Smart Smoke Detectors Save Lives and Play Music!

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: Pick up the phone, give us a call, right now, with your home improvement project, your do-it-yourself dilemma. Are you working on a décor project? A repair? Are you thinking about an update for your home for the chillier months to come? It is Labor Day weekend, so maybe you’re not doing the labor this weekend. But we can help you plan for projects that you’d like to get done as the fall rolls out over the next few weeks. It’s a great time to get all sorts of things done around the house and we are here to help you do it once, do it right so you won’t have to do it again. Help yourself first, though, by picking up the phone and calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

Hey, coming up on today’s program, wouldn’t it be cool to have a premium speaker system throughout your entire home that can play music and potentially save your life? That’s right. We’re going to tell you about a new smoke-and-carbon-monoxide detector that can do just that and it includes a built-in Amazon Alexa.

LESLIE: And also ahead, after a long, wet, humid summer, you might be seeing some nasty green and black mold, mildew and algae stains on your house, the roof, the deck, the fence, all of those lovely outdoor spaces that now kind of look pretty gross. Well, we’re going to have tips on how you can make those stains disappear with just one step.

TOM: Plus, leaking tubs and showers can be a real mess to deal with. But many occur because the tub and shower were never caulked or grouted right to begin with. We’ll tell you how to wipe the slate clean and stop those leaks for good.

LESLIE: Plus, the fall season is almost upon us and it’s called “fall” for a good reason. So we’ve got a great product to give away this hour that can make leaf cleanup simple and fast.

TOM: That’s right. We’ve got the Greenworks Pro 60-Volt Backpack Blower, including a battery and charger, going out to one lucky caller drawn at random. It’s worth 250 bucks but you can win one, right now, if you pick up the phone and call us with your home improvement question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.

Let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s first?

LESLIE: Judy in Virginia, you’ve got a painting question. How can we help you with that project?

JUDY: We are trying to put an epoxy on our basement floor, like we did on our garage floor. And we are having a very serious problem with this basement-floor project, because we went through all the process of putting down the pretreatment that would get rid of any oils or solutions on the floor. That bubbled up the way it was supposed to. Then we went in and we put down the epoxy as we were supposed to and it came right back up. It turned to a brown powder and then just came up.

And so, we got all that off and then we went back in and put down a sealer and then came back with the epoxy again. And it’s doing the same exact thing. We had no problem with our garage floor and it’s a garage floor that was put down several years after the basement was done. And we were told that – from some people who know the history of the house – that the basement – or that the house was built in the winter months, back in the mid-80s and that they likely used calcium chloride to help the cement set up and that it could be having an effect on this epoxy.

We’re using a very good-quality – a name brand. It’s not a box-store quality; it’s a quality, quality product that we’re using.

TOM: OK. Have you turned to the manufacturer to ask the question as to what might be going on?

JUDY: Well, we have asked and the calcium chloride did come up as a possibility. But they don’t really know what to do about that.

TOM: So, you did talk directly to the manufacturer, not the retailer, about this.

JUDY: The retailer actually talked with the manufacturer about it.

TOM: I would go right to the manufacturer and speak with them directly about this. I don’t like going through the middle man because – not that I don’t trust the retailer to do this. You can never be sure if they’re actually talking to the right guy. And they could be talking to – you see, they could be talking to a field rep who thinks he knows the answer and maybe he doesn’t.

Obviously, something – the first thing that came to mind was moisture. Did the floor – was the floor thoroughly dried before you started this whole process?

JUDY: Yes, it was. We made certain it was very dry in there and used big box fans after we had scrubbed the floor real thoroughly. The big box fans were used and the doors were opened to let the air circulate through. And it was very dry.

TOM: Both times, the paint that you put down, was it from the same batch?

JUDY: No, different batches.

TOM: I’ve never heard of an epoxy floor not adhering, so this is an unusual situation. And it’s one that I would turn to the technical experts at the manufacturer. As you mentioned, it’s a major brand. They have folks – chemists – that basically are standing by to take questions like this; most of them do.

