Show Notes: And Then It Exploded!
We’ve got caller questions, fool-proof ways to grout, interesting and helpful ways to use car wax around the house, refrigerator care tips (so it doesn’t explode!), and of course the houses in Siciliy you can buy for $1!!
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Show Notes for On The House with the Carey Brothers aired January 26, 2018
Beautiful Historic Town in Sicily is Selling Homes for $1
Sambuca, the “City of Splendor,” is hoping to save its historic structures and revive a waning community.
If your dream house is a historic dwelling nestled in a hilltop town in Sicily, with views of the Mediterranean island and nearby beaches … and has a listing price of €1 … consider this your lucky day.
The southern Italian town of Sambuca di Sicilia has placed dozens of dwellings on the market for €1, or just over a dollar. The town is hoping to lure newcomers to make up for a dwindling population that could otherwise leave the town in ruins. As CNN reports, the town, like other rural communities in Italy, is suffering from depopulation as younger residents move to bigger cities. Other towns have created tantalizing campaigns to attract a new population, but Sambuca promises that this offer is different – less of a PR gimmick.
The homes for sale are primarily in the Saracen District, known for its narrow winding alleys and arcaded stone portals. And the home are perfectly TreeHugger-sized, ranging from 430 to 1,614 square feet (40 to 150 square meters) – many of them the two-story Moorish dwellings typical of the town, complete with “inner courtyards, lavish palm gardens with orange and mandarin trees, arcaded entrances, flowery majolica staircases, typical Sicilian tile roofs and terraces overlooking the stunning scenery.”
But of course, one can’t expect all of this amazingness without providing something in return. The new owners must commit to refurbishing their new abode within three years, with an estimated cost starting around $17,000 – in addition to a security deposit of around $5600.
Got a Can of Car Wax?
Get Fog-Free Mirrors
Prevent your bathroom mirror from fogging up after a hot shower with car wax. Apply a small amount of car wax to the mirror, let it dry, then buff with a soft, dry cloth.
Make Your Appliances Smudge-Free
If you own stainless steel kitchen appliances, you may want to consider using car wax to clean them rather than a surface cleaner. Simply apply a light coat of car wax to the appliance, allow time to dry and buff clean to resist fingerprints and smudges. No more kiddy fingerprints on the fridge
Easy Glide Snowthrower Chute
When snow season comes around again, I like to give my snowthrower a tune-up, and that always includes spraying the inside of the chute with Rain-X or car wax. The water-repelling spray or wax keeps the chute from getting clogged with that wet, packed snow and ice. The Rain-X or turtle wax makes the chute slick, and snow slides out of the chute like it’s supposed to. Remember to recoat every few snowfalls.
Coat Your Snow Shovel with Car Wax
Shoveling snow can be frustrating enough, but when heavy snow sticks or freezes in clumps on the shovel, it can make the job even more difficult! You can avoid this issue by first coating your shovel with car wax before heading out to clear your driveway and walking paths.
This tip works best with metal shovels: Follow the application instructions on the car wax package. Generally, car wax is applied in a thin layer using a damp cloth, allowed to dry, and then buffed off with a dry cloth. This leaves the shovel clean and lubricated, so the snow and ice won’t stick!
Wax Your Table Saw Top
Use a scotch bright pad and a razor blade to polish and scrape away any deposits of glue, rust or any other residue. Next, apply a liberal coating of wax to all of the surfaces including the table, miter gauge slots, fence and the fence guide strip. Polish the surface with a cotton cloth.
And Then it Exploded!
How Your Refrigerator Can Actually Explode and What You Need to Know
All of the most terrifying stories begin with “a Florida man,” and this one is no exception—earlier this month, one West Palm Beach resident woke up to a bed-rattling noise and rushed into the kitchen to find his four-month-old refrigerator in pieces. The explosion not only blew his kitchen into disarray: it rattled and cracked his ceilings, walls, and blew out windows in different areas around the home.
In all seriousness, the man was lucky to be uninjured, as fridge explosions have caused dozens of deaths in the United Kingdom over the last few years. While the circumstance is rather uncommon, home cooks could be living with a faulty fridge and not be aware of it—which turn into a life-threatening situation if left unresolved over a longer period of time.
How does a refrigerator explode, anyway?
