Got closets who the hell is busting at the seams? We’ve get stairs for a simple closet makeoverthat makes less than an hour or two to to get out of here and will help you find the cavity you are required to. Plus :P TAGEND Keeping heating expenses down is usually a lot easier for home heated with gas or oil than for those heated by energy. We’ll share how new efficiencies in heat shoot technology are changing this for the better.You might guess a labouring smoke detector will protect your residence and family from a barrage. But while that method can provide a critical alert, find out how adding a residence fire lawn sprinkler could stop the home from actually igniting to the ground.
Plus, answers to your questions about best cover, snowfall blower, cleaning dryer vents, hiring a Professional Home Inspector, eliminating liquid hammer and squirrels from the attic, repairing dented wood flooring, removing wallpaper.
Do you have a home improvement or decoration question? Call the show 24/7 at 888 -MONEY-PIT ( 888 -6 66 -3 974) or post your question now.Read Transcript
TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: And we are here to help you with your home improvement projects, solve your decor dilemmas. If there’s a project you’d like to do , not sure if you can do it yourself or you should hire it out, give us a call right now. We’ll tell you how to quickly, easily and inexpensively take on those projects that you’d like to do around your house.
Coming up on today’s show, if you’d love to add more light-colored to your kitchen, there is a brand-new space veer emerging the objective of which is do precisely that and in a very unusual way. We’re going to share that tip, precisely ahead.
LESLIE: And the real winter is just beginning, guys, so made to ensure that your gondola has an emergency kit at the ready. We’re going to tell you how to capital it.
TOM: And do you ever feel like no matter what you do, you merely can’t get your house to be warm fairly? We’ve went answers for heating even the coldest chambers, in only a little. But first, we want to know what you want to know. So call us, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888 -6 66 -3 974 or announce your question to MoneyPit.com.
Let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s first?
LESLIE: Chris in Arkansas is on the line with a make-up question. How can we help you today?
CHRIS: Well, I bought a house and it has two showers. And the tile- submerge and tubs are baby pink and baby blue.
TOM: What’s wrong with that?
CHRIS: Well, it’s not exactly what I had in sentiment. But I was wondering if you can successfully- until I get to redo the showers, if you can successively paint over them without it appearing terrible.
LESLIE: Yes and no. I mean you can. There’s quite an extensive process to it is responsible for ensuring that you get proper adhesion and it affixes very well. However, whenever you’re dealing with a painted surface and ocean is involved and areas that you have to clean, as well, you’re going to get some wear and tear. So I don’t think it’s the best idea.
There are equipment that you can buy online. Mostly, if you want to do it without a package- and of course, then you don’t want to paint the grout. But a lot of parties do paint the grout and then that searches weird, also. So you’ve got to think about all these things. But you’re going to want to use a extremely, very sturdy oil-based primer. And of course, you’ve got to clean those tiles unusually, very well before you even think about putting a put of primer on them.
TOM: And I recall Sherwin-Williams actually makes a primer that is super, super adhesive. And the same reasons I know about this is because the practice they demo’d it was by cover it on tile and then putting a second layer of make-up on it. But even though it’s a really adhesive colour, I is in agreement with you completely that eventually- in a very short period of time, peculiarly if you’re cleanup the surface - you’re going to start wearing through it.
CHRIS: OK. And like I said , not knowing if I could or not, I time was judging if I could buy myself some time and just paint it until I can remake- or maybe it’s sounding like I should just wait until I can redo.
TOM: Well, you know, the bad news about those old-time tile bathrooms is that the government has these terribly traditional, 1960 s-like colourings. The good report is that the tile excellence is typically really good and the route it’s installed is really solid. And that’s why, if at all possible, maybe you have been able think about embellishing around this tile.
So you said that you had- is it pink and blue?
LESLIE: With the pink, I think we’re considering such a big trend in pink really making a comeback in lavatory seats. You could go overload on the pink, you can add in florals, you can add in different colors of pink. So you can sort of tone in down with neutral tans and gray-headeds and indicates of gold and sort of make it glamorous and more girly. There are styles you can do that.
Blue tile, I feel like, is just a poor choice. Blue tile is blue tile.
CHRIS: I wholly agree with you.
LESLIE: Maybe everything else goes super clean. But I just feel like if you attempt to paint the tile, you’re going to be sad in the long run. And it’s going to- it will perhaps motivate you to do the permanent exertion more quickly.
CHRIS: OK. Well, precisely that and that’s why I announced. I time wasn’t sure if there was some miracle cure that I- “Hey, this works great” or not. And I am trying my best at decorating around but the pink, yes, has worked better than the blue.
TOM: At least we solved half the problem, Christine.
CHRIS: I appreciate it. I appreciate it so much.
TOM: Good luck with that activity. Thanks so much for announcing us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Heading out to New Jersey where John has some issues going on in the attic. Tell us about it.
JOHN: I have the intermission up on top of my roof. It’s leaks, comes down into the attic. And I have a little container up there. And sometimes, I don’t get up there in time and it’s kind of messing up my ceiling.
TOM: Well, that’s not good.
JOHN: Well, I’ve gone up there and I’ve had that can of- I forget what you call it. You spray it and it’s like a rubber whatever. I’ve sprayed all around the metal flashing and it’s still seeping. I don’t encounter any excavations anywhere else. There’s no missing shingles. I don’t know what else it could be.
TOM: OK. So let me just- clarify for me: when you call this an “attic breather” or “vent, ” what are we talking about? Is it a square opening in your roof with a expres over it? Is it a crest ventilate that goes down the flower of the ceiling? Or are you talking about the plumbing vent-hole that comes up through the roof?
JOHN: No. It’s nearly up in the- about midway. There’s one on one side of the roof and one on the other.
TOM: OK. So it’s like a square volcano?
JOHN: Right. And there’s no- the initiation of the- it’s on an tilt but I don’t know if it’s enough of an angle when high winds drives the rainwater in a certain direction.
TOM: Yeah. That’s what I was thinking. You may have some wind-driven rain in here. And what my opinion is necessary to you is - you have a ridge that goes down sort of the- like a top of the roof that goes down the centre of the house?
JOHN: No. It exits across. It guides horizontally.
TOM: What various kinds of roof form do "youve had"? Is this a standard Colonial house or- what is it? A ranch?
JOHN: Big ranch.
TOM: OK. So here’s what I would do. You may very well be get wind-driven rain inside that. What I might indicate is- that’s actually not the best kind of vent. And there’s an opportunity for you to improve your breathing here in your attic seat, which’ll actually make it cooler in the summertime and drier in the wintertime, which constitutes your insularity more effective.
And to do that, what I would do is I would remove those square ventilates, patch the hole and re-shingle over that. And I would replace that with a bank vent that goes down most of the peak of the roof. The bank vent’s not likely to leak if it’s properly installed. And that will open up that space to more breathing, which will have the benefits that we talked about.
JOHN: Wow. OK, OK. That’s my next project.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve came Sue from Ohio on the line. Welcome to The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
SUE: Yes. We had a wooden wheelchair ramp built for my father and it’s with the treated log. And demanded an idea or what make we could use to kind of keep the ice and the blizzard off of there without harming the wood.
TOM: You know, there are different types of salts that can be effective as to prevent snow and sparkler. What you just wanted to do, though, is make sure that you not use sodium chloride or a rock-and-roll salt. You want to use calcium chloride. Calcium chloride is less astringent. It has less of an impact on floras and on domesticateds but does just as good a activity of preventing the snow and the ice off.
