Does anyone listen anymore? I have gotten more calls about clogged drains on flat-roofed houses lately. I have been telling folks to go up on the roof and REMOVE THOSE LEAVES!

Lake George on the roof is no good for anyone. That’s what happens when leaves get wet, stick together, and prevent drainage. If your building is near trees, you must check frequently until ALL the leaves are off the trees. One landlord, actually a neighbor, will have to repair and repaint her bathroom ceiling for just this reason, she is waiting too long to check the drain. When it has been very windy leaves can blow from further away, so it pays to check even if there are no nearby trees.

Latham complains about sticky residue all over the tenant’s bathroom. Story as follows: Tenant moves out, says apt. is clean. Landlord does a quick walk through and agrees, returns security deposit. Landlord returns a few days later to decide what should be painted, spruced up or replaced. He then discovers that a large portion of the bathroom is sticky with clear coating. The center of this mess is the mirror over the sink. He did not notice during the walk through since the tenant had replaced all the light bulbs with low watt tinted ones. He subsequently ascertained the residue was: HAIRSPRAY. The tenant was a barmaid in a high end cocktail lounge. Fancy hair styles held in place by: HAIRSPRAY. How to remove this stuff. He tried several commercial cleaners but results were not satisfactory.

Mac says: You need a solvent. Dampen a microfiber cloth with rubbing alcohol, (Do not waste good vodka) clean as best you can, then use a clean cloth with a little Dawn dishwashing soap and water and wash and rinse the whole area. The alcohol may damage some painted surfaces, you may have to repaint.

Rensselaer has a sink issue. My best tenant of 5 years left to retire to Florida. She took good care of the place and it does not even need painting. However, the stainless steel kitchen sink which was brand new when she moved in looks like it has been at the bottom of the river for a few years. It is not dirty, she was actually a clean freak. I asked her what she used on it and she said, Ajax, Comet, etc., whatever she had handy. Any ideas, it really projects a poor first impression in what is otherwise a nice looking kitchen?

Mac says: I am not really sure but I asked around and the only suggestion I got is to go to the auto store and get some chrome polish and try that. If it does not work, let me know so I don’t suggest it again If you wish, before you buy the chrome polish, try rubbing with a soft cloth dampened with ammonia or vinegar. By the way. NEVER use abrasive cleaners on stainless steel