Get Creative With Quikrete Concrete Products (Special Podcast)

Get Creative With Quikrete Concrete Products (Special Podcast)

Concrete projects — drawer pulls, pencil holder, resurfaced patio, concrete counter — made with Quikrete products
Think outside the box and use Quikrete concrete products for more than just sidewalks. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Concrete products have evolved over the years and now you can use them for more than just driveways and patios.

In this special-edition Today’s Homeowner Podcast, Danny speaks with Allison Hunt, social media director and marketing project manager for the Quikrete Companies, the event’s sponsor.

Once you learn about Quikrete’s innovative products, you’ll rethink how you can use concrete.

A before and after split view of a resurfaced concrete patio using Quikrete Re-Cap Concrete resurfacer product.
A resurfaced concrete patio looks just like a freshly-laid slab. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Concrete Resurfacer

Is your spalling, jagged concrete creating an eyesore outside? Or are your mismatched concrete slabs ruining your patio’s aesthetic?

You don’t need to pour a new slab — just use Quikrete Re-Cap Concrete Resurfacer to give it a fresh face!

This product provides a new, durable and wear-resistant surface over worn or scaled concrete. Because it has such great bonding strength, it will hold together even if the concrete under it fails.

See for yourself in this stunning patio transformation.

An outdoor concrete counter
Concrete countertops can be used in more settings than outdoor kitchens. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Concrete Countertops

Want a one-of-a-kind countertop surface? Use concrete!

Quikrete Countertop Mix, specially made for casting concrete countertops, requires only a do-it-yourself attitude and the addition of water.

This concrete product, available in classic gray and a tint-based white for a monochromatic look, suits any style.

Concrete countertops aren’t just for the outdoors. Install one in your kitchen or use concrete in your office for desk space! It’s as simple as buying two file cabinets (to support the slab) and adding the slab on top.

Watch “Concrete Countertops: Advantages, How to Make and Pro Tips” for more information.

This iPhone charging station and planter was made by Trevor Yoshida as an entry for Quikrete’s One Bag Wonder Contest. (photo via Quikrete Facebook)

Unique Concrete Projects

The world of concrete spans much more than the surfaces.

Quikrete has seen hundreds of innovative projects, from a concrete guitar to Christmas trees!

Hunt says she’s most impressed by the breadth and depth of concrete products used to achieve them — from Quikrete’s Anchoring Cement to the Non-Shrink Precision Grout.

Here at Today’s Homeowner, we also get creative with concrete — making pendant lights, a fire bowl, and office accents!

For inspiration, check out Quikrete’s Facebook and Pinterest pages or visit their Project Profiles web page.

Get Help From Quikrete

Feeling inspired to create with concrete, but don’t know where to start? Quikrete has quantity calculators and how-to videos to help you with your concrete project, so you’ll be confident every step of the way. 

Further Reading

Simplifying Summer Home Maintenance

Simplifying Summer Home Maintenance

Pressure washing a wood fence for summer home maintenance
A quick pressure wash will make your fence look brand new. (RoschetzkkylstockPhoto, Getty Images Pro)

Home maintenance is a year-round event, but some tasks just make more sense to do in the summer.

Our 4 Seasons of Homeownership Summer Checklist, which divides must-do tasks by the time of year, is a great way to stay on top of your home maintenance projects.

With help from our friends at The Home Depot, we’ve compiled this list of timely chores to keep your house clean and comfortable.

Listen to this special-edition Today’s Homeowner Podcast, and follow along below, to learn all about the top summer home maintenance projects!

Accumulair titanium mini pleat air conditioner filter
Changing the air conditioner filter makes your AC work better to keep you cooler. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

1. Change AC & Heating System Filters

Regularly changing your HVAC system’s filters is important because a dirty filter will slow down and strain your system. It should take about two to three minutes to take out your old filter and put in a new one.

Also, once your filter is out, go ahead and vacuum the cavity in case of dust build-up.

Shop vac vacuuming out an AC drain line during the home for home maintenance
Make sure to flush out the AC drain line to prevent damage. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

2. Flush Out AC Drain Line

Your AC drain line can get blocked with mold and mildew, causing its pan to overflow. Flush it with bleach twice during the summer, when it’s working at its hardest. 

Loose bottom rail on a step railing
Check your railings for any weak spots. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

3. Check for Loose Railings or Damage on Wooden Decks 

Changing weather can take a toll on your deck. Nails and screws can loosen during the temperature change and splinters can pop up once the heat rises.