What I would suggest is you make this calcium chloride and you mix it up with playground sand- the kind of sand that you might put in a sandbox- and originate sort of a mixture that you can stop helpful so that when you are do get a little bit of ice and blizzard, you can spread the salt/ beach combine down and preserve that ramp clear.
SUE: OK. Great. Thank you.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that projection, Sue. Thanks so much for calling us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: William is on the line with a sewer question. What’s going on at your coin pit?
WILLIAM: Hi. We recently bought a home that- it’s surrounded by a lot of pine trees. So I’m get a great deal of yearn needles on my ceiling and in my gutters. And it’s merely got a few weeks and once I’m tired of climbing up there to cleanse them. Do you have any suggestions for keeping them off the ceiling and preserving the channels spurting?
TOM: Well, we can’t fight gravity, so you’re going to always have them on your roof.
I will give you a duo suggestions. First of all, as you probably know, there’s a wide range of trough covers out there. And the type that are sort of screen-like are the type that are most likely to clog, because the pine needles will lay across the top, they’ll get stuck in there and you’ll merely is all well and sad. What I guess the best type- is the ones who the hell is ceaseless gutter blankets that go all across the top of the channel, where the pine needles have a chance to actually wash over the top and make the spray fall in through the principles of surface tension.
Now, the bad news is that those are expensive. They’re so expensive that you may find that removing your traditional 4-inch ditches and changing them with 6-inch sewers- which will not clog with yearn needles because everything is much bigger, the throats for the downspouts are bigger, the sewers are bigger, they can take more ocean, more flow- might be the best way to go. So that’s kind of your alternative. I would either utilization a gutter comprise that plows the part top of the trough or I would take out the 4-inch gutters and I would put in 6-inch gutters, which is something that I did at my house and just never gazed back.
WILLIAM: OK. Well, thank you.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good fortune with that activity. Thanks so much for announcing us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Kayla in Iowa, you’ve went The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
KAYLA: Just got married and moved into a brand-new residence. And it once had a Honeywell whole-home humidifier installed in it. And it seems like a dream come true. I thought it was going to be amazing.
But we have 100 -amp service and every now and then, our breaker will trip and I - you don’t even know downstairs unless you’re down there. And I have gone down a duo seasons and it was- the basement is inundated. And it fills over into the other room, like into the- where I eventually want to lay carpet and have a family room.
TOM: Is that because the dehumidifier condensate pump stops wreaking?
KAYLA: I’m not sure what it is. There’s like an overfill thing for it and I’m assuming it’s supposed to lead to a duct. But the deplete is in the laundry room, which is in the opposite direction.
TOM: OK. So when everything is working precisely, this dehumidifier is going to take moisture out of the breeze, drop it into a reservoir, which you either have to empty or it will pump out somewhere.
Usually, if it’s got a condensate pump associated with it, it could pump up sort of against gravitation and there’s a clear, plastic tube that extends out and should contribute to a ditch somewhere or even outside the house. If you have a power failure, it’s not going to work and it might actually start to leak maybe back into that area where you are. Of route, the dehumidifier is not working at that time, so it’s not going to leak for long. But I could see how it could create a bit of a puddle. So your trouble is not so much with the dehumidifier but why you’re having a problem popping these breakers.
Now, 100 -amp service is actually a moderately damned good service and it regularly doesn’t get the respect it deserves. When these breakers sounds, it’s not typically because you’re drawing more than 100 amps. It’s because that whatever tour you have this particular dehumidifier on is- needs to be improved, perhaps, by adding an additional circuit. But the service for the house should be fine.
KAYLA: OK. It does have a clear hose that makes outside.
TOM: That’s what’s going on. When your capability goes out, the gush stops acting and that’s why it’s leaking, OK? So focus on getting this plugged into a tour that is a little bit bigger than what you have right now. An electrician could help you sort this out but it’s not a big deal to add an additional circuit just for that device.
KAYLA: Alright. Tone good.
TOM: Alright? Good luck with that job. Thanks so much for announcing us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
Well, there’s a brand-new trend, that space producers are telling us about, that is pretty interesting. They are seeing a big uptick in the purchase of privacy windows and in particular, transom windows.
LESLIE: Now, if you’re wondering what a transom window is, you’ve probably merely seen them in old-fashioned movies because they were common in the working day before air conditioning. We’re talking about those tilt-in windows that are typically above interior doors. Now, these were there to help air circulate with that door closed before air conditioning was common.
TOM: And they’re very popular in soaps and showers to provide light and privacy. But makes now are coming up with other very creative lotions, one of which is to add transom windows on top of the wall closets in kitchens. They deliver a ton of light to that gap and truly pieces down the amount of electrical light-colored that you are required to, as a result. Certainly, during those darker wintertime days, it really gleams it up.
So, if you’re thinking about updating your kitchen in the coming months onward, think about how you might add some of these transom illuminations up high on the wall to add natural glowing to that space.
LESLIE: Al in New York has a roofing question. What can we do for you?
AL: Wondering, since my ceiling blew apart, what’s the progress on the solar-powered roof shingles?
TOM: You say your roof blew apart? What happened, Al?
AL: Well, it’s old-fashioned. It’s old. Like 40 -year-old asphalt on top of cedar shingles. Then had a little storm here and there. We came $18 from FEMA.
AL: We went 8,000 from the insurance company, which is owned by the bank.
TOM: Alright. Well, listen, at least you got something towards it. But listen, if you’re asking me are solar shingles to the point now where I would recommend them? My answer would be no. I think there are solar panels that I’m very comfortable with.
But solar shingles, I’m concerned about their durability and their longevity. And every time I’ve evaluated them and seen them at, say, constructing/ craft expos and things like that, I found that the warranties on these things don’t even come close to the warranty on an average roof. So, I’m concerned about how long they’re going to last and what it would take to replace them. They’re very, very expensive, as well. So, I’m not a proponent of solar shingles yet, although perhaps that can change in the future.
Now, as to your roofing job, you mentioned that you have asphalt shingles on top of cedar shingles. I actually had a very similar roof, because I have a very old house that was built in the 1800 s. And just about two years ago, we took off that original stratum of cedar shingle, which had been covered by asphalt shingles over the years. And it was in amazingly good condition.
But we drew it off and then we resheathed the roof. So this particular type of roofing project is an expensive activity because, frequently, cedar shingles are on top of furring airstrips and you have to threw plywood down over those furring airstrips to make love right. Your option is, of course, time to pull off the asphalt shingles and applied another bed on top of the cedar and you’ll get more times out of it. But it won’t lay as flat, clean-living and neat as it should if it was on proper sheathing. Does that make sense?
AL: Yeah, I "know what youre talking about". As far as the neighbourhood code is - you’re going to have to go down to the rafters, which means you’ve got to build up the existing furring strip and the existing - you are well aware, the thicknesses.
TOM: Well, what I would do is would leave the furring pieces in place and attach the plywood right to that. That’s going to be a little less work and with an old residence, it doesn’t make sense to draw those off. Just leave those and applied the plywood right on it.
Al, good fortune with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Linda, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
LINDA: The house that we live in was building up' 53. It’s ours and we’ve paid it off and trying to keep- upkeep it and keep it in good shape. But in between the dining room and the living room, apparently before we bought it, there was a wall that had been removed. And the only sign is on the ceiling, where the wall was removed, there’s a doubled fracture on each side of a 2x4, is what it looks like, about that thicknes in the drywall.
And I’ve tried- it’s a textured ceiling they did. We actually had knockdown put on it. But it- we can’t fill the cracking. We’ve tried to use drywall mud. It simply returns. What can I do to fix this crack?
