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 this beautiful spring weekend? If it’s your residence, your dwelling, your ground, you’re in accurately the liberty residence because that’s what we do. What a co-occurrence. Give us a call right now. We’d love to help you take on your next home progress assignment at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Coming up on today’s show, are you itching to get the plot germinating but wondering what you should start to plant now? We’re going to have some gratuities on a few weeds that are suited for early-summer planting and late-summer eating, exactly ahead.
LESLIE: And also onward, warm climate brought about by the bugs, including the kind that like to eat your house, like termites. You know, they can certainly do a lot of damage but we’re going to tell you how to recognise them, hopefully, before that happens.
TOM: But first, we want to hear from you. Give us a call, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888 -6 66 -3 974. If you do, we’re giving away an shocking reward that can help you maintain your residence all time long.
LESLIE: That’s right. We’ve got, new from RYOBI, the SMART TREK Self-Propelled Cordless Mower. Now, the RYOBI SMART TREK features gas-like power. It’s self-propelled technology that’s going to adapt to your pace , not you adapting to the mower’s pace. And it truly does have gas-like power.
It’s available at The Home Depot and HomeDepot.com for 449 bucks. But we have one to give away today to a very lucky listener, right here at The Money Pit.
TOM: Very exciting. Give us a call, right now, with your residence improvement question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Renee, you’ve came The Money Pit. How can we are contributing to today?
RENEE: My question is concerning my sump spout. Plainly, a sump pump in the vault. And for a very long time- for several months, I had not been able to heard the sump spout going on. A few weeks- a few months ago, when it was raining very hard, I went down to the basement to see why the sump run wasn’t kicking on and it was the well was filled with water. So, I became onward and I drained the water out by bucketing- making buckets of this, spewing containers of water out until I went down to see where the bullet was. And it was better wouldn’t come on. So I tapped the bullet and eventually, when the spray rose, it did kick on again.
But then now I’m hearing this babble racket in my kitchen-sink piping. And I want to know why.
TOM: Where is the sump pump discharging? Is it exhausting into this cellar sag?
RENEE: The sump spout discharges- it’s connected to the outside sewer strand. And that’s- I guess that sewer- the line is connected to the basement- the kitchen sink.
TOM: OK. So first of all, it has to go through a bait. If it doesn’t go through a capture, you are able come sewage gas that comes back into the basement. So that’s the first thing.
Secondly, the gurgling might just- because it doesn’t have enough water in the sump itself. You’re probably gathering a lot of air in there.
And thirdly, because your sump pump was filling up when you had heavy rain, the causes of that liquid is easily within your ability to repair and stop. Generally, when your sump spout fills up after a heavy rain, it’s because your sewers are clogged or overflowing or your downspouts are not discharging away from the foundation. Or the grunge around the house is not sloping away from the outside walls. That’s what causes problems with water filling up in cellars and fills in a kind- because that outside face sewage is just not set up right.
So I would focus on improving your exterior drainage. There’s a great article on MoneyPit.com about how to solve wet vaults. A slew of that advice applies to this. And then you’ll find that the sump pump is gonna have to run that much less.
RENEE: OK. That’s great news.
TOM: Renee, thanks so much better for scream us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Bill in Michigan is on the line. How can we help you today?
BILL: My wife and I constructed a mansion about 10 years ago and we have a 2-car attached garage. And their own problems is is that the flooring of our garage is not level. And so, when ocean sags off the car from rainfall or more particularly, ice and blizzard, it throws off onto the garage floor and starts to go in different low smudges on the floor.
BILL: And a lot of it disappears directly towards the wall of our house.
BILL: So I’m wondering if there’s anything we can do to correct that trouble without having to remove the floor and replace it.
LESLIE: Can you use something like Abatron or Abocast- I remember which one is the leveling deepened- but to building and strengthening more on one side? Or will that only automatically try to go flat?
TOM: I’m thinking, Leslie, it’s so much work to be able to deal with a surface this big, to try to get it level again.
I actually envision, Bill, it’s frankly going to be easier to tear out the old-fashioned flooring. That might seem extreme but you may be surprised that with the right tool, like a jackhammer, you can have your entire storey torn out in a couple of hours. It undermines up certainly easily. And then you can suitably level it, accurately reinforce it and then repour it and be done.
BILL: I was afraid you were going to suggest that. Because the problem is is the floor is sitting on precast concrete radiations, because we have a spare storage space underneath the garage. And so the irrigate trickles down there.
TOM: Ah. Oh, man.
BILL: So, I could do that, I guess, but I don’t know the likelihood of being able to take cement off of those precast ...
TOM: Yeah, that does- no, that dramatically- I was thinking it’d be over fill dirt like every other one.
TOM: But no, that does manufacture it a great deal harder. So I guess you are going to have to look into a floor-leveling compound for this. And there’s a variety of commodities out there that this can work with. But the key is is it’s not just more concrete; it’s a produce that’s written specifically to stick to the existing concrete floor.
TOM: Because you have the full temperature fluctuate there in Michigan and if you don’t have good adhesion, you’re undoubtedly going to have that second layer chip off. So, it can be done. It’s a bit of a pain in the neck but it certainly can be done.
BILL: Would you intimate a material contractor? Do you think they would be familiar with the options there?
TOM: You may be better off having a pro make love, because you really have to set some words to get this level just right. And then you should be eliminated as you go so that it drains (inaudible).
BILL: Oh, how much could you put on top of a flooring that I described?
TOM: Oh, you could positioned 2 or 3 inches, easily.
BILL: OK. OK. I increase that.
TOM: You’re welcome, Bill. Good blessing with that activity. Thanks so much for calling us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: You are aria to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. But you can also reach us at 888 -MONEY-PIT, which is presented by HomeAdvisor, where it’s easy to encounter top-rated, neighbourhood dwelling improvement pros for any home project. Go to HomeAdvisor.com.
TOM: And only ahead, are you itching to get your garden germinating but wondering what you should start to plant now? We’re going to have some tips on a few cases bushes that are suited for early-summer planting and late-summer munching, really ahead.
Making good residences better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
You are listening to The Money Pit, which is was put forward by HomeAdvisor.com. Never worry about overpaying for a errand. Only use the HomeAdvisor True Cost Guide to see what others pay off a similar assignment. It’s all for free at HomeAdvisor.com.
And remember, while you’re online, ability on over to MoneyPit.com where you can post your questions in the Community section. You can also be used give us a ask with whatever it is you are working on, right here, at 888-MONEY-PIT. We’ll give you a hand. And hey, however you ask your question with us on the breeze, you’ve got a chance to win a great prize. And this is really the excellent summertime giveaway.
We’ve get up for grabs the RYOBI 40 -Volt Lithium 20-Inch SMART TREK Self-Propelled Cordless Mower. That’s right. I said self-propelled. So, it’s going to adapt to how you walk along, with the SMART TREK technology. So if you’re walking sluggish, it’s going to walk at your speed. If you’re walking swiftly, same lot. It’s not going to drag you across your ground. And even though it is battery-powered, you get the full gas-power feel. It’s really a great choice.
It’s worth 449 horses. If you want to check it out, you can see it at Home Depot and at HomeDepot.com.
TOM: We’ve got one going out to one luck listener. Make that you. Pick up the telephone, give us a order, right now, with your dwelling better question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Steve in Illinois, you’ve get The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
STEVE: Looked outside this year and we’ve got a building that was built in 1929. It’s got a porch above the porch down below. And on the exposed joists, those carpenter bees have framed some flaws in there. And it- we’re looking for a course to eliminate the carpenter bees and not necessarily poison everything in the neighborhood.
LESLIE: Well, part of what they’re doing is - you are familiar, they really enjoy eating this natural wood. So they’re coming there because you’ve got something tasty to offer up. And it turns out that they love to endure these holes that are perfectly 3/8 -inches round.
So, you can do a couple of things. You can have it given by a pest professional and then seal up those pits and that should do the trick. But you’re right: substances are use and that might not be what you have in mind.
The other thing is you can cover that or change that joist perfectly- or whatever the patronize is- with a synthetic wood or a composite that looks like wood but it’s not actually timber. It is likely to be extruded PVC, it is able to recycled plastics. This path, it looks like wood; it’s doing the same job that the lumber case was. However, carpenter bees, carpenter ants, termites, whatever pests like to eat a natural informant as lumber, they’re going to try it, they’re not going to get into it and they’re going to be really confused and fly away and find somewhere else to eat.