If you have difficulty identifying the right people to talk to, if you e-mail us to with the details, perhaps some photographs and the name of the manufacturer, I am certain that we could quickly get through to the right person for you. There’s a chemical reaction going on here that’s causing this issue and we’ve got to get to the bottom of it.

JUDY: Will do. Alright. Thank you.

TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. That’s an unusual situation and there’s got to be a reaction going on between that floor.

LESLIE: Yeah. You know, I’ve heard of instances where a previous homeowner maybe put like a water-based sealant or a water sealant on a concrete.

TOM: Or a silicone.

LESLIE: Yeah. And you don’t see it.

TOM: I was thinking about a silicone sealer. Yeah, yeah. I mean if they put a silicone sealer down on the concrete, that could impact it, as well.

LESLIE: Right. And then you might not know it’s there.

TOM: But that’s what the pretreatment is supposed to deal with. The idea of using the acid-etch products that all the epoxy floors come with – the epoxy, they come with an acid etch and it sounds like that’s what Judy did. So, let’s hope she can get to the bottom of it.

LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Ed in West Virginia on the line who’s doing some exterior cleanup. What are you working on?

ED: Well my deck – I’ve got a covered deck with treated wood. And it needs cleaning to get the dirt and grime off of it because, since it’s covered, the rain won’t come in and wash it off. And I can’t use a lot of water because I’ve got things underneath it that the water would leak down to. Then I also have exterior steps and they’re getting mossy, so what kind of a cleaning product can I use to clean this wood with?

LESLIE: Now first of all, what’s underneath that you don’t want to get wet? Is it furniture? Are you storing stuff there?

ED: Well, I’ve got, basically, a workshop. I’ve got two workshops: one inside at the house and one outside, under the deck.

TOM: You’re going to probably have to cover those with tarps or something, because you are going to need to use some amount of water. But what we would recommend is a wood cleaner.

Now, cleaners, what they do is they’re very good at removing dirt, removing grime and sort of removing that oxidized, grayish sort of appearance that gets on top of pressure-treated lumber.

And Flood makes a good one, right, Leslie?

LESLIE: Yeah, Flood actually has a product called Flood Wood Cleaner. And you can mix it with water; I think a 1-gallon container makes up to 5 gallons of cleaning solution. And it can actually remove a grayed appearance on lumber and give it a like-new appearance.

Now, here’s the thing. I know a lot of people think that when it comes to cleaning a deck – “Oh it’s just dirt, it’s pollen, whatever’s on it.” And they think just using some water on it is going to get rid of it. But you get the same things on your car and you don’t wash your car with just water; you actually need a cleaner or a soap product.

But you don’t want to use soap on wood, so it’s always good to use a product like a wood cleaner. That really will help you get rid of all of the weathering, the dirt, the grime, just the usual stuff that a winter will put on a surface.

So if you go with the Flood Wood Cleaner, you can use it on exterior, interior, all kinds of woods. I’m saying interior because I’m meaning that yours is covered. I wouldn’t use it in the house but that’s what I mean there. And it’ll do a good job. You’ll get about 1,000 square feet total from a gallon, so you’ll get a really good coverage. You want to let it dry but again, like Tom mentioned, you want to cover anything that’s underneath, because it is a cleanser and you don’t want to get it on your tools.

TOM: Yeah. And you have to wet the deck surface first. And then once it’s wet, then you apply the wood cleaner using kind of like a pump-up garden sprayer. Or you can even roll it on with a brush roller like you would – as if you were painting.


TOM: You let it sit on the surface for a while and then you rinse it off.

ED: OK. Well, that – rinsing it off is a problem.

TOM: Ed, you’re not going to be able to dry-clean your wood deck.

LESLIE: Yeah, I don’t know any cleaner that’s going to take that in.

TOM: Just not going to happen. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

LESLIE: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at Give us a call, let us know what you are planning to work on because we are giving you a break this Labor Day weekend. So give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT whenever you can, 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.

