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 what are you working on today? If it’s your house, your home, your condo, your apartment, you’re in the right place because we’re here to help, to lend you a hand to get those projects done around your house. Whether they’re a décor or repair, whether they’re DIY or get a guy, call us, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT with your home improvement question, 888-666-3974. Or you can post it to The Money Pit’s Community page at MoneyPit.com.
Just ahead, Mother’s Day is coming up. And if you’ve not picked up a gift yet, we’ve got some ideas on how you can redeem yourself through the gift of home improvement for Mom.
LESLIE: Plus, did you know that almost a million children are accidentally poisoned in their homes every single year? Well, we’re going to have tips on how to reduce that risk at your home, coming up.
TOM: And adding a backyard deck is one surefire way to increase your home’s living space. But is building a deck a DIY project or is it one you should hire out? We’ll have tips to help you make the best choice.
But first, we want to hear about your next home improvement or décor adventure. So call it in right now. Let’s talk, 888-MONEY-PIT. Or post it to the Community page at MoneyPit.com.
LESLIE: Dottie in Oregon, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
DOTTIE: We have a patio that had some cracks in it. It is exposed aggregate. My husband dug it out and filled in the cracks. Now, our question for you is: is there a sealer with some colorant that we could use over the whole area?
TOM: I think what you’re asking us for is a concrete stain. Sealers are always clear. So, if you’ve got this crack filled in and you’ve got some color to that, then what you’re going to have to do is stain the concrete to match that and then you could seal it. But you’d have to stain it. And if you’re going to stain concrete, you would use an acid stain.
DOTTIE: OK. Is there anything you can recommend?
LESLIE: QUIKRETE makes a great one in a couple of good colors. More neutral than anything a little crazy but it’s an easy-to-apply product. You’re going to get some great coloration there. And you know what? It’s a reputable brand; they know what they’re doing. So I would start there.
DOTTIE: Oh, that sounds great. And I really love your show.
TOM: Thank you very much, Dottie. Good luck with that project.
LESLIE: Tim in New York is having an issue with the tub. What’s going on in your bathroom?
TIM: So, my wife and I moved into our home two years ago and the previous homeowners recently redid the bathroom. It’s very nice but unfortunately, the bathtub has two cracks in it. So I recently had – to be real quick, I recently had a bathtub fitter come in and take a look at it. They can’t do it because they don’t have the molds for it and they would have to cover up the tile anyway. So my question is: is there an easy fix? And even if I had to replace a tub, do I have to take out tile to do so?
TOM: Well, you have to take out probably the first couple of rows of tile. It depends on how difficult it is to get the tub in and out of that space. It’s a pretty big job. It might be that it’s just not worth trying to save the tile. This is the time where you might just want to think about whether or not you could just renovate the entire bathroom. Because frankly, by the time you get that tub out, you’re going to be taking so many other fixtures out of the way to kind of get the tub in and out, you might end up doing that anyway, Tim.
You know, the bathtub is the first thing that goes into a bathroom and everything else works around it or fits around it. And I think the bath-fitter idea was a good one but if they can’t do it, they can’t do it.
TIM: Yeah. I looked up online and they have these epoxies that fix cracks. I don’t think it’s going to work or be a permanent fix. Do you have any knowledge on that?
TOM: That’s true. I would agree with that. It’s very difficult to repair a crack or a chip in a tub. Is it a fiberglass tub?
TIM: It is. It’s a fiberglass tub.
TOM: So, look, they repair fiberglass boats, right? Or fiberglass cars? So you can use – right from an auto-body shop, you can use fiberglass repair compound to fix this. It’s not going to be pretty, right? I mean like a Bondo product or something like that. It’s going to be obvious but if you want to buy yourself some time and use the tub for a while, you could do that.
I had a shower stall once where the fiberglass pan cracked. Then I repaired that with fiberglass and Bondo just by basically applying the fiberglass in a couple of layers and then putting the compound over top of that. And you could see it but it didn’t leak after I fixed it.
TIM: OK. Well, maybe I’ll look into that. The bathroom is so new that I don’t want to rip out, well …
TOM: I know. I hear you. It hurts. And it may be very well that the tub was put in incorrectly. Because when you put in fiberglass tubs, you’re supposed to put a solid fill under them. Usually, you’ll put a loose mix of mortar mix underneath it because it basically gives you something solid to step into, because the tub has some flex.
TIM: Yeah. I don’t think they did that because you could actually feel the tub moving underneath my feet.
TOM: Yeah, yeah. Unfortunately, it sounds like it wasn’t put in right.
TIM: OK. Alright. Well, thank you very much. That was very helpful.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Marie calling in to The Money Pit with a cabinet question. How can we help you today?
MARIE: I’m in a dilemma over kitchen cabinets. I really like this fairly contemporary look but it’s a slab. We’re at – we’re on the salt water and I’ve been told to maybe stay away from a slab cabinet door because of the way it expands and shrinks. What’s your opinion on that or your advice?
LESLIE: When you say slab, are you talking about a full overlay?
MARIE: No, it’s an actual slab. I don’t think it’s an overlay or veneer at all.
TOM: I think you mean a solid-wood door, one-piece wood door as opposed to one that’s made up of panels, like a raised-panel door?
MARIE: Yes, it’s not a raised panel but you can actually see the pieces of wood – well, I guess they’re glued together. But there’s no raised panels or anything on it.
TOM: Yeah, it’s a solid piece of wood. It’s a laminated door, basically. Solid pieces of wood glued together.
I don’t know. If the door is made right and the wood is dried when it was built and it’s sealed properly, I don’t think it’s more or less likely to swell than a raised-panel door would be.
MARIE: That makes total sense the way you put it that way. Why wouldn’t they dry it out first and then seal it properly?
MARIE: Huh. I never even thought about it in that context.
LESLIE: The boxes themselves that the cabinets are – the cabinet box is going to be constructed out of a wood-laminated ply so – or something that’s more structurally stable. And I don’t think you have to be concerned about the door.
MARIE: Hmm, I think, looking at it from that point of view, maybe I won’t be. I’ve had people tell me that they’re just going to get all warped and – but why would they? If they’re – if it is, like you said, a reliable cabinet maker – I guess that would be the question.
TOM: Right. Exactly. A good-quality cabinet should be dimensionally stable.
MARIE: I agree with you. Ah, I found a beautiful door and I think I might go for it then. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Just ahead, poisonings from household chemicals and cleaners are on the rise but they’re also very preventable. We’ll tell you how, next.
Where home solutions live, this is The Money Pit. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Call in your home improvement question, right now, to 1-888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor.
LESLIE: And hey, this hour, have we got a handy set of tools going out to one lucky listener who calls in their home improvement question or posts it to MoneyPit.com. Up for grabs are a bunch of fun things from our friends over at Arrow Fastener, including the Arrow T50 Electric Staple Gun and Nailer, plus the Arrow Dual-Temp Glue Gun, which really is my favorite. It heats up super fast, it doesn’t drip. It’s one of the best glue guns out there on the market and I always keep it in my tool kit.
It also comes with a supply of staples and glue sticks and it’s a prize pack worth 95 bucks.
