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 MoneyPit.com. 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.
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 MoneyPit.com 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 HomeAdvisor.com. 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 HomeAdvisor.com.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ThisOldHouse.com.
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 Pavestone.com.
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 AirVent.com- 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 MoneyPit.com.
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 Facebook.com/TheMoneyPit 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.
END HOUR 1 TEXT
( 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 .)
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 whatever project you are working on or wish to work on or wish to hire somebody to get done and just don’t know where to begin. Or maybe you’re in the middle of it, you’re kind of stuck wondering if you go this way or that way. Give us a call. We’d love to talk about your house, your home, your castle, your apartment, your condo, your tiny home on wheels. Whatever you call home, give us a call, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT and let’s talk about that project.
Coming up on today’s show, this is a time of year that wood decks and trim and fencing take a real beating from the intense sun. So we’re going to give you some tips on how to pick the perfect stain or brightener to have it stand up to the season ahead.
LESLIE: Plus, have you ever noticed weeds popping up seemingly overnight from cracks in your driveway and sidewalks or even between bricks in your patio? Well, there’s an easy and all-natural way to deal with that unwanted greenery and we’ll have tips, just ahead.
TOM: And are you thinking about adding a pool to your backyard but you just don’t have the space? Well, there may be a solution and it’s called a “spool.” It might just be the perfect fit you need. We’ll tell you how to figure out if a spool is the right fit for you.
So give us a call right now. We’re here to talk about your house. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Geri in North Carolina needs some help with driveway repair. What is going on?
GERI: Well, I lived in the home I’m currently in for 23 years. And it had just a little pebble driveway when I moved in. About 20 years ago, I had an asphalt driveway put in. And over the years, I’ve done some of the maintenance stuff you’re supposed to have done, like slurry-seal things.
GERI: But probably I let too much time elapse between that a couple of times. And now, I’ve been told by a professional that it’s probably not fixable but I’ll get another few years out of it. But I’ll have to replace it with something. So, my question is: what’s the best, most cost-effective but attractive thing to put in place of an asphalt driveway?
TOM: Right. So, the reason that you want to replace the asphalt driveway, is it cracked?
GERI: It’s got lots of tiny cracks but they’re going to get bigger. And it’s probably going to start crumbling apart in the next few years.
TOM: OK. Is it sunken in in any places or is it just the surface wear and tear and the cracking?
GERI: It’s not sunken in, no.
TOM: Alright. Well, look, if it’s not sunken in, that means they must have done a really good job when they put it down in the first place, because you have no displacement of the driveway base itself.
TOM: And if you were to tear that up and start from scratch, it’s going to be a pretty expensive project.
TOM: The least expensive way to do this would be to add another layer of asphalt on top of it. Now, I’m not talking about just sealing the driveway but actually putting a thin layer over what you have right now.
TOM: And that’s going to look like a new driveway. And because the base is solid and it’s not moving – you know, sometimes we get these calls and it’s sunken, it’s twisted, it’s broken, it’s – because it all settled out. But if it’s relatively solid and all you’re talking about is just the degradation of the surface, another layer of asphalt on top of that might be the hot ticket. It’ll be the least expensive way to go and you’ll have what looks like a brand-new driveway in an afternoon, essentially.
GERI: Well, that sounds awesome because I was thinking I would have to be the one to tear it apart and get rid of it first and then have somebody else come out.
TOM: Yeah. No, we can think of other projects for you to do that same weekend if you like. But this one you don’t have to do.
GERI: OK. Alright. Well, that’s great. I will look into having that quoted and …
TOM: Alright. Good. And remember, when you talk to these contractors, a lot of them will try to talk you into a bigger project than you need. But if it’s structurally sound, I think that’s really all you do need to do.
GERI: OK. Alright. Well, thanks so much.
TOM: Good luck. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Paul in Pennsylvania is on the line and needs some help heating and cooling. What can we do for you?
PAUL: We had an add-on about 30 years ago in this house. It’s actually my childhood home we bought and it’s – but we are changing the – what used to be a mud room into a laundry room and a bathroom.
PAUL: With all that plumbing that’s going on in there, we’re trying to find the best way to heat it. The house is on central with a furnace – gas furnace. But I’m unable to get the ducting out there.
TOM: Mm-hmm. OK.
PAUL: Is there another way that might be better than just an electric-baseboard heating?
TOM: So this is just for the laundry room and it’s where – on the end of the house or something, where you don’t have ducts that go that far? Or why is it hard to get them out there? Just explain the layout to me.
