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: And we’re now to help you take on your residence improvement projects, get those decor projects done. If you’ve got a decor dilemma, a DIY dilemma, don’t know where to start, don’t know what you need, whether you can do it yourself or need to get help, we can help with all of those questions. Help yourself firstly, though, by picking up the phone and calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT or posting your question on MoneyPit.com.
Coming up on today’s see, temperatures are slipping rapidly. So, a few questions: are your home’s water lines prepared to stand up to that freezing brave? If you have ever had a frozen pipe- or worse, a pipe disintegrate- it is high time to take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen this wintertime. We’re going to tell you some tips-off that you can follow to make sure your tubes keep the flow and not- and don’t explode once they freeze and separate. Because I say to you, it’s a really tough one to repair once that happens.
LESLIE: And too onward this hour, is your home suffering from old-fashioned, dres and dated wallpaper? Well, removing it is not as hard as you might think. Alright, it’s various kinds of hard-boiled but it’s surely worth noting. But we’re going to have some paces to make it quicker and easier, including manoeuvres that move the next hair of paint or wallpaper going on that much easier to apply.
TOM: Plus, one of the most popular projects for this time of year is soak remodeling. Everybody craves it done, you know, before the end of the year, before we have friends and family over around Christmas and New Year’s and all the other holidays. So we’re going to give you some step-by-step advice for DIYers and pros to get that job done quickly.
LESLIE: Plus, it’s winter season and that means fuel season. Do you have all the paraphernalium that you need to protect your home? Well, you are able to not if you’re "re missing a" kitchen flaming extinguisher.
TOM: Yeah, that’s right. And that’s because kitchen extinguishers are special and they’re designed specifically to handle grease and electrical ardors, which are more common to that infinite and certainly a bigger risk now with all the holiday cooking going on. So we’re going to give away a kitchen flame extinguisher, along with a whole host of produces from our friends at First Alert, to one lucky listener described at random.
So, if you want it to be you, you’ve got to pick up the phone and call us. The multitude is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888 -6 66 -3 974.
Let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s first?
LESLIE: Robert in Alaska is on the line with a crawlspace situation. Tell us what’s going on.
ROBERT: Basically, what I’ve went going on is we had a lot of rain this summer, so I had liquid kind of penetrate the foundation. And I was wondering if there is anything I could do from the inside to maybe stop some of that penetration from coming in and get the hell out of there the wood that’s holding up the, I predict, the floor.
TOM: Yeah, utterly. Now, are you talking about concrete-block walls?
TOM: OK. So, a couple of things. Firstly of all, we want to make sure that you are doing what you can to slow the collection of spray from outside moving inside. So that intends looking at your gutter system, obligating sure this is right sewers and that they’re diverting liquid away from the house, not just a couple of feet from the foundation but well away. And make sure that the slant of the grime around the foundation ascents away. And that are able to do a lot to move the irrigate away from that backfill zone.
Inside the crawlspace, you can add a vapor barrier to the grime and that will stop moisture from vaporizing up. And on the blocks themselves, you can apply a product called Ames’ Blue Max, which is a rubber paint. It’s very stretchable and it clings really well. And when you apply it to the block, it stops any moisture from comes back the block. Ames is spelled -Am-e-s and the commodity is called Blue Max. You can search for it online. Their website is AmesResearch.com.
ROBERT: OK. Great deal. Yeah, I’ve got a company coming in to, I suspect, dig the outside of the foundation and set some drainage the following spring- this coming spring- so ...
TOM: OK. Well, let me prevent you right there, OK? Because that’s not likely going to help you and it’s not necessary.
ROBERT: Oh, OK.
TOM: If that humidity is consistent with rainfall- in other words, you get a lot of downpour, looks just like you mentioned, and then you get leakage- then putting all those drainage tubes and disturbing all that soil is really not the way to go. If you improve your gutter system and you improve the grading- the angle of the clay around the foundation boundary- that stops the majority of members of that surface water from getting in.
TOM: The only time we recommend drainage arrangements, like what you’re describing, is when you have a rising water table which, if you did, you wouldn’t be going leakage that’s consistent with rainfall.
ROBERT: Ah, OK. Well, good. That’s important to know then.
TOM: Yep. So now there "theres going"; saved you a assortment of money.
ROBERT: Oh, yes, you did.
TOM: You’ve got it, Robert. Thanks so much for announcing us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Christine from Ohio on the line and I judge she’s got a lot of an issue of us here at The Money Pit. How can we help you?
CHRISTINE: So my first issue is about the garage separation. Our strategy call for an uninsulated garage and we got some guess on scatter sud. And so I had them give me an estimate on the garage. I was wondering how much of major investments should we put one across the insulation in the garage or is it worth it at all?
TOM: So, is this new construction, Christine?
CHRISTINE: Yes. Yep.
TOM: OK. So, garages don’t have to be insulated by construct code. Typically, the only part of the garage that would naturally be insulated would be the wall between the garage and the house.
This is an appended garage?
TOM: Oh, separated. OK. So then it would have no insulation. So, the only reason to insulate this is if you, in the future, decide that you’re going to want to heat that gap. And if it is a detached garage, that may very well be the case. And it’s never going to be easier than it is right now to insulate that space.
In terms of the insulation alternative, since it is new construction, I would definitely recommend that you use spray-foam insulation because it’s awfully effective likened- guys more efficient than fiberglass. It also stops any sketch that are going through the walls.
TOM: So, my two pennies would be- I is sure to insulate that garage and I would do it with spraying foam before it’s all finished off. Because this mode, you’ll be good to go.
Now, on the inside of that garage, if you’re going to introduced spray foam on those walls, you’re too going to need to cover them. So, "ve been thinking about" that. You don’t require to leave that scatter sud uncovered, because it’ll precisely get beat up over time.
TOM: So you could put on any type of wallboard. I would maybe lean towards fiberglass wallboard. It looks like drywall but it’s a little bit harder and it doesn’t proliferate mold, because it’s outside.
CHRISTINE: Oh, OK. And in the crawlspace of the house, where we have the add-on, we were going to be spraying sud. Should we just get it on the joists or should be used depart all the way down the cinderblock?
TOM: Well, typically, it clearly goes on the underside of the flooring joists and most importantly, at the box beam, which is the outside- right above that foundation. But the sud would not go down below that. If you wishes to be insulate the crawlspace walls, there’s a different type of a kind of a fiberglass batting that’s used for that, that’s contained inside of a package. It usually has a foil face. And that’s going to work better for that tiny slouse of fiberglass- of, excuse me, foundation wall.
CHRISTINE: OK, great. Thank you so much.
TOM: Well, you’re very welcome, Christine. Very exciting. You’re getting a new house and we’re glad that we were able to help you start the right decisions for it.
LESLIE: Yeah, good luck with that.
CHRISTINE: Yes. Thank you so much.
LESLIE: You are carolled to The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Give us a bawl with your decoration or your residence better questions now at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
888-MONEY-PIT is presented by HomeAdvisor, where it’s easy to find top-rated, regional residence better pros for any home project. Go to HomeAdvisor.com.
TOM: And time onward, can your plumbing hoses exist the cold? We’re going to give you some easy, inexpensive ways to keep them from freezing and smashing, after this.
Where home answers live, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: We’d love to hear from you right now. Just pick up the phone and call us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT with your dwelling improvement questions.
And 888-MONEY-PIT is presented by HomeAdvisor. You can get instantly matched with top-rated pros for any home project and journal appointments online for free.
And you know what else you can get for free? Well, if you contribute us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT, you might just earn the First Alert Home Safety Kit. We’re giving one apart and it includes a kitchen flame extinguisher, which is easy to use and designed specifically to fight the combustible liquid and electrical shells you would find in the kitchen. That container is worth 145 bucks. It includes a smoking detector, carbon-monoxide detector, combo panic, a whole knot of stuff.
And I adoration the fact that these alarms now, Leslie, they’ve get 10 -year artilleries. So you don’t have to change them every year like when you vary the clocks, right? Ten years and you’re good to go.
So, it’s going out to one caller drawn at random. One listener. Give us a bawl right now. The digit is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888 -6 66 -3 974.
LESLIE: Now I’ve went Roland on the line. What’s going on at your fund pit?
ROLAND: I have got a huge master bedroom with synthetic-marble illustrations and all. And it’s always simply had mold all over the highly foot of the seams. I have to cut it out about every six to nine months and replace it. It’s driving me crazy. All the mold products you buy, caulkings say 10 years. I’ve located any that last more than a year. Can you give me an alternative plan for this? I’ve been doing this since' 05.
TOM: Wow. So, this marble is around what again?
ROLAND: The very bottom, between the horizontal membranes that come down. It’s like the last three hoof in the angles and then where the base of the shower gratifies the walls.
