What Are Those Dark Spots Around My Chimney?

Ask a Contractor Average read time: 2 minutes
Dark chimney stains

My roof has developed dark stains on along the edge and up around my chimney. Neighbor says it is mold? I would like to know what it is and how I can clean it off of the roof?

Tom – Livonia, MI


Tom Asks: My roof has developed dark stains on along the edge and up around my chimney. Neighbor says it is mold? I would like to know what it is and how I can clean it off of the roof?

Adjusting your home’s storm door closers

Your storm door is a great asset to your house. It protects your main door, acts as a window, allows you to keep your door open without letting in the elements and even lets trick-or-treaters know you are ready to hand out candy. They can be tricky to use, however. Most storm doors come with a pneumatic closer that cushions the door from closing too hard.

Does your storm door close too quickly and slam? It’s pretty simple to adjust if you know what to do.

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Cleaning Your Vinyl Siding

Do it Yourself, Spring Maintenance Average read time: 2 minutes
Cleaning vinyl siding

Vinyl siding is amazing. It has truly lead to a revolution in how today’s homes look and are maintained. The U.S. Census Bureau says that vinyl siding has been the most popular exterior cladding since 1995 and that shows no signs of changing in 2018. It lasts much longer than wood or metal and requires…

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What are there signs that my hot water heater is about to die?

Ask a Contractor Average read time: 2 minutes

Hey Pro, was wondering what I should check for to determine if my hot water tank is about to give out on me.

Sue N. – Ferndale, MI 


Hey Sue, Hot showers are a luxury we tend to take for granted until they are not available, due to a broken water heater. Nobody wants to wake up to a shower that will not heat up, it’s pure agony. This is a reality for many people as they take their water heater for granted…

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Checking Your Sprinkler System

Spring Maintenance Average read time: 3 minutes
Check your sprinklers

It seems like spring may never arrive here in Michigan, with the late snow and ice we’ve seen recently. But if we’re allowed to be optimistic for a minute, we need to remember the upcoming spring weather and maintenance that we need to do to prepare. One of the most common issues with spring weather…

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What is the best way for locating a roof leak?

Ask a Contractor Average read time: 2 minutes
water stains on ceiling

There are watermarks forming on the ceiling of my mother’s house. Would this be because of a roof leak and if so, how can I figure out where it is?

Sarah L. – Ferndale, MI


Hey Sarah, Spring in Michigan means rain which means if you have any leaks in your roof, they will begin to make themselves known. The watermarks you notice appearing somewhere on your ceiling are a clear sign of a leak. However, because of insulation or other diversions, the source of the leak may be far away…

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Replacing Exterior Caulking on Windows

Your windows let in beautiful views and sunlight, but they can also lead to leaking and draftiness if they aren’t caulked in properly. Caulk is used around the exterior joint between your windows and the exterior siding or brick to fill in the gap. If a gap were to remain, bugs, water, and wind could get inside.

Caulk is important because it keeps that gap closed. However, all caulk will eventually shrink and possibly crack. So what, is this another costly fix? No, it’s something you can do yourself with some time and a caulk gun.

What You’ll Need

  • A Caulk gun
  • A putty knife
  • A utility knife
  • Tubes of caulk
  • Some rags and some water
  • Your hands

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Checking Your Home’s Foundation

Spring Maintenance Average read time: 3 minutes
Spring Maintenance Tip: Checking Foundatio

Foundation problems are a big deal – they can lead to some of the most costly repairs you could ever make to your home. Potential buyers will surely steer clear of any house that has foundation problems, so what can you do to prevent issues with your foundation from arising and how can you check…

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Repairing a Door With Stripped Hinges

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Fixing stripped door hinges

Hey Pro,

I recently had my kids swinging on the back door of my home, and they ripped the screws holding the door hinges up right out of the wood! Is there a way to remedy this without replacing the door frame?

Sharon Miller – Westland, MI


Sharon, Stripped hinge holes on door frames are a common occurrence. Especially when there are kids in the homes, I have two myself and I know they are not delicate when it comes to using handles. After years of stress, hinges can come right out of the wall! It can be frustrating, but it doesn’t…

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Replacing The Screen in Your Door

Springtime is coming! We are less than a month away from the first day of spring, and with it come all of the amazing smells of budding trees and flowers. Your sliding screen door or screen patio door is a great way to be able to enjoy the upcoming weather, but not if it has a hole. Holes are common in screen doors, but they tend to let in bugs and other critters.

Luckily for you, fixing a hole in a screen is not too difficult – it is definitely something you can do yourself with a quick trip to the hardware store.

What to Buy

Most hardware stores have rescreening supplies and door hardware for you to use, but you need to be aware of manufacturer specific parts. Anderson only sells parts through Home Depot due to an agreement. But, if your door is not Anderson, generic parts will probably work just fine.

Buy enough screen so that you can overlap the frame of the door by at least 2 inches on each edge. You will also need a new spline, which is the rubber tubing that holds the screen in a groove surrounding the frame. Spline tends to become brittle and break over time, so replacing that can be a good thing.
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