Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

INSIDE & OUT | A HELPING HAND

Upkeep on Ceiling Will Be Mildew's Undoing

March 01, 1997|JOHN MORELL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Q: The ceiling of my patio collects mildew, and it's a real job to clean. It seems to collect the most around the edges. Is there anything I can put there to keep it away?

B.K., La Habra

*

A: One of the best places to grow mildew is in areas where there's little air circulation, such as under the eaves of a house or under a patio, says painter Rich Young of Santa Ana.

Because it's not practical to run fans outside to keep the air moving, start by going over the area with a strong mildew cleaner. If the surface is painted, try sanding the area to remove some of the paint.

After this is done, use a good oil-based primer and then an oil- or alkyd-based paint as a finish coat. About every two weeks, to stay on top of the situation, clean the ceiling of any new mildew spores.

*

Q: During the colder months we run our gas furnace fairly often. We also run room humidifiers because the dry air from the furnace plays havoc with our sinuses. Is there a way to hook up a humidifier to the furnace?

H.K., Tustin

*

A: There are systems that will humidify your furnace air to make it more breathable, says Scott Blanke of Central Plumbing & Heating in La Habra.

Basically, they connect to a waterline in the house, and the air runs through a filter that picks up mist and carries it into the house. It's not inexpensive, but if you're really having a problem and you'll be staying in the house for many winters to come, it may be worth it.

If your furnace will need replacement soon, you might want to look into investing in a furnace with this type of system built in.

*

Q: One of our rooms has paneling that's been there at least 35 years. I'd like to paint the room, but I'm not sure if what's behind the paneling is paintable. How can we tell?

M.B., Cypress

*

A: Often paneling is put up with a mastic adhesive, says Charlie Kaczorowski of Tustin Paint Mart.

After that many years, the mastic is probably very brittle, but it's going to take a lot of work to remove it. You're probably better off painting the paneling.

Clean it and fill in the grooves with a spackling paste, then sand, prime and apply a finish coat as you would with an ordinary wall.

*

Q: I'm thinking of ways to liven up my kitchen, and I thought of putting a mirror on the walls above the stove and the sink. But will the steam and heat created in a kitchen be OK for a mirror?

M.M., Rancho Santa Margarita

*

A: Having a mirror that close to a stove and sink isn't a good idea, says Donna Nelson of Glass Craft in Garden Grove.

Moisture will hurt the mirror over time, and grease splatters will be difficult to clean. You might want to select a colorful, washable wallpaper for the area instead.

*

Q: We have a wood doghouse in the backyard, and although our dog loves it, it's turning into an eyesore. The plywood roof has cracks, and the sides are starting to split. I'd rather not spend the money for a new one if this is fixable. How can I tell?

E.D., San Juan Capistrano

*

A: Once the plywood layers start to break apart, it's time for a new doghouse, says carpenter Will Greene of Huntington Beach.

They're exposed to the elements and they warp, making it impossible to adhere them again. You're better off starting over with a new one.

If you select a wood house, make sure the wood is properly sealed or painted. This will keep it in good shape; after a year or so, check it out to see if it needs repainting to give it a longer life.

If you have a question about your home or garden, A Helping Hand will help you find the answer. Send questions to John Morell, Home Design, The Times Orange County, 1375 Sunflower Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92626.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|