TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles, this is The Money Pit. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: And we are broadcasting today from the 2018 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas. And this is the biggest home improvement industry event of the year, because it’s where manufacturers roll out their new products for the season. Kind of like a fashion show for home improvement.
LESLIE: Oh. And everybody is sporting their absolute best so we can really see what’s going on.
We’re located here at a space called the Ultimate Backyard. And this is where outdoor-living products are being featured by over 300 exhibitors, in addition to 2,500 more that are inside the halls of this truly gigantic convention center. And this is where many of the newest and hottest home improvement industry products are unveiled for the first time, well before they hit store shelves near you.
TOM: Well, that’s right. And normally, you wouldn’t know about this stuff until you find it in the home centers and hardware stores. But today, we’re going to give you a sneak peek at all the show has to offer, so we’re kind of your eyes and your ears.
LESLIE: Yeah. It’s kind of like the Disney World of home improvement. There’s 2,800-plus exhibitors, 500-plus new exhibitors along with 110 even more inventors covering 15-plus product categories, including everything from hardware to homewares to smart-home products and so much more. I mean there is a ton happening and it’s a lot of fun.
TOM: And we’re also taking this opportunity to launch The Money Pit’s Power Your Summer Sweepstakes. We’re giving away the Cat INV2000 Portable Inverter Generator worth $749.99. And it’s great for everything from tailgating to the job site. You can enter today at MoneyPit.com.
LESLIE: But to kick it off, we’re going to start this hour talking about the relaunch of three iconic American tool brands: Pony, Jorgensen and Goldblatt under the leadership of a fourth, Arrow Fastener.
TOM: And with us to talk about that is Bill Sokol, Vice President of Arrow Fastener.
And Bill, this is really a medley of four brands that have been helping DIYers and pros alike build for, got to be, over 80, 85 years now, right?
BILL: Yeah, it’s actually longer than that.
BILL: Goldblatt goes all the way back to 1885.
TOM: Wow. That’s fantastic.
TOM: So, how did it come to be that Arrow Fastener is now helping to relaunch these amazing brands?
BILL: Well, Arrow was purchased last year by a company called GreatStar.
BILL: And GreatStar, actually, owns the Goldblatt and the Pony and Jorgensen brands. So, because of the success that Arrow has had in the U.S. market – curating that brand and growing the brand for consumers and DIYers – we were given the task of actually relaunching these brands into the U.S. marketplace.
TOM: Well, that’s great. Now, what has the reception been from the marketplace on seeing these brands sort of getting the visibility that they really needed?
BILL: Yeah, it’s been really great. Pony and Jorgensen have been out of the market for a couple of years and there’s a lot of demand for them to come back. We’re asked all the time by people that – “Man, I love those clamping products, you know? And I’ve got this one or I’ve got that one. And when am I going to be able to get it again?” So there’s a lot of excitement out there amongst both our trade partners and also consumers who reach out to us.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Well, the maker’s movement is so big right now. So you’re seeing so many people who are wanting to craft things by hand and truly learn more about woodworking. And that’s where these tools really come in handy.
BILL: Yeah, absolutely. They’ve been a fixture – the Pony and Jorgensen brands have been a fixture – in woodworking shops since 1903.
TOM: Yeah. And in fact, I know that I’ve shared the story with you but I don’t know if I did with you, Leslie. When I heard about Bill’s taking over these brands, I shared with him a research project that was handed to me about 30 years later, after leaving college, by my professor. He’d had it in a file cabinet. He found it out, right, and it was a book that I’d done, when I was in college, on the clamping of wood. And in that book were photos of me – I must have been 19, 20 years old – using Pony and Jorgensen clamps.
LESLIE: That’s fantastic.
LESLIE: And Tom is not even 100 years (inaudible).
TOM: I know, right? Yeah. So that’s how long I’ve been using these products. But I always thought that they were products that were more aimed at woodworkers. But now, we’re seeing the availability – we’re seeing more and more DIYers that are doing this. And they’re just a fantastic line of products to be able to do what you need to to clamp something together.
BILL: Yeah, absolutely. And we make everything from really specialized, like parallel bar clamps, down to a spring clamp or a C-clamp that just about anybody would have in their garage.
BILL: So we can meet any kind of clamping need that people might have.
TOM: Now, from our perspective, you guys are still innovating out there. You’ve got a lot of new products that you brought out this year but your most well-known, famous product is the T50, the staple gun.
BILL: Absolutely correct. It’s the best-known staple gun in the world. It’s still the number-one seller in the U.S.
TOM: And made in America.
BILL: It is, in Saddle Brook, New Jersey.
TOM: Right. Saddle Brook, New Jersey.
TOM: Right in our home turf. We’ve been there.
LESLIE: That’s really amazing. And I think what’s so exciting is that in this sort of rejuvenation of these brands, GreatStar is seeing the value of what their history is but truly looking towards the future and keeping them relevant and keeping them in current needs of what the woodworkers are using them for.
BILL: Yeah, that’s really the key. These are really great heritage brands that have been in America for a long time. They’ve got great stories. Goldblatt was started by a Russian immigrant in 1885, in Kansas City. As the American West was booming, he built his product and his business to actually help build the westward expansion.
And the Pony and Jorgensen brands were started by a Danish cabinet maker and an opera singer. So, it’s really hard to believe but true.
TOM: You can’t make this stuff up, man.
BILL: That company was run for 30 years by a woman before women even had the right to vote.
BILL: Adele Holman started the company and she used to sign her business correspondence “A. Holman” so people wouldn’t know she was a woman.
TOM: That’s fantastic. Bill Sokol from Arrow Fastener, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit and filling us in on this great news with the relaunch of the three fantastic brands – Pony, Jorgensen and Goldblatt – under the leadership of Arrow Fastener.
BILL: Thank you, guys.
LESLIE: You are listening to The Money Pit coming to you from the 2018 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas. If you’d like to join the conversation, call in your home improvement or décor question 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor, where it’s easy to find top-rated, local home improvement pros for any home project.
TOM: Go to HomeAdvisor.com.
LESLIE: Well, whether you’re a professional contractor or just a professional tailgater, which we are definitely seeing a lot of here at the National Hardware Show, having a reliable source of portable power can come in very handy.
TOM: I like that.
LESLIE: The new Cat INV2000 Portable Inverter Generator does both.
TOM: And with us to talk about this latest innovation from Cat is Sean Stults.
And Sean, this is an expansion of a line of portable power products that can really help, I don’t know, run the appliances and the tools you need, keep the lights on in an emergency or even power your outdoor fine: your camping trip, your trips to the beach, your trips to the ballpark. You really thought of it all.
SEAN: Yeah. This is a product, I think – we’ve seen it from a college ballpark to, like you said, a tailgate or any other venue that you can utilize something and carry it right in and not have to worry about getting big – lugging stuff. And it’s just really a suitcase. You take it right in, yeah.
TOM: Yeah, it really is. And certainly, I think the important part is the power you have packed into this: 2,250 watts of start-up power.
TOM: And that’s a lot of juice.
SEAN: It is, you know. And we even had the opportunity to parallel two together to get double the juice if we really need it, in the case we need an RV or something to run. It’s great.
TOM: Yeah. Well, by way of an example, I was testing this product at home. And I have a 10-inch Milwaukee circular saw, which is a monster tool.
TOM: And it cut timbers with it.
LESLIE: That’s like a really rapid power draw right from the start.
TOM: Right. A big draw in the beginning. No problem. It automatically revved up the power we needed and just chugged right along.
SEAN: Absolutely. Like you said, from the prosumer to the tailgater, it’s great.
LESLIE: Now, I think it’s – one of the best features, especially for a tailgater who might not be a pro user, is the ease of operation. Tell us about that because, for me, I’m always afraid to start things up like that. And to know that it’s so simple to do is hugely helpful.
SEAN: Yeah, the ease of use is simple as, like you said, carrying it right in. But starting it’s very simple. It only takes a gallon of gas. This thing runs for six hours.
TOM: On a gallon. One gallon.
LESLIE: On a gallon?
SEAN: On a gallon of gas. It’s awesome.
LESLIE: That’s huge.
TOM: That’s so efficient.
SEAN: Yeah. And the starting is real simple on it. It’s a one-pull right out of the box. It’s great.
TOM: Yeah. I mean it’s like three steps, right?
SEAN: Yep. It’s right.
SEAN: You turn it over to the choke, turn it back to run. As you pull it, you’re good to go.
TOM: And you’re good to go.
TOM: And talk about the way the technology – that basically makes it ramp up the amount of power you need based on whether you’re plugging in an iPhone or plugging in a big circ saw.
SEAN: Yeah. So, what we have is – your current utility in your home is about three-percent harmonic distortion. This has less than three-percent harmonic distortion.
TOM: Because people worry about the sensitivity of electronic devices, like those phones.
LESLIE: Well, you have to.
SEAN: Yeah. Everything’s a smart device these days.
SEAN: You’ve got a smartphone, you’ve got an iPad, a tablet or whatever it is. This you can plug directly into it. A typical, portable generator you cannot do that; it does not have the clean power that you’re asking for. And that’s what we’re offering with the INV2000.
TOM: And then how, again, does it ramp up the power to know how much juice it needs? What’s that process of – because I notice that it’s very, very quiet.
TOM: You can hardly hear it going. Then if you put …
LESLIE: And that’s hugely important.
LESLIE: Because generators can tend to be so loud.
TOM: And annoying.
LESLIE: And annoying.
