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 systems. His goal is to provide answers that suit the specific lifestyle wherever someone lives in Arizona.
QUESTION: The hose on my water heater sprung a leak. The plumber fixed the hose so there’s no more leaking. A lot of the water was caught in a pan underneath the water heater, and we disposed of that. The water heater is located in a closet with a hardwood floor. I don’t want to pull up the floor, and I have three fans running right now to dry it out. But do I need to check on damage to the floor and the possibility of mold?
A: It is likely that there is serious damage or mold on or under the flooring. You should call your home insurance agent and get an adjuster to look at the area because you may have to replace the flooring in the damaged area. The fans really won’t do much to remove the moisture deep in the flooring.
Q: I have a slump block home that was built in 1961 and has no insulation in the block walls, and I’m interested in having foam insulation put into them. Is that a good idea?
A: You’re going to love it if you do it. You will feel the coolness in the walls almost instantly. You’ll also be eliminating the spaces in the walls where insects and silverfish live. Your house will be much more comfortable and a lot quieter. This insulation will also cut down on dust in your house.
Q: My house was hit pretty hard by a monsoon storm that trashed the aluminum awning that covered my patio. It’s now laying on top of my roof. Can I replace the awning with a wood patio cover or should I replace it with another metal awning? The patio measures about 10 feet by 12 feet.
A: You probably can’t repair it if it’s up on the roof. If price is a crucial matter in replacement, you can buy another metal awning that will cost $2,000 or less. If you want to do wood instead, it will probably cost $7,000 to $10,000.
Before you replace the awning, call your home insurance agent and see if the damage is covered by your policy.
Q: I have two diatomaceous earth (DE) pool filters, and they don’t seem to be doing the job any more. I can’t keep my swimming pool clean.
A: That seems strange because DE pool filters are among the most efficient type of pool filter available. They can trap tiny particles of dirt you can’t see with the naked eye. Perhaps you need to backwash your filters to discharge all the dirty filter powder.
Remember, though, that you have to add a new application of DE powder to the filter afterward or the filters won’t work. You simply pour the powder into the skimmer.
Q: The concrete coating on my patio is cracking and fading. Can I fill in the cracks and recolor and recoat the patio by myself? It’s a 10-by-12-foot space that gets intense sun.
A: That would probably be a relatively difficult do-it-yourself project. If you want to try it, take a lot of really good photos of the space and take them to a building specialties store that sells coatings and fillers for concrete. Show them your pictures and ask them to explain step-by-step how you should do the job. If it sounds too difficult after you hear all that, you can call a decking and concrete contractor for an estimate.