TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Happy Vacation, everybody. It is the ho-ho-home improvement time of its first year, so you might be thinking about some projects that you still need to get done or ones that you want to plan for the year ahead. Not too early to start thinking about those home progress New Year’s resolvings. If you’ve got one that we can help with, give us a bawl, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT or pole your question to The Money Pit’s Facebook community at Facebook.com/ TheMoneyPit.
Coming up this hour, festivity entertaining is just getting started, so we’ve got some tips to help you turn a ho-hum space into a residence theater for splendid viewing on a budget.
LESLIE: And are you having a real live Christmas tree this season? Well, you might be surprised to learn that there’s a really good chance that the first host of festivity clients you have might actually be the Christmas-tree bugs that came with it.
Is this a real thing, Tom? This is horrible.
TOM: It is a wholly real thing. There’s over a half-dozen different types of Christmas-tree insects that love to stay on that tree, right through the front entrance of your residence. They’ll still be here.
LESLIE: Oh, my goodness. I feel like I’ve heard really horrible versions of this story before where millions of spiders come slithering out of the tree. And now, when we’re done with our session today of The Money Pit, I’m going to go throw my live tree outside of the house.
But we’ll tell you how to avoid all of those holiday hitchhikers.
TOM: That’s right. And too onward, decorators and residence improvers have re-embraced wallpaper in a brand-new and more modern way, often using it is now time as an accent or a faux finish to quickly and inexpensively change a area. So we’re going to have some tips for preferring modern wallpapers and hiring the right pro to help you get wise done.
LESLIE: And now that it’s cold, are you thinking ahead to when that warm weather returns? We’ve got a great product from QUIKRETE to give away that can help. It’s a rectify of their very popular Walkmaker Forms. And it’s an easy way to build a beautiful cobblestone walkway.
TOM: So, give us a call right now. We are here to help you with your residence improvement projects now or ones you have planned for the year ahead. Give us a call at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888 -6 66 -3 974.
Let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s firstly?
LESLIE: Betsy in Delaware, you’ve get The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
BETSY: In my vault, I have my clean-out thing. And over the years, I’ve noticed that my plumber is around more than anybody else.
TOM: You’ve went him on retainer, huh?
BETSY: Yeah. So, I had a new heating-and-air-conditioning system put in. I queried the guy if he had a plumber. So, "hes had" this guy come over and he said, “You know, that shouldn’t be happening and they - you need somebody with a camera.” So he said, “I don’t do that substance anymore. I’m old, too.” So, he cast individual over and they settled a camera down. And you could see several big chunks of spring chunks in there and they said, “The clay pipe’s in bad shape.”
BETSY: The mansion is 42 years old. I got an estimate on what it’d be to- they were going to bring the clay pipe up to the ground level. And to are going to the tubes, it was going to be- it’s 10 feet down. So, he "ve given me" his estimate. But then, when they came out to do it, they had an excavator who’s from another state, just right over the line, and he had the sonar thing. And he recognized out the tube and it was right next to a beautiful maple tree I have. I want 2 inches- that we planted the same time the house was built.
TOM: Ah, OK. Yeah. OK.
BETSY: So I belief, “OK.” One of my neighbours had told me there’s this substance they spray through. Oh, they likewise articulated the camera all the way through and they were like, “I counted five large-scale buttons of grove- of root.”
TOM: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Yep.
BETSY: So, I understand that when they do the scatter - you know what I’m talking about with the spray and the special material( inaudible )?
TOM: I do. Yep, yep. We’re going to talk about that. OK. Just tell me the rest of the legend. Go ahead.
BETSY: So, I understand that they would have to encountered those things out somehow and then do it. So I’m conceiving I’d like to keep the tree but I’m not so sure that- how long that stuff’s been around, if they really can do that with rid ourselves of those grips and then do it. So I crave your opinion, because I love your show.
TOM: OK. Yep. OK. So here’s the thing. First of all, really to put your mind at ease, any sewer clean that’s worth his or her salt can run a snake down those clay pipes and clean out all of those roots balls. So you do not have to do this whole excavation thing or even pipe-lining time to clear your pipe.
Now, will you have to make love again? Sure. But maybe in a year or two or three. And so, the inexpensive lane to fix this is just to have a sewer-cleaning done. I don’t care how deep the hose is. Their clean-out tools can go 50 feet, 100 hoofs and you’ll be done.
The system that they’re talking to you about doing is called “pipe lining” or “pipe relining.” And mostly, what it is is it’s like- think of it as a long fiberglass sock that’s run through this pipe. And they have a couple of ways of doing it. They pluck it through and then it mostly is- it expands and then cables the inside face of that age-old clay pipe. So, basically, you’re relining the tube with this new fiberglass material.
And this is very helpful in cases where you have sewer pipings that are going into beautiful maple-tree seeds or under porches or around reserves or locates that you don’t want to excavate. It’s not an inexpensive process. So merely restrain that in psyche. It’s going to be more expensive or at least as expensive as tearing all there is to it and changing it. But again, I don’t think you have to do this unless it’s genuinely something you want to do to improve your house, OK?
BETSY: My concern- and this is where I thought you could help me out, extremely. I know it’s not expensive. It’s two different plumbers I talking about here, because the first guy doesn’t do that lining plan. But he did tell me about it.
The tree is higher than my two-story house, so that’s going to be a big expense. But with this fiberglass thing, does the- as the beginnings originate again and again and again, since they were always do, is that going to penetrate that fiberglass?
TOM: No, absolutely not. It comes through the clay pipe because it’s pretty easy to get through a clay hose. It mostly goes right through the seams of the tube, because clay pipes are lay in in parts. And they easily get right through those sections and then they have a fertile space in which to grow.
So , no, if you reline the piping with fiberglass, it’s not going to see - you will no longer get any springs that get in there.
BETSY: Well, that’s good to know. And then, the last question- and you guys are great. Thank you for being patient.
TOM: No worries.
BETSY: The clay pipe is old. It’s like- my house is 42 years old. And so, I didn’t know if that’s deteriorating or- how long they certainly last, because ...
TOM: Not at all , not at all. Clay tubes can previous 100 times easy.
BETSY: Alright. Awesome.
TOM: OK? So, here’s what we’ve learned. We’ve learned that you don’t have to tear out the hoses. We’ve learned that they’ve got lots of life left in them. You can exactly snake them. But if you want to preserve that tree and you do want to replace them, I fantasize lining is probably a better alternative, OK?
BETSY: OK. Great. Thank you so much.
TOM: Good luck with that job. Thanks so much for announcing us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: You are aria to The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Give us a call at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
888-MONEY-PIT is presented by HomeAdvisor. You can get instantly matched with top-rated pros for any home project and notebook appointments online for free.
TOM: And still to come , it is not necessary to expend big bucks on your leisure seat. We’re going to tell you how to create your very own home theater on a budget, after this.
Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: And we want you to pick up the phone and call us, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor, the fastest and most easy road to find the liberty pro for any kind of home project, whether it’s a small repair or a major remodel.
LESLIE: That’s right. Pick up the phone and apply us a call anytime. Let us know what you are working on. And we know that the weather outside is frightful but the fervor is so delicious. No , no , no. We know the winter weather is not so great. And maybe a lot of you have already got your mind on springtime and when it starts to get warmer. Well, we like the behavior you guys speculate. So present us a bawl with your residence betterment question.
And we’ve got a great giveaway for those warmer days that we predict are ahead. It’s the QUIKRETE Walkmaker Form. And it really is an easy and economical mode that you can add a beautiful, sturdy concrete walkway or patio to the house. And it’s a do-it-yourself project because it’s a figure that you fill. And there’s a entire cluster of various types of patterns available. And you just determine them over and over and over again until you’ve got the amount that you want to create that walkway or that pathway. So it’s a super-simple do-it-yourself project and it’s a great prize pack that we’ve get up for grabs this hour.
Check them out at QUIKRETE.com.
TOM: Give us a see, right now, with your residence betterment question. That QUIKRETE Walkmaker is going out to one listener proceeded at random. The figure is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. You can also post your question to The Money Pit’s Facebook sheet at Facebook.com/ TheMoneyPit. Everyone who uprights on our social pages, in the prior week to the show, has only one equal chance at acquire this weekend’s prize.
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve get Dan in Louisiana on the line who’s got a question for The Money Pit. What can we help you with?
