Toughest Easy-Clean Kitchen Countertops & More

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: On a beautiful May weekend, “were here to” help you with your home improvement projects. Give us a summon, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888 -6 66 -3 974.

Got a great show planned for you this hour. We’re going to talk about kitchens. You know, they can feel like Grand Central Station, right? I make whether it’s the nutrient being prepped, all the electronics being blamed or those gondola keys that get sagged, the countertops are the part of that kitchen that bear the brunt of all that wear and tear. So we’re exiting to share some gratuities on “the worlds largest” durable and easiest-to-maintain countertops, just ahead.

LESLIE: And are you trying to enjoy the heated condition outside but noisy neighbors or street traffic are making it difficult? We’re going to have a natural mixture so you can get some peace and quiet.

TOM: Plus, it’s a great time of year for outdoor projects. And if you want to step up your gap, we’re going to have some tips on the easiest and most cheap acces to create grill circumvents, volley pits, benches and even outdoor kitchens by simply stacking blocks.

LESLIE: And if you open us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT, we’re giving away a great produce that can help keep all that pesky wildlife away from your beautiful gardens, buds and trees. We’re sending out a gallon of Bonide’s Repels-All to one listener who calls us with their home improvement question at 888 -MONEY-PIT.

TOM: 888 -6 66 -3 974. You miss a shot at winning a gallon of Bonide’s Repels-All? Keep those deer apart? Those are the ones that are attacking our house. They chew our undergrowths every single year. But now we introduced this Repels-All on and they don’t bother. They just don’t like the perceive and the bushes look fantastic.

So, if you are dealing with places like that, give us a call right now. You might just win that product.

888-666-3974. Let’s get to it, Leslie. Who’s first?

LESLIE: David in Alaska is on the line. Getting prepared for the endless time. Muches of light.

You need some assistance hanging some wraps, huh?

DAVID: I’ve got an apartment in an aged structure. It was built in the early 70 s through members of the military. It’s a big cement building. It’s a neighbourhood called Whittier, Alaska. And people have hung up curtain perches so many times there that all of the drywall is now gone. It’s simply mounds of plaster put up there. And I’m trying to figure out a good way to enter it.

TOM: What’s under the clods of plaster?

DAVID: If you go far enough, it’s cinder block.


Well, Leslie, what do you think about should go right through all that soft substance and using a Tapcon fastener?

LESLIE: That’s probably the easiest way to do it. And Tapcons do really the best job of adhering to any form of concrete or solid rock. It is a special fixing. It’s a special attachment for your teach driver. But it are now working and it will do the trick. And you do need to get some sleep.

TOM: The bolt is designed to go into masonry, so you’re just going to need to figure out how long it has to be. But I think if you append those brackets with a Tapcon fastener- it would be a long, thin bolt- then it’s never going to come out. It’ll propped those fairly sturdily.

It’s Tapcon- T-a-p-c-o-n. They’re generally available at hardware supermarkets and dwelling centers.

DAVID: OK. Alright. Excellent. I’ll yield it a shot.

TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project.

Yeah, we actually did a project with Tapcon fasteners where we were hanging vinyl shutters on a scout room, actually. The scout house was made out of concrete block, so that’s exactly what we did: we make Tapcon fasteners in all the vinyl screens. And even though it was only very light vinyl, the screws supported them extremely securely so the winds and the rain didn’t tear them off.

LESLIE: Now, Tom, do you ever find that when you’re using a Tapcon, you have to settled a piece of cable or something into the hole so that as the Tapcon goes into the stone or the concrete or whatever it is, it has a little additional to grip onto?

TOM: Sometimes, I’ve had to do that if I’d applied lead shields, which is the other way to do that. If you’re drilling into concrete block- matter of fact, I was hanging a sign at the same project and we were using lead shields. And sometimes, when you drill through make shields, the drill gets a little sloppy and large-scale. So what we did in that case is precisely to hold the pas shield in bit, we made electrical tape and wrapped it around the outside of it, only to make it a little thicker. And then it stayed in place. Because, then, as you drive the fasten or the bolt into it, it expands and becomes really, really right.

So, sometimes you have to fill the holes with a little bit of something, precisely to make it bite until it can get in deeper and do its job.

LESLIE: All good tips-off but clearly the right implement to use.

Judy in Louisiana, you’ve went The Money Pit. What are you working on?