TOM: Just ahead, smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors are a critical addition to any home. But we’re going to tell you about one that doubles as a premium speaker system providing music, as well as life-saving alerts throughout your entire home, thanks to a built-in Alexa. That’s all coming up, when The Money Pit returns, after this.

Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

TOM: Give us a call, right now, with your home improvement question or décor dilemma. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor.

LESLIE: Alright, Tom. Well, I feel like you never take a break. Labor Day, Memorial Day, whatever those holidays are, you’re always working on something, whereas I like to work on my last bit of tan for this holiday weekend.

TOM: I hear you.

LESLIE: But truly, you are working on a caulking project this weekend? Come on, man. Get outside.

TOM: Well, you know, it was a job – one of those jobs that we had to put off for a long time. But it was time to do it. I had a shower that I had to caulk. But I found this cool, little tool that made the job really easy. It’s made by Husky and I was just kind of roaming through the aisles of Home Depot, as I’m known to do from time to time. And I found this tool. It was only about five bucks. And it was cool because it had a stainless-steel edge on it, in a V-groove, that allowed you to kind of scrape right down the joint where the caulk usually is and pull up all the old caulk, in a couple of slices. It worked really well. So I got rid of all the old stuff.

And then the flip side of it is a caulking trowel but it’s made out of sort of a high-quality neoprene rubber. And I was able to use a silicone caulk, which is really hard to get smooth sometimes. Latex is easy because you can just use the finger method, right, and just push it into the corner. But with this trowel, it came out great. So, I was really happy with my $5 purchase and my caulking project came out really nice as a result.

LESLIE: Yeah. And that’s one place where you really want it to look good. So, it’s like – because I feel like it stays there for a while. And if it’s not smooth and messy, you really notice it.

TOM: Exactly.

Hey, do you have a project that you got done recently? We’d love to hear about it. Or if you are ready to take on a project, give us a call, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT because we’re giving away a real labor-saver this weekend. We’ve got, from our friends at Greenworks, the Pro 60-Volt Backpack Blower going out to one caller drawn at random.

It’s worth $249 and this is one sweet tool. It’s going to stream air at 140 miles an hour, which is going to send those leaves flying right off your lawn and make that job quick and easy. It’s hassle-free because there’s no gas or oil to mix. It’s quiet to use compared to those gas-powered blowers. You’re going to like it. Your neighbors are going to like because they’re not going to hear you.

You can check it out at But if you give us a call, right now, we’ll toss your name in The Money Pit hard hat. You might just win that great 60-Volt Backpack Blower from Greenworks worth 240 bucks. The number, again: 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

LESLIE: Now we’ve got Terri in Pennsylvania on the line who’s got a gutter issue. Tell us what’s going on.

TERRI: I have white aluminum gutters and on the gutters that face the southern exposure, the part of the gutter that faces out is turning black and there’s like – where the water runs off it, it’s like a dark gray and just water drips all along the face of the gutter.

TOM: Right. So, does it seem like the gutters are overflowing and the water is coming over the top and getting these sort of drip marks? Is that what’s going on?

TERRI: Well, yeah. I have what’s called a “gutter insert” to keep the leaves out. And I know that – well, I’m pretty sure that that’s not causing it, because I had the same problem when I lived on Long Island. And it was only the gutters that faced south. And on Long Island, we had a white aluminum top to the gutter to keep the leaves out?

TOM: Right. Mm-hmm.

TERRI: And then the water would roll off of that and then go into the – it would be caught into the gutter. So, it’s a different type of leaf system but I’m still having the same black drip.

TOM: Right. OK. So, first of all, I would make sure that the gutters are not blocked and that water isn’t backing up and overflowing that particular gutter, so that – because that water rolling over the top of it, it can get behind it, it can rot out your fascia.