Inspect and repair any damage to your deck so you can have some safe fun in the sun. Top it off with a coat of sealer to keep it protected all summer long.

Leaning fence resting on a tree
Fixing a leaning fence isn’t as complicated as it might appear to be. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

 4. Inspect Fencing & Gates for Damage

Look for rotting and damage and check your posts’ sturdiness. If any boards are warped, replace them with new ones.

Now is also a great time to pressure wash your fence and apply a fresh coat of stain.

Charcoal on fire on a grill
Keep your grill clean for a great-tasting barbecue. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

5. Clean & Inspect Outdoor Grill

Cleaning your grill will not take away any of your food’s flavor, but it will get rid of any nasty germs and fire hazards.

Whether you have a gas or charcoal grill, scrub away any drippings using aluminum foil and white vinegar.

Two rocking chairs on a brick paver patio
Regularly cleaning outdoor furniture extends its lifespan. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

6. Clean Outdoor Furniture

Regularly clean your outdoor furniture — especially if it’s wood.

Check for any loose parts or rot (if it’s wood). If you have cushions, be sure to wash them. In addition, if your cushions get wet from rain, be sure to hang them out to dry on a sunny day to avoid mold.

If you do this on a regular basis, it makes it a lot easier to keep everything clean.

A whitewashed brick fireplace
Your fireplace will be ready for winter if you have it inspected this summer. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

7. Have Chimney Inspected & Cleaned

Now’s a great time to have a professional inspect your fireplace and chimney because you aren’t using them during the summer. 

Plus, you’ll have more time for repairs if needed.

Paint peeling from wood siding
Scrape off peeling paint and put on a fresh coat for an exterior refresh. (mehampson, Getty Images)

8. Scrape Loose Paint from Siding & Trim

Boost your home’s curb appeal by freshening up siding. Scrape away any loose paint, sand if needed, then prime and paint on a fresh coat. 

If it’s an older paint, be sure to test it for lead as a precaution.

Row of windows in a sunroom
Clean your windows regularly so they sparkle. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

9. Clean Windows

Mix 1 teaspoon of baby shampoo to 1 gallon of water, or 1-1/2 cups of vinegar to 1 gallon of water, and wipe windows down with newspaper for a streak-free shine.

Involve family members and tag-team to speed things up! Have one person clean the windows inside while another cleans the outside. 

10. Pull Weeds & Add Mulch

Rake over brown mulch next to decorative grass
Mulch keeps moisture inside flower beds and inhibits weed growth. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Finally, summer blooms are burgeoning! Now is the perfect time to pull any weeds from garden beds and prevent further weed growth by adding 2 to 3 inches of mulch

Listen to this special-edition Today’s Homeowner Podcast for more summer home maintenance tips!

Further Reading

How to Make a Flag Holder Stay Put in Stucco | Ep. 172

How to Make a Flag Holder Stay Put in Stucco | Ep. 172

An American flag flying from a flag holder on a stucco home.
Epoxy keeps a flag holder installed in stucco secure. (Adobe Stock)

Want to display your patriotism, team pride, or personality? Fly a flag on the front of your home! But first, you’ll need to install a flag holder.

If you live in a house with wood siding, it’s pretty straightforward to do. But what about stucco homes?

Bob DeHuff, in Reno, Nev., wants to do just that at his stucco home. He’s wondering if he could just use adhesive, not screws, to attach it. 

To install a flag holder on stucco, you’ll need to use both. 

  • First, drill lead anchors into the stucco. 
  • Next, put two-part epoxy on the back surface of the flag holder and in the anchors. 
  • Then, screw the flag holder into the anchors. 
  • Use some painter’s tape to keep the flag holder in place while the epoxy dries overnight.

Because it’s stucco, you’ll want to caulk around the flange of the holder to reduce any chance of water getting into the anchor holes. 

I recommend getting a good-quality metal flag holder and not a plastic one. The plastic flag holders I’ve had in the past have gone with the wind.

With a higher quality flag holder, you’ll have more surface that attaches to the wall. So, you’ll have more space to apply epoxy. 

A marine supply house should have a nice brass flag holder that will hold up to strong winds. 

Skip to [6:19] for the full segment on the Today’s Homeowner Podcast.