TOM: Yeah. And you know what? These are two tools that will be super useful for many fun things around the house, from crafts to repairs, including a very fun project that Arrow is featuring, right now, at ArrowFastener.com. It’s a project called the “vertical succulent garden.” The entire project, including the materials list and the photos and all the details are online at ArrowFastener.com. Just click on Projects.
LESLIE: Yeah. And we really love the Arrow Fastener Company. I mean the greatest part is that they’ve been in Saddle Brook, New Jersey for 90 years. You rarely hear of that today.
It’s so nice to know that these are made right here, practically in your backyard, Tom.
TOM: I’ll tell you what, having good, well-made tools is important, too. That electric stapler is kind of a pro-grade unit. It’s fantastic. You already talked about how great that glue gun is. I got lots of scars over the years from drippy, hot glue. So, I like the fact that this one is no-drip.
That prize package, worth 95 bucks, going out to one caller drawn at random. Make that you. Give us a call, right now, with your home improvement or décor question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Scott in Iowa on the line who needs help with a painting project. Tell us what you’re working on.
SCOTT: I just recently bought a rental house and the plaster – it’s an older home and the plaster was falling off the house. Well, the guy I bought it from had repaired it but if you look at it, it’s falling out in some areas and bowing back in in some areas. And I was just wondering, would I have to re-drywall it or is there a cheaper and easier way to fix that?
TOM: How much of this exists? Is there a lot of this that’s where it’s – the plaster seems to be loose?
SCOTT: Throughout the whole house.
TOM: Yeah, OK. So it’s a problem because it’s going to be dangerous.
What happens is the plaster, when it’s applied, it’s applied over something called “wood lath,” which are like thin strips of wood. Kind of looks like those sticks we use to hold up garden plants and tomatoes and things like that. And the plaster expands to behind the lath and it sort of locks in place.
But over the years, with an old house, those “keyways,” we call them, loosen up and then the plaster is not attached to the wall anymore. So you are looking at a situation where the walls are going to get worse. It’s not going to get better. And if it’s the ceiling that’s loose, it could be dangerous. Because when that plaster falls, it’s really, really heavy. I’ve seen it dent floors and certainly could hurt somebody.
So now we have – the question is: what’s the best way to deal with this? “Should I tear the plaster out? Should I drywall over?” I’ve done it both ways and I’ve come to the conclusion, after trying it this way for many years, that the best thing to do is to put drywall on top of the plaster, not tear it out, for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s less messy. Secondly, that even when you tear out the lath and the plaster, you’ll find that the studs from the old house behind it are not very even. So when you put drywall up, it tends to warp sometimes.
So what I would do is I would attach new drywall over the plaster. You can use 3/8-inch-thick drywall, too; you don’t even need to use ½-inch drywall. And then by attaching from the drywall, through the plaster into the studs, you’ll help secure that loose plaster so you won’t have any further movement in that room. That would be my recommendation.
SCOTT: That works out.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.
LESLIE: Laura in Pennsylvania needs some help with a lighting question. What can we do for you?
LAURA: Oh, well, my son gave me some compact fluorescent bulbs because he didn’t like them.
LAURA: And I had never used them before and I thought, “Well, I’ll put them in my little lights I use with timers.” Only they all blow out.
TOM: There’s no reason you can’t use a compact fluorescent bulb in an outlet that has a timer. I mean a timer simply automatically turns the light switch on or off, so that shouldn’t have an effect on damaging the bulb.
LAURA: Yes, that’s what I thought. And I have incandescent bulbs in them now and they work just fine.
TOM: Well, maybe he gave you some bum compact fluorescents. I don’t know. But it’s kind of an odd thing for it to happen to. Compact fluorescents work really well in most fixtures that take incandescents. In fact, you can even have them work well in fixtures that are controlled by dimmers.
There are special dimmers today that are designed to work with compact fluorescents and with LEDs, where you can adjust the range of the dimming so that it doesn’t ever flicker or go out. So, compact fluorescent bulbs are a great option. I don’t know why they’re not working for you but the timer shouldn’t have anything to do with it.
LAURA: OK. Well, maybe I’ll try them again or – I have two left. Or I’ll try and buy some. Maybe he has an off-brand or something like that. I don’t know. Because they should last a really long time, right?
TOM: They should. And you know what I like better than compact fluorescents are the LED bulbs. Take a look at the Philips LED bulbs. These are – they’re very distinctive. They’re yellow. They look like bug lights but they have a very pleasant white light that comes off of them. And they’re going to be more expensive than compact fluorescents but they last forever and they’re super energy-efficient.
LAURA: OK. I will be happy to. That’s a really good idea. Thank you.
TOM: Hey, well, here’s an eye-opener: the Consumer Product Safety Commission says more than 800,000 kids in the U.S. will be rushed to an ER because of an accidental poisoning this year. Thirty of those kids will die and almost all of these poisonings will happen at home. So, to help, here are a few tips on how to reduce the risk of poisoning in your house.
LESLIE: That’s right. You know, medicines really are a growing cause of poisonings. They’re relatively easy, though, for you to control. You can ask your pharmacy to fill all your prescriptions with those childproof caps that even some adults can’t open. And then keep all of your medicines on the highest shelves possible.
Now, dangerous household toxins aren’t as easy to control. They come in bigger bottles. They’re often in bright, inviting colors. Cleaners, bleaches, paint solvents and pesticides tend to attract children. Simply keeping them in the garage isn’t enough.
TOM: Yeah. It’s a good idea to keep those poisons safely locked up outside your house whenever possible. So, keep it in mind. Keep them away from the kids and keep those kids safe.
LESLIE: Now we’re heading out to Arizona where Rich has a foundation question. What can we do for you today?
RICH: We pulled up some carpet in a back room and upon pulling up the carpet, we discovered that we have about a 1-inch crack that runs full width of the room. And it’s about a 15×15 room. And we were wondering why that one door that we have that goes off into a spare bathroom – why it stops shutting so clean. So when we pulled up the carpet, we discovered that, yes, we’ve got a crack problem. And it’s about 1-inch wide and I want to know – and it’s as deep as far as the foundation, I think, the slab goes. I want to know how I should fill that in or what would be the proper thing to do.
TOM: Well, first of all, we want to determine if it’s an active crack or not. And the fact that you had a door that seemed to work properly and then stopped working properly could indicate that it’s active. Do you get the sense that this crack is fresh or do you think it’s something that’s been there for a really long time?
RICH: I think that it started out small and I think over the last 10 years, it’s maybe – because I’ve been there just over 10 years and I believe that just within about the last, oh, maybe 3 years that the door started shutting kind of stiff.
But anyway, I don’t think it has been all that active but I do think that it’s definitely progressed a little bit since I’ve moved in.
TOM: So what you’re going to do is clean it out and then you’re going to repair it with – a flowable urethane material is good. And with the urethane, what you’ll put in there first is a material called “backer rod,” which is like a 1-inch – you would get like a 1- to 1½-inch-diameter foam tube. It’s called “backer rod.” And you press it in there to that crack and then you leave it about an inch below – not an inch – about a ¼-inch below the surface. Then you fill the top of it with a flowable urethane and that will expand and contract with the crack.
