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: I have a sulfuric egg-type smell coming out of the faucets in my bathrooms. Is it due to something wrong with the water or with the drains? My washing machine also has the same kind of problem lately. What’s causing this?
ANSWER: It’s probably due to corrosion of the anode rod in your water heater. The rod is made out of magnesium, a softer metal which is attacked by components in your hard water. It needs to be changed and replaced when that odor starts to develop. It’s a fairly easy repair to do, and a new rod only costs about $30.
Q: I have an odor issue in the shower area in my master bedroom area. It’s not like sulfur and you can’t smell the odor anywhere else in the house. My shower is still lined with the original cultured marble walls and floor that were put in when the house was built in 1997. I’ve tried using bleach in the shower drain and that helps for a day or so and then the odor returns. What’s going on?
A: It might be due to the age of the cultured marble. Water draining out of the shower could be getting under the marble and causing development of mold. In that case, you might to have to pull up the cultured marble and redo the shower. However, it could be due to corrosion of an anode rod in the water heater; replacing the rod is an easy repair to make.
Q: I recently bought a ranch-style home in Green Valley that had been built in 1995. The back of the house faces north, and we have a tile roof that extends to cover our patio in the backyard. That roof seems to make crackling noises all day long in various locations overhead. So what is going on? We had a home inspection done before we bought the house, but it found nothing but fairly minor problems in the house.
A: At this point, the most sensible way to go might be to have a roof inspection to see if there are problems with the roof itself. However, many times, the sounds you hear are just due to thermal expansion and contraction of the structural members of your roof. Changes in the humidity and available moisture on the exposed wood could create similar noises.
Q: We have a large leafed vine growing off the side of the roof and down onto the wall of our house for many years. We’ve torn it down off the wall, but bits and pieces of the vine are still stuck to the wall and to some windows and grout on the side of the house. How can I remove the leftover material without damaging the paint job on the house?
A: Power washing is your best possibility, and you might in fact remove some paint in the process of cleaning the wall. But you’re probably ready to repaint at this point anyway. Some manual chipping or scraping may also be required to remove some of the most deeply embedded material. If you want to use a vine to shade the repainted house, install a trellis a foot or so away from the wall and grow the vine on the trellis.
Q: I have Italian cypress trees growing in my yard that are loaded with little brown spots. What is causing that problem?
A: Those spots are caused by spider mites. You may be able to use a strong spray of water to get rid of the webs that the mites create. But if that doesn’t get rid of them, you need a qualified pest control specialist to come to your house to spray the trees with chemicals.