Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

INSIDE & OUT | A HELPING HAND

Bleach Solution Can Help Remove Fungus on Stucco

May 24, 1997|JOHN MORELL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Q: Our home near the beach has developed a fungus on the stucco. What's the best way to get rid of it?

M.R., Seal Beach

*

A: Mix up a solution of five parts water and one part bleach in a bucket, says Gene Teramura of Dutch Boy Home Decorating Center in Santa Ana.

Wearing rubber gloves, scrub the affected areas, then rinse them with a hose. Check to see why the mildew has grown. The humidity of being near the ocean may contribute. Also, if water is hitting the stucco from a sprinkler, you may be more susceptible to mold and mildew.

If washing the area with a bleach solution doesn't take it away completely, you may need to coat it with a shellac primer, then repaint.

*

Q: I heard somewhere that you should never have the water line valves to toilets, sinks, etc., turned on all the way, because that can wear out the washers and you should open them just enough so that there's a full flow of water. Is there any truth to that?

P.P., Newport Beach

*

A: You probably shouldn't keep the valves locked into the open position, but not because the water pressure wears out washers, says Ron Albright of Albright Plumbing & Heating Supply in Los Alamitos.

If you leave them locked open, over time it may become difficult to close the valve without breaking it. Try opening the valve all the way, then give it a slight turn so that there's some play in there.

*

Q: We're planning to paint our house exterior and have received various recommendations on what kind of paint to use on the wood, from acrylic to oil enamels as well as primers. What's best?

J.D., La Mirada

*

A: If the wood has been painted previously with an oil paint, or if the surface is flaking off and in need of a lot of preparation, start with an oil, or what's known today as an alkyd-based primer, suggests house painter Jim Helton of Fountain Valley.

The alkyd primer tends to adhere better in those situations; otherwise, you can go with an easier-to-use water-based enamel.

For a finish coat, Helton suggests acrylic enamel. It has better flexibility and is more resistant to cracking than an alkyd paint, and, when properly applied, it's going to be less likely to fade or yellow and give you more years of life.

*

Q: We'd like to install new carpeting. A member of the family has severe sinus problems and asthma attacks, and we're not sure how she'll react to the chemicals in the carpet. We've also considered hardwood flooring, but we're afraid she may slip and fall. Any ideas?

C.S., Los Alamitos

*

A: Unfortunately all carpeting is made with chemicals, so you'll have a problem finding a floor covering that's completely natural, says Mark Silverberg of New York Carpets in Anaheim.

You may want to try wool or sisal carpet, because these have natural fibers. All carpets use petroleum-based products in their manufacturing process.

See if your carpet dealer will loan you some large swatches so you can test them at home. A hardwood floor will be a harder surface, but it does have some give to it.

*

Q: I have a beautiful old lamp in my bedroom that gets used every night, but it's developed some kind of short. When I turn the switch, the light comes on for a few minutes and then flickers on and off. Can this be fixed easily?

L.L., Orange

*

A: It sounds as though it's a problem in the socket, says electrician Steve Johnson of Huntington Beach. A lamps that get a lot of use will usually wear out a socket at least once in its lifetimes.

Screw the socket off and open it, and remove the wiring. Take the old socket with you to an electrical supply store to make sure you get the right replacement.

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
|
|
|