Gas Smell in Home

Problem: Natural gas or propane gas smell is detected in home, or in particular area of appliances.

Background: An odorant is added to natural gas and propane gas to alert people of its presence. Gas build-up can be extremely dangerous and should be taken very seriously. Gas leaks, which can result from a number of causes, can produce tremendous explosions, so it is wise to be overly cautious.

What to do: If you smell a strong gas odor upon returning to your home, do not enter. Call for help from a neighbor’s phone. If you smell gas within any area of your home, do not try to light any appliance. If faint gas odor is detected, put out any smoking materials, don’t turn on any light switches, don’t use any phone in the home. Shut off any valves to appliances suspected of leaking the gas, then call a technician. However, if you are in doubt or if the gas odor is strong, leave the home immediately, call your gas supplier from a neighbor’s phone, and follow their instructions. If you can’t reach the gas supplier, call the fire department or 911.

Special advice: Liquid propane (LP) gas is heavier than air. If there is a leak in a propane system, the gas will settle near the floor. Basements, crawl spaces, skirted areas under mobile homes (even when ventilated), closets, and areas below ground level, can serve as pockets for accumulated gas. Before at tempting to light or relight a pilot light, or turning on a nearby electrical switch, be absolutely sure there is no accumulated propane gas in the area by sniffing at floor level in the vicinity of any appliance.

Helpful hint: Be especially cautious about gas leaks whenever new gas appliances have been installed. Check all gas pipes and fittings for leaks with a soapy water solution. Before lighting any newly installed appliance, factory fittings on appliances should be checked by a qualified technician.



To paint a door and frame between two rooms in different colors, follow this procedure: open the door and stand in one room (marked A on the picture). Paint the lock edge, the adjacent edge of the frame, the doorstop, and the door front. Open the door wide so that the hinge is visible and stand in the other room (marked B on the picture). In the second color, paint the hinge edge, the flat of the doorstop, and the door front.

Painting in two colors


Unpainted and painted woods benefit from a couple of coats of varnish. Varnish protects against wear and tear. It is available in gloss, semi gloss, and matte finishes. To change the color of the wood, use a pigmented varnish.

1. Pour some varnish into a bucket and dip a lint-free cloth into it. Rub the varnish into the wood, working against the grain. Wait for the varnish to dry (up to 12 hours).

2. Lightly rub the surface with fine sandpaper wrapped around a cork block. Wipe dust particles off the surface with a lint- free cloth that has been dampened in turpentine.

3. Apply another coat of varnish using a clean brush. When the varnish has dried, lightly sand the surface down and wipe clean. The results should be smooth and dust-free.

Book – Household Solutions

Household solution simple and effective products is fun and economical. We think you will be happily surprised with the results.

Book > Book Covers

Reynolds Freezer Paper. Make a dust jacket to protect a book cover with a sheet of Reynolds Freezer Paper and then secure the cover in place by gently sealing the edges with a clothes iron set on warm.

Saran Wrap. To protect a book cover, use a sheet of Saran Wrap to safeguard a dust jacket.

Scotch Packaging Tape. To repair torn book covers, adhere the cover back to the binding with Scotch Packaging Tape.

Book > Cleaning

Huggies Baby Wipes. To clean spills on a book, wipe the book cover with a Huggies Baby Wipe.

Wonder Bread. To remove grease stains from books, take a piece of bread from the center of a slice of Wonder Bread, cut off the crust, and rub the affected area.

Book > Dampness

Bounty Paper Towels. To prevent the wet pages of a book from wrinkling, place sheets of Bounty Paper Towels between every wet page, close the book, place a heavy book on top, and let sit overnight. The quicker picker-upper will absorb the dampness from the pages of the book.

Kingsford’s Corn Starch. To prevent or kill mildew in damp books, sprinkle Kingsford’s Corn Starch throughout the book to absorb the moisture from damp pages, wait several hours, and then brush clean. If the pages are mildewed, brush the corn starch off outdoors to keep mildew spores out of the house.

