Q: Our coffee table has a real marble top; when our grandchild visited us recently she spilled orange juice on it in several places. Rings and spots remain that I have tried to remove with a liquid kitchen wax, but to no avail. How can I remove these unsightly spots and rings?
A: Marble is easily etched by any liquid containing acid, and orange juice is quite acidic. Unless the juice is washed off immediately the acid will probably eat into the surface. Sometimes the marks can be removed with a speical cleaner or stain remover sold for use on marble (available in department stores or through marble dealers). In some cases the stains will have to polished out with special abrasive polishing powders. You may be able to buy one of these from a local marble dealer, but in most cases the job will have to be done professionally.
Q: To conserve heat my husband has closed off the outside air vents in the attic of our haouse by nailing wood over them. He claims we need the vents open in the summer to let the heat out, but they can be closed in the winter. Is this a good idea?
A: I don't want to start a marital fuss, but I'm afraid your husband's idea is a bad one. The vents sould be open in the winter as well as in the summer. In the winter their function is to prevent, or at least minimize, condensation problems that may occur in the attic above the insulation (I am assuming the vents you refer to are near the peaks above the insulation). They allow trapped moisture vapor, which seeps up from below, to escape to the outside without condensing on the roof beams or other structural members.
Q: Would installing any kind of ceiling panels, or some type of styrofoam panels against the ceiling, help reduce excessive noise from upstairs tenants?
A: I'm afraid none of these measures will help stop noise coming down through the ceiling from the floor above. Acoustical materials such as these absorb sound and prevent or minimize reverberation, but they do little to prevent sound transmission. Your best bet would be to arrange to have carpet installed on the floors above. A false ceiling with insulation above this (between the new and the old ceilings) would also help, but you have to have adequate headroom in your rooms to allow for this.