TOM: Alright. So, a couple of things come to mind.
First of all, when you have a big mold problem, you have to be extra careful with the ventilation in the cavity. What kind of bath ventilation do you have right now?
ROLAND: I think it’s like 700 CFM fan in the- above it.
TOM: And do "youre using" this follower, you are aware, religiously when you take showers, to keep the sweat out of the room?
ROLAND: I do.
ROLAND: I exactly- I’m trying to think. And then there’s another devotee, right outside of it, for the bathroom.
TOM: Well, that’s what I’m talking about. See, what I’m going to recommend you do is look at your bathtub breathing and make sure that you upgrade that bathroom devotee. And you can find one that’s on a humidistat or on a timer so that it’s basically moving anytime there’s high-pitched humidity in that opening. If "youre supposed to" reduce the quantity of humidity that’s in that room all the time, you’re vanishing to do far less mold growth. So that’s one thing. And make sure, of course, that wherever that vent-holes it’s outside your house.
ROLAND: Yeah. I’ve never had a problem from chest-high up. It’s always waist-high and below.
TOM: Well, that’s because the lower parts of that slab, it’s going to be colder than what’s up higher. And so you’re going to get more moisture and more saturation lower down on the wall than you are higher up on the wall. So that’s the reason you’re identifying it at the bottom. That’s reasonably common.
Now, the next thing is you want to make sure that when you do caulk this that, first of all, you take steps to remove all of the aged caulk. And there’s a product that’s various kinds of like a draw stripper but it’s for caulk. It’s called a “caulk softener.” And when you apply this substance, you’ll be able to get all the age-old caulk soothed up and be able to get it all fully removed.
And then, before you employed new caulk on, what I want you to do is to take a exceedingly strong- like a 50/50 bleach-and-water solution and then spray all of those joints down so that we kill any mildew or mold that’s behind that slab domain. And gave it sit there for a good half-hour and then make sure it’s mopped off and dries really well.
And then, when you apply the brand-new caulk I want you to look for caulk that has Microban in it. And probably silicone caulk with Microban. Because silicone is much less likely to grow mold and the Microban is an additive that I know, personally, to be very effective in stop mold. So I think it’s a combination of reducing the humid conditions in that space. Even beings that use bath devotees always turn them off when they leave the room. And of course, the room stands damp for quite a long time. So if you have one that’s on ...
LESLIE: It even gets more condensation, because the door’s open.
TOM: Yeah, precisely. So if you were to have one that’s on a humidistat, then it’s going to run as long as it "re going to have to" to cool that room out. And then do a good, proper caulking job, representing sure to kill anything that’s been left behind. And I think that you’ll see a significant difference if you make those steps.
ROLAND: OK. I may do- I may- I actually thought about gathering a small duct love through the wall, into the bedroom, so that anytime the shower was on it would ventilate around through the walls and exactly try to remove that, more. But I didn’t.
TOM: Yeah, I don’t think you have to go above and beyond what we’ve intimated here. I belief the combined effects of these few things is going to do it for you.
ROLAND: Alright. Phenomenal. I’ve been using the Microban but I will try to, before I recaulk it this time, make those extra measures. And I expressed appreciation for so much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that campaign. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Well, anybody who’s dealt with them can tell you frozen pipings are one large-hearted, expensive headache. The good word is, though, there are a few things you can do to stop them from freezing in the first place.
LESLIE: Yeah. On those super-duper cold nights, you guys, why don’t you open the door to any of those under-sink closets along the exterior walls of your residence? Yeah. And this is most often where your kitchen sink lives, so you want to let that warm breeze in. And that’s going to prevent it from becoming a freezer, which can then lead to those frozen water lines.
TOM: Now, you too want to bundle up hoses, just like you do with a winter hair. I recommend you wrap isolation around the pipings if they’re in an unheated crawlspace, in an attic or in a vault. You can use foam tubes, you can use fiberglass tubes, you can use fiberglass wrapper, piping wrap. Whatever you do, insulate them because that is going to stop them from freezing in the first place.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And you know what? Those crawlspace and cellar drafts can actually freeze those uninsulated hoses in exactly a matter of a few hours. So it is capable of happen far more quickly than you think.
Now, once you find those enlists, you want to consider using an expanding foam sealant. And that’s going to seal everything off and trim those drafts out.
TOM: Now, ultimately, preserve all your heat above 55 magnitudes all winter long, even if you’re not home, even though it is you’ve turned your sea off, which we hope you do if you’re leaving in the winter. But if you shut off the lower, unused heating zones, that can cause water and heating directions to freeze up in the walls and the ceilings.
So, a few things to do to keep the water stream through those pipings and stop those frozen tubes from undermining. Because you know what happens when they melting? You flood your live. It’s not pretty. So, don’t skip that step.
LESLIE: Next up, our caller has a great list. We’ve went Leslie on the line who’s got a question about trimming down a door.
LESLIE( CALLER ): We have one door that I need to cut down. Croaks into the basement.
LESLIE( CALLER ): It’s also a six-panel, solid-core oak door.
LESLIE( CALLER ): When we went to cut it off, there appears to be staples or some kind of tiny metal cases inside the- there’s about 8 inches that go across the bottom. We were cutting that off or a part of it- 6 inches of it. And it’s wholly spoilt a watch blade.
LESLIE( CALLER ): Do you have any suggestions as how to cut a solid-core door?
TOM: Yeah, having the staples inside of "thats really not" unexpected. Depends on how- they might have been used in the manufacturing process. I’ll be willing to bet that you used a non-carbide saw blade, because had you used a carbide visualize blade, it would have probably chipped through the metal and all.
LESLIE( CALLER ): OK. So just use a carbide.
TOM: Use a carbide blade and safety glasses and not a great carbide blade, because it will ruin the blade. But generally, it’ll cut right through something like that.
LESLIE( CALLER ): Alright. Thank you so much better for your help.
TOM: You’re welcome, Leslie. Thanks so much better for announcing us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Rich in Illinois is on the line and "workin on" a concrete activity. How can we help you today?
RICH: Well, I’ll tell you what, we’ve had a brand-new home built for us and because it was in a flood zone, we making a decision have the chamber of representatives built on 9-foot spewed concrete walls. Now, primarily what the hell is thought was going to happen is they were going to be concrete-slab walls and we were going to fold a nice facade river boulder around the whole bottom.
RICH: This is out in "the two countries ", in a forest specifying on a reservoir and it’s went delightful cedar placing. And when they poured the concrete, they rained it in structures, rather than being a slab, that looked like bricks.
RICH: And we objective up looking at it and thinking, “You know, we kind of like the inspect of this- these fleshes left.” Instead of spending a lot of fund to wrap it in flow rock, we were thinking here of leave it. And then individual came here and said there’s a technique that you can use to draw this brick-like concrete so it actually looks a great deal like brick. And I’d never heard of that. And they said they had seen it but they didn’t know how it was done. I was wondering if you guys knew anything about that.
TOM: So, Rich, this is a swarmed concrete wall that has a brick pattern but of course, it looks a lot like gray concrete, so we’re not clowning anybody into thinking it’s real brick, correct?
TOM: So, there is a way to add color.
I would suggest acid staining, right, Leslie?
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And there’s various manufacturers that do make an acid-staining product. And it’s- it really is a chemical reaction done onto the surface of the concrete that causes the concrete to truly change its colouring; it’s not something that’s applied to it. There’s an etching process and then the coloration process.
QUIKRETE represents them. If you seem up online, you’ll find a ton of different creators that do likewise realize them. And if you get a little creative, you can mix and match and throw it the extent and quality of an aged brick. I would recommend working on an neighborhood behind a bush or somewhere on the back side of the house until you get comfy with your technique and the coloration, so you know what you’re going to get.
RICH: Right. OK. Fantastic. Thank you.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good fortune with that project. Thanks so much for announcing us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Remember, you can reach us anytime 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with your home amend or your residence progress question right here at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
TOM: And still onward, is wallpaper the only thing endure between you and your dream area? We’re going to have tip-off for easy removal, when The Money Pit returns.
Making 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 presented by HomeAdvisor.com. Never worry about overpaying for a racket. Exactly use the HomeAdvisor True Cost Guide to see what others paid for similar projects. That’s all for free at HomeAdvisor.com.
LESLIE: Alright. Next up, we’ve got Joyce in Illinois who’s having a flooring issue. Tell us what’s going on.
JOYCE: Well, a few years ago, I put down a new kitchen floor- Congoleum DuraCeramic kitchen floor. And it has all these differentiates and things on it that I had a guy come out and look at it and he "said its a" problem from the factory. And I thought they were going to replace it and they never did oust it for me. And I was just wondering, what do I putting in place? I have dwelling day care and I was wondering what I could put down to stand up to my dwelling day care and still look nice?