PAUL: Floor is actually technically about 10 inches lower than where the foundation is for the house. It’s where it was poured about 10 – or about 30 years ago or so. And the only access point I have outside of the house with that is actually taken up with the drainage and the waste drainage and then also the water.
TOM: Got it. So you really need something that’s an independent system here is what it sounds like.
TOM: And how big is this laundry-room space?
PAUL: The whole area, bathroom and that, is about 14×14.
TOM: I’ll tell you what, even though we rarely recommend this, the least expensive way for you to add what I think is just going to be supplemental heat is electric. If you were to put electric baseboard in there on a thermostat that was a timer thermostat, right, one where you could do a setback to it so that you only had that come on when you really needed it – electric heat is the most expensive but you’re talking about a really small space. And anything else that you do there – like we could talk about a mini-split ductless, for example – that’s going to be $2,000, $3,000, $4,000 by the time you’re done putting a compressor outside and a mini-split ductless up on the ceiling – up on the wall I mean.
TOM: And it may not – it may be overkill for that small space. So I think if I just had a 14×14-foot space there – 150, 160 square feet, whatever that works out to be – that’s probably perfect for electric baseboard.
PAUL: Yeah. And I should probably not – with that, I shouldn’t even have to really worry too much about pipes bursting or anything. They’re PEX but …
TOM: Right. And you know what? The other thing that you could do is – what’s the bathroom situation now? Do you have a tile floor down? Or what kind of flooring do you have?
PAUL: We actually don’t have any flooring down right now. We just got the floor joists and the ceiling joists in. We’re finishing up the plumbing currently.
TOM: Why don’t you put electric radiant heat under the floor? Put it under the floor of the bathroom and the floor of the laundry room if it’s not done yet. And if you put it in right, again, it’ll be a very pleasant experience. And if it’s on the right kind of thermostat, you’re not going to have to worry about those costs getting out of control. And boy, there’s nothing better than having a warm floor when it’s chilly.
LESLIE: You are tuned to The Money Pit. Call in your home repair or home improvement question 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor. Find top-rated home service pros, compare prices and book appointments online, all for free.
TOM: Just ahead, before summer heat peaks, it’s a good time to make sure your deck and your fencing, your wood trim are ready to stand up. We’ll have staining tips to help you get this job done quickly and easily, next.
Where home solutions live, this is The Money Pit. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: And we are here to help you with your how-to or décor projects at 1-888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor, the fast and easy way to find the right pro for any kind of home project, whether it’s a small repair or a major remodel.
LESLIE: Shirley in Nebraska is on the line and has some issues with heating water. Tell us what’s going on. You’ve had 4 in 28 years? That is an amazing turnover rate and not in a good way.
SHIRLEY: No, it’s not a good one. It’s not. And when I talked to someone from our gas company – we have a maintenance thing with the gas company. And they said, “Well, the one thing is maybe” – I said, “I thought with a water softener, you were supposed to be able to prolong the life of your appliances.” And he said, “Well, maybe your salt level is too high.”
Our plumber does not think so, so I just kind of wondered what your take was on it.
TOM: OK. First of all, if you have city water, then you shouldn’t need a water softener; you should just be able to work with that water right out of the tap. I think you’ve had extraordinarily bad luck having to replace the 4 water heaters in 28 years. If you feel that the water, even the city water, is a little bit hard then, of course, you can use a water softener. And you might want to consider using one that is a no-salt water softener, if corrosion is a concern.
There’s a product called EasyWater that uses electricity to polarize the hard-water minerals inside and force them to not stick to the sides of pipes and faucets and fixtures. So, that’s another option, as well.
But the next time you buy a water heater, I would look for one that’s got the best warranty, because you haven’t had very good luck with this and at least it’ll be covered.
SHIRLEY: OK. Thank you.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project and thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Luke in Illinois is on the line with a roofing question. What can we do for you?
LUKE: So I have gotten a few people to – estimates. I want to put steel roofing on my house. And one guy will tell me that I need to sheet it and the next guy will say that I can put it over the shingles. And I didn’t know what the standard process for that is. And now, I was also told by the same contractor, “Well, every few years, you have to replace the screws.” And that – I had never heard that before.
LESLIE: Yeah, that’s something we’ve never heard.
Now, when it comes to whether or not to remove the existing roof or shingles, I should say, before you go ahead and put on a metal roof – I mean in this instance, a metal roof is expensive. They’re very long-lasting, up to 50 years, and they’re beautiful. And I think the situation would be that you would want to remove the existing shingles, just to give yourself nice, smooth sheathing to go on top of – less weight on the roof, less heat being trapped and best usage of your money and use of the metal roof.