STEVE: Yeah, that sounds like an option. Yeah, I was wondering if there was something that- I assume that painting it has not been able to make a difference. I didn’t know if there was something that could be topically applicable in it that would be environmentally friendly and keep the bees out.
LESLIE: Unh-unh. I’ve had them eat through the decorated grove that compiles up my entire screened-in porch. And then what happens is they bore a hole but they won’t bore all the way through. They’ll bore into the wood, even if it’s just a 1x6 or whatever. They found to stand into it and then bore through the grove itself and lay their eggs in there.
STEVE: OK. And it- yeah, it’s amazing. It looks like somebody got out with a instruct and taught the hole in there.
LESLIE: It’s precisely bizarre. It’s perfect how they do it.
STEVE: So, basically, the options, mostly, are having someone come out and treat it or either submerge or converting the material that’s there.
LESLIE: Yeah, reforming material is typically the best bet since they were won’t eat it. And then, as an added benefit, it doesn’t require any upkeep except the periodic cleanup. You’re not going to be painting it all the time. It really is a win-win situation.
STEVE: OK. Yeah, I’ll look into that. I’ve got a contractor that’s got to come out regardles, so I’ll look into both options. But it sounds like it- I’d prefer something that wouldn’t have to do with pesticides but ...
TOM: Steve, I hope that takes care of those carpenter bees once and for all. Thanks so much for calling us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Deb in Wyoming, you’ve came The Money Pit. How is impossible to help you today?
DEB: Yeah, I’ve got some trouble with an area of grass right in the midst of my ground. It’s probably 20 x20.
LESLIE: The yard? Or the problem area?
DEB: The difficulty range is probably 20 x20.
LESLIE: OK. That’s a big problem.
DEB: Yeah. And the lawn is pretty big and it thrives actually good the whole way around such areas. And it simply- it’ll grow maybe an inch or two and then it kind of heads out and never really get dark-green. We leant additional water on it and we fertilize it and aerate it, just like the rest of the lawn, but it only doesn’t look good. And seems funny that this organization is time in one area.
LESLIE: Well, it could be that that area, for whatever reason, has a different pH balance than the other parts of your lawn itself. And hence that the grain that you’re utilizing is reacting differently to the soil than the other areas.
So, you might want to take a couple of soil samples from the question expanse and have those experimented. Sometimes, the dwelling centers sell hardly kits. Sometimes, you might have to contact your neighbourhood construct bureau to find out who you can do that with. But you can have a soil test done pretty easily and inexpensively.
And formerly you know exactly what’s going on with the soil in this area, I mean that could be instructing to have this information. Because you could be using the mistaken grain, you could be using the erroneous fertilizer. That will tell you exactly what type of fertilizer, when, how to sea it. That’s really the key now and that should clear up a lot of this problem.
DEB: OK. That like the sound of that. I’ll sure give it a try.
TOM: Deb, I hope that helps you out. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Well, there are lots of early-summer veggies to choose from, like turnips and beets and radishes and carrots and onions, that are great for early-summer planting. If that’s on your to-do list, it’s best to start with the small seedlings for those working with the shorter changing seasons. Now, some of these seed crops need 90 epoches for maturity but others, like the winter varieties of radishes, they’re ready to begin harvesting in 22 days from seeding. So, you are able to basically eating them in less than a month.
LESLIE: That’s really fast and kind of amazing.
Now that you’ve got a bunch of fresh veggies, well, what are you going to do with them? You can also be used contributed them to leafy salad speck that are also perfect for early-summer germinating, like Swiss chard, arugula and needle lettuce.
And hey, good story: if you like snow peas and you want to add them to a salad, go right ahead and stretch them in your yard. They are excellent for growing in this type of weather. And even though we’re not hoping for any wintertime climate anytime soon, snow peas change in the snow.
TOM: How about that? For more details, check out “Green Goodness: 12 Veggies You Can Plant Right Now” on MoneyPit.com.
LESLIE: Tony in North Carolina is on the line with a water-heating question. What can we do for you today?
TONY: My wife and I are in the process of- I suspect we’re trying to gather as much datum as we can. About to build another home in the next few months and we very much are interested in some of the ENERGY STAR features that we are- have been seeing.
Just wondering, is it feasible for us- there’s only four of us in their own homes- to install the tankless water heater or would we be squandering money there?
TOM: A tankless irrigate heater is an excellent option for a family of four or even more. You buy the tankless water heater based on the number of bathrooms in the chamber of representatives. And the advantage is that you’re simply applying it to heat the sea as you need it. A cistern liquid heater maintenances all of that water red-hot, 24 -7, whether you’re exploiting it or not. A tankless liquid heater attacks on challenge and hots irrigate as it delivers across its heat exchanger, basically. So I do think that a tankless liquid heater sounds like a good engineering in order to be allowed to consider.
And how perfect that you’re building a dwelling now and can strategy it. One of the more common accusations we get- that you might want to consider, Tony- is parties complain that it takes too long for their liquid to get hot in the morning. So, the reason that happens is because the sea heater is very far away from the lavatory. That is a condition that would continue even with a tankless but the advantage is that since the tankless spray heaters are very small and can also be direct-vented through the exterior siding, that you could actually have the ocean heater more centrally located to the lavatories. So that when you do turn the ocean on in the morning, you’re not waiting very long for that irrigate to actually get there.
TONY: OK. I thank you so much for it.
LESLIE: Now we’re chief on over to Washington State where Sabrina is dealing with some grout that’s cracking up. And it’s not roaring; it’s falling apart. Tell us what’s going on.
SABRINA: So I had some grout set fairly some time ago. And they’re about 18 -inch tile sections. And what I’m detecting now is there are several residence- it’s kind of happening all over- where the grout is actually cracking. And I’m not sure what to do.
TOM: So, is it a penalize cracking or is it a big crack?
SABRINA: The grout is cracking and now some of the tile article are cracking.
TOM: Yeah, that’s a problem. It resonates to me like the tile was not put down on a locate that was solid enough. When you use a big tile like that, you need to have a really strong base. So you have to have a mud base or you have to have a tile locate. And you are able even have to have an expansion material underneath that so that you don’t get this kind of cracking. If you don’t get good substantiate across an 18 -inch tile and you get a little bit of movement in the floor, it cracks very quickly.
So, I think this- at this spot, it’s going to be something you’re going to have to manage. And if it gets really bad, you’re going to end up making those tiles out and supplanting them. It’s very hard to recover from this when the tile hassle was potentially not done right to begin with.
SABRINA: Yeah. And I was wondering if it has anything to do with- I’ve heard a couple of beings "re trying to tell me" the underlayment- and maybe you said that- the underlayment wasn’t procured down properly or whatnot.
TOM: It wasn’t strong enough, right. It wasn’t strong enough. You identify, if there’s more- if there’s flex in the storey, the tile is not going to bend, it’s going to crack. And so that’s why the tile- what’s under that tile has to be really solid. With a- bigger the tile, the wider the tile, the little forgiving it is. If you settled mosaic down, you know, it can move the working day long and you’re never going to see those sounds. But when you positioned a big, 18 -inch square tile down, it’s got nowhere to go.
SABRINA: It’s got nowhere to go.
SABRINA: And what is your recommendation for my- for correcting it?
TOM: Unfortunately, there’s no easy recommendation. If the tile project was done wrong to begin with, there’s nothing I can tell you to do that’s going to fix it at this top in time. It’s really going to be something that you’re going to have to condone and eventually, you’re going to end up replacing them. And this time, you’re going to do the suitable place with putting the flooring down.
How long have these tiles been down?
SABRINA: About five years.
TOM: I was going to say, whoever threw them down didn’t really do the job freedom. You’re going to end up having to tear it out and do it again.
SABRINA: That’s OK. Well, thank you, guys. I just wanted to talk to some professionals. And I heard your show and I really appreciate you guys giving me the advice.
LESLIE: You are adjusted to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online.
Hey, if you’ve been experiencing a beautiful garden-variety and landscape but you’re noticing that you’re not the only one, you could be dealing with wildlife that’s making a snack out of your ground. We’re going to have some tips on a natural solution to keep them away, after this.
TOM: Making good residences better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
Well, if you’ve been enjoying a beautiful garden and landscape but you’ve noticed that you’re not the only one, you might be dealing with wildlife who’s making a snack out of your yard.