LESLIE: And especially if you were marketing to take to a tailgate or take to a very public place, you want to keep that noise down.
TOM: And that’s one of the reasons that, sometimes, some places a generator is just not allowed, because they don’t want them to disturb the peace.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. They’re so noisy.
TOM: And before I – before you answer that question about how you adjust the power, there was one stat that was interesting to me that – and I didn’t know this, Leslie. The National Park Service has a standard for noise, so that if you’re in a campsite – one of the National Park Service’s campsites – you can’t have noise beyond a certain level. And this generator is well beyond – well under that.
SEAN: Well under that.
SEAN: Yeah, you’re right. It’s about 70 decibels.
SEAN: And our generator will run, like you said, well below that: 58 decibels at starting. So, that’s really good.
LESLIE: That’s very quiet.
SEAN: Yeah, very quiet.
LESLIE: What about maintenance, you know? Is there anything to do to take care of it to ensure that we get a long life out of it?
SEAN: Yeah. So, this thing runs with a computer. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that a big, portable generator – because it doesn’t need them.
SEAN: That’s the ease of the use of this and the way that it actually ramps up the power. Changing the oil is pretty typical. And the spark plug, we make it very simple for it. We make doors that come right off and you can do it right there in front of it, so …
TOM: And you’ve got that smart-engine control that ramps up the power to exactly where you need it. And the best news is you’ve given us an INV2000 for the grand prize of our Power Your Summer Sweepstakes launching, right now, on MoneyPit.com.
SEAN: That’s right.
TOM: So, this product’s worth 750 bucks. It’s going to go out to …
LESLIE: Could be yours for free.
TOM: Could be yours. So, enter today, at MoneyPit.com, the Power Your Summer Sweepstakes.
Sean Stults from Cat, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.
SEAN: Thank you very much.
LESLIE: You are listening to The Money Pit broadcasting from the stage at the Ultimate Backyard of the 2018 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas.
TOM: And if you’d like to see what we see while covering the show, all you need to do is follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, #NHShow.
Still to come, are you getting your outdoor furniture ready for the summer season ahead but notice that it looks a little worse for wear? We’re going to highlight a new product that could strip away all of that mildew and mess and tree droppings and more, in just minutes. That’s all coming up, next.
This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show broadcasting from the 2018 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas. We’re thrilled to be here checking out the best of the best of home improvement products hitting the market.
LESLIE: Well, now that spring is in full swing and summer is just a couple of weeks away, we hope that you enjoy a beautiful, healthy green lawn. But if you’re seeing weeds instead, there is a solution that’s organic, safe for people and pets and can be used wherever unwanted grasses and weeds are growing. It’s called the BurnOut Weed and Grass Killer and it’s made by Bonide.
TOM: That’s right. The BurnOut Weed and Grass Killer is a fast-acting, all-natural formula that delivers results in less than 24 hours. You can use it to eliminate weeds growing in flower beds, vegetable gardens, sidewalks, patios and other areas around your home.
LESLIE: You can find all-organic BurnOut Weed and Grass Killer at your local garden center, hardware store or farm-and-feed retailer.
TOM: Or go to Bonide.com where you can also find great resources and answers to questions about lawn-and-garden care. That’s Bonide – B-o-n-i-d-e – .com. And remember, Bonide products are family-made in America.
Coming to you from the 2018 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, where we’re surrounded by over 2,800 manufacturers launching hundreds of new products. And one of the brands we followed over the years is Summit Brands. And now they’re out with a new addition to their Plink line of appliance cleaners that covers both washers and dishwashers.
LESLIE: That’s right. The Plink Washer and Dishwasher Freshener and Cleaner is an innovative product specially formulated to easily and effectively freshen and clean any washing machine or dishwasher. With us to talk about that is Tony Cronk of Summit Brands.
TONY: Thank you for having me, both Leslie, Tom.
TOM: The one thing I like about your products is you really make it easy. I mean it’s not easier than popping these things in the machines and letting them do the work.
TONY: Yes, that’s the premise of Plink, especially. The brand’s built on fast, easy, fresh and fun. The idea is to make it simple for the homeowner to be able to solve their problem as easily and it’s a value – or as cost-effectively as possible.
LESLIE: And I think that’s a lot of – you know, a good point there: making cleaning fun. Because a lot of times, people don’t want to clean and certainly don’t think of it as fun. So if you can make it fun, I’m all in.
TOM: And if you can do it fast, even better yet.
TONY: That’s right.
TOM: Well, odor in appliances is a big problem and it’s one that kind of sneaks up on people. They don’t think about it when they’re buying the appliances. They don’t think about it while they’re using their appliances. But when they smell it, they think about it a lot and you have a lot – a really hard time getting rid of those odors.
TOM: So we think about the odors that form in the dishwashers and the washing machines, the whole issue of the bacteria that gets behind the seals of the doors and that sort of thing, places you can’t clean even if you wanted to. And that’s kind of …
LESLIE: And you don’t first think about cleaning those places, as well.
TOM: Until you smell it, right? And then it’s awful. And that’s a sweet spot for Plink. It gets right in there and does the job and takes that odor away.
TONY: Yes, it does. It makes it very simple.
The product was developed with the key problem being odor control. A lot of – there’s a lot of products out there on the market that try to solve the odor issue but they don’t do it effectively.
TONY: We used a patented fragrance technology that yes, it’ll clean the appliance – both the washer and the dishwasher – and then afterward leaves a very nice, pleasant fragrance behind that stays for up to five days.
TOM: So you – the formula is made to freshen and clean pretty much any washing machine or dishwasher? Does it matter whether it’s top-load or front-load or anything like that?
TONY: Does not matter, although it’s very highly effective on the front-loading washing machine.
TOM: I bet.
LESLIE: And that tends to be a big problem.
TOM: That’s the one that has the odor issue, more than anything else, because of the seal.
TONY: That’s right.
TOM: You don’t really have to have a seal on a top-load because gravity being what it is, it doesn’t want to get up that high, right? But that moisture just lays around that seal and it mixes with the dirt, right, and the bacteria kind of forms. And that’s what really causes the odor; it’s the bacteria.
TONY: And the detergent. If it has any (inaudible) it does that.
TOM: Oh, that’s a good point.
TOM: It’ll hold the mildew or those kinds of pieces right there along that door seal. And this product really gets in there and takes care of that.
TOM: How often should you be using a cleaning product like this?
TONY: Well, we always like to say, regularly, once a week to maintain. However, depending on the nature of your problem – if it’s a continuous problem or a bad problem – more frequently.
LESLIE: Now, do you find that since, generally, with the appliances it’s the seal, does having the seal compromised by being dirty or gunky in any way – does that affect the efficiency of the appliance itself?
TONY: The things that affect the efficiency, the machine, are the hard-water minerals that build up inside the drum on both the dishwasher and the washing machine. Those, combined with the detergents, can cause the jets to clog up, the ports, the cleaning mechanisms to not work effectively. So this is formulated to solve that problem.
TOM: Because if you have that crust that forms from the mineral deposits on those jets, on those ports, you’re not getting the velocity out of that water. You’re not getting power or the drainage.
LESLIE: Or the proper drainage.
TOM: So that means it stays wetter longer or there’s not enough water even to blast out what it could on its own, right?
TONY: That’s correct. What you end up seeing is you might have cups or things on the top shelf that have residue in them or bits of food.
TONY: You might get a white cloudiness on your glassware. And usually, that’s a sign that your dishwasher needs to be cleaned.
LESLIE: Well, it’s funny because I guess people think it’s your washing machine and your dishwasher and everything’s getting cleaned in there. “So why do I need to clean it?”
TOM: Yeah. “Why do I have to clean the cleaner?” Yeah, yeah.
LESLIE: But you do.
TOM: But you do, exactly. Because it doesn’t get to those spots. Plus, the soaps and the – that you’re using in those machines aren’t really designed to clean the machines themselves. That’s a different science; there’s a different chemistry to it, right?
TONY: That’s absolutely correct, Tom. Thanks for mentioning that.
TOM: Yeah, yeah.
So, we’re talking to Tony Cronk with Summit Brands about Plink.
And you also have another brand that we’ve used for years now. I know that our family really loves it. It’s Glisten. And you have a lot of products that are in this space. You’ve got a dishwasher cleaner where you pop open this little bottle and stick it in the rack and shut the door and you’re good to go, as well as many others. Give us some highlights on Glisten.
TONY: You’re mentioning Glisten. Yes, that’s our machine-cleaning expert line. It’s a heavy-duty line of cleaning products for appliances around the house: garbage disposals, dishwashers, washing machines.
So what makes that different than Plink? Well, we focus on a heavy-duty clean. So if you’ve got a bad problem, folks that have hard water, rust, lime calcium, you need a punch to get in there and really knock that stuff out.
LESLIE: They really do have a bad problem when they have that situation.
TOM: Yeah, exactly. Yep.
TONY: And that’s what those products are focused on providing for the consumer.
TOM: Yeah. And that really helps the maintenance of those machines, as well. It’s so important to keep them running cleanly.
TONY: Yes, absolutely.
TOM: So let’s talk about an appliance that we kind of expect to get dirty: the garbage disposer. You guys – I know Plink has a product that is like a little pebble you drop right in there and scrubs that clean. There’s all sorts of old wives’ tales around that, too, like ice cubes and putting them there and that sort of thing. But we don’t need that.
TONY: Lemon peels.
TOM: Lemon peels. But Plink does a great job.