JUDY: Hi. I was asking about mildew and mold on brick. How do I get wise off the easiest way? I necessitate it’s outside. How do I get it off the most effective way without harming the mortar?

TOM: So, there’s a variety of commodities out there that can do that. And these cleaners, essentially, saturate the mold or the moss or the mildew and then they break down the fibers. And then sprinkle, essentially, cleanses it away.

They’re gradual operate. It’s not like you’re moving to get it on once and it’ll be done. But it will get clean-living. So, there’s products like Spray& Forget or Wet& Forget and there’s Concrobium. Zinsser has one. And all of those products are basically a mildicide that is designed to kill that material.

I worked them on a ceiling of a shed last year that was literally altogether covered with moss. And I just happened to observe this past weekend, because we were out doing some work on the ground, that I could see all the shingles again as if it never existed. So it exactly basically softened everything is away.

So that’s the way to do that. You can pressure-wash some of that off but if you do it, you just have to use a soothing pressure washer so that you don’t destroy the surfaces underneath.

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

LESLIE: You are carolled to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on aura and online at Give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor, the fast and easy way to find the best home assistance pros in your province. You can predict reviews and book appointments all online.

And time ahead on The Money Pit, do your countertops look like they could use a redo? Well, we’re going to share some tips on “the worlds largest” durable and easiest-to-maintain countertops, after this.

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

LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

TOM: Give us a bawl, right now, with your dwelling increase project at 1-888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor, the fast and easy practice to find the freedom pro for any kind of home project, whether it’s a small repair or a major remodel.

I did a minor remodel this weekend.

LESLIE: Yeah? What are you working on?

TOM: I think it’s a good example to seeing how you can repurpose and reuse happens that may be lying around your ground. In my suit, there was a patio that was broken up many years ago. And I’m talking 20 years ago. And it was broken up into these concrete sort of squares that were roughly 18 inches square.

Well, I had a little stoop I had to build for the back entrance of my garage, because it’s slightly below gradation. And I had done it about three times out of pressure-treated lumber and it continued rotting. So I’m like, “You “know what i m saying”? I’m going to do this one more time and I’m not going to do it with wood.” And I was able to take all of those squares that had been sort of stacked up in a back reces of the yard for years and had ivy growing on them and substance. And I’m like, “I’m going to go dig those out, because I judge I can make use of them.” And sure enough, I used about 10 or 12 of them. Built a nice, little lean, a little retaining wall around it and didn’t cost me a dime.

And so that’s just one example of how, sometimes, just what you need to take on a project could be merely lying about in your room or in my event, in my yard.

LESLIE: You never know where you’re going to find a good treasure.

TOM: Hey, give us a call right now if you’ve got a home increase question. Now that it’s so beautiful out, if you’re noticing wildlife is caring your quality as much as you are, you are able to want to think about adding the Bonide Repels-All Animal Repellant to your to-do list. We’ve got a gallon to give away this hour. It’s an all-natural product. It protects the attractive seeds and organizations for up to two months. And it’s battery-powered for easy application.

It’s worth 49.99. Going out to one listener described at random. Make that you. Give us a ask, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

LESLIE: David is on the line and needs some help with some springtime scavenging. What can we do for you today?

DAVID: I need to get a power washer to power-wash my house.


DAVID: What PSI should I “ve been trying to” get?

TOM: Yeah, they come in a wide range of PSIs or pounds per square inch. Number of things you want to consider. You want to reviewed and considered the PSI, too how many gallons per minute the pressure washer is going to deliver, the dimensions of the the engine. Is this going to be gasoline or electrical pressure washer you want to buy?

DAVID: I don’t know. I’m open to suggestions.

TOM: Electric is going to be a lot less expensive and easier to maintain, as long as you can get a cord around the house where you need to use it. And there’s a new one out from Greenworks that’s- they have different PSIs but there’s one that’s in the 1,800 straddle. It’s under 200 bucks. It’s a nice machine.


TOM: And the second thing that we like about it is it comes with five different types of nozzles. So, if you’re doing a gentle surface, like wood siding, “youre using” one. And if you’re blasting apart grime on concrete, then you use another one. And if you’re cleaning the rims on your auto tires, then you use a different one. And they all store on board. And there’s likewise a soap cistern, which is super handy.