DAN: On one back of the chamber of representatives, I’m up about a foot-and-a-half. The water pipes had busted. Actually, some raccoons and cats had fallen underneath there, busted the pipeline.
TOM: Oh , no.
DAN: And on that- yeah. And on that side of the house, it had submerge down level with the ground.
Now, I have been gone about four or five days. When I came home, it was like this. What I’m trying to find out is how I can level the home. And I have known ...
TOM: You represent get it level again, yeah. I have a question for you, Dan. Did you consider registering specific claims with your homeowners insurance company?
DAN: I haven’t yet. And that’s where I’m- I’ve done construction for a while. I’m 69 now. I’m semi-retired I guess you’d say, so ...
TOM: Well, listen, somebody, I think you have a really good claim because this is a plumbing burst. It came as a result of animal infestation like this. This does not constitute like a maintenance edition; this is a single event like this. This kind of single event where you have a burst and it makes damage- in your speciman, potentially severe structural mar- is why you have homeowners insurance. This is nothing that you should have to fix yourself or pay for yourself. So I’m telling you that I think you should contact your homeowners insurance company and/ or contact a public adjuster.
Now, a public adjuster is basically somebody who represents you to your homeowners insurance company. And they work for you to make sure that the claim is properly filed and includes everything. We’re talking about everything from the concrete block to the beds of dye that have to be restored to make this repair.
TOM: And when you have as big-hearted a structural ...
DAN: Where do I find that public adjuster?
TOM: They’re going to be licensed and they’re going to be - you’re going to have to find them the style we find other professionals. If you have an attorney or somebody that’s in the law business, they may be able to have- give you a recommendation for one or two. You could interview them. But basically, the path they work is on a percentage of the amount claimed. So they might get a few percent of what they collect. But the neat thing about a public adjuster- and one that does a good job- is they’re knows where to find every single thing that has to be restored because of this animal damage.
DAN: Right. OK.
TOM: So I would not at all try to make this on yourself. I surely think you should do it through an adjuster or through your insurance company. You’re going to need their- I mean part of what they’re going to pay for is a structural technologist to review that dimension and figure out how this can be fixed and how this can be leveled so there’s no guesswork here. And it’s also important because eventually, you might want to sell this house. And you want to make sure that anything that miscarried was properly amended. You may end up with a amend that’s in better influence than the house was originally but that’s OK.
DAN: That’s right. Yeah. No, that’s huge. Yeah, I only- I’m just wondering how I would get in touch with a public adjuster. Would that be under government or under ...?
TOM: No , no. No, it’s called a “public adjuster” but they’re mostly people that work for the public , not as in- it’s not like a government authority.
TOM: It’s like a private consultant. Yeah, it’s just like hiring an accountant or a solicitor or anybody else. It’s called a “public adjuster.” So, you scour online for public adjusters in your zip code. You could start there. But I would - you know, I would make sure that I take my age and find out what their experience is in your locality and try to find a good one. That’s why it’s kind of helpful if maybe you might know an auditor or an advocate or perhaps someone at the- at your insurance agent’s- not the insurance company but the insurance agent that you bought this from may have some knowledge of that.
TOM: I would expend a little time trying to find the freedom professionals.
DAN: OK. Well, that are actually assists. Yeah.
DAN: That really cures big time.
TOM: Yeah. Don’t caused too much time go by, because you want to make sure it’s really clear what happened here, OK? Get right on it.
OK, Dan. Good luck. Let us know what happens.
LESLIE: Well , now that we are in the leisure season, we thought it might be a good time to talk about the ways that you could be able to spruce up your humorou opening. And one project that comes to mind is building a residence theater organisation. Now, that’s one you might think is best left to those with big-hearted funds but not so. All you need is some basic equipment and a sensible motif that works to create a theater environment.
TOM: Right. So, the first step, though, is to kind of assess the space that you have to work with. You need to plan the distances. You need a comfortable length between your screen, your loudspeakers and your room. But remember that a great home theater doesn’t require a monstrous screen and a gazillion loudspeakers. In happening, the ideal viewing distance from the TV is usually about two-and-a-half ages the width of the screen. So , not a great distance.
Now, as far as the paraphernalium croaks, the switch to digital TV signals a few years ago basically has performed flat screens, high-def TVs very affordable. So, watch for the sales. Mass going on right now. Pick up one that works for your cavity. And keep in mind that the built-in talkers on many flat screens today, they may be less satisfying than the Tv you came from. And here’s why: something had to give when they went to those really thin TVs and one of the purposes of what rendered was the speakers. And so that’s why- not to worry but you’re going to have to buy what’s called a “sound bar, ” which is kind of like the speaker bar.
And so on our flat-screen TV, we have a Sony and we have a Sony reverberate forbid. And it time sits right underneath it. It can even- depending on how you can hang it, you can attach it to the bottom of the TV. But that’s where the voice comes out of , not really the Tv speakers itself. Because it obviously sounds very thin when it comes out of the speakers, even though it’s a nice TV. So, you’re going to have to go for some sort of sound system. And I just feel like coming the one that comes from the same manufacturer exactly means everything works together delicately and without any hassles.
LESLIE: Yeah. And that’s always what you want. You demand no besets when you’re sort of setting up your dwelling theater system, because it can be kind of confusing if you’re not key experts at sort of putting that nonsense together. So keep it simple and everything should just sort of work together.
Now, when it comes to furniture, you don’t have to spend a lot on all of those dwelling theater furnishings or even the room layout, because you’ve probably got most of what you already need to be comfortable and you’ve got some good acoustics. So, "ve been thinking about" upholstered couches and upholstery on chairs. That’s kind of ideal because those constituents are sound-absorbing, so you’re not going to bounce around a good deal of that phone if you have super-smooth floor with no domain carpets or leather furnishings. That genuinely doesn’t help you; that only propels that voice all the countries of. So you want to add in draperies, province carpets, comfy furnishings.
In fact, a person that I work with, Sal, he just showed us a image today that was, I guesstimated, 17 paws of 5 theater reclining chairs.
TOM: Oh, my gosh.
LESLIE: Tom, when I say to you, the chamber- the chairs exited from end to end.
TOM: Wow. Oh, man.
LESLIE: And I was like, “Sal, where did you get this? ” And he told me that he bought it somewhere locally in New Jersey.
LESLIE: But he only devoted 2,300 on it. It’s not the real leather.
LESLIE: But my goodness, I was like, “This is a place where you take a nap, "youre watching" a movie.”
TOM: Yeah, looks like it.
LESLIE: So you don’t have to spend a lot, even if you’re in the market for something new.
TOM: Now, the last thing you want to think about is lighting or more importantly, the lack of lighting. It’s important for good dwelling theater viewing.
So, two things. First of all, make sure you have dimmable lamps or illuminating. Easy to do. If you have overhead lighting, make sure the dimmers are incorporated into the swaps. Or if you have just lamp illuminate, you can use extension lines that have dimmers built into them or you could just replace the light-colored button with a dimmer. Some of these are even controllable from your smartphone.
And then, make sure you choose drapes or colors that block sunlight. Because when you buy colors today, you can buy the ones that are translucent or light-blocking. In a office like that, where you want to have a nice view knowledge, you want to make sure you have some that have light-blocking because, heck, you might want to watch a movie in the middle of the day. And you don’t want that sun streaming in and ruining the whole experience.
So, there "theres going": a few good ways for you to set up your dwelling theater, just in time for the holidays and perhaps all the big games that are remaining until we get up to the large-hearted day of the Super Bowl.
LESLIE: And it has to be big.
TOM: A spate of people buy these TVs right before the Super Bowl. There’s the pre-Super Bowl parties and- but then, they get disheartened because they can’t figure out how to set them up and then everybody’s getting mad at them. So, start early.
LESLIE: You can reach us anytime with your residence mend or residence better question 24 hours a day, 7 days a week right here at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
Hey, it’s the anniversary season. Are you experiencing having a real, live Christmas tree? Well, you might be surprised to learn that there’s a really good chance that your first horde of celebration patrons could be some Christmas-tree glitches that came with the tree, right into your house.
Oh, gosh. I’m going to go and check out my tree immediately when I get home from work today, Tom.
We’re going to tell you guys how to recognise and dispossess those celebration hitchhikers, next.