Also on this episode:

Best New Product

ReVent has created its first smart speaker fan — a bathroom exhaust fan with dual microphone technology and Bluetooth connection. Learn more>>

Simple Solutions 

Make longer cuts on a miter saw with this Simple Solution.

Framing Square Stop Block — A power miter saw is ideally suited for making accurate repetitive cuts to all the same exact length. All you need to do is position a stop block at the desired distance from the saw blade and then clamp it to the saw’s fence.

The only drawback is that miter saws have relatively short fences, so you can only make repetitive cuts that are 8 to 10 inches long.

Here’s how to use a framing square to extend the repetitive-cutting capacity of the saw. 

Use two spring clamps or short bar clamps to secure the framing square to the saw’s fence.

Position the square with its narrow tongue facing down.

Extend the square out to the length of the desired cut and clamp it to the saw fence. With this technique, you can make repetitive cuts ranging from about 16 to 23 inches long.  

Once the square is clamped in place, carefully slide the board up against the square’s tongue and make the cut.

Repeat to make repetitive cuts of all the same exact length.  

Watch: How to Make a Stop Block For Longer Wood Cuts

Recycle a rain gutter to create a hanging flower box.

Rain Gutter Planters — Use a plastic rain gutter to make an attractive planter for deck and porch railings.

Cut them about 3 feet long, slipped on the mounting brackets and end caps, and drilled 1/4-inch holes in the bottom for drainage.

Then, fasten them directly to the railing with a couple of decking screws.

Line the bottom with landscaping fabric before adding soil and flowering plants.

Watch: Using Platic Rain Gutters as Flower Boxes

dead grass
Droughts can severely damage grass, but there are precautions you can take to salvage it. (Supersmario/Getty Images Signature)

Question of the Week

Q: Last summer, we had one of the longest droughts on record, and our lawn got burnt to a crisp. What can we do to help our lawn survive this summer?

A: The first step to protecting your lawn during a drought is to install an efficient home irrigation system.

Efficiency is key here. Many people set their sprinklers to turn on early in the morning, so they don’t see where the water is spraying. Make sure they’re spraying only your lawn, not the street and driveway.

Here’s what else you need to do during a drought:

  • Dethatch your lawn
  • Aerate
  • Continue to mow as necessary (Don’t bag clippings — this will give your lawn extra moisture and nutrition.)
  • Stay off the lawn as much as possible

Skip to [26:36] for the full segment on the Today’s Homeowner Podcast.

Other Products and Links Mentioned

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Further Reading

Ask a Question! (Podcast)

Ask a question and we could answer it on the “Today’s Homeowner Podcast!” We also may use it on our nationally syndicated radio broadcast or on

National Gypsum: Specialized Drywall for All Rooms

National Gypsum: Specialized Drywall for All Rooms

In this special Today’s Homeowner Podcast, we’re discussing drywall with Matt Gallagher, the Product Manager of Gypsum Systems.

When renovating or building a home, you tend to think about the finished product — what you see once the project is complete. But what’s inside your walls is just as important as the paint color and fixtures. 

So, don’t overlook those all-important foundational elements of your home. 

And remember: Not all drywall is created equal. Different areas of your home require different types of drywall. In this podcast, we’ll break down the best types of drywall for each area of your home.

XP Gypsum Board

If you’re looking for extra protection against mold and mildew, consider Gold Bond XP Gypsum Board. This drywall can be used in any room, but it’s especially useful in high-moisture areas like your bathroom.

That’s because Gold Bond’s core and paper are specially designed to fight the effects of moisture before any damage can occur.

High-Impact Gypsum Board

Let’s face it, in high-traffic areas like garages and hallways it’s easy to bump into the wall when moving items throughout your home. 

Gold Bond XP Hi-Impact Gypsum Board resists impact because it has fiberglass mesh embedded into its core. Plus, it’s scratch- and scuff-resistant.

Soundbreak XP

With more people working from home, Gold Bond Soundbreak XP Board is in demand.

However, this noise-reducing drywall isn’t just for people who need privacy for productivity.

With its gel membrane, you can reduce the washing machine and dryer noise, and reduce disturbance for the rest of the house.

Soundbreak XP Wallboard features GridMarX guide marks on the board to allow for faster and more accurate installation, which saves you time and money.

Best of all, you don’t need to be in the middle of a home renovation to get this sound-reduction technology.

With Gold Bond SoundBreak Retrofit XP Board, you can turn a standard wall into a SoundBreak wall without having to remove any panels — it can be installed over an existing wall.