TOM: So this was opposite both sides of a wall that was torn out? So, they must have slipped in some drywall to patch it? Is that what you’re reputing?
LINDA: Maybe, maybe.
TOM: So that’s not the best way to fix that sort of thing. You can’t applied a restrict row in there and have it ever looks a lot like a normal ceiling. If you’ve got a hole like that where you gather the wall out, what you have to do is trimmed a bigger piece of drywall out, maybe about a paw or two on each side of it. And you do that right on the edge where the floor joists are- the ceiling joists are- in such a case. Then you have a bigger seam to tape and spackle and secure. And if it’s done well, then you’re never going to see it again.
So you putting all of this spackle on it time and time again, over all of this period of time, is perhaps drew more of a mess and it’s kind of hard to fix at this part. So what I would tell you to do is to cut out that whole reparation, kept a bigger piece of drywall in, videotape it, spackle it, prime the whole ceiling and then repaint the whole ceiling. And that would be the one to do- the way to do this permanently. Otherwise, you’re always going to see that.
LINDA: OK. Thank you for telling me that.
TOM: Good fortune. Thanks so much for announcing us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
Leslie, before my kids headed back to college after the holidays, I made some time to make sure their automobiles were furnished with disaster supplies. Because hey, you never know, right?
LESLIE: Yeah. I necessitate I altogether is in agreement with you for that and not even just for the winter but year-round.
But here’s a list of what you’re going to need in your trunk for everyday travel and a little of extra preparedness during a longer trip.
First of all, you’ve got to pick up a good start of pondering triangles, flashlights and flares. If you do have to pull over, kept safe firstly and make sure that you can be seen. And this is also going to help a towing fellowship or police find you in the dark.
Next, you want to add jumper cables, a ardor extinguisher, sea and a first-aid kit. Now, the issue is basic entries and they can help you with so many roadside questions. Also, consider a tire inflator. You want to make sure that your spare tire is in the car and it’s in labouring milieu. You don’t want to be in the middle of altering a flat exclusively to realize that your save is also flat or quite frankly , not there.
TOM: Yeah. If you do have to pull over, make sure you do so in a safe recognize and make sure you’re well off the road. Then stay with your car and wait for help.
LESLIE: Dana in Georgia is on the line with a mold question. How can we help you?
DANA: I’m in Santa, Georgia, where it’s once sizzling and muggy and we’re previously pushing molding a lot of the time during the warmer months. Right after Hurricane Matthew, it just seems to go on turbo where I’m having to clean it off all the wood furniture and some of the walls. And it’s even coming out of- or was coming out of the vent-holes from the A/ C heating unit. So, I merely replaced those vent-holes rather than try to clean them. And my question really is: is there anything else I should be doing and should I be concerned about my kid’s health because of it coming out of the ventilates?
TOM: Well , not even it coming out of the express. The information that you’ve came this growing on the walls and furniture is a pretty serious problem. You need - you have the scope of a problem where you need actual professional-remediation cure because it’s so rampant. The problem is that these- some the different types of moldings that kids and adults can have allergic reactions to. They induce mycotoxins that can get out and move some people really sick.
I’ve known kinfolks over the years who the hell is- in fact, I had someone very close to me that I diagnosed this for because she had kids that had a really bad year of illness. And we noticed that when they went on vacation- they went away for a month over the holidays and they felt huge. And they came back and they felt lousy.
So it all turned out to be mold that actually got into the attic of this house, that was finding its action back into the living space through punctures around where the daybreaks came through the ceiling. And so, in such a case, all of the isolation actually had to be taken out of the attic and the whole thing had to be scattered and cleaned and then threw all back together again.
So, if you’ve came that much mold in the house, you’ve got to get to the bottom of it. And I truly think you need some professional assist. But what you demand is someone who does occupational safety and health as a live, as a profession. You don’t miss the latest Johnny-come-lately mold-remediator guy that has no professional training. You demand somebody who really has some the competences and certifications, from a consultancy basis, to get to the bottom of this.
I’m going to recommend a website and that website is MayIndoorAir.com- May, like the month- M-a-y-IndoorAir.com. You will find journals on that website by Jeff May, who is one of the most versed beings I’ve ever met about mold and indoor-air quality. He has an interesting backstory. He was very, unusually allergic to mold and it conducted him to a whole new course of study. He’s written three or four notebooks on mildew, including some written for the John Hopkins University Press.
So I think that would be a good root of informing you. And he’s not from your area but he may be able to recommend to you some contractors in that particular area, some consultants in that area that he knows professionally. But that’s a good root for you to kind of get to the bottom of this, OK?
DANA: Great. Thank you so much.
LESLIE: Martin in Wisconsin is on the line with a question about a load-bearing wall. What’s going on?
MARTIN: I’ve got a wall between my kitchen and front room that I’d like to open up. And there’s once a doorway there I’d like to open up and make an open expanse. And the walls- it’s a prime reinforcement wall. It’s a structural support wall. I want to take out about 12- the encompas would be about 12 hoofs. There’s a doorway there that’s already 4-foot wide and so about- I’m going to try and open up another 8 hoof of it. And I was wondering about, structurally, if it is still possible to throw in a micro-limb? I think that’s what they call them.
TOM: Look, I don’t recommend this project for the faint of mettle or inexperienced contractor, because it’s not the kind of job you should be doing as your first foray into home improvement. I can explain to you, conceptually, how it’s done. And let’s assume that you have a bearing wall here and it is required to disassemble that wall.
So, the acces it is done, conceptually, is that there is a temporary wall built on both sides of the birth wall that has to come out. So, basically, you’re building a load-bearing wall on one side of the wall that’s coming out- perhaps 6 inches or a paw apart- and one wall on the other side. And then once those temporary walls becomes available, then and only then do you disassemble the endure wall.
And in terms of that laminated ray, yes, once you put that ray in, it’s got to be properly corroborated. So the ends of the ray have to be sitting on something, like another part of the suffering wall, so that the loading is transferred down to your footing. So, again, it’s certainly a pretty complicated project and one that has to be done right or the consequences are pretty devastating.
So, it can be done but it’s a big project and it’s not the kind of project I would recommend you attack unless you have a lot more knowledge than it sounds like you have.
MARTIN: Yeah. That’s kind of my was just thinking about it. I time recollected I would reach out to you guys.
TOM: Alright. Well, I think you’re on its path now. Thanks so much for announcing us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
Well, wintertime has arrived and there’s a good chance there’s a office or two in your mansion that time won’t get as warm as you’d like it to be , no matter how high-pitched you come on that thermostat.
LESLIE: Now, if you’re looking for a solution that’s safer and more permanent than a portable room heater, consider an electric heater.
TOM: Yeah. They’re more expensive to run than conventional gas or oil organizations but they are less expensive to install. And if you use them strategically, they can be a smart move.
Now, there are a few categories to choose from but the two most common characters are wall heaters and baseboard heaters.
LESLIE: Now, electric wall heaters and electric baseboard heaters run the same way but the difference is in how they deliver their heat.
Now, an electric wall heater has got a fan and that gales across the heated parts where baseboard heaters, on the other hand, warm reduce, metal fins on the plaster and then radiate that heat into the chamber without the help of coerced air.
TOM: Now, whichever one "youve selected", a lot of people truly swear by their electric heaters. Just bear in mind that electrical wall heaters or baseboard heaters require a separate electrical circuit often. And in many cases, you also need a permit to get that installed.
So, they use a lot of capability. If you use them strategically, though, they can be a really good move for those super-cold nights.
