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.
Eliminate paint odor by adding two teaspoons of vanilla to a quart of paint.
Handy Person Tips
1. To avoid cleaning paint brushes and rollers if you intend to use the same color later, or if you do not have time to clean immediately, place the brushes and rollers in a plastic bag, tie shut and place in the freezer. They will keep for several days without drying up.
2. Protect hands from paint solvent by putting the brush and solvent into a strong plastic bag. With hands outside the bag, work the solvent into the brush through the plastic.
3. After cleaning your paint brush, a few drops of oil worked into the bristles will leave the brush soft and ready to use.
4. To clean paint rollers, fill an empty one-quart milk carton with solvent, put the roller inside and crimp the ends shut. Give the carton a few shakes, then let sit for a couple of hours.
5. Simmer hardened paint brushes in full-strength vinegar. Re move the softened paint with a wire comb or brush.
6. To remove oil or enamel paint from your hands, rub on paste floor wax and then wash with plenty of soap and warm water. There is no odor and it’s easier on the skin than paint remover.
7. In time, a partly used can of paint will develop a skin on top. To prevent this, cut wax paper the size of the can and drop it in.
8. To save partial cans of leftover paint, fill the airspace with a lightly inflated balloon before pressing on the lid.
9. A coat of penetrating stain applied to a smooth wood surface may last only three or four years, but a second application after the wood has weathered will last as long as 10.
10. To give bathroom fixtures a new look, paint with an epoxy paint, sold especially for that purpose.
11. Never stir varnish. It has no color pigments which need blending and stirring will create air bubbles which can ruin a smooth finish.
12. To frost a bathroom or garage window, make a solution of one cup of beer to four tbsp. Epsom salts and paint on the window. It washes off when you want a clear pane again.
13. If you have a small hole in your wall (after moving pictures etc.) take a wax crayon as near the color of your wall as possible. Rub the hole with the crayon, polish with a dry cloth and the hole is invisible.
14. Clean out old nail polish bottles and fill with ‘touch-up’ paint for scuffs and scratches that may occur on your walls.
15. When hanging pictures on plaster walls, put a small piece of adhesive tape where the nail is to go in. Drive the nail through the tape. This helps prevent the plaster from cracking.
16. When drilling a hole in any kind of wall, take an envelope, crease the edges to hold it open, then fasten it to the wall just under where you are drilling. It keeps a great deal of mess from hitting the floor and makes clean-up easier.
17. After wallpaper or painting, write the amount under a light-switch plate and you’ll always know how much wallpaper or paint you need for that room.