Book > Leather Bindings

Vaseline Petroleum Jelly. Clean a leather binding on a book by rubbing in a dab of Vaseline Petroleum Jelly and buffing with a soft, clean cloth. Let sit for several hours and then repeat.

Book > Mildew

Kingsford Charcoal Briquets. Place an untreated Kingsford Charcoal Briquet in a closed bookcase to absorb moisture and prevent mildew.

Book > Musty Odors

Arm & Hammer Baking Soda. To remove musty odors from old books, place the books in an airtight Rubbermaid or Tupperware container, sprinkle some Arm & Hammer Baking Soda inside the tub, seal the container closed, and let sit for a week, turning the books over every few days to expose both sides to the baking soda equally.

Bounce and Ziploc Storage Bags. To eliminate musty smells from an old book, place several sheets of Bounce throughout the pages of a book, seal it inside a large Ziploc Storage Bag, and let sit for two weeks.

USA Today. To deodorize musty books, place the books inside a paper bag filled with crumpled up pages from USA Today and let sit for several days. The newsprint absorbs the musty smells. Repeat if necessary.

Garage Door Opener Quits

Problem: The automatic opener does not open the garage door.

Background: An electronic garage door opener may not activate be cause its power supply is interrupted, its antenna is out of position, its transmitter is defective, its remote battery is expired, or its push-button switch inside the garage is defective. First make sure the unit’s receptacle inside the garage is receiving power, and that the opener is plugged in.

What to do: To determine if the transmitter or its battery is bad, simply see if the opener operates when the push button inside the garage is activated. If it works with the push button, next check to see that the unit’s antenna is not bent out of position. Try replacing the transmitter’s battery. If the transmitter still doesn’t work, its button may be defective. Try cleaning it with electrical contact cleaner. If that doesn’t correct the problem, you will most likely need to replace it. Conversely, if the transmitter works but the push button inside the garage doesn’t, turn off the power and clean the push button with electrical contact cleaner. If that doesn’t fix it, turn off all power and replace the switch simply by removing and detaching the 2 wires that are under the screws on the back, and reinstalling a new switch.

Special advice: When a power failure traps your car inside the garage, pull the emergency release mechanism located on the opener track. Usually, this will be a cord hanging down between the opener motor and the door. Pull the disconnect cord down and away from the door to release it. Important: If you disengage the emergency release during a power failure, be sure to also unplug the garage door opener. After the power is back on, pull on the emergency re lease again to re-engage the opener. Make sure all drivers in your house hold know how to use the emergency release mechanism.

Helpful hint: For routine adjustments, and consult the opener owner’s manual. If you don’t have an owner’s manual, contact the manufacturer and request a copy for your specific model. The opener model number should be on the back of the power unit.

Faucet Drips

Problem: Faucet continues to drip and waste water when turned off.

Background: There are several types of faucets found in homes today, including the washer type, the washerless type, the spring-and-valve type, and the disk type. The repair procedure differs for each type. Be cause replacement parts vary so much, it is best to find a hardware supplier in your area that has re placement part reference books and to work with them to find the parts you need. When possible, try to determine the manufacturer of the unit before you go to the hardware store, and take the old parts along with you for reference. If water is leaking out near the handle, along the stem.

What to do: If a faucet begins to leak, never use excessive force to try to close it because that will only cause damage. Nearly all faucets can be taken apart to replace defective parts. Before beginning to work on a faucet, turn off the stop valves on the hot and cold lines. If you don’t have stop valves, you will have to turn off the main water supply valve and work on the faucet when the rest of the home can get by without water (or have a plumber do the work).
With washer-type faucets, drip ping water is often caused by worn-out washers. Replacement involves taking out the screw in the handle (which may be covered by a decorative cap), taking off the handle, loosening the packing nut, and removing the spindle and washer assembly. A screw holds the washer in place. Re place it with the correct-size washer and reassemble. Note: If washers must be replaced often, it may be a sign that the faucet seat is worn. If the seat is replaceable, install a new faucet seat insert, or reseat (smooth the seat with a seat dressing tool). If a worn faucet seat is not removable, the only option is to use this tool. For other types of faucets, consult product sheets, detailed how-to books, or your local parts supplier.