The dark stains are probably from the water and tree sap and everything else that gets into those gutters. The gutters also fade quite easily; the paint wears off and fades quite easily. So I don’t think it’s a stain that you’re going to actually have to be able to clean. I think what you’re going to end up having to do here, Terri, is repaint those gutters.

So what I would do is I would wash them down with a trisodium phosphate, get as much of that gunk off. Then I would prime them and I would paint them again. But just – but do make sure that they’re not clogged, because that could be leading to the problem.

TERRI: But yeah – no, they’re definitely not clogged. And I tried scrubbing it – the ones that aren’t on the second story, where it’s worse. But the ones that are on the first story, I tried cleaning it with a Fantastik and it bleeds into the stain a little bit but I didn’t realize that the aluminum gutters – was it like a hydrostatic or electrostatic painting process?

TOM: What happens is – and you’ll see this: if you take the gutter and you wipe your hand over it, you’ll probably get some white paint that will come off. It oxidizes because it’s exposed to UV. And so then the paint doesn’t tend to last more than maybe 10 years or so on aluminum gutters.

So I think, though, if you clean off as much of this thing as you can, prime it and paint it, it’ll look great.

TERRI: Alright. Great. I’ll give it a try.

TOM: Terri, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

LESLIE: Well, smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors are some of the most important safety products to have in any home. Now, however, they can also become part of your entertainment system, because First Alert has just released a product called Onelink Safe & Sound. And it’s the first smoke-and-carbon-monoxide alarm with a superior home speaker and built-in Amazon Alexa.

TOM: Now, isn’t that cool? The Onelink Safe & Sound just basically makes life easier. I mean from playing music with premium sound, thanks to a natural acoustic backdrop from the ceiling, right, and by giving simple hands-free commands with Alexa. Now, at the same time, it continues to protect what matters most, of course, with First Alert’s premium smoke, fire and carbon-monoxide functionality.

LESLIE: Now, the device is going to alert you on your cell phone in the event of a smoke or carbon-monoxide emergency, no matter where you are. And with exclusive voice and location technology, the Onelink Safe & Sound can also tell when you’re home and alert you to the type of danger and the location that it’s happening in your house.

TOM: So, bottom line, very cool product. Onelink Safe & Sound. It gives you a premium speaker system throughout your entire house, it can play music and it could potentially save your life. You’ll find Onelink Safe & Sound at Amazon, Best Buy, Costco and Target for 249.99.

LESLIE: Bob in Louisiana is on the line with a haunted attic. Wooooh! What kind of crazy noises are you hearing from up there?

BOB: Hey, Leslie. It sounds like a compressor coming on. I have searched that place from one end to the other. The house has been empty – been vacant for about two years. It’s my mother-in-law’s home. And we moved furniture out recently. We even had a plumber come out and look at it.

When you hear the noise, you can reach over behind the washing machine and feel the pipes and feel the vibration in the lines. I thought maybe somebody had left a compressor upstairs but nothing doing. And it’s adjacent to one of the water heaters. I have three 60-gallon electric heaters upstairs.

TOM: So, you say, Bob, that you feel the vibration in the plumbing lines when you sort of touch them?

BOB: You bet. Yes, sir.

TOM: And are you on city water or are you on well water?

BOB: We are on city water.

TOM: Sometimes, if you have a bad main valve, you can get sort of a vibration as the water forces its way through the valve, especially if it’s not completely open. I wonder if the water company might be consulted in this case and have them check the main valve, have them close it and then completely reopen it.

The other thing that comes to mind that might have nothing to do with plumbing is, because you mentioned this is in the attic, is sometimes with attic ventilation – and I don’t know what kind of vents you have, whether you have ridge vents or soffit vents or roof vents. But sometimes, we’ve seen situations – in fact, in my own kitchen, I’ve got a kitchen that’s a one-story section of the house. And when the wind blows over from a certain direction, I get a noise. It’s not a whistling but it is a very low-pitch kind of hum, almost like a vibration-like sound into that attic. And I know it’s because of the vents. It’s the wind just sort of working their way over the vents and causing a little bit of friction there. And it’s leaving that sound behind.

