbook. Take your time and experiment with different ideas.
SATURDAY, JAN 14, 2017 I THE GAZETTE I HG 5
denniS The menaCe
The Family CirCuS
by hank ketcham
by Brian Crane
by Joe martin
by J. P. Toomey
by Bil keane
rhymeS wiTh orange by hilary Price
by Brad and Paul anderson
HG 6 I THE GAZETTE I SATURDAY, JAN 14, 2017
by hector Cantu and Carlos Castellanos
by dean young and John marshall
by Patrick mcdonnell
by greg evans
by Charles Schulz
by Tom Batiuk
SATURDAY, JAN 14, 2017 I THE GAZETTE I HG 7
loS angeleS TimeS CroSSword
edited by rich norris and Joyce lewis
by Todd Clark
BeeTle Bailey across 1 “Yikes!” 8 Whitewash 15 Ancient Roman coins 16 “It’s not an option for me” 17 Court exhibit, perhaps 18 Squared up 19 Customs 20 ‘70s org. for 21-Down 22 Viking family dog of comics 23 Notable periods 24 Side issue? 26 Piano __ 27 Hound 28 Little ones 30 “Microsoft sound” composer 31 Classic children’s story about healing 34 “What’s Hecuba to him, __ to Hecuba”: Hamlet 35 St Ives gallery 36 ’60s TV sidekick 43 Discount tag abbr. 44 One giving a thumbs-up? 45 Put the kibosh on 46 Actors Glass and Silver 48 Total confusion 49 High seas adverb 50 Creamer of the LPGA 52 Search result 53 “Rocky IV” antagonist Ivan 54 Being tracked, in a way 56 Think it likely 58 Reference 59 Hyundai 1990 launch 60 Locks 61 Unfair treatment
7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 21 24 25 28 29 32 33 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 47 49 51 53 55 57
Find the weakness of Accessory for FDR “Look what I found!” Brewery fixtures What happened Venerated Womb-related Floatplane feature Six-time Hart Trophy winner Lego line that may include gears and motors Countermands Capital of Western Australia Faun look-alike Male issue Cartoon canine Site with scanners It usually doesn’t get a laugh Hospital triage pro Mayberry’s home: Abbr. At the last minute, say New York county north of Erie 2016 World Series MVP Ben Zobrist, e.g. Sharp rebukes General direction Citrus coolers Main attraction Dogfight participant Like
by mort, greg, and Brian walker
hagar The horriBle
by mike Peters
Friday’s Puzzle Solved
down 1 Leftover 2 Festival of Lights symbol 3 Really ticked 4 36-Down areas 5 They may be picked out 6 Family nickname HG 8 I THE GAZETTE I SATURDAY, JAN 14, 2017
by Chris Browne
by Chad Carpenter
by dan Piraro
by Scott hilburn
CeleBriTy CiPher by luis Campos Celebrity Cipher cryptograms are created from quotations by famous people, past and present. Each letter in the cipher stands for another.
by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman
by robb armstrong
by Jef mallett
SATURDAY, JAN 14, 2017 I THE GAZETTE I HG 9
by Scott adams
by Francesco marciuliano and Jim keefe
by Jerry Scott and rick kirkman
PearlS BeFore Swine by Stephan Pastis
HG 10 I THE GAZETTE I SATURDAY, JAN 14, 2017
by Paul gilligan
TAKE OUR ADVICE
Dear Amy: I recently returned from a trip. At the airport, the gate agent asked us to start lining up, since the plane had been delayed twice and he didn’t want to delay us further. We started to form the lines he indicated AMY by what was on our boarding DICKINSON passes. The line I was in reached about 50 people long and went along the back wall. We had been in line for several minutes when a young woman came up and started speaking to the older couple in front of me. I assumed she was with them. I never imagined she was shoving her way into the line. However, the couple were called to their seats in first class, yet she remained behind and immediately “cut” in line ahead of me. I started to tell this cutter she should go to the end of the line, but she touched my arm, started to laugh as if I’d just said something funny, and asked me if I was enjoying the book I held. I was taken aback and didn’t reply. The gate agent then motioned her forward, and she boarded ahead of me. Her seat wasn’t even in my section! Is there a way I could have politely told this woman that cutting in line isn’t the thing to do? Did I condone bad behavior and manners by not saying anything? — Patient Passenger
Question: My 15-year-old daughter seems to be increasingly anxious about the world in general — everyDR. OZ AND DR. ROIZEN thing from global warming and pollution to the recent political season has fueled her worries that the future isn’t very bright. She’s not a natural worry-wort, and I want to make sure her anxiety doesn’t become permanent. Any ideas? — Connie S., Dallas
Dear Patient: Researching your question, I learned that the majority of airlines board use a block system, even though this is the least efficient way to board a plane. A man named Jason Steffen, of the Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics, studied various methods and determined boarding in alternating rows is fastest. After that, random boarding is still faster than block boarding. You got played by a master. You were obviously stunned by her brazen behavior. You weren’t prepared to call her out (nor were other passengers). If you hadn’t been so taken aback, you could have simply said, “Hey, we’ve all be waiting patiently. Please don’t cut the line.” Other passengers would have cheered you in celebration.
