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Do It Yourself


Do It Yourself: How to remove spilled glue from concrete

By Peter Hotton
Kenneth Harney
Kenneth Harney, who lives in Washington, D.C., writes an award-winning column on housing and real estate.

Q: My husband spilled Gorilla Glue on the concrete entry to our house. We bought a product that was supposed to work but has made the mess worse. What now?

A: Blame hubby every time, huh? That’s OK, we’re used to it. But what product made the big mess? If the glue is still soft, scrape off bits with a wide putty knife or chisel. If it is hard, sand or chisel it off. Soap and water is a good solvent, so try that first. Then paint thinner. How about acetone? Then power washing.

Q: I look at mounds of pine needles clogging my gutters. Do you have a solution, other than removing the gutters, that will eliminate my frequent trips up the ladder?

A: It’s a perennial problem, so don’t expect much. I think Gutter Helmet claims its system of slots can keep needles out. All you can do is try. Meanwhile, enjoy the beauty of your evergreens.

Q: My Andersen double-hung, double-glazed window exploded recently into a whole bunch of pieces. What can I do?

A: Regular glass, even insulated glass (with two panes) in a regular position (not floor-to-ceiling or in a slider), rarely breaks into bits and pieces, but it can happen. So call an Andersen dealer to replace the sash, not the whole window.

Some windows, in floor to ceiling positions and sliders – where it’s possible to walk right into them, a distinct hazard – are made of tempered glass, which explodes into hundreds of small, dull-edged shards when hit, cut or abused in any way. It’s a safety feature.

Q: We recently replaced several 16-foot pressure-treated boards on our deck and have been given conflicting opinions as to whether or not we can stain them now, or … wait until six months has gone by before we stain them. These were replaced in mid-August.

A: Pressure-treated wood often feels wet and heavy because of the chemicals inserted under pressure. It is recommended to wait six months before staining them. Sometimes the wood feels dry, but it is a good idea to wait the recommended time. In the spring, when the weather is dry, apply one coat of a semitransparent stain. It will not peel and will last up to five years. Caution: Apply only one coat.

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