LESLIE: Alright. Now, we’ve came Sylvia in Pennsylvania on the line with a flooring question. How can we help you today?
SYLVIA: I am moving from Pennsylvania, moving further south to be removed from the blizzard. I don’t know if it’ll be South Carolina, Georgia or Florida but I am going to build myself a house and it’s going to be a small house. I’m wondering about in-floor heating but I would like to have a terrazzo flooring. So can you put in-floor heating and cooling in a terrazzo floor?
TOM: So, first and foremost, congratulations on your scheme. That resonates really exciting. Secondly, in terms of the floor - first and foremost, the floor can be heated. It can’t add your cool. You’re going to have to have a central air-conditioning system for that.
SYLVIA: I was wondering about that because I was wondering, too. Because cold settles and I’m thinking the floor would be cold but nothing else would be.
TOM: So, in the interests of heated floor, yes, there is a way to run PEX piping- which is a cross-linked polyethylene, hot-water piping- through underlayments that would go under tile. In fact, they make a specific type of plywood that’s actually channeled out for this very purpose, where the plumbing sort of lays inside track in the plywood. And then the clay storey or whatever you’re using underneath the trowels( ph) goes on top of that.
So, certainly, you can do that. It’s a pretty big project. But if you’re set on having this kind of floor, you can definitely do it. But it will be a more expensive heating system than other types.
SYLVIA: Well, I’m not really set on the terrazzo but I was thinking of it and- because it would be easy to cleanse. It would be only- from living in Florida, I am familiar with terrazzo floors. And I exactly thought that it was a possibility. I have not decided precisely yet. I’m exactly gathering information now.
TOM: Yeah. The answer is you could settle hot-water heat through your floorings pretty much with any type of material, including that. So, clearly policy options for you, Sylvia. Good luck with that projection. Thanks so much for calling us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
Call us with your home increase question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT or pole it at The Money Pit’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/ TheMoneyPit.
LESLIE: That’s right. Dina in Minnesota has written us and she says, “Do you know what would cause my pilot flare to keep going out on my gas ocean heater? ”
TOM: Yeah, a grime burner most probably. It could also be a problem with the thermocouple. So let’s talk about those two things.
First of all, for a gas liquid heater, there’s going to be a cover, like a glow coating, that’s down at the bottom. And if you hoist that out and kind of look at that burner as it starts, if it’s not a really clear-blue color, if it’s got any orange in it, that orange ignited is a sign of imperfect combustion that happens when you have a really dirty burner. So that is likely to mean that it needs to be cleaned.
Also, if it glances good but like you say, perhaps it goes on and off inconsistently, that more likely is a problem with the thermocouple. If you’ve ever had to start a gas liquid heater that didn’t have an electric ignition, there is a piece of cable that sort of sits inside the flame or a metal bar that’s inside of the ignite. That’s the thermocouple and mostly, its errand is- as long as it has a flame coming out of that pilot burner, it gives the gas spring to the water heater. But if there’s no flare, it stops the gas it is therefore mostly is a safety precaution. But these thermocouples go bad from time to time and often need to be replaced.
If you’ve got a really old water heater, like 10 -plus, I’d replace the water heater at that point. If it’s less than that- maybe if it’s merely two, three, five, seven years old- then I’d probably realise that repair.
Well, if you’re forever dealing with here cables and ropes and chargers in your dwelling, Leslie has a solution to end that cable jumble, in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.
LESLIE: You know, chaps, personally, I’m not a big fan of cords. They can totally ruin the sound of a apartment but we all live in this age of technology. And you’re not going to be able to do a good deal without them. So, why not adopt these cables? There’s a lot of interesting natures that you can create something fun.
Do you guys watching Making It? There’s that amusing show that’s a crafting tournament with Nick Offerman and Amy Poehler. And they had one craftsman or crafter on the present who ended up- I won’t botch it but she did really well. She organized beautiful artwork with cables on the walls.
So if you’ve got a lot of cables and a cable tacker and maybe some interesting, different colourings or you can buy some interesting-looking extension cords that have that amusing fabric composition to them, you can create artwork on your walls with these cables and with these ropes squandering a cable tacker. Now, that’s kind of a big commitment to encompas the use of these cords but it’s a entertaining lane to have them front and middle and in an interesting way.
Now, if you’re more like me and you want to kind of precisely move them go away but still have access to them but plan them nicely, there are cable clothes that you are able to applied everything sort of organized on the wall and then cover it with this cable move and then paint that the same color of the wall. There are hollowed-out backs of baseboards that you can go ahead and positioned the cables behind it and then cover it with the baseboard.
You’ve got to think about how often you need to access these cables and that will sort of help with how you too disguise them. Only label them, know what goes to what. This is especially helpful if you have to change out a piece of gear or you’re moving something to coat the apartment or clean the apartment. This will help you know exactly what everything goes.
It’s all about rope management, cable conduct, perhaps having the firmnes to try something adventurous with using them as a flaunt item. Either way, let’s get these cables unionized. It’s a new time. Let’s start off fresh before March, when we have to do it all again.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Coming up next time on the programmes, if you’ve ever had a paint project that didn’t cool right, maybe it wouldn’t cover a discolour or even if it rind off faster than it should have, we’re going to have solutions to these paint quandaries and more, on the next copy 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 2020 Squeaky Door Production, Inc. No portion of this transcript or audio enter may be reproduced in any format without the express written authorization of Squeaky Door Product, Inc .)
TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: And we are here to help you with your home improvement projects. In fact, our mission is to educate you and inspire you and help you build confidence, and guide you through the projects and the repairs and the improvements and the décor that you’d like to take on around your house. If you’ve got a question, if you’ve been thinking about getting started with something, I mean look, it’s fall, it’s chilly, it’s going to get colder. You’re going to be stuck inside. Looking around those four walls of your house, there’s got to be a project that you’d like to do that would make that space more pleasant. Now is a great time to reach out to us and we will talk about it. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. We’ll help you get started on the right foot so the job gets done correctly.
And if you’ve got a situation where maybe you want to do it and your spouse doesn’t, hey, we’ll help you talk him or her into it. We can do that, no charge.
LESLIE: We’ll help you talk them into it.
TOM: Give us a call, 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Now, coming up on today’s show, we’ve got a few things on our to-do list. We’re going to talk about floors. It’s a popular fall project but we’re starting to see designers use floor materials now in some very cool and unexpected ways, like on the walls. We’re going to have tips for this trending project, just ahead.
LESLIE: Plus, when an appliance breaks down, life around the house can screech to a halt, especially if it’s something like the washer. We’ll have tips on a way that you can figure out what’s wrong and fix it yourself, step-by-step.
TOM: And we’re going to highlight a smart, new lighting control that gives you the ability to set your lights to come on at dusk so your family can always arrive back home to a well-lit space.
But first, we want to hear from you. What is that project you’d like to get done? Give us a call, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Ron in Tennessee, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
RON: Yeah, I have a home with a crawlspace and I have had some moisture under there. And the builder, when he built it, he ran the runoff from the roof down into the French drains. I diverted that and it’s helped a lot but it’s still moist. And I’m asking if these encapsulated systems, where they trench the perimeter of the inside of the crawlspace and seal off the systems with a dehumidifier and a sump pump – how they work and if that’s a solution to these kinds of problems.
TOM: Alright. So, first of all, the roof drains were going where before you capped them off?
RON: Down in the French drain.
TOM: Yeah, that’s not too smart, huh?
RON: No, it wasn’t. I diverted that and it helped a lot but it’s still moist under there.
TOM: Alright. So, now that you’ve got the roof drains disconnected from the French drain, are those drains extending out away from the foundation perimeter?