Answer: The teen years are challenging, what with becoming independent, contending with puberty and thinking about making choices that will influence the rest of her life. Repeated studies find that most adolescents worry to some degree about themselves: their appearance, relationships, school and career, health, substance abuse, sexual behavior and birth control. On top of that, pile the bully-behavior childishness of the past political season, the 24/7 news cycle of gloom and doom, global warming, pollution or war, and she’s dealing with a lot. It doesn’t, however, sound like your daughter has a diagnosable anxiety disorder, just teen angst. But if you do suspect something more serious, see a specialist ASAP; treatment can be effective and life-changing. We’re betting she’d like Mom to be a sounding board. If your daughter is focusing on political and social problems, help her discover how others are addressing them responsibly and positively. That will help her feel there are people who have found effective ways to improve the world. Then you can help her take action. The combination of a belief that action can make a difference coupled with doing something is the key to transforming anxiety into hope. Our suggestion: Have your daughter write out her top concerns and interests. Get her to talk about them with you. Then work together to identify organizations and activities with which she can become affiliated. She’ll feel empowered and less anxious when she works to further positive change.
Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611.
Email your health and wellness questions to youdocsdaily@ sharecare.com.
Dear readers: Descendants from the wild, cats are jumpers and naturally curious. This can be a problem around the house. Here are some hints to make your home safer for your cat: • Breakable knickknacks and HINTS antique treasures should be seFROM cured. HELOISE • Houseplants are tricky — they can be poisonous. • Keep the lid down on the toilets. • Lock up chemical cleaners and medicines that can be ingested. • Unplug electrical cords and wrap them to prevent chewing. • Close the clothes dryer to keep kitty out — it’s a warm space. • Keep claws neatly trimmed. Cats will always explore, but making their home turf safer is smart. — Heloise Dear Heloise: After surgery, my sheepskin slippers and one pair of special shoes were all my doctor would allow me to wear. In time, both were stinky. I use a fragrant deodorant soap to shower, so I had several new, unopened bars. I placed a fresh bar in each slipper. Now my shoes have a lovely fragrance. I thought others might be surprised, and this could reduce stinky footwear. — Naomi in Montana Dear Heloise: If you’re like me, I first put on my makeup, then the top I’m wearing that day. I put my head in facing the back and then turn the top around, and put my arms in the sleeves. No makeup on my top all day! I do the reverse to remove the garment. I never miss your articles in the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader. — Joy C., Ozark, Mo. Dear Heloise: With flu season here, everyone using a gasoline-pump handle needs to consider: You’ve got over 100 hands with you. Clean your hands to avoid receiving unwanted germs. Keep up your great articles! — Dan W., Costa Mesa, Calif. —
Send hints via email to email@example.com or via post to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000.
TODAY’S HOROSCOPES BY JERALDINE SAUNDERS ARIES (March 21-April 19) Friendly competition adds some zing to your weekend. A problem can occur if you go overboard with a demonstration of daring or risk taking. You won’t need to show off for a romantic partner. TAURUS (April 20-May 20) You will have to admit that home is where your heart is. Good food, congenial companions and beautiful surroundings brighten the weekend. GEMINI (May 21-June 20) Calm troubled waters. You can act as a mediator to nip a crisis in the bud and make things run more smoothly. A small problem could turn into a much bigger one unless you intervene. CANCER (June 21-July 22) You can’t count on a predictable schedule. A family member or partner may want to jump-start a project before you are ready.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) The “little engine that could” chugged away until he made it up the hill. A large task can be completed if you take things one step at a time. Put business and financial schemes aside this weekend. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Not everyone you meet has the right stuff to become your soul mate. Sometimes you just have to go back to the drawing board and start again. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) Cooperate and kid around with the crowd. A little horsing around is acceptable under the right circumstances. You won’t even mind a little flirtation to make your social activities brighter. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) Resolve to be relentless. Chisel away at a conundrum or project over time and gradually see it to completion.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Use inspiration to overcome inertia. Someone may offer valuable insights or words of wisdom. Make an effort to act on this profound perspective and you will be rewarded. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Stick to the familiar. The call of experimentation and risk taking is enticing, but you will be more comfortable with what you know. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) The happiest piggy bank is stuffed full like a Thanksgiving turkey. Spending money will not help you save money. Keep your hard-earned cash right where it is this weekend. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) Use your head, not your heart. Be aware that someone may play upon your sympathies to achieve their own ends.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Jan. 14 Although you may feel ambition tugging at your coattails during the next two to three weeks, it might be best to wait until February to actively pursue your dreams. Confidence may hit a high point and your ability to attract a romantic partner with permanent commitment in mind is going strong. This is an excellent time to go on job interviews or make a career move because people will sense your honesty and integrity.
