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Readers ask about security and flooring

December 24, 2018

I’m thinking that when you read this article, you might still be celebrating Christmas. Maybe you have the week off and are just having a second cup of coffee. We had some great questions last week, and I thought you might enjoy reading them.

Question: In the Dec. 12 column about door security there is the following sentence: “Door Guardian will keep children and adults from walking out the door without your supervision, but will open easily and quickly from the inside in case of an emergency.” This sounds contradictory. I am not just calling attention to a possible editing error. I want to know how the product works and whether it is or isn’t easy for children or adults to get out in an emergency. And I have an unrelated question: What is your opinion of tankless water heaters? And finally - what is the correct method for sending a question to the Home Improvement column? The email address in the paper is wrong.

Answer: Door Guardian was originally made for keeping children and older adults from wandering outdoors without supervision. And yes, Door Guardian is very easy to open in emergencies. You open by pulling the lock to the left and then toward you ... it’s an easy one fluid movement. It’s not an easy flip of the thumb knob of a deadbolt that most preschoolers can do. If you are not home, you don’t want to have Door Guardian closed. I like Door Guardian because you don’t need another key for this lock. Can you imagine looking for a key if there was an emergency? As far as tankless water heaters, it’s not for me. And I am so glad you brought up the email address: www.happyhandyman2@yahoo.com. There is NO HYPHEN. Call me anytime at the store if you have a question, 210-341-1573.

Question: I am looking for a matte finish to put on a Saltillo tile floor. It seems that allacrylic finishes for floors are for a shine, which we do not want. Thank you for any help.

Answer: Tilelab makes a Matte Sealer and Finish that is for Saltillo and porous natural tile. It provides a seal for stain protection with a matte finish. You will want to apply several coats for protection against stains, dirt, and grease and scratch resistance. You will find it at tile stores. Runs around $30.

Question: Hi ... My husband told me about a product that you have that removes hard water stains in the toilet. He forgot the name, and I lost the article; we are a great couple. Do you know the name of the product?

Answer: OK, y’all are cute! The product is Delete Germ, and it does an amazing job of removing hard water stains on porcelain tile, glass and inside your toilet bowl. Lift the lid to your toilet tank and squeeze a cup into the overflow pipe, put the lid back down. Lift the lid on the bowl and squeeze Delete Germ around the bowl concentrating on the stains. Don’t flush the toilet, let it work overnight. The next morning get out your toilet brush and clean inside the bowl and then flush the toilet.

Question: I have a painting issue I hope you can help me with. My house is old, and the walls show it. Unfortunately, when it was painted 10 years ago, the trim was painted with latex over original oil-base paint. Needless to say, I have peeling trim and doors with paint flecks on wood floors. What is best solution to peeling paint? Thank you for your time. Merry Christmas!

Answer: There is this little phrase my Dad taught me: You can paint latex over oil, or oil over latex but you can’t paint over a shiny surface. So it didn’t matter that the original paint was oil ... but it did have a shine. So, it should have been sanded lightly or painted with a primer like Grip and Seal. It will have to be sanded so that all the flaking paint is removed. Then I would prime and paint.

If you cannot find the products mentioned here locally, you can find them at www.happyhandyman.com . Click on Shop Johnnie’s Favorites, or call the store at 210-341-1573. Email Trudy Chuoke Lesage at happyhandyman2@yahoo.com. Mail can be sent to Johnnie Chuoke’s Home and Hardware, 2361 NW Military, San Antonio, TX 78231.

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