TOM: Luke, what kind of a roof do you have now? Under the asphalt shingles, do you have solid sheathing?
LUKE: Only on part. I have a house that’s over, probably, 200 years old. And it has – what they did – I’d say a shifty contractor put tar paper over the – where the slats were for the shake.
TOM: Did you have original, wood cedar shakes underneath that?
LUKE: No, it’s just – they just tore all the shake off and just put tar paper over it.
TOM: OK, look, the best thing for you to do here, as Leslie said, is to strip down to those rafters, re-sheathe the roof, then put the metal roof on top of that. Yeah, it’ll be less expensive to put the metal roof over the asphalt but you’re not going to get as clean or neat of a job.
And there’s really no point in adding to the way it’s been assembled right now, in kind of the inappropriate way it’s been assembled now, by sandwiching those shingles forever underneath that metal roof. I would take it completely down. And the guy that’s telling you to do that is, I think, giving you the best advice.
LUKE: Alright. Well, thank you very much for answering my questions.
TOM: You’re welcome, Luke. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, there’s nothing like the beauty of real wood for decks and fences, as well as siding and trim. But if you want to keep it looking that way, you need to protect it with a good coat of exterior wood stain. Here’s what you need to know to get that done.
First of all, if you’re working on new wood, it needs time to dry out. You can’t just build it and then slap something on it and think it’s going to stay there forever. You need the time to allow the pores in the wood to open and receive the stain. To test, you want to pour a cup of water on the wood. If it’s absorbed in 30 seconds, it’s ready. If not, give it more time.
Now, if the wood is older, it’s important that that surface is clean and free of dirt, mildew, algae, all of that. If there’s dirt on it, a pressure washer is going to work really well. But keep that pressure low to avoid damaging the wood. For mold and mildew, you want to use an application of Spray & Forget to eliminate the growth. Now, either way that you clean it, it’s wet just because you’ve made it wet. So, again, let it dry out before you apply anything to it.
TOM: Now, keep in mind that there are several levels of transparency when it comes to outdoor wood stain. You have clear stain, which is called “transparent,” you have semi-transparent and then you have solid color.
Now, if you really want to have stain that stands around for a long time, use solid color. It has more pigment in it. You still see the grain of wood and it’s not like paint. You’ll still see the grain but it has more titanium dioxide in it, which is the colorant that really gives that wood the rich tones.
So, I prefer always to use solid-color stain. In fact, I’m going to do a new fence project in just a couple of weeks. And always, always, always I use solid-color stain because the last one lasted 12 years. So, I know from which I speak.
Also, keep in mind the weather. Don’t start the project if it’s going to be in sunlight and temperatures of 80 degrees or higher right after you finish. It’s best to do this early in the morning, when it’s cool out, so that it dries well before the sun comes in and bakes it. Otherwise, it actually dries too fast and never really soaks into the wood.
LESLIE: Cheryl in Virginia, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
CHERYL: I have a cement porch. The house was built 1981 and it has a cement front porch to it. And along the edges of the porch, it’s cracking and crumbling off.
CHERYL: And then on one portion of the porch, it actually has a – water stands there because it’s a dip. I just wondered if there’s an economical way I can fix that to make this porch last a little bit longer.
TOM: Yeah. And there’s a couple of things that you can do. You can either resurface the whole porch surface or you could mix up a recipe of QUIKRETE products that could be used to patch those badly chipped or spalled areas.
Now, the key here is that you just can’t buy a cement mix in the bag and mix it up and be done. Because when you’re trying to adhere new concrete to old concrete, you need to use products that are designed to make that bond possible.
So if you go to QUIKRETE.com and you look at the listings for projects, there are actually one-sheets there that give you the step-by-step for repairing badly damaged concrete. There’s also a one-sheet for resurfacing concrete. And I think one of those two applications and the products they recommend there are going to work.
It is a do-it-yourself project and it’s not terribly expensive. The products are very affordable and the instructions are there, too. But make sure you follow them. It’s like mixing a recipe: you can’t leave out one item or it’s just not going to come out right.
CHERYL: OK. And then, now, as far as along those edges that – we have to probably build up a sidewall.
TOM: You could mix it up into a consistency where you could trowel it and reform the edge.
CHERYL: Oh, OK. Cool. So QUIKRETE.com. Thank you so much.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Bill in Florida needs some help with a new home. How can we help you with that?