TONY: Yes. Plink, again, back with that fast, easy, fresh and fun type approach. You get 10 little balls that – they actually look like paintballs.
TONY: You drop them down the sink. They have a super-potent fragrance technology built into them. So, it freshens that machine or the disposer immediately, takes away all those bad odors. And people love it kind of as a daily use, especially if – common problem.
TONY: And it’s such a good value when you get 10 of them with the purchase that people put them in by the handfuls.
LESLIE: That’s so funny. And you think about it, with the disposers, you get so much sort of gross things that you’re putting down there. And they really can tend to be very stinky, so you have to take care of it.
TOM: Plink, very effective. Glisten just as well. Machine-cleaning experts all made by Summit Brands under the guidance of Tony Cronk.
Tony, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit. You guys are the cleaning experts and we so appreciate your advice.
TONY: Thanks for having me on, Tom and Leslie.
TOM: And we’d love for you to join the conversation, so call in your home improvement or décor question now to 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor. They really have the best local pros for any home service.
LESLIE: That’s right. It doesn’t matter what that project is, they make it fast and easy to find top-rated home pros.
TOM: And there’s no membership fees. It’s 100-percent free to use. Go to HomeAdvisor.com.
LESLIE: We’ll be back with more from the 2018 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, after this.
TOM: Where home solutions live, this is The Money Pit.
Well, one of the most popular repair products in any toolbox is simply duct tape. But while it has its uses, duct tape is not a great choice when strong holding power is really needed.
LESLIE: That’s right. But T-Rex Tape, on the other hand, is designed for those occasions when intense holding power is needed. No matter what application you’re using it in, from a simple patch to wrapping torn things or broken tool handles, the utility and strength of T-Rex Tape really do make it an essential addition to any toolbox.
TOM: And now, T-Rex is launching a new product called T-Rex Brute Force. And it can actually hold up to 700 pounds. Isn’t that crazy?
LESLIE: That’s huge.
TOM: Seven hundred pounds. With us to talk about that product is Stephen Wagner, the product marketer for ShurTech, the manufacturer of T-Rex Brand.
And Steve, are folks really trusting 700 pounds of weight to tape?
STEPHEN: Well, that’s what we’re showing them here at the Hardware Show.
STEPHEN: We have a demonstration where we actually loop one strip of tape around a big steel bar and then to the weight.
TOM: Wow, 700 pounds.
STEPHEN: Lift it up. We’ve been doing it over and over again. It’s pretty amazing. And it’s just a demonstration of what you can do with this new – basically, it’s a duct tape.
TOM: Well, I’ve been using the previous T-Rex Tape, the basic tape. I don’t know what you call this.
STEPHEN: Just T-Rex Tape, yeah.
TOM: Just T-Rex, OK?
STEPHEN: That’s right.
LESLIE: Just T-Rex.
TOM: So, I actually had to do a repair to a car-top carrier, a turtle. And we had to put some new holes in it, new brackets. It had half-a-dozen holes, water was getting up in there. I had put tape on it before but it fell right off. Put the T-Rex on it, went through some storms, no problems. Stayed put, kept all the water out. So it was a good application for it.
And I remember we were also playing with this in the studio, where we were picking up concrete blocks. And that was with the original T-Rex. And now, I’m not strong enough to pick up 700 pounds.
STEPHEN: Neither am I. That’s why we have the big gantry rig and a hoist lift.
STEPHEN: But that’s a perfect example of what regular T-Rex tape will do for you.
TOM: It’s good for it, right?
STEPHEN: It’s a repair.
STEPHEN: This tape, Brute Force, is actually an engineered solution. You can do more with a tape than you have ever been able to do before, because of that immense strength.
TOM: I bet it’s a good product to have on hand in an emergency, right?
STEPHEN: That’s absolutely right, yeah.
TOM: If you’re a firefighter or rescue person …
STEPHEN: We’re still enjoying – because this is a new development. We’re just launching it here at the Hardware Show.
STEPHEN: We’re still really having fun finding the limits of the product. We’re just looping the tape once in our demonstration, holding 700 pounds. We don’t have enough weight to loop it twice.
TOM: And everybody loops tape a couple of times, just because that’s just how we’ve grown up to do it, right?
STEPHEN: Exactly. Yep. So now you can do what you can do with a whole case of tape, with this one roll of Brute Force.
STEPHEN: That’s right.
LESLIE: But can you still rip it apart with your hands?
STEPHEN: No, you can’t tear it with your hands. That’s one of the things we conceded.
TOM: Ah, it’s a good question. Good question. So it has to be …
STEPHEN: So you’re going to need a knife. But we know that a lot of people that are doing these big projects are good about keeping a knife around with them, yep.
TOM: Do use a knife. Yep. Exactly. Yeah.
So, I guess you also had to beef up the adhesive, as well, because that’s part of the formula.
STEPHEN: Yep. That’s right.
TOM: Not only is this the tape and the layers that go into making that tape but the adhesive is key.
STEPHEN: So, one of the things – when we developed the tape, we really wanted to just take our T-Rex Tape and make it better. So we started with that scrim, to give it that amazing strength.
STEPHEN: And we used something called Forge Link Technology, where we actually – in the direction that you pull the tape off the roll, we run this new material called Forge Link. And because it’s so strong, usually a tape would break before the adhesive breaks. But now, we’re actually stronger than the adhesive, so we had to redo our adhesive to give it better shear strength.
LESLIE: To match the tape.
TOM: To match it.
STEPHEN: That’s right, exactly.
TOM: Right. Yeah.
STEPHEN: So it’s really – it’s been a fun engineering project for all the guys making this tape. Nice shout-out to our Shurtape team down there in Hickory.
TOM: Yeah. What happens in damp locations?
STEPHEN: In damp locations, you’re going to want the material to generally be dry and clean.
STEPHEN: But if you stick the tape to itself, you’re going to get some excellent holding power.
TOM: And if it gets wet after that, no big deal.
STEPHEN: Because it’s still waterproof backing with UV inhibitors in the adhesive. So it’s a great, excellent, all-weather tape, as well.
TOM: Well, if you’ve got tried T-Rex Tape and now the T-Rex Brute Force Tape, you’ve got to check it out. Their website is TRexTape.com. It’s available everywhere. I highly recommend it. It’s been a great product to have in our house and in our toolbox, as well.
Stephen Wagner from ShurTech Brands, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.
STEPHEN: Hey, thanks for having us, guys.
LESLIE: You are listening to The Money Pit coming to you today from the Ultimate Backyard for home improvers, the 2018 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Join the conversation. Call in your questions to 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor. Find top-rated home service pros, compare prices and book appointments online, all for free.
TOM: Still ahead, do you want to create your own ultimate backyard on a budget? We’ll tell you how to achieve an upscale look without an upscale price, after this.
Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit coming to you from the Ultimate Backyard for home improvers, the 2018 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, where we’re surrounded by every outdoor-living project imaginable, from fire pits to hammocks to furniture.
LESLIE: I mean really, you can find everything here.
Well, one thing that I really like about this show is the opportunity to find products that solve problems and just make things really a lot easier to get done.
TOM: Yep. To get done, yeah.
LESLIE: Have you ever tried to glue something only to find out that the glue you’ve picked up isn’t the glue that you need, because it’s not working with the materials you’ve got and things just aren’t compatible?
TOM: That’s really frustrating. And it’s a problem solved by K-CO Innovations, with the launch of their newest product, which is simply called Glu – G-l-u. With us to talk about that is David Kurrasch, President of K-CO Innovations.
DAVID: Good to see you guys.
TOM: Now, when I tell folks about this show, I’ve got to say that you are one of the success stories that I share. Because we’ve seen you over the years invent some very cool products that have become big successes. We’re talking about the Monkey Hook, probably the best-selling piece of picture-hanging hardware out there on the market, right?
DAVID: That’s been a real good product for us. It’s basically everywhere and it’s a simple, wire-formed hook that goes in with no tools. And it’s been real successful.
TOM: And then you have the Little Big Shot, which I love. I’ve got three of these because I’ve got three hoses around my house.
DAVID: Good man.
TOM: And this attachment delivers a stream of water 45 feet. It’s like you can’t even do that with a pressure washer. And it’s perfect because it doesn’t wear out.
DAVID: Yeah, it’s been a great product for us. We’ve been in the market with it for a few years now and it continues to increase in sales every year. It’s number one in one of the big boxes. And it’s just great because it’s very efficient with the water. It loses very little pressure when you use it and it provides a lot of force with water efficiency.
TOM: And then you’ve got the Johnny Jolter. And the Johnny Jolter is a plunger that basically can clear the worst clogs. And that’s something that people don’t like to think about but it happens.
LESLIE: No one wants to think about that.
TOM: And that actually led you to develop this new product called Glu. And I tell you what, it’s a real chemistry hassle to try to find the right glue to fix whatever is going on in your house. And you’ve actually come up with something that is very all-purpose and all-in-one. Talk about it.
DAVID: We needed a product – because the Johnny Jolter, as you mentioned, is a plunger that’s a different type of plunger. And it requires three different types of plastic parts to be fused together.
DAVID: One is Hytrel, one is PVC and one is ABS. So, this is the challenge of any gluing project, as Leslie pointed out: finding something that works on all surfaces.
Now, this product was designed and formulated exclusively for plastic to plastic. We discovered – and using it for Johnny Jolter, we had an issue in the warehouse where we had to glue something. We didn’t have anything else, so we realized this actually glues everything else: wood, stone. We tested it after we discovered this and started to say, “Why don’t we bring this to the consumer market?”