RON: For sure.
TOM: How far out do they go?
RON: Oh, 20 feet?
TOM: Oh, OK. Well, that’s a good thing.
Alright. So the second thing that you could do, easily, is make sure that the soil that surrounds the foundation perimeter is sloped away. Most of the time, that soil settles after the house is built and becomes flatter or even inverted. So you want to make sure you have a pitch where the soil is running away from the foundation, dropping about 6 inches over 4 feet. You can plant something on that grass or mulch or stone after but make sure you have good, solid drainage.
Now, let’s talk about the vents in the crawlspace. You need to have enough vents, so probably one or two on each wall. You need to make sure that the crawlspace floor has a vapor barrier on it.
What’s the crawlspace floor now?
RON: It’s vapor barrier only.
TOM: It’s vapor barrier? So it’s completely covered in plastic?
TOM: OK. And then, the other thing that you could do is you could add vent fans to the walls and have them wired onto a humidistat.
TOM: So that when the moisture builds up inside the crawlspace because the humidity is high, the fans will come on and draw the drier air in from the outside.
TOM: So those are things that you could do now, without spending a whole lot of money, to try to dry that space out.
TOM: Now, the idea of encapsulating the crawlspace is not a bad approach and many homes are starting to be built that way today. But that literally means sealing everything off 110 percent.
TOM: So since you’re kind of closer to being able to improve the grading, improve the drainage, double-check that vapor barrier to make sure it’s really solid and it’s thick and covering every aspect of that crawlspace floor. Make sure if it overlaps, it overlaps about 10 feet. Make sure it’s up against the foundation walls and then get good ventilation – cross-ventilation – in there using some vent fans wired to humidistats. You may find that that gives you the rest of the moisture reduction that you – that was left over after you rerouted those drains.
RON: Alright. Sounds good. Thank you.
TOM: You’re welcome, Ron. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Julie in Colorado is on the line and has a heating question.
JULIE: My question is regarding heat pumps and how energy-efficient they might be, because we’re an all-electric house. Our electric bill is very high.
TOM: And how is your house heated right now, Julie?
JULIE: It’s heated with baseboard. And actually, we don’t even really heat our house. We’ll heat one room because it’s so expensive.
TOM: Right now, you’re heating with electric-resistance heat which, as you accurately stated, is the most expensive type of heat. Now, a heat-pump system would be far less expensive but it would require a duct system to be installed throughout the house. So, you would have that upfront cost of running the heating ducts.
If you had that system installed – the way a heat pump works is it’s kind of like an air-conditioning system that runs all winter except that in the wintertime, the refrigeration system is reversed. Now, if you’ve ever walked, say, by a window air conditioner in the summer, you know it blows hot air out the back of it, out to the outside. If you sort of took that window air conditioner out and flipped it around and stuck it inside, you’d have a heat pump; it’d be blowing the hot air in the house. That’s essentially what happens: it reverses the refrigeration cycle in the wintertime.
Now, generally speaking, heat pumps are not always recommended for very, very cold climates, because heat pumps only maintain the heat when there’s a 2-degree differentiation between what the temperature is set at – what the temperature is and what the temperature is set at, I should say. So if you set your temperature at 70, it falls to 69, the heat goes on. If it falls inside to 68, the heat pump stays on. If it falls to 67, the heat pump says to its electric-resistance backup system, which is always part of a heat pump, “Hey, I can’t keep up with this. I need some help. Turn on the heating coils.” And then you’re not saving any money.
So, will it save – will it be less expensive than baseboard electric? Yes. But it has a significant upfront cost in terms of the installation because you’d need a duct system, as well as the heat-pump equipment. Does that make sense?
JULIE: OK. Sounds good. Thank you.
TOM: 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 MoneyPit.com. Give us a call, 24 hours a day, at 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor, where you can find top-rated home service pros and book appointments online, all for free.
TOM: Just ahead, we’ve got tips to help you take your décor to new heights by using flooring on your walls. It’s the latest design trend. We’ll fill you in, after this.
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 call, 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.
And here’s another great reason to give us a call, because we’ve got the iconic, American-made Arrow T50 Heavy-Duty Staple Gun to give away to one lucky listener, plus a supply of staples.
Now, this is pretty much the most popular American-made staple gun ever. I’ve had one for decades. I originally inherited one from my dad and then I got my own. And I’ll tell you – because he kept asking for it back, that’s why. So, I got one of my own and I tell you what, there’s lots of stuff you can do with a T50, if you need to do everything from attach tar paper, do some upholstery around the chairs, maybe reattach some carpeting, stair treads, stuff like that. It’s just a handy tool to have around.
You can check it out at ArrowFastener.com. And they’ve got some great projects there on their website at ArrowFastener.com, step-by-step advice on all sorts of projects right there on the home page.
So, give us a call right now. And if you do, we’ll toss your name in The Money Pit hard hat and might be sending you that Arrow T50 Stapler, plus the staples, for a total value of about 50 bucks. That number, again, is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Mike in Pennsylvania is dealing with some stains on the roof. Tell us what’s going on there.
MIKE: Yeah, I have – on the kind of the northern parts of the roof on my house, myself and – as well as my neighbors have these black streaks. And it seems to be a part of the roof that doesn’t get a lot of sun. And my question was – you know, I guess, first of all, what is it? And then, secondly, is there a way that I can clean that myself, as a homeowner, or do I have to hire somebody to do some – be it clean that type of streak off?
TOM: Well, generally, those streaks are made up of algae or moss. And they happen more frequently on the north side of the roof because it’s a cooler side of the roof and there’s more shade there. And a product that you could use to address that is called Wet & Forget. It’s a concentrate and you mix it up, you spray it on the roof. And then slowly but surely, it kills the algae, it kills the moss, it kills any mold that’s there and cleans the roof. And so, within a very short period of time, you’ll find that the roof looks bright and shiny again.
MIKE: Oh, OK. Does that product come in an applicator where you can hook it up to a hose or you actually do have to get up on the roof?
TOM: Don’t believe it does. I think you have to mix it up and put it in a pump sprayer.
TOM: And so you may have to get up there and just spray it down and let it sit. Follow the instructions. Their website is WetAndForget.com.
LESLIE: Yeah. And it is a product that once you get it on the surface, over time it continues to work, so it’s not something that you’re going to have to reapply very often. So it is worth it if you can get up there to carefully spray it.
MIKE: Oh, OK. Would that also – I have the same problem with the siding on the northern part of my house; it gets a lot of that.
TOM: Yep. Absolutely. You could use it for siding, for sidewalks and for roofs. And the nice thing about Wet & Forget is it doesn’t damage your landscaping.
MIKE: Oh, OK, OK. Great, great. OK. Well, I greatly appreciate the advice. Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, with as little as 100 square feet of flooring, you can step up the style in any room of your home by using flooring to create accent walls. We’ve got tips on that project, in today’s Flooring Tip presented by Lumber Liquidators.
TOM: Yeah. This trendy, new look is a really good weekend home improvement project. It gives you a big impact for a relatively small expense. And it can bring a very cool, a very durable sort of artistic element to your décor.
Now, you can use many different flooring materials for this project. You can use hardwood or bamboo or the wood-look tile or the luxury vinyl or even laminate. It all works well for that accent wall, say, in the bedroom, like maybe behind the bed or in a living room or a family room. And it can look really good.