BOB: OK. I do have ridge vents in it. And so I’ll pay attention to that, too.

TOM: Yeah, it could be the turbulence.

BOB: The main valve is one thing that I had not even thought about. You guys are great.

TOM: Alright, Bob. Well, you let us know if it worked and then we’ll accept the fact that we’re great, OK? But we’re glad we were able to give you some ideas. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

LESLIE: Well, after a long, hot, humid summer, are you starting to see those nasty green and black mold, mildew and algae stains on your house? We’re going to have tips on how you can make those stains disappear in a single step, next.

TOM: Where home solutions live, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

TOM: Well, if you’ve ever noticed those sort of nasty, outdoor, green and black molds, mildew and algae stains on houses and on roofs and decks and fences, you know that they can really make your outdoor space look pretty unwelcoming and well, I guess, gross is the word. But getting rid of those stains is not as hard as you may think if you’ve got the right product.

Spray & Forget is a product that does just that and it is really that easy to use. Scott Dudjak is the company president and joins us now with more.

Welcome, Scott.

SCOTT: Hey, Tom. How are you doing today?

TOM: Great. Now, I’ve got to say, typically folks would turn to a pressure washer or a mixture of bleach and water to clean these stains. But you’ve got a much better way. How does Spray & Forget work?

SCOTT: Basically, you just spray it on any kind of green or black mold, mildew or algae stain and you let Mother Nature do the rinsing for you. With subsequent rainfall, those stains will disappear and you don’t have to drag out that pressure washer or do any kind of brushing or really any rinsing at all.

TOM: So how does it work then? You say it – you just let Mother Nature do the work. Does the product basically attack the mold, the mildew, the algae, the lichen kind of at the root and then Mother Nature just washes it off?

SCOTT: Yeah. In layman’s terms, it kind of suffocates that mold, mildew or algae stain. And so, the moisture in the air or rainfall or even snow, any moisture will activate that product. And it’s just like peeling an onion: every time you get a rainfall, it’s going to kind of wash off that outside layer, it’s going to wash down more product on the next layer and it’s going to continue to do that until those stains are completely gone.

TOM: So why do we get mold growth, say, on roofs? What’s causing that to happen?

SCOTT: So, on roofs, it’s a windblown algae, in most cases. If you see the black streak, that’s a windblown algae. And then some houses can actually get, depending on what type of – what part of the country you’re in, some houses can actually get moss on them, as well. But it is always, in most cases, a biological stain.

TOM: And so, just by attacking it and suffocating it, it basically breaks it down and then you don’t have to deal with it.

Now, once you apply the product, does it have some residual effect? In other words, will it stop the moss, in that example, from growing back?

SCOTT: Yes, it does have a residual benefit to it. The formula is designed to actually have a very good residual component to it: well over a year on that surface.

TOM: Wow.

SCOTT: So, it’s not only going to remove those stains but it’s going to help prevent them from longer than competing products or traditional products there on the market.

TOM: Now, you have a number of different formulations. You have House & Deck and then you have a roof cleaner. But what’s the difference between those products?

SCOTT: Yeah, they – well, it changes, to be honest with you. So, the – today, the main difference is concentration levels and some of the detergent properties of the formulations. So, on the roof, for example, we need a much more concentrated product. Those are the heaviest and most difficult stains to remove. And then, on a lot of other surfaces for the House & Deck family, you don’t need quite as concentrated a product. But you do need more detergent properties to help lift that dirt and remove that dirt and the mold and mildew and algae. You’re getting more dirt involved in that, as well.

So that’s kind of the difference today. But as we continue to go on, we see other benefits and features that are needed for these different product families. And we’ll continue to add those to those formulations.

TOM: Now, I know that you have a new product on the market, that came out recently, that’s a furniture cleaner. And I think that’s terrific because, you know, we’ve been enjoying this warm weather but in the not-too-distant future, we’re going to be wanting to put that furniture away for the fall season. And it would be nice if we pulled it out next year and it was nice and clean. So you’ve done a formulation designed to do that.