TOM: Seeing good residences better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
Give us a call at 888 -MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor. Hey, are you looking for some brand-new flooring, maybe in your kitchen or your bathroom? Well, HomeAdvisor can instant parallel you with the freedom pro for the job for free.
TOM: Call us, right now, at 1-888-666-3974.
LESLIE: Laurie in Nevada is on the line with The Money Pit. Has got a question about a cement settle. What can we do for you?
LAURIE: Yeah, are ya. Yeah, we - you know, I’m helping my mothers out with their very old home. Unfortunately, we’re genuinely low-toned on stores, et cetera, et cetera. We have a sink in our old home; it’s in the basement. And the sag has been one of the washer/ dryer setup there. And it’s an old-fashioned plaster sink that has a crack in it. I was hoping that we could do something to repair it really until they’re ready to move on, because we’re trying to do the downsizing and stuff.
TOM: OK. Is the cranny certainly severe where it’s in two sections or is it just like one crack that- where spray comes through?
LAURIE: Well, it’s kind of like a little forked sound that’s in part of the capsize, on the cornerstone of it, so ...
TOM: So, what I would recommend is you use an epoxy on this. There’s a produce announced PC-7. It’s sort of like a putty and it comes in a receptacle that has the A part and the B part and you mingle it together. And so it missions up being, when it’s mixed together, kind of like Play-Doh. And you can press it into sit and get it troweled out and pulped into this crack. And leave it alone for about 24 hours and it will never, ever leak again.
So good luck with that activity and thanks so much for calling us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, if you’re one of the millions of households, like myself, who enjoy having a real, live Christmas tree to gather around, you might be surprised to learn that there’s a really good chance that your first assortment of festivity patrons have already arrived with that tree.
TOM: That’s right. There are over a half-dozen species of Christmas-tree glitches- that’s right, faults- that may have attached themselves to your live Christmas tree.
LESLIE: Ugh, horrible.
TOM: We’re talking about aphids and adelgids and pine-needle scale and bark beetles and even spiders that bite. That’s right. The spiders can stay on the trees and then get into your residence. And some of them can bite.
LESLIE: Oh, my God. This is a ugly thing, Tom. You ever be informed about- “Oh, the tree’s used to the cold. And there’s eggs on it. And it comes inside and your live is nice and warm.”
TOM: Yeah. And it hatches.
LESLIE: And the egg- oh, my gosh. Stop saying this. Alright. I’m going to stop talking about it, so let’s talk about ways to fix it and made to ensure that your tree is creepy-crawly free.
First of all, check it out before you buy it. When you head out for the Christmas tree, be assured to impart a flashlight with you. Yes, it’s daytime but making a flashlight so that you can look at the case. You can look for any faults, any eggs. Then scan a few cases segments of needles for the defects and eggs, as well. They’re going to think you’re crazy but look at everything because, believes me, you don’t miss these imperfections in your house.
TOM: Now, next, shake it out. Even if you’ve inspected your tree for any hitchhikers, it’s a good suggestion to give your tree a good shake. If you shake the tree, you will encourage any imperfections to jump off or fall off so you don’t delivering them dwelling with you.
Christmas-tree defects are so common that some supermarkets or stands actually have a mechanical Christmas-tree shaker that you can make sure to use before you bind off the tree to your car for the journey home.
And by the way, you might be thinking, “Why not just spray the whole thing down with pesticides? ” Really bad mind. Here’s why: because many insecticides are combustible and when combined with hot holiday illuminates and dried-out needles, it could lead to a dire barrage. So do not use pesticides on that tree.
LESLIE: Oh, my goodness.
And lastly, people, you’ve got to vacuum. The longer you keep your tree indoors, the more likely you are to find dead defects under the tree. And many of the glitches that live on the trees are going to run out of food formerly you raising that tree inside or they’re not will be impossible to cope with the change in humidity.
Now, the best solution is to vacuum up any dead bugs, along with the dried-out needles that are ultimately going to collect on a daily basis under the tree.
TOM: And by the way, if you’re vacuuming early in the season, here’s a little tip: you want to remove and replace the vacuum luggage, mostly, as soon as you’re done. It’s fine if it’s not filled. Be disposed of it. Here’s why: because it may very well be filled with a few live glitches who are still grasping to your vacation atmosphere. So you don’t want to have those live flaws. You don’t want to give them any chance to crawl out of that vacuum and get into another gap in your house.
So, convulses the vacuum crate as soon as you are done. It’s worth changing it out to a brand-new one.
LESLIE: Oh, gosh.
TOM: And that endeds the Scrooge portion of the evidence. How about that? We’re going to turn to some more positive topics now than Christmas-tree bugs, which are the things that are bugging you about your residence progress assignment. So call us right now. We’d love to chat at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Or post your questions to The Money Pit society at Facebook.com/ TheMoneyPit.
LESLIE: John in Oakhurst, New Jersey- perhaps Tom’s neighbor- has a question about a water heater. How can we help you today?
JOHN: Yeah, we are only literally had a water- a new sea heater installed today. We started to have some revealing coming out of the top where- I suspect where the input and the production routes go in.
So we had a new one throw in; we knew that was disappointing. But the installer indicated and recommended to us that we flush it formerly a year. And although that sounds like it attains impression to me- I know there’s a lot of people who don’t do it- I only want to get you guys’ opinion on whether that’s really important to do that annually. And if you don’t, what’s the downside of that?
TOM: Well, the reason why you flush a liquid heater is because you get sediment in the bottom of it and the sediment acts as an insulator. It doesn’t genuinely stimulate any harm to the water heater and I think in a situation where you have city water, it’s not as important as when you have well water. It’s sort of an old-time wives’ tale; it’s kind of something that beings ever started doing and not really ever stopped doing or "understand what i m saying" they do it.
There’s nothing really wrong with evening it. The only downside is that you may find that the valve that you open up at the bottom of the water heater formerly a year, one of these years it’s not going to want to shut again and you end up with an expensive mend. So I don’t think it’s critical but I don’t think it will hurt you unless the valve get various kinds of gummed up at some moment and starts to leak.
JOHN: That’s a good suggestion, Tom. I appreciate that.
TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: You can reach us anytime with your dwelling reparation or your dwelling betterment question 24 hours a day, 7 days a week right here at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
Well, wallpaper has been an element of home decor since the 1930 s. And while popularity has been up and down over the years, it’s now picking up steam as a mode to convert a office or more. We’re going to have some tips-off to help you choose the best wallpaper for your home and help you find a pro to get wise set, in today’s Pro Project presented by HomeAdvisor.com, next.
TOM: Fixing good homes better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: And we are here to help you with your home progress project. So help yourself firstly: label us now at 888 -MONEY-PIT or post your question to The Money Pit’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/ TheMoneyPit.
Hey, if the brave says winter but your intellect says outpouring, we like the style you think. And if "youre calling" now with your residence progress question, you might just be the one winner of a great prize. We’ve got the QUIKRETE Walkmaker Forms to give away, an easy and affordable action to add a beautiful, durable concrete walkway or patio to your home.
The way it wields is you simply pour the QUIKRETE Crack-Resistant Concrete into the form, you smooth it with a trowel, you take off the sort when it’s roughly cool. We call it “thumbprint-hard.” Then you reproduce the process until the walkway or the patio is done.
It’s available in four wordings. We’ve got one to give away today, though. So pick up the phone and render us a call at 888 -MONEY-PIT. That QUIKRETE Walkmaker going out to one listener proceeded at random. Make that you. Call us now at 1-888-666-3974.
LESLIE: Now we’ve came Ames from Colorado on the line who’s got a question about repairing stucco. How can we help you?
AMES: We have a home that’s eight or nine years old. It has a stucco exterior and it has hits- horizontal cracks.
TOM: Is it a masonry-stucco house or is it a synthetic-stucco house?
AMES: I don’t know.
TOM: So, is it like a concrete various kinds of a finish to it? Does it definitely sounds like concrete or does it feel soft? Like could you put your finger and propagandize it and it would be spongy?
AMES: It’s hard.
TOM: It’s hard-handed, OK. And so you’ve went hits in horizontal stucco, eight-year-old house. You’re going to want to get those hits closed because what happens with stucco, if the sea gets behind it, especially in a freezing environment, it will tend to do two things: number one, it will freeze and as it does, it will push and tighten the stucco; and number two, there’s probably a metal mesh that was applied to the home firstly, that holds that stucco in place, and the moisture will rust that away.