TOM: Laminate tasks really well and it’s gotten less expensive. It’s easier to install.
Laminate floor is- can appear like vinyl, it can look like stone, it can look like wood. It can look like anything. And it’s mostly made of a medium-density fiberboard and then a color layer, which has the pattern of the stone or whatever it is on it. And then the laminate is on top of that. So, basically, it’s a sandwich.
And while beings are likening- would liken laminates to, say, a laminate countertop, like a Formica, a laminate flooring is actually about 100 times bigger durable since they were kept more protection on it. Yeah, I’ve had a laminate flooring down in my home, which is a very old house, for about 10 years. And it appears as good as the day we made it down, so I know it stands up well.
JOYCE: Well, I know I have day care and the kids are throwing toys around and everything else.
TOM: Sure. Absolutely.
TOM: Kids, dogs, toys, furniture. Yeah, I would take a look at laminates. Tough stuff and easy to clean.
JOYCE: OK. OK.
TOM: Alright, Joyce? Good luck with that activity. Thanks so much for label us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, if you’ve been staring at some aged, worn-out wallpaper but you’re putting off removing it because of the hassle, we get it. Trying to separate that wallpaper from the wall involves hard work, fortitude and persistence. And around this time of year, we’re all short on all of those things. But if you understand the options for removing it, you can actually save some time, energy, even some hassle in your seeking to induce that paper disappear. And there are really four steps that you’ve got to follow.
TOM: Yeah. First off, you’ve got to score the wallpaper. When we say score, we symbolize cut it.
LESLIE: Wallpaper one, homeowner zero.
TOM: Exactly. Yeah, right.
Use a practicality pierce, a wallpaper scorer, which is a very cool tool. I think it’s called a “paper tiger, ” one of the ones I’m familiar with. And you run it over the wall and it creates really small holes or truly thin fissures in the working papers. And the reason you’re make that is because it allows steam, which we’ll get to in a moment, to get through to the adhesive cornerstone and tighten it up.
Now, bear in mind the closer and more abundant those valued loopholes and wedges are, the smaller the slice of newspaper who the hell is gathered off. So if you prefer to remove wallpaper in big sheets, then value less.
Now, as to the steam, clearly, perfectly, the number-one easiest behavior for you to remove wallpaper is by charter a steamer. Entirely worth the costs and the hassle. You can work from the top down. That steam goes into that wallpaper. It melts apart the glue that’s impounding it up. And then you can peel it off one section at a time.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Now, here’s the other trick: you’ve got to add solution. If that wallpaper is just resisting removal, you want to mix hot water and fabric softener, equal roles one to one. And then pour that solution into a spraying bottle and apply to those tough-to-remove rooms. You’ve got to work immediately, because that solution is going to lose its effectiveness after about 15 minutes.
Now, once you do get that wallpaper off, you have to prep the wall and "youve got to" prep the wall really well. You want to use a mixture of purified lily-white vinegar and water. And that’s going to help you remove any remaining cement. Now, you’ve got to wait until that skin-deep is wholly cool. And once it is, you want to apply primer. And you’ll do that whether you’re putting up more wallpaper or you’re illustration. So, primer first. Let it dry really well and then go ahead and finish off with whatever that hoped inspect is, because that’s going to give you the best surface.
Now, if this all seems like way too much work, you may be wondering: is decorating or wallpapering over existing wallpaper policy options? Our answer is sure, it’s an option but we don’t definitely recommend it. Because if you draw over wallpaper, that kind of imperils the integrity of the infinite, which could factor into a buyer’s interest and even the value of the home down the road. And even more, it determines the next paint- or wallpaper-removal job way more difficult.
So, if you’re not glad with the working papers, do it now. Spend the time. Get the steamer. Gather it off now. Don’t leant it off. Don’t paint over it. You’ll be much happier in the long run.
LESLIE: You can reach us with your residence restore or your home progress question 24 hours a day, 7 days a week right here at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
Just ahead, one of the most popular projects for this time of year is bathroom remodeling. Everybody misses it done and they want it done now, right before the holidays. So we’re going to have some step-by-step advice for DIYers out there and the pros to help get that job done, in today’s Better Get a Truck Tip presentation by Hertz, next.
TOM: Where residence solutions live, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Hey, did you know that cooking shells are the primary campaign of residence fires and home fuel injuries? Well, even though it is you didn’t, you should know. And you are to have a kitchen burn extinguisher in that kitchen to protect you. If you don’t, no problem; we’ve got one to give away.
We’re giving away the First Alert Home Safety Kit, which includes their kitchen shell extinguisher. It is small enough to fit in a cabinet or mount on a wall employing a bracket. Very enticing. Designed to meet those expecting needs. Easy to operate. It is part of the First Alert Home Safety Kit, which is valued at 145 bucks. It also includes the smoke, carbon-monoxide and combo dismays, all with 10-year artilleries. So we’re going to mostly strengthened in your residence safety in a pretty big way if you win this product.
The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888 -6 66 -3 974.
LESLIE: Wade in South Dakota is on the line and has a question about backing. How can we help you?
WADE: Hi. We had a big hailstorm come through and it took out a assortment of our siding- our steel siding. And I’m kind of fighting with the insurance company to find an precise join. My question, I suspect, is- the house is close to 20 years old. What are the occasions that the backing that they pick is going to match up with the complexion?
TOM: Between little and none.
WADE: That’s kind of what I figured.
TOM: And listen, Wade, when- this does not constitute a brand-new justification with insurance companies. It happens all the time with roof damage, you are aware?
Like say you get ice-dam damage and "youve got to" time supplant like 3 feet of ceiling on the front of the house or maybe you get holes around a ventilate or something and you "re going to have to" change a piece of ceiling. Policy fellowships traditionally oust the entire roof. And in your action, they should be replacing all of your siding, without argument, because they’ve got to restore it at least as good as it was before. And giving you mismatched placing isn’t what you contracted them to do.
So I would stick to your guns. And sure, give them the opportunity to find a replacement but they won’t be able to. And you don’t have to accept it and you can insist that it all be replaced with brand-new siding.
Do you have a private adjustor on this to help you with the amount claimed?
WADE: Somebody that the insurance company contacted, yes.
TOM: That adjustor is working for the insurance company. What you want to do is get a public adjustor. And a public adjustor works for you, the public. And they work on commission, this is why it doesn’t really cost you much to have these guys on the number of jobs. And they’re there to find every single, solitary thing that they can claim for and get that into the claim.
So, everything from picking up the nails on your quality that will be part of that construction project, to coming the entire house re-sided. They try to get that claim as full as possible because the more they find, the more coin they originate. Because they’re all on commission.
So I is sure to pinpoint a good-quality public adjustor. Perhaps check with your attorney. Do your research. Find somebody that "ve got a lot" of ordeal and tell them fight for you so you don’t have to fight with the insurance company.
WADE: Great. I’ll definitely look into that. Thank you.
LESLIE: Well, bathroom remodeling is one of the most popular projects for this time of year, because everybody wants it done before the holidays. Now, "the worlds biggest" challenge is that it can be complicated and expensive to get it done , not to mention inconvenient, specially if it’s the only bathroom in the house.
TOM: Well, fortunately, you don’t need to tear into walls or completely absolutely reconfigure plumbing to get enormous decisions. We’ve got some tips-off for how to procreate small-scale changes and additions to your shower to create the kind of space "youve been" need, in today’s Better Get a Truck Tip presented by Hertz.
LESLIE: Yep. First of all, let’s talk about a few roads that you can increase the gap in your bathroom. First of all, think about a reces sink. I know they’re kind of out of the ordinary but they can manufacture your lavatory get a lot of seat that was previously occupied by a pride. They’re pedestal style. There’s wall-mounted. That reces submerge is going to give you some functional attractivenes and again, free up a lot of that storey space.
Now, another option is to add a cabinet-mounted vessel sink. Now, these submerges are mounted on top of a scaled-down cabinet or even a less traditional type of furnishing, like maybe a small, relic dresser. And that can deliver a lot of style and a little of storage in that shower. So it’s providing double-duty, which is great in a small space.
TOM: Now, next, if you’re thinking about changing out your bathroom, perhaps get one that has a WaterSense rating, so it squanders less spray. Look for one that’s got a flat tank top. This is going to give you another storage discern. So whether you situate an organizer directly on top of it or maybe you take advantage of the wall opening above it, for hanging cabinet ministers or for shelving, it’s obviously going to make sense and it’s going to save you some space.
Next, consider adding a curved-quadrant shower unit. Now, you might be thinking, “What the heck is a bowed quadrant? ” Well, these are the shower components that have two straight slopes and they’re organized into a angle and then a arched entering. And that mostly saves at least a square foot or two of infinite, compared against traditional units.