TOM: And isn’t that how so many products are – come to market or get (inaudible)?
LESLIE: It’s a happy accident.
TOM: It’s a happy accident. It’s a problem that you solve and go, “Now, wait a minute. This has got other applications.” And here we are with a product in a box, in a tube, that can really cover it all.
DAVID: I love the happy accidents.
DAVID: That’s exactly what this was. And so now we have this in a couple different sizes. It’s a – the bond time is about 30 seconds. And the other thing about …
LESLIE: Which is ridiculously fast. Because if you were in a jam and you break something, especially – it’s like a piece of china on a holiday or a kid’s toy.
LESLIE: It’s like you’re bonding it, it’s adhering fast and it’s right back to its use.
DAVID: And it’s a solvent-free, 100-percent pure glue. Glues have solvents in them to enhance the drying time.
DAVID: So this is a solvent-free, pure glue that works on everything. We’re very excited about it.
TOM: And totally safe for the environment.
TOM: David Kurrasch, congratulations on your latest product, Glu. Available pretty much everywhere, right?
DAVID: Certainly on Amazon and we’re building retail distribution as we speak.
TOM: Well done. Thank you, David.
DAVID: Thank you so much.
LESLIE: You are listening to The Money Pit, on air and online at MoneyPit.com, coming to you from the Ultimate Backyard for home improvers, the 2018 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas. We are surrounded by every outdoor-living product imaginable, from fire pits to hammocks, even furniture.
TOM: And we’re going to talk about that furniture right now with Jeff Polke, the co-owner of GCI Outdoor. They manufacture portable chairs, perfect for camping, tailgates and trips to the beach or pool.
JEFF: How are you doing today?
TOM: You guys have packed a lot of innovation into a very portable, lightweight chair, haven’t you?
JEFF: Well, it’s kind of our thing, you know?
JEFF: We don’t want to be a standard chair that just kind of sits there, a little boring.
TOM: Want a chair with some action. So, how did GCI Outdoor actually get started?
JEFF: So, me and a childhood friend, Dan Grace – he’s the inventor of us two.
JEFF: I wouldn’t call him the smartest one of us, OK? So let’s not go there. But I’m kind of the sales/marketing guy.
JEFF: And he had a – was at a golf tournament one time and it started to rain. He was up on a hillside on that stadium golf seating that most of the tournaments have.
JEFF: And he was getting a small case of wet ass and he’s like, “There’s got to be a chair for this, OK?” And he went home. He took a lawn chair, cut the back legs off of it, put it on his hatchway (ph) and was like, “Oh, my God, it’s nice and even on a hillside.”
JEFF: So that started everything.
TOM: There you go.
JEFF: So, we kept on asking, “There’s got to be a chair for this.” And over and over again, we kept on reinventing different type of stuff for that.
LESLIE: I mean that’s amazing. So you’re innovating as you’re seeing the needs.
LESLIE: It’s like you’re constantly figuring it out.
JEFF: It’s pretty cool.
LESLIE: Now, would that be the company moment that you’re most proud of or has there been something even more special than that?
JEFF: Well, I would have to say that was one because we weren’t really partners then. Technically, we were friends and I was helping him out, because I – at the time.
TOM: I see. Right.
JEFF: So, our proudest moment probably came within the last three years. We invented a – we reinvented the rocker.
JEFF: A standard rocker is used off of deflection, OK? So, you basically – it’s going on the floor just like this. Now, if you look at ours, it has two shocks on the back. Now, the great thing about that is you don’t need deflection, which means you can use it on soft ground, you can use it on sand. You could be buried in water and still be rocking. It’s very, very cool.
And why we’re so proud of that is because everybody thinks of a rocking chair – “It’s on my grandmother’s porch. That’s kind of lame. Who wants that?”
TOM: Right. A lot of people do.
JEFF: Let me tell you, we’ve been selling tons and tons of them.
TOM: Yeah. Yeah.
JEFF: And we actually won an award here a few years back. We won a football for Best in Show. We were actually out here in this section and it’s just been gangbusters ever since.
LESLIE: That’s fantastic. You know, I have still – my son is five and I still have a rocker in his room.
LESLIE: And it’s like sometimes we’ll sit down and we’ll read in there. And it – while gorgeously designed, the functionality of it is terrible. And I find that I’m constantly moving my foot and then I get a cramp in my shin, in my leg.
JEFF: Yeah, exactly.
LESLIE: And I’m like, “We can read somewhere else.”
TOM: Jeff Polke from GCI Outdoor, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit.
If you’d like to check out all the GCI products, head on over to their website at GCIOutdoor.com.
This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show coming to you from the 2018 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, where we’ve gathered all of our favorite innovations in one very big backyard. Follow along online at #NHShow.
And you can join the conversation by calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor, where it’s easy to find top-rated local home improvement pros for any home project. Go to HomeAdvisor.com.
Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Wrapping up our broadcast at the 2018 National Hardware Show. There are a lot of great tool manufacturers out here. And over the last 10 years, we’ve seen a big shift from gas-powered equipment to battery-powered equipment. And it’s pretty clear that today, you get just about anything done with a battery that you once could with gas-powered equipment.
LESLIE: Hey, life is cordless these days.
TOM: It’s totally cordless. And one of the brands that’s been taking a leadership role in that is Poulan. With us to talk about that is Chad Winters from Poulan Pro.
CHAD: Good afternoon.
TOM: Hey, you guys have a lot of tools that are designed for pros and homeowners. And you’re rolling out some new battery products here that can run pretty much all those tools. And I like the fact that everything’s interchangeable.
CHAD: Yes. This is our launch of the Powerlink Series. This is a Poulan Pro consumer lineup of – full lineup – of battery-power product. Utilizes a 58-volt platform so we kind of get the benefits of the pack-and-a-half. There’s 36-volt platforms, there are 72-volt platforms that are really big and heavy.
CHAD: So the 58’s kind of a pack-and-a-half, so you get the benefits of the size and the weight, plus the performance that kind of equates to that homeowner gasoline equipment that most folks have in the garage or the shed now.
TOM: It’s really like you’re trying to hit the sweet spot in this power. Because you could go anywhere in terms of that number.
TOM: You guys are hitting 58 because you’ve identified that that’s where you need to be to serve the market.
CHAD: Yes. For this market.
TOM: And you give them (inaudible) and the use and usability of the product.
CHAD: Yes. That’s …
LESLIE: And I think yard and lawn care, all of that type of work out of doors, really makes the most sense to be cordless. You can go anywhere and you might not always have access to the power. So, cordless capabilities for the yard is fantastic.
TOM: Yep. Absolutely. Yeah. And because you want to go ahead and work in a yard that’s an acre deep, or something like that, without having to drag a generator out or plug something in and deal with the wires. And it used to be that you could do that with smaller tools but when it came to big stuff, you couldn’t. But I mean chainsaws, weed whackers, lawn mowers, everything is running off of batteries these days.
CHAD: Yeah. This is a complete line, so it includes a 21-inch push power, a chainsaw, a hedge trimmer, a line trimmer and both a handheld blower and backpack blower, depending on that size of property.
TOM: OK. Right.
CHAD: If you’ve got the larger end of it, then you may not want to hold it in your hand the whole time. We have a backpack configuration then.
LESLIE: And the batteries are all completely interchangeable across the entire line?
CHAD: There are two batteries in the set: the 2.6 and the 5.2 amp-hour batteries. But they are interchangeable within all the tools. The idea behind it is the battery for the chainsaw, the backpack blower and the walk mower, because those are a little bit – they’re under heavier load, they’re going to use more energy.
TOM: Right. Mm-hmm.
CHAD: We give you, in the bundle, the larger battery in the bundle. And so then hedge trimmer, line trimmer come with the 2.6. But at the end of the day, if you’ve got the mower, the line trimmer and a leaf blower, all the batteries can swap within and out each of the pieces of equipment. So you kind of get – you don’t have any excuse not to get the yardwork done, because you’ve got multiple batteries and multiple chargers and all of them are interchangeable.
LESLIE: Right. And I like that because a lot of times, when you see …
TOM: But sometimes I need an excuse to get my yardwork done.
LESLIE: You’re not getting it here.
But a lot of times you see, especially when there’s a single battery across a platform of tools or equipment – the manufacturer sort of holds those batteries and chargers sort of separate from you.
TOM: Right. Right. Right. Mm-hmm.
LESLIE: You have to buy those additionally and you’re kind of stuck maybe with one battery and then you’re waiting to charge it to get back to work.
LESLIE: I like that you’re giving everybody the opportunity to continue working by giving them a charger and a battery per every piece of equipment.
CHAD: Yeah. Well, for the target audience, that’s how they’re expecting the products to be sold. There are equipment out there that’s designed for pros that they expect to buy piecemeal.
CHAD: But a homeowner expects to buy a box, take it home, open it up and have everything that they need.
TOM: It’s a great product. Chad Winters from Poulan Pro, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.
If you’d like to check out the new line, go to their website at PoulanPro.com.
CHAD: Thank you.
TOM: This is The Money Pit coming to you, once again, from Las Vegas and the 2018 National Hardware Show. That wraps up this edition. You can follow along our coverage all online at MoneyPit.com.
I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Remember, you can do it yourself …
LESLIE: But you don’t have to do it alone.
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.)