TOM: Well, whether it’s rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks or my own personal nemesis, deer- yes, that’s right, I’m at war with Bambi- there’s a mixture that can control these and many more.
LESLIE: With us to talk about that is lawn-and-garden care expert Jim Wood from Bonide, a company that’s been helping homeowners save wildlife at bay now for over 90 years.
JIM: Hi, Leslie. Hi, Tom. Thank you for having me.
TOM: This can be really annoying. You think you’ve done everything right and you’re flourishing a beautiful scenery or a beautiful garden, you wake up one morning or you come home one nighttime from creation and you find out that some of your beautiful return has been snipped at ground level by some of the neighbourhood wildlife. You must get a lot of questions about that at Bonide.
JIM: Yes, we do. And we have a very large assortment of repellents that we have available for customers. But Repels-All Animal Repellent is by far our best seller, as it assures over 15 different animal pests.
TOM: Interesting. So, this particular product naturally repels them? What is it about the produce that stirs these swine want to stay away?
JIM: Well, it’s reached with all-natural ingredients. And what it does, Tom, is it creates a negative tendernes with the animal. The animal does a bad response to either the smell, the savour or the irritation.
JIM: That’s the style that commodity employs. So it was working on all three abilities: bouquet, flavour and irritation.
TOM: Then formerly they get sort of a sense of that and know they don’t want to go back to it, do they generally stay away or is it something that you have to do over and over again?
JIM: It will have to be reapplied about every two months. It’s rain-fast formerly baked and it’ll last up to two months. So they’ll need to procreate some reapplications.
And the other thing you need to realize- individual consumers need to realize- is as bushes thrive- let’s say you scattered the seed in late April. And as that weed germinates through the month of May, understand the brand-new raise doesn’t have any spray on it. So you have to come back and spray that brand-new growth, as well.
LESLIE: Jim, do you think that the animals get used to that taste or that smell of a product and then maybe you shouldn’t be using the same product again and again, because they do develop that same flavor for it? Or can you echo the concoction?
JIM: Leslie, the ideal scenario is to change up the repellings that "youre using" so animals don’t get accustomed to the one experience, one smell, one irritation. If homeowners continue to use the same commodity month in, month out, the animals will get used to it and they’ll exactly mostly manipulate right through it. So the ideal scenario is to change up the repellings that the homeowner uses.
They can use Repels-All- one application- followed up with Bonide’s Animal Repellent, which is a totally different active ingredient and then go back the next time, which would be the third application - you can prepare that with Repels-All. So, yes, it emphatically is a benefit to switch up your animal-repellent concoctions that you use.
LESLIE: So you really should be applying every month or so as the growth in season is happening.
JIM: Yes, I is undoubtedly agree with that. And I would also have indicated that if they get a heavy rainstorm, it has not been able to be a bad notion to reapply after that, as well.
TOM: We’re talking to Jim Wood- he is a lawn-care expert with Bonide- about how to keep some wildlife at bay.
And Jim, what about the type of bush you’re trying to keep this wildlife away from? Does it matter if it’s a vegetable or say, a undergrowth or your lawn? Time this commodity undertaking equally well on all of those types of floras? Is there any concern about, say, putting it on vegetables that would be harvested?
JIM: I’m glad you fetched that up because that is a critical point with Repels-All. Excellent item for apply on shrubbery, trees, perennials, flowers, et cetera, et cetera. Nonetheless, the homeowner should not apply Repels-All immediately to an palatable. So, vegetables and fruits, happens like that, no.
However, you can use either the liquid or the granular copy as a perimeter therapy around those flowers that are being chewed by a targeted animal you want to control.
TOM: Or doing the outside of it and not on the flower- or the vegetable, in such cases- itself.
Now, is this a concentrate? Do you have to mix it up? Or how is it applied?
JIM: Well, Repels-All comes in liquid and granular. In the liquid copy, we have a hose-end, we also have a concentrate that prepares 2 gallons of scatter and then we have a ready-to-use quart container. Then "were having" three sizes of a granular edition. So, the smallest size does up to about 1,000 square foot and then the 6-pound pocket does 5,000 square feet.
TOM: And I’m looking at the list now of all the various the different types of swine that it fights and it includes deer, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, skunks, fledglings, armadillos and more. Can’t be mentioned that I’ve ever had a problem with an armadillo but those deer, they just love my bushes.
JIM: Oh, this’ll clearly help keep them away.
TOM: Alright. Jim Wood from Bonide, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit.
If you’d like to learn more about Repels-All, brain on over to Bonide.com. That’s B-o-n-i-d-e.com.
JIM: Thank you, Tom and Leslie.
LESLIE: Still to come, can you spot rot? Well, maybe not. Now, if it’s termites that have taken up residence instead, you could be mistaken. We’re going to tell you the difference and what the hell is do about both, after this.
TOM: Where residence answers live, welcome to The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
Give us a call at 888 -MONEY-PIT. We’re going to help you with all the things you are working on around your money oppose. And 888 -MONEY-PIT was being submitted by HomeAdvisor. You can get instantly matched with top-rated pros for any home project and record appointments online, all for free.
TOM: Give us a call right now. We’ll not only answer your home progress question but we’ll toss your reputation in The Money Pit hard hat because, this hour, we’re giving away the RYOBI 40 -Volt Lithium SMART TREK Self-Propelled Cordless Mower.
This is a stupendous mower. It’s worth 449 horses. Accessible at The Home Depot and HomeDepot.com. It’s get SMART TREK technology, which matches your tempo. It’s got gas-like power, cordless amenity , no messy fumes and oil and gas and maintenance associated with a gas superpower. It gets the job done without any of that trash. And I like the bagger intend. It’s easy-lift. So, single action. You face-lift it right up in between the holds, quit it right back up. Pretty simple.
The RYOBI SMART TREK Self-Propelled Cordless Mower is going out to one caller paint at random. Make that you. Call us, right now, with your residence better question at 888 -6 66 -3 974.
LESLIE: Alan in Idaho is on the line with a fissure in a foundation. Tell us what’s going on at your coin pit.
ALAN: You know, when I first bought the chamber of representatives, a contractor chum of mine said it was no big deal and he gave me some epoxy. Said to drill some gap in it and squirt it in there until it mushed out all the way through and then just go ahead and smooth it off. Well, I didn’t seal it but it’s cracked right again beside it.
TOM: OK. So you have a crack in the foundation that you filled with epoxy and it’s continuing to crack. Is that the action?
TOM: How aged is your house?
ALAN: Sixty-seven is when it was built.
TOM: Alright. So it’s concrete-block wall or cinderblock wall, chasten?
ALAN: It’s concrete.
TOM: Now, do you have any drainage questions around the house?
ALAN: Not that I know of.
TOM: Have you had any moisture in the vault or clues of that?
ALAN: The only time I’ve ever had any moisture in the vault is a previous owned instructed a gap in the storey and ran away the condensate pump through the air conditioner into the floor.
TOM: Alright. That’s not the various kinds of sweat we’re concerned about. The rationale I would like to request that question is why there is just like your wall is a little unstable and that it’s continuing to move. And the first occasion to do when that happens- if it’s not a serious crack , not one where the wall is being removed- is to make sure that your grading and your drainage case are absolutely letter-perfect. Because the more sea that drenches around the outside of that house, the more spray that comes off gutters and gets discharged against the wall, the weaker that footing gets.
It’s kind of like this: when it’s rainy and "youre walking" across a field, you sink into the mud because wet dirt is not as strong as baked grime. So we want to try to keep the dirt around your room- and specifically, under your footing- as cool as is practicable. So sewage ascendancy is important.
Now, beyond that, if this is just sort of a hairline rift that’s forming- is that what we’re talking about here?
ALAN: Yeah, yeah, it is. Well, the original one was a moderately good-sized fissure but ...
TOM: Well, what I would do if it’s a hairline sound is I would fill it with silicone caulk, because it will expand and sicken and won’t- epoxy is pretty rigid if it’s going to break and sound through it. So I would just load it with silicone caulk; that will merely keep out some moisture and drafts from coming through it.
ALAN: Alright. And now, if I dig down- I know it doesn’t go clear to the footing because I’ve been down that far. I mine down to see how far it went down. And so, dig down and indicate perhaps tarring it up below grade?