So, those are the kinds of features and power that you want to evaluate. But something in that area is very general purpose and it can do a really good job in all of those areas around the house.

DAVID: OK. And the other thing, in the rear of my mansion I have a little mold on the vinyl. Does employing a regular bleach clean- would that really drudgery or do you have to get those special ones that mold …?

TOM: Yeah. I mean you could mix up a bleach-and-water mixture for this or you could purchase a mildicide. There’s a wide array of house-wash commodities out there. I know Simple Green has a good way of them, for example.

And you’re going to want to apply it to that face and tell it sit for a bit. And then, again, with the liberty gratuity on the pressure washer, you can wash vinyl siding without any anxiety of detriment it. But if you use the incorrect tip, you’re going to shoot holes in it. So, exactly get used to the machine and it can really do all these places for you.

DAVID: OK. So, bottom line, what PSI would you hint I get?

TOM: I got something around 1,800 is soon to be fine for most general-purpose residence cleaning.

DAVID: OK. Well, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much for answering my question.

TOM: You’re very welcome.

Well, kitchen counters serve as the drive skin-deep for family life. It’s where we prepare food, we feed family dinners, maybe even pay the bills and help with the homework. But that’s why choosing a material for those working counters that can stand up is really important. So, if you’re ready to change your counter or you’re doing a brand-new kitchen, here’s a few things to consider, is the beginning with natural stone.

LESLIE: Yeah. Natural stone is probably one of the most popular options out there. People love the ogle of natural stone. It adds richness and profundity to the space and it actually determines it a great choice for kitchens and baths.

Now, granite and quartz have become sort of the gold standard of late. They’re both beautiful but both can be very costly. A tiny bathroom, though, can provide the opportunity for a luxe-looking makeover on a budget.

TOM: Now, solid-surface countertops are another good alternative. They look great and they volunteer a bit of scheme flexibility, because they can be custom-made to fit your needs. Look, if you have granite and quartz, you can be custom-making those but you can’t get too custom because it’s stone, right? But with solid-surface material, you have a lot of flexibility.

We have these countertops and they’re durable and they’re stain-resistant, they’re easy to install and they’re cheap. The merely downside for us was we made a bad emblazon preference for the drop. Don’t choose white capsize when “youre living in” an Italian household, because it doesn’t stand up well to tomato sauce. And we need to keep the boni( ph) handy to always rub it scavenge after a big meal.

LESLIE: That’s a good point, though. You was therefore necessary to be careful with the surface that you pick and the kinds of shambles that you make.

TOM: Yep.

LESLIE: Now, if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, ceramic tile genuinely has the most size, chassis, colour, composition and structure options out there. It’s sturdy, it’s stain-resistant, it’s easy to install and it’s affordable. But that grout does need some assistance. It needs to be closed so that you prevent staining.

Finally, butcher block, it’s beautiful and natural but it actually does need a lot more care than I reckon beings consider or know to do, specially because you’ve got to prevent the absorption of E. coli bacteria. So, easy to keep and have but you have to take care of it if you choose to do the butcher block.

TOM: 888 -6 66 -3 974. Do you have a kitchen assignment on your to-do list? Thinking about making- this time of outpouring, we start thinking about kitchens. Summer we get more motivated. And September and October, we are great guns all fast-forward, full-speed onward, let’s get her done before Thanksgiving. So , now is the time to start scheming. Give us a summon, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

LESLIE: Sharon in Illinois is on the line who’s dealing with a lot of leaky copper hoses. Tell us what’s going on.

SHARON: We have a concrete slab for our dwelling, with copper tube in it. And we’ve been having some leaks- some bad holes- and I have paid a plumber a great deal of money. And he mentioned that there was a year that there were some defective copper pipes. And I’m trying to find out what year.

TOM: Are you suffered by pinhole reveals? Is that what he said?

SHARON: I repute so, yes.

TOM: Pinhole divulges is a condition in copper plumbing that’s caused by the acidity in the sea. And the problem is that there’s not a lot that you can do about it, short of replacing your pipes.


TOM: It’s something that develops gradually and the strategies for dealing with this are to either fixing the holes as they develop or to simply plan and budget for a major refurbish of all of the parts of the plumbing that you can actually get to. Because over epoch, they’re exclusively going to get worse.