So, the one thing to do is to use an exterior caulk. You can get one that competitors the color of the stucco or you could use a clear, silicone-like caulk and seal those fissures to try to minimize the chance for moisture to get through. And that’s going to be pretty much regular upkeep with a stucco surface.
Does it appear like any clumps are coming off or is it merely the crack that is forming?
AMES: Yeah, it’s simply a crack.
TOM: Yeah, so stay on top of it, Ames, and you’ll really understate it. And it’ll last for a long time.
AMES: Alright. And then it also has rust grimes, probably from that metal lath.
TOM: Yeah. And so, after you get all of the hits closed, if you’re getting- next time you repaint the chamber of representatives, I crave you to prime it first. That will seal in the rusty discolours and prevent them from coming through quite so quickly.
TOM: Good luck with that programme. Thanks so much for calling us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
Well, wallpaper has been a popular element for residence decor since the 1930 s. And back then, it was pretty much a requirement for any interior-decorating plan. But while it became less popular in the back half of the past century, for the last 20 times painters and homeowners have sort of re-embraced wallpaper because it’s a very nice way to quickly ...
LESLIE: Because it’s awesome.
TOM: It’s awesome. See , now you’re one of the painters, right?
LESLIE: I cherish it.( inaudible)
TOM: It’s awesome. It’s a neat direction to alter a office without spending a lot of coin. So, we’ve went tips on how to do simply that, in today’s Pro Project presented by HomeAdvisor.com.
Count the ways you love your wallpaper, Leslie.
LESLIE: It’s fairly, it makes a big difference. It doesn’t have to be very expensive. You can do it yourself. I find a great deal of Zen times in hanging wallpaper.
It really is fantastic, guys. I know there are a lot of naysayers out there who simply hate wallpaper. But I will tell you- and I think it’s due to the popularity of a good deal of British programs that are on a lot of these streaming services- there’s so much wallpaper used in set design. And I envisage as a provide designer, I’ve time fallen in love with it my whole life.
So, I want to use it, I was intended to positioned it up everywhere. But you’ve got to find the title newspaper for the one of the purposes of your mansion that you’re going to use it in. And there’s actually four types. There’s vinyl-coated, there’s coated fabric, there’s paper or solid sheet-backed vinyl and fabric-backed vinyl. And each one is going to have its own benefits and disadvantages. And each type is better than others for specific rooms.
Now, for example, a vinyl-coated wallpaper, that’s suitable for almost any room but it’s peculiarly terrific for a kitchen or bath due to the fact that it really has better water-resistance.
Now, a coated-fabric wallpaper is made by printing structures instantly onto a vinyl or acrylic-coated fabric. It’s more breathable. It’s better quality than vinyl-coated but it tends to absorb moisture, so it’s actually not a good choice for a kitchen or a bath.
TOM: Now, there’s likewise solid sheet-vinyl wallpaper and this is a highly durable and very easy-to-clean product. It’s induced when a paper substrate is laminated into an acrylic to create a highly single, solid, embellished face. And they’re also often embossed, which gives that sort of texture to a wall face, which is pretty nice.
And then, lastly, there’s fabric-backed vinyl wallpaper. This is very strong. It’s moisture-resistant on the surface. It has a surface of acrylic or vinyl and it’s highly sturdy and extremely tear-resistant, as well as impervious to moisture and humidity. So if you live in an area- like Florida, for example- or you want to put this in your bathroom, that’s the working papers to use.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And you know what? I recollect like any dwelling increase job, thinking the cost of wallpaper in one or more rooms of your home really depends on a combination of everything, from the size of the office, the quality of the paper. But according to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to hire a newspaper hanger is about $507. So it’s certainly a reasonably inexpensive route to perfectly transform the space.
TOM: And that’s today’s Pro Project presented by HomeAdvisor.com. With HomeAdvisor, you can get matched with top-rated residence assistance pros in your range and work appointments online, all for free. No stuff the type of job, HomeAdvisor utters it fast and easy to hire the best regional pros.
LESLIE: You’re chanted to The Money Pit, which is presented by HomeAdvisor.com. Never worry, guys, about overpaying for a chore. You can use the HomeAdvisor True Cost Guide and encounter what others have paid for similar projections. It’s all for free at HomeAdvisor.com.
When we come back, we’re going to help out a caller who’s thinking about some big changes for the brand-new time, like put her house on world markets. We’re going to help her sort out when and if you should bring in a home inspector. And we’ll help her out with that when we come back.
TOM: Obliging good homes better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Now to help you with your residence improvement projects. You can announce those questions to The Money Pit’s Community page at Facebook.com/ TheMoneyPit or to MoneyPit.com. And that is exactly what Carla in Michigan did.
It sounds like Carla has got big-hearted plans for the brand-new year, Leslie.
LESLIE: Yeah, this is exciting. Carla writes: “I’m putting my house on the market in a few months. Is it worth noting to have a home inspection done before I roster it or should I just wait and witness what comes out of an interested buyer’s presale home inspection? ”
TOM: That is a really good question, Carla. So, here’s my two cents on this and remember, I was a home inspector for almost 20 years. I do think it’s a good meaning for you to have an inspection before you placed it on the market. Because having done thousands of inspections, I can tell you that very often what will happen after the home inspection is the vendors will not be real happy, s because the home inspector encountered some issue of significance that now requires them to pay for an expensive repair or to renegotiate the acquisition price.
And it’s exactly slipshod when you have to do that when you’re deep into the transaction like that because, you are well aware, the buyers think you’re just going to take whatever cheap way out you are able to. And you’re already convinced that you sold the house for too little money; they think they’re route overpaying for it. There’s all this angst going on. So it’s very helpful when you know what kinds of issues may be there.
And it could work to your benefit if the buyer’s inspector thinks that something’s a problem and your superintendent didn’t pick it up. Well , now you’ve got somebody to really talk with about that and try to get to the bottom of it. And if you do find a problem, it’s better that you secure it before you applied the house on world markets. Because this road, the buyers are not involved, you can do it at your own leisure and then you can add to the listing as a brand-new whatever: brand-new furnace, brand-new roof.
I can tell you, Leslie, I’ve done inspections where I sauntered into the house at noon and by 2:00 p.m ., there was an HVAC contractor carried forward a risky furnace and putting in a new one. I mean it happens that fast.
LESLIE: It certainly fixes sense.
TOM: So, acquaintance is dominance. I clearly think it’s a great idea for you to get an inspection done before you put your house on the market.
LESLIE: Yeah, that’s a good tip.
Alright. Next up, Robin in Delaware has written: “Does it ever make sense to make a two-story house into a one-story? We like our spot but we don’t need the apartment anymore. And too, the work requires a new roof.”
“Hey, we need a brand-new roof. Let’s lose the second floor.”
TOM: I cannot think of any circumstance where that would make sense.
TOM: None. None whatsoever.
LESLIE: It just seems so strange.
TOM: Yeah. Well, listen, Robin may not be paying attention to the real-estate marketplace. But the more seat "youve had", the most valuable your mansion is. So why would you cut it down to a one-story house and lose, easily, a third of its evaluate if not more? So, yeah, a really bad idea. I is certainly not do that.
If you like wherever you, find another house there or just think about- even though you’re not exerting those additional areas upstairs, the carrying cost of that empty space is going to be a lot cheaper than the money you’re going to lose by chopping it off. If you’re paying to heat them and cool them and all that, do not do that, Robin. It’ll be a really bad idea.
LESLIE: Oh, my goodness, Robin. Instead, think of some spaces that you can cut costs on your expend up there. Really look at what you can do to enhance the design of the chamber of representatives through the color and sort of selection of roof shingles that you pick out. I is certainly not lose that second floor because where are you going to go and hide when you want to be by yourself?
TOM: Hey, why not turn it into an Airbnb? My daughter has been away at college. She’s working on her medical residencies and she’s been hiring long-term Airbnbs. So it’s not just overnight. She’s living in a- with a very nice lady now in Seattle for four months, who’s renting her a room.
