Thanks to Pet Dogs, Recently Installed Sod Is Going to Seed


Q: We had landscaping done in our backyard and put in Marathon and fall fescue sod. Unfortunately, our dogs have stained portions of the new sod with their urine. Can these spots be fixed without replacing the sod?


Garden Grove


A: Other than replacing the sod, you can reseed the affected areas, says Larry Pulsipher of B.C. Turf in Costa Mesa.

You just reseed it and lay some mulch on top. Fescue is great for lawns because it’s green year-round, but it can be killed by animal stains. Hybrid Bermudas need a little more care, but they’ll come back if they die. Some pet stores carry a product to add to dog food to prevent their urine from being so toxic.


Q: I accidentally spilled some white iodine on a pink-vinyl pad of a small dressing-table chair. The spots that weren’t immediately cleaned up discolored the vinyl. Can anything be done about this?


Mission Viejo


A: On a surface such as vinyl, it’s very unlikely that you’ll be able to clean a stain like that, says Gary Lillge of Crown Hardware in Newport Beach.


If that pad is a part of the chair, you may need to have it reupholstered. If the pad is simply tied onto the chair seat, the obvious solution would be to turn it over. If these aren’t practical, you may want to repaint the pad with a paint designed for use on vinyl or rubber.


Q: We have a 15-year-old refrigerator that works fine, except lately we’ve noticed that water is collecting on the bottom of the refrigerator compartment and that ice has developed at the top and in the back.

Is this a sign that something big is starting to go or could it be a small job I can fix myself?




A: For a refrigerator that old, the first thing to check is the door gasket, says Caesar del Prato Jr. of Caesar’s Appliance Parts in Laguna Niguel.

Over time, after being opened and closed thousands of times, it’s not uncommon for a door seal to wear out. Take a piece of paper like a dollar bill and close the door on it. When you pull the paper out, you should feel a little resistance. If it comes out easily, that’s where outside air is getting inside and causing condensation.

Be sure to test all around the the door. Most gaskets cost $35 to $55. If you’re reasonably handy, you can put one in yourself.

Most attach to the door through nuts or screws that can be accessed by pulling up the inside of the gasket.

If you have a question about your home or garden, A Helping Hand will help you find the answer. Send questions to John Morell, Home Design, The Times Orange County, 1375 Sunflower Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92626.