SHARON: Yeah. Well, we specified the leakage on the south end of our house and now, today, we finished the divulge on the north end of the house. But I just wondered if there was some- we’ve had two other organizes that were built on a concrete slab that “ve never had” one problem.

TOM: Yeah, it’s not the slab; it’s the sournes of the ocean. If you thoughts on over to our website at and you examine “pinhole holes in copper pipes, ” you will find a detailed article that I put together on this a couple of years back, that will give you all of the different types of pitting that are associated with copper pipes.

SHARON: Yeah. Oh.

TOM: But it really “re going to have to” do with the pH of the water.

SHARON: In the water.

TOM: Mm-hmm. Yep.

SHARON: Well, I just thought maybe- as the plumber said, he said there was a year that there was defective copper- went copper- and we saw, “Well, maybe that was its first year members of this house was improved, ” you know.

TOM: I don’t review it’s consequently a specific year of defective copper; I think it’s only the pH of the irrigate that’s “re going through” those pipes that’s causing it.

SHARON: Thank you, sir.

LESLIE: Jim in Tennessee is on the line and is dealing with some bees.

What kind of bees? Are they all over? Are you getting stung? What’s happening?

JIM: We have a log cabin, East Tennessee. And shortly after we built it, we started having a problem with standing bees.

LESLIE: Ah, carpenter bees.

JIM: So, these are giant bumblebees that still further has not been able to sting anybody.

LESLIE: They have large-hearted, pitch-black, burnished tushies and they are able to teach a perfect puncture in all wood surfaces, 5/8 -inches around.

TOM: Yep. Yep.

JIM: They’ve decided to attain our cabin their home, as well. And about this time of its first year, we’re inundated with thousands of bees. We’ve had exterminators come through and nothing seems to eradicate them.

TOM: I don’t know what material they’re applying but frequently, the right pesticide will prevent them from coming home. What they’re basically doing is they’re drilling excavations in lumber surfaces. And then they going to be home those holes and they lay eggs. And then they just kind of make them sitting here and incubate. Now, with the right types of pesticide- generally, there’s a pulverized pesticide that they actually put into the holes and around there- that they are able to stop that.

Now, is it happening in the enters themselves or is it on the fascia and the decoration?

JIM: No, it’s every- pretty much everywhere.

TOM: Wow, yeah.

JIM: It’s in the record and it’s in the fascia and trim, as well.

TOM: Yeah. Because the fascia and the decoration – you know, I had some fascia and decorate like that that was getting ruined in a garage and I came tired of treating it every year, so I just replaced it with a composite material. And it was funny because the firstly year after that, the bees hindered flying around it meditating, “Hey, looks like wood but doesn’t taste like wood.” So, they eventually “ve been given” and didn’t come back.

But it chimes to me like you’re precisely not coping with the title type of pest-control professional, because I don’t understand why if they’re applying some of service standards concoctions that are out there- which you can’t buy, by the way, because they’re not over the counter- that these bees keep coming back.

JIM: Right. Well, we have a home contract for a pest-control company. And we’ve had them because we improved the chamber of representatives. And they’ve applied therapies several times but it doesn’t seem to really eradicate the bees.

TOM: I can’t give you a specific pesticide but I will tell you that insecticidal dust is normally what works best. It has to be applied to the holes, even inside of those openings. And then formerly it’s inside of them, you do not want to seal up the holes; you want to let it sit and do its job. And then after the season, so to speak, then you are able to close up the holes. Because if you don’t, they’ll come back. But you want to make sure that all the bees have been killed. Because if you don’t make sure they’re all killed, they’ll just remain drilling to find brand-new cavities, because you sealed off the ones that they had. But if you apply the insecticidal junk, that will do it.

And then after you have it all sealed up, then you might want to think about staining or refinishing areas outside faces, because that will likewise deter bee infestation. It’s normally depicts or stains with various kinds of a varnish. They’re not going to like the flavour of that stuff.

JIM: OK. Alright. Great.

TOM: Alright? Yep. Good luck with that campaign and thank you, again, for scream us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.

LESLIE: Thanks so much for calling The Money Pit.

Hey, when you open your windows to “ve brought” fresh air, does a cluster of interference come with it? This Old-fashioned House landscaping contractor Roger Cook will be here with a natural mixture for some peace and quiet, next.