While the cause of most of these infrequent disasters can’t always be calculated, Neil Everitt, former editor of ACR News, a business-based air conditioning and refrigeration publication, says that’s what makes them so dangerous. Everitt noted a toaster or stove fire can usually be caught by a fire alarm, but refrigerator explosions happen in a matter of seconds rather than minutes, so there isn’t any time for a warning.
The problem typically begins in the compressor, which is located in the back of your fridge. The compressor functions like a car radiator, Everitt explains, absorbing all the heat in the freezer and fridge, and cooling the interior to keep your groceries at perfect storing temperatures.
Sometimes, the rear of the fridge can get extremely hot, as the gas that cools down the fridge returns through the compressor and becomes trapped inside. That trapped gas, stuck within the fridge’s compressor, leads to a pressure build-up silently—and, eventually, an explosion.
How You Can Keep Your Fridge’s Compressor Running Smooth
Everitt says that you should only be concerned about maintaining your fridge at home if you are unsure if your fridge is equipped with proper safety features. Most modern models come equipped with what’s known as a preventative heat shield in addition to other safety features, and you can learn more about these features by visiting your manufacturer’s owners’ guide.
But the quickest and easiest way to keep your fridge in tip top shape, according to Everitt, is to frequently clean your refrigerator’s coils, as these parts help move gas into the compressor itself.
General Electric has published an in-depth guide to cleaning coils, taking into account where they are located on your refrigerator. You’ll need to unplug the appliance and either use a duster, brush, or vacuum to suck up any dirt, dust, hair, or other debris that have ended up in the coils’ grille.
Routinely dusting and cleaning this part of the appliance can help to prevent any rare conditions leading up to an explosion, but if you find yourself worried about the safety of your appliance, it’s best to contact the manufacturer or the retailer you purchased it from directly for maintenance.
Tile School: The Top Things You Should Know About Grout
What type of grout should I use?
Grout type will play a huge role in your tile’s lifespan, and different grout types will be appropriate for different applications, so let’s go over all of your options:
Epoxy grouts are the most durable of all grout choices because they are resistant to stains and water damage, and will hold up against harsh cleaners (please don’t use harsh acidic cleaners on our tile!). Epoxy grout is a great choice where moisture and food will be present, such as in bathroom installations and kitchen backsplashes. Epoxy grouts can yellow or fade on exterior applications. Be sure to check with your specific grout manufacturer about outdoor use.
Epoxy grout has two parts, the base, and the activator. When combined, a chemical reaction begins which means you have limited time to finish grouting before it sets and becomes too hard to work with. This is why we recommend hiring a professional tile installer when working with epoxy grout– it sets very fast giving you less wiggle room to work with your material should you need to adjust things. Epoxy grout is also the most expensive grout choice, however, it doesn’t need a sealer, which can save time and money in the long run.
The next two types of grout are cement based grouts– which are still the most popular and used the most often by professionals and DIY’ers.
Sanded grout is a cement-based grout where sand is literally added into the mix. This sand creates a bond within the grout making it more resistant to cracking and shrinking, and also helps with slip resistance in wet areas. Sanded grout is most suitable for installations with grout lines wider than 1/8th of an inch, like our ceramic tile or glazed thin brick, to help prevent shrinkage and cracking. Sanded grout sets slower than epoxy making it a great choice for handmade tile. It allows for more wiggle room during your install to adjust things.
Non-sanded grout is a cement-based grout used for smaller grout joints with spacing between 1/16th and 1/8th of an inch. If used in larger grout joints, a non-sanded grout may crack because of too much shrinkage and because of the lack of sand which creates a bonding effect. Non-sanded grout is easier to work with on vertical walls because of it’s “sticky” properties and will stay put during application.
When and why should I seal my grout?
Sealing your grout is a must, especially in moisture-prone areas or when working with a light-colored grout. The only type of grout that doesn’t need sealer is epoxy, which is inherently pre-sealed. Grout sealers typically come in two forms– spray on sealers and applicator sealers. Applicator sealers are applied directly to the grout with a roller ball or a brush. Not as much precision is necessary with spray on sealers, however, they require more clean-up later on.
You will likely want to choose a penetrating grout sealer, which soaks through your materials creating an impenetrable barrier. There are also “Membrane Sealers,” which form a layer on top of the tile and grout, however, these can become penetrable with age, and moisture can get trapped underneath, creating issues down the line. No matter which type of sealer you choose, always re-apply every few years to keep your tile looking its best.