Each year, thousands of Arizona residents email or call Rosie Romero’s radio show with questions about everything from preventing fires in their chimneys to getting rid of tree roots invading their sewer system. His goal is to provide answers that suit the specific lifestyle wherever someone lives in Arizona.
Q: I am buying a new clothes dryer. All other things being equal, is a gas dryer cheaper than an electric one to operate in terms of energy costs?
A: Yes, the operating cost for a dryer will be less with gas than electricity. However, recognize that there may be an added expense to run gas piping to the appliance, if you do not already have that. The qualified plumber who does the work will also have to pull a permit from the city building department, which will raise the cost of the installation.
Q: When is the best time to re-stucco my home?
A: Stucco can be applied all year round in Tucson to houses and walls, but since it’s a concrete-based material, there is a curing process that the stucco has to go through. The curing is not based on the evaporation of the water in the mix; it’s a chemical reaction that takes place within the mixture. The longer you can keep the water in the mix, the better the stucco will turn out. To keep the material hydrated, it’s recommended that it be sprayed with water several times a day during the curing process, although that recommendation is not always complied with. At any rate, we do recommend that you re-stucco when the temperatures are staying in the 90s or below
Q: I am considering installing quartz materials for new kitchen countertops and wondered what your opinion is of that choice. Our countertops do not get heavy use; we have no young children in the house.
A: Zodiaq is one of many quartz countertop materials on the market and is made by DuPont, a reliable company that has been around for a long time. There are many good manufacturers of quartz countertop materials like Silestone, Cambria, Caesarstone among others. We like quartz products for various reasons, primarily because they require no maintenance or sealing like granite does. Nor do they stain as quickly as some granites are prone to doing. When it comes to quartz, it’s just a matter of finding the price you want and the “look” that you would like to have in terms of color and patterns. Any of the well-known manufacturers’ products should give you years of service.
Q: We had 25 tons of quarter-minus gravel spread in our backyard. My question is: Should we have someone use a roller that vibrates to compact this material or would a roller that can be filled with water do the job equally well?
A: The landscaping rock that you mention doesn’t really need any compaction, unless it’s in a driveway where wheeled traffic will be on it. It’s typically just laid down and raked smooth. Over time it will settle down and become pretty firm due to the “minus” characteristic in its size. “Minus” means that the size could be less than a quarter-inch. You certainly can use a compactor on it if you wish and probably a sod roller filled with water would do the trick. If you do decide to compact it, the key element to achieving proper compaction is water. Thoroughly wet the gravel ahead of doing the rolling. That will take the air out and allow it to bind better. I