LESLIE: Now, depending on the type of flooring, planks can be secured to the walls using nails, glue or even wood-flooring tape. Now, you’re also going to want to make sure to let that flooring acclimate in your home for a few days before you start your project. And to get the best layout, you want to arrange those planks side by side on the floor first and balance out the color, look at the grain pattern, really sort of move it around and be happy with the look before you put them to the walls.
TOM: Now, here’s a tip: when you’re ready to go, you want to install that first plank starting at the bottom left corner of the wall area and then work your way from sort of left to right and up. This is a good way to make sure that you are getting a good mix of the patterns on the wall.
You also want to have a ½-inch gap between the planks in the ceiling and the floor, which is a little bit of room for the floor to naturally expand and contract. And you can easily cover that over by molding and you will have a beautiful, new, very trendy space in really just a one-day project.
LESLIE: And that’s today’s Flooring Tip presented by Lumber Liquidators. With such new trends in hardwood flooring and so many options to choose from, you’re sure to find what’s right for you. Plus, get expert flooring help at every local store.
TOM: For locations, call 1-800-HARDWOOD or visit Lumber Liquidators.com. Lumber Liquidators, hardwood floors for less.
LESLIE: Mary in North Dakota needs some help with a concrete floor. What can we do for you?
MARY: We’ve got crumbling concrete on the basement floor after water problems this spring.
TOM: OK. Alright.
MARY: And it’s very crumbly and powdery. And there are places on it that I’d like to paint, if I could.
TOM: Mm-hmm. Do you want to try to stabilize the deterioration of the concrete?
MARY: Yeah. I was wondering if there was some kind of sealant that could be sprayed or poured on it.
TOM: Yeah, absolutely. First of all, in terms of the water problem, is this a problem that happened after a heavy rainfall?
TOM: Alright. So if you’ve got water that comes in after a heavy rainfall, I want to make sure we try to slow this down so it doesn’t happen again. Adding sump pumps, things of that nature, is not going to stop this from happening again. What stops the heavy rainfall from getting in is outside, looking at your gutters and your grading, making sure the downspouts are discharging away from the house, making sure your gutters are clean, making sure soil slopes away from the house.
We’ve got extensive articles – actually, several of them – on MoneyPit.com. Just search “how to stop a leaking basement” and it’s the same advice. And we talk about the proper drainage improvements. So, do that first.
And then, in terms of the concrete itself, you can use a patching compound. QUIKRETE has a patching-compound product. You definitely want to use the patching compound because it’s designed to stick to the old concrete. If you try to put new concrete over it, it’s not going to stick. So, the ready-to-use patching compounds are trowel-applied. They’re latex formulas, so it’s easy to clean up. But that will seal the old concrete.
Then, once that dries, then you can paint it. And what I would look for is an epoxy floor paint. The epoxy paints I like because they’re a chemical cure. When you buy the floor paint, you get the paint in a gallon can that’s about three-quarters filled and then a quart of hardener. You mix them together, stir them up and then you apply the paint. Sometimes, there is an additive that goes in after the fact that gives you some texture to the floor, helps kind of hide the dirt. But patching it first, then adding an epoxy paint will have that looking like new in no time.
MARY: OK. But the name of the sealant was called what?
TOM: QUIKRETE – Q-U-I-K-R-E-T-E. It’s QUIKRETE Concrete Patching Compound. Good stuff.
Mary, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Richard in Illinois on the line who’s getting some water through the foundation. Tell us what’s going on.
RICHARD: What it is is over time – I’ve got a ranch house with a walkout basement. And on the walkout, when you come out, there is a retaining wall that is about 8 foot tall where it meets the house. It hasn’t really separated from the house but there is water that gets in between the retaining wall and the foundation and then it gathers right at the bottom, on a heavy rain, and then seeps back into the basement. So, I’m trying to figure out – the previous owner that had this house is – put something in there, like a caulking of some type, that has gotten hard over time and it’s not slowing it down too much.
TOM: So this is a gravity situation, so let’s give you a gravity solution. Let’s have the drainage work with you and not against you. And by the way, you can seal this until the cows come home and it’s still going to find its way in. What you have to do is stop the water from accumulating.
So, on the opposite side of this retaining wall, I’m guessing that there’s some runoff that goes towards the wall?
RICHARD: Yes, there is.
TOM: So what you’re going to want to do is intercept that runoff so we don’t get as much water that collects in that area. What we want to try to do is limit the amount of water that gets in that area to just direct rainfall with no runoff. That means no gutter discharge, no runoff from higher elevations. So, the way we do that is, first of all, examine the gutter situation and make sure there’s no water dropping at the high side of this where it could work its way down. If there is, you’ve got to run a pipe underground to get it to a place where it’s not going to interfere with leakage into the basement.
Secondly, in terms of intercepting the runoff, what you could do is install something called a “curtain drain,” Richard. It’s a really – it’s a rather simple drain that you might construct yourself. You dig a trench that’s about 12 inches deep and 12 inches wide, you put some stone in that trench. Then you put a perforated pipe on top of the stone, surround it with more stone, lay a piece of filter cloth across the top and cover it with soil. So when it’s all done, it’s invisible.
And the end of that drain that you just installed should exit to daylight somewhere, so you need to figure out the best way to do that based on the configuration of your yard. What that will do is it’ll intercept the water that’s coming down from higher elevations. It’ll fall into that trench, come up into the pipe and then run around the house as opposed to collecting in that particular corner. If we can keep the water from collecting in that area, you will probably be just fine, because it’s rare that just direct rainfall accumulates enough water to actually leak in the house. It’s almost always the runoff from gutters and from drainage.
RICHARD: Right. And needless to say, I’ll probably have to do some – get rid of some landscaping, because it’s got some little, green bushes there along that wall, as well, so …
TOM: Yeah. And that’s a good point, because sometimes you can make the problem worse by having landscaping that traps water. So just think in terms of water control here, not in terms of trying to seal that water out, and I think you’ll be in good shape.
LESLIE: Alright. Thanks so much for calling The Money Pit.
Now, when an appliance breaks down at your home, you know that life can come to a screeching halt, especially if it’s something like your washer. We’re going to have tips on a way that you can figure out what’s wrong and fix it yourself, step-by-step.
TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
Well, thanks to the wide availability of appliance parts, along with tips and videos to show you what to do with them, it’s never been easier to diagnose and repair your own washer, refrigerator, oven and so many more appliances around your home.
TOM: And much of that credit goes to our next guest. Bob Burke is the CEO of RepairClinic.com. It’s a website that’s already helped 20 million people save $2.5 billion in DIY repair costs.
BOB: Thank you.
TOM: So, you have had a very long history with RepairClinic. I should say RepairClinic has had a very long history. And if I understand the story right, the company actually started out as a small repair shop back in 1921. They didn’t have dot-coms back then, though, huh?
BOB: No, not back then. We’ve been, actually, the longest-running appliance and HVAC heating- and air conditioning-parts distributor in North America. We’ve been doing it over 100 years. And in 1999, we went online with the RepairClinic business which, in essence, teaches people how to fix things within their kitchen, within their basement, within their garage. So, appliances – washers, dryers, refrigerators, stoves – your garage – lawn mowers, snow blowers, weed whackers – and then basement and just outdoors, being heating and air conditioning.
And essentially, how we do this is giving people the content, the know-how to fix things. We have about 3,500 videos online, that are 3 to 4 minutes, that teach people how to fix things. We also have product manuals that they can download. We also have the schematics and helpful instructions that are step-by-step information pieces to make it easier to fix things and save money, as well as save time for folks.