RICH: OK. That’s exactly what I was kind of hoping. Because I don’t think it’s going to be something I’ll be able to do from the outside of the house to maybe – to push that foundation up. Because on the outside, the house looks good.
TOM: No, it’s a one-way street with cracks.
RICH: Yeah. So we …
TOM: And you can’t patch it with more concrete, because it would just crack.
RICH: Yeah. So, now, when I do that, of course that’ll take care of the visibility of the crack. What can I do to relevel the floor? Because it is quite evident. When you’re off in the hallway and you look into this room, you can definitely see there is a – the floor isn’t level, from the crack over to the wall.
TOM: Well, you could – there’s a product called “leveling compound” that you can pour on top of the old floor. And you can work it and level the whole thing out. We use it a lot under tile, where you can’t have a tile floor that bends or twists or anything. But it’s a pretty big job and if you’re going to put carpet down, are you really going to see it?
RICH: Well, no. I’m thinking maybe I’ll put a different kind of flooring down.
TOM: Alright. Well, then maybe you’ll want to consider it. It’s just called “leveling compound” and you’ll find it in home centers, you’ll find it online. And it takes a little practice to get it to flow out properly. But follow the label directions, start in a small area until you’re good at it and you’ll find it should be able to level it out quite nicely.
RICH: Boy, I think I’ve got it. I sure appreciate you. Thank you for the advice.
TOM: You’re very welcome, Rich. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Hey, are you still in need of a Mother’s Day gift but a little short on cash? Well, it’s not too late to honor the mom in your life with a little DIY help. We’re going to share an inexpensive way to make Mom smile, after this.
TOM: Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: We are here to help you with your home improvement, your décor questions, whatever is your next home improvement adventure. We love calling these things “home improvement adventures” because if you think about it, an adventure is exciting, it’s exhilarating and it almost never ends up where you think it will be. So, much like home improvement, we’re here to help, 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Sylvia in Texas on the line who’s got some bathroom things going on at her money pit. How can we help you?
SYLVIA: Whenever I flush the toilet, I can hear the water running through my sink drain – you know, the bathroom sink drain?
SYLVIA: And so I didn’t know if that was normal or not. And then the other day, we had a real windstorm and I could hear the wind under my house, through my pipes, through that same sink. And I have a concrete slab, so I didn’t know – is that normal?
TOM: Probably the wind blowing over the roof and you’re hearing it through the vent pipe. The plumbing system is all connected, obviously. And the water drains down and the air kind of replaces it from the top – from the vent on top. And so when you flush the toilet, in some cases you can hear that water run down through the pipe and it be replaced by air. So that’s entirely possible.
But if it’s behaving properly and you don’t have any odors and everything’s flowing right, I wouldn’t worry too much about that, Sylvia.
SYLVIA: Oh, OK, OK. Thank you very much. I was just worried about it, because I was just like, “What’s going on with my plumbing, right?”
TOM: And the other thing about plumbing is it’s – it really carries the sound. Anyone that’s ever had a second-floor bathroom and flushed it to the horror of everyone that’s sitting in the dining room enjoying dinner time knows exactly what I’m talking about.
SYLVIA: Oh, thank God I don’t have a second floor.
LESLIE: John in Wisconsin is on the line with a washer/dryer question. Tell us what you’re thinking about there.
JOHN: We were thinking of putting a washer and dryer in our spare bedroom. And where we want to is next to an inner wall. And I was wondering, if we vented it up through into the attic, through the insulation so it’d come out on top, would that be damaging to the – it’d be too much moisture in there or not?
LESLIE: Now, would this still remain a guest room or would this become a new, snazzy laundry room?
JOHN: Yeah, it’d be a laundry room, yeah.
LESLIE: Generally, when you talk about resale value, the amount that you could possibly resell your house for directly correlates to the amount of bedrooms and bathrooms that you have. So, you may want to start by talking with a local realtor who’s familiar with home values in your neighborhood, as to what the effect might be to removing a bedroom.
Now, if you have no intention to sell and you’ve got this dream to have just a kick-butt, gigantic laundry room with perhaps a sewing area and enough ironing space, then this could be awesome for you guys.
TOM: Now, in terms of your technical questions, obviously, you’re going to have to get hot and cold water there and you’re going to have to get electricity there for your washer and your dryer and 240-volt if it’s electric dryer. Venting was the one question you had and can you go up through the wall into the attic? Yes. But you can’t stop there. You have to continue with that vent, John, until it gets outside. You cannot dump the warm, moist, lint-ladened dryer exhaust up into the attic; you’ve got to take it outside.
So, what you should do is only use solid-metal piping, not flex ducting. Get it up in the attic and turn it 90 degrees and then run it across the floor, so to speak, above the joists and then out the side wall of the house, with a proper dryer-vent termination on the outside of it. And the test is when you turn the dryer on, you look outside, you should see the flap open up. You really don’t want to have any restriction. It’s very important you get that lint out, because there’s a lot of dryer fires that happen because people collect too much lint inside those pipes.
JOHN: Oh, I see. Mm-hmm.
JOHN: Yeah. Very good.
TOM: John, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Adding a backyard deck is one surefire way to increase your home’s living space. But is building a deck a DIY project or one that you should hire out? We’re going to have some tips to help you make the best choice for you, after this.
TOM: Where home solutions live, this is The Money Pit. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Well, whether you’re planning a décor project, maybe you’re remodeling your kitchen, fixing up an outdoor space, dealing with a leak or a squeak, we’re here for you every step of the way. And know who else is? HomeAdvisor. They are the fast and easy way to find the right pro for any kind of home project, whether it’s a small repair or major remodel. Check them out at HomeAdvisor.com.
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Lynn in Colorado who’s got a tricky, leaky shower. Let’s see if we can help her find it.
LYNN: I had a plumber come out once and he said that the pipe and the bottom, where it comes out of the shower, doesn’t always hook up right. So he siliconed it and it didn’t leak but now, once in a while, it’s leaking again. Of course, it’s upstairs so I see it on a ceiling. And I’m wondering, is there some kind of a liner you can put down the pipe, like they do for sewage lines that go out?
TOM: You talking about the supply pipes or are you talking about the shower stall?
LYNN: I’m talking about the stall – the drain pipe.
TOM: Do you have – is it a tile shower pan or is it like a plastic shower?
LYNN: Yeah, it’s one of the insert ones.
TOM: Those pans can develop cracks in them and you have to figure out where that crack is. One way to try to figure out at least how high on the pan the crack is is if you block the drain of the pan and fill it up with water and see if it leaks. If it doesn’t leak, then the pan’s fine. Then the next thing you have to do is move up with your sort of analysis and now you’re going to get into the seams of it.
If you’ve got existing caulk, what I would recommend, as a first step, is to remove that caulk using caulk softener. And that’ll allow you to strip out everything that’s there and start clean with some new, good-quality bathroom caulk that’s got a mildicide built into it. And I would just caulk, very carefully, every single seam and also around all the pipes and the faucets and the fixtures, where they come through. Because, sometimes, you get direct leaks where water fills up in the pan and leaks. And a lot of times, though, with showers, you’ll get leaks when the water bounces off your body, hits one of those seams, works its way in behind the wall and down.