LESLIE: Now, if you’ve got to have a tub, take a look at ones that are smaller but deeper. These are going to offer a great soak with a deep-set seating. There’s even tiny, clawfoot tubs that are an option. And modern fixtures that are was encouraged by traditional Japanese bathtubs are also becoming quite popular.
Of course, coming rid of that old-fashioned tub and making dwelling a brand-new one from the residence centre is a project that requires a big truck or van. But it’s easy to tariff one for the working day from Hertz, who has a wide variety of both.
Now, lastly, use lower-profile faucets and fixtures. You’re going to find that visual seat will open up once you select that low-profile fixture. And while the reach of vogues accessible allows you to beautifully accessorize a small bath, you’re going to notice that added room. It’s those little things that are actually do make a big difference.
TOM: And that’s today’s Better Get a Truck Tip presented by Hertz. For any dwelling project, store pickup or move that needs more than your gondola can treat, recollect HDTV: Hertz Does Trucks and Vans. Book now at Hertz.com.
LESLIE: Cindy in Illinois is on the line with a cellar question. What’s going on?
CINDY: I lived in my house for over 40 times and had no trouble with water in the basement. And then, about 3 years ago, we had a frightful shortage here and it seems like ever since then, if we get a hard-boiled rainfall, I end up with water coming up through the storey of the basement.
TOM: So, the reason you’re getting water that comes up through the flooring of the vault in a hard rain is because there’s some imperfection in your drainage milieu outside the house. So, you need to start by looking at the roof and obliging sure your gutter system is clean and manufacturing sure the downspouts are provided away from the house. It should be out 3 or 4 feet.
If that’s all in good shape, then I would take a look at the tilt of the grease around the house, the grade. If it’s genuinely flat or if there’s an area where it’s tilting in or you’re getting neighboring irrigate from runoff from a different bunch or something of that quality, you’ve have to go to regrade to keep the ocean away from the house.
The only way it’s get down there is it’s coming from the transcend and propagandizing under. It’s not a rising water table, because that takes months to happen. If it’s reactive to the rainfall, then it’s a problem with drainage, Cindy. So you need to look carefully in that area and I’m certain you’ll find the cause of it and be enabled to stop it.
Alright. Good fortune with that project. Thanks so much for announcing us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Give us a call anytime with your residence reparation or your dwelling better question 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We’re going to help you get in tip-top shape for the holidays right here at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
Still ahead, is your garage so full that it hardly fits your car? We’re going to have some tip-off on doing the most of garage space, including an important caution when it comes to collecting kids’ stuff- like motorcycles, clods and plays- after this.
TOM: Making good dwellings better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Presented by HomeAdvisor.com. Hey, you’ll never have to worry about overpaying for a errand. Time use HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Guide to see what others paid under similar projects. Then get matched with top-rated pros, read reviews and get quotes and diary appointments, all online, free of charge at HomeAdvisor.com.
LESLIE: And recollect, you can reach Tom and I anytime on our website or at Facebook’s Money Pit sheet. And you can post your questions there.
Now, Sean writes: “I’ve decided I’d like to start parking my vehicle inside the garage.”
TOM: What a concept.
LESLIE: Well, that’s a story concept.
“Do you have any tip-off for organise and placing all the stuff that’s parked in there right now?”
TOM: You know, garage storage is something that really has to be set up once and then maintained daily by all members of the family. So it requires kind of a family commitment. But I ponder the key should be safety. Because if you think about it, the garage is the only place where you have toys and toxins right in the same chamber. So you’ve got to be first careful to make sure you continue that nonsense separate.
So, for toxins, we’re talking about the paint, the oil, the cans of gasoline, the cans of lubricant. All that sort of stuff ought to up high, locked away in cabinets so that the adolescents can’t get their hands on it.
And likewise, from a security perspective, you do want to keep stuff off the field. So, if that symbolizes a ladder, that needs to be hung up on the wall. If it means all the kids’ bats and lumps, you’ve got to hang maybe a net- what do you call those net shipment things, Leslie?
LESLIE: I mean that’s exactly what it is. They’re almost like a hammock.
TOM: It’s called a “net baggage thing? ” Yeah.
LESLIE: Yeah. It’s like a ...
TOM: It’s like a- right, it’s like a hammock, yeah.
And that’s an easy thing to do because you get two hookings, you sling the hammock up there and you hurl all the clods in there and they’re off the flooring. Because you are able to go into the infinite at night. Shorter daylights now. You could junket, you could fall. You really want to think about safety and organization. But the bottom line is you’ve got to get everybody to sort of buy into it. Because if not, it’s all going to fall apart awfully, very quickly.
LESLIE: Oh. And it does. I feel like it falls apart every time the boys go in there and take something out. So I’m perpetually doing an upkeep of the garage.
I too like to revolve things seasonally, threw the stuff that we’re exercising more frequently to the front and the stuff we’re not consuming towards the back. You’ve got to really think about the ways that you can use the space so it preserves everybody safe and too sort of instinctively restrains everybody coordinated. That’s the difficult part.
Alright. Next up, we’ve got one here from Ray. Now, Ray writes: “How do you heat and convert an attached garage to a year-round living space for older persons who like it warmer in the winter and cool during the summer? ”
TOM: Well, first of all, I’ve seen a lot of garage changeovers, especially in the 20 year that I deplete as a home inspector, and I’ve rarely seen them done well. Party ever make shortcuts with these things. And if you’re going to alter a garage to living space, you pretty much have to treat it just like an addition. That intends it’s got to include removing the overhead door, you’ve came to reframe the opening, you’ve got to add siding from the outside. You required to build up the foundation so that it’s level across the front, just like the foundation on the rest of your house.
You’re also going to need to deal with the flooring, because garage floorings are ascent, right? So, since this garage floor ascent, it’s going to have to be repoured so that it’s flat. And then, of course, formerly all that’s done you are able to "ve been thinking about" the mechanicals. Think about the bumpy mechanicals, including the heating of the garage. It is not likely, Ray, that your home’s existing plan "il go to" be able to step up to add fairly heat to that garage.
So, if you’re going to take this on, you’ve got to do it right and you’ve have to go to pretty much receiving treatment like it’s an addition to your house. Because only then will you not detract from your residence value and to be provided with a room that is truly livable.
This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. We hope that you are having a really good day. We appreciate you taking part of that to listen to us. If you’re out and about shopping for the anniversary or if you’re doing some last-minute fix-ups, whatever is on your to-do list, it can always be slipped over to ours when you call us, 24/7, at 888 -MONEY-PIT. If we’re not in the studio, we will call you the next time we are. And recollect, you can always post your question online at MoneyPit.com.
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 Make, Inc. No parcel of this record or audio folder is also available reproduced in any format without the express written authorization of Squeaky Door Productions, Inc .)
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When temperatures drop, it’s time to think about getting your house ready for winter. A good place to start is by reviewing your chimney for any repair or chimney cleaning it may need.
Often neglected, chimneys are a vital part of a home’s structure and mechanical functioning. If a chimney is not regularly cleaned, or repairs attended to, chimney problems can result, including fires, collapses and even carbon monoxide poisoning. So, before firing up your furnace or building your first fireplace blaze, it makes sense to make sure your chimney is up for the challenge.
The chimney is essentially a vent pipe that allows hot exhaust gasses from a wood burning fire or from your home’s heating system, to pass safely through combustible parts of your home and be exhausted outside. While most chimneys are brick, chimneys for newer homes may be made of out of metal. Regardless, both can present problems if not properly maintained.
When wood burns, it never completely combusts. What’s left forms a vaporized residue that when carried up the chimney, mixes with condensation as it cools and sticks to the inside of the chimney. This material, commonly referred to as creosote, can be very difficult to clean. But if it’s allowed to build up, a chimney fire could happen.
Chimney fires are one of the most dangerous and devastating types of household fires. Fully engaged, they can roar like a jet engine shooting fire into the sky like an oversized roman candle on the 4th of July. Fueled by a dirty chimney, temperatures inside can reach 2000 degrees and destroy an entire home.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Fire Protection Association, having your chimney inspected on a yearly basis and having your chimney cleaned as needed is the best defense against a fire. But while cleaning and inspecting are not do it yourself projects, there are a few things you can do to keep an eye on safety between those annual evaluations.
First, inspect your chimney from the outside of the home to see if it leans or appears to be separating from the building. Chimneys that are separating from the house can be especially dangerous. Sometimes, the steel plates that are used to hold the chimney to the house will rust away and leave the chimney vulnerable to a collapse. If a chimney leans or worse, appears to be pulling away from the building, it should be immediately checked by a professional.