The post The Money Pit Broadcasts from the Top Products Pavilion at the 2018 National Hardware Show #05114182 appeared first on The Money Pit.
From Source Article: moneypit.com
TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles, this is The Money Pit. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: We’re here to help you with your home improvement projects. Help yourself first by reaching out and calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. It does not matter when you are hearing the show; those lines are always answered. And if we’re not in the studio, we’ll call you back the next time we are. You can also post your home improvement question to The Money Pit’s Community page at MoneyPit.com.
Coming up on today’s show, going green can help you save energy. You know that, right? But listen to this: a new survey shows it can also bring you more green when it comes time to sell. We’ll share those eco-friendly features, just ahead.
LESLIE: And there’s an old saying that good fences make great neighbors. That is if you can get the fence built. We’re going to have some tips to make that project a lot easier.
TOM: And if your family is like most, you depend on the garage as sort of your real front door, right? That’s the main way you go in and out of the house. But if your door is old and worn, it can not only be unsafe, it also might be providing easy access for intruders, especially when you’re away. We’re going to have tips on what to look for in a new garage door when you hire a pro to get that job done, in today’s Pro Project, just ahead.
LESLIE: Plus, this hour, we’ve got a very fun tool to give away. It’s the iconic, American-made Arrow T50 Heavy-Duty Staple Gun, along with a supply of staples, worth 50 bucks.
TOM: That’s going out to one caller drawn at random. Why not make it you?
LESLIE: Hey, give us a call. You’ve got to be in it to win it and those Arrow tools are fantastic. But you’ve got to be working on something or thinking about working on something so we can give you a hand.
TOM: The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s first?
LESLIE: Hi, Fred. Welcome to The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
FRED: I have a standard toilet. It’s the type where the tank hangs on the wall and then you have an L and then you have, I guess – what do you call that? The bowl?
And it started to leak and so the old metal was pretty corroded and everything. So we took everything out. We took the tank off the wall, we – I say we, that I, the plumber who I’ve been using for many years cleaned everything up. Went to the hardware store that handles these kind of fittings and we just cannot get this thing to work. It leaks …
TOM: Where does it leak? Does it leak at the – where at – the base of the tank where the pipe connects?
FRED: In both, yeah. Well, one time we did it, it leaked at the bottom of the tank. The other time, it leaked when it went into the bowl.
TOM: What kind of a washer are you using? What kind of a gasket or seal are you using in those two places?
FRED: Well, I don’t know the technical names of it. The guy at the – they look like the same stuff we took off. I’m a musician; I don’t know all these things.
TOM: Well, this shouldn’t be that hard to accomplish and it sounds like whatever they’re using in that gasket space right there is not working. And look, if all else fails, you can simply use silicone here. You could apply the silicone in – as you put this together, you could – you seal all of those joints with silicone. Let it dry. Try not to touch it until it dries. And then you can take a razor blade and cut off the excess, nice and neat, and essentially make your own gasket.
FRED: Yeah, the plumber mentioned something. He said the only thing is if that thing fails and I’m not home, I’m going to have a house full of water.
TOM: That’s true. But the thing is, if it – once it works, it usually works, you know, continuously. It’s not – it doesn’t usually fail. If you get it right, it’s not going to fail, OK?
FRED: Yes. So, in other words, unless I can see some chips or damage on the porcelain or something like that, which I don’t see, it should work.
TOM: But I would take it apart and I would seal, with silicone, each connection as it goes together so that you end up with a good compression of silicone around that. That’s the solution, OK?
Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Pat in Arkansas is dealing with a humid house. What’s going on there?
PAT: Well, I have a new heat pump and it’s not taking out the humidity. Of course, I live in a humid area but I just wondered. It’s supposed to take out the humidity, as I understood.
TOM: Well, not really. I mean air conditioners, in general – central air conditioners, which is essentially what a heat pump is – are not designed to be dehumidifiers. They do dehumidify by virtue of the fact that they’re cooling the air but they’re not as effective as other forms of dehumidifiers.
There’s a couple of other ones that you could consider, one of which is called a “whole-home dehumidifier.” And that’s built into the HVAC system. It would be built into the duct system. And that can take out about 90 pints of water a day.
There’s another type of stand-alone dehumidifier. In fact, I just put one of these in my own house and I thought it was absolutely terrific. It’s by Santa Fe and it’s a small dehumidifier that installs – in my case, I put it in my basement. And it actually is suspended from the ceiling, in an unfinished part of the basement. And it’s only 12x12x22.
And it takes out 70 pints of water a day. And it’s really neat. Once I had it up for an hour or so, I went down there and you can just see this pretty strong stream of water dripping out of it. And all that water used to be in the air and now it’s no longer there.
So, you need to do some dehumidification and I think that you’ll find that that will do the trick, Pat.
PAT: OK. What is the average humidity supposed to be in a house?
LESLIE: Thirty to fifty percent?
TOM: Well, yeah, I was going to say around 40. So we’re in the same neighbor.
TOM: And if you put a good dehumidifier in, that will be set up to a humidistat so that you’ll always know what the humidity is.
LESLIE: And it’ll come on as it’s needed.
TOM: Right, exactly.
PAT: OK. Alrighty. Well, I thank you so much.
TOM: Good luck, Pat. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Give us a call, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor, where you can find top-rated service pros, compare prices and book appointments online, all for free. The number, again, is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Alright. And still ahead, how to make some extra green by making your house more eco-friendly. It’s an investment that’s sure to pay off when you sell.
TOM: Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Pick up the phone, give us a call right now. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor, the fast and easy way to find the right pro for any kind of home project, whether it’s a small repair or a major remodel.
LESLIE: And hey, give us a call, right now, at 888-MONEY-PIT or reach out online in the Community section, because we’ve got a great prize up for grabs. We’re giving away the iconic, American-made Arrow T50 Heavy-Duty Staple Gun and a supply of staples.
Now, it’s the most popular American-made staple gun ever. And there are so many things that you can do with that Arrow T50 Staple Gun. You can upholster a chair, you can make a headboard, you can do repairs around the house, so many awesome things.
TOM: Yeah. And speaking of awesome things, here’s a project, Leslie, that I know that you have done many, many times and that is upholster a chair, right? That’s a really easy DIY starter project for home improvers that want to step up their décor.
And Arrow Fastener has all of the steps outlined, waiting for you, at ArrowFastener.com. Just click on Projects. You’ll find step-by-step tips and advice to get that project done. Just go to ArrowFastener.com and click on Projects.
And hey, if you’re lucky, you might also just win that $35 stapler, plus the staples, for a total package of 50 bucks. Going out to one caller drawn at random. The number, again, is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Jim in Oregon is on the line with a driveway question. How can we help you today?
JIM: It’s a brand-new home. I lived in it less than about three months. A strange odor started coming through in the master bedroom that can’t be detected. We had plumbers come in to check the sewage system. They did a smoke test on it. Couldn’t find that. We just don’t know what the problem is. It’s really an odd odor.
TOM: How would you describe the odor?
JIM: It’s a cross between garbage and sewage smell.
TOM: Has anyone ever suggested biogas as the source of this?
JIM: No one ever suggested that.
TOM: Alright. So, this is a – I’m speculating here, alright? Now, I realize that they’ve done all these tests and so on but sometimes, you get bacteria that deteriorates in the traps of sinks and toilets. And it can release a biogas, which has an absolutely terrible, terrible smell.
One way to deal with that is to get a concentrated – like an oxygenated bleach solution mixed up and – like OxiClean or something like that. And then take a bottle brush and try to get that solution into the drain. Make sure you’re really scrubbing all the nooks and crannies of that drain and let it sit there for a bit. And if there’s any bacteria that’s forming there that could be contributing to this odor, that will eliminate it. So that’s one idea.
The second potential cause for this is simply a dead rodent. We’ve seen in the past where the rodents get into the spaces in and under or in the wall or something like that. And then they decompose and you get that kind of odor. So I don’t have a lot of solutions for you on that but I would try the biogas solution first.
And make sure you also get the overflow of the kitchen, of the – sorry – of the bathroom sink. That overflow channel? By letting the water run up, it’ll block the drain until it hits the overflow? Because if you have any of that bacteria in the overflow channel, that can contribute to it, as well.
JIM: OK. Did you ever find this in a new home before?
TOM: Yeah, I mean it can happen pretty quickly.
JIM: Oh, really? Hmm.
TOM: Even though it’s a new home, it’s been under construction for some period of time and so, it could have preexisted.
JIM: Well, I’ll definitely give it all a try.
TOM: Give it a shot.
LESLIE: Well, more and more home buyers are looking at green features when they’re choosing new homes. And that’s according to the National Association of Home Builders. But how does this trend carry over for those of you who already own or are looking to buy existing homes?
TOM: Well, it does carry over because you can easily add value to your home while using environmentally-friendly products and materials. For example, if you’re going to do a paint project, you want to choose paints that are labeled as containing low-VOCs or volatile organic compounds. These paints are not going to give off gas or produce noxious smells. And also, you can choose appliances that are extra efficient by always looking for the ENERGY STAR label.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Now, those are good tips. But you can also use natural, enduring materials such as stone, quarry tile and brick instead of the less durable synthetic materials. You should use eco-friendly light bulbs and install occupancy sensors that turn lights off and on automatically. Change out those older fixtures for WaterSense-certified plumbing fixtures. I promise you will not sacrifice pressure there at all, just savings.