So, I would take out the existing caulk, recaulk it and check the shower pan for leaks. And somewhere in that analysis, you’ll probably figure out what’s going on.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Mark in West Virginia is on the line with a roofing question. How can we help you today?
MARK: I was just wondering if I could put a metal roof over top a shingle roof without removing the shingled roof.
TOM: Well, you can but why do you want to do that, Mark? It’s kind of sloppy.
MARK: I just – I’ve never worked with metal and I didn’t know if you could do it that way. Because you can shingle over an old asphalt shingle; you can put another – a layer over top of it. Just getting rid of them – the hassle of getting rid of them in a landfill.
TOM: Technically, you can but I just think it’s going to be a neater, cleaner, more professional job if you take off the asphalt shingles. And they’re not that hard to remove.
LESLIE: Yeah. And you don’t know how many layers are underneath your existing roof. Plus, I don’t know, really, but I’m imagining that a metal roof is going to have some weight to it. And why put that extra stress on the structure? And it’s a lifetime roof; you know, you’re looking at 50 years on a metal roof, so …
MARK: How about cutting it? Any special tools? You have any idea?
TOM: Yeah, I mean it’s all done with shears.
TOM: And you can use hand shears and you can use power shears. But when you work with that stuff all the time, you have the tools that you need to do that. But that’s what you’re going to have to cut it with.
MARK: Well, hey – well, thanks – thank you for being so – and I appreciate it.
TOM: You’re very welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, adding a backyard deck is one surefire way to get outside and increase your home’s living space. But is building a deck a DIY project or one that you should hire out? There are a few pros and cons for each.
First of all, DIY. If you do do it yourself, you stand to save a ton of money just by virtue of those labor costs. However, building your deck could eat up a number of weekends, depending on how quickly you work. Also, the DIY option might be perfect if you’re planning a fairly simple square or rectangular deck. But things could get dicey if you choose a more complicated, multilevel deck design. You have to be careful because those do get tricky.
TOM: Gravity sucks, so you’ve got to be careful.
Hiring a pro is obviously going to result in a pricier deck because you’re paying for their labor. But on the plus side, a pro – or at least one that’s reliable – is likely to finish the project faster than you will.
And they’re also going to take care of that permitting process. That’s not something you want to skip. You want to make sure that the deck is up to code and you also want to make sure that it’s approved by the city building inspector. Because if it’s not, what’s going to happen when you sell your house is they’re not going to give you a CO and you’ll be stuck. So it’s really important that you have it inspected as it’s built. Those guys are there to make sure your contractor is doing the job that you hired him to do.
For more tips on how to build a deck, make sure you check out “How to Plan an Amazing Deck.” It’s one of our latest posts on MoneyPit.com. Just search for “How to Plan an Amazing Deck.”
LESLIE: Next up, we’ve got Pat in Georgia who needs some help with a cleaning project. What’s going on?
PAT: I have granite countertops. And I am wondering if there is an advantage to using the store-bought cleaners versus a homemade cleaner. And what would the homemade cleaner be?
TOM: So I guess you don’t have a recipe for a homemade cleaner. Is that what you’re saying?
PAT: No, I don’t.
TOM: If you happen to run across one that you like, tell us about it because I have not found one. But I will say that the commercial cleaners are usually very well-developed and are designed to give you a longer-term protection than you can probably get out of anything that you could mix up on your own countertop.
There’s a website called StoneCare.com that specializes in these types of products. And our listeners have always had good success with them, so I would take a look at that website.
But the thing about granite tops is a lot of folks buy them and think, “Well, it’s stone. I’m not going to have to do much work to the top.” But the truth is it’s a lot of work, isn’t it, Pat?
PAT: It very certainly is.
TOM: It really is. And if you don’t stay on top of it, it gets pretty nasty-looking. So, you are going to have to invest in some regular cleaning and I would just buy a good-quality product from a good brand manufacturer and just accept it as reality, OK?
PAT: Thank you so very much.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Gary in Pennsylvania unfortunately had a flood and needs some help picking up the pieces. What can we do for you?
GARY: We had a flood here: a flash food. Rain came down in 8 hours, about 7 to 10 inches. It flooded our basement with about a foot of water. And I’m interested in finding out from you folks how we can get back to normal as far as the basement is concerned. It smells. We did manage to get the sump pump going and get the water out of the basement. But it was – like I said, it was a foot around the furniture and everything. And how can I manage to get things back to where they were before the flood?
TOM: Alright. So, when you have a flood situation like that, of course, it’s human nature that you want everything back just the way it was, as soon as possible. But from a practical standpoint, it doesn’t always work that way. Here at the Jersey Shore, we faced one of the worst hurricanes in history with Hurricane Sandy. And that was the natural reaction; everyone wanted to get back. And we always say, “No, you can’t get back that quickly because you’re going to make some mistakes along the way.”
So what you want to do first is you want – as you’ve already done, you got rid of the water. Secondly, you want to prevent further damage by removing all of the wet materials. So, wet carpet has to be tossed out. If the basement is finished, does it have drywall down there? Those drywall sections have to be cut out to above the flood line. If there’s insulation in the walls, that has to be pulled out. If you have furniture that’s water-damaged, you may have an option of saving some of that if you can get it upstairs and start to dry it out and kind of make a decision as you go. But frankly, a lot of that should be covered by insurance so I wouldn’t maybe try too hard to save it. But get all of that material out of there.
Now, you said it was a flash flood and it flooded the basement quickly. Any time you have water infiltration that’s consistent with rainfall, it can always be reduced, if not eliminated, by making sure that your drainage conditions outside are proper and that you have gutters, they’re clean, they’re extended from the house 4 to 6 feet – not just a few inches like normal gutters are – and that the soil slopes away. So those sorts of things can prevent further water infiltration.
And then after it’s all torn out, then you’re going to want to spray those – that basement floor and the walls down with a solution of bleach and water, about 10- to 20-percent bleach with water. That will kill any mold spores that are left behind. Then get some fans down there; dry that all out. And then once it’s dry, then you can think about putting it back together.
And next time, I would not put carpet on a basement floor because that’s a breeding factory for mold and mildew and dust mites, as well. OK?
GARY: Sounds like a winner to me. I certainly appreciate it.
TOM: You’re welcome, Gary. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Hey, are your guests getting bugged by swarms of gnats in your backyard? Well, we’ve got tips on keeping these common nuisances away, after this.
TOM: Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Still looking for help with your money pit? You are not alone. Head on over to MoneyPit.com for tips and answers to home improvement questions big and small. And while you’re there, sign up for our free e-Newsletter. Stay ahead of home maintenance chores year-round. It’s all online and free at MoneyPit.com.
LESLIE: You can also post your question while you’re online. And here’s one from Craig who writes: “I’m thinking about installing hardwired, integrated smoke detectors. Is it worth my while and what should I know beforehand?”
