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Ask the Carey Brothers

MORRIS AND JAMES CAREYTHE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Question: Im shopping for a new dishwasher. Which one can I rely on for the most quiet operation? JaneAnswer: According to Consumer Reports, Kitchen Aid and Whirlpool top the list for quiet operation, but we dont recommend that you stop there. Add extra insulation as part of the installation of your new work-saver.Youll need a can of spray adhesive and a small roll of 1-inch spun glass insulation (your local heat and air-conditioning contractor will be your best bet in locating the small amount of materials that youll need). Follow the instructions on the can of adhesive carefully to achieve a lasting bond. Apply as many layers of insulation to the machine as possible while still allowing it to fit into the cabinet opening. An additional layer applied to the inside surfaces of the cavity in the cabinetry where the dishwasher fits into is also recommended.Consumer Reports Books publishes a handy reference called Guide to Appliances which may help you to get your moneys worth when purchasing most appliances.Question: The surface of my 14-year-old concrete patio is so irregular that its difficult to walk on. There are a dozen 4-foot-by-4-foot sections of concrete, separated by 2-inch strips of wood. Some of the squares have risen, some remain as placed originally, and others have dropped. A contractor has told me that the solution is to demolish the existing concrete and pour new. Is this the only way? BradAnswer: Until recently your contractor would have been correct, but that is no longer the case. There is an economically pleasant alternative that will save you about half the cost of removal and replacement. In large commercial projects where concrete floors often are placed in sections, it has been standard practice for years to raise shifted or settled concrete sections, rework the earth below (usually the cause of the problem to begin with), and put the concrete back, creating a new level finish.A method called the Allen Process, after its developer, Alfred Allen, of Napa, Calif., uses powerful air bladders to raise concrete without breaking it. The ground under can then be leveled and compacted, and the concrete is re-situated.


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