TOM: Stimulating good residences 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 job, your decoration predicament at 1-888-MONEY-PIT presented by Never worry about overpaying for a activity. Only use HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Guide to see what others paid for a similar campaign. It’s all online, for free, at

LESLIE: Now we’ve went Stan in Oregon who’s cope with a hot-water issue. Tell us what’s going on. It doesn’t come out that immense or that red-hot? What’s happening?

STAN: It comes out but it merely makes a lot of noise. It does a lot of spitting, various kinds of like there’s air in the lines, precisely like when you purify the line sometimes and then you employed the pressure back on and it takes you a while to get the air out? It reaches the same kind of a clang. And it merely does it on the hot-water side and it does it in every faucet in the house: the tubs and the submerges. All the same, simply on the hot-water side.

TOM: Does it do it when it’s off for a while?

STAN: Yes.

TOM: Now, what kind of water heater do “youve had”? Is it gas or electrical?

STAN: It’s electric.

TOM: OK. Have you checked the heating loops?

STAN: No, I haven’t.

TOM: Sometimes if you have a bad heating coil, this can be a condition that occurs. Is this fairly new in terms of you reading the air spurt out of the faucets?

STAN: No. It’s been like that. I exactly bought the house about a year ago and the house has been sitting empty for about two years.


STAN: It was a foreclosure that I bought, so I have no idea.

TOM: Here’s what I would do. Now, there’s an easy highway to evaluation this but you need to kind of know what you’re doing. So this might not be a do-it-yourself project, alright? I’m warning you, because it involves electricity.

But the behavior you check an electric water heater out is you turn the superpower off at the panel and then you disclosed the – you open the- take the coatings off so you can see the loops. And then what you can do is with a persistence tester, you can check each curl to see if the supremacy succumbs through it. You have to take one wire off of one line-up; otherwise, you’ll be checking it kind of backwards. But you could check continuity on each curl to see if the coil isn’t working.


TOM: So you’ll still have hot water even if only one of the two ringlets is working but you’ll run out quicker.

STAN: Right. Uh-huh.

TOM: And this may be the norm for you: maybe you don’t know that you’re exclusively squandering your liquid heater at half the national capacity. But I would check the loops firstly because that could be what’s justification so much air to be in the system. It’s just not heating the irrigate enough.

STAN: Thank you. I realize your time and thank you for the information.

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

LESLIE: Well, road noise assaulting your ears date in and day out can really wear on your nerves and is in conflict with the peace and quiet you want to feel when you’re at home.

TOM: But if you’d like to muffle the interference before it even reaches your walls, you might want to consider adding trees to create a natural and a beautiful sound barrier in your yard. Here to tell us how is This Old House landscaping expert Roger Cook.

Welcome, Roger.

ROGER: Thanks for having me.

TOM: So, countless parties use barricades to silent a ground but who is able to only facilitate so much, right?

ROGER: Right. Because there’s restrictions on how high-pitched a fence is also available. The great act about use trees is there’s no limitations on how high they can get.

TOM: Yeah, that’s a good point.

So, trees abbreviate the taste of racket by sort of creating a visual obstacle between the resources and the hearer. But parties are also less is cognizant of racket if they can’t appreciate the source, right?

ROGER: Exactly. It’s a study that was done that says if you can’t construe where the sound is coming from, it mentally obstruction some of the sound.

LESLIE: That’s interesting.

TOM: You can’t see it if it doesn’t exist.

LESLIE: Right.

ROGER: Right. There you go. Yeah.

But noise is noise and it’s very interesting how it was able weave its highway through different things to get at whatever it is you want to be.

LESLIE: So when it comes to placement of these trees, do you want it to be closer to the sound root, closer to the house or can you go right in the middle?

ROGER: Right in the middle is probably the worst spot. Ideally, you want to be as close to the noise source as you can.

LESLIE: And I think in your standard head, you want these bushes or shrubs or trees, whatever you’re using, to be really close to one another. But you’ve got to give them the suitable space to kind of grow into their own, privilege?

ROGER: Well, it’s a fine wrinkle on what you want to accomplish right away. And you can pick certain types of trees that will grow upright so that they will grow into each other and become a living hedge, which could get 8, 10, 12 hoofs towering and certainly knock down the sound. If you pick out trees that get too big, then you’re going to end up pruning off some of the chapters, which will let the din through again.

LESLIE: Right.