BILL: My brother-in-law purchased a home lived in by a smoker of 13 years, a heavy smoker. Inundated the home with – considerably with the smoke. And we had mentioned some options to him, which was KILZ, take out the rug and sanitize his ductwork. Well, he’s done two of those three things, except for the sanitation of the ductwork and the vent system. And there’s still a preponderance of smell in there. And I was just wondering, are there any other mitigating things that we haven’t considered that we could provide to him to help him out?
LESLIE: Did you do anything to the subfloor that was underneath the padding?
BILL: He did nothing to the subfloor. I know that for a fact.
TOM: OK. It would be a very good idea to prime that.
BILL: He’s not a man of means, so to pull the rug up and put it back down is probably not going to be an option for him.
LESLIE: Are you sure that filters have been changed in the ductwork and in the cooling system itself?
BILL: OK, I know the filters have been changed because I changed them myself when I showed them to him. He has not had the ductwork cleaned and one of the recommendations we’re making is that he hire someone to get in there and clean it. And when you take out the big intake vent, there’s just yellow corrosion all around that foam as it leads up into the roof of the property. So I’ve recommended that he might want to have that foam pulled out.
But again, depending on the expense, I don’t know if he can do that. Is that something you guys would recommend?
TOM: Well, here’s another step that you could take in the meanwhile and that is that 3M has a filter that just came out on the market that is a carbon-based filter. So it’s designed to not only filter the air, in terms of dust particles, but it’s also designed to remove odors from the air. So you might want to think about replacing the HVAC filters with the 3M Filtrete Odor-Reduction Filters.
The carbon in there is pretty significant; it’s about five or six times more than what the nearest competitor has. It really is quite a lot and I think it might help a little bit in this case.
Cleaning the ducts when they’re that dirty and that gross is going to be probably a good move. But you might just want to replace the filter with one that’s designed to absorb odor in the meantime.
BILL: Well, I appreciate the assistance. We’ll try the filters and we’ll just go from there.
TOM: Try the filter. It’s not very expensive. You know, it’s probably $25, $30 and it’d be worth a shot.
BILL: OK. Hey, thanks for your time, guys. Good show. Appreciate it.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Just ahead, speaking of green, there’s one kind of green that we all really want to avoid these days and that is weeds. We’re going to tell you the one thing that you should be doing, right now, that will keep your lawn weed-free all summer, after this.
TOM: Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
Well, if you’re looking forward to having a lush, green, healthy lawn, preventing weeds from taking over is essential. But considering that a single dandelion plant can make up to 15,000 weed seeds, it’s a wonder any of us win at this battle.
TOM: Yep. But with the right tools, tips and products, you can take back control of your lawn and enjoy that lush, green space this summer. With us to talk about that is Jim Wood with Bonide Products.
JIM: Thank you, Tom and Leslie. Glad to be with you this morning.
TOM: As the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers. But that’s not all they bring. The weeds get working. And if you don’t stop them early in the season, you can lose that battle. You guys have been in this business for darn near 100 years. What’s the most common mistake people make when it comes to weed control?
JIM: Well, the most common mistake is they don’t get a jump on it early enough in the season. They tend to wait until they get a large influx of weeds and then they go out and try and get it under control. And it’s an ongoing process, Tom. The one application sometimes will control most of the weeds but it doesn’t do 100-percent control, so they have to come back and do a second application in most instances.
LESLIE: So, Jim, when is the ideal time? Are we thinking sometime around Mother’s Day? Is it after the frost is done? When do we know, actually, when to apply weed killer?
JIM: Well, the best time would be once we get consistent air temperatures above 45 or 50 degrees. Bonide makes Weed Beater Ultra, which is a premium lawn weed killer, which gives the homeowner the opportunity to get out early in the season, when air temperatures are about 45 degrees or higher, and get control of some of the hardest weeds to control, which are clover, henbit, wild onion, wild garlic and a few others. And then later in the season, as dandelions come up, most people will spray their lawn when the dandelions are in bloom.
JIM: Well, the dandelions are there prior to the bloom.
JIM: So when you spray earlier in the season with Weed Beater Ultra, you’ll get control of the non-blooming dandelions that are in a homeowner’s lawn.
TOM: So this product actually stops the weeds from blooming; it basically halts their growth. And then the grass comes up normally without the weeds in between everything?
JIM: Correct. It stops the growth of the weed. And the homeowner normally sees results in about 24 to 48 hours after application. And within two to three weeks, all the weeds are gone.
TOM: Now, you often reseed in the spring to fill in those bare spots and any damage that may have happened since the fall. Typically, with weed killers, don’t you have to wait about a month for that?
JIM: Most standard lawn weed killers that homeowners have access to prevent the homeowner from reseeding for about four weeks.