I think absolutely.
TOM: Yeah. And I totally agree because – for two reasons. First of all, if they’re hardwired, you’re not totally relying on batteries. And secondly and even more importantly, hardwired detectors run in series. They’re interconnected. So if one goes off, all the detectors go off.
I mean imagine if there was a fire that started in your basement and you’re on the second floor with the door closed to the bedroom in the middle of the night. You’re never going to hear that detector. So you want hardwired detectors that are interconnected. There are battery-powered ones that can be interconnected, too, but hardwired is key. So, I would install one in every room and make sure that you have the best possible chance of detecting fires early by doing that.
LESLIE: You know, another tip, Craig: when you’re selecting your smoke detector, there’s actually two different types. And the two different types detect two different types of fires. But there is one that will detect both and it will detect a slow, smoldering fire and one of those quick flash fires. Because you can’t pick what kind of fire you’re going to have but you can pick a smoke detector that will recognize both of them.
LESLIE: Because they do burn very differently. And one gives you more time to get out and one doesn’t. So you have to be on top of it.
TOM: Yeah. And that’s called a “dual-sensor smoke detector.” So make sure you look for that on the packaging: dual sensor. It will cover both slow, smoldering and fast-burning fires.
LESLIE: Yeah, just play it safe, play it smart. Do the right thing. You’re on the right track.
TOM: Well, you could plan the most elegant outdoor soirée ever only to have it spoiled by annoying, little bugs flying around your guests’ heads by the thousands. Leslie explains how to not get bugged by gnats, in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.
LESLIE: Yeah, you’re right, Tom. Your outdoor party could be ruined in a flash if the guests find themselves constantly swatting away the swarms of relentless, little gnats. And they are relentless.
Now, the gnats themselves, they’re pretty harmless but they’re irritating and definitely annoying. So to keep your party gnat-free, you need to know that the little buggers love wet, rotten, organic matter like compost. So if you are composting, cover it up. You can cover it up with mulch.
Now, with mulch, you want to make sure that you rake it and turn it consistently to avoid mold growing on the underside, thus creating a damp habitat that those gnats are going to love. You also want to make sure that you have no standing water or leaves in your gutters. And keep those birdbaths and water features clean of any debris, as well.
Also, this is something you’ll love: gnats hate vanilla but people seem to love the smell of vanilla. So you can place vanilla oil in aroma-oil burners – that’ll help keep them away – as well as vanilla extract on cotton balls placed strategically around your outdoor table. Your guests truly will appreciate being gnat-free because nobody wants to be swatting away while you’re trying to have a good time. But they’ll also love the smell of vanilla.
So get outside, don’t be annoyed and have a wonderful summer season.
TOM: Great advice. This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show.
Hey, here’s another thing that we want to learn to avoid and that’s mold. And with all of the damp, wet weather we’ve had this spring, it’s certainly a condition during which mold can grow. We’re going to have tips on how to actually stop that mold cold, on the very 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.)
The post Building a Backyard Deck: DIY or Get a Pro? #0507182 appeared first on The Money Pit.
From Source Article: moneypit.com
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: What are you working on this die weekend? Are you looking for ways to save some power in your room, to lower those heating statutes? Are you looking to fix up your inside seat before you get stuck in there all wintertime long? Whatever you’d like to tackle now or in the immediate future, give us a entitle. We will move you through that activity, give you some tips-off, some hypothesis, some admonition to help you save money and get it done right the first time out. The multitude is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Coming up on today’s support, have you ever thought about the dozens of produces that you need, only to keep your house clean, and all the hassles and outlay of buying them and then throwing away all those empty bottles and cans? Well, we’re starting to have tips-off on an inventive solution that’s non-toxic and versatile for abuse on a variety of surfaces, precisely ahead.
LESLIE: And also onward this hour, with the internet everywhere we go, it touches practically every aspect of our children’s lives. So to be maintained safe online is a great topic for many parents. We’re going to have some tips-off on a stress-free, easy-to-install solution.
TOM: And autumn is no time to ignore your lawn and terrain. What you do now will judge the quality of your family’s yard next spring and summer. So we’ll have some tips to assist you make sure yours turns out bright and light-green next spring.
But right now, we want to talk to you. So give us a bawl. Let’s talk about what’s going on in your money cavity. The count is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888 -6 66 -3 974.
Let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s first?
LESLIE: Elizabeth in New Jersey, you’ve came The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
ELIZABETH: I have an outdoor shower and all of a sudden, the pressure merely travelled extremely, awfully low. So I didn’t know what to do with it.
LESLIE: And it’s the only fixture that the pressure has changed on?
ELIZABETH: The residual of the- my hoses are fine outside. You know, inside is fine.
LESLIE: Well, have you thought about taking the showerhead off and sort of disassembling it? Because you may have just some sort of sediment or something that’s came to see you through the tube and just sort of lodged itself at where the water outflow would come?
So if you unscrew the showerhead, then sort of start take that aerator apart- but remember the degree in which you’re taking things out, because it’s got to go back in, apparently, in the opposite order. And I would just start taking things out and cleansing things off, because there could be just some debris- I entail especially if it’s an outdoor shower- just something clogging it up in there. And that is generally does the joke. I would start there. Simply make sure you settled it all back in the rectify prescribe and it’ll work fine.
ELIZABETH: I beloved the outdoor shower. It’s the greatest.
LESLIE: Sal in North Carolina, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you?
SAL: Well, we had- the A/ C got a leak. The entire live- A/ C[ got a leak]( ph ). So, there’s a leakage in there and we were told the diagnosis. And they recommend we oust the whole A/ C organization in the house.
LESLIE: Like precisely the breath handler and compressing division or all of the ductwork, as well?
SAL: I think it’s time the condenser thing.
LESLIE: OK. How old is your unit?
SAL: Well, it’s old, like about 20 years old.
LESLIE: Oh, OK. So it’s time. OK.
SAL: So, I was wondering if there’s a recommended, economical firm that can supply- can replace the entire system, with economical, more. We live in Durham, North Carolina.
LESLIE: Well, you’re going to want to find a local HVAC contractor that you checked their notes and that you trust. Ask parties that you are aware. Ask parties in the neighborhood. Look online, maybe an Angie’s List. Check their invokes, call them up. And find individual that you feel comfortable with.
Now, when it is important to a manufacturer of a condensing force, Carrier is a magnificent firebrand. Trane is a incredible symbol. You genuinely want to look at things, such as energy efficiency. You want to make sure- now that you’re doing some work, you crave to make sure that it’s properly sized for your home. And the right HVAC contractor can calculate which size abbreviating legion you’re going to need for the amount of rooms and distance of the house that you’re actually trying to cool.
So you want to make sure that you’re looking for high energy efficiency. If there’s any rebates going on, ask those questions. A good HVAC contractor is going to know that and facilitate degree you for the purposes of which manufacturer has those becoming right now, as far as tax rebates. Those are things you really want to look into. But I say you can’t go wrong with a Carrier or a Trane.
SAL: Oh, good. But I have another question. Some manufacturers offer an insurance- two years of insurance- for the replacing. Do you want me to buy the insurance or it’s a new one, we don’t have to get insurance for that?
