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.
QUESTION: My whole house was covered with tile except for some carpet in the bedrooms. Now I’m redoing the bedrooms because the carpeting was torn up, and I’m wondering whether to put down more tile or just cover the slab with an epoxy coating. Part of the problem is that I have a couple of dogs.
A: With those dogs, it might be hard to maintain a concrete floor that was just covered with epoxy. The dogs could really scratch up the surface. It would be better to thoroughly clean off the slab and then put down a thin topcoat of concrete and put on a stain over it. You should visit a showroom that has displays of concrete floors and the specialists there will tell you what your best options are.
Q: There are crickets in my house that are driving us crazy. Sometimes I have to pound on the counters in the bathroom to make them stop chirping at night. Is there a good, organic way to get rid of them?
A: There are dust-like compounds containing diatomaceous earth that you can inject into the openings around your house and gaps in your walls and cabinets. This material cuts up the insect’s exoskeleton. That’s one way to get rid of crickets without hurting other critters. They often get into your home by crawling under the lip of the stucco at the bottom of your exterior walls. It’s a good idea to get rid of them because crickets attract scorpions that will feed on them.
Q: I have millions of rover ants in and around my house in Tucson. I don’t try to kill them; instead I feed them and try to get them to stay in other areas away from my home. I put bread crumbs outside in places where I want them to go. Part of the reason I do this is because I heard that they can eat termites.
A: It is true that ants sometimes do eat termites, but feeding the ants so they multiply doesn’t seem like a very effective method of getting rid of termites. Termites are an enormous problem in Arizona. Every colony can hold up to 100,000 of these pests. Most homeowners should have regular inspection of their houses for signs of termite problems that may need special treatment by an exterminator.
Q: I have seen the same home inspected by three different home inspectors who then issued three entirely different reports with different things that needed to be fixed in that same house. Isn’t there a more consistent way that home inspection could be done?
A: Sad to say, but not all home inspectors are created alike. These inspectors do have to register with the state Department of Real Estate, but the state doesn’t require any proof of their proficiency. Only those who belong to some association of inspectors use a consistent checklist when inspecting a house. Since the buyers of real estate are the ones who pay for the inspection, they are the ones who should be very careful about whom they pick to inspect the house they want to buy. If you’re a seller and you aren’t happy with an inspection, you should always write a detailed response to the results of the inspection.