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Disconnecting oven's blower can pose hazard

Question: I have a convection-type oven and am unhappy with this method of baking. I would prefer a conventional system. Is it possible to disconnect the blower system and have this oven operate as a conventional oven?

Answer: Definitely not. A convection blower recirculates the warm oven air and also helps draw air into the gas burner. If you disconnect the blower, the burner flame wouldn't have sufficient air to burn properly. The flame will no longer burn on the burner but will find its way back to the orifice on the gas valve, and burn there.

This would create a fire hazard within the range and might possibly cause an explosion. So don't even think about altering your range. While expensive, it's safer to replace it with a conventional model that matches your style of baking.

Question: I own a 2 1/2-story home that needs reshingling, and I could use some tips on working safely on a multigabled, steeply pitched roof. I'm also wondering about the most economical and practical way to go about the job. The roof now has three layers of cedar shakes over tar paper and boards of varying widths. Many of the boards have 1- or 2-inch spaces between them. We like the shakes, but the cost seems prohibitive compared to asphalt shingles.

Answer: For working safely on a roof, wear loose-fitting clothes so you can move around freely. Also wear soft-soled shoes to prevent slipping. High-top sneakers with good ankle support are recommended. Never go on a roof on a wet or windy day. Shingles can be slippery when wet.

On a steep roof, the roofing ladder should be anchored in place with a bracket or framework that extends over the ridge or roof peak. This is especially important for roofs with a 4 pitch or greater. You can also use roof brackets in conjunction with a ladder. The ladder's rungs provide a firm footing that will keep you from sliding down as well as convenient handholds.

Position the ladder so that you won't have to rear out to the sides to work. If you do have to reach out sideways, always hold the ladder with the other hand and keep your hips between the ladder rails.

As to reshingling, regardless of whether you use asphalt shingles or shakes, you will have to remove the existing three layers first. If you use wood shingles, these can go over existing boards. However, it you want to use asphalt, you'll have to cover the roofing boards with plywood sheathing. This is required to span the gaps between the boards so the asphalt shingles won't sag forming horizontal grooves in the roof.

You are concerned about the cost difference between shakes and asphalt shingles. Wood shingles are considerably more expensive than asphalt - as much as three or four times the cost - and are more time-consuming to install. A professional might charge five or six times as much as the shakes.

Asphalt shingles come in various weight classes from 210 pounds to 400 pounds per roofing square. A roofing square is 100 square feet. The heavier the shingles, the greater their durability, and the higher the cost. The cost for top-of-the-line asphalt shingles, however, compares favorably with that of ordinary wood shingles.