JIM: That is a true statement. Weed Beater Ultra, because it’s minus a particular herbicide that’s in all the traditional lawn weed killers, allows the homeowner to reseed their lawn in two weeks after they make an application of this particular product.
TOM: Well, that makes a big difference. Because the earlier you get that seed in, the more time you have for the roots to grow and be nice and deep and healthy before it starts to really heat up in the summer.
JIM: Correct. It’s an ideal time. When they make the application of the Weed Beater Ultra, they wait about two, two-and-a-half weeks, put down the grass seed. And normally, if they apply the weed killer early enough, Tom, they have an opportunity to get a good, strong growth of the grass seed that they put down. Because the longer they wait to put down an herbicide – and then they have to wait the additional two weeks after that – now you’re encroaching into the warmer months of summer. And that’s not the ideal time to plant grass seed.
LESLIE: Jim, any application tips to make sure that we apply it correctly or at the correct rate or the correct amount?
JIM: Well, in most instances, Leslie, depending on the means of application that the homeowner decides upon, they can use a ready-to-use, which is just the spot spray, OK? That’s for those homeowners that have a minimal amount of lawn weeds. Then we also have a concentrate where they can mix it in a tank-type sprayer and apply it that way. And then they can also purchase a hose-end product to treat the larger area of their lawn if they have a big problem with lawn weeds.
The thing that I tell most homeowners is a term called “spray to wet.” All they need to do is spray to wet the foliage. They don’t need to get it dripping off the foliage. All they need to do is spray to wet. And that’s the ideal thing to do with this particular product.
TOM: We’re talking to Jim Wood – he’s an expert with Bonide Products – about how to have a weed-free lawn.
So, Jim, if we do get out early, if we use the Ultra product and we prevent weeds from coming up, as the season goes on, is there any further application of weed products that we need to apply?
JIM: Well, when you get further on into the season, depending on how the year goes – and it varies from year to year – there might be an opportunity later in late spring/early summer where the homeowner may need to make an application of a liquid crabgrass-control product. Because a rainy spring sometimes washes away the crabgrass preemergent they put down, so they might have to come in and touch up later in the season.
You may also get a later germinating, broad-leaf weed in a homeowner’s lawn. And all the homeowner would need to do is just touch it up with Weed Beater Ultra.
TOM: Jim, where is the Weed Beater Ultra product available?
JIM: Homeowners can find that at independent lawn-and-garden centers, they can find it at farm-feed stores and they can also find it at hardware stores. Basically, the independent owners of those particular stores, you know, are supporting Bonide and we support them, as well. And they’ll find these types of products on their shelf.
TOM: So, the secret is this: get out early, apply the Weed Beater Ultra and enjoy a green, lush lawn all summer long.
Jim Wood with Bonide, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit.
JIM: Thank you, Tom.
LESLIE: Hey, are you thinking about adding a pool to your backyard but you don’t have the space? Well, there’s another option called a “spool” and it just might be perfect for your yard. We’ll tell you how to know if a spool is right for your yard, next. We’ll also tell you what a spool is.
TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Give us a call, right now, with your how-to or décor 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 the project is, they make it fast and easy to find the top-rated pros.
TOM: And there are no membership fees. It’s 100-percent free to use. HomeAdvisor.com.
Give us a call, right now, with your home improvement or décor question to 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Jeff in Pennsylvania, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
JEFF: Hi. I am calling because I have a house that’s about 16 years old.
JEFF: And where the brick front matches up to the vinyl siding, the sealant is starting to crack. And I’m not sure if it’s caulk that’s drying out or mortar that’s just cracked. So, I guess the question is: what’s the right kind of sealant to put between that brick front and the vinyl siding?
TOM: Yeah, I’m sure it’s caulk, because the caulk’s not going to last 16 years.
TOM: So, what you need to do is to scrape out the old stuff and then recaulk it. And to do that, you’re just going to use a good-quality exterior caulk. I might suggest that you consider using silicone for this because that’s going to give you the best, probably, long-term durability. A little bit harder to use, Jeff, but it will last the longest.
JEFF: Now, I notice that the gap, in some places, is somewhere between half and a full inch. Do I need to put something behind it once I clean that?
TOM: Ooh, that’s huge. That’s really big. That’s not caulkable. You can only caulk with maybe a ¼- to 3/8-inch. Is that entire space filled up with some material now?
JEFF: Yes. And that’s – and it’s hard as a rock. That’s why I wondered if it was mortar behind the brick going into that.
TOM: Oh, it might not be caulk. There are different types of urethane sealants and I can’t really be sure. Here’s what I suggest you do, Jeff. Would you take a photograph of this and post it in the Community section at MoneyPit.com? We’ll take a look at it and then get back to you with a recommendation. Does that make sense?