TOM: Now, I want to ask you about an issue that’s being – that the repair industry, in general, is facing right now. And it has to do with counterfeiting. You know, I think when you hear the word “counterfeit,” most of us would think about counterfeit money or designer handbags. But there’s a big problem in the repair industry now with counterfeit repair parts showing up all across the web, including sites as big as Amazon. How does the consumer make sure they’re getting the real deal? I mean I would think it’s especially important, since a bad part can potentially make an appliance very unsafe.
BOB: It is a large issue. So, all of our parts are genuine certified, manufacturer original parts. We only buy brand-name parts and that’s all we sell. Secondly, we have an unconditional, 365-day warranty where someone can return a part for whatever reason, with no questions asked.
But counterfeit parts, as well as used parts, damaged parts, you can find on many of the Amazons of the world. And it’s a real issue for consumers today, because they don’t know if they’re – what they’re buying is genuine, it will fit their appliance, whether it could damage their appliance. So, it’s really an issue today, because you can find something online but you may not know if it’s the right part for the right machine.
And we’ve seen it, just being in business for so long, people coming in and saying, “Hey, this didn’t work. I bought it online and had this problem.” So, counterfeit parts are a growing issue for not only consumers but even repairmen and repairwomen out there in the country.
TOM: I guess your answer, then, is you really have to know the brand that you’re buying it from, even know the reputation of the retailer. And if you can’t verify that, it may not be the deal you think it is.
BOB: That’s absolutely correct.
LESLIE: Now, Bob, you guys recently launched a new website in mid-September which, I’ve got to say, is sleek, it’s very user-friendly, it’s easy on the eyes. The web content is super simple to find when you’re looking for help with a repair. What have you done? Like what sort of drove these changes to help make things easier for the consumer? What did you guys take on here to make it better?
BOB: Sure. So we – over the last two-and-a-half years, we invested about 100,000 hours in redoing the website, from the front end to the back end. Some of the features that we added are machine-learning search. So consumers can search by the symptom, what’s wrong, as well as by the content and model number.
We built step-by-step diagnosis guides that help both unskilled, as well as skilled, technicians through a step-by-step process. We’ve added more content, in terms of videos. We’ve added more content, in terms of schematics, as well as user manuals so that folks can not only find the part, they can find the information to then fix their appliance. And we’ve even added 24/7 live customer support in Spanish and English. So if they have a question, they can call a trained parts specialist to answer questions, send them more information, send them a video, send them the schematics.
So, again, it’s been a long journey all year towards making it easier to fix things, easier to find things and then easier to actually do the repair.
TOM: We’re talking to Bob Burke. He’s the CEO of RepairClinic.com, a company that has already helped 20 million people save over $2.5 billion in DIY repair costs over the last, what, 20 years, Bob?
BOB: Yep. So, we’re coming on our 20th anniversary.
TOM: You know, not only does this save you money doing the repair yourself but there’s a huge problem in this country, right now, with the skills gap. We’re just not putting enough young people out into the workforce with the skills necessary to do technical jobs like appliance repair. So, even if you have an issue, it’s harder and harder to find a good person to do that work for you. Sites like yours and the reliable parts that you provide are making it more possible than ever before to actually do these repairs yourself. I mean 20 years ago, you wouldn’t find too many people that would be willing to work on an appliance. But with the information you guys have pulled together, it certain is entirely possible to do that very successfully.
BOB: Yes, it is. It’s becoming easier and easier to fix things. And not only is there the skills gap in the country, it’s oftentimes hard to get somebody to come to your house. People are now realizing they can fix it on their own. They can save money. But they can also just save time. If you have a broken washing machine, the clothes are going to be dirty. If you have a broken refrigerator, you’re obviously – your food is going to go bad. So, it’s becoming important and more important, as the prices of appliances go up. It’s the second largest investment within your home, outside of your car, to maintain them and keep them running for the well-being of your own family.
TOM: Bob, before we let you go, I want to talk with you about another organization that you started call GoLadderUp.org, a non-profit organization that provides financial services for low-income families. What a wonderful service you guys are providing. I took a look at the website and it’s just rich with resources for those folks.
BOB: Well, thank you. We’ve been doing taxes and financial literacy for the last 24 years and it’s been a tremendous joy to help out so many families, given the complexity of doing taxes today. So, really appreciate the opportunity to serve other families.
TOM: Bob Burke, CEO of RepairClinic.com.
Thanks so much, Bob, for stopping by The Money Pit and continued good success with RepairClinic.com.
BOB: Thank you.
LESLIE: Well, just ahead, we’re going to share some tips on smart lighting control that gives you the ability to set your lights to come on at dusk so that your family always comes back to a well-lit home.
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: Pick up the phone, give us a call, right now, with your home improvement question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor. They really have the best local pros for any home service.
LESLIE: That’s right. Doesn’t matter what that project is, they make it fast and easy to find top-rated pros.
TOM: And there are no membership fees. It’s 100-percent free to use. That’s HomeAdvisor.com.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Leonard in North Carolina on the line with a lighting question. How can we help you today?
LEONARD: Yes, I have a hallway in my home that’s totally dark. And I want to know: what kind of options do you have available?
TOM: So you don’t have outlets in the home, so you basically want to add some additional lighting.
TOM: Alright. So, why don’t you simply run an extra circuit to feed a ceiling fixture?
LEONARD: That might be an option.
TOM: It’s not as hard as you might think. Electricians do this sort of thing all the time. They will look for the path of least resistance, both electrically and physically, to get the wiring where it needs to go and provide that additional lighting option. You don’t necessarily need an outlet to do that.
If you had an outlet or even if you had an outlet, for example, on the opposite wall, say the – let’s say the hallway is between – the other side of the hallway is a bedroom and there’s an outlet on that same wall, they might go down that wall to grab power from that outlet, bring the wire up across the hallway, drop it back down again and put in a ceiling fixture.
LEONARD: Never thought about that.
TOM: So I would consider – yeah, I would consider just running a ceiling fixture and forget the idea of using any kind of plug-in device.
LEONARD: You guys have been a big help. Thanks a lot.
TOM: And hey, if you give us a call, right now, with your how-to question, you might just win some tools to get those projects done, because we’re giving away an Arrow PT50 Staple Gun. It delivers some serious pneumatic tool performance at a price everybody will love. It’s packed with features like an easy-load magazine.
You can learn more about it at ArrowFastener.com. And while you’re there, check out the projects that are online at Arrow Fastener. They’ve got one, right now, which is a carpet stair-tread project. All the step-by-step is right there at ArrowFastener.com, in the Project section. And I tell you what, they’re doing a great job with these projects. The photos are beautiful, the steps are very clear to understand and it really helps you tackle some great projects around the house.
So check that out at ArrowFastener.com. But you can win that Arrow PT50 Staple Gun by giving us a call, right now, with your home improvement question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Linda in Rhode Island is on the line and needs some help with winterizing the A/C unit. What’s going on?
LINDA: Well, I was wondering if someone could give me this proper procedure to shut down the unit for the winter. Because it was not successful last winter, I ended up with a problem when I went to start it up in the spring. So I thought, perhaps, I had not done something that maybe should have been done that I wasn’t aware of.
TOM: Ah, probably just bad luck, Linda. When you have an outside central air-conditioning compressor, there’s really not much to be done in the winter. Except that what we generally recommend is that you turn the power off to it and then you cover the top of it. One thing you don’t want to do is cover the sides of it, because you have to let moisture move in and move out.
If you completely wrap it up – I’ve seen people completely wrap them up like a holiday package. Bad idea because that traps a lot of moisture inside. It can cause condensation and corrosion. You really just want to cover the top to kind of keep leaves out. But other than that, you just leave it exposed and nothing should happen to it as a result of that.