TOM: I wouldn’t go through all that. I convey right now, it’s- I would simply improve the sewage problems and seal the sound from the inside where you can.
TOM: Alright? I don’t think it’s going to really add to it to tar up the whole foundation. You don’t seem to have any major moisture problem here, so we’re just trying to deal with the drafts and any potential leakage in the future.
Good luck. Thanks so much for calling us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
Well, if you’ve noticed that some of the wood surfaces around your live examine a bit, say, off and then maybe you touch them or you poke at them and you was of the view that the wood pretty much is no longer there, how do you know if what you’re seeing is lumber that’s rotted or wood that’s been damaged by bugs or maybe even both?
LESLIE: Well, injured lumber can shape your home’s exterior look aged, tattered and then it leads to deeper structural difficulties. Either way, the wood’s got to be restored whether that impairment is caused by insects or decomposition. But if it’s insects that are doing the attacking, you might also need to call in a pest professional to make sure that they are not going to come back and get it on all over again.
TOM: Now, if the lumber is rotted, it’s going to look spongy, kind of almost like cork. But if it’s been attacked by wood-destroying bugs, that damage will have a distinctly different pattern to it. Think about the reverberate of a tree: "youve had" the thin reverberates and then you have the thick peals. Now, the thin hoops are of the hard, sluggish wintertime proliferation of the tree. And the thick rings are the soft, rapidly summer growth.
Now, both carpenter ants and termites will gobble that softer summer raise and then they’ll leave that thin wintertime raise alone. So if you encounter a tree that looks like it’s kind of carved out based on those reverberates, you definitely are dealing with insects.
LESLIE: Yeah. Plus, termites are also going to leave dirt or sand behind, which they use to build these tunnels that keep the insect themselves protected while they go out and about and do all that munching away on your house.
Often, though, people will refer to rot damage as dry rot but that’s genuinely a misnomer, because dry rot is nothing more than rotted grove that’s bone-dry out.
TOM: Yeah. And rot needs sweat to develop. So, besides the repair, you do need to protect the timber with a proper finish to keep it from happening again.
LESLIE: Now we’ve get Laurel from Louisiana on the line with assist with a tiling job. How can we help you today?
LAUREL: My husband and I are building a new room right now and we’re putting ceramic tile in the front room and the kitchen. And it’s not "re going to be" closed, so we were wondering what was the best kind of sealant to put on that ceramic tile.
TOM: What various kinds of tile are you using that’s not closed? Are you trying to say that it’s not glazed?
LAUREL: No, it was glazed but I was told that you are required to put a sealant over it to stir the tile last longer?
TOM: No , absolutely no truth to the rumors. The glazing is abundance tough sufficient to protect the tile. What you- the sealant frequently refers to the grout. And if you seal the grout, it can help keep it cleanser and rebuff spray. And the grout sealants are silicone-based.
So, as long as you use a good grout sealant- and the time to do this is before you keep moving, you are familiar? Because once you keep moving and you start grinding some dirt in that tile, it becomes a lot harder to maintain. But if you seal the grout right after the tile is installed, that’s the best time to do it.
LAUREL: What would be the best kind to use?
TOM: A silicone one. A silicone-based grout sealant is what you’re looking for.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And you want to look for one that applies in a style that you are comfortable with. Like if you’re doing a smaller grout line, you would look for one that roughly looks like a nail-polish brush or a rolling foam motor. With a floor tile, you could be looking at a 1/4 -inch to a 1/2-inch grout direction, so that’s easier to apply. But you want to make sure you have something that "youre feeling" comfy applying rigorously to the grouted areas.
LAUREL: OK. Alright. Well, thank you.
TOM: You’re welcome, Laurel. Thanks so much for calling us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Coming up, if you realise a crack, does it always spell structural hassles? We’re going to tell you how to sort the serious from the cosmetic, after this.
TOM: Where home solutions live, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Give us a label, right now, with your dwelling increase question at 888 -MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor. You can find out what it costs to do your residence job before you hire a pro and instantaneously work one of HomeAdvisor’s top-rated pros for free.
LESLIE: And don’t forget, chief on over to MoneyPit.com where you are able to affix your question in The Money Pit’s Community section.
And I’ve got one now from Vicky. Now, Vicky is in Hawaii and she copies: “We’re about to interview two different contractors who are willing to build our room. What are important questions that I is well aware when he met with these contractors? We once is well aware they improve the whole house and it comes with everything, from the storeys to the roof, even appliances, kitchen, tub, electrical, plumbing, et cetera. I want to be able to compare the entreats equally.”
TOM: That’s a great question, Vicky, and the only room you’ll be authorized to liken those dictations evenly is if you have a very firm, well-developed placed of architectural specifications. Because all of those situations that you just mentioned, from the floorings to the roof to the appliances, they all need to be described in great detail in those specs. Because otherwise, how do you know what kind of insulation, for example, one make is offering over another?
I had a cousin that was building a home that was destroyed in Hurricane Sandy and I had sent him the names of some insulation contractors. And I asked him how it proceeded. He said, “Well, one gave me the prices and they were dramatically different.” I said, “Something’s not right.” And I look back their estimates. He didn’t realize that one contractor was literally putting in half of the separation of the other contractor, because he didn’t have the right spec there or in such cases, I think that because it was a repair, maybe there was never one developed. But it’s time a good example of what can happen. So you need to have a really good set of specifications.
Also, you need to make sure you have an attorney look at the contract with the builder. You want to make sure it furnishes, for example, how many people are going to be on the website. Is he exerting subcontractors? Is he doing most of the wield himself? Find out what that crew experience "il go to" be like and make sure you provide for change dictates, because you’re always going to change your sentiment. And if you do that, you want to make sure there’s a mechanism for either lending or removing from the cost of the overall profession so you have not yet been astounds at the end.
LESLIE: And you know what, Vicky? Make sure you leave plenty of apartment for a guest room for Tom and I, so we can visit.
TOM: I’d love a good reason to go to Hawaii.
LESLIE: Who wouldn’t?
TOM: Well, if you spot a hit that’s happening in your wall or ceiling, does it spell deeper disturb? Not typically. And Leslie has the detailed information about how you are able to know, in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.
LESLIE: Yeah. You know, if you do notice a hit in your wall or in the ceiling, don’t panic. Although you’re going to feel concerned about it, you’ve got to realize that usually it’s a function of age and then, of course, movement of the house rather than a clue of a real structural problem.
Now, as it ages, the house is going to settle. A grassland patch or precisely spackle is going to fall out because it’s not filling into that hole and then nursing onto the gap. It’s too going to fall out as things are moving. So, the best way for a homeowner to fix it is to use a strong, perforated drywall tape.
Now, this videotape has large squares and it approximately looks a lot like a stiff netting. So, first, you want to apply this to bridge that divergence in the crack. Then go ahead and smooth a magnanimous sum of spackle or mud over it. And formerly that area is baked, you’ve got to sand it. You might have to do a pair of beds, sanding in between. You want to feather it out so it makes a nice, smooth transition from the new to the aged. And then is moving forward and repaint it.
And I dislike to say it but you might have to repaint the whole wall because, sometimes, time decorating a patch reaches that spot a bit more obvious. So, assess and experience. Try the small spot firstly and then probably travel paint that whole wall.
TOM: Yeah, that’s good admonition. Now, if you do be understood that a crack seems to be moving or is brand new- in other words, it wasn’t there last year and now it’s there and maybe it’s getting worse- that might be a different reason that’s compelling that. And when you be understood that, you might want to call in a pro, specially if it’s a groundwork crack.
Look, all residences have fissures of some sort. But the ones that are really active are the ones we want to try to stop.
Coming up next time on The Money Pit, we’re going to talk about how to turn your patio or porch into a sizzling kitchen gap. It’s not quite as expensive as you might think. Kevin O’Connor from This Old House is going to stop by with suggestion for making this amazing addition to being able to your hall or yard.
But for now, that’s all the time we have. 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 record or audio datum is also available are described in any format without the express written permission of Squeaky Door Creation, Inc .)
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 thank you for joining us on this, the Memorial Day Weekend, which for us means an extra day to do home improvement projects around the house. If that’s …
LESLIE: That’s true.
TOM: If it’s the same for you, we’re in it with you. We’re in it together. Give us a call. Let’s talk about your project at 888-MONEY-PIT or you can post your question online to our Community page at MoneyPit.com.