TOM: Yeah. And also, think about using renewable resources like bamboo flooring. I love bamboo flooring. It’s so affordable and it’s really strong, it’s really durable. And because it’s a native plant, it really is going to last a very long time and be very easy to regrow. So, it gives you a good flooring and it’s easy to replenish and it’s very green.
And apparently, all these features added together will add up to some real value to your home when it comes time to sell, according to the experts at NAHB.
LESLIE: Judy in Missouri is on the line with a roofing question. How can we help you today?
JUDY: Yes, I was wondering if you had ever heard of – had a roof repair a few years ago and it’s been leaking ever since. They used what they called Tam-Shield. It’s a synthetic underlayment.
TOM: Yeah, mm-hmm.
JUDY: And it’s plastic and they used that instead of felt paper.
TOM: Yeah, right. It’s synthetic. And it’s actually an upgrade to standard, 15-pound felt paper. And it’s actually better than using standard felt paper under a roof.
The reason that your roof is leaking now is probably not because of the Tam-Shield; it’s probably because of something that went wrong with the repair. But I don’t think it would have been the underlayment, because that’s actually pretty good stuff.
How is it leaking, Judy? Tell me about the leak.
JUDY: Well, we really don’t know. It comes through in our bathroom and we get up in the attic and we can see drips. But they can’t seem to pinpoint it. They worked on it several times and they just can’t get it to go away.
TOM: Alright. Usually, if your roof is leaking above your bathroom – there’s a pipe that goes through the ceiling right there and up through the roof and it’s the plumbing-vent pipe. And right around that vent pipe, there’s like a rubber boot that seals that pipe between the pipe and the roof itself. And then there’s flashing that goes around that. That’s the most common place for a roof leak when you have it leak right above a bathroom.
Now, a lot of times, contractors will try to sort of tar that in place but that’s a bad idea. What I would recommend is to take out the plumbing-vent flashing. And you can do that easily by removing a few shingles in that area.
Roof shingles are actually pretty easy to disassemble if you know kind of a trick of the trade. I like to do it with a flat bar that you can slip up under the roof shingle, find the nail and sort of pry it from side to side and it’ll pop right out. And then you replace that plumbing-vent flashing and put it back together again and make sure you put everything in the right order so it – the roofing lays on top of the flashing. That usually stops that leak.
JUDY: But you – but leave the vent pipes there?
TOM: Oh, yeah. The vent pipe is there for an important reason. You’re going to start having problems flushing your toilet and all your sinks are going to start to gurgle if you take that out. But replace the plumbing-vent flashing there, OK?
JUDY: OK. Well, thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Judy. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Brian, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
BRIAN: I’ve got a problem with our septic system. And our septic system zigzags back and forth in the backyard. And then where the end of it is, there’s a sinkhole developing.
TOM: How old is this septic system? Has it ever been inspected or cleaned?
BRIAN: We’ve cleaned it twice. It’s just my wife and I. This thing, I noticed, started developing kind of right after we moved into the house. Our house is about 20 years old.
TOM: Because I wonder if – if you say this is towards the end of the distribution field, I wonder if the field is not absorbing water like it should – absorbing the effluent as it should. And most of it is sort of running towards the end of the pipe like it’s a long drain. And as a result, it’s causing erosion in that area.
I think that probably the first thing I would do is have a septic inspection done with an examination of the field to check the percolation of it. Because if it’s not percolating, if it’s not draining properly, you could be spilling a lot of effluent into the ground unknowingly without it having a chance to really soak properly back into the soil. I think what we’re hearing here is a potential failure of your septic field, more than a problem with a sinkhole. I suspect that this is erosion that you’re seeing.
BRIAN: OK. It’s not just a matter of dumping a bunch of dirt in there and covering that up.
TOM: No. That would fill it up again but I’m afraid it would probably wash out again. So, that’s kind of what I would lean to is having that field inspected and just getting a sense of – listen, you want to find out now. You don’t want this thing to fail at the least opportune time. And if you find out early, at least you can plan a replacement if you have to.
Brian, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Michael in Rhode Island, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
MICHAEL: I moved into a place. There was a tenant here before my wife and I moved in. And there’s a garage – a detached garage. It’s probably about 10 square, maybe. That’s what the roofer said it was, I believe.
The roof isn’t in bad shape. It’s probably 10 to 12 years old. It’s still got a lot of gravel on it but there’s a tree at one end – a maple tree; a big, old one – and the branches were hanging over it. And now they’re – they’ve been cut back. But there was like ¾-inch of moss all over the very end of it, going about 4 feet in the whole rake of – the guy calls it “the rake”: a hole from the gutter to the ridge. And it was all moss.
And I got up there with a small – like a kid’s nylon snow shovel and scraped a little off. And I was very leery of doing that because I didn’t want to take the gravel off, because the rest of the roof is fine. And I really don’t have the money to invest in a roof. And I was wondering if there’s some kind of a chemical I could use that wouldn’t loosen the gravel, that would melt that off maybe.
LESLIE: Well, yeah. Actually, there’s a couple of products on the market. A good one that we use a lot is Spray & Forget. And it’s actually something that you’ll spray right on the moss or mildew or anything that’s organic and growing on the exterior: your siding, outdoor furnishings, your roof, for example. And you spray it on and you forget about it. And it truly will do the work. The more it rains outside, the more it sits in the sun, that will start to sort of eat away at the moss and the mildew and get rid of it.
And it does a good job of maintaining it over time, as well. Plus, you really don’t want to get up on the roof. I mean everything is so slippery when there’s moss and mildew up there. And you just don’t want to get hurt. So you can do this all from the ground.
TOM: Yeah, it’s a great product. SprayAndForget.com is their website. Now, it will take the green stains away from exterior surfaces in about one to three days. If you’ve got really thick roof stains, that could take a couple of months or more to get rid of it – of all of it. But it starts to work as soon as you apply it.
The other thing that you can do on that tree that you mentioned is try to cut it back a little bit. The more sunlight you can get on that roof makes it a lot harder for that moss to grow.
MICHAEL: Yeah, yeah. The tree’s already been cut back, yeah. It was a safety issue besides an appearance issue just following on that. I just – but I (inaudible) shade but the thing is it was neglected for so many years. And as the water dripped, yes, the green of photosynthesis dripped down and it just stained it. And moss there was quite, quite thick. So what I did is I used a plastic ice scraper for our car and I got most of it off being very cautious, obviously. I had to be, you know, sitting on my rear end and my feet sideways in an old pair of sneakers.
TOM: Yeah, we don’t want you to get hurt.
MICHAEL: No, no, definitely don’t want that.
TOM: That moss can be very slippery, too. So it’s good that you got the most of it off but I want you to apply Spray & Forget. And I think you’ll be very happy with the result.
Thank you so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor. Find top-rated home service pros, compare prices and book appointments online, all for free.
TOM: Up next, planning a fence project before weather turns cold? We’re going to have tips on a fast and easy way to get done what is usually the hardest part of that project: installing post. That and more, after this.
Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Standing by for your calls, your questions at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Kim in North Carolina, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
KIM: Well, we have trouble with weed. And it was never a trouble before. But it – we have had trouble finding what we used to have and want to know if it is outdated or no longer safe to use for the environment.
TOM: Oh, you mean your weed-killer?
KIM: Well, no. It’s not a weed-killer, because we try not to put anything down in the ground other than to kill the fire ants.
TOM: But your goal here is to eliminate weeds?
KIM: We used to use a black plastic. The black plastic would keep the weeds gone – just literally gone. And the plants would actually flourish from the root system being gently baked, we use the term. But now, all you can find is that sand fiber stuff almost.
TOM: Well, listen, if it’s worked for you in the past, I don’t see why it won’t work for you in the future. It certainly is available and it’s safe. And you’re talking about weed block. That’s a different material entirely. And weed block is basically designed to cover the whole surface or to be just below the surface. It will work, as well. But generally, with weed block, you put slits in it and that’s how the plants grow through it. They don’t grow under it.
Now, if you’re talking about a lawn, there are other ways to deal with a massive influx of weeds. If your lawn is in really bad condition and completely full with weeds, then I would recommend a kind of radical step called a “Round-Up restoration,” where you essentially spray the entire lawn with a Round-Up product in the fall, by the way. In the fall. You spray the entire lawn. And then as that lawn starts to die out, you put seed on it. And the seed comes up through the original dead lawn. And then by next spring, you’ll have a beautiful, new, green lawn without a lick of weeds in the whole place.
So there’s a couple of ways to approach it but either way, I think, is fine. If you can identify the plastic and use it again, I see nothing wrong with doing that. If you want to use the weed block, that’s fine. But you have to have cuts in it for the plants to come on. Or if you just want to restore the entire lawn, then go with the Round-Up restoration.
Kim, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
You know, it used to be that working with concrete for small projects like, say, setting a fence post was a real hassle. You had to buy all the raw materials. You had to mix them up probably using tools like your garden wheelbarrow and garden hoe. Then you had to clean them off before that concrete became permanently attached to the tools. It was a real mess.
LESLIE: Well, QUIKRETE has made that a lot easier with their Fast-Setting Concrete in the red bag. Now, it’s a special blend of fast-setting cements, sand and gravel that’s designed to set in approximately 20 to 40 minutes.
TOM: You can use it for setting a fence post, mailbox, deck footings or even for pouring a slab. And for those posts, you don’t even have to premix it. For fence posts, just pour the dry mix into the hole, add water and the post will be solid in 20 minutes.
LESLIE: QUIKRETE is available at home improvement retailers nationwide for about $5 a bag.