LESLIE: That’s really smart. Yeah, start do that. Come on, Robin.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. This time of year, though, it’s the ho-ho-home improvement show. We’re all in the festivity character. We hope that you are in the holiday spirit enjoying this wonderful pre-holiday weekend. If you’ve been thinking about some improvements you’d like to fix to your dwelling for the brand-new time, we are so glad you’ve been listening to us and welcome you to contact us, 24/7, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT with those questions. Or you can always post them to The Money Pit’s community at Facebook.com/ TheMoneyPit.
I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Remember, you can do it yourself ...
LESLIE: But you don’t have to make love alone.
END HOUR 1 TEXT
( Copyright 2019 Squeaky Door Product, Inc. No segment of this transcript or audio register may be reproduced in any format without the express written permission of Squeaky Door Production, Inc .)
The post Episode # 1954: Creating a DIY Home Theater | Avoiding Christmas Tree Bugs | Wallpaper Renaissance emerged first on The Money Pit.
TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: What are you working on on this almost spring weekend? We can think ahead, can’t we? I mean come on, spring.
LESLIE: Oh, my gosh. Come on, spring.
TOM: We are ready for you to get here so that we can get outside and take on some of those projects, maybe spruce up the outdoor-living space. Or maybe we want to just throw open the windows and get some fresh air inside and do some painting and some kitchen makeovers and bathroom updates. Whatever is on your to-do list, we are here to help. But help yourself first: pick up the phone and give us a call at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Coming up on today’s show, mixed-metal finishes. Now, that’s a technique that is breaking design rules now for kitchens: you know, having different metal finishes on faucets and hardware and countertops and appliances. We’re going to share why this trend will continue and how it’s making kitchens look a lot livelier.
LESLIE: And if you have a finished or unfinished basement or even a crawlspace, it’s always a challenge to keep that space dry. We’re going to walk you through the steps to stem that moisture.
TOM: And if you’ve found yourself stuck with a house that smells like smoke, we’re going to have tips to make that stink disappear.
LESLIE: And this hour, we’re giving away the Arrow PT Pneumatic Staple Gun and a supply of staples. Perfect for a huge variety of repair and décor projects, like outdoor-lattice work around the deck or carpeting stair treads or even being brave and upholstering furniture. It’s super easy, especially with a pneumatic staple gun.
It’s worth 50 bucks and it’s going out to one listener.
TOM: But first, your calls. Give us a call, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.
Let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s first?
LESLIE: Hi, Roger from Pennsylvania. You’ve got Tom and Leslie from The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
ROGER: I was wondering – I live in a house. It was built in 1958. It was a model home. I have a crack in the ceiling and it’s hard plaster. I was wondering if there’s an epoxy or something I could shoot up in under that and push it up in before it falls down.
TOM: So, is the plaster separating from the plaster lath, which is between that and the framing?
ROGER: Yeah, just a little, wee bit. You can see the crack and you can see where it’s coming down just a little bit.
TOM: Just a little bit? Because, typically, Roger, what I would tell you to do in a situation like that is to not reglue the plaster but simply pull it down all the way and then replaster it, then prime it and paint it.
You could possibly squeeze something like LIQUID NAILS in there but then you’d have to support it while it was drying. But then it’s just going to break somewhere else. So if you’ve got an area of loose plaster like that, I would just tell you to just gently break it out of there and then simply respackle that, sand it nicely, then prime it and paint the whole surface. I think it’s a much more permanent and cleaner repair in the long run.
ROGER: That’s what I was wondering. I can do drywall but I never did hard plaster.
TOM: Yeah, it’s not that hard to do. If you can handle spackle, you can handle plaster. Remember, a little bit goes a long way. You’re better off putting it on in thin coats, then putting successive coats on top of that.
And by the way, a house built in 1958, that was a very good year for home construction. You’ve probably got excellent Douglas-pine framing in that home. You probably have hardwood floors, copper pipes. That was a great year for construction. If you’ve got plaster-lath walls and ceilings, you already know they’re very hard and very durable. Yeah, they crack once in a while but you can feel good about the structure of that home.
ROGER: Yeah. Yeah, we do have hardwood floors. We’re actually redoing them a little bit at a time and it is all copper.
TOM: Yeah, the nice thing about those houses that were built in the late 50s and early 60s is people put in these beautiful hardwood floors and they promptly covered them with wall-to-wall carpet. So, for the next 20 or 30 years, they were protected from any wear and tear.
ROGER: Yeah, that’s what happened in here. We’re tearing it up room by room.
TOM: Alright, Roger. Well, good luck with that project. It sounds like a great house.
ROGER: Thank you very much for your help.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Melanie in California on the line with a decorating question. What can we do for you today?
MELANIE: I have untreated (inaudible) knotty pine throughout the house. I would like to continue into an 8×12 bathroom with the same. Is this the best application for the bathroom or will untreated wood hold up to condensation?
LESLIE: Now, where are you seeing this? On the walls? On the ceiling?
MELANIE: Oh, well, I’d like to do the whole bathroom. Yes, walls and ceiling.
TOM: I would say, Leslie, that knotty – untreated, knotty pine is a really bad idea for a bathroom.
TOM: I actually do have a bathroom that’s got pine wainscoting but it’s completely sealed. And it goes up about halfway up the wall. I would definitely not put unfinished wood in a bathroom because it’s going to soak up the moisture. It’s going to grow mold or mildew and just is not going to look right. You can’t clean it, either. So, a bad idea for the ceiling.
That said, if you like the look of wood, there are many ceiling-tile products that do look quite a lot like wood.
MELANIE: OK. We’re limited. We’re in a small area, so we’re limited as far as hardwares go and paneling. We’ve checked out our local hardware stores. And where’s the best place to find, oh, say, ceiling paneling and …?
LESLIE: Well, now, a clever, creative idea – which, you know, you might be able to source online and perhaps you haven’t looked at some of this in the local places to you – would be a laminate flooring that’s a plank that looks like a knotty pine so that we could utilize that in the same application that you’re talking about. But it’s made to withstand high-moisture situations because it’s a manufactured product and not a natural product.
MELANIE: Sure, sure.
LESLIE: And that, because it’s sold in planks, if you do have to order it online or if somebody has to order it from the vendor directly through your local stores, it ships really easily because of its packaging. And being plank size, you’re not going to have a hard time getting it in, rather than a sheet product.
MELANIE: Oh, OK. Very good. And I think that would look far better than a sheet product. We just – I think that’s why I don’t care – the wainscoting or coating, how do you pronounce that?
LESLIE: Oh, absolutely.
MELANIE: Is that …?
LESLIE: I say wainscoting but I think everybody says it every way they feel like. Tomato, tomato.
MELANIE: OK. It’s just very attractive. But we need to do this complete, up the walls.
TOM: You don’t have to. You could go partially up the walls and then trim off the top edge of it.
MELANIE: Hmm. And then would – OK.
TOM: It depends on what look you’re going for. For example, Leslie, you’ve often given the suggestion that you can take an old door, turn it on its side and that could be a wainscoting.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. That works out beautifully, especially because it gives you the paneling sort of built right into the door. The only issue there is that anywhere you’ve got an electrical outlet or something that might protrude from the wall, you’re going to have to bump that out to accommodate the extra thickness of the door. Not a big deal but it’s an extra step.
MELANIE: Boy, it sure is. Oh, boy. OK. Well, thank you so much. That’s a lot to think about and I really like that plank-flooring idea. That was a thought that never even crossed my mind, so – nor my husband’s.
TOM: Alright. Well, good luck with that project.
MELANIE: Thank you so much. And thank you for taking my call.
TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: David in Arkansas, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
DAVID: I have a native stone-based fireplace, I guess, with a cinder-block core. And it’s, thankfully, on the outside of the house. However, the roof line continues so that it covers our carport. And if it rains, oh, substantially, after a bit it begins to get a little ripplage (ph) of water that drains on the outside of the stone, into the carport. So, it’s a bit puzzling. We use – we tried to reface the flashing with just black tar and that sort of thing. But still seems to leak a bit when there’s substantial rain.
TOM: So, I’m having trouble imagining the layout here but is this a situation where you have water from the roof that’s running down towards the chimney?
TOM: And does the chimney have a cricket? Do you know what a cricket is? It’s like sort of a peaked piece of flashing that diverts the water around it.
DAVID: It does have a flashing that runs around it. That’s correct.
TOM: OK. Well, a cricket is not just the flashing. A chimney cricket is like a modification of the roof plane, where it pitches upwards so that the water doesn’t actually strike the back of the chimney. It goes around the chimney.