Special advice: If the faucet that drips is more than 5 years old, you may want to consider replacement rather than repair—unless the original is a high-quality faucet. More ex pensive, quality replacement faucets are generally worth the money; they can last up to three times as long as inexpensive faucets, saving both re placement and labor costs.

Helpful hint: If there are no stop valves near the fixture where a faucet must be replaced, consider in stalling new stop valves at the time of the replacement. They will allow you to isolate the fixture and still have water throughout the rest of the house the next time the faucet needs attention.



Plan ahead when painting wood; it may need several coats of oil-based paint. Lightly sand any rough areas and wipe away the dust with a lint-free cloth dampened in turpentine. Seal knots with shellac or knotting. When thy, apply a layer of primer. When that dries, sand lightly, and then apply a couple of layers of undercoat.


Wood is usually painted with oil-based paint. This gives off toxic fumes, so always keep the room well ventilated. When the undercoat is dry, sand and wipe. Apply one or two topcoats for a good finish.

1. Hold a small brush like a pen and apply vertical, parallel lines of paint. Work in sections 1 sq ft (30 sq cm).

2. Without reloading the brush with paint, join the vertical lines by brushing across them with horizontal strokes.

3. Finish with more vertical strokes. Reload the brush before starting on the next area. Begin by the wet edge.

Exterior Painting Pointers – Different Types of House Paint Explained

With so many brands and types of house paint on the market today, it can be confusing to know where to start when choose paint for a household project. Despite the hundreds of paint cans lining the wall at your home improvement store, there are essentially two kinds of paint: Oil based and water based. But you will also find primers, enamels, acrylics and many others. Here are descriptions of seven different house paints you will commonly find on the shelf.

Oil Based vs. Water Based House Paint

Each of these two types of paint differs and each has paint varieties under them. Oil-based house paint takes more time to dry than water based house paint. There are drying additives added to oil based paints to aid in shorter drying times. The finish of oil-based paints is also glossier and harder. In order to clean oil-based paint you need to use harsh chemicals like paint thinner. The water-based paints dry as fast as moisture can evaporate. Water-based paint is not as durable as oil based nor is it as shiny. A small amount of detergent and water will allow you to clean water-based paint.


This is not usually considered paint but it is needed in many painting projects and is found in the paint aisle. Primer can be oil-based or water-based. When you are painting and need to use a primer always use one that matches the house paint you are using. If painting with oil based paint, you would use oil-based primer.

Interior and Exterior Paint

You will see paint labeled interior and exterior paint. Due to having to withstand the elements you would use water based paint on the interior. Exterior paint is best left to oil based paints.

Specialty Paints

Each paint type can have paints with additives included in the paint. These paints can include anti-mold and anti-mildew properties as well as fire retardant. There are also paints that have anti-condensation additives added to them which make this paint popular in kitchens.

Latex Paint

This is a term used to describe water-based house paint. There is actually no latex in the paint.


This is just another term for water based house paint. The binding ingredient in the paint is acrylic. Acrylic paint can be found in several varieties including acrylic latex, acrylic enamel or acrylic latex enamel. This paint will not yellow. Acrylic enamel house paint is considered as such due to its durability. It is not a mixture of oil- and water-based paint. Always consult the labels of the paint as not all paints contain latex or acrylic despite the name. Remember that the higher the shine the more imperfections the paint will show.

Enamel Paint

Oil-based paint is given the term “enamel” due to the hardness and durability of the paint. These paints will also include gloss and semi-gloss paint finishes. This house paint is mostly used around windows, doors and trim. Over time this paint can discolor.