TOM: Now, when it comes to choosing the trees, I guess you want to decide if you’re going to have this deciduous tree, so that’s going to leaf in the spring and the summer, or an evergreen that’s going to be light-green all year round. Because without the foliages, you’re certainly not going to get the same various kinds of resounded armour, right?

ROGER: Right. So it depends where the sound is coming from and what’s irritate you. Are you out on your patio when this noise is bothering you and is it different in the winter? If it’s just when you’re out on the patio, then you could use large-hearted, deciduous trees with vast, enormous needles on them to knock down the racket. If it’s something you’re trying to- like superhighway noise you’re trying to block all year round, then you’re better off going with evergreens.

TOM: Now, before you become that final determination, I predict it’s important to know your hardiness zone?

ROGER: Yes. You know, there is a USDA map that demo everyone’s hardiness zone. And you demand flowers that’ll survive and proliferate well in that zone, so it’s important to pick out the right bushes of the human rights spot.

LESLIE: Yeah, we exerted Leyland cypress to do this in our yard.

ROGER: Yeah.

LESLIE: And I represent it’s amazing how tall they’ve grown over the 11 years we’ve had the house. They’ve been 20 paws tall regularly since about 3 years after we embed them. They’re fantastic.

ROGER: Right.

TOM: And how is the noise working out?

LESLIE: Those neighbours moved but it was a really …

TOM: See? So they acted perfectly.

LESLIE: It drove immense. But it certainly was an excellent sound buffer.

ROGER: Right. But if I plant leylandii cypress up here, maybe every four or five years old it gets so cold they get thumped back or killed.

LESLIE: Actually?

ROGER: Yep. So we use arborvitae instead of Leyland cypress.

TOM: So, again, you’ve certainly got to know your zone and choose the seed that’s appropriate for your part of the country.

ROGER: Yeah, it’s an investment. Like Leslie just said, they develop and they thrive and proliferate. And they only get better and better.

LESLIE: They really do.

ROGER: They is not merely knock down sound for wildlife and fledglings and all else. So, choose the claim flower of the human rights spot.

TOM: Great advice. Roger Cook from TV’s This Old House, thanks very much for stopping by The Money Pit.

ROGER: Thanks for having me.

LESLIE: Alright. Catch the current season of This Old House and Ask This Old House on PBS. For local registers and step-by-step videos of many common home improvement projects, trip

TOM: And Ask This Old House be increased to you on PBS by Gorilla Glue.

Still to come, we’ve got some step-by-step tips-off on the simple and inexpensive nature you can create an outdoor kitchen in your most own backyard. That’s all come through here, after this.

Where home answers live, welcome 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 increase question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor.

LESLIE: You can get matched with top-rated home service pros in your place, spoke supported reviews and book appointments online, all for free.

TOM: No concern the type of job, HomeAdvisor stimulates it fast and easy to hire the best regional pros.

And hey , now that it’s so beautiful out, have you been detect that wildlife are affection your veggie garden-varieties as much as you are? Well, we’ve got a great product to give away that can help that. It’s called the Bonide Repels-All Animal Repellant. Got all-natural parts. It protects the worthwhile seeds and structures for up to two months and it’s battery-powered for easy application.

It’s worth nearly 50 horses but we’re devoting one away to one caller drawn at random. Make that you. Call us, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

LESLIE: Cynthia calling in from Brooklyn, New York is dealing with some wet-basement publications. Tell us what’s going on.

CYNTHIA: I is an issue I want to ask you about the waterproofing for the vault. Because I live here in a flood zone and then we had Hurricane Irene and was greatly affected by that.


CYNTHIA: So I had one company come in and they were requesting like 21,000- a bit over 21,000- to do that waterproofing. Does that racket tolerable or whatever going down there with that company?

TOM: Absolutely, fully not rational.

Now, the spray question “that youve had” was associated with the typhoon?

CYNTHIA: Yes, yes.

TOM: The intellect the liquid came in was because it was sourced on the outside of your live. In other texts, when you have ponderous rainfall like that, your sewers become overwhelmed. They dump a lot of water privilege at the foundation and then pretty soon the grime can’t handle the irrigate and it drains into the house. And so I’m sure this is what happened.