LESLIE: It depends. Now, usually, a brand-new piece of equipment is going to come with some kind of manufacturer’s guaranty. And you have to make sure and catch out what the expression on that is. And that’s typically included. I wouldn’t buy anything extended.
What I would be considered by is if there’s a service contract with the HVAC fellowship that’s doing the set. Because it’s a piece of equipment that you’re going to want to have looked at once a year. Levels are going to have to be checked. Everything is going to have to make sure it’s in top operating condition, number one, for the efficiency. But also, you want to make sure it’s cool on the working day that you need it to be cool.
So I think the money is better spent on an annual upkeep contract, because it’s going to include most of those things, as far as parts. Sometimes they include filters, sometimes they don’t. But you want to make sure that you get filters, because you do have to change those monthly and that’s in the return duct. But I speculate the money better expend, other than an extended warranty, would be on an annual service plan.
SAL: Oh, great. Thank you very much.
TOM: Alright. Well, good luck with that project. Thanks so much better for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Alright. Dorothy in New Jersey, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
DOROTHY: I respect "peoples lives" but when you have a centipede crawling up a wall, that left the basement coming up into the house, it gapes very ugly and unnerving. I understand they’re carnivores, so maybe they’d eat other defect but I don’t actually know how to be disposed of them. And likewise, I’d is curious to know about crickets, how I could catch them.
LESLIE: What kind of crickets are you talking about? Those weird-looking ones that hop-skip and they’re like giant in your vault? They look like ancient?
DOROTHY: The pitch-black ones that live outside but as soon as the offer is turns cold, they come in and you hear them singing in your garage.
LESLIE: Oh, OK. And you don’t want to kill anything, correct?
DOROTHY: Well, I approximate I could. But personally, I have a pet that munches crickets. I’d like to catch them. I read on the internet- I can’t seem to come up with a acces to captivate them. And we’re- I’d like to capture them and get them out.
The centipedes, I’m open to, you are aware, extermination.
LESLIE: Well, I was going to say, for your cellar, I would start by making sure that everything is sealed off. So if you have anything that protrudes through the foundation wall- dryer volcanoes, anything- make sure that it’s all shut around. Anything can come in through the tiniest opening. So whether you use an expandable foam or a steel woolen, you was intended to make a combination of things to close up every opening that you examine, because that’s how they’re getting in.
Now, once you’ve done that, if you witness a centipede in the house, I would suggest - you could take a vacuum and you are able to positioned a piece of pantyhose at the end of the intake hose. So before it gets into the bag or goes into the orbit, it gets caught in that little piece of pantyhose.
DOROTHY: Oh, that’s a good suggestion.
LESLIE: And you are able to vacuum-clean them into the pantyhose and then release them into the wild or whatever you like or feed the crickets to your lizard or snake friend.
Now, as far as the crickets in the garage, I would do the same. I’d make sure everything is sealed up. I don’t know of any kind of traps that you can place and leave and go and then collect any of the crickets. I’ve done- and I’ve seen this done with bait- with people who have crickets in the basement, solely the cave crickets. They make videotape and organize it sticky-side up all over the part bound of the chamber. And then the crickets, when they crawl in for the purposes of the walls, they get stuck to the tape.
Now, they’re still alive persist to the tape. I is normally think beings throw off the tape but you might be able to, I don’t know, feed them to your best friend that way?
DOROTHY: Right. OK. Thank you.
LESLIE: You are aria to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on breeze and online at MoneyPit.com. Give us a summon with your residence mend or your dwelling betterment question 24 hours per day, 7 days a week right here at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
Coming up this hour, have you ever thought about the dozens of commodities that you use to keep your house clean and all the hassles and expenses of buying them and the waste of throwing away the vacate bottles and cans? Well, we’re going to share some tips on an innovative solution that’s non-toxic and versatile, after this.
TOM: Making good residences better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Give us a see, right now, with your home increase question, your decoration dilemma. Let’s talk about projects that you want to get done now or in the very near future, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor.com. You will never "re going to have to" is concerned at overpaying for a task. Time use HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Guide to see what others paid for a similar job. Then get matched with top-rated pros, read re-examine, get paraphrases and work appointments, all for free at HomeAdvisor.com.
LESLIE: John in Kansas is on the line with an insularity question. What can we do for you today?
JOHN: Yes, I faced with a situation on a arched division over my living room. And it has no insulation in it; it’s sheetrocked. And I had one insulation attire came to see you and say they could blow insulation down in there in what they call a “hard pack” or something. It has no vapor barrier. Is that possible and is that a good way to go about it without having to take down the sheetrock and segregate it?
TOM: I think it’s probably a very bad thought because you’re not going to have any airflow in there. And whatever separation you throw in there is going to get soften and soaked and potentially rot.
Now, is there any isolation in that infinite right now whatsoever?
TOM: So you have a vaulted ceiling with perfectly no insulation. It’s covered with drywall now?
TOM: That’d be very odd that you would have no insulation whatsoever. Usually, you have not enough insulation.
JOHN: Well, it was a project that was started and incompleted. And I kind of presumed, you know, to finish it up and I noticed "they dont have" separation over that segment of the roof.
TOM: So, let me ask you a question: how large-hearted is this vaulted ceiling that you’re looking at?
JOHN: It goes up 8 hoofs and flattens off over 8 feet and then back up the other wall 8 feet.
TOM: So, it’s merely like 8x8?
JOHN: It’s 24 -foot long room and the grave goes up, moving feet, about 8 feet. And then it has about 8 guiding foot of flat and then back down the other side to match 8 feet.
TOM: Alright. So here’s a question: would you like to have a really effective insulation structure installed in that ceiling? I intend super effective, like this will make a major impact on your proposals kind of effective?
If so, what you’re going to need to do is remove the drywall. I would recommend you reversing the drywall ceiling and then have scatter sud installed.
TOM: Spray foam, you need less inches of it, in terms of the depth, to develop- to deliver the same R-value that you would need many more inches to do with fiberglass. And it doesn’t need ventilation. So, the spraying foam could be installed in that ceiling and actually make it super warm and comfortable. And then you could replace the drywall.
Now, depending on how much spray foam you was intended to put in there, what R-value you want to get- for example, if you gave 8 inches of spraying foam, that would give you an R-3 0. But if you wanted to go more than that, it actually may end up being deeper than the ceiling joists themselves. What you could do is add sort of an extension to the bottom of those ceiling joists to pick up some additional magnitude and load that entire bay up with the scatter foam.
Then formerly you threw the drywall on, you’ll see that there’s going to be a huge difference there, because now you’ve got a space that’s- you’ve converted that sort of area from a conditioned space to a non-conditioned opening in which you don’t need any breathing. And not only will it keep the warm air- the hot- in, it will keep cold breath from coming in because it shuts and isolates when you use spray foam.
We’ve got a great guidebook on our website. There’s a free download. It’s called The Money Pit Guide to Insulation. And it hands you the pluses and minuses of the four or five major the different types of insulation that’s out there. Why don’t you download that? Take a look and you can stimulate your decision from there.