Just ahead, if your siding and sidewalks and decks are looking pretty grimy, we’re going to give you a simple solution that can help make that mess disappear and prevent mildew, moss and more from growing right back.
LESLIE: Plus, speaking of grimy things, if you’ve got mold, the best way to deal with it is to prevent it. We’re going to share tips to stop mold cold.
TOM: And also speaking of grimy things, do you have kids that are making a mess in their room? Well, if you would like to clean up that room or perhaps redecorate it for a new arrival or update a space for kids who insist they’re not kids anymore, we’re going to have money-saving tips for easy updates, just ahead.
LESLIE: Plus, this hour, we’re giving away exactly what you’ll need to have a weed-free lawn this summer. We’ve got a supply of Bonide BurnOut Weed and Grass Killer Pump and Spray. It really does magically work. Your lawn’s going to be gorgeous.
TOM: So, give us a call right now. We’re here to help you with your how-to projects. Let us solve your DIY dilemmas. Got a décor project? Got to repair, remodel? The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s first?
LESLIE: Krista in Vermont is on the line and is dealing with some very low water pressure. Tell us what’s going on.
KRISTA: I bought my house about a year ago and I’m on a shared well with my two other neighbors. And they both have great water pressure but we have really awful water pressure. It takes three hours for the washing machine to run. We cannot use our garden hose. And we’ve had some plumbers come take a look and they said that there must be some kind of restriction in the water pipes, since the other neighbors both have really great water pressure.
TOM: This is not well water. You’re on street water?
KRISTA: We’re on well water.
TOM: You’re on well water. And the well serves all the neighbors?
KRISTA: Yeah, it serves the two neighbors that live north of us.
TOM: OK. Well, I mean they’re right that there could be a restriction. The restriction could be a valve that’s partially closed. It may look open but maybe it’s really closed. It could be, if you have old pipes – do you have old pipes there? How old is the house?
KRISTA: Yeah, it’s from ‘54. Yeah, it is copper.
TOM: Old for plumbing is like 20s, 30s, 40s when they had steel pipes.
TOM: So, ‘54 is going to be copper and decent-quality copper.
So here’s what I would do. I would start testing that water pressure at different points. If you can test it close to where it comes into the house, that’d be the first place to check it.
TOM: You may have to put a tap in the pipe to do that, like an extra little valve to do that. But I would start checking it at different points and see if we can kind of narrow down where the restriction is.
TOM: You have to do a little detective work here. You’re going to find, at some point, it’s restricted. It could be the main water valve, if you’ve got one. Sometimes well systems don’t have those.
KRISTA: Right. The valve in our house was just replaced but I don’t know about the valve at our neighbor’s house, where the well head is. And we were also told by one plumber that we could put a water-pressure tank in the house to fix it. And then another plumber told us that wouldn’t work at all.
TOM: That’s not going to work. You need a – you could – there’s a booster that you could put in. But I would start trying to figure out if this is a problem at the point where the water comes into the house, because that’s going to change the discussion. It’s not your plumbing; it’s the well system. And I imagine you have some rights, since you’re sharing a common well here, to get the same pressure as everybody else.
KRISTA: Yeah. OK.
TOM: And that’s going to have to be a discussion you’ll have with the people that are involved, OK?
TOM: But you’ve got to figure out what you’ve got – you don’t know that yet – and that’s the way to do it. Does that make sense?
KRISTA: Alright. Yes. Sounds good. Thank you.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project.
LESLIE: Dan in Virginia, you’ve got The Money Pit. What are you working on?
DAN: I’m getting ready to build a steel building. And I was wondering how thick to make the concrete, though. I’ve had different people tell me different thicknesses and everything, so I was just wanting to get you all’s opinion on it.
TOM: OK. So you’re building a steel building, like for a garage?
DAN: It’s going to be part of a garage and part barn.
DAN: It’s 30×50 and it’s 15 feet high.
TOM: And you’re going to put a concrete slab and then build the building above it?
DAN: Yeah. On top of it, yes. And in one section of it, I want to put one of those vehicle lifts in it.
TOM: So, you really need to have a foundation for that. Where do you live in the country?
DAN: I live in southwest part of Virginia: Tazewell County, to be exact.
TOM: Alright. So you do get some winter there, which means the ground is going to get frozen. And if the slab is not properly anchored with a footing underneath it, not to mention the weight of the roof and then the roof with snow and everything else, you’re going to get some – you could have some settling or some cracking.
So, you can do this one of two ways: you can either build a standard foundation out of block or you could do what’s called a “monolithic pour,” which is the concrete basically goes across the floor and then down into sort of a trench around the outside of that building. And that forms, in one piece, the footing and the slab together. And this way, you’ll be in good shape.
Now, in terms of that lift – that vehicle lift – you might even dig it out a little bit more in that area where the lift’s going to be and make that area – the slab a little bit thicker. Just make sure you have some extra support in the middle of the floor. Alright?
I hope that helps you out. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: You are listening to The Money Pit. Give us a call now to 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor, the fast and easy way to find the best home service pros in your area. You can read reviews, compare prices and book appointments online.
TOM: Just ahead, if your siding, sidewalks, decks or patios are looking a bit grimy, we’re going to give you a simple solution that can help make that mess disappear and prevent mildew, moss and more from growing back. We’ll be back with that and more of your calls, after this.
Where home solutions live, this is The Money Pit. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: And we’d love to hear from you at 888-MONEY-PIT so give us a call, right now, with your how-to question. 888-MONEY-PIT is presented by HomeAdvisor, the fast and easy way to find the right pro for any kind of home project, whether it’s a small repair or a major remodel.
And we’ve got a great reason for you to reach out to us by phone or by posting your question to The Money Pit community, because we’re giving away the Bonide BurnOut Weed and Grass Killer Pump and Spray today. It features all-natural ingredients. It can be used for organic gardening. It’ll kill unwanted weeds and grasses in gardens, driveways, walkways, patios, around schools and in many other places.
It acts fast. There’s no mixing necessary. It’s worth 39.99 but we’re sending it out to one caller drawn at random. Make that you. Give us a call, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Now we’re going to head on over to Ohio where Norma is dealing with some roof leaks. What’s going on?
NORMA: In the back of the house, near my glass sliding doors – was leaking.
NORMA: I could see the ceiling there was water coming in around the doors and leaking down into the track for – of the door. And that happened right after we had a really deep freeze here. And I believe the ice froze up, melted some and then froze back up again. And I looked it up and I think it’s called “ice jam” or something like that.
TOM: Ice dam.
NORMA: Ice dam. OK.
NORMA: That was close.
TOM: You were close, yep.
NORMA: Uh-huh. And so I called a roofing company and actually, they came out. And they told me I need a whole new roof, which is going to cost me about $20,000 because I’ve got a lot of roof.
TOM: Of course they did. How old is your roof?
NORMA: We replaced it in 2010 – 8 or 10.
TOM: Well, then that’s …
LESLIE: That’s a new roof.
TOM: Let me ask you something. You’ve got homeowners insurance?
TOM: Well, ice damming is covered by homeowners insurance. You need to call your insurance company, maybe even a public adjuster, and tell them you had ice-dam damage and it needs to be fixed. Because to fix the ice-dam damage, they have to remove the roof. So guess what? You get a new roof paid for by them.
NORMA: Oh. Even if it’s just in one spot?
TOM: Yeah. Because you can’t just fix one spot. An ice dam’s an ice dam. If it’s covered, it’s covered.
NORMA: Oh, OK. And see, the other thing they said – that the roofing around the vent thing that comes out the bathroom – you know what I mean?
NORMA: It’s a vent on top of your roof.
NORMA: And they said that the roofing was sort of – not all the way – it wasn’t laying flat around that. Because I had some …
TOM: Well, look – listen, first of all, I don’t like this roofing company because I just think that they’re telling you a tale here to try to get to your wallet.
LESLIE: To try to get more money.
TOM: I mean the roofs never lay perfectly flat around plumbing-vent flashings because the flashing is under the shingles. And it basically makes the seal between the vent and the roof. So, that’s kind of, you know, not true, alright?
TOM: So I would – first of all, I would call my insurance company, report that you had an ice dam. And if they give you a hard time, find a public adjuster because public adjusters work for you and they get a percentage of the claim. And they usually find a lot more than the insurance-company adjuster does. So they kind of pay for themselves. Let them fight the battle.