Next, use binoculars to look for loose bricks or cracks, especially near the top. Freezing weather can cause bricks to deteriorate or loosen up. Any deteriorated sections should be replaced. Check that the metal flashing between the roof and chimney is tight. Loose chimney flashing can cause leaks that will show up inside the house, but is not that difficult to repair.
If the roof isn’t too difficult to access, take a look at the chimney’s crown as well. The crown is the area between the outside edge of a masonry chimney and the liner. Chimney crowns often develop cracks that can lead to leaks and need to be repaired with caulk.
Finally, look for vegetation at the top of the chimney. Ivy, for example, can grow across the top of the chimney and obstruct the flow of exhaust gases out the chimney.
If your fireplace or furnace is exhausting through a metal vent pipe, it doesn’t mean you are off the hook when it comes to structural problems. Metal pipes can rust or become dislodged from high winds.
While inspecting the roof, look for vents that may have separated at the seams. These may need to be rejoined, and then reinforced so it doesn’t happen again.
Dirty flues, the metal or clay liner inside a chimney, are the leading cause of chimney fires. The surest way to check this is from the top of the chimney. That job, however, is best left to a professional. As an alternative, homeowners can check for clean fireplace flues by opening the damper above the fireplace and looking up inside the flue with a strong flashlight. If you can’t see the sides of the clay or metal liner clearly, a thorough chimney cleaning may be needed.
For chimneys that serve the home’s heating system, inspection is equally important. These chimneys can become blocked by nests or other obstructions and cause combustion gas to back up into the home leading to carbon monoxide poisoning. Before turning on your furnace or boiler for the season, be sure to have the equipment serviced and the chimney or vent pipe checked for obstructions.
Several years ago while inspecting a home for a potential home buyer, I discovered a nest inside that chimney that was causing the combustion gas from the furnace to fill the home with carbon monoxide. The kicker was that the couple that owned the home was expecting a child. Mom-to-be was spending lots of time in the house and experiencing what she thought was morning sickness. Blood tests subsequently proved it was carbon monoxide that was causing the problem and the discovery of the nest happened in just the nick of time.
In general, all chimneys should be professionally inspected at least once a year and cleaned as determined by that inspection. As a rule of thumb though, a chimney should be swept by a professional chimney cleaner once for every cord of wood burned. A cord is a unit of measurement for a pile of firewood that measures 4 feet high, 4 feet wide and 8 feet long.
When hiring a professional chimney cleaning sweep however, be very cautious if the contractor recommends an expensive repair. During our radio show, we frequently hear of less-than-honest chimney cleaning contractors that offer low-priced inspections that always find expensive problems, which of course, they’d be happy to repair for an additional fee. As with any home repair or maintenance contractor, homeowners are wise to get a second opinion from an unbiased expert, like a professional home inspector, before any repairs have been started.
How to Hire a Chimney Sweep
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), a nonprofit, educational institution focused on the prevention of chimney and venting hazards, recommends that consumers use caution when considering what chimney sweep to hire for an annual inspection or related service on their chimney or vent.
Because proper care and attention to service can help protect people from unnecessary fires and carbon monoxide poisonings, it is important to choose the professional wisely. Question to ask should include:How long has the chimney cleaning company been in business? Does the company offer current references? Does the company have unresolved complaints filed within the city or state consumer protection agency or Better Business Bureau? Does the company or individual carry a valid business liability insurance policy to protect your home and furnishings against accidents? Does the company ensure that a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep will be on the job site?
Chimney sweeps that are certified by CSIA are required to prove competency by passing an examination on fire prevention codes and standard chimney service practices. To locate a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep in your area go to www.csia.org or call 1-800-536-0118.
Regular chimney cleaning and repair is an important way to prevent a chimney fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.
The post Chimney Cleaning and Repair | How to Hire a Chimney Sweep appeared first on The Money Pit.
TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles, this is The Money Pit. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: And what are you working on today? If it’s your house, your home, your condo, your apartment, you’re in the right place because we’re here to help, to lend you a hand to get those projects done around your house. Whether they’re a décor or repair, whether they’re DIY or get a guy, call us, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT with your home improvement question, 888-666-3974. Or you can post it to The Money Pit’s Community page at MoneyPit.com.
Just ahead, Mother’s Day is coming up. And if you’ve not picked up a gift yet, we’ve got some ideas on how you can redeem yourself through the gift of home improvement for Mom.
LESLIE: Plus, did you know that almost a million children are accidentally poisoned in their homes every single year? Well, we’re going to have tips on how to reduce that risk at your home, coming up.
TOM: And adding a backyard deck is one surefire way to increase your home’s living space. But is building a deck a DIY project or is it one you should hire out? We’ll have tips to help you make the best choice.
But first, we want to hear about your next home improvement or décor adventure. So call it in right now. Let’s talk, 888-MONEY-PIT. Or post it to the Community page at MoneyPit.com.
LESLIE: Dottie in Oregon, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
DOTTIE: We have a patio that had some cracks in it. It is exposed aggregate. My husband dug it out and filled in the cracks. Now, our question for you is: is there a sealer with some colorant that we could use over the whole area?
TOM: I think what you’re asking us for is a concrete stain. Sealers are always clear. So, if you’ve got this crack filled in and you’ve got some color to that, then what you’re going to have to do is stain the concrete to match that and then you could seal it. But you’d have to stain it. And if you’re going to stain concrete, you would use an acid stain.
DOTTIE: OK. Is there anything you can recommend?
LESLIE: QUIKRETE makes a great one in a couple of good colors. More neutral than anything a little crazy but it’s an easy-to-apply product. You’re going to get some great coloration there. And you know what? It’s a reputable brand; they know what they’re doing. So I would start there.
DOTTIE: Oh, that sounds great. And I really love your show.
TOM: Thank you very much, Dottie. Good luck with that project.
LESLIE: Tim in New York is having an issue with the tub. What’s going on in your bathroom?
TIM: So, my wife and I moved into our home two years ago and the previous homeowners recently redid the bathroom. It’s very nice but unfortunately, the bathtub has two cracks in it. So I recently had – to be real quick, I recently had a bathtub fitter come in and take a look at it. They can’t do it because they don’t have the molds for it and they would have to cover up the tile anyway. So my question is: is there an easy fix? And even if I had to replace a tub, do I have to take out tile to do so?
TOM: Well, you have to take out probably the first couple of rows of tile. It depends on how difficult it is to get the tub in and out of that space. It’s a pretty big job. It might be that it’s just not worth trying to save the tile. This is the time where you might just want to think about whether or not you could just renovate the entire bathroom. Because frankly, by the time you get that tub out, you’re going to be taking so many other fixtures out of the way to kind of get the tub in and out, you might end up doing that anyway, Tim.
You know, the bathtub is the first thing that goes into a bathroom and everything else works around it or fits around it. And I think the bath-fitter idea was a good one but if they can’t do it, they can’t do it.
TIM: Yeah. I looked up online and they have these epoxies that fix cracks. I don’t think it’s going to work or be a permanent fix. Do you have any knowledge on that?
TOM: That’s true. I would agree with that. It’s very difficult to repair a crack or a chip in a tub. Is it a fiberglass tub?
TIM: It is. It’s a fiberglass tub.
TOM: So, look, they repair fiberglass boats, right? Or fiberglass cars? So you can use – right from an auto-body shop, you can use fiberglass repair compound to fix this. It’s not going to be pretty, right? I mean like a Bondo product or something like that. It’s going to be obvious but if you want to buy yourself some time and use the tub for a while, you could do that.
I had a shower stall once where the fiberglass pan cracked. Then I repaired that with fiberglass and Bondo just by basically applying the fiberglass in a couple of layers and then putting the compound over top of that. And you could see it but it didn’t leak after I fixed it.
TIM: OK. Well, maybe I’ll look into that. The bathroom is so new that I don’t want to rip out, well …
TOM: I know. I hear you. It hurts. And it may be very well that the tub was put in incorrectly. Because when you put in fiberglass tubs, you’re supposed to put a solid fill under them. Usually, you’ll put a loose mix of mortar mix underneath it because it basically gives you something solid to step into, because the tub has some flex.
TIM: Yeah. I don’t think they did that because you could actually feel the tub moving underneath my feet.
TOM: Yeah, yeah. Unfortunately, it sounds like it wasn’t put in right.
TIM: OK. Alright. Well, thank you very much. That was very helpful.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Marie calling in to The Money Pit with a cabinet question. How can we help you today?
MARIE: I’m in a dilemma over kitchen cabinets. I really like this fairly contemporary look but it’s a slab. We’re at – we’re on the salt water and I’ve been told to maybe stay away from a slab cabinet door because of the way it expands and shrinks. What’s your opinion on that or your advice?
LESLIE: When you say slab, are you talking about a full overlay?