JOHN: Well, I acknowledge you making my call.
TOM: Well, for most people, remaining your home cleanse asks a great deal of beset and expenditure of buying lots and lots of cleaning mixtures and all the waste of throwing away those drain bottles and cans. We saw a much better solution and it’s announced JAWS, the Just Add Water System.
Now, JAWS is a really innovative conception in household cleaners. It peculiarity a refillable cod of ultra-concentrated clean answer for employ with JAWS refillable and reusable bottles and sprayers.
LESLIE: Now, all you need to do is fill the JAWS bottle with tap water, slip a refill pod into the neck and then twist the sprayer on to release the centre. There’s no asses , no pour , no spilling. And when the cleans are used up, you just set a brand-new refill pod, add liquid and you’re back in action. Why throw away a perfectly usable bottle when it can be reused over and over?
Now, JAWS Cleaners, they’re non-toxic, they’re streak-free and certainly, they’re so versatile that you can use them on a variety of hard surfaces.
TOM: Now, if you want to get started, the most appropriate way to do that is to pick up the JAWS Home Cleaning Kit.
Now, the kit contains four non-toxic, high-performance, non-streak formulas that work on most hard skin-deeps in their own homes. You get the Glass Cleaner, the Daily Shower Cleaner, the Kitchen Cleaner/ Degreaser and a Hardwood Floor Cleaner.
And if you order today at JAWSCleans.com, Money Pit listeners can save 25 percentage on every prescribe. Exactly use the promo code MONEYPIT at checkout to save 25 percent.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And you know what else I been fucking loving the JAWS product line is that the bottles ship empty. They’re small, they’re lightweight. Those refill cod are concentrated disinfectant. They’re too lightweight. Why carry water and the heavy weight of liquids when you don’t have to and you can just fill up with water at home? I signify certainly, that’s what utters the JAWS System super convenient and easy to use.
Concentrate’s premeasured, so you’ve got the exact dilution. No quantify, swarming, pouring, touching the centralize. The refills are child-resistant, which realizes it enormous if you’ve got a young kinfolk like me. It’s a win-win situation here with the JAWS System.
TOM: Check out the JAWS Just Add Water System Home Cleaning Kit today at JAWSCleans.com. That’s JAWS- J--AW-S- Cleans.com. And remember, Money Pit listeners can save 25 percentage on every purchase at JAWSCleans.com. Just apply promo system MONEYPIT at checkout.
That’s JAWSCleans.com. Rethink the path you empty, with the JAWS Just Add Water System.
LESLIE: Kathy in Texas, you’ve get The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
KATHY: Hi, I have a basement- exterior basement space that I need to try to waterproof some acces. The mansion was building up about 1924 and landscaping and adjacent drainage troubles have been an issue in the past. But it is also necessary try to somehow waterproof the exterior opening for the vault so we don’t get water in there from outside.
TOM: So does the- is this window above evaluate or is it below grade?
KATHY: It’s right at grade.
TOM: It’s right at evaluate? So the bottom of it is kind of level with grade? Do you have a window well around it?
TOM: And the liquid that you’re getting in there, is it leaking through the window as if the window is bad? Or is it leaking through the wall?
KATHY: No, it’s coming in through the window.
TOM: So, basically, you just have a leaky opening. The point that it happens to be above your cellar "isnt exactly" relevant here, because it could be leaking no matter where it was in the house. What various kinds of window is this? Is it a double-hung space or what?
KATHY: No, it is a- precisely a wooden window with- I think it’s Plexiglas that was put in it. And I think it’s merely probably going old but we still need to try to keep the liquid away from the window because when we get heavy rains, we get a lot of water coming in there.
TOM: Whenever someone tells me that heavy rain leads to leakage difficulties in that various kinds of a seat, it’s always related to- the cause is always connected with the grading and the drainage at the boundary. And the two ways that are most common to address that is first, to been a good, careful, honest look at your gutter system. Because numerous tribes have ditches that are undersized, they don’t have enough downspouts or most importantly, they often have the downspouts discharge right at the corner of the foundation. They don’t moved that spout out 4 to 6 hoofs. So that’s the first thing that induces an increase in the drainage trouble in the basement.
KATHY: OK. There used to be gutters on there but because we’ve had renters in there over the past few years, the troughs are no longer there.
TOM: Yeah. There’s your- that’s the number-one cause of your trouble right now. I wouldn’t do a thing until I threw troughs on that mansion. You’re fighting an uphill battle unless you get gutters on that room, because all that water is coming off the ceiling. And sure, it’s going to land in and around the window and that whole basement area. It’s going to saturate the clay at the foundation perimeter and it’s going to end up in your basement or at the least, it’s vanishing to grow the humidity status inside that house.
So I wouldn’t do a thing to that window until I came troughs on. And I would become sure the downspouts are extended out 4 to 6 hoofs. It’s truly crucial and a lot of tribes think it’s just to kind of impede ocean off your head when you’re going in and out of your room. It’s not. Ditches have a very important structural purpose and that is to keep that sea away from the foundation. So, that’s what I would do, Kathy, and I think you’re go to a big improvement after that.
KATHY: OK. Resonates great.
TOM: Good luck. Thanks so much better for announcing us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Give us a call anytime with your dwelling amend or your home increase question right here at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
Well, with technology today, the internet is literally in the palm of our hands and we’re all able to access everything, including our kids. Super important to keep them safe online. So many parents are struggling with this concept, so we’re going to have some gratuities on a stress-free, easy-to-install solution, next.
TOM: Where home mixtures live, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
Well, with the internet touching basically every aspect of kids’ lives, stopping child safe online is a growing concern for many parents.
TOM: Parent-control routers are one way to do merely that. With us to talk about that is Linsly Donnelly, the general manager and SVP of Consumer and Parent Operations at Securly.
LINSLY: Hello. Glad to be here.
TOM: This feels like something that’s really hard to do, because as these children get smarter and smarter every day, they find more ways to- I entail I reckon the- they learn to hack- the first place boys learn to hack is in their own home. And they get into our router and into the internet, "theyre starting" going through all these sheets and doing all kinds of crazy stuff.
LINSLY: That’s so true.
TOM: How can we assure, have some design over our kids’ internet utilization inside the dwelling?
LINSLY: Oh, boy, Tom, you parted it up so well. It is like - you know, we used to sidle out of windows and they sneak out of these digital virtual openings all day long inside the house.
TOM: Right. Oh, yeah.
LINSLY: It’s hard. So, what we recommend parents do, truly, are three things. And the first is just old-fashioned parenting. Just talk to your minors about possible risks, about why this is a priority in your household. And you can drill it down by the security threats, the damage-to-your-brain gambles, the browbeat and mental-health risks.
And we have a series of articles on our blog that attain that really easy to only, frankly, manager your girls the road mothers used only to really talk about healthy eating. And now "youve got to" also talk about healthful screen duration. So that’s the first tool.