Bathtub – Household Solutions

Household solution simple and effective products is fun and economical. We think you will be happily surprised with the results.

Bathtub – Household Solutions

Clorox Bleach. To clean the caulking around the rim of a bathtub, fill a trigger-spray bottle with a solution of three-quarters cup Clorox Bleach and one gallon water, spray the caulking, wait five minutes, and wash clean. The bleach kills the mold and mildew. Repeat if necessary.

Smirnoff Vodka. Clean the caulking around bathtubs by filling a spray bottle with Smirnoff Vodka, spray the caulking, wait five minutes, and wash clean. The alcohol in the vodka kills the mold and mildew. Repeat if necessary.

Bathtub > Cleaning

Arm & Hammer Baking Soda. To clean a bathtub, sprinkle Arm & Hammer Baking Soda on a damp sponge, scrub, and rinse clean.

Cascade. For a powerful way to clean grease, grime, and rust stains from the bathtub, fill the tub with hot water, add two tablespoons Cascade dishwasher detergent, and let stand for about ten minutes. Use an abrasive sponge to scrub any stains and then rinse clean with water. The phosphates in the Cascade whiten even the dirtiest tubs. Repeat if necessary.

Dawn Dishwashing Liquid. To clean soap scum from a bath tub, pour Dawn Dishwashing Liquid on the stained area, let sit overnight, and rinse clean with water. Dawn Dishwashing Liquid cuts through grease and cleans older tubs without harming the finish.

Easy-Off Oven Cleaner. For really tough grease stains or mineral deposits, put on protective eyewear and rubber gloves and spray Easy-Off Oven Cleaner over the stubborn spots on your bathtub. Let set for thirty minutes, making sure the room is well ventilated. Scrub gently with an abrasive sponge and rinse clean with warm water.

Gillette Foamy. To clean the bathtub and let your kids have a blast at the same time, give your kids a can of Gillette Foamy shaving cream to entertain themselves in the bathtub. They can use the shaving cream to draw on the tile walls, and when you wash the condensed soap off with water, the bathtub will be sparkling clean. Your kids will come out amazingly clean as well.

Heinz White Vinegar. To make cleaning mineral deposits from hard water from your bathtub easier, fill the bathtub with hot water, pour in four cups Heinz White Vinegar and let sit overnight. The acetic acid in the vinegar breaks up the mineral deposits, making them easier to scrub off with an abrasive sponge.

Jet-Dry. To clean hard water stains from a bathtub, fill the bathtub with hot water, pour in four ounces Jet-Dry, and let soak for a few hours. This softens the hard-water build-up, making it easier to remove.

L’eggs Sheer Energy Panty Hose. To scrub the bathtub and bathroom tiles, ball up a clean, used pair of L’eggs Sheer Energy Panty Hose. The nylon is a mild abrasive and doubles as a scouring pad. Or for more fun, wear the panty hose and roll around in the bathtub and against the tile walls.

McCormick Cream of Tartar and Hydrogen Peroxide. To remove a stain from the bathtub, make a thick paste from McCormick Cream of Tartar and hydrogen peroxide, apply the paste to the stain, and let dry. Scrub with a brush and rinse thoroughly.

Skin So Soft Body Lotion. To remove a ring from the bathtub, add three capfuls Skin So Soft Body Lotion under the faucet while filling the tub with hot water. Use a sponge to wipe the ring right off.

Bathtub > Decal Removal

Jif Peanut Butter. Coat the decals in the bottom of the bath tub with Jif Peanut Butter and let sit for one hour. The peanut oil dissolves the glue between the decals and the tub. Then use a single-edge razor blade to carefully scrape the decals off the tub floor.

Shout. To make decals easier to remove, spray the decals with Shout Stain Remover, let sit for five minutes, fill the tub with water, and let soak for one hour. Using a single-edge razor blade, carefully scrape the decals off the tub floor.

