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S21 E4: Woodland Garden, Chimney Repairs

Jenn plants a native woodland garden; Mauro shows how to patch cracked or chipped porcelain; Mark explains common chimney problems and then shows how to repair a chimney step by step.

Previous episode: S21 E3 | Next episode: S21 E5

In this episode:

Landscape contractor Jenn Nawada takes us on a house call to solve a homeowner’s front yard problem. Despite living in a wooded neighborhood, their street is noisy, and they’d prefer to create some separation for the front yard for their children. Jenn surveys the surrounding plants and setting and comes up with a plan to create a woodland garden.

Jenn and the homeowner discuss their options and settle on some native viburnum, hydrangea, and dogwood species. They scatter the plants throughout the garden bed to give them a natural look before Jenn shows the homeowner how to plant them. Finally, Jenn provides the homeowner with a quick lesson on watering before calling the woodland garden complete.

Next, we meet host Kevin O’Connor and paint expert Mauro Henrique to learn how to patch scratches and chips in porcelain. While it is a tough material, Mauro explains that these types of damage are extremely common, and he teaches Kevin how to handle them.

First, Mauro uses painter’s tape to mask off the area. Then, he lightly sands the scratch or chip before applying a light coat of the repair putty. Mauro explains that he may need to sand and apply more after letting the application dry.

Finally, we head to a job site with Kevin and mason Mark McCullough to talk about chimney repairs. Mark shows Kevin what to look for when planning out a repair before the pair roll up their sleeves and get to work.

First, Mark shows Kevin how they’ll remove the existing mortar by grinding and chiseling it away. Then Mark explains the technique and procedure for repointing the brick and repairing each head and bed joint. Finally, Mark describes how important it is to waterproof the repaired area to prolong the life of the chimney.


How To Create a Woodland Garden

Landscape contractor Jenn Nawada helps a homeowner create some privacy with a woodland garden created from native plants.

Where to find it?

Jenn draws inspiration from nature to help a homeowner add a woodland garden to his front yard. Jenn shows the homeowner a variety of native plants that effortlessly blend with the heavily wooded neighborhood. Together, the two decide on a combination of Winterthur Viburnum (Viburnum nudum ‘Winterthur’), Oakleaf Hydrangea (Snow Queen) and Cardinal red-twig dogwood (Cornus Sericea).


How to Fix Cracked and Chipped Porcelain Tile

Paint expert Mauro Henrique shows host Kevin O’Connor how to handle chips in porcelain surfaces.

Where to find it?

Mauro shows Kevin ways that homeowners can patch small porcelain scratches and chips.

To fix the scratch, Mauro preps the porcelain tile by washing and drying the scratched surface using acetone and a rag. After the surface is dry, Mauro tapes off the damaged area with painter’s tape.

Using a porcelain touch-up glaze, Mauro mixes thoroughly and applies it using an applicator brush.

After it dries fully, Mauro uses 120-grit sandpaper to smooth the surface. Mauro says to allow the glaze 24 hours to dry.

To fix the chip, Mauro sands the chipped area with 400-grit sandpaper. After sanding, Mauro cleans off the surface with acetone and a rag. Mauro then tapes off the chipped area with painter’s tape. Using a spot epoxy, Mauro applies a small amount to a putty knife and gently applies it to the chipped area. Mauro says to allow the epoxy to dry for 24 hours and 5 days before cleaning.


How to Make Common Chimney Repairs

Mason Mark McCullough shows host Kevin O’Connor some common issues with brick chimneys and how to repair them.

Where to find it?

Mark & Kevin discuss common chimney problems and arm homeowners with the information they need to hire a licensed professional to carry out the repairs, including safety protocols.

They then work together to repoint the chimney by first grinding down the mortar joints. To do this, they use a grinder with a vacuum attachment and hand chisel and wear the proper safety equipment, including safety glasses and earplugs. They remove excess dust with a damp masonry brush, then use type-N mortar to fill the joints. For this process, they mix the type-N mortar to an oatmeal consistency, then use a finishing trowel and margin trowel to apply the mortar to the chimney.

Based on the age of the chimney he repointed (over 100 years old), after the mortar cures (cure times vary, check the label on the mortar), Mark will apply a waterproofing agent to the chimney. Mark suggests first cleaning the chimney exterior with a masonry detergent, then using a waterproofing agent by applying one coat to the chimney with a spray attachment. To apply the waterproofing agent, work your way side-to-side, beginning at the bottom of the chimney, then moving up the chimney to the top.

All products can be found at a local home center.

Original Air Date: Oct 20, 2022, Season 21; Ep. 4 23:42