Question: Turbine fans were put on my roof last year, but I don't notice any difference in the temperature of my bedrooms upstairs. They were supposed to cool the attic, which is really a crawl space. Can they damage the roof? - M.C., Waterbury, Conn.
Answer: Roof turbines are not really fans, although the vents rotate as air passes through the fins. The rotation causes a negative pressure inside the turbine, which draws warm, moist air out of the attic.
I doubt you would notice any significant difference in the room temperature.
The turbines will not harm the roof; in fact, they should extend its life. It is important that the vents be left open in the winter. Too often I see homes where the turbines are covered with plastic garbage bags. The bags blow up like a balloon and are holding moisture in the attic. Moisture is the enemy of the roof and attic and needs to be vented to the outside.
Question: My wife and I purchased an older brick home. The exterior trim is either covered with white aluminum or painted white. The paint has oxidized and run down the surface of the bricks, leaving a chalk-like coating. Is there any way of removing the paint? Is there anything, other than repainting the aluminum, to prevent this from happening again? - C.W., Evansville, IN.
Answer: The chalking effect you describe is common to aluminum siding. The paint keeps the siding clean, but it makes a mess on the brick face.
When warm weather comes, clean and paint the siding. There are several cleaners that will do a good job of cleaning the metal siding. Dutch Boy has a new product line that will be available some time after March 1. It is a two-step cleaning and painting system designed for aluminum and vinyl sidings. A 32-ounce bottle that covers 800 square feet of siding will retail for $8.99 to $9.99.
The cleaning should be followed by an application of Dutch Boy's new aluminum and vinyl siding paint. This paint has special adhesion modifiers that allow the paint to bond to the metal siding.
You can clean the brick with a solution of muriatic acid and water. Always wear protective clothing, rubber gloves and plastic safety glasses. Mix the solution in a well-ventilated area. Start by trying a mild solution of 20 parts water to one part acid. Pour the acid slowly into the water and avoid splashing. Avoid breathing the fumes, and be aware that the acid can affect metals, wood and plants. Strengthen the solution as necessary and flush the area with large amounts of water when finished cleaning.