Homeowners email and text us at “Rosie on the House” with hundreds of questions each year. Here are some recent ones plus answers to the questions:
Q: My Southwestern-style home has wooden vigas and posts on its exterior. But I’m having a problem because they are drying out and splitting, and the paint is peeling off. What do you recommend for keeping these wooden posts in good shape? Should I use epoxy on them?
A: We often get a lot of questions about deteriorating vigas and cracking posts, probably because so many homes in the Southwest were built with these trim items about 20 years ago. Injecting wooden posts and vigas with epoxy is a technique that has been used in the past to deal with problems, but it can be very expensive and may not stand the test of time, as the wood will continue to deteriorate. In 10 years, you might have to do it all over again.
But some local firms in Arizona sell lightweight concrete and fiberglass or polyurethane replacements for vigas, posts and rafters. These are lookalikes that look and feel like real logs or wood trim. They cast them in molds to give them a wood-grained surface finish, and they sell them in colors that look very authentic. They can last for decades and are a much better long-term alternative to replacing your old logs and vigas with real wooden logs that can deteriorate after a few years due to heat and moisture.
Q: My house was built in 2008 and I have a range hood that was installed by the workers who put in my air conditioning. But whenever the wind blows a certain way, the damper in the range hood duct starts rattling. I read somewhere that is because you need to have two dampers for a range hood. Will that work for my house?
A: Having two dampers will diminish the rattling sound, but that can be difficult to do. Instead you can install a better cap on the vent pipe to try to control the noise.
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