Bathtub > Drain Stopper

Wilson Tennis Balls. If you lose the drain plug for your shower, sink, or bathtub, you can use a Wilson Tennis Ball to block the drain. The suction keeps the tennis ball in place.

Bathtub > Faucets

Cover Girl Continuous Color Classic Red. To adjust the water in the bath effortlessly, turn on the bathtub faucet(s) to the temperature you prefer, then mark the faucet(s) and the wall with dots of Cover Girl Continuous Color Classic Red Nail Polish so they can be aligned immediately every time you bathe.

Bathtub > Leaks

DAP Caulk. If a bathtub seems to be leaking, the cause may not be the tub itself. Water may be leaking into walls through the seams where the tub meets the tile wall, from around a soap dish, or from around the faucet or spout. Caulk around these areas.

Bathtub > Mildew

Parsons’ Ammonia. To remove mildew from walls, scrub with equal parts Parsons’ Ammonia and water. Make sure the room is well ventilated and rinse clean with water.

Tidy Cats. To prevent mildew in a bathtub when you leave your home for a long time, pour unused Tidy Cats cat box filler in a flat box and place it in your bathtub. (If you have cats, be sure to keep the bathroom door closed so they don’t use the cat box filler in the tub.)

Bathtub > Polishing

Turtle Wax. After cleaning your bathtub, rub Turtle Wax into the tub, tiles, and faucets with a soft cloth, buffing as you go along. (Do not use Turtle Wax on the bathtub floor; otherwise you risk slipping.)

Bathtub > Rust Stains

Coca-Cola. To clean rust stains from a bathtub, cover the stains with Coca-Cola, let sit for one hour, and rinse clean. The phosphoric acid in the Coke removes the rust.

20 Mule Team Borax and ReaLemon. To clean rust stains from a bathtub, scrub with a paste made from 20 Mule Team Borax and ReaLemon lemon juice.

Bathtub > Whirlpool Baths

Cascade. To clean pipes and tubes in a whirlpool bath, fill the bathtub with enough warm water to run the whirlpool. Add two cups Cascade dishwasher detergent and run the system for fifteen minutes, then drain the water. Refill with fresh water and run the system for one minute to rinse it clean.

Exterior Mildew Exterior Paint Solution

Mildew: Mildew is the formation of brown, black or gray spots or blotches on the surface of paint or caulk due to the presence of fungi that feed on the paint film and other organic matter.

Possible Causes:

Damp areas that receive little or no direct sunlight (thus, such areas as walls with a northern exposure and the underside of eaves are particularly vulnerable).

Use of a lower quality paint with an insufficient amount of mildewcide.

Painting over a substrate or coating on which mildew is present.

Failure to prime bare wood before painting.


First, make sure that the discoloration really is mildew, and not just dirt. Apply a few drops of household bleach to it, wait five minutes, then rinse. If the dark color disappears, the discoloration is probably mildew. Remove all mildew by scrubbing with a diluted household bleach solution (one part bleach, three parts water). Be sure to take the proper safety precautions -wear rubber gloves and eye protection. Leave the bleach on the surface for several minutes, then rinse. Next, thoroughly clean the surface with a detergent solution to remove dirt and other organic material on which mildew can feed. This can be done by hand or with a power washer. Rinse again. When the surface is dry, apply one or two coats of top quality acrylic latex paint — this type of paint contains extra mildewcide and will resist mildew better than oil-based or alkyd paints.

Exterior Painting – Frequently asked questions

Can I paint over aluminum/vinyl siding?
Yes. Always make sure the surface is cleaned to remove any chalk or dirt. Never apply paint that is darker than the original painted surface on vinyl siding.

Do I need to wash my house before I paint?
Yes. Surfaces must be clean before painting. Thoroughly wash with a house cleaner and water solution, making sure to remove any and all mildew. Rinse and allow to dry.

