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NEWS
May 10, 2013 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
I was looking at my home's back steps, constructed of pressure-treated wood, and decided it was time for the annual get-rid-of-the-mildew-and-seal-them program. For some reason, they aren't looking as green as they were last year, so the job will be a snap. It has been a long time since I discussed deck cleaning in this space, probably because these few steps are all I have since we sold the house with the deck 12 years ago. But because the summer entertainment season is coming, it might be appropriate to run through deck-cleaning 101 before the arrival of hotter weather, when things dry too quickly or not at all. If you don't want to do the job yourself - especially if it has been a while since the last cleaning - there are companies that will do it for you. Go online or ask your friends and neighbors.
FOOD
March 11, 1992 | by Polly Fisher, Special to the Daily News
Dear Polly: I have a blouse with a care label that says "Do Not Bleach. " Does this just mean chlorine bleach? Can I use an all-fabric bleach on the blouse? - Helen Dear Helen: Generally, "Do Not Bleach" means just that: Don't use any bleach, chlorine or all-fabric, when laundering the garment. If all-fabric bleach is safe but chlorine bleach is not, the label usually says "No Chlorine Bleach" or "Use Non-Chlorine Bleach When Needed" or a similar warning. However, this is really a judgment call.
FOOD
October 14, 1992 | by Polly Fisher, Special to the Daily News
Dear Polly: I have a couple of my father's wool suits that I would like to save. What is the best way to store them? - Kaye Dear Kaye: The main point to remember when storing wool garments is to guard against moth damage. Cedar closets or cedar chests are ideal. However, you can also store them in well-sealed garment bags, non-cedar chests or wrapped in heavy wrapping paper; just be sure to add mothballs or moth flakes to prevent moth damage. Remember: Do not put the mothballs or flakes in direct contact with the fabric.
FOOD
June 12, 1991 | by Polly Fisher, Special to the Daily News
Dear Polly: When I bake bread in the oven, the top becomes nice and brown. But when I turn it out of the pans, the sides are too light. If I bake it longer, the top will burn. Can you tell me how to get the sides brown? - Jenny Dear Jenny: The sides of a loaf of bread, protected from the oven's heat by the pan, normally brown much more slowly than the top does, sometimes remaining quite light even though the bread is fully-baked. The best trick I know is this: When the bread is just about finished, remove the loaf from the pan and return it to the oven for five minutes.
FOOD
March 12, 1986 | By POLLY FISHER, Special to the Daily News
Dear Polly: How low should one turn one's water heater thermostat for significant savings on the hot water bill? - Ida Dear Ida: How low you go is really up to you. However, here are some guidelines: Lowering your thermostat from 140 degrees (standard) to 110 degrees will save you 20 percent on your annual hot water bill. However, if you have a dishwasher, 110 degrees may not get your dishes as clean as you like. Many newer models of dishwasher have automatic water heaters; they usually recommend that your hot water be set at 120 degrees (the dishwasher then heats the water to 140)
REAL_ESTATE
September 10, 2000 | By Tim Carter, FOR THE INQUIRER
Question: It's time again to clean and seal our wood deck. I have watched a number of TV shows that advocate the use of pressure washers and a mixture of chlorine bleach and water. I am afraid that a pressure washer will harm my wood deck, but the TV shows made it seem so simple and easy to use. What is a good way to safely clean a wood deck? What is the best sealer to use once I have finished? - Jackie F., Versailles, Ky. Answer: Many of those TV shows bring a smile to my face.
NEWS
June 29, 2006 | By Alan J. Heavens INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
Cleaning up after flooding presents peculiar challenges. Following are some issues that might arise. Question: How do I get rid of the smell after a flood at my house? Answer: After removing water and mud with a broom or wet-dry vacuum, spray surfaces with lukewarm water, starting with the floor, then moving to the walls and working up. Use a coarse brush or long-handled broom to scrub these surfaces. Then use hot water with a heavy-duty cleaner to scrub all surfaces, again from the bottom to the top. Follow with a rinse, using a brush moistened with a solution of 2 tablespoons of chlorine bleach per gallon of water.
FOOD
August 31, 1988 | By POLLY FISHER, Special to the Daily News
Dear Polly: What are the proper proportions for a good oil-and-vinegar salad dressing? I always get it too vinegary, but when I add more oil, it turns bland. - Gayle Dear Gayle: The perfect recipe for vinaigrette, or oil-and-vinegar, dressing is really a matter of taste. Some like a more vinegary dressing, while others prefer a higher proportion of oil. However, a good formula to start with is to use twice as much oil as vinegar. You'll find wine or cider vinegar gives a gentler, more pleasing flavor than regular white vinegar.
LIVING
September 26, 2008 | By Alan J. Heavens INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
Question: Just wondering if you might have any suggestions for me regarding ants running all over the inside of my dishwasher. It is on an exterior wall, and we have sprayed an ant-control compound outside. We have not had many ants inside the kitchen or the rest of the house, just the dishwasher. I have been pre-rinsing the dishes before putting them in. I run it about every other day. Answer: There must be a food source somewhere - maybe behind the dishwasher or under the dishwasher, or perhaps the filter is dirty and needs to be cleaned.
NEWS
May 5, 1994 | Daily News Wire Services
Some people may think it's a shameful waste, but a shot of gin will do wonders to perk up a drooping bouquet of flowers. The main ingredient in a Tom Collins or a Singapore Sling will particularly perk up tulips and other bulbs, say those who've tried it. "Absolutely. It works," said Ruth Holmstrom, a San Jose, Calif., flower show judge who also teaches flower arranging. "When I took floral design classes at College of San Mateo, the instructor advised using about a half-cup of gin with tulips.
