Today Show Ask Lou: Non-slip Rugs, Gutter and Downspouts and Painting Over Wallpaper

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This morning Lou Manfredini (which rhymes with tortellini as Kathie Lee and Hoda point out) answers YOUR questions!

Q: What kind of caulk can you put on the bottom of rugs to prevent slipping?

A: None. The trick is not caulking, since that can potentially damage the flooring. The best options are non-slip mats that can be cut to size, or double-sided carpet tape that you can apply to the back of the area rug. If using a mat, cut it about 2 inches narrower than the rug, so it will lie flat and not become a trip hazard. If using the tape, apply it to the corner of the rug. It will stick to the floor, but will allow the rug to be moved later with minimal or no adhesive residue on the floor. If any residue does remain, lightly swab the affected area with a cotton swab dipped in nail polish remover.

Q: I’m replacing my gutters and downspouts. What can I use to avoid having the black coils throughout my landscapes to move the water away from the house?

A: To avoid having these unsightly plastic pieces running along your yard, opt for a downspout that extends underground instead. When pitched correctly (for example, by a landscape contractor), these lines can be extended for 20 feet or more. At the end of the run is a small, pop-up head called a bubbler pot that will spring up and allow water to drain, then go right back down. It’s so inconspicuous and out of the way that you can even run your lawn mower over it without any issues. (If you’re in the Chicagoland area try PermaSeal!)

Q: Is it okay to paint over wallpaper instead of removing it and then painting?

A: While you can certainly paint over wallpaper, it’s not an option that will last you in the long run. The wallpaper will lift, and the water-based glue that keeps paper on the wall doesn’t hold up very well when paint is introduced. If you choose this option, be sure to wash the walls first before painting, and know it’s only a temporary fix. The best thing to do is to strip the wallpaper before you begin to paint. To do this, make holes in the wallpaper by making small, circular motions with a tool called a Paper Tiger. Once you make the holes, spray them with a wallpaper stripper called Chomp, allowing the product to soak in for about 20 minutes. Then take a scraper and peel off the paper. After all the paper is off, wash the walls — now you’re ready to do a paint job that will look great and will last for as long as you need it to.