And if you’re merely get sea when you have really heavy rain conditions like that, then you utterly, positively do not need to spend $20,000 -plus on a arrangement to gush sea out of your cellar. What you do need to do, on a regular basis, is to make sure, first of all, that your channel are- that they exist, that you have them, that they’re clean, that the downspouts dump the irrigate at least 4 to 6 feet away from the house and even more than that or extended them through subterranean pipes and take them out. And then your grading around the house, the tilt of the grunge downgrades away. Those two things will go a long way towards foreclosing any further wet-basement problems.

The problem with the waterproofers is this: they don’t make money by selling you gutter-cleaning services and increasing downspouts; they only make money when they come in with their jackhammers and rip up cellar floors and put in drain tile and sump shoots. And they do it whether you need it or not. And in this case, you don’t need it because you told me that this only happens if you had an extraordinary brave episode like that. And that means you perfectly don’t need that service. What you do need is to make sure your sewage ailments are set up on the outside of your house. Does that make sense?

CYNTHIA: OK. Thank you.

TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that programme. Preserve another one from the jeopardies of the waterproofing contractor.

If you look at our website, Leslie, and you look at all the articles I’ve written about this and look at all the comments …

LESLIE: They’re all from waterproofing contractors.

TOM: Oh, they detest me. Oh, they altogether hate me because I take business away from them, because I tell people the truth. They don’t – you don’t need sump gushes, you don’t need pump tile. All you need is clean gutters. It’s terribly, very simple.

LESLIE: Well, if you’d like to improve your outdoor room by adding an outdoor kitchen, a shell oppose, grill enclosure, planter or even a bench, there’s a really easy way that you can do that with a product called RumbleStone.

Now, RumbleStones, which are made by Pavestone, are rustic-looking stones that come in project packages. And you simply stack them together, like Legos, in a predetermined motif to build all sorts of favourite outdoor features.

Now, RumbleStones make it fast and easy and inexpensive to modernize your backyard with amenities like an outdoor kitchen, a flaming excavation, a bench. The paraphernaliums start at 250 horses and they can also be used for traditional paver campaigns like patios, walls and even scenery borders.

TOM: And if you want to strengthen that finished project, you can even use the QUIKRETE Advanced Polymer Construction Adhesive between the stones. So, there’s no mortar required.

These RumbleStones are a beautiful addition to being able to your outdoor living space. Plus, right now, there’s even a step-by-step video of a really cool outdoor kitchen, surfaced with a QUIKRETE concrete countertop, available online. Just head to YouTube and search “how to build an outdoor kitchen with RumbleStone and QUIKRETE Concrete Mix” and it’s all right there. Took a look at it today. It’s about seven or eight instants long. Very well done and very informative.

If you’d are ready to understanding of all the things you can build with Pavestone’s RumbleStone, visit

LESLIE: Kelly in Texas, you’ve get The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

KELLY: Yeah, I have a Craftsman-style home and it has crest express. But I had an energy audit exactly the following spring and the vitality review said, “Kelly, you don’t have any soffit vents in your- around your eaves.”

TOM: Yeah. Hmm.

KELLY: Well, I don’t really have eaves. All of my roof ends in these exposed rafters. It does have gables and so he said, “You need to vent this house. Your mansion – your attic is not properly freshened because you don’t have any way for the aura to get into the bottom.”

TOM: OK. So you have no soffit. Is that correct? Basically, it starts?

KELLY: That’s correct.

TOM: So here’s the answer, OK? There’s a type of vent called a “drip-edge vent.” And what a drip-edge vent does is it essentially increases the roof position by all of about 2 inches. And that 2 inch has become a overhang at the leading edge that provides the intake ventilation for the soffit.

So, if you go the website for it’s the Air Vent Corporation- take a look at the commodity excerpt there. Look at the Drip-Edge Vent and you’ll meet exactly what I mean.

Now, to do this, you’re going to end up taking off the bottom route of shingles and maybe even putting two shingles in its arrange, because you’re going to have to actually physically extend the roof by a pair of inches. But done right, you will install that soffit that you don’t have and you won’t discover it from the outside. So you’re not going to physically dismissal a difference in terms of the architectural wording of your mansion but you will provide that all-important seat for uptake ventilation.

KELLY: OK. Appreciate it.

LESLIE: Alright. Thanks so much for calling The Money Pit.

Are you ready to add air conditioning to your home, only in time for summertime, but you’re wondering what sizing you really need? Well, going too big can waste energy and going too small simply isn’t going to handle the heat. We’re going to share gratuities on how to pick the excellent immensity, next.

