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Home & Garden
Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2006 12:00 am

Ways to camouflage defects in a plaster walls

Our house has plaster walls with many minor cracks. Is there a special paint that will camouflage these cracks? I can’t afford to replace the walls. Texture paint, a heavy-bodied paint that lea
Home & Garden
Thursday, Nov. 16, 2006 12:00 am

Readers suggest cats, duct tape, and glue traps

Untitled Document A recent item on dealing with an infestation of crickets in a basement brought so many ingenious tips from readers that the subject seems worth a follow-up.
Home & Garden
Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2006 12:00 am

When windows aren’t enough, try fans, air exchangers, or “fresheners”

Dear Gene: My townhouse sometimes has a stale odor. I can’t open the windows for ventilation because they have no screens. What do you suggest? I would certainly take steps to install screens i
Home & Garden
Thursday, Nov. 2, 2006 12:00 am

A few inches isn’t enough to keep you warm and tingly

Dear Gene: Our house, built in the 1960s, has several inches of insulation in the attic. The upstairs rooms get warm in summer and cold in winter. Should we add new insulation to improve the comfort?
Home & Garden
Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2006 12:00 am

Ultrasonic alternative to poison sprays

Dear Gene: Our basement is infested with crickets, and for years they have resisted our efforts to control them with sprays. We are considering trying an ultrasonic device because we do not like to us
Home & Garden
Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2006 12:00 am

You can’t go wrong with polyisocyanurate foam

Dear Gene: I want to insulate a cinderblock basement wall. I want to avoid any moisture problems in the insulation and thought of using foam panels, but I’d like the highest possible R-value. Ca
Home & Garden
Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2006 12:00 am

How to use and install zinc strips

Dear Gene: I have heard that zinc strips can keep mold from forming on asphalt-shingled roofs, but how are the strips installed and where can I get them? Zinc strips are available in 3-foot lengths a
Home & Garden
Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2006 12:00 am

How to tuckpoint your home

Dear Gene: I live in a 50-year-old brick house. The material surrounding some of the bricks has disintegrated, and the surface of some bricks also shows damage. How can this be fixed without replacing
Home & Garden
Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2006 12:00 am

Dozens of special products are made for this purpose

Dear Gene: Is it really impossible to patch a concrete driveway? A couple of contractors want to replace the entire driveway, at high cost. The largest crack is about 8 inches long and 1 inch wide. I
Home & Garden
Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2006 12:00 am

When the regulator valve fails, it’s time to adjust the pressure

Dear Gene: A few years ago the pressure-regulator valve on our main water line failed and some water pipes in our home burst, causing considerable damage. We have a new valve, but I worry that it will


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