Ask This Old House

Find more information on Ask This Old House episodes, or more information on products and services you saw on Ask This Old House.

Ask This Old House does not endorse any product or service mentioned within this Web site.

Season 5 Show Descriptions

Showing results for "Season 5"
Scan the episodes below and select "more" to get information on products or services you saw on that episode.

Episode #526
Building a Workbench and What Is It?… more
Episode #525
Lawn Mowing and Edging Basics, What is it?, Repairing and maintaining electric water heaters, Repairing a broken stair tread … more
Episode #524
Replacing a damaged mailbox post,Repointing Brickwork … more
Episode #523
Installing a new radiator/towel bar warmer, What is it?, Controlling crabgrass … more
Episode #522
Replacing a corroded shut-off valve with a "compression" fitting, What is it?, Selecting and planting "climbing" roses … more
Episode #521


Original Air Date: Week of February 22, 2007

General contractor Tom Silva removes the cracked and warped boards on an old deck and installs new composite decking using hidden fasteners. Afterward, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey quiets down a noisy steam heating system.

Installing composite decking with hidden fasteners
Tom helped the homeowner remove his old, pressure-treated deck boards and install new composite decking. The old deck boards had peeling paint and were cracked and warped. The homeowner wanted to replace them with a low-maintenance alternative and chose composite decking made from recycled plastic and sawdust. First, Tom carefully removed the old railings so that they could be reinstalled later. He then pried off the old deck boards one at a time. Tom then cut and installed the first new composite deck board against the side of the house and screwed it into place using special composite deck screws, which are colored red to match the deck. Once the first board was in place, Tom installed the rest of the decking using "hidden" deck fasteners. These fasteners are screwed to the joists and have prongs that dig into the sides of each deck board, holding them together with the correct amount of spacing in between. Tom then installed the final deck board with screws, just like the first one, and the installation was complete.

Where to Find It
Tom installed new composite deck boards made from plastic and sawdust:
Trex
800-289-8739

Quieting a noisy steam radiator
Richard helped the homeowner with a noisy 1-pipe steam system. The homeowner complained about a "hammering" sound coming from one of the radiators. Richard explained that with a steam heating system, steam fills the radiators, which give off heat to the rooms. As it cools, the steam inside the radiators condenses back to water and flows back to the boiler to be heated again. In order for the water to flow back to the boiler, the radiators need to be "pitched" in the right direction. If they're not, condensate will just sit at the bottom of the radiator and cause "banging" the next time steam enters the radiator. To fix this problem, Richard recommended putting plastic furniture cups under the legs on one side of the radiator; this will cause the top of the radiator to be level so that all of the condensate in the radiator will flow back to the boiler.

Where to Find It
Richard shimmed a steam radiator using plastic furniture cups, which are available at any hardware store or home center.
Episode #520
Replacing a Shub, What is it?, Installing a roof-mounted attic fan… more
Episode #519
Refinishing cast-iron radiators, Installing a standby electric generator… more
Episode #518
Patching a damaged vinyl floor, What is it?, Repairing a leaking in-ground sprinkler system… more
Episode #517
Shopping for and installing wall-to-wall carpet, What is it?, Table saw safety… more
Episode #516
Removing an overgrown Juniper bush, Coiling an extension cord, Replacing a pop-up assembly in a pedestal sink … more
Episode #515
Clearing clogged drains, What is it?, Install Kitchen Cabinets… more
Episode #514
Prune a willow tree, fix a hot-water heater… more
Episode #513
Mulching, Sash Balancers … more
Episode #512
Shower Valve, Recycling Batteries … more
Episode #511
Cedar Clapboards, Chainsaw Etiquette … more
Episode #510
Kitchen Backsplash, Installing Sod … more
Episode #509
Child safety, What is It?, Installing a sump pump… more
Episode #508
Maintaining stone countertops, what is it?, Installing a chain link fence… more
Episode #507
Home Energy Audit, what is it?, Removing a toilet seat with corroded bolts… more
Episode #506
Rebuilding a small exterior deck and stairs.… more
Episode #505
Planting flower bulbs in fall, making straight rip cuts with a circular saw, what is it?… more
Episode #504
Installing garage storage cabinets, What is it?, Installing a ceiling fan… more
Episode #503
Installing a new shower base, Installing a rain barrel… more
Episode #502
Replacing a clogged faucet aerator, Selecting houseplants, Quieting a squeaky subfloor under carpet… more
Episode #501
Repairing a bathroom door, planting a bamboo privacy screen, what is it?… more