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

LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

TOM: Call us, right now, with your dwelling progress question or upright it online at

LESLIE: That’s right. Now, Anita in Illinois writes: “I’m going to have to install a new central air-conditioning organisation this year. How do I know what size to get for my 1,800 -square-foot, single-story home?”

TOM: That’s a great question, Anita, because I have found, in the 20 years I spent as a home inspector, that it was very common for the air-conditioning size installed in the home to be wrong.

Now, it’s generally too large , not too small, because folks want to be comfortable.

LESLIE: But I feel like people fantasize bigger is better.

TOM: Right. But here’s the problem: if you introduced a structure in that’s too big- a central-air system that’s too big- it short-cycles. What that implies is it comes on, it cools the breeze really fast, then it goes off. And it comes on, it cools all the air really fast and extends off.

The problem with short-cycling is, first of all, you use a lot more electricity. And second of all, it’s not rush long enough to make the humidity out of the breeze. And so your room becomes sort of cold and clammy, which is a really uncomfortable situation. And when it’s damp like that, you can also grow mold.

So, how do you know what size? Well, begins with the rule of thumb: 600 square hoofs of house for a ton. So, 1,800 -square-foot house, probably a 3-ton. But you don’t stop moving. You need to figure out what your heat loss is and this is not something that you can do. There are calculators online but an HVAC pro should be able to do it.

Heat loss, basically, is a measure of how much air-conditioning supremacy you need to compensate for the amount of heat that will get into the house on an average summer day. And it depends a lot on stuffs like your windows. Are they single-pane? Are they double-pane? Are they low-E glass? How much glass do you have facing the southwest line-ups of your residence? How much insulation do “youve had”? All of these happenings go into a heat-loss calculation and then you can determine exactly what you need.

So, my point to you would be: make sure the results of this work is done. Don’t precisely approximates. And if someone says, “Well, I could lean a 3-ton in but perhap you should go 4, ” I intend maybe that guy is just trying to sell you a bigger legion than it was necessary to. You’re going to curse it from the moment it gets turned on, because you won’t be comfortable. Just buy what you need- not extremely much and not too little- and you’ll be very comfortable on those warm days.

LESLIE: Oh and you’ll be so indebted you have it.

Alright. Next up, Danielle in New Jersey has posted: “I refinished my wood kitchen table years ago and had no problems with it. Recently, I sanded it and refinished it again. This time, I put one across about four coatings of an oil-based polyurethane and allowed a daylight of drying in between each coat. Now it deposits if anything warm sits on it: coffee cups, plates, everything. How do I secure it? ”

TOM: Ugh. Well, I think that even though it says on the label that the polyurethane would bone-dry in a couple of hours, it’s precisely not true. You’ve genuinely got to let polyurethane dry a couple of days, at least. And only putting the four coatings on – first of all, you didn’t need four hairs. You certainly only needed two, especially since you were recoating something from before, even though you sanded it. And now you’ve got it all built up there and it’s all gummed up. And I think that the underlying coatings never truly dehydrated properly. I don’t think they’re ever going to dry.

I’d tell you to take it all off. Take it all off and do it again. It’s actually the best way to go. You’re actually not “re going to be” able to solve this any other path. If you wanted to try one thing, you could try using a glue wax on it, like a vehicle wax, and see if that helps stop the stuff from sticking. But I suspect it won’t. You’re really going to have to take it down to the original timber and reapply it.

LESLIE: But the good news, Danielle, is now you’re a pro at it. It shouldn’t be too terrible.

TOM: Exactly. You’re really good at it. Well, it’s a practice.

LESLIE: And that- ugh, that really is the worst. I’m so sorry, Danielle. I know what it is sucky that is. But good luck. It’s going to be awesome.

TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Thank you so much for stopping by. Hope we’ve given you some tips-off and the recommendations on how to get those projects done around your live that were on your to-do list. You reached among us through our social-media paths. Post your question on or ping us @MoneyPit on Twitter. Or you can call us, 24/7, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

I’m Tom Kraeutler.

LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

TOM: Remember, you can do it yourself …

LESLIE: But you don’t was therefore necessary to do it alone.


( Copyright 2019 Squeaky Door Product, Inc. No component of this transcript or audio folder is also available reproduced in any format without the express written authorization of Squeaky Door Yield, Inc .)

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