Dear Ken: I'm getting bids for painting the house. It's that old Masonite siding. The two companies I like use two brand name paints. Do you have an opinion on one brand over the other and their qualities? - Tony
As long as it is a name you've heard of, don't worry. But make sure they choose the highest quality paint within that family: There really is a difference.
Dear Ken: What do you think of the ceramic paints with the super-long warranties? - Ken
Not much. These products are, indeed, long lasting, but the 25-year (or more) warranties are problematic. Who knows if the company will even be in business years from now? Also, these paints are extremely expensive - maybe three or four times the cost of the good, traditional products I mentioned above.
Finally, I'm skeptical of any product touted to last for decades in our high elevation sunshine. There's just too much UV light here to overcome.
Dear Ken: Our 1995 home has defective siding. We want to stucco over it. One guy wants to remove the old siding, and the other wants to leave it. What do you think? - Judy
Either method works, nevertheless I like the idea of a good flat surface for the new coating. That would be my preference, but if the estimate for leaving it in place is considerably lower than the removal, go with that lower price.
Stucco over siding is extremely popular these days. It's a relatively inexpensive way to achieve a no-maintenance (and fireproof) exterior on your home.
Dear Ken: I have vapor between the panes of my picture window. How can I get rid of it? - Elizabeth
First, this is strictly a cosmetic problem. The energy efficiency of the window is essentially unaffected. Some folks report that this visual fogginess pretty much disappears after applying reflective window tinting film on the inside.
There are companies you can find online that will drill small holes in the corners of the window, and then suck out the moisture with a vacuum pump. This is not a foolproof method. You have that vapor in the first place because the window edge seals are shot. So after those little holes are sealed, more moisture may creep in, especially on damp and rainy says.
Bottom line: The only reliable way to solve this is to replace the actual glass sash panel in the window.
Ken Moon is a former homebuilder - and now home inspector - in the Pikes Peak region. His radio show, "Around the House," is carried on KRDO, AM 1240 and FM 105.5, at 9 a.m. Saturday. You can e-mail Ken@aroundthehouse.com