JEFF: OK. That’s great. I appreciate it.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Well, you thinking about adding a pool to your backyard but maybe you don’t have the space? Or maybe you’ve got the room but you just don’t want to deal with the hassle of maintaining a huge pool. If that’s you, a spool just might be the perfect solution.
LESLIE: Wait. What does sewing have to do with swimming? It’s very confusing.
Not really, guys. Spools are a hybrid pool of sorts. You know, it combines the word “spa” and “pool.” And as you might have guessed, it’s bigger than a spa or hot tub but smaller than a traditional inground swimming pool.
Here’s how you know if a spool is what you need in your yard. Say you’ve been thinking about it and you’re really still torn between a pool and a hot tub. With a spool, you’ve got both.
Now, if you’re not ready to commit to the level of maintenance that’s required by a full-sized pool – maybe you just don’t have the time or you really just don’t want to or you don’t want to hire somebody to do it – you’re not going to deal with that huge amount of maintenance that you see with a pool with a spool.
Also, if you’re intrigued by the idea of designing your spool so that it’s not just a recreational space but perhaps an attractive water feature, as well, you’ve got that opportunity there. And maybe you also like the versatility of just being able to adjust that water temperature quickly. With a smaller-size spool, you can do that. You can enjoy the perks of water jets, built in benches. Those are the things that you can add to your spool and then you can heat it up and cool it down and swim however you like in your spool.
TOM: I’ve seen some beautiful spool installations down in Florida, where folks have patios and those sort of screened rooms that cover them. Absolutely gorgeous. So, if you’re thinking about it, take a look at the spools.
If you’d like to learn more, check out the full article we wrote on this topic: “Spool Pool: The Hot, New Trend for Cooling Down.” It’s online, right now, on MoneyPit.com.
LESLIE: Rose in New Jersey is on the line and she has a very busy tree that’s causing lots of problems with roots.
What’s going on, Rose?
ROSE: Well, the tree, the roots are ruining the lawn. And they suggest I have the tree taken down. But it’s so beautiful I don’t want to take it down. So they’re suggesting I wait until September and have topsoil put down. And I was just wondering, what do you think I should do?
TOM: Well, I mean they’re correct. You can’t have your cake and eat it, too. You can’t trim back the roots. You can trim back other things on a tree but you can’t trim back the roots. So, you have to either cover those roots with more topsoil or wood chips or anything else, depending on how you – what you want it to look like. Or you’ve got to say bye-bye to the tree.
It’s funny you mention this because just today, I had to take out a big maple tree in my yard, which I was really sad about because I love the tree. But it was just dying from the inside and it was getting dangerous. And so the tree company I hired ground out the stump for me and left about 6 inches or 8 inches of wood chips sort of flush with the soil. So I had to – I took three barrels – wheelbarrows – of wood chips out of this hole, filled it all with topsoil and planted seed. That was my project for today.
So, I do feel your pain. If you love this tree, you want to save it, you’re going to have to put up with those roots and you’re going to have to cover it. And if you’re – if they’re telling you to wait until September so the grass grows – but the other thing is if you’ve got a big tree, you’re going to have a hard time getting the grass to grow. So, you might want to think of another type of plant – a shade plant – that could sustain itself there. Because right under that tree, it’s not going to be easy for the grass to grow.
ROSE: Oh. Because the tree is so big. It’s about 25 years old. Beautiful tree.
TOM: Yeah. Well, then just keep it and enjoy it. Deal with the roots. You’re going to have to cover it with something.
ROSE: So you think I ought to have the topsoil put down and have it reseeded?
TOM: Well, you can do that but like I said, I don’t know that you’re going to get much grass to grow under a big, old tree. The sun can’t get there. So you might want to think about a shade plant, like Pachysandra, for example.
ROSE: OK. Well, thank you so much for taking my call.
TOM: You’re welcome.
LESLIE: When it comes to your home, every inch and every penny counts. So don’t waste them where they’re not needed. Design trends it’s time to ditch, when The Money Pit continues.
TOM: Where home solutions live, this is The Money Pit. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Call us now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT with your home improvement question presented by HomeAdvisor. You can find out what it costs to do your home project before you hire a pro and instantly book one of HomeAdvisor’s top-rated pros, for free. That’s online at HomeAdvisor.com.
LESLIE: Alright. But you can call in your question, right now, to 888-MONEY-PIT or post your question online at MoneyPit.com, just like Margo in South Dakota did.
