Every year, thousands of Arizona residents email Rosie Romero's website or call his radio show with questions about everything from how to prevent fires in their chimneys to what to do about the tree roots invading their sewer systems. One of his goals is to provide answers that suit the specific lifestyle wherever someone lives in Arizona. QUESTION: Recently, I laid pavers in my backyard and filled the cracks between the pavers with polymeric sand. Afterward, I hosed down the area with water, and when it dried, I realized I must have made a mistake. The entire paved area was covered with what looked like a haze that I couldn't get off. What happened and what can I do about it?
ANSWER: The problem is that when you finished applying the sand to the pavers you needed to use a leaf blower to get all the sand remaining on the pavers into the joints and cracks. Only then, should you hose down the pavers, because when water mixes with this sand, it turns into a cement-like binding substance that is impossible to remove when it dries. This binding agent is needed, however, to help lock the pavers together and keep the sand from washing away when it rains. The good news about your situation is that paver companies make a cement-release product that you can apply to the area in order to remove the spots of cement. Once everything is cleaned up the way that you like it, you should seal the surface of the pavers to keep them in good shape for a long time to come.
Q: I recently spackled the holes in my wall where some pictures used to hang. Then I bought a small can of paint that was supposed to be the original color that was on the wall. I painted over the spackled area, but the paint is too light and looks just awful. What do I do to fix it? I just sold my house and was trying to do a nice thing.
A: Paint companies are constantly changing their colors to keep up with the trends; that's probably why the new paint didn't match. You can chip off a small piece of the paint, take it to a paint company, and they should be able to match it correctly. You probably need to go to a store that specializes in paint only in order to get the best match. Q: I have been living in my home, which we purchased new, for more than 15 years. I have a three-car garage. The last two to three years, during the cold winter months, I have three or four spots on my cement garage floor where a fine, white salt keeps leaching up through the concrete floor. What could cause this problem?
A: The white powder is the result of efflorescence, calcium and lime leaching up from the concrete itself during our cooler, moister winter weather. At times, even elevated humidity levels are sufficient to cause the leaching. It may even be due to rainwater that has found its way under your slab through a permeable channel. Although you can't stop it from happening, you can contact a concrete company for the name of a good sealer to help hide the evidence. Sometimes you can use a stiff brush to remove the powder. A mixture of water and vinegar sometimes helps. Water sometimes can be used to wash it off the face of concrete structures; however, next winter, the salts will probably return.
Rosie Romero is the host of the syndicated Saturday morning "Rosie on the House" radio program, heard locally from 8-11 a.m. on KNST-AM (790) and -FM (97.1) in Tucson.