Q: I am amazed by your scope of knowledge. My daughter and son-in-law have annoying drip-like sounds in their downstairs powder room and upstairs guest bathroom that start and then stop for seemingly no reason. The sound seems to be coming from inside the fan in both ceilings, but there is no evidence of moisture. What could it be, and how do they get it to stop?
Kit Ward, North Carolina
A: The scope of my knowledge may well extend to waterless drip sounds from fans in both ceilings. My guess is when they turn on they heat up, and when a fixture heats up, it expands, making a drip-like sound. Any metal will go tick, tick, tick when it warms up and when it cools down. The intermittence of the dripping sound confirms my theory. If I am correct, it is not going away.
Q: Unfortunately I left a cleaner on my granite countertop and it has taken the color right off. I called a granite company and asked them what to do, but they told me that because of where I bought it, the granite may have come from China and is dyed. They gave me no clue as what to do. Hope you can help. It is unsightly! The counter is black!
A: You have to go to the place where you bought it and have it resealed or repolished, simple as that.
Q: We are renovating our kitchen in our 1820 Federal-style home. We have exposed the old brick, which looks lovely against one wall. For space and efficiency, I would like to put the range against the brick. I am worried, however, that steam will act like a magnet for dust and that grease will collect on the brick and make a mess (and be impossible to clean). My contractor doesn’t think sealing the brick will work, and a big, ugly ventilation hood will defeat the look. Do you have any suggestions? Should I just give up the plan?
A: The brick as background will be just the ticket for the range. I don’t think steam or heat will affect it, and it will do very well if you use a masonry sealer -- even without an exhaust hood or fan.
The Boston Globe