MARIE: No, it’s an actual slab. I don’t think it’s an overlay or veneer at all.
TOM: I think you mean a solid-wood door, one-piece wood door as opposed to one that’s made up of panels, like a raised-panel door?
MARIE: Yes, it’s not a raised panel but you can actually see the pieces of wood – well, I guess they’re glued together. But there’s no raised panels or anything on it.
TOM: Yeah, it’s a solid piece of wood. It’s a laminated door, basically. Solid pieces of wood glued together.
I don’t know. If the door is made right and the wood is dried when it was built and it’s sealed properly, I don’t think it’s more or less likely to swell than a raised-panel door would be.
MARIE: That makes total sense the way you put it that way. Why wouldn’t they dry it out first and then seal it properly?
MARIE: Huh. I never even thought about it in that context.
LESLIE: The boxes themselves that the cabinets are – the cabinet box is going to be constructed out of a wood-laminated ply so – or something that’s more structurally stable. And I don’t think you have to be concerned about the door.
MARIE: Hmm, I think, looking at it from that point of view, maybe I won’t be. I’ve had people tell me that they’re just going to get all warped and – but why would they? If they’re – if it is, like you said, a reliable cabinet maker – I guess that would be the question.
TOM: Right. Exactly. A good-quality cabinet should be dimensionally stable.
MARIE: I agree with you. Ah, I found a beautiful door and I think I might go for it then. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Just ahead, poisonings from household chemicals and cleaners are on the rise but they’re also very preventable. We’ll tell you how, next.
Where home solutions live, this is The Money Pit. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Call in your home improvement question, right now, to 1-888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor.
LESLIE: And hey, this hour, have we got a handy set of tools going out to one lucky listener who calls in their home improvement question or posts it to MoneyPit.com. Up for grabs are a bunch of fun things from our friends over at Arrow Fastener, including the Arrow T50 Electric Staple Gun and Nailer, plus the Arrow Dual-Temp Glue Gun, which really is my favorite. It heats up super fast, it doesn’t drip. It’s one of the best glue guns out there on the market and I always keep it in my tool kit.
It also comes with a supply of staples and glue sticks and it’s a prize pack worth 95 bucks.
TOM: Yeah. And you know what? These are two tools that will be super useful for many fun things around the house, from crafts to repairs, including a very fun project that Arrow is featuring, right now, at ArrowFastener.com. It’s a project called the “vertical succulent garden.” The entire project, including the materials list and the photos and all the details are online at ArrowFastener.com. Just click on Projects.
LESLIE: Yeah. And we really love the Arrow Fastener Company. I mean the greatest part is that they’ve been in Saddle Brook, New Jersey for 90 years. You rarely hear of that today.
It’s so nice to know that these are made right here, practically in your backyard, Tom.
TOM: I’ll tell you what, having good, well-made tools is important, too. That electric stapler is kind of a pro-grade unit. It’s fantastic. You already talked about how great that glue gun is. I got lots of scars over the years from drippy, hot glue. So, I like the fact that this one is no-drip.
That prize package, worth 95 bucks, going out to one caller drawn at random. Make that you. Give us a call, right now, with your home improvement or décor question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Scott in Iowa on the line who needs help with a painting project. Tell us what you’re working on.
SCOTT: I just recently bought a rental house and the plaster – it’s an older home and the plaster was falling off the house. Well, the guy I bought it from had repaired it but if you look at it, it’s falling out in some areas and bowing back in in some areas. And I was just wondering, would I have to re-drywall it or is there a cheaper and easier way to fix that?
TOM: How much of this exists? Is there a lot of this that’s where it’s – the plaster seems to be loose?
SCOTT: Throughout the whole house.
TOM: Yeah, OK. So it’s a problem because it’s going to be dangerous.
What happens is the plaster, when it’s applied, it’s applied over something called “wood lath,” which are like thin strips of wood. Kind of looks like those sticks we use to hold up garden plants and tomatoes and things like that. And the plaster expands to behind the lath and it sort of locks in place.
But over the years, with an old house, those “keyways,” we call them, loosen up and then the plaster is not attached to the wall anymore. So you are looking at a situation where the walls are going to get worse. It’s not going to get better. And if it’s the ceiling that’s loose, it could be dangerous. Because when that plaster falls, it’s really, really heavy. I’ve seen it dent floors and certainly could hurt somebody.
So now we have – the question is: what’s the best way to deal with this? “Should I tear the plaster out? Should I drywall over?” I’ve done it both ways and I’ve come to the conclusion, after trying it this way for many years, that the best thing to do is to put drywall on top of the plaster, not tear it out, for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s less messy. Secondly, that even when you tear out the lath and the plaster, you’ll find that the studs from the old house behind it are not very even. So when you put drywall up, it tends to warp sometimes.
So what I would do is I would attach new drywall over the plaster. You can use 3/8-inch-thick drywall, too; you don’t even need to use ½-inch drywall. And then by attaching from the drywall, through the plaster into the studs, you’ll help secure that loose plaster so you won’t have any further movement in that room. That would be my recommendation.
SCOTT: That works out.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.
LESLIE: Laura in Pennsylvania needs some help with a lighting question. What can we do for you?
LAURA: Oh, well, my son gave me some compact fluorescent bulbs because he didn’t like them.
LAURA: And I had never used them before and I thought, “Well, I’ll put them in my little lights I use with timers.” Only they all blow out.
TOM: There’s no reason you can’t use a compact fluorescent bulb in an outlet that has a timer. I mean a timer simply automatically turns the light switch on or off, so that shouldn’t have an effect on damaging the bulb.
LAURA: Yes, that’s what I thought. And I have incandescent bulbs in them now and they work just fine.
TOM: Well, maybe he gave you some bum compact fluorescents. I don’t know. But it’s kind of an odd thing for it to happen to. Compact fluorescents work really well in most fixtures that take incandescents. In fact, you can even have them work well in fixtures that are controlled by dimmers.
There are special dimmers today that are designed to work with compact fluorescents and with LEDs, where you can adjust the range of the dimming so that it doesn’t ever flicker or go out. So, compact fluorescent bulbs are a great option. I don’t know why they’re not working for you but the timer shouldn’t have anything to do with it.
LAURA: OK. Well, maybe I’ll try them again or – I have two left. Or I’ll try and buy some. Maybe he has an off-brand or something like that. I don’t know. Because they should last a really long time, right?
TOM: They should. And you know what I like better than compact fluorescents are the LED bulbs. Take a look at the Philips LED bulbs. These are – they’re very distinctive. They’re yellow. They look like bug lights but they have a very pleasant white light that comes off of them. And they’re going to be more expensive than compact fluorescents but they last forever and they’re super energy-efficient.
LAURA: OK. I will be happy to. That’s a really good idea. Thank you.
TOM: Hey, well, here’s an eye-opener: the Consumer Product Safety Commission says more than 800,000 kids in the U.S. will be rushed to an ER because of an accidental poisoning this year. Thirty of those kids will die and almost all of these poisonings will happen at home. So, to help, here are a few tips on how to reduce the risk of poisoning in your house.
LESLIE: That’s right. You know, medicines really are a growing cause of poisonings. They’re relatively easy, though, for you to control. You can ask your pharmacy to fill all your prescriptions with those childproof caps that even some adults can’t open. And then keep all of your medicines on the highest shelves possible.
Now, dangerous household toxins aren’t as easy to control. They come in bigger bottles. They’re often in bright, inviting colors. Cleaners, bleaches, paint solvents and pesticides tend to attract children. Simply keeping them in the garage isn’t enough.
TOM: Yeah. It’s a good idea to keep those poisons safely locked up outside your house whenever possible. So, keep it in mind. Keep them away from the kids and keep those kids safe.
LESLIE: Now we’re heading out to Arizona where Rich has a foundation question. What can we do for you today?
RICH: We pulled up some carpet in a back room and upon pulling up the carpet, we discovered that we have about a 1-inch crack that runs full width of the room. And it’s about a 15×15 room. And we were wondering why that one door that we have that goes off into a spare bathroom – why it stops shutting so clean. So when we pulled up the carpet, we discovered that, yes, we’ve got a crack problem. And it’s about 1-inch wide and I want to know – and it’s as deep as far as the foundation, I think, the slab goes. I want to know how I should fill that in or what would be the proper thing to do.
TOM: Well, first of all, we want to determine if it’s an active crack or not. And the fact that you had a door that seemed to work properly and then stopped working properly could indicate that it’s active. Do you get the sense that this crack is fresh or do you think it’s something that’s been there for a really long time?
RICH: I think that it started out small and I think over the last 10 years, it’s maybe – because I’ve been there just over 10 years and I believe that just within about the last, oh, maybe 3 years that the door started shutting kind of stiff.