LINDA: Oh, very good. Well, I certainly will follow that this year, because I did exactly what you said: I wrapped it up like a package thinking I was protecting it.
TOM: And maybe that didn’t work out so well. So, yeah, I think you maybe gave it a little bit too much TLC. So just cover the top to stop the leaves from getting in but leave the sides open so it can air out properly, OK? So it can ventilate properly.
LINDA: Well, thank you ever so much.
TOM: There’s a new, very smart dimmer that just came out from Lutron we want to tell you about. It’s called the Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting Dimmer Switch Starter Kit. And it pretty much gives you more function than a standard dimmer. It’s a smart lighting control that lets you do stuff, like set your lights to come on at dusk, so your family always come back to a very well-lit home at the end of a long day.
LESLIE: Now, this kit is for hardwired lights and gives you smart lighting control in one room. It’s easy to use, very simple to set up and gives you a smart system that you can expand at your own pace.
Now, everything you need is right there in the box. It includes a smart bridge and a free app. But there’s an in-wall light dimmer and you even get the wall plate and a remote control.
TOM: Kit starts at around 100 bucks and you’ll find it at Amazon, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Best Buy or through your electrician. You can learn more at CasetaWireless.com. That’s C-a-s-e-t-a-Wireless.com.
LESLIE: Sam in Idaho, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
SAM: I have a [life of] (ph) cedar fencing someone gave me. I’m going to plan it. It’s 10 or 12 years old, never been in the ground. I’m just curious if you would recommend treating the post.
TOM: Well, you can treat the posts if you want to put like a wood life on it and make sure you get it into the end grain. It’ll help a little bit.
But the best way to stop that post from rotting is more about the installation. And what I would recommend is this: I would use a post-hole digger to dig it – the hole – just slightly wider than the post itself. I would put about 4 inches of gray gravel stone in the bottom of the hole, set the post on top of that stone and then use the rest of the stone to fill around the post and tamp it down.
Now, you can use a tamping iron or if you don’t have a tamping iron, you can use the butt end of a 2×4 to do the same thing. But do not concrete those posts into the ground, because the concrete will hold a lot of water against the post. It will cause rapid deterioration. If you just put the stone in, it’ll be really, really strong and it’ll drain well. So, that’s the best way to preserve it.
SAM: OK, guys. Thank you.
LESLIE: Alright. Thanks so much for calling The Money Pit.
Hey, if a cozy house is appealing to you, imagine how good it looks to those mice that want to get in. We’re going to share some tips to keep critters from joining you indoors this fall, after this.
TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: We’re here to help you with your home improvement projects, to inspire, to educate you, to help you make the best decisions on how to get those jobs done around the house. Help yourself by calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor.com or post your question, like Darlene did in New York, who says, “Did you say that a pasty mixture with salt and vinegar and baking soda is good for polishing brass?”
Well, not exactly. It’s really salt and lemon juice. It can be used on both brass and copper.
LESLIE: And boy, does it work on copper so amazingly well.
TOM: You know what my family’s favorite cheap souvenir is? The penny machines when you go to different places?
LESLIE: Oh, we keep those, too.
TOM: But what I’ll do is I’ll – at the end of the day, if you’re at lunch or dinner and you have an iced tea that’s got a lemon in it – so I’ll pull a lemon out, take the penny out, put some table salt on it and polish it while I’m sitting there at lunch, you know, so it becomes nice and shiny. It does a great job of taking the tarnish off.
So, very simple solution there, Darlene. Hope that helps you out and thanks so much for sending your question to The Money Pit’s Community page at MoneyPit.com.
Well, it becomes a real problem whenever temperatures drop: mice, rats and other rodents like to make their way into homes for relief from the chill. But take heart: there are some ways to keep them out today to avoid infestations in the months to come. Leslie has tips, in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.
LESLIE: Ugh. I’m telling you, Tom, this is the grossest. And even us neat freaks get mice. I’m telling you, it was a Sunday night and in through my bedroom door walked the cutest, little mouse who did not have red shorts on and white gloves and wasn’t singing Disney songs. But he walked right into my bedroom and I nearly lost my dang mind and of course didn’t sleep for days and days.
But guys, it’s really not so easy to get rid of them. You can’t just hang a “No Vacancy” sign but you can make changes that will keep the mice and critters moving on and away from your house and then onto the next warm haven.
Now, here’s the creepiest part of this whole thing: mice can squeeze through spaces smaller than a nickel. So seal any potential entrances to your home with sheet metal, steel wool or cement. Even expandable foam insulation isn’t going to do the trick, guys. It can be gnawed through. So if you take that route, add some steel wool to the mix because that really does solve that problem.
Now, here is where I think my issue was: your cat and dog, they love the smell of their dry food but so do the mice. And if you leave it out overnight – which is what I was doing, which was stupid – they will find a way to your pet’s food. So the mice want to eat that dog food, as well.
You want to make sure that at the end of the day, you pick up their food dishes, dump them out, clean them out, save the food for the next day, whatever you’ve got to do. But don’t leave that food out overnight. And keep that dry pet food in sealed, metal canisters because, believe it or not, these mice can chew through so many things. And they will get through plastic canisters and get to that food.
So, really think about it. And while it doesn’t seem to help their IQ, critters like newspapers. They’re not reading them. They’re not reading your magazines. They want to burrow in them and take them with them somewhere and cozy up in them. So get rid of stacks of paper, cardboard, anything that they can turn into a nesting site.
Do these things. Keep the mice away. This way, you can get some better sleep. Because I just fear they can jump on your face while you’re sleeping.
TOM: Not possible. I wouldn’t (inaudible), Leslie.
LESLIE: I think you’re wrong. I think they can jump on your face.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Next week, we are hitting the road. We’ll be coming to you from Jamestown, Rhode Island. We’re going to visit our friends from This Old House and help celebrate the latest project for their 40th season.
Now, these guys have built a pretty impressive place this time because it’s a house that needs zero energy to run it. It makes all of its – I shouldn’t say it needs no energy; it needs no external energy. It basically makes all the energy it needs to operate. We’re talking about heating, cooling, electricity. It makes all of its own energy and at the end of the year, these owners do not have to spend a dime by paying utility companies or gas companies for those fuels. It does it all.
So it’s a pretty cool house. We’ll be there, on site, as they finish up the last day of production and tell you everything you need to know. That’s 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.
END HOUR 2 TEXT
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From Source Article: moneypit.com
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Dorothy in Wisconsin on the line who has a Wizard of Oz-themed garden and needs some help with sun resistant spray with her characters.
How exciting. Have they blown away many times? Is the house on the witch? What’s going on?
DOROTHY: Dorothy and my scarecrow have costumes on them and they’re made of cotton, I believe. And I’m looking for a product that is water-repellent and sun-resistant.
LESLIE: I’m not sure about the UV-rating but there are many products that are made for camping equipment, like tents and sleeping bags, that you would spray on that make the fabric water-resistant. There’s one called KIWI Camp Dry and it’s a heavy-duty waterproofing spray. It’s good for tents and boots. I just don’t know if they’re UV-rated but they definitely do keep things – clothing – water-resistant.
DOROTHY: Right. I’m trying to find a product that is also UV-protectant.
LESLIE: You know what? If you head on over to the Trek website – and it’s actually Trek7.com – T-r-e-k-7.com. I just quickly popped over there and I looked at their Aqua Armor product. And it says it’s UV-activated. So that might be a good sun resistant spray.
DOROTHY: Oh, I thank you very much.
TOM: Well, you’re very welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
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