But to fix this, the roof comes off. There’s a type of roofing material called “ice-and-water shield.”
NORMA: Yes. That’s what they said I didn’t have.
TOM: It goes up about 3 feet from the edge of the roof, up into the roof, up over the sheathing. And then once that’s down, then shingles go back down on top of that.
TOM: So, that’s what causes it and that’s the fix. And the good news is that homeowners covers it because it’s storm damage.
NORMA: Yeah, it is storm damage. You’re right. OK. I never thought about it like that.
NORMA: Thank you so much.
TOM: Well, you’re very welcome.
NORMA: So I could call my insurance and get that repaired. And the second thing you said was – that I was noting, that I’ve already forgotten. What was the other thing you said?
TOM: What? About the vent – plumbing vent – or about the type of insurance adjuster to use?
NORMA: Oh, yeah. Public adjuster. Is that what you called it?
TOM: Public adjuster. Yep. Public adjuster. Correct.
NORMA: Yeah, OK. Alright. Thank you so much.
TOM: Alright. Good luck. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. Glad we were able to help you out.
We may have saved that young lady 20,000 bucks, Leslie.
LESLIE: She was so excited. She didn’t even know.
Well, if your siding, sidewalks, decks or patios are looking pretty grimy, we’ve got a simple solution that can help make that mess disappear and prevent mold, mildew, moss and more from growing back. It’s a product called Spray & Forget.
TOM: And they have several different formulations. But the one that I’ve been using recently is the House and Deck Outdoor Cleaner. It cleans all types of siding, decks, fences, as well as pavers or brick or concrete patios. It’ll take care of pool surrounds and you can also use it on vinyl and plastic outdoor furniture, all the stuff that gets dingy and dirty and grimy about this time of year.
LESLIE: Yeah. And the best part is that it’s pretty easy to use. There’s no scrubbing. I mean really, it’s very limited elbow grease here, you guys. As the name implies, you just spray it on and Mother Nature takes over the cleaning duties with the rain, the sun and the wind.
TOM: And over time, it keeps all your exterior surfaces clean and it does that safely with no harsh chemicals. You’ll find it at Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Amazon, Do it Best and True Value. And it retails for 19.99. Learn more at SprayAndForget.com.
LESLIE: Gary in Michigan, you have got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
GARY: We have a short circuit. Somewhere in our house, we have a wire that blows our fuse all the time.
TOM: OK. Does it happen because you’re doing anything, like running an appliance or something of that nature?
GARY: No, we just hit the circuit breaker and it goes off.
TOM: What do you mean you hit the circuit breaker and it goes off? You mean you turn the circuit breaker on and it pops right off?
GARY: Well, we pop – yes. Yeah, exactly.
GARY: We bought the house. We didn’t know about it and it’s there now.
TOM: Oh, OK. Well, you’ve got to call an electrician because the circuit breaker is doing its job. If the circuit breaker is not letting you turn that circuit back on, then that circuit is either wired dangerously or it has a bad breaker or there is something wrong with the way it’s all pulling together. So, I think that this is not something you can track down on your own, because you can’t even get the power on. The electrician is going to have to do this with the power off and see if we can trace out that circuit, see what it’s serving.
Do you know – have any idea where it’s going to?
GARY: Yeah, kind of. Yep. There’s …
TOM: Well, is there something not working? Is there lighting not working? Are there outlets not working? Where do you think it’s going? It’s not on, so …
GARY: Yeah, a whole room. Yeah, whole room, yeah.
TOM: So there’s one room. OK.
So, then, what he’ll probably do is – and they’re going to have to open up the outlets and the switches and the lighting fixtures in that room and check out every connection point and see if there’s any evidence. There could be something burning in there. You don’t know. So, you definitely need to have an electrician check it out. I would go to HomeAdvisor.com and find an electrician through there. You can pick one that’s got great ratings and schedule an appointment and see what happens.
But it’s definitely not something you should do yourself. If it was, I’d tell you but this is beyond the average homeowner’s skill set. It’s potentially dangerous and it’s important for your safety and to make sure your house doesn’t burn down. OK?
GARY: OK. Thank you.
TOM: Good luck. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Robin in Wisconsin has a question about flooring. How can we help you?
ROBIN: Hi. We’re refinishing our finished basement. And the former owners glued down the carpet on the concrete and we’re scraping off what we can. Do we need to – I want to put in vinyl-plank flooring. Do we need to sand that down or should we put a leveler or is there an underlayment that we can put under? Or is it going to matter if there’s some glue on there?
LESLIE: How much glue are we talking about? Are we talking about inches of it or just some areas of slight unevenness?
ROBIN: No, no. Just little areas of unevenness. And we’ve been sanding it [the best way of] (ph) procedure.
LESLIE: Oh, my goodness. And sanding it is only going to find – gunk up all your sandpaper and gunk up your hand sanders. It only sort of reactivates the glue. It’s kind of strange.
ROBIN: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. OK.
LESLIE: So, generally, with a vinyl-plank flooring, certain manufacturers might have an underlayment on the backside. Some might recommend something. Most of the times I’d say just follow the manufacturers’ recommendations, because they know what’s best for their product. But for the most part, with a vinyl plank, you’re not going to need any sort of underlayment. Those will either usually overlap and adhere to one another with a double-sided tape or they’ll click and lock. It really depends on which product you’re working with.
But I would say if it’s a thinner vinyl plank and you just get a lot of flex to it, you might see areas of more thickness of the adhesive. But if it’s a bit more rigid vinyl plank, I think you’re going to be able to go right over that and not worry about it.
ROBIN: Oh, perfect. Great. Thank you for your help.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Bill in Michigan is on the line. How can we help you today?
BILL: My wife and I built a house about 10 years ago and we have a 2-car attached garage. And the problem is is that the floor of our garage is not level. And so, when water drops off the car from rain or more particularly, ice and snow, it drops off onto the garage floor and starts to go in different low spots on the floor.
BILL: And a lot of it goes directly towards the wall of our house.
BILL: So I’m wondering if there’s anything we can do to correct that problem without having to remove the floor and replace it.
LESLIE: Can you use something like Abatron or Abocast – I forget which one is the leveling compound – but to build up more on one side? Or will that just automatically try to go flat?
TOM: You know, I’m thinking, Leslie, it’s so much work to be able to deal with a surface this big, to try to get it level again.
I actually think, Bill, it’s frankly going to be easier to tear out the old floor. That might seem extreme but you may be surprised that with the right tool, like a jackhammer, you can have your entire floor torn out in a couple of hours. It breaks up really easily. And then you can properly level it, properly reinforce it and then repour it and be done.
BILL: I was afraid you were going to suggest that. Because the problem is is the floor is sitting on precast concrete beams, because we have a spare storage space underneath the garage. And so the water drips down there.
TOM: Ah. Oh, man.
BILL: So, I could do that, I guess, but I don’t know the likelihood of being able to take concrete off of those precast …
TOM: Yeah, that does – no, that dramatically – I was thinking it’d be over fill dirt like every other one.
TOM: But no, that does make it a lot harder. So I guess you are going to have to look into a floor-leveling compound for this. And there’s a variety of products out there that this can work with. But the key is is it’s not just more concrete; it’s a product that’s designed specifically to stick to the existing concrete floor.
TOM: Because you have the full temperature swing there in Michigan and if you don’t have good adhesion, you’re obviously going to have that second layer chip off. So, it can be done. It’s a bit of a pain in the neck but it definitely can be done.
BILL: Would you suggest a concrete contractor? Do you think they would be familiar with the options there?
TOM: You may be better off having a pro do it, because you really have to set some forms to get this leveled just right. And then you remove them as you go so that it drains (inaudible).
BILL: Oh, how much could you put on top of a floor that I described?
TOM: Oh, you could put 2 or 3 inches, easily.
BILL: OK. OK. I appreciate that.
TOM: You’re welcome, Bill. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: The best way to deal with mold is to prevent it. Kevin O’Connor from This Old House is just ahead with tips to stop mold cold.
TOM: And today’s edition of This Old House on The Money Pit is brought to you by ADT. Introducing ADT Go, the new family mobile safety app and service. Go to ADT.com to learn more today.
Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: And right now on MoneyPit.com, you can enter The Money Pit’s Power Your Summer Sweepstakes for a chance to win the quiet, clean and portable Cat INV2000 Inverter Generator.
