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Ask the Patch Pros: Home Improvements and Easy Fixes

This week we're hosting real estate and hardware specialists to answer your questions for fixes around the house and the home projects you've been dreaming of.

Let's face facts: there's either always something that needs to be fixed in your home, or there's something that looks hideous, that should be fixed.

Don't be ashamed — you're among friends.

How do you fix that obvious water stain, that smell from your water-cooler closet, or begin to add a deck to your house? How much will all that even cost?

To address these questions and more, we've recruited some pros. In the comments, ask them your questions about home projects you'd like to start, or fixes you want to make.

Participating pros are:

Tim Scheib September 19, 2012 at 05:16 PM
I will start off by saying I am not an electrician. I do know that it could be the bulb. You can try that. If your fixture is a can light then that can often times be the issue. You need to use the recommended light bulbs especially for can lights. If that doesn't work you can try replacing the light switch. Sometimes they can have a loose connection. If those two are not the fix then you will have to replace the fixture. If that isn't the problem then call in the professionals if you haven't already. That is the order I recommend.
Tim Scheib September 19, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Hard wood floors or tile? What are most home owners today looking for? Leave us your comments...
Waukee Hadware September 20, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Hello Sharon. Geoff from Waukee Hardware here. Carefully of course. You should go through a Hardware Rental Center and rent a staircase schaffolding or articulating ladder for this job. Always be sure your schaffolding/ladder is level and stable before climbing. Also have someone with you to act as a spotter and gopher since you don't want to be climing up and down for your paint supplies. If your still to short for the job, remember there are extension poles that you can add to your rollers. Remember to use a quality paint to keep from having to do this project again. We recommend Valspar, and have fun!
Waukee Hadware September 20, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Hi Beth. This is Geoff at Waukee Hardware. You can also do either of these suggestions; put a 1 cup of vegatable oil down your basement drain to water evaporation, or if you prefer to not use chemicals, try Roebic RV & Marine Holding Tank Treatment, it does not contain methyl alcohol, is safe for plastic pipes, has excellent odor control and environmently safe. As for preventing tree roots from growing into the sewer line, the only non-chemical method I'm aware of is to roto-root your drain pipes. Once your drains are root free, use Root Clear (copper sulfate) 2x year to maintain.
Waukee Hadware September 20, 2012 at 08:49 PM
Hi Adam. Geoff from Waukee Hardware here. Try "Magic Eraser" damp on the doors and floor. It's amazing what a good job it does. You just need to keep scrubbing until it's clean and then maintain.

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