TOM: Look for it in the red bag or learn more at QUIKRETE.com.
LESLIE: Michelle in Minnesota is on the line with a bathroom-floor “thing” is all I can call it. What is going on? You’re getting moisture coming up through the floor?
MICHELLE: Yes. It’s a laminate floor. This is my third summer in this house and it’s the first time that I’ve had this issue. And it was – it started around the warm and humid days. At first, I thought maybe that it was my toilet leaking, because I had a new toilet put in last summer. But the plumber did come out and pull the toilet and it didn’t look like it was leaking or that the seal was broken on it. So we’re thinking that it’s condensation from the concrete slab coming up between the slats of the laminate flooring.
TOM: So the laminate flooring is on top of a concrete slab?
MICHELLE: Correct, yep.
TOM: What’s this looking – what’s this doing to the floor? Is it causing it to deform in any way? Or is it just showing up as a stain?
MICHELLE: It is not buckling or anything along the edges. He thinks that maybe it’s a rubber flooring – more of a rubber-based flooring – rather than a wood. And so it has not curled edges or anything like that. It just seeps up as moisture and it comes – like beads up right along the edges of the laminate.
TOM: Do you have air conditioning in this bathroom?
MICHELLE: I do not. Nope.
TOM: Yeah, I was thinking cooler, moist air against a warmer floor could cause additional condensation.
So look, if you want to reduce the moisture that’s coming up through the bathroom, there’s a couple of things I can suggest. First of all, you want to take a look at the grading and the drainage conditions outside that bathroom. Because the slab, if it’s getting very wet, is extremely hydroscopic. So all the moisture in the earth will be drawn into the slab and that’s going to wick up and show up in your bathroom, apparently.
So, take a look at your gutters and downspouts. Make sure they’re clean and free-flowing and the spouts are extending 4 to 6 feet from the house. Get all that roof water away and then take a look at the angle of the soil and make sure that that’s sloping away.
Now, do you have a fan in this bathroom?
TOM: That is helpful. You might want to think about replacing the fan with one that has a built-in humidistat, because that’s convenient in a couple of fronts. First of all, when you take a shower and you leave the bathroom and turn the switch off, it’ll actually stay on until all the moisture’s properly vented out of there. And if it does get humid on its own, then the humidistat will kick the fan on and also dry it out. They’re not terribly expensive; I know Broan makes a good one. There are a number of manufacturers you can find this from.
And keep an eye on the floor. Some laminate floors stand up very well to moisture. I’ve seen laminate floors that can be submerged and they don’t seem to be affected by it. But others will buckle just like hardwood would. So just keep an eye on it. And if it ends up that it does have to be replaced, I would paint that cement slab underneath with a couple of coats of epoxy paint to kind of seal in and stop the moisture from evaporating through and into the room.
MICHELLE: Mm-hmm. OK.
TOM: But only if you get that far. I wouldn’t tell you to tear up the floor now. But if you have to replace it, just make sure you seal the slab at the same time.
MICHELLE: Mm-hmm. Yeah, OK. Thank you. That’s good, thanks.
TOM: Alright. Good luck. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, if your family is like most, you depend on the garage as the real front door to your house for reliable access, as well as protection. But if your door is old and worn, it could not only be unsafe, it could be providing easy access for intruders when you’re away.
TOM: We’ve got tips on what to look for in a new garage door when you hire a pro to get that project done, in today’s Pro Project presented by HomeAdvisor.com, just ahead.
Where home solutions live, 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 get your projects done around the house and give you some of the tools to do just that. This hour, we’re giving away the iconic, American-made Arrow T50 Heavy-Duty Staple Gun and a supply of staples.
If you’ve got to have one tool in your house, I tell you what, this might be the one because it is the most popular, American-made staple gun ever. And it can really help you do all sorts of things around the house. It’s got all chrome-steel housing. It’s got a jam-resistant mechanism. It’s got a very powerful coil spring. It’s got a staple-viewing window and all steel working parts.
And there are a lot of things you can get done with the Arrow T50 Staple Gun, including upholstering a chair, which is their Project of the Month at ArrowFastener.com. If you have, say, a dining-room chair or a kitchen chair with an upholstered seat and you want to make that go away and refresh it with something beautiful, you can do that project yourself. In fact, all of the steps and the tips and the advice, everything you need to get the project done is online, right now, at ArrowFastener.com. Just click on Projects.
And hey, if you call in your home improvement question, you might even win an Arrow T50 to work on that project with. That $35 stapler, plus 15 bucks in staples, going out to one lucky caller drawn at random. Make that you. The number, again, is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Well, if your family is like ours, you depend on the garage door as your real front door for reliable access, as well as protection. But if your door is old and worn, it could not only be unsafe, it could be providing easy access for intruders when you’re away. We’ve got some tips now on what to look for in a new garage door when you hire a pro to get it done, in today’s Pro Project presented by HomeAdvisor.com.
LESLIE: First, the garage-door designs today are amazing. It used to be that you had to choose from heavy, wood doors that needed a lot of upkeep, to metal doors that were cold and prone to rust. Well, today, there’s a wide variety of composite and fiberglass doors available that look amazingly like wood but need virtually no care at all. Plus, the doors are better insulated and can keep those drafts out of your garage, which is especially nice if you like to use the space to work in.
TOM: Yes. But in addition to better doors, we also now have much better door openers. I mean today’s garage-door openers are fully integrated into smart-home technology. That enables you to open and close them from your smartphone and from virtually anywhere. I like this feature, too: they can even trigger an alert if you left home and left your door open.
Now, the openers themselves are also safer than what they were years ago, with improved auto-reverse mechanisms that prevent injury, as well as battery backups that can be super handy in the event of a power failure. All of these improvements make now a really great time to update your garage door and your garage-door opener.
LESLIE: And that’s today’s Pro Project presented by HomeAdvisor.com. With HomeAdvisor, you can get matched with top-rated home service pros in your area and compare prices, read verified reviews and book appointments online, all for free.
TOM: No matter the type of job, HomeAdvisor makes it fast and easy to hire the best local pros.
LESLIE: Jim in Pennsylvania, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
JIM: Yes. I have hard water in my house and every – I don’t know – year, about, I have to clean out my water heater to get the calcium deposits out. So, my question is: first of all, is there a better tool than a shop vac with a piece of copper tubing taped to it to get into the – you know, I take the bottom element out and I shove that in there and try to clean that calcium out. Is there a way to liquefy that so that I could wash it out? Or is there a water heater on the market that provides access to that?
TOM: So, how much calcium do you actually think you’re getting out of this when you open it up?
JIM: Oh, my. It gets to the point where it’s almost to the bottom element.
TOM: I wonder if you could put a filtration system in before the water heater that will take some of that away.
Yeah, the problem with calcium is not so much that it shortens the life of the water heater, it just acts as an insulator. And so, if you have it – I’m sorry, you have a gas – do you have electric water heater?
JIM: It’s electric, yeah.
TOM: Yeah. So it’s probably not even affecting your efficiency much because it’s just taking up room.
See, if you have a gas water heater and the flame is underneath it, then it acts as an insulator and the gas has to run longer to heat the water up. But because you have an electric water heater, where the elements are embedded up higher in the unit, I don’t think it has any effect on the efficiency.
JIM: Well, how I found out about this was the element went bad.
JIM: The bottom element. And I took it out to replace it and I could hardly get it out; it was actually above the element, at that point, the first time.
TOM: Yeah. You know why? Because it probably – that might have shortened the life of the element, because it basically held the heat into it, didn’t allow it to cool like it normally does. So I could definitely see it shortening the life of it.
Do you have any other type of filtration system on the well?
JIM: Just an in-line filter that we put on. We had the water tested and an ultraviolet light and an in-line filter is all we have.
TOM: There is an electronic device called EasyWater that basically will help suspend those water particles – those mineral salts – in the water and kind of let it flush right through, as opposed to collecting.
TOM: And I like it because it’s no salt involved. It basically doesn’t add to the salinity of the water. It does it electronically. It’s at EasyWater.com.
Take a look at it. They also have an extraordinarily good warranty. If you install it and you don’t like it, they’ll send you your money back.
JIM: Alright. Great. Thank you very much.
LESLIE: Alright. Thanks so much for calling The Money Pit at 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor.
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.
TOM: Up next, if your trips up and down stairs to do laundry are getting to be a drag, we’ve got ideas to help you bring your laundry to you. It’s all coming up, next.
Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Standing by for your calls and your questions at 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor. They 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 top-rated pros.
TOM: And there are no membership fees. It’s 100-percent free to use. HomeAdvisor.com.
LESLIE: Alright. And while you’re online, guys, post your questions in the Community section at MoneyPit.com or give us a call. We’re always standing by to lend you a hand.
Now, jumping into our posts, we’ve got one from Louis in Florida who writes: “How long should a garage-door opener last? Our seems to be working intermittently lately, especially the remote units in our cars. We tried changing the batteries. Now, the unit itself is about 12 years old.”
TOM: That’s an antique in garage door-opener years.
TOM: Yeah. That’s really old. And it’s old for two reasons.
First of all, it’s old for a piece of – any piece of mechanical equipment. But secondly, it’s old because the standards have changed and the function has changed over the last decade-plus. So, I think this is a really good opportunity for you to think about replacing that garage-door opener itself. That’s a project you could find a pro for at HomeAdvisor.com.