LESLIE: Yeah. It’s great for tailgating, camping, on your job site and more. This small but really powerful 1,800-watt generator, it retails for 749 bucks and 99 cents even. But you can win one free, right here, at MoneyPit.com. Enter now through June 10th and you’ll be able to power your entire summer with ease.
TOM: Check out the Power Your Summer Sweepstakes, right now, at MoneyPit.com and enter for your chance to win.
LESLIE: Well, moisture might be great for your skin and giving you a youthful appearance. Heck, it’s even good when you go grocery shopping for fruit and produce. But when it comes to your home, it is the last thing that you want on the inside.
TOM: That’s right. Too much moisture can cause paint to peel and mold to grow but there are ways to prevent it. Here to tell us how is the plumbing-and-heating expert from TV’s This Old House, Richard Trethewey.
RICHARD: Nice to be here.
TOM: Now, we often think of mold being a basement problem but mold is actually more common in the bathroom, isn’t it?
RICHARD: Well, anywhere you combine moisture, air and some food source – drywall or a paper – you’re going to get a mold problem. And the bathroom is a perfect candidate for that.
TOM: And one of the best ways to prevent that is to have good bath ventilation. What are some of the options to choose from?
RICHARD: Well, I think there’s really three. The most common one that we all know is that bath fan. Sometimes, it has an integra (ph) light in it and it sits right in the center of the bathroom. And it turns it on and you exhaust it to outside.
RICHARD: They also make a remote fan now, which you could put a – as the name suggests, you could put a fan up in an attic and it could be the fan for more than one bathroom. And that can be quieter and it can be energy-saving.
TOM: So it’s ducted to the individual bathrooms then but really one motor can basically run everything.
RICHARD: That’s right. And the motor’s efficient and quiet.
RICHARD: And the other thing that you see more and more in these tighter houses is a thing called an “energy-recovery ventilator” or a “heat-recovery ventilator.”
TOM: Alright. Now, how does that work?
RICHARD: Well, just imagine that all the places where you could get air that was both highly humid and filled with odor – that would be bathrooms and kitchens – that leaves through an exhaust duct through this box.
RICHARD: And as that air leaves, it will pass through this energy-recovery ventilator while at the same time, fresh air from outside will pass in the opposite direction across that stale, heated air.
Now, the air doesn’t touch it directly but the heat is transferred to that new air that’s coming in.
TOM: Ah, so we actually take some of that heat that we paid to create – in that smelly, damp, moist air – and we transfer it through this sort of heat-exchange mechanism to the fresh air coming in.
RICHARD: That’s right. That’s right. Yeah, we get the best of both worlds. We get preheated, fresh air into the building while we’re exhausting the stale air out. And with an energy-recovery ventilator, we also can transfer humidity, so we’re not going to be bringing in dry, dry air in the winter. We’ll get some of the humidity that was in the house to stay in the house.
TOM: Now, let’s talk about the switching mechanisms for these, because I think that one of the easiest ways to try to keep mold down in your bathroom and reduce that humidity is to make sure not only that you have the ventilator of your choice but that it runs long enough to do the job. Timers can play an important part there, couldn’t they?
RICHARD: Right. You need enough fresh air in a building and as the building gets tighter, as fuel goes up, people are insulating more and doing all sorts of things to keep the heat and the air in. So putting a timer for 20 or 25 minutes of every hour, to just bring some fresh air in, is actually good to keep ahead of that mold issue.
TOM: And probably the more that you can do this with occupancy sensors and things like that – where you don’t have to depend on your kid, for example, to set a timer when they step out of the shower – makes the most sense, because it’s more of a chance it’s going to actually get used.
RICHARD: I think that’s part of the future, Tom, is this remote-proximity sensor. I think in a bathroom, it should bring on the fan to bring fresh air in, it should bring on a recirc line to bring hot water to the hot-water faucet. And then more and more of that’s being done now with some of these cool home-automation systems.
TOM: Now, let’s talk about venting. Once you take that humid air out of the bathroom, it’s real important that you don’t put it somewhere else where it can do damage, like the attic.
RICHARD: We’ve seen on Ask This Old House all these years, so many times the attic is so filled with mold because the vent pipe has come off of the exhaust fan. You’ve just been dumping highly humid air into this wooden …
TOM: Which is cold and condenses and it’s wet all the time.
RICHARD: Perfect condition for mold, yeah.
TOM: Not to mention the fact that that insulation getting wet really doesn’t do its job very well, either.
RICHARD: That’s right. That’s right. We often see that flexible ducting that’s used on these bath fans also can – if it’s not supported, can provide sag points where moisture will sit in it and that really becomes a mold place.
TOM: Interesting. So it becomes almost a trap, just a plumbing trap, but it’s collecting condensation.
RICHARD: That’s right. That’s right. That’s right.
TOM: Now, what are some other things that you can do to reduce mold in the bathroom?
Specifically, let’s talk about grout or caulk, for example. That’s that one dirty area of the house that you wish you’d get clean but sometimes you just can’t.
RICHARD: Well, they have mildew-resistant caulking and that can do a good job. It’s not going to stop every bit of mildew if you’ve got high, high humidity levels. You can use paperless, mold-resistant drywall in the bathroom. You’ve got to really get rid of that food source, which is any paper or cellulose, where mold wants to grow.
TOM: And always make sure you have a paint that has a mildew-resistant additive to it, as well?
RICHARD: That’s right. That’s right.
TOM: Yeah. So, essentially, if we want to stop mold growth in our bathroom, we need to attack it on all fronts: we need to make sure we keep the humidity down; we ventilate all that warm, moist air; and then any other opportunity we have to choose something that’s mold-resistant, then definitely take that step.
RICHARD: Yeah. Water is the active ingredient that you’ve got to stay ahead of, most importantly, Tom.
TOM: Unfortunately, we need a lot of that in the bathroom.
RICHARD: That’s right.
TOM: Richard Trethewey, the plumbing-and-heating contractor from TV’s This Old House, great advice, as always. Thanks for stopping by.
RICHARD: Great to be here.
LESLIE: Alright. You can catch the current season of This Old House and Ask This Old House on PBS. For your local listings and some great step-by-step videos on home improvement projects you can tackle this weekend, visit ThisOldHouse.com.
TOM: And This Old House and Ask This Old House are brought to you on PBS by GMC Trucks and SUVs.
Just ahead, working on a child’s room can be a fun, creative adventure but it can also be an expensive adventure, too. We’ll help you save some money on your decorating, after this.
Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
Give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor, where it’s easy to find top-rated, local home improvement pros for any home project. Go to HomeAdvisor.com.
TOM: Hey, speaking of HomeAdvisor, it was a very bad week for water heaters in the Kraeutler family and the extended family, I should mention.
LESLIE: What happened?
TOM: Well, first, I get a call from mom and she’s in Florida, you know, many, many, many miles away from where I am.
LESLIE: Right. You can’t just run over and fix something.
TOM: No. I would if I could, Mom, but I can’t because I just can’t hop in the car for the next 24 hours and drive or find a plane.
LESLIE: And imagine all the water that will be all over her house.
TOM: Right. But it turned out her electric water heater stopped working. And I figured, it’s a 12-year-old water heater, it probably had a bad thermostat and/or a bad coil. So, we had had a problem some months ago, when she was up here and the house was vacant. And she got a letter from the water company saying, “You used 10,000 gallons of water.” I’m like, “That’s not good because you’re not there.”
And it turned out it was a leaking valve that was actually leaking into the toilet, so it didn’t cause a problem. But I called – I went online to HomeAdvisor.com and I found a local plumber, a guy named Eric. He went there and he fixed it.
So I found Eric’s number again. I called him. He says, “Is your mom tech-savvy?” I’m like, “Well, not a lot but I can walk her through it.” “Just take a picture of the data plate.” That’s what we did. Got the model number. He showed up the next day. He had the exact part that we needed, changed out the coil, the thermostat. Mom’s good to go. So, problem solved, right?
LESLIE: That’s awesome.
TOM: For one day, we have no problems. Next day, my sister calls. She’s got one of these alerts on her water heater that’s an ADT thing. And it goes off if there’s water under the water heater.
TOM: And she’s like, “I’m at work and this thing went off. I’m in a meeting for two hours. I can’t get there. What should I do?” I said, “Get out of the meeting.” I said, “In the best-case scenario, it’s a slow leak and nothing’s going to happen. But in the worst-case scenario, in 2 hours your house is going to have about 2 feet of water in it if it’s got a major rupture. So, you’ve got to go over there right away.”