But anyway, I don’t think it has been all that active but I do think that it’s definitely progressed a little bit since I’ve moved in.
TOM: So what you’re going to do is clean it out and then you’re going to repair it with – a flowable urethane material is good. And with the urethane, what you’ll put in there first is a material called “backer rod,” which is like a 1-inch – you would get like a 1- to 1½-inch-diameter foam tube. It’s called “backer rod.” And you press it in there to that crack and then you leave it about an inch below – not an inch – about a ¼-inch below the surface. Then you fill the top of it with a flowable urethane and that will expand and contract with the crack.
RICH: OK. That’s exactly what I was kind of hoping. Because I don’t think it’s going to be something I’ll be able to do from the outside of the house to maybe – to push that foundation up. Because on the outside, the house looks good.
TOM: No, it’s a one-way street with cracks.
RICH: Yeah. So we …
TOM: And you can’t patch it with more concrete, because it would just crack.
RICH: Yeah. So, now, when I do that, of course that’ll take care of the visibility of the crack. What can I do to relevel the floor? Because it is quite evident. When you’re off in the hallway and you look into this room, you can definitely see there is a – the floor isn’t level, from the crack over to the wall.
TOM: Well, you could – there’s a product called “leveling compound” that you can pour on top of the old floor. And you can work it and level the whole thing out. We use it a lot under tile, where you can’t have a tile floor that bends or twists or anything. But it’s a pretty big job and if you’re going to put carpet down, are you really going to see it?
RICH: Well, no. I’m thinking maybe I’ll put a different kind of flooring down.
TOM: Alright. Well, then maybe you’ll want to consider it. It’s just called “leveling compound” and you’ll find it in home centers, you’ll find it online. And it takes a little practice to get it to flow out properly. But follow the label directions, start in a small area until you’re good at it and you’ll find it should be able to level it out quite nicely.
RICH: Boy, I think I’ve got it. I sure appreciate you. Thank you for the advice.
TOM: You’re very welcome, Rich. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Hey, are you still in need of a Mother’s Day gift but a little short on cash? Well, it’s not too late to honor the mom in your life with a little DIY help. We’re going to share an inexpensive way to make Mom smile, after this.
TOM: Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: We are here to help you with your home improvement, your décor questions, whatever is your next home improvement adventure. We love calling these things “home improvement adventures” because if you think about it, an adventure is exciting, it’s exhilarating and it almost never ends up where you think it will be. So, much like home improvement, we’re here to help, 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Sylvia in Texas on the line who’s got some bathroom things going on at her money pit. How can we help you?
SYLVIA: Whenever I flush the toilet, I can hear the water running through my sink drain – you know, the bathroom sink drain?
SYLVIA: And so I didn’t know if that was normal or not. And then the other day, we had a real windstorm and I could hear the wind under my house, through my pipes, through that same sink. And I have a concrete slab, so I didn’t know – is that normal?
TOM: Probably the wind blowing over the roof and you’re hearing it through the vent pipe. The plumbing system is all connected, obviously. And the water drains down and the air kind of replaces it from the top – from the vent on top. And so when you flush the toilet, in some cases you can hear that water run down through the pipe and it be replaced by air. So that’s entirely possible.
But if it’s behaving properly and you don’t have any odors and everything’s flowing right, I wouldn’t worry too much about that, Sylvia.
SYLVIA: Oh, OK, OK. Thank you very much. I was just worried about it, because I was just like, “What’s going on with my plumbing, right?”
TOM: And the other thing about plumbing is it’s – it really carries the sound. Anyone that’s ever had a second-floor bathroom and flushed it to the horror of everyone that’s sitting in the dining room enjoying dinner time knows exactly what I’m talking about.
SYLVIA: Oh, thank God I don’t have a second floor.
LESLIE: John in Wisconsin is on the line with a washer/dryer question. Tell us what you’re thinking about there.
JOHN: We were thinking of putting a washer and dryer in our spare bedroom. And where we want to is next to an inner wall. And I was wondering, if we vented it up through into the attic, through the insulation so it’d come out on top, would that be damaging to the – it’d be too much moisture in there or not?
LESLIE: Now, would this still remain a guest room or would this become a new, snazzy laundry room?
JOHN: Yeah, it’d be a laundry room, yeah.
LESLIE: Generally, when you talk about resale value, the amount that you could possibly resell your house for directly correlates to the amount of bedrooms and bathrooms that you have. So, you may want to start by talking with a local realtor who’s familiar with home values in your neighborhood, as to what the effect might be to removing a bedroom.
Now, if you have no intention to sell and you’ve got this dream to have just a kick-butt, gigantic laundry room with perhaps a sewing area and enough ironing space, then this could be awesome for you guys.
TOM: Now, in terms of your technical questions, obviously, you’re going to have to get hot and cold water there and you’re going to have to get electricity there for your washer and your dryer and 240-volt if it’s electric dryer. Venting was the one question you had and can you go up through the wall into the attic? Yes. But you can’t stop there. You have to continue with that vent, John, until it gets outside. You cannot dump the warm, moist, lint-ladened dryer exhaust up into the attic; you’ve got to take it outside.
So, what you should do is only use solid-metal piping, not flex ducting. Get it up in the attic and turn it 90 degrees and then run it across the floor, so to speak, above the joists and then out the side wall of the house, with a proper dryer-vent termination on the outside of it. And the test is when you turn the dryer on, you look outside, you should see the flap open up. You really don’t want to have any restriction. It’s very important you get that lint out, because there’s a lot of dryer fires that happen because people collect too much lint inside those pipes.
JOHN: Oh, I see. Mm-hmm.
JOHN: Yeah. Very good.
TOM: John, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Adding a backyard deck is one surefire way to increase your home’s living space. But is building a deck a DIY project or one that you should hire out? We’re going to have some tips to help you make the best choice for you, after this.
TOM: Where home solutions live, this is The Money Pit. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Well, whether you’re planning a décor project, maybe you’re remodeling your kitchen, fixing up an outdoor space, dealing with a leak or a squeak, we’re here for you every step of the way. And know who else is? HomeAdvisor. They are the fast and easy way to find the right pro for any kind of home project, whether it’s a small repair or major remodel. Check them out at HomeAdvisor.com.
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Lynn in Colorado who’s got a tricky, leaky shower. Let’s see if we can help her find it.
LYNN: I had a plumber come out once and he said that the pipe and the bottom, where it comes out of the shower, doesn’t always hook up right. So he siliconed it and it didn’t leak but now, once in a while, it’s leaking again. Of course, it’s upstairs so I see it on a ceiling. And I’m wondering, is there some kind of a liner you can put down the pipe, like they do for sewage lines that go out?
TOM: You talking about the supply pipes or are you talking about the shower stall?
LYNN: I’m talking about the stall – the drain pipe.
TOM: Do you have – is it a tile shower pan or is it like a plastic shower?
LYNN: Yeah, it’s one of the insert ones.
TOM: Those pans can develop cracks in them and you have to figure out where that crack is. One way to try to figure out at least how high on the pan the crack is is if you block the drain of the pan and fill it up with water and see if it leaks. If it doesn’t leak, then the pan’s fine. Then the next thing you have to do is move up with your sort of analysis and now you’re going to get into the seams of it.
If you’ve got existing caulk, what I would recommend, as a first step, is to remove that caulk using caulk softener. And that’ll allow you to strip out everything that’s there and start clean with some new, good-quality bathroom caulk that’s got a mildicide built into it. And I would just caulk, very carefully, every single seam and also around all the pipes and the faucets and the fixtures, where they come through. Because, sometimes, you get direct leaks where water fills up in the pan and leaks. And a lot of times, though, with showers, you’ll get leaks when the water bounces off your body, hits one of those seams, works its way in behind the wall and down.
So, I would take out the existing caulk, recaulk it and check the shower pan for leaks. And somewhere in that analysis, you’ll probably figure out what’s going on.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Mark in West Virginia is on the line with a roofing question. How can we help you today?
MARK: I was just wondering if I could put a metal roof over top a shingle roof without removing the shingled roof.
TOM: Well, you can but why do you want to do that, Mark? It’s kind of sloppy.
MARK: I just – I’ve never worked with metal and I didn’t know if you could do it that way. Because you can shingle over an old asphalt shingle; you can put another – a layer over top of it. Just getting rid of them – the hassle of getting rid of them in a landfill.
TOM: Technically, you can but I just think it’s going to be a neater, cleaner, more professional job if you take off the asphalt shingles. And they’re not that hard to remove.
LESLIE: Yeah. And you don’t know how many layers are underneath your existing roof. Plus, I don’t know, really, but I’m imagining that a metal roof is going to have some weight to it. And why put that extra stress on the structure? And it’s a lifetime roof; you know, you’re looking at 50 years on a metal roof, so …
MARK: How about cutting it? Any special tools? You have any idea?