A couple of things that you will benefit from. The technology has improved, so you’ll have the benefit of wireless access to that door. I love the feature that when you leave home and leave the door open, that can give you a push alert on your phone. I mean most of these openers have that kind of technology today. Plus, it’s just a safer, more secure product. And it’s harder to break into for criminals, as well. Because a lot of the old door openers were pretty easy to get into but the code is much more sophisticated now.
So, all great reasons for you to replace that door opener. Its time has come.
LESLIE: Alright. Next up, we’ve got a post here from Jim in Alabama who writes: “I took your advice and got a programmable thermostat. I’ve already noticed big savings. Now, no one is home during the day and I set it to get pretty hot. My question is: how hot is too hot? We have serious heat and humidity here in Southern Alabama. Can I let my house heat up to 85 or 87 without causing damage?”
TOM: Only damage to your electric bill. Look, if you let everything in the house get that hot, it’s going to take a lot more energy to cool it down. So I wouldn’t go quite that high. I might try to keep this at around 78 or 80 max. If you let the house get practically the same temperature as the outside, it’s going to take hours for it to cool down again. It’s going to waste more energy and cost you a lot more money than you could possibly save by, essentially, turning it off while you’re not home.
LESLIE: Yeah. And keeping it in the high 70s really is enough, I promise.
TOM: Well, if you’re constantly navigating a narrow stair with a laundry basket in your arm, it might be time to bring that laundry room to you. Leslie tells us how to do just that, in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.
LESLIE: Yeah. You know, more new homes have washers and dryers in hallways, kitchens and bathrooms. But if yours is stuck in the basement or at least on the floor other than the bedrooms, don’t worry. It’s never been easier to move your laundry room upstairs.
For example, a stack washer and dryer is small enough to fit into a closet. Another type of combo unit washes and dries clothes without any help from you. Now, this unit looks just like a normal washing machine but you won’t have to move wet clothes from the washer to the dryer, because the washer is the dryer. So it saves a ton of space.
I remember a long time ago, my family – we all went on a vacation to London. And instead of going to a hotel, we rented an apartment. And in the kitchen, they had one of those combo units under the counter. It was amazing. It was on the smaller side but you just set it, forget it, walked away and your laundry was done.
So, guys, bring that laundry room to you, instead of you having to go to the laundry room, and cleaning your clothes will be less of a chore.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show where we try to help you with all the chores around your house, at least those having to do with home improvement, remodeling and décor. And coming up next time on the program, just like choosing the best lumber for a project, there are a wide variety of grades of vinyl fence. If that’s a job you’d like to get done, we’ll tell you which ones will really stand up to the test of time.
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.)
From Source Article: moneypit.com
Water pipes that silently serve your home day in and day out can become raging geysers when windy, sub-zero temperatures find their way into the wall and floor cavities shared by your home’s plumbing system. As water is cooled, it expands. Unfortunately, the pipes carry it – do not. As a result, these plumbing pipes literally explode, ripping wide-open and allowing an endless supply of water to drench every element of your home in its path. Making matters worse, pipe bursts usually happen overnight turning sweet dreams into frozen pipe nightmares, or worse, they can even burst when you’re away from home!
Repair costs can range from hundreds to fix the pipe, up to tens of thousands to repair the ensuing water damage. Fortunately, with a little planning, you can protect yourself from the ensuing cold-water drenching and damage. Here’s where to begin.Open cabinet doors
On very cold nights open the doors to any under kitchen or bath sink cabinets that are located on outside walls, allowing those area to warm from the home’s heating system. This can prevent the inside of the cabinet from becoming a freezer that can lead to frozen water lines.Turn off outside faucets
This first tip may seem like a no-brainer but it’s surprising how often its overlooked until a burst reminds a forgetful homeowner! Most outside faucets have a shut-off valve called the hose bib, usually located inside the home, crawlspace or basement within a foot or two of the faucets location. Turn the valve off, then open the exterior faucet and leave it open all winter long. That way if the valve leaks slowly as some do, any water that accumulates will drain out. By the way, if you are locating these valves for the first time, make sure to add a tag to them so they can be easily found in the future.
Likewise, be sure to drain any in-ground sprinkler systems. This is best done by a sprinkler company with a high powered air compressor strong enough to purge all of the water out of the lines.
Insulate all exposed water pipes
Insulate all water and heating lines located in unheated crawl spaces, attics, and basements. You can use insulating foam tubes, fiberglass tubes and/or fiberglass pipe wrap. Be sure that pipe elbows are carefully wrapped as well, since these tend to be the hardest parts to get covered. If you notice that the same pipe freezes all the time, then you might want to consider having that pipe re-run through a warmer section of the house.
We took this approach to stop a persistent frozen plumbing pipe problem in the kitchen of our 1886 home. The sink supply lines ran up an exterior wall and through a crawl space that were both very difficult to reach. The solution was to abandon those pipes and re-run new supply lines made of PEX, a virtually leak-proof plastic pipe that is also very flexible, and hence much easier to instal through enclosed walls and tight spaces.TIP: Which will burst first? Hot water pipe or cold water pipe?
While you’d think cold water pipes would freeze and burst before hot water pipes, the answer is just the opposite. Here’s why: as hot water passes through the water heater, air bubble entrained in the water are released. When water freezes, these air bubbles create a bit of a cushion effect and can take displaces some of the pressure caused by the expanding water. With hot water, there are no air bubbles and hence no cushion. As a result, all that expanding ice presses outward and rips the pipe open faster than if it were a cold water pipe!Seal drafts in walls, floors and around pipe openings
Super-cold wind-driven air causes many frozen pipe problems as those drafts can freeze uninsulated pipes in a matter of a few hours. Finding and identifying those drafts in areas like exterior walls, crawlspaces and basements, can prevent frozen pipes. Consider using expanding foam sealant like to seal odd shaped spaces, and add batt insulation to the box joists along the interior perimeter of your crawlspace or basement.
If your home is on a crawlspace, close or cover foundation vents. Cut blocks of foam-board insulation to fit the vent openings, and slide them into the vents. Don’t forget to open the vents again in spring; necessary to prevent excessive moisture from forming
Also, it’s worth noting that drain and vent lines can also freeze. On very cold nights, run some hot water down drains that may be located on outside walls of your home.
Keep heat on, even if you’re not home
Keep all your heating zones above 55 degrees all winter long to prevent frozen pipes. Shutting off or lowering unused heating zones can cause water and heating lines to freeze in walls and ceilings of the unused areas, as well as frozen pipes. On super-cold nights, raise the temperature a few degrees higher than normal.
Also, even if you are winterizing your vacation home, keeping some heat on prevents condensation and mold from forming, as well as slows the swelling of doors and other wood parts of the house. You are better off spending a little extra on energy to prevent the pipes from freezing than paying even more for repairs!How to thaw a frozen pipe
If you are caught off guard by a frozen pipe, you may have some time to thaw it before it breaks. Plumbing pipe heat cables, commonly referred to as “heat tape”, works well as a DIY solution for this, but only if it is used safely. Heating tape is an electric appliance in the form of a long strip. You attach it to the plumbing pipe, plug it in and the strip gets hot, and hopefully warms and thaws the pipe. Just remember to turn off the water line first, in case a break formed but the water was too frozen to leak.
Plumbing pipe heating cables are pretty effective in most cases, however, I want to caution that there’s one common and potentially dangerous use I’ve seen countless time in my experience as a former professional home inspector. That is to place heat tape under the pipe insulation. This is a huge fire threat as the amount of heat generated by the tape appliance is not designed to be contained by insulation. I have seen heat tape actually burn when it was applied like this by an unwitting homeowner. This is a severe fire danger, so make sure you carefully follow the heat tape manufacturers instructions.
Aside from covering the tape with insulation, another common mistake is overlapping the tape, or essentially wrapping it around itself. The tape should always be attached parallel to the pipe, with the thermostat touching the pipe, and secured every few inches with electrical tape.
Also, if you decide to go with heat tape, buy a new one from a reputable source. The safety standards continue to improve and many old heat tape products are simply out of date and unsafe.
If the freeze is beyond what can be accomplished by heat tape, a plumbers are equipped with pipe thawing machine that can handle bigger jobs.How to monitor for a major pipe leak, even when you are not home
Smart home technology has made it easier to monitor many things in our home and water usage including that which would signal a major pipe break is certainly among its capability. The Streamlabs Smart Home Water Monitor is a new level of protection from water damage, including a major pipe burst. The smart home device helps you detect leaks in real time, learn about your usage and water habits, and find ways to use water more efficiently—all in an easy-to-use app. The installation requires no plumbing work – it’s simple to install and connects directly to your home Wi-Fi, and can alert you at the first sign of major water usage, like a frozen and busted pipe!Frozen pipes and insurance
Homeowners insurance policies usually cover leaks not caused by deferred maintenance and neglect. Check your policy or contact your insurance professional to determine coverage for a “sudden dispersals of water,” which is insurance speak for a busted pipe!Leave the water trickling
Finally, if you haven’t taken any of these steps and are worried about one very cold spell, it OK to leave water trickling in a faucet or two and that MAY stop the pipe from freezing and bursting. Sure, it’ll waste water but its a small price to pay for a quick preventative step.
Bottom line, just a few simple steps can keep your water flowing like it should all winter long. Frost-proofing your exterior water faucets and water pipes in your home now can help prevent major damage should a pipe freeze and break in cold weather.
It’s one big mess we guarantee you want to avoid!
The post Prevent Plumbing Explosions with this Frozen Pipe Checklist appeared first on The Money Pit.