Q: The wood floors in my house are physically in good condition but are very dirty. They also have some animal stains on them. What can I do to restore these floor without hiring someone to sand them?
A: The only thing that would be likely to restore the floors would be to strip them completely by using a chemcial remover or stripper sold for use on wood floors. These will take off all the old finish and dirt, but the stains you speak of will come off only if they have not penetrated deeply into the wood. If they have, they will still be noticeable after stripping, and the only way you may be able to get them out (short of sanding) is to use a wood bleach such as oxalic acid.
Q: I want to remove some wallpaper that has many coats of paint over it -- most of it latex, I think. Can you tell me the best way to get this paper off?
A: Buy some of the roughest sandpaper you can find, preferably the type used with a floor-sanding machine (drum type). Use the sandpaper to scratch the surface of the paint deep enough to cut through the paint to the paper underneath. You don't have to get the paint off just scratch it so moisture will penetrate. Then either use a liquid wallpaper remover or rent a wallpaper steamer to get the paper off (the steamer will probably work faster). The scratching will allow the steam or liquid to penetrate and soften the paste and the backing, thus easing the scraping job.
Q: We increased the amount of insulation under the roof of our country house, and during the last snowfall the snow just remained on our roof. The roof is made of ordinary shingles with a moderate slope. It is true that the house is now nice and warm, but we are worried -- -- is this going to lead to roofing troubles later on?
A: Snow on the roof should not hurt at all -- unless there is something structurally wrong with the roof.