QUESTION: I just had my bathroom redone and had an engineered white-gray marble countertop installed that was bought pre-finished at a big-box store. I left a disinfectant-type toilet bowl cleaner on the counter and it leaked, making a circular mark about four inches in diameter on the countertop. That area is rough to the touch and does not have the same clear shine seen on the rest of the countertop. Can this be fixed?
ANSWER: That area of damage can most likely be removed by an engineered countertop material fabrication company. Using varying degrees of polishing compound, they can probably buff out that area until it gets close to its original appearance and feel. Just make sure that the company you select is proficient in such repairs and won’t make the issue worse.
Q: I’ve been dealing with a landscaping company regarding my irrigation system and don’t understand their answers to the question of how much water is being emitted from the main line where the “feeder-drip” lines are connected. There are very obvious wet spots along the main line; soil under the rocks is saturated and muddy. The contractor says this is typical at this time of the year, but I disagree. I’ve done my own drip systems before and never had a leak at the junction point, or at least not a noticeable one. The main drip line is about 2-3 inches in depth here at my new home — about the depth I installed at my old house. What do you think?
A: The drip line that is tapped into the main, low-pressure irrigation line is not really a “water tight” connection. You may see a drip or two every so often, but it should not be leaking to the extent that there is a puddle or mud hole.
Maybe the drip line is not perpendicular to the main line but rather comes out at a sharper angle. That could compromise the integrity of the seal at the connection to the main line.
That connection should be at 90 degrees to the main line; then, any necessary bends in the drip line should be made away from the connection point. Also check that the correct pressure-regulating valve has been installed in the system as drip irrigation needs to operate at around 30 PSI, far below the water pressure delivered to your home by the water company.
Q: I have a 1,700-square-foot home built in 2005. The cellulose insulation has settled in my attic, and I want to upgrade. I would like fiberglass blown in but keep hearing about the foam option. My duct system is suspended and one contractor told me the best insulation option is foam. What will work best?
A: Foam is certainly the best insulation procedure. However, there are some things that need to be done when foaming the underside of your roof. The foam application will create a conditioned space with temperature differences of just a few degrees between the living spaces and the attic. In order to maintain that conditioned space, you will need to seal the roof vents and gable-end vents that could cause temperature changes. Typically, you also have the insulation company remove all the old blown-in insulation via a large truck-mounted vacuum system.
All this makes for a more expensive alternative, but this is one investment where you will see a major return in energy savings. Another benefit that you may be happy about: Anyone that goes into the attic for any reason won’t have to crawl around in a foot of insulation and inhale all the dust and particulate matter.