DAVID: Oh, no, no. It’s a consistent roofline sloping downward.
TOM: So, one thing that you could do is you could put a piece of flashing on the roof to intercept the runoff from the roof that’s heading towards the chimney and sort of divert it around it. And that kind of sort of diverter move will reduce the volume of water that’s striking the chimney. And that can help minimize the problem.
Now, in terms of the flashing repair itself, you mentioned tar. It’s probably the worst thing you could put on a chimney and I know that folks do it all the time. But the right way to do it, if you have a flashing leak, is to replace the flashing. And flashing is always installed in two pieces. You have a base flashing that goes under the roof shingles and against the chimney. And you have a counterflashing that goes in the chimney mortar joints and then down on top of the base flashing. And it’s done that way so it can expand and contract with the movement, because the chimney’s going to move differently than the roof. The tar might give you a temporary seal but eventually, it’s just going to crack.
So I would recommend you install a diverter, try to move some of the water around the chimney. And if it continues, do a better job repairing the flashing in the chimney, because it shouldn’t happen.
DAVID: OK. Will do. I appreciate it so much. Enjoy your show.
TOM: Well, thank you so much. We appreciate your call, David.
LESLIE: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. Hey, are you ready to spruce up your home for spring? Well, we are ready to help. Give us a call now at 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor, where you can get instantly matched with top-rated pros for any home project and book appointments online, for free.
TOM: Still ahead, mixed-metal finishes is a trend that’s breaking design rules for kitchens. We’ll share how this one project can infuse energy into your kitchen design, next.
Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: What’s on your to-do list? Give us a call right now. We’ll give you a hand, whether you’re planning a project or stuck in the middle. The number is 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor, where it’s easy to find top-rated, local home improvement pros for any home project. Just go to HomeAdvisor.com.
And if you’re a DIYer, we’ve got a great tool to give away this hour that’ll come in pretty handy. It’s from our friends at Arrow Fastener. It’s the Arrow PT50 Pneumatic Staple Gun and a supply of staples.
And there are lots of things you can do with the Arrow PT50 Staple Gun, including repairing lattice around your deck. That’s one of the many projects featured on ArrowFastener.com. Just click on Projects. You’ll get all the step-by-step tips and advice you need to get that project done.
And this tool delivers serious pneumatic performance at a price everyone will love. It’s packed with features like an easy-load magazine, over-molded comfort grip, adjustable exhaust cover and contact safety. It’s got the power and the versatility to take on any home project.
Going out to one caller drawn at random. Make that you. The prize package is worth 50 bucks and the number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Angela in Missouri, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
ANGELA: I am purchasing a beautiful 1940s home. It’s two stories with a basement and I was just wondering you guys’ thoughts on the second floor. Basically, there’s a very tiny staircase that goes up to the second floor and I’m worried about if there was a fire, something that blocked the stairway. Are there products out there that you can purchase – well, yeah, I don’t know, a roll-down ladder or some kind of alarm or something? What do you guys know about that?
TOM: Sure. There’s all sorts of things. In terms of egress, if you have just the staircase and you want another option, you could always get a ladder that – it’s like a chain ladder that hooks over the window and you drop it down the outside wall of your house. Problem with those, though, is that in – from a practical matter, in a fire you have black smoke filling the house. It’s really hard to find that ladder and set it up.
LESLIE: Some of them are actually built into window-box units that look like a decorative window box that you can attach to the exterior of your home. And it would be right outside of the window. But then again, that’s not really ideal if it’s a kid’s room.
ANGELA: Right, right. Yeah. And that’s – it’s just me and two kids and we all have our own room, so …
TOM: So I would make sure that you have a good-quality smoke-alarm system. You know, if you can afford to use one that’s centrally monitored, I think that’s best because now you know the system – the home is being monitored 24/7. And you could add carbon-monoxide protection to that and even flood protection to that and temperature protection to that all in the same system.
ANGELA: Is there some kind of system that – I don’t want to have to hard-wire it in the house. But is there a system that maybe uses Bluetooth or some things that have to talk to each other?
TOM: Yes. If you have hardwired smoke detectors now – so if you have a detector that’s already wired – not battery-powered but hardwired – you can replace that with a Nest Protect. And the Nest is the brand, Protect is the detector. And the Nest Protect is a combination dual-technology smoke detector, so it works for both with a photoelectric sensor and an ionization sensor, which basically means it’ll detect smoldering fires and flash fires but it also protects you against carbon monoxide.
Now, what I like about this system is if you also install it with the Nest Thermostat, if either of those things were to happen – if you had a fire or you had a carbon-monoxide alert – it will actually turn the thermostat off, which is important. Because if it’s carbon monoxide, the most likely source in the home is the furnace or the boiler, depending on what kind of system you have. And if you have a fire, running that furnace during the fire helps to spread the smoke.
You definitely can install it yourself. It’s not difficult. Nest provides great instruction on how to do that. In fact, I just replaced – I have a centrally monitored system in my house but I decided – we also had, sort of as a redundant system, two hardwired detectors: one on the first floor, one on the second floor. I’ve just replaced those with the Nest Protect. And I’m really happy with it. I think it’s a really good system and just gives me some added peace of mind.
ANGELA: OK. Well, thank you so much. That’s a great idea. I think that’s the way I’m going to go.
TOM: Well, if you’re considering an updated look for your kitchen, mixed metals is one trend you might want to try. It’s a modern look that really shuns that sort of matchy-matchy styles that were so popular in the past, where everything had to be the same.
LESLIE: Yeah. Maybe you’ve heard that design rule that says the finishes of your appliances should match the finishes of your plumbing fixtures, hardware and lighting. Well, not anymore.
TOM: Yeah, that’s right. The mixed-metals trend is going to really add a layer of interest and dimension to the room. You can combine silver and gold or chrome and brass or add that beautiful, oil-rubbed bronze finish to existing fixtures. And all in all, it’s going to make your kitchen look a lot livelier.
LESLIE: And if you’re wondering if that mixed-metals trend is going to work in your home, the good news is it’s going to. I mean it’s a look that can be a universal trend. It’s going to work with pretty much any color palette and style. All types of homes – including transitional, rustic, even contemporary – can benefit from mixed metals. It doesn’t have to be a huge variety of mixtures of the metal. But a good mix, good tones, even adding in a mercury glass, so many ways that you can make this new trend really work for you. And it’s lovely.
TOM: Check out all the design trends, including a gallery showing that mixed-metals look, on MoneyPit.com.
LESLIE: Jim in Washington is on the line with a water-in-the-crawlspace situation. What’s going on?
JIM: Well, we live on the West Coast and like most of the homes out here that are less than 40 years old, we have a crawlspace instead of a basement.
JIM: And in December, we had record rains – the most ever – and we discovered, by chance, that we had about 3 or 4 inches of water in our crawlspace.
JIM: The dirt floor is covered with plastic. It’s about 1,500 square foot of area, so that was a considerable amount of water.
TOM: Has that drained out?
JIM: Well, we rented a pump and I pumped for a couple of days and then I used my shop vac and took out 5 gallons of water at a time. And yes, it is all out now.
TOM: And we don’t want it to come back, right?
JIM: Well, not only that but I just don’t know what to do to make sure there was no further damage.
TOM: Alright. Well, I have fantastic news for you. It’s so great that your crawlspace flooded after a heavy rainfall, because that tells me that the solution involves your gutters and your grading.
This is not a rising water-table situation. This is a scenario where you have to reduce the amount of water that’s collecting at the foundation perimeter. And usually, that happens because the gutters become clogged and overflow and dump all their water right at the foundation perimeter. Or the downspouts are not extended far enough away and dump water right near the corner of the foundation. Or the grading around the house is too flat or in some cases, even sloped backwards into the house so that the water never has a chance to run away. So when you have a lot of rain and that results in a flood in a crawlspace or a basement, that is always, always, always the cause. So the solution is just to reverse all that.
Now, in terms of damage, if the water was only in there for a short period of time – a week or two and you got it pumped out – I don’t think there’ll be any ongoing issues. If these spaces stay wet for a really long time, you can get increased decay or insect activity. But an occasional flood like that is not likely to have any effect on the house. More important that you make sure it doesn’t happen again by trying to address whatever drainage deficiencies you find.
