Top 10 Home Improvement Topics: What's on the minds of your fellow DIYers
By Tom Kraeutler, AOL Home Improvement Editor
From my perch as the host of The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show and AOLís Home Improvement Editor, I hear about home improvement challenges, wish lists and how-to questions year round. And as individual as these questions are, the topics are very similar.
The truth is that most of our homes are built pretty much the same way and have been for more than a couple of centuries. Sure weíve got fancier furnaces and drywall instead of plaster walls, but for the most part homes still show wear-and-tear and break down the same way they have for a very long time.
To help you avoid home improvement hassles of your own, here are the top ten topics we get the most questions on, and some solutions that will save you some time and money:
10. Indoor air quality and mold
Increased awareness of the health impact of indoor air quality sends many consumers to the phone or their computer in search of ways to make improvements in their home environment. Many queries are related to such HVAC issues as filtration, moisture and humidity, but avoiding construction materials that can become home to molds is also critical. In addition to just plain keeping your home well-ventilated, carpeting and paper-based drywall should stay out of potentially damp spaces. Georgia-Pacific has created an alternative for the latter with its DensArmor Plus paperless wallboard, composed of moisture-resistant glass-mat surfacing around a mold-resistant gypsum core.
9. Basements and crawl spaces
The underground spaces of a home are full of mysteries, and one of the biggest of these is how water can seep in so quickly and turn a previously dry basement or crawl space into one big puddle. The solution is usually simple, and all you have to do to find it is look up and around. Most flooding is caused by poor drainage conditions like clogged gutters or soil that slopes into a house. Fix these problems and youíll have nice, dry subterranean spaces for accessing utilities or conversion to bonus living areas.
8. Bugs, pests and rodents
Plenty of varmints and vermin would like to make your home their own, and prevention usually leads back to issues of drainage, sealing and storage of pest-attracting substances. Termites, which cause around five billion dollars in damage a year, drive many of our listeners on home pest quests, and weíve found that the best solution is a professionally administered product called Termidor. Applied directly to the soil by pest control pros, Termidor canít be seen or smelled by hungry termites, who very happily and unwittingly take it back to the nest to pass on to the rest of their community. As a result, termites disappear from your property and donít return.
7. Kitchen and bath
Updating a space is the lead interest among kitchen and bath callers, and weíre always glad to hear it, since itís one of the best investments you can make in your home (up to 75 percent of which can be recouped when you sell). The scope can range from a countertop replacement to a full-blown redo, but in the end, enhanced