SATURDAY, JAN 14, 2017 I THE GAZETTE I HG 11
AROUND THE HOUSE
Fireplace inserts and ceiling fan fixes BY KEN MOON, SPECIAL TO THE GAZETTE
Dear Ken: We would like to get an enclosed system so our fireplace actually produces heat. What would you recommend? – Carole KEN MOON
I like the idea of a natural gas insert, slid right into your existing fireplace opening. It is sort of a mini furnace that throws out enough heat to satisfy the demands of a large family or great room. They are a little pricey but they can actually save you enough money to eventually recapture part of that investment. That’s because you can turn down the main thermostat all evening long and just run the insert, so you end up using 30,000 BTU’s versus 100,000 or so.
COLORADO SPRINGS HOME & LANDSCAPING SHOW C O N T I N U E D F RO M PAG E 2
are the kinds of alterations that can change your life and add value to your home.” She notes that homeowners don’t have to have 100 grand to work on their home, they can do smaller projects that make a huge difference. “A lot of times I’ll see couples arguing about a design choice, and in these cases I say it’s important to let your home have an opinion too,” says March. “If you have a 1920s home, for example, and one person wants modern updates and the other wants conservative, traditional updates — I know for a fact a 1920s home would rather stay traditional than be forced into modern. We are stewards of our homes, and our personal choices should not push a home too far out of its own style.” She says that although the remodeling process can be overwhelming, it’s important for homeowners to educate themselves and start in one place. “I like to simplify tough decisions for people. Being on a job site may be stressful for homeowners, but it’s like a second skin for me — so I love being there to help them through.” Along with March’s informative demos, the show will feature healthy cooking demos and
free antique appraisals all weekend long. Kitchen Craft and SaladMaster will be on hand with healthy cooking demonstrations. In addition, Michael Amosson with Viking Productions will offer antique appraisals all weekend — for free — with a limit of two antiques per person. Interior home improvement vendors will showcase the hottest new trends in kitchen and bathroom remodeling, organization ideas, fireplace updates, sun room additions, and color and texture ideas for floors and walls. Exterior home upgrades vendors will showcase windows, doors, landscaping, siding, decks, roofing, guttering, garage additions and more — many at huge discounts. Attendees will have a chance to enter to win amazing giveaways throughout the threeday event. Fireplace Warehouse will be giving away a $3,300 Napoleon Prestige grill. Don’t miss one of Colorado Springs’ biggest home savings event of the season! For more information, contact Tiphani Ruark, at 816-676-0483, email TiphaniR@ RJPromotions.com, or visit RJPromotions. com/Event/Colorado-Springs-Home-Show.
HG 12 I THE GAZETTE I SATURDAY, JAN 14, 2017
Dear Ken: My living room ceiling fan doesn’t do a very good job. Compared to the one in the bedroom, it pushes almost no air. I’ve tried it blowing both ways, but no luck. What could be happening? – Daniel It sounds like the fan blades are too close to the ceiling. I usually see this effect with fans installed on vaulted or cathedral ceilings. If the blades don’t have enough room behind them, the air stalls and gets trapped, like the cavitation effect of a boat propeller. The solution is pretty straight forward. Buy a longer extension rod — another eight to 12 inches should be enough. You’ll probably have to rewire the fan, as its internal wiring is probably sized to the shorter length rod. Don’t try to splice the longer pigtails inside the pipe. Instead, thread whole new lengths of the fan, light, ground and neutral wires through the longer pipe and make your splices inside the fan motor box. Dear Ken: I am removing some 30 year old wallpaper and have gouged the drywall. Is there something special I need to do to it to reseal it before I paint? – Kelli You illustrate the reason I almost never recommend that you remove old wallpaper,
but rather cover it up. Unless it’s relatively new material that is truly strippable, it’s almost impossible to get the surface back to a paint-grade finish. The long-ago installer might have applied the paper directly to virgin drywall without priming or sizing first. That really locks it in and leads to the kind of frustration you obviously are experiencing. Even if you could repair the drywall, you’ll never get rid of all the glue lines and ridges underneath this old paper. I would apply a couple of coats of drywall patching compound — sanded in between – to the surface and cover it all with a muted texture pattern; like you see in office buildings and doctors’ offices. Once you hang your pictures, the texture will fade into the background and end up looking like just another painted wall. Dear Ken: For some reason my bathroom sink smells. I’ve tried all sorts of drain cleaners, but the smell comes back. – Chas You probably need to be a little more assertive than simply adding chemicals. Put a bucket under the sink and remove the P-trap. First, make sure it and the vertical piece of pipe up to the pop-up stopper are clear. Then run a small plumber’s snake through the horizontal pipe that runs into the wall. This spring-like device will push foreign material into the vertical pipe beyond. Chances are, hair and even dental floss have gotten stuck part way into the line. They can actually precipitate siphoning of the water that’s supposed to stay in the trap, and that can let sewer gas into the sink and stink up your bathroom. This phenomenon can also occur in tubs and showers. Remove the shower drain screen and use a sewer cleaning brush on a flexible handle to withdraw hair and other gunk out of the drain and trap. The tub is a bit more complicated. You’ll need to remove the cover on the overflow hole, part way up the drain side of the tub to get the snake into the line. Ken Moon is a home inspector in the Pikes Peak region. His radio show airs at 9 a.m. Saturday and is carried on KRDO, AM 1240 and FM 105.5. Visit AroundTheHouse.com.