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REAL_ESTATE
December 15, 2013 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
Question: Is there any way to redo engineered floors? They are 12 years old and are showing wear, with pitting and scratches. They have been cleaned and polished with Bona Hardwood Cleaner periodically, but need something more. Answer: According to the website BuildDirect, the ability to refinish depends on the thickness of your hardwood layer. This means that 95 percent of hardwood surfaces are never refinished. With the high-quality finishes that are offered and the extensive process that refinishing a floor entails, damaged areas are often removed professionally.
NEWS
May 10, 2013 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
I was looking at my home's back steps, constructed of pressure-treated wood, and decided it was time for the annual get-rid-of-the-mildew-and-seal-them program. For some reason, they aren't looking as green as they were last year, so the job will be a snap. It has been a long time since I discussed deck cleaning in this space, probably because these few steps are all I have since we sold the house with the deck 12 years ago. But because the summer entertainment season is coming, it might be appropriate to run through deck-cleaning 101 before the arrival of hotter weather, when things dry too quickly or not at all. If you don't want to do the job yourself - especially if it has been a while since the last cleaning - there are companies that will do it for you. Go online or ask your friends and neighbors.
LIVING
September 26, 2008 | By Alan J. Heavens INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
Question: Just wondering if you might have any suggestions for me regarding ants running all over the inside of my dishwasher. It is on an exterior wall, and we have sprayed an ant-control compound outside. We have not had many ants inside the kitchen or the rest of the house, just the dishwasher. I have been pre-rinsing the dishes before putting them in. I run it about every other day. Answer: There must be a food source somewhere - maybe behind the dishwasher or under the dishwasher, or perhaps the filter is dirty and needs to be cleaned.
LIVING
September 5, 2008 | By Alan J. Heavens INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
Full hurricane force rarely hits as far inland as Philadelphia, but it doesn't take even a Category 1 storm to flood a basement. Here's some advice on dealing with the havoc water can wreak on a house. Need to know. Standard homeowner's insurance policies do not cover flooding. For information on the National Flood Insurance Program, go to www.floodsmart.gov or call 1-888-379-9531. Ooh, that smell. First things first: Get the water and mud out with a wet-dry vacuum or broom.
LIVING
May 23, 2008 | By Alan J. Heavens INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
Question: Have you done an article recently about which product is the best for cedar-deck sealing? I am amazed at how little the employees at the home-improvement centers (and even the paint stores) know about yellow cedar and which product is best. I have given up on using stains, as they do not last and the maintenance work each year is overwhelming. Do you have any product recommendation on a clear sealer for a cedar deck? I have all the old finish removed and sanded - all ready to go, but just don't know what to use!
NEWS
July 6, 2007 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
Question: We have a house built in 1911 with beautiful windows. However, they are in need of repair and restoration. They are the original windows with ropes and pulleys, which need to be replaced, and panes of glass that need to be replaced as well. Answer: A carpenter experienced in dealing with older houses would fit your bill. In many areas in which older houses are the rule, there are nonprofit groups that provide information on old-house products and services that would be useful to you. In addition, the bulletin boards of those slowly disappearing but ever-useful hardware stores often are filled with names of repair people more than capable of doing your work.
NEWS
June 29, 2006 | By Alan J. Heavens INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
Cleaning up after flooding presents peculiar challenges. Following are some issues that might arise. Question: How do I get rid of the smell after a flood at my house? Answer: After removing water and mud with a broom or wet-dry vacuum, spray surfaces with lukewarm water, starting with the floor, then moving to the walls and working up. Use a coarse brush or long-handled broom to scrub these surfaces. Then use hot water with a heavy-duty cleaner to scrub all surfaces, again from the bottom to the top. Follow with a rinse, using a brush moistened with a solution of 2 tablespoons of chlorine bleach per gallon of water.
NEWS
September 19, 2003 | By Alan J. Heavens INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
Cleaning up after flooding presents peculiar challenges. Following are some issues that might arise after Hurricane Isabel passes by. Question: How do I get rid of the smell after a flood at my house? Answer: After removing water and mud with a broom or wet-dry vacuum, spray surfaces with lukewarm water, starting with the floor then moving to the walls and working up. Use a coarse brush or long-handled broom to scrub these surfaces. Then use hot water with a heavy-duty cleaner to scrub all surfaces, again from the bottom to the top. Follow with a rinse using a brush moistened with a solution of 2 tablespoons of chlorine bleach per gallon of water.
REAL_ESTATE
September 10, 2000 | By Tim Carter, FOR THE INQUIRER
Question: It's time again to clean and seal our wood deck. I have watched a number of TV shows that advocate the use of pressure washers and a mixture of chlorine bleach and water. I am afraid that a pressure washer will harm my wood deck, but the TV shows made it seem so simple and easy to use. What is a good way to safely clean a wood deck? What is the best sealer to use once I have finished? - Jackie F., Versailles, Ky. Answer: Many of those TV shows bring a smile to my face.
NEWS
September 22, 1999 | By Alan J. Heavens, INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
Question: How do I get rid of the smell after my house has been flooded? Answer: After removing water and mud with a broom or wet/dry vacuum, spray surfaces with lukewarm water, starting with the floor, then moving to the walls and working your way up. Use a coarse brush or long-handled broom to scrub down these surfaces. Then use hot water with a heavy-duty cleaner to scrub all surfaces, again from the bottom to the top. Follow up with a rinse using a brush moistened with a solution of 2 tablespoons of chlorine bleach per gallon of water.
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