Now, Margo writes: “My home has textured walls. I don’t like it. What can I do about it?”
TOM: You could move.
Well, you know, you could scrape the textured walls but it’s a heck of a lot of work. If it’s really textured, you’re never going to get it all off. And even if you paint it, we’d tell you to use a flat paint because it hides as much as possible. Use anything that’s got a finish to it, you’ll see it with every bounce of the light.
But you may end up having to actually re-cover those walls with new drywall. You can use thin drywall, like 3/8-inch drywall. Put a second layer on it and then spackle the seams. It’ll hide it completely. And it won’t really impact the size of the room too much because it’s only a little bit of space there. But that might be the best solution if you really want smooth walls. You cannot possibly get all of that off.
LESLIE: No. And I think the only thing you’d have to adjust is maybe your outlets. You’d have to pull them out a little bit and the light switches and things, just to even up with the edge. But that’s an easy project.
TOM: Well, have you ever made a design decision and very quickly thereafter had a bit of buyer’s remorse or decorator’s remorse, I guess, in this case? Well, you’re probably in good company because some common upgrades are actually a big waste of space and money.
Leslie has tips on design decisions you’d think twice about, in this week’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.
Leslie, this has never happened to you, has it?
LESLIE: Yeah. I find I get design schizophrenia. I work with so many different designers on so many different shows and so many different types of styles that suddenly, something I loved maybe a few months ago – not that I’m over it. I just love something else and want that, too.
But here, truly, are some things, guys, that have just come and gone the way of the design dodo, if you will. One thing that I feel like everybody loved for a long time was kitchen desks: the ones that are built in. And maybe about 20 years ago, they started popping up and they’ve really been a staple since. But with laptops and tablets, those really are the computers of today and you can work wherever you want, so you don’t really need a desk. And then they end up just being a mess. People stack up their papers and bills and it really just isn’t necessary. So ditch that kitchen desk, add more counter space, more storage. Keep your paperwork in your office or bedroom, anywhere else. Just keep that kitchen a little less cluttered.
Now, whirlpool tubs, those are another must-have of the past 20 years or so. But as any whirlpool-tub owner knows, they’re just more likely to be filled with dust than with water. So ditch that whirlpool tub and install a his-and-her vanity, a spacious shower, a regular soaking tub that’s not quite as big instead but you can still get your whole body in. Really, think about it: you end up with things that you’re just not using.
And a microwave over your kitchen range, that really seems like an obvious choice but it’s actually kind of dangerous and also silly. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heated up a bowl of soup for the kids and I can barely get it out of the microwave. And now I’m using pot holders and I’m picking it up over my head and I’m always wondering if I’m going to burn myself. Why not install your next microwave in a drawer under your countertop? It saves a ton of space. They look really cool. And it just helps you save a lot of steps and a lot of trips to the hospital or at least to the cold water because you burned your hands.
Lots of fun things give you more space.
TOM: And you’re not exactly installing it in an existing drawer.
LESLIE: No, no.
TOM: You’re talking about a drawer-style microwave, right?
LESLIE: Correct. It looks like a drawer but it’s really a microwave. The front – the door, instead of swinging out, it slides in and out like a drawer. And then when you put things in, you kind of drop it into it – not drop it, place.
TOM: That’s got to be so much easier on your back, too, right? Because when you have your arms extended and you’re carrying something that’s really heavy, that puts a lot of stress on your back. So, makes a lot of sense.
Hey, coming up next time on The Money Pit, are you thinking about adding a central air-conditioning system just before the summer gets super hot? But maybe you’re afraid the construction needed to run those ducts is going to make a real mess of your house? There’s a type of A/C system called “mini-ducts” and it might be the answer. We’ll explain, 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
(Copyright 2018 Squeaky Door Productions, Inc. No portion of this transcript or audio file may be reproduced in any format without the express written permission of Squeaky Door Productions, Inc.)
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For many families, Christmas trees are the beautiful centerpiece of their holiday decor. Whether gathering around the tree to hang lights and ornaments, take a family photo or open presents, it’s at the heart of so many traditions and memories.
But while the scent and feel of a real Christmas tree is preferred by some, live trees can be a lot of work! Between the need for watering, the constant vacuuming of dried-out needles and the cost of purchase, the time, trouble and expense of enjoying a live Christmas tree can really add up, year after year.
For these reasons, coupled with advances in better-built and more realistic artificial trees, as well as amazing advances in LED lighting, many folks are taking a fresh new look at artificial Christmas trees and deciding to take the leap.
But with so many styles and options available for artificial Christmas trees, finding the perfect one for your family can be overwhelming! How can you be sure you’re making the right choice on a purchase you’ll have for a decade?