SCOTT: Yeah, absolutely. We’re really happy with the Outdoor Furniture Cleaner. It’s a completely different formula for us and it’s really in response to our customers asking us for this type of product. We had some customers that were using our other products on outdoor furniture in the past. And they came to us and they wanted some different things, some different features, some different benefits from a cleaner that they could use on the outdoor furniture. And we’ve been working on that for the last couple years and were able to release it this year.

TOM: Now, with the furniture cleaner, the roof cleaner and the House & Deck, the environment is a big concern with all of these products and in particular, runoff where it gets into the lakes and the streams. These products are environmentally-friendly and I think that’s a really important feature of them.

SCOTT: Absolutely. I think with any chemical, especially these days, we need to be looking at environmentally-friendly formulations. And Spray & Forget is that. It’s a biodegradable product. We don’t have any bleach or lye in our product. There’s no heavy metals, no phosphates. It’s a very eco-friendly product.

TOM: Terrific.

And if you’d like to learn more about Spray & Forget, you can head over to the website. It’s It’s as easy as that:

Scott Dudjak, President and CEO, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

SCOTT: Hey, thanks for having me, Tom.

LESLIE: Just ahead, leaking tubs and showers can be a real mess to deal with. But many occur because the tub or shower was never caulked or grouted right to begin with.

See, Tom? So important. You know the importance of caulking your home.

So, here we are. We’ve got some tips on how you guys can do it correctly. We’re going to tell you how to wipe that slate clean and stop the leaks, in today’s Building with Confidence Tip presented by Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans, after this.

TOM: Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

TOM: Give us a call, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor. Need new flooring for your kitchen or bathroom? HomeAdvisor will instantly match you with the right pro for the job, for free.

And now that Labor Day weekend is here, fall is not far behind. So we’ve got a real labor-saver to give away, this hour, to one listener who calls in their question to us at 888-MONEY-PIT or posts it to the Community section at

LESLIE: That’s right. We’ve got up for grabs the Greenworks Pro 60-Volt Backpack Blower with battery and battery charger.

Now, this backpack blower is so ridiculously powerful, you guys. I mean 140 mile-per-hour wind speeds? That’s crazy. And it’s really lightweight; it only weighs less than 8 pounds when it’s fully operational. That’s 17 pounds lighter than a comparable, gas-powered backpack blower. Super easy to operate. There’s no gas or oil to mix and pour. You just pop the battery right in, push one button to start it up. It is a really fantastic prize and perfect for this time of year.

Check it out, right now, at, where you can buy one for 249 bucks. But post or call in your question and it could be yours for free.

TOM: 888-666-3974.

LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Dawn in Nebraska on The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?

DAWN: Well, we’d like to redo a bathroom that has an old tub and a shower that’s got the kind of a plastic sheeting – it’s not plastic but the – oh, some kind of that gross stuff you glue on the wall. We’d like to take all of that out, including the bathtub, and then tile the shower and the shower floor.

My question is: if we tile the shower floor, do we have to put a lip to keep the water from coming out? Or is there some way – if we tile the entire bathroom floor and shower the same, would you recommend some kind of elevation drop, just a little bit into the shower, so the water does not run out? Or is that just a no-no if we’ve got to have a lip at the edge of the shower?

TOM: OK. You’re missing one critical component of the bathroom makeover you described and that’s a shower pan.

DAWN: Right.

TOM: And so, I would recommend you purchase a shower pan and use that to install the bottom of the shower and the drain of the shower. There are shower pans that you can tile over if you don’t want to see the shower pan. But frankly, it’s so small. And when you tile a shower pan, it’s just such a maintenance hassle because all the water sits in there and ends up making the grout look nasty. I would just use a standard shower pan and then tile right down to the pan.


TOM: You can connect the drains to the shower pan. The shower drains will all be integrated there. Then you’d tile right down over the lip of the shower pan and this way, you have a nice, waterproof seal.