So it turned out her 75-gallon power-vent water heater – has one of those motors on top that sucks the exhaust out, because it’s real efficient – had leaked. Luckily, slowly. So I talked her through how to turn the water valve off, turn the gas valve off. Told her to go to HomeAdvisor. She did. And she hooked up with a company in Princeton called Abat and their plumbing team. And I thought this was funny. These are the four guys that showed up, fixed it: Frankie, Frank, Vinny and Joey. I’m pretty sure that we’re all Italian here in New Jersey.
So it’s great. They were funny guys, super professional.
LESLIE: That’s amazing.
TOM: Gave her a great price. Got it done. So both of those guys were found – one in New Jersey and one in Florida – from HomeAdvisor. So, really positive experience. Loved these guys. Great service. And if you need a contractor, I would definitely recommend you checking out HomeAdvisor.com.
LESLIE: That’s great.
Andrea from Ontario, Canada is on the line with a mold question. How can we help you today?
ANDREA: My question (inaudible) regarding black mold. And it’s behind my sink. Between the sink and the backsplash, there’s a little bit of space and this black mold settles in. There’s a lot of moisture, obviously. They’re running the water and it splashes, so – behind and around the sink, as well as around my tub.
I tried bleach. I scrubbed it. We, at one point, took out the caulking and recaulked it but it came back. So I’m at a – kind of a loss what to do with this.
TOM: Mold is going to grow any place that you have an organic material, which could be drywall. Or it could also be, believe it or not, soap scum. It can have organic matter in it and that can feed mold. And so, you have a condition there that’s going to be prevalent to mold regrowth. Even when you clean it, it’s going to come back. You’re not going to permanently prevent it unless you change the environment – the climate – that exists in that particular area.
So, with respect to the tile area, let’s deal with that first. When you retiled – when you recaulked, I’m sorry – did you pull all the old caulk out?
ANDREA: Pulled it all out. Took it all out. It was actually our contractor who said, “Keep it very dry.” “Bone dry,” he called it. And then once we had it all dried out, then he came back and put a layer of this white material. I’m not exactly sure what it was but he finished it all.
TOM: OK. So you’re not quite sure what the product is.
Here would be the steps. When you pull the old caulk out, you need to spray the joint between the tub and the tile with a bleach solution. That’s going to kill any mold spores that are left behind. Then, after that’s dry, one additional step: fill up the tub with water because it makes it heavy and it pulls it down. And then you caulk it.
And when you caulk it, you want to use a product that has mildicide in it. Now, DAP, for example, has a caulk that has an additive called Microban. And Microban will not grow mold; it will prevent it from growing. And so, if you use the right product and you take the step of treating it with a bleach solution first, before you apply it, that helps it to last as long as possible. But again, if you don’t control humidity conditions, eventually it will come back.
As for the sink, the same advice applies. You not only have to clean it, which takes away the visual, but you have to spray it with a mildicide. And so you could mix, say, a 10- to 20-percent bleach solution with water. And then let it dry and that will help prevent it from coming back.
ANDREA: I’ll try that.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, if you’re working on a kid’s room – maybe there’s a new arrival or you want to update the space for kids who insist they’re not little anymore – this is a project that can quickly eat up a lot of cash.
But here’s a couple of ways to keep those costs in line. First of all, set a budget for yourself. Pay the most for what you hope to use the longest: things like neutral shelving, bookcases, an upholstered chair or a well-functioning desk. This way, they’ll be able to do their homework in there, as well. Think about using pieces for the long run and invest in those. It’s really smart.
TOM: And second, pick up a neutral paint. We’re all for repainting every few years but if you want to do that all the time, the cost is going to really add up, especially if you’re hiring it out. So if you choose a neutral color, it’s going to help reduce some of that. Plus, no matter what furniture the kids sort of morph to over the years, it’ll always look great.
For more tips on ways to save money when you’re redecorating your kids’ rooms, check out “Create a Kids Room That Will Grow with Your Child.” It’s our newest post on MoneyPit.com.
LESLIE: Up next, something is rotten in North Carolina, specifically in a listener’s laundry room. It’s not Denmark; it’s North Carolina in this case. We’re going to help hunt down that foul odor, next. It’s probably a pair of socks that – behind the washing machine. And that tends to happen.
TOM: Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: And we’re to help you with your how-to projects. Call it in, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor, the fast and easy way to find the right pro for any kind of home project, whether it’s a small repair or a major remodel.
LESLIE: Alright. We’re here to help you with all things, like finding the right pro or working with these two pros right here to answer some questions. Pat in Macon, North Carolina writes: “I have a rotten-egg smell in my laundry room. You smell it when the water is running into the washing machine or into the laundry-room sink. Any idea what may be going on?”
TOM: Yeah. So, when you get a rotten smell or a sulfur smell with water and if it’s all over the house – so if it was in other sinks, then I would tell you that it’s in your water heater. And it’s because the sacrificial anode, which is a rod that goes into the water heater, has essentially worn out and should be replaced, which can be done. If you look at the top of the water heater, you’ll see a big hex nut. You unscrew that, you can pull the rod out, put a new one in.
However, in this case, it’s only in her laundry room, which leads me to believe it’s probably in the drains. Because you can get biogas that forms in those drains, in those traps. And if that happens, it can be awfully smelly. So what you really have to do here is you have to mix up a pretty sturdy solution of oxygenated bleach and pour it down that drain. I would start with the laundry-room sink and let it soak, let it saturate in there. You know, pour it down, let it drain down, let it sit. Put a little more, a little more, a little more until it really does a good job of killing any bacteria that’s in that space. And see if that does it; see if that deals with the odor issue.
The other thing that you might want to do is replace the rubber drain hose from the washing machine. Because if water is sitting in that, it could also grow some bacteria in that place, as well.
Give that a try and see what happens.
LESLIE: Alright. That should do the trick. I mean it’s always weird when you get those tricky odors. And also, check to make sure that there aren’t stinky socks behind the washing machine, stuck between the washer and dryer. It happens. I’ve got two boys. I find weird things all around that laundry room.
Alright. Next up, Debbie writes – she’s from North Andover, Massachusetts and she writes: “What’s the best way to get dark stains off of composite decking?”
TOM: Well, I guess it depends on what the stains are. If the stains are because you spilled a whole bunch of burger grease, that’s one thing. But if the stains are from mildew or algae, then you could use a product like Spray & Forget, where you apply it to the stain and pretty much walk away. Over the next week or two, as the sun starts to activate the Spray & Forget, it will kill that moss, that mold, that mildew, that algae, that lichen. All of those types – they’re all plant growths. And then it will lighten up and it’ll fade away and there’ll be a residual deposit of the Spray & Forget on the deck and it won’t come back.
So, if it’s grease, then you’re probably going to have to mix up something like an oxygenated bleach to try to get that grease out of it, because that’s a whole ‘nother scene.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And it’s interesting. Because it’s composite, you think that a stain is not going to sit.
LESLIE: But something like a grease kind of works its way into that material itself, so it’s like you really have to try to back it up out of there and get that stain out. And that’s why that oxygenated bleach or even a TSP, those are good things to do. But make sure that it doesn’t affect the color or the finish of your composite decking. Because oxygenated bleach or TSP, all those things, you never know what it’s going to do.
TOM: And listen, if that doesn’t work, you can always take the board out and flip it over because they’re good on both sides, right? And so if the …
LESLIE: But that’s interesting. With composites, sometimes you have different grains on opposite sides.
TOM: Yeah. But the color will be the same. So, yeah.
LESLIE: Color will be the same but you might have a different look. So double-check that, too.
TOM: Yep. Good point.
This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Hey, thank you so much for spending this part of your Memorial Day weekend with us. We hope we’ve given you some tips, some ideas for a project you want to get done now or in the near future as we all roll into this beautiful summer ahead. Remember, we’re here for you, 24/7, at 888-MONEY-PIT and online at MoneyPit.com. We’d love to hear from you, love to get a question or two. If you posted it to The Money Pit community or you called it in, we will get it.
Remember, we are here for you, 24/7. Always available to help with your how-to dilemmas. The number again, 888-MONEY-PIT, or post your questions to The Money Pit’s Community page 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 do it alone.
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