To make a confident, informed decision when selecting an artificial Christmas tree, consider these 5 tips:1. Choose the type of artificial Christmas trees
Artificial Christmas trees can look like they’ve been plucked fresh from the forest, dusted with new snow or even old-school metallic:Fir: Artificial fir trees have a bushy, full appearance, making them a great choice if you want to go light on the ornaments, since they won’t look bare even when sparsely decorated. Artificial fir trees mimic the look of popular live trees in the South and West. Pine: Artificial pine trees feature a classic needle construction that provides plenty of room for all your favorite ornaments. These artificial trees mimic the look of popular live trees in the South. Spruce: Artificial spruce trees have a more traditional shape and style that’s perfect for lots of ornaments. These artificial trees mimic the look of popular live trees in the Midwest and East Coast. Flocked: The branches of a flocked artificial tree are treated to look like they’ve been dusted with snow, creating a winter wonderland effect indoors. Tinsel/metallic: These trees have a nostalgic, retro-vintage appeal. An old-school color wheel adds to the fun and brings a pop of color to the holidays. 2. Choose the material
Plastics makes it possible here, with technology advances in both molded and manufactured that deliver a durable structure that’ll stand up to years of use.PE: Artificial Christmas trees made of 3-D molded polyethylene are the most realistic looking trees, and are also flame-retardant. PVC: Trees cut from PVC sheets have a lifelike evergreen look and are a popular and affordable alternative to PE trees.
3. Choose the right tree size
Have you ever picked a real Christmas tree from a roadside stand or tree farm , only to take it home and find it mysteriously grew from the size you imaged it would be? While that problem is easily resolved with the cut of a saw, buying an artificial Christmas tree that doesn’t fit isn’t so easy to adjust!TREE HEIGHT
The average home has a ceiling height between 8 and 9 feet, but those with ceilings that are over 10 feet, or cathedral or vaulted ceilings, will have room for a more dramatic tree. Be sure to leave at least 6” to 12” between the top of the tree and your ceiling so there’s room for your topper.6’ to 6’5” tree: safe for the average home 7’ to 7’5” tree: the most popular height-wise 9’ to 13’ tree: perfect for a great room or a two-story foyer TREE WIDTH
You’ll also want to measure the width of the area where you’ll set up your tree to ensure a good fit. Artificial trees generally come in three widths:Full: Most full trees are 7’ to 7’5” tall and 56” to 64” wide Medium: Most tall trees come in a medium width Slim: Includes pencil trees; great for small spaces. 4. Choose your tree lighting options
Here’s where some of the biggest advances in artificial Christmas trees have happened. Say goodbye to the frustrations of past years where string lights that were perfectly good last Christmas, now seem to only half light or not illuminate at all. With many durable built-in lighting options, backed by solid warranties, you can expect your tree to light beautifully from year to year.
Pre-lit: Pre-lit artificial Christmas trees are great for any home because they remove the need for traditional string lights. These trees come come pre-wired and strung with lights, which cannot be removed and are usually embedded within the artificial branches. This helps avoid tangled cords near your electrical outlet and simplifies the decorating process.LED: LED lights are cool to the touch and have a longer life than traditional bulbs. Color-changing: With color-changing lights, you can choose to set your tree on white or multi-color lights. Multi-function: Color-changing lights with many more options. Dual function lights: Lights that can alternate between clear and multicolored for a festive look. Remote controlled lights: This feature enables you to control the tree’s features all by a push of a button. Quickset construction: With this functionality, light plugs are located inside the tree pole and will illuminate automatically as each section of the tree is connected. It comes in three pieces that are easy to assemble, saving you time and minimizing hassle.
5. Set up your artificial Christmas tree to look its best
When you first pull your artificial tree from the box, it will need reshaping to bring it to life. Here are some tricks to do just that:Once your tree is set up, ensure that each branch is in its proper place. Starting from the bottom up, fluff it from the inner branch tips, working your way outwards. Carefully point the outer tips in different directions and fan them out from the center for good volume. For taller artificial Christmas trees, it is a good idea to remove the top, shape it, and then place it on tree body. If the tree is not already pre-lit, wrap the light strings starting from the base and work your way to the top. Make sure they spread out evenly throughout.
Whether flocked for a winter wonderland effect or pre-lit for convenience, artificial Christmas trees offer a lot of advantages over traditional trees. Now that you know your options when it comes to type, size, material and lighting features, you’ll be able to find the artificial Christmas tree that suits your family’s preferences and is perfect for your home.
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