DAWN: OK. That sounds good. If you do the soap dish or – I’m not sure what else to call it – in the wall and you want to recess it in so you’ve got an 18×18 area to put your shampoos and such, can that be on an outside wall? Will you not smush your insulation to where it doesn’t work or does it have to be at the inside wall?

TOM: Yeah, that’s a good question. I would tend to avoid that, I think, because, yeah, you would have no insulation in that space. It would end up being very, very cold and I think I would tend to put that on an interior wall.

DAWN: Mm-hmm. OK. Very good. Thank you.

TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

Well, if you ever had a tub or shower leak, you might know that these can be tricky to diagnose and fix. The reason is that they’re inconsistent: sometimes they leak and sometimes they don’t. But the reason for this, though, is actually very consistent: tubs and showers leak because of small gaps that develop in the grout of the tile walls or in the caulk seam around the lip of the tub.

LESLIE: Now, for the walls, what happens is that as the water hits your body, it splashes off of you and right back against the wall. And then it lands in all those little gaps between the tile, where the grout might have fallen out. So, to fix this, all you need to do is regrout the walls, which really is a very simple DIY project.

TOM: Yep. Now, for the tub, the caulk is going to separate from either the top edge of the tub or the bottom edge of the tile. And that can allow water to get behind that seam. Now, the solution is to remove all the old caulk and then fill the tub up with water to weigh it down, much in the same way it gets pulled down when you step in it.

Now, once it’s filled, recaulk the tub and let it dry and then drain out the water. As the tub sort of comes back up, it will compress the caulk and be sure to seal out any future leaks.

LESLIE: And that’s todays Building with Confidence Tip brought to you by Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans. It’s completely online. It reduces annoying and time-consuming paperwork and gives you a real, accurate and personalized mortgage solution based on your unique financial situation, with no hidden fees or hassles.

TOM: Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans. Apply simply, understand fully and mortgage confidently.

LESLIE: Robert in Arkansas, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

ROBERT: Well, I am trying to find something that seems that nobody makes anymore. I’m looking for a metal, continual ridge vent for steel roofing. What I’ve got in my hand is the letter U and had a wing on both sides, flat in the bottom. Comes in 10-foot sticks. And it’s cut to fit the corrugation on the steel. And then the roof cap screws to it: a separate, independent piece. And it’s made out of metal and it’s perforated.

TOM: It’s a ridge vent, essentially. That’s a metal ridge vent. But you’re saying it’s designed specifically for metal roofs?

ROBERT: Right. Specifically for metal roofs. And for decades, I’ve got it and I put a roof on over 15 years ago. And we had the bad storm that went through and I’ve got to replace parts of it. But no one – big box, little box, some steel manufacturers – can find this vent for me. And I know it comes in 10-foot sticks and it’s the metal piece that screws down to the roofing and then your ridge cap screws onto it.

TOM: So, John, first of all, a ridge vent is a really good thing to have because it provides an area of the roof where, as wind blows over it, it will depressurize and pull warm air out of the building. I can see that it might be a challenge to find a ridge vent that’s specifically designed for metal roofs but there are a number of manufacturers out there that make them.

There’s a product called Flex-O-Vent that is designed specifically for ridge vents. There’s another company called Plyco – P-l-y-c-o – that has another vent that’s specifically designed for metal roofs – a ridge vent for metal roofs. I think if you check out those two brands, you may find one that works for you.

And then you’ve got to try to, obviously, get the supplier – find a supplier locally. Now, some suppliers will be able to order this stuff in. But if you contact these companies, they may be able to ship them. I see that they come in at least – I guess with the Plyco – comes in 8-foot lengths and I’m not so sure about the Flex-O-Vent. But they certainly come in lengths that may be shippable to your location, OK?

ROBERT: Got it. I will definitely look them up. I appreciate it.

TOM: Good luck. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

LESLIE: Still ahead, are you looking for a super-affordable and simple way to update your kitchen? Well, we’ve got an idea that lets you show off, next.

TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

TOM: Well, whether you’re buying, selling or just enjoying your home, we’re here for you every step of the way. You can call in your how-to or décor question, right now, to 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: And don’t forget you can always reach The Money Pit by giving us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT or posting your question online, just like Lou in North Carolina writes: “We have water dripping from our air-conditioning ducts that’s now leaving a stain on the ceiling. Is there a way to avoid this?”

TOM: You know, when it gets really humid this time of year, that does happen. The only way to really avoid this, Lou, is to insulate the outside of those ducts. Because, essentially, what’s happening is warm, moist air is striking the outside of that surface. But if you add insulation there, not only will your air conditioning be more efficient but it’ll stop that humidity from collecting and dripping off.

So, that’s really the only way to totally handle that. If it’s happening consistently, I think it would definitely be worth it. You can buy insulation designed specifically for ducts and maybe just wait until it’s a little cooler. Do it first thing in the morning so that you don’t get overheated in that attic space, because it gets awfully hot up there.

LESLIE: Yeah. Holy moly, I always decide to organize the kids’ clothes up in the attic on the hottest day of the year. Never a good idea.

TOM: It’s a poor man’s sauna.

LESLIE: It’s true. It’s very relaxing.

TOM: Well, are you looking for an easy way to update kitchen cabinets without having to replace them? Leslie has a quick, affordable and fun solution that lets you show off your style, in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.

Leslie, only you can make kitchen cabinets fun.

LESLIE: This really is a good sort of trick of the trade. I’ve done it on home makeover shows where you have very limited budgets and really, not a ton of time. And you don’t want to paint the cabinets because, truly, if you’re not using the right product, the paint’s not going to stick as well as you want it to. So this is a good way to change the look of the door without really doing a ton of work.

So, sometimes doors have inset panels or sort of carved-in, decorative details. What you want to do is cover that up or create a panel that sits inside those inset panels. It sort of depends on the style of your door.

That said, you’re going to take a piece of luan or some sort of hardboard or even a really more sturdy cardboard. But because of the moisture in the kitchen, I’m going to say stick with a hardboard. And what you what to do is depending on this detail on the door front and the drawer front, you want to figure out how big this piece of hardboard needs to be, because you want to cover up those details. Because you’re making a new piece to overlay onto these doors.

Now, once you figure out that dimension, you can cover it with fabric, you can cover it with wall covering, you can cover it with a decorative paper, whatever it is that you want. I always like to do fabric or wallpaper here. A vinyl wallpaper is great in a good texture, because that’s going to be easy to clean. A fabric in indoor/outdoor, something that’s washable, scrubbable, same thing.

Then you go ahead and attach that to the hardboard. If there’s a pattern, make sure you’re duplicating that same pattern across the same pieces so that you’re not getting sort of mismatch of that fabric. You want to make sure it all looks the same. Now you can staple it onto the back of that, you can glue it on. It really depends on what it is you’re using.

And once you have all those pieces of hardboard covered – those panels, those decorative-cover panels – you want to attach that to the door and the drawer front. You can do it with a sort of brad nailer or you can screw it in from behind. It depends on the thickness of the board that you used. And truly, in a weekend, you can have a completely transformed kitchen space.

I’ve done it before. It looks really cute. It’s got to be the right style of kitchen with the right type of paper. But you will know it if this works for your space. And it’s a great way to make a huge change for a little bit of money.

TOM: We like those: big changes without spending a ton.

This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Coming up next time on the program, from cracks to potholes or just wear and tear, driveways need regular TLC to be able to stand up to the test of time, not to mention road salt and all the rest that happens in the winter weather ahead. So we’re going to have the step-by-step to make sure yours is ready for the chilly season that is to come, on the 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.


(Copyright 2018 Squeaky Door Productions, Inc. No portion of this transcript or audio file may be reproduced in any format without the express written permission of Squeaky Door Productions, Inc.)

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