How much paint do I need?
Be sure to utilize our Paint Gallon Calculator in the Project Planner section to help you determine how many cans to buy for your next project.

To achieve one-coat coverage, paint should be applied at a maximum of 400 square feet per gallon. Rough or textured surfaces may require more paint. On these areas allow for 25-30 square feet per gallon. Some bright colors may require multiple costs to achieve sufficient hide.

How do I apply the paint?
When using more than one gallon of the same product, mix the gallons together to insure color and sheen uniformity. Two coats of this paint will provide maximum protection.

How do I paint shingles & shakes?
Shingles offer natural breaking points, paint in a vertical direction.

How do I care for freshly painted surfaces?
We suggest not washing your newly painted surface for at least 30 days. After that time, dirt and stains may be removed using a mild, non-abrasive cleanser and water.

I have never painted the exterior of my home before….?
When painting the exterior of your home always start with a clean surface; paint one side of the house at a time, starting with the highest point; apply a full even coat to one side of the house at a time and always paint the trim last.

What conditions are best for painting my house?
Generally you should only paint when the surface is between 50F and 85F. High temperatures cause the water in the paint to evaporate too quickly, while low temperatures prevent latex from covering properly. Always avoid painting in direct sunlight, strong winds, or when rain is expected within 8 hours.

What tools do I need?
Depending on your project and the type of structure you are painting, paints may be applied with a nylon/polyester brush, a paint pad or spray unit.

What is the proper way to use spray equipment?
It is always safe to operate spray equipment with safety cautions. Use respiratory and eye protection. All spray units are different and it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.



Switchplates can be removed from the wall, but if you do this) you must turn off the power supply first. To take off the cover, ease the plate from the surface with a screwdriver or flat-bladed knife. Then carefully paint behind the surround. An easier option is to paint around the cover. To do this, stick masking tape around the edges.



Wooden and plaster details, such as moldings, cornices, and dado rails, should be painted with a small decorating brush or artist’s brush. Paint the background color with a 1-in (25 mm) brush and then pick out the fine details with an artist’s brush. Keep your hand steady on a maulstick as you paint. Use masking tape see opposite) to keep a straight line between two colors.


Painting tips & tricks

Rub petroleum jelly on the hinges and door knobs before you start to paint a door. If you get paint on them, they will wipe off easily.

To keep white paint from yellowing, add 2 drops of black paint to each Gallon of white.

When painting ceilings, cut a child’s rubber ball in half and put your paint brush in one of the halves to catch the drips.

An old pair of swimming goggles will protect your eyes from paint splatters and drips when painting ceilings.

When painting, protect your hands and face with moisturizer. Cleanup will be easier and the moisturizer will prevent paint from seeping into the pores.

To stop paint from dripping, punch a few holes in the rim of the paint can. When the brush is wiped against the edge, the paint flows back into the can. The lid covers the holes so the paint won’t dry out.

Before pouring paint from a can, cover the rim with masking tape. After pouring, remove the tape — the rim will be clean and the cover will fit tightly.

To remove lumps from paint: Cut a piece of screen to fit the inside of the paint can. Set it on top of the paint and let it float down to the bottom of the can. It will take all the lumps with it, trapping them at the bottom of the can.

When painting a room, dip a small card into the paint so that you have the exact colour with you and can match accessories in store.

When painting inside corners, trim the paint brush bristles to a V to save strokes and spread paint more easily.

When you poke a paint brush into corners or allow it to rest on the bottom of the paint can, the bristles curl and stray. To straighten natural bristles (not synthetics), try wrapping the brush in a couple of thicknesses of damp cloth and press gently with an iron. The steam and cloth binding do the job. Only light pressure is needed. Let the bristles cool before you unwrap the brush.

When painting old woodwork fill in the holes or cracks with a mixture of flour and some of the paint you are using. It hardens like cement and matches perfectly.