JIM: Fantastic. Well, that is what I will start doing then. I’ll see what I can find. Thank you. Appreciate it.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project, Jim. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Hey, if you’ve got a finished or even an unfinished basement or perhaps a crawlspace, you know that it’s always a challenge to keep that space dry and healthy. Well, we’re going to share some info on a product that can help you do just that, after this.
TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
Well, as we continue to make our homes more and more energy-efficient, we may very well also be trapping unhealthy air inside with us. In fact, the EPA reports that the air inside the homes can be five times more polluted than the air outside.
TOM: And that’s why now is a great time to look at ways we can continue to enjoy energy efficiency while breathing easier at the same time. With us to talk about that is Erika Lacroix, President of E•Z Breathe Ventilation Systems.
ERIKA: Hello. Thank you.
TOM: So, it seems kind of counterintuitive that we put all this effort, you know, into making our homes tighter and more efficient. But I guess you can go overboard with that and make them unhealthy at the same time. So, how do you strike a balance?
ERIKA: Well, that’s exactly it. A balance is what’s needed. Unfortunately, for the last maybe 30, 40 years, we’ve been on this quest of greater and greater energy efficiency, which is wonderful. Less energy costs, more energy efficiency. But what we’re missing is the balance part of it. We need to address what’s going on inside the house and add ventilation. We need to start talking about the indoor-air quality and how buttoning up the homes may be great for our energy costs but it’s actually detrimental to the indoor-air quality.
LESLIE: And I think to your point of keeping the homes airtight, now we’re also bringing things in: we’re bringing in new furniture, we’re bringing in flooring products, we’re bring in materials. And some of those are made from chemicals that aren’t really the best for us and they’re off-gassing in the process of getting acclimated to your house. And if you’re not turning over the air in the house on a regular basis, you’re just being trapped with all of those not-so-great things.
ERIKA: You said it. That’s exactly it. We’re getting trapped inside these very tight building envelopes and we’re not allowing that toxic off-gassing of chemicals. There’s no place for it to go; there’s no path of escape. So, oftentimes they concentrate to a very, very unhealthy level. It’s just not good air that we’re breathing.
TOM: So, it’d be rather simple to open a window but that’s going to not do too much for our energy efficiency. So, how do you bring in fresh air without driving up your energy costs at the same time?
ERIKA: Well, just like you said, we’re opening windows, we’re opening doors just in our everyday living. But unfortunately, we’re not getting anything out of the house. As we open doors and we open windows, our house sucks air in. So we’re not getting air out.
So what we really need to do is we need to start exhausting the air. We have exhaust fans in our kitchens, where we produce pollutants, right? We have steam, we have cooking odors, we have fans. We have fans in our bathrooms where, again, we’re producing moisture, we’re producing contaminants. So we have spot-ventilation in these places in our homes. But one of the largest contributors to poor indoor-air quality is in our foundation: our basements, our crawlspaces. Through the stack effect, that air rises up. So we start breathing basement and crawlspace air.
So, at E•Z Breathe, we source the exhaust ventilation in the foundation: in the basement and in the crawlspace. So we create air exchanges from that level.
TOM: So when you say you source the air down there, so you mean that you are exhausting to those spaces?
ERIKA: No, we are exhausting the air that resides in those spaces.
TOM: Oh, OK.
ERIKA: And by doing that, we create a very slight draw that brings the air from the upper levels down into those foundation spaces, like a basement space or a crawlspace space, and we protect the living environment from that bad air that typically lives in basements from rising up, threatening the good air upstairs.
TOM: So, is what you’re saying is that you’re slightly depressurizing those lower spaces – the basements and the crawlspaces – and then that’s being replenished with air that’s being replaced from the upper sections of the house. Is that about right?
ERIKA: You got it. That’s exactly it.
TOM: OK. Got it.
ERIKA: So it’s exhaust and replenishing, yep.
TOM: That’s really interesting. And so I guess by doing so, you’re doing it in a controlled way where you’re not really wasting heated air but you’re giving the house an opportunity to kind of refresh itself in the process?
ERIKA: Absolutely. We have a variable fan speed, so people can determine how quickly they want the air to move. And it’s governed by a humidistat. So when the dry, clean air is sent, E•Z Breathe will cycle off.
But what you’ll find is your home loses six times more energy and heat through the roof and through the walls, through the natural stack effect, than what E•Z Breathe could ever exhaust. E•Z Breathe is a gentle draw.
TOM: We’re talking to Erika Lacroix – she’s the president of E•Z Breathe – about how to make our homes better ventilated so that we can enjoy healthy living.
LESLIE: Erika, are you finding that now that people have installed the E•Z Breathe and they’re getting more air circulation in the house, what are some of the benefits that they’re noticing? Are you testing to see what these new results are?
ERIKA: Oh, absolutely, Leslie. We’ve been testing this for over a decade now. And what we find time and time again is not only do people report that they have less odors, they have less humidity levels, they notice that their air feels lighter and fresher. But our scientific testing has proven that the indoor-particulate count, which is really just a fancy word for everything that you see floating in the air – anything you might find through a sunlight ray that comes through the window and you see all those little floaties? Those are technically particulates.
And E•Z Breathe will reduce the overall particulate count in a home by up to 85 percent. So that is a much improved indoor-air quality. And people find they don’t sneeze as much, they don’t cough as much because there’s not so much stuff in the air that’s irritating their respiratory tract. So they feel better.
TOM: That makes a lot of sense.
Erika Lacroix, the president of E•Z Breathe, thank you so much for being a part of The Money Pit.
If you’d like to learn more about E•Z Breathe, head on over to their website. That’s EZBreathe.com – E-Z-B-r-e-a-t-h-e.com.
ERIKA: Thank you so much.
LESLIE: You know, there are few things more disgusting than to have to clean up a house or apartment that’s been saturated to the core with cigarette or tobacco-smoke smell. If you’ve ever spent time around a smoker, you know that that odor lingers long after they leave the room. We’re going to discuss ways to clean up those odors, when The Money Pit continues.
TOM: Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Call us now on The Money Pit’s listener line with your home improvement question at 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor.
LESLIE: You can get matched with top-rated home service pros in your area, read verified reviews and book appointments online, all for free.
TOM: No matter the type of job, HomeAdvisor makes it fast and easy to hire the best local pros.
And if you do pick up the phone and call us, right now, you might just win the Arrow PT50 Pneumatic Staple Gun and a supply of staples. That package is worth 50 bucks. Lots of things you can do with that very fun tool, including repairing deck lattice. You can find the step-by-step instructions at ArrowFastener.com. Just click on Projects. You’ll get everything you need to get that project done.
That package is worth 50 bucks. Going out to one caller. It’s only going to be you if you pick up the phone, though, and call us with your home improvement question at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Hugo in Missouri, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
HUGO: I’m redoing my kitchen and bathroom. And I’m wondering what you would recommend for flooring it. I’ve got carpet in it now and I sincerely dislike the carpet. And I want to put something else in and would you recommend a composite material or vinyl or linoleum or what?
TOM: Well, I can’t think of two rooms that are worse for carpeting than kitchens and bathrooms.
HUGO: I know. Tell me about it. I bought the house seven years ago and it had that in it, so …
TOM: Yeah. Bad décor choice but I think you can do a lot better. I think one thing that you might want to take a look at is laminate flooring, because laminate flooring can come in a wide range of designs. It can look like tile, it can look like stone or it could look like wood. And it’s really durable when it comes to moist/damp places.
HUGO: What about – will a stove and refrigerator leave dents in it?
TOM: I’ve had laminate flooring down in my kitchen for 10 years and we pull the refrigerator out whenever it’s necessary. I never worry about it.
HUGO: Well, I appreciate the information. I thank you and I’ll look into it.
TOM: Alright, Hugo. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Well, for homes or apartments where smokers lived, that nasty odor can stay for years. And the reason is simple: that smoke, it gets everywhere from deep in the carpet to furniture and window coverings. It can hang in the air, it can stick to walls and ceilings and floors, it can stick to kitchen cabinets. It even gets trapped deep inside heating ducts where it can spread throughout your entire house.
So, if you’ve found yourself stuck with a smelly home to live in or to rent or to sell, there is a way to remove that stink and actually clear the air. It’s not easy but it can happen.