This podcast is sponsored by National Gypsum, a private manufacturing company that produces drywall gypsum boards.

Its products include Purple XP, which includes interior finishing products, cement boards and roof boards, as well as a variety of products that protect against mildew, mold and moisture.

Visit for more resources.

Further Reading

Lawn Plug Aerators: How to Protect Your Sprinklers From Them | Ep. 169

Lawn Plug Aerators: How to Protect Your Sprinklers From Them | Ep. 169

 Close up of a lawn plug aerator on grass
Lawn plug aerators are a great way to give your yard some breathing room, but they damage sprinkler heads. (

A lawn plug aerator is an efficient tool to keep your lawn healthy and looking great. But before you start poking holes to give your grass some breathing room, it’s important to protect your sprinklers.

About Lawn Plug Aerators

A lawn plug aerator penetrates the lawn’s surface and removes a core (or plug) of grass and soil. This loosens up the soil and allows the grassroots to breathe. The tool is also used for fertilizing and seeding. 

These kinds of aerators are great for large yards with highly compacted soil. For smaller lawns, a spike aerator is the best option.

Despite their high performance with one job (aeration), lawn plug aerators have one big downside. If you’re not careful, they can easily tear up your underground sprinkler system.

How to Protect Sprinklers from Aerators

Before you use a lawn plug aerator, go to the home center and buy some flags.

Then, turn on your sprinkler system and find all the sprinkler heads throughout the yard. Mark them with the flags so you know which areas to avoid while aerating.

Lawn plug aerators typically don’t penetrate far into the soil — they usually just go about three inches deep.

Most irrigation lines are at least 5-6 inches deep. To be sure you don’t do any damage, you can dig around a sprinkler head until you reach the drainage line and measure the depth. 

Finally, while aerating, be cautious and leave plenty of room around the sprinkler heads. 

Skip to [21:27] for the full segment on the Today’s Homeowner Podcast.

Also on this episode:

Best New Product

Dewalt compact impact driver with three LED onboard lights.  This DeWalt Compact Impact Driver makes working in cramped spaces easy! Learn more>> 

Simple Solutions

Fast Fix for Stripped Screw Holes — Here’s a quick and clever way to fix a stripped screw hole using a cable tie (a.k.a.: zip-tie). 

  • First, remove the screw from the stripped hole, then snip off the end of a cable tie, which is smooth. For this tip, you need to use the ridged part of the cable tie. 
  • Press the snipped end of the cable tie into the hole until it bottoms out. 
  • Then, cut the cable tie to length, matching the depth of the screw hole. Put the piece of cable tie into the stripped screw hole, then drive in the screw. 

The ridges in the cable tie give the screw something to bite into, securely holding the screw in place.  

Watch: Fast Fix for a Stripped Screw Hole

Homemade furniture polish — Make an affordable, nontoxic furniture polish by mixing 1 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, and 1/8 cup of lemon juice. 

Pour the solution into a plant mister and spray it onto wood surfaces. Rub in circles with a dry cotton cloth to remove dust, dirt and grime. 

Then, use a second cloth to polish the surface in straight lines parallel with the direction of the wood grain.  

Remove scratches by rubbing with walnut.

Watch: How to Make Furniture Polish & Remove Scratches

Question of the Week

Q: I’m installing a new mailbox. How deep and wide should I dig the hole, and how do I mix the concrete for it? 

A: For a mailbox post, you’ll typically use a 4-by-4 or 6-by-6 post. You should dig the hole at least three times wider than the post and at least two feet deep. 

At least a third of the post should be below ground. The United States Postal Service requires mailboxes to be 41-45 inches above the ground, so take this into consideration when buying the post.

To set the post with concrete, use a bag of Quikrete Fast-Setting Concrete Mix. Just pour the dry concrete mix into the hole and pour water on top until the mix is saturated. Watch how to do this here.

You can also try Sika PostFix. It’s a two-part expanding polyurethane foam that fills the post hole and hardens in three minutes. All you have to do is roll the bag to mix up the foam, snip off the corner, and pour it into the hole. 

Skip to [29:20] for the full segment on the Today’s Homeowner Podcast.

Further Reading

Ask a Question! (Podcast)

Ask a question and we could answer it on the “Today’s Homeowner Podcast!” We also may use it on our nationally syndicated radio broadcast or on