Latest Database Entries

  • Legality of DIY electrical and plumbing work

    NEW CONSTRUCTION In the interests of health and safety a number of trades are controlled by law, most particularly plumbing and electricity. The degree to which plumbing and electrical work are actually regulated varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. For instance almost all work performed in...
  • SHOULD I PUSH OR PULL MY CAULKING GUN?

    It's largely a matter of personal choice or habit while the video below will show you the WHY of good caulking technique.  Pushing forward forces the compound into small cracks and helps it to stick on smooth surfaces. Pulling is easier for filling large cracks, and leaves a bulge which allow...
  • EXACTLY WHAT IS POLLUTING MY HOUSE?

    Pollutants come from four main sources: 1- Your body's metabolic activities (breathing and the like): carbon dioxide, ammonia, organics, and odours. 2- Your activities within the house: -- Tobacco smoke: carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, organics, odours. -- Aerosol sprays: fluorocarbons, v...
  • MAINLINE BACKFLOW VALVE - stoping basement flooding from sewer line back-up.

    INSPECT, MAINTAIN OR INSTALL A BACKFLOW VALVE UNDER THE BASEMENT FLOOR BEFORE DOING ANY RENOVATION WORK IN A BASEMENT.  It is always easier to install while the floor is bare than after the finished floor is destroyed by a flood.   Sewage back-up through the floor drain is prevented by a thing...
  • When is the best time to walk on a roof to not damage shingles?

    Johanne from Laval, Quebec writes: "Could it be damaging to my new shingle roof to climb up on it in the winter time to install a satellite antenna? If so, what would be the ideal temperature to do work without any damage?"   Aside from slipping on ice, winter is not a bad time to walk on th...
  • In-Line Exhaust Fans

      Here's an introduction to a special kind of exhaust fan -- an "In-Line" fan. This means that rather than having the motor right at the ceiling, they can be placed anywhere along the line of the ductwork. This makes their installation much more flexible, and quieter.  Equipment details can be f...
  • Can a booster fans be used for the clothes dryer?

    There do exist in-line booster fans that can be used with clothes dryers for long duct runs. But you cannot use just any fan for this purpose. The fan motor and fan blades must be designed to handle the temperature of the dryer exhaust and prevent a build up of lint on a hot motor that could cau...
  • Clothes Dryer ducting: cleaning & extending & avoiding Fires

    CLEANING Be aware that a clogged clothes dryer duct will reduce the efficiency of the clothes dryer, and could start a fire. If your duct is made of ridged metal, it is rather easy to clean because you can snake brushes, even rags right through from one side to the other.  Terry commented on th...
  • Weather Restrictions: Asphalt Shingles

    Connect to your favourite weather forecaster and look for the following conditions:   Category: Roofing     Product: Asphalt Shingles Temperature Limitations: Use above +5 C (+40 F) for shingle installation.  Emergency repairs can be made down to -10 C (+14 F). Nailers must be adjusted in col...
  • Plunging a Clogged Sink: It's the UP stroke that counts!

      Disloving the problem If your sink is just suffering from a lot of face cream and shaving cream, the least expensive and most ecological solution is simply 1/2 cup of baking soda (try using a funnel to get it into the drain), followed immediately by a cup of vinegar.  Let it sit a few minutes...
  • Chalk line technique & eraseability.

      Chalk lines are used to draw straight lines across large surfaces from about 2 feet to over 20 feet.  But it is not always easy to see the line, especially if you are working in the sun, or your saw has a dusting action that blows the chalk away. Phil from Ottawa sent in the chalkline tip t...
  • Working with bamboo

      BAMBOO FLOORING -- LOOSING FAVOUR Bamboo flooring is beautiful and reasonably durable -- but it is falling out of favour.  Ecologically bamboo is a sustainable resource as it is a very fast growing grass, so bamboo production on a piece of land is far more profitable than growing trees on th...
  • Cleaning up pet odours

    Many odours can be eliminated by soaking the troublesome area with baking soda. One of the tricks to make the baking soda the most effective, such as to remove pet urine from a rug, is to add water to the baking soda to make a paste. Work the paste into the fibres of the rug.     Then cover it...
  • What is the best material to use to re-roof my house?

    Our camera caught Burns at the hardware store -- he is going to redo his roof and wanted to know what is the best material to use to re-roof. That that's a wide open question. And of course, there are a lot of "good" materials. Start by deciding on the "look" you want, then check that against y...
  • Deck Span Tables

    Decks need to be built strong enough to not fall down or have deck boards break for lack of support. In addition, although they do not need to be as solid as a floor in the house, they should not bounce like a trampoline. The structures of most decks in Canada are built with pressure treated wood...
  • Hidden Dangers in your Home: Canada-AM special series

      Welcome to JonEakes.com. I hope you found the special series on Hidden Dangers in your home interesting. Unfortunately in a few short minutes on TV I cannot say much, so here are links to more detailed information on each of these topics that you saw on TV. A thanks to CarsonDunlop, home inspe...
  • Tips to help you sell your home quickly

      When it comes time to sell your home, listen carefully to your real estate agent. You may not like their tastes or what they ask you to do, but they do know what helps to sell a home. I invited real estate agent, Richard Silver from Bosley Real Estate, in Toronto, to gives us some tips.Accord...
  • Plastic repair and replacement -- Three good products

      MOLDABLE PLASTIC -- RESUABLE Utile Plast is a great British product that I stumbled upon -- plastic granules that you put into very hot water - they soften - then you mold them into anything you want. You can shove the soft plastic into a nut and when cool you have a plastic bolt -- or form t...
  • Pro: Water As a Tool - Sometimes a Damn Tool

    Adding water to concrete or masonry will definitely make it flow better and make it easier to work with, which is why just about everybody does it. At the same time you have all heard that this will weaken the final product and increase shrinkage, but just about everybody does it anyway. If the d...
  • History of the Robertson Screw

    If any one thing distinguishes Canadian home improvement from American home improvement, it is the Robertson (square socket) screw. In this segment, we took a look at the history of this famous Canadian invention and visited their head office and warehousing operation in Milton, Ontario. Wikipedi...
  • BP Roof Shingles -- Class Action Law Suit

    BP and IKO have had problems with some organic base (felt) asphalt impregnated shingles. There are class action suits against them in both the US and Canada. The advice from my roofing specialist: "Whoever claims they have a legitimate complaint against BP or IKO should go at it alone and not j...