LESLIE: Now, the first step to the deep-cleaning process is to understand what exactly you’re dealing with. Now, when cigarette smoke floats into the air, it spreads out and it sticks to whatever it touches. And I mean everything. Now, what doesn’t stick to surfaces, walls and the ceiling will eventually settle back down onto the floor and into the carpet.
Now, these particles are then ground in with your feet when you walk. If you’ve got light-colored surfaces, the patina of a cigarette residue is faintly yellow. And it grows more intensely yellow with layers and time.
TOM: Now that you know what you’re dealing with, you want to be prepared to blast that tobacco smoke smell and yellow residue from virtually every surface and material in the home. The best way to do this is to work from top to bottom on all furniture, on the countertops, the cabinetry.
You want to mix up a solution of TSP. That’s trisodium phosphate. It’s sort of a soapy cleaner. You’ll find it in hardware stores or in the paint aisles of your favorite home center. And you want to use a combination of moist paper towels and soapy sponges to get every hard or smooth surface in the house. Be sure to change those towels out frequently so you don’t end up spreading the smoky residue around. You want to get into the corners, the undersides and especially the upper areas where the smoke does tend to linger.
LESLIE: Now, another way to get to those hard-to-reach places is by using a sponge mop. Now, you want to get a brand-new one that’s never scrubbed a floor. And get it damp with that soapy TSP water and then scrub away. But you have to make sure that you rinse it frequently and change that soapy water often.
TOM: Now, with clean surfaces, your home will finally be rid of that tobacco-smoke smell and ready to house a non-smoking family. But whether the effort has been for your health or happiness after you quit or simply found yourself in charge of a nicotine-tinged house, with a complete and thorough deep clean like this, even a home that’s been smoked in for decades can be restored to almost hypoallergenic perfection. And that’s exactly how you clear the air.
888-666-3974. Would you like us to clear a home improvement project off your to-do list? Give us a call right now.
LESLIE: Mary in North Carolina is on the line with a mossy roof. Tell us what’s going on at your money pit.
MARY: Well, we have a 10-year-old roof – asphalt shingles, I believe they are – and the sections between shingles are beginning to be filled up with moss.
LESLIE: It’s like a mossy grout line.
MARY: Yeah, that’s right. I’d like to know how to get it safely clean and keep it from growing back again. It isn’t the entire roof. We are in an A-frame house, so it’s very sharp, very steep roof. And it’s just about the 8 or 10 feet closest to the edge.
LESLIE: OK. Do you see it all the way around or do you just see it on, say, the north-facing side or in the area …?
MARY: It’s just on this north-facing part.
LESLIE: OK. So that’s the area that gets the least amount of sunlight.
LESLIE: Do you have a large tree that’s adding more shade to this area?
MARY: We have a lot of trees, yeah.
LESLIE: A lot of trees.
TOM: Yeah, therein lies the problem.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Now, the best solution here is – can you trim out or thin out those trees in any way to get more sunlight onto that portion of the roof? Because if you can do that, sunlight really is your best weapon in getting rid of this moss and keeping it away. Now, you’ll have to do some work to get it to be gone in the first place but if you can add more sunlight, you’re going to help it stay away.
MARY: Alright. Very good. Thank you very much.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Still ahead, reclaimed furniture can be a great way to save money and the environment. But you have to take one extra step to make sure that old furniture is safe. We’re going to tell you what you need to know, after this.
TOM: Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
Call in your home repair or your home improvement question 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor. You can find top-rated home service pros and book appointments online, all for free.
TOM: And while you are online, you might want to swing by The Money Pit’s Community page and post your home improvement question. Michael did just that.
He’s got an interesting question, Leslie. He says, “I live in a townhouse with a steel I-beam that runs through the basement, through all the houses in my row. The I-beam seems to carry a lot of noise. When I’m in the basement, I can hear the conversations that my neighbors two doors down are having. How can I insulate the I-beam so that the sounds don’t travel so much?”
You know, he’s connecting the dots here thinking that that I-beam is like a big, fat telephone wire that’s moving that sound down. But I think it’s unlikely that the I-beam is actually doing that transmission. The problem is more likely traced to the way those walls were constructed, including the possibility of openings that are right around that I-beam, as well as lights and outlets and switches that are just too large. Because we know from experience that when you try to quiet a room, you have to seal up all of those gaps.
And there are a couple of ways to do that. One option is to insulate and to include the joints and the – where the I-beam goes through. And you want to add a second layer of drywall across that surface and use a material called Green Glue that provides sound resistance between the boards.
Or another option is to actually pick up and install what’s known as “sound-resistant drywall.” There’s one called QuietRock and there are others. You basically put it over the existing drywall and you have to pay extra attention to outlets and lights and switches. There’s actually a special soundproofing material – it’s kind of like a putty – that needs to go behind them. And it requires you to unwire those outlets and switches, pull the box out and put this clay-like stuff behind it.
So it’s a big project but it’s the only way you’re going to truly be able to quiet that noise that you’re hearing in the basement space.
LESLIE: I mean there’s even a quiet adhesive that you put in between the two sheets of drywall. It’s a process to make rooms really, really quiet. So you’ve got to want to do it.
TOM: Well, upcycling is a great way to redecorate. There are many vintage pieces just waiting for that right touch. And you know the saying: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. But you need to be careful about reusing those older items, especially when it comes to kids’ rooms. Leslie tells you why, in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.
LESLIE: That’s right. If you do decide to do a little garage- or even estate-saling (ph) to save some cash, you do want to be careful about which vintage pieces you choose for your child’s room.
Now, first of all, you want to make sure that you don’t get anything with old chipping or potentially lead-based paint. And you can kind of tell from the finish and the layers of paint on it if it’s something that’s worth trying to strip or maybe you should just stay away from. Because you really don’t want to get into a big project, especially when you’re not sure what that finish is. And you don’t want to release any chemicals into the air that could be harmful or chips that the child could eat and be even more harmful.
Now, you also want to make sure that you stay away from furniture with out-of-date latches and hardware. I’m talking about chests and cribs. Any crib with a drop-down side, that is just not even happening anymore. So go ahead and check out the Consumer Products Safety Commission, which is CPSC.gov. You’ll find a list there of recalled items and that’s going to help you really make good decisions about what you can and cannot purchase when you’re at these sales.
You don’t want to be afraid of salvaging old pieces. It’s going to be great for you, it’s going to be great for the environment. You’ll be able to show your creativity. You just have to be cautious about the pieces you do bring in. Make sure you’re keeping everybody safe.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Coming up next time on the program, do you want a pop of color to greet friends and family at your front door? Well, you can enhance that front entrance with the right flowers and plantings and create a very colorful, new welcome. We’ll have tips on how to take on that project, on the very next edition of The Money Pit.
I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Remember, you can do it yourself …
LESLIE: But you don’t have to do it alone.
END HOUR 2 TEXT
(Copyright 2019 Squeaky Door Productions, Inc. No portion of this transcript or audio file may be reproduced in any format without the express written permission of Squeaky Door Productions, Inc.)
LESLIE: Now we’re heading over to Tennessee where Daniel is dealing with how to deter carpenter bees and of course, those lovely, perfectly round, bored holes that they love to make all over your wood house. What’s going on?
DANIEL: Ah, well, I’ve got these carpenter bees that keep drilling holes into my fascia board right there underneath my roof. And I filled them in and I’ve repainted and they keep coming back. I don’t know if there’s maybe something I can do to prevent that or something I can use to paint it with.
TOM: Yeah, a couple of things you can do. First of all, in terms of stopping the bees from coming back, you would have to have the carpenter bees professionally treated with a proper insecticide that will basically exterminate what’s there. Now, even if you did do that, though, they may come back the next season.
A surefire way to deter carpenter bees is to replace your wood trim with something that’s not wood. I had this exact problem on a garage on our property and I simply replaced the wood trim with AZEK – A-Z-E-K. And there are other brands, as well, but basically, it’s a cellular PVC material that looks like wood, cuts like wood but the carpenter bees can’t eat it. In fact, it was very humorous to me because after I replaced the fascia with AZEK, the bees kept circling it but they couldn’t figure out why it didn’t taste like wood.
LESLIE: It’s like, “This looks like wood. I don’t understand.”
DANIEL: That would actually be absolutely worth doing just to see them circle and …
TOM: In frustration, yeah. Alright? I hope that helps you out. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
From Source Article: moneypit.com