TOM: Yeah, I mean it’s all done with shears.
TOM: And you can use hand shears and you can use power shears. But when you work with that stuff all the time, you have the tools that you need to do that. But that’s what you’re going to have to cut it with.
MARK: Well, hey – well, thanks – thank you for being so – and I appreciate it.
TOM: You’re very welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, adding a backyard deck is one surefire way to get outside and increase your home’s living space. But is building a deck a DIY project or one that you should hire out? There are a few pros and cons for each.
First of all, DIY. If you do do it yourself, you stand to save a ton of money just by virtue of those labor costs. However, building your deck could eat up a number of weekends, depending on how quickly you work. Also, the DIY option might be perfect if you’re planning a fairly simple square or rectangular deck. But things could get dicey if you choose a more complicated, multilevel deck design. You have to be careful because those do get tricky.
TOM: Gravity sucks, so you’ve got to be careful.
Hiring a pro is obviously going to result in a pricier deck because you’re paying for their labor. But on the plus side, a pro – or at least one that’s reliable – is likely to finish the project faster than you will.
And they’re also going to take care of that permitting process. That’s not something you want to skip. You want to make sure that the deck is up to code and you also want to make sure that it’s approved by the city building inspector. Because if it’s not, what’s going to happen when you sell your house is they’re not going to give you a CO and you’ll be stuck. So it’s really important that you have it inspected as it’s built. Those guys are there to make sure your contractor is doing the job that you hired him to do.
For more tips on how to build a deck, make sure you check out “How to Plan an Amazing Deck.” It’s one of our latest posts on MoneyPit.com. Just search for “How to Plan an Amazing Deck.”
LESLIE: Next up, we’ve got Pat in Georgia who needs some help with a cleaning project. What’s going on?
PAT: I have granite countertops. And I am wondering if there is an advantage to using the store-bought cleaners versus a homemade cleaner. And what would the homemade cleaner be?
TOM: So I guess you don’t have a recipe for a homemade cleaner. Is that what you’re saying?
PAT: No, I don’t.
TOM: If you happen to run across one that you like, tell us about it because I have not found one. But I will say that the commercial cleaners are usually very well-developed and are designed to give you a longer-term protection than you can probably get out of anything that you could mix up on your own countertop.
There’s a website called StoneCare.com that specializes in these types of products. And our listeners have always had good success with them, so I would take a look at that website.
But the thing about granite tops is a lot of folks buy them and think, “Well, it’s stone. I’m not going to have to do much work to the top.” But the truth is it’s a lot of work, isn’t it, Pat?
PAT: It very certainly is.
TOM: It really is. And if you don’t stay on top of it, it gets pretty nasty-looking. So, you are going to have to invest in some regular cleaning and I would just buy a good-quality product from a good brand manufacturer and just accept it as reality, OK?
PAT: Thank you so very much.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Gary in Pennsylvania unfortunately had a flood and needs some help picking up the pieces. What can we do for you?
GARY: We had a flood here: a flash food. Rain came down in 8 hours, about 7 to 10 inches. It flooded our basement with about a foot of water. And I’m interested in finding out from you folks how we can get back to normal as far as the basement is concerned. It smells. We did manage to get the sump pump going and get the water out of the basement. But it was – like I said, it was a foot around the furniture and everything. And how can I manage to get things back to where they were before the flood?
TOM: Alright. So, when you have a flood situation like that, of course, it’s human nature that you want everything back just the way it was, as soon as possible. But from a practical standpoint, it doesn’t always work that way. Here at the Jersey Shore, we faced one of the worst hurricanes in history with Hurricane Sandy. And that was the natural reaction; everyone wanted to get back. And we always say, “No, you can’t get back that quickly because you’re going to make some mistakes along the way.”
So what you want to do first is you want – as you’ve already done, you got rid of the water. Secondly, you want to prevent further damage by removing all of the wet materials. So, wet carpet has to be tossed out. If the basement is finished, does it have drywall down there? Those drywall sections have to be cut out to above the flood line. If there’s insulation in the walls, that has to be pulled out. If you have furniture that’s water-damaged, you may have an option of saving some of that if you can get it upstairs and start to dry it out and kind of make a decision as you go. But frankly, a lot of that should be covered by insurance so I wouldn’t maybe try too hard to save it. But get all of that material out of there.
Now, you said it was a flash flood and it flooded the basement quickly. Any time you have water infiltration that’s consistent with rainfall, it can always be reduced, if not eliminated, by making sure that your drainage conditions outside are proper and that you have gutters, they’re clean, they’re extended from the house 4 to 6 feet – not just a few inches like normal gutters are – and that the soil slopes away. So those sorts of things can prevent further water infiltration.
And then after it’s all torn out, then you’re going to want to spray those – that basement floor and the walls down with a solution of bleach and water, about 10- to 20-percent bleach with water. That will kill any mold spores that are left behind. Then get some fans down there; dry that all out. And then once it’s dry, then you can think about putting it back together.
And next time, I would not put carpet on a basement floor because that’s a breeding factory for mold and mildew and dust mites, as well. OK?
GARY: Sounds like a winner to me. I certainly appreciate it.
TOM: You’re welcome, Gary. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Hey, are your guests getting bugged by swarms of gnats in your backyard? Well, we’ve got tips on keeping these common nuisances away, after this.
TOM: Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Still looking for help with your money pit? You are not alone. Head on over to MoneyPit.com for tips and answers to home improvement questions big and small. And while you’re there, sign up for our free e-Newsletter. Stay ahead of home maintenance chores year-round. It’s all online and free at MoneyPit.com.
LESLIE: You can also post your question while you’re online. And here’s one from Craig who writes: “I’m thinking about installing hardwired, integrated smoke detectors. Is it worth my while and what should I know beforehand?”
I think absolutely.
TOM: Yeah. And I totally agree because – for two reasons. First of all, if they’re hardwired, you’re not totally relying on batteries. And secondly and even more importantly, hardwired detectors run in series. They’re interconnected. So if one goes off, all the detectors go off.
I mean imagine if there was a fire that started in your basement and you’re on the second floor with the door closed to the bedroom in the middle of the night. You’re never going to hear that detector. So you want hardwired detectors that are interconnected. There are battery-powered ones that can be interconnected, too, but hardwired is key. So, I would install one in every room and make sure that you have the best possible chance of detecting fires early by doing that.
LESLIE: You know, another tip, Craig: when you’re selecting your smoke detector, there’s actually two different types. And the two different types detect two different types of fires. But there is one that will detect both and it will detect a slow, smoldering fire and one of those quick flash fires. Because you can’t pick what kind of fire you’re going to have but you can pick a smoke detector that will recognize both of them.
LESLIE: Because they do burn very differently. And one gives you more time to get out and one doesn’t. So you have to be on top of it.
TOM: Yeah. And that’s called a “dual-sensor smoke detector.” So make sure you look for that on the packaging: dual sensor. It will cover both slow, smoldering and fast-burning fires.
LESLIE: Yeah, just play it safe, play it smart. Do the right thing. You’re on the right track.
TOM: Well, you could plan the most elegant outdoor soirée ever only to have it spoiled by annoying, little bugs flying around your guests’ heads by the thousands. Leslie explains how to not get bugged by gnats, in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.
LESLIE: Yeah, you’re right, Tom. Your outdoor party could be ruined in a flash if the guests find themselves constantly swatting away the swarms of relentless, little gnats. And they are relentless.
Now, the gnats themselves, they’re pretty harmless but they’re irritating and definitely annoying. So to keep your party gnat-free, you need to know that the little buggers love wet, rotten, organic matter like compost. So if you are composting, cover it up. You can cover it up with mulch.
Now, with mulch, you want to make sure that you rake it and turn it consistently to avoid mold growing on the underside, thus creating a damp habitat that those gnats are going to love. You also want to make sure that you have no standing water or leaves in your gutters. And keep those birdbaths and water features clean of any debris, as well.
Also, this is something you’ll love: gnats hate vanilla but people seem to love the smell of vanilla. So you can place vanilla oil in aroma-oil burners – that’ll help keep them away – as well as vanilla extract on cotton balls placed strategically around your outdoor table. Your guests truly will appreciate being gnat-free because nobody wants to be swatting away while you’re trying to have a good time. But they’ll also love the smell of vanilla.
So get outside, don’t be annoyed and have a wonderful summer season.
TOM: Great advice. This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show.
Hey, here’s another thing that we want to learn to avoid and that’s mold. And with all of the damp, wet weather we’ve had this spring, it’s certainly a condition during which mold can grow. We’re going to have tips on how to actually stop that mold cold, 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.
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