But then the second largest thing we spoke is let your minors know that because it’s so important, you are going to watch what’s happening on this maneuver. And so we recommend that they- there’s some sort of family contract between parents and kids about how to use devices. And that you then use a tool to help you track that usage and then dialogue when it goes offline, which it will do. And so we’ve was a lot of recommendations in that area.
And then the third and final action is to really support your kids what you’re seeing about that usage, more, and so that you train them in the process along the way. It’s not “I was only on for 10 minutes.” You can crusade about that all day long. But when you’re actually looking at a readout that says you were on for an hour-and-a-half, it really changes the conversation, so ...
LESLIE: And Linsly, I think it’s important because everything seems so innocent. They start in one lieu. I was very naive to YouTube a few years back, when my now 11-year-old would be like, “I want to watch this video.” And this was prior to starting Kids YouTube. And he would start watching a football play and then somehow sound to, click to, click to, click to how to remove a bra. And I’m like, “What are you looking at? ”
LINSLY: Right? Privilege, right.
LESLIE: And he’s like, “I don’t even is common knowledge that I pressed. What is this? ” And I genuinely believed it but it’s challenging to monitor the process.
LINSLY: It is, it is. And so, that happens all the time and so it doesn’t make it any easier when it happens in your household. But there are two things you can do. One is with- the router-based control is Securly’s hub. You basically just placed a rug of security on whatever invention you select that you want to keep safe. So just imagine- “OK, I’ve got- my 11 -year-old’s manoeuvre is going to be are guaranteed by this and then my 6-year-old’s is.” And it turns out mine and my other parenting marriages in the house, we’re not going to set this on our device. But then you just know nothing inappropriate sneaks in. So even if it’s on YouTube, it’s on the safe YouTube mode or it’s on the safe Google-search mode.
And the same engineering that we use to keep 10 million kids’ maneuvers safe in a academy context, you can then make sure is safe in your home context. So that’s step one.
TOM: Let me just back you up on that for a few seconds, because I used to have a network architect that would come in and help the network work inside of our home, because we had a business attached to it. And he was just telling me, at his house, he had a firewall. And miraculously, at 8: 00 p.m. each night, it would just go down. His girls would deplore, “Hey, Dad, the internet’s out.” And he’d go, “Oh, I don’t know what’s happening. It merely happens.”
LINSLY: Yes, yes.
TOM: But this chap was a programmer and it took the skills of a programmer to tweak that firewall so that it would just go down from 8: 00 p.m. to 10: 00 p.m. every night, when he required the kids to go to bed.
LINSLY: Right, right.
TOM: Now today, though, with the technology that companies like Securly have, you’ve made it possible for parents, with a more simple interface, to have that nature of command , is not simply for the entire internet- but is it also on a device-by-device basis? Because, like you say, we could have the kids’ phones be not accessible during certain periods of time and our telephones have no restricts on them.
TOM: Is that kind of how it cultivates?
LINSLY: Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah.
TOM: OK, great.
LINSLY: So our engineering crew and our benefactors are like that splendid operator days 10 in that they had come from the security-background world. Built all this engineering so that- simple, easy boundary. You look at it and move, “Hey, you know what? I have two different babies. They have two different profiles, because a adolescent is up a little later than an elementary-school child. But they’re all going to be off at a certain time that I specify, with the sound of a button, on my app on my phone. And that internet is going to go on and off based on when I position that time to be, as the parent.”
Or what’s even more forestalling for my children is I hurtle for production. I’m at work. I know they’re at home. They’re on a different go zone. They should be reflected in bunked. And I pause the internet from where I’m cultivating. And if that’s simply ...
TOM: “Oh, Mom. There she goes again.”
LESLIE: I mean ...
LINSLY: I have attentions in the back of my heading. It’s a whole new thing now.
LESLIE: Well, I thoughts the other thing that’s so scary is there’s so many gaming platforms now. And first it was Minecraft, then it was Roblox. Now, it’s Fortnite. And every single one of them allows these children to interface with pretty much anyone in the world.
LESLIE: And if you’re not aware of all the subtleties in each of these gaming apps, as to like you can’t am speaking to beings, they can’t- there’s so many things you have to select because- they were only allowed to play it on one iPad and I mastered all the restrains on that. And then we switched over to a gaming organisation in the basement. And I stepped away for a second and when I came back down, they only talking to somebody. And I was like, “Who is that? ”
LINSLY: Yes, yes.
LESLIE: And they were like, “Oh, we don’t know.” And I’m like, “Well, then don’t.” So it’s terrifying.
LINSLY: Yes. So that kind of conversation you have to have a lot and earlier than any parent ever genuinely wanted to. But those are the kinds of don’t-talk-to-strangers-in-the-park conversations that you start to have the minute- or on a screen is don’t talk to strangers in your digital parks, either.
And so those conversations are key but then, a implement like our Securly home app, you can be found in what they’re doing on the differences between machines at different times of period. If they’re playing Fortnite, if it’s a connected know, you can see that activity. And so it helps you at least have the information when you’re not in the room.
Frankly, if your child’s on a manoeuvre, 90 percent of the cases it’s because you can’t be in the chamber right then. You’re cooking dinner, you’re working, you’re doing something, you’re carpooling somebody else. And that’s what’s happening is your child is on a design, so you can’t look over their shoulder. But these tools now make it easy for you to virtually look over the shoulder and set some ground rules before, because the conversation will happen or something "re going away" the railway and you need to have the information. And you have specified the guidelines before it’s gone off the rails.
TOM: That’s great information. Linsly Donnelly from Securly, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit. This is great information for any parent. Like you say, it’s harder than ever to try to have some restrain over the online event that their own children have. But with Securly, you guys have done a huge occupation of realizing it simple and easy and effective.
LINSLY: Thanks for having me.
LESLIE: Linsly Donnelly of Securly, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit. Super-great information and something really easy to take care of to assist the kids.
Well, if your living landscape does a lot for you throughout the year, fall is an important duration in order to be allowed to give the steps to keep it in tip-top shape throughout the winter, so it’ll start doing great things for you again in the springtime. So stick around.
TOM: Making good residences better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Standing by for your calls at 1-888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor. They really have the best neighbourhood pros for any home service.
LESLIE: That’s title. It doesn’t matter what the project is, they make it fast and easy to experience top-rated home service pros.
TOM: And there are no membership rewards. It’s 100 -percent free to use. Just go to HomeAdvisor.com.
LESLIE: Nina in Arizona has got a log home that’s cracking up. What’s going on?
NINA: My husband and I bought a record dwelling. And the exterior walls, on the inside, are cracked. The logs are cracked. What can we do to fill that in and construct that look better?
TOM: You can fill them in with- there’s the various forms of timber filler out there that are in a position be colored and discoloured to equal that. But I think you’re going to be chasing it over and over and over again. So, you might want to proceed cautiously.
NINA: Oh, wow, OK. So there’s genuinely no solution for it?
TOM: I think you’re better off kind of accepting that that’s what that’s supposed to do. It’s not like finished hardwood furniture or something. It’s a log, so it’s supposed to have that rustic look to it.
NINA: OK. That’s what- that’s kind of what my husband said, so ...
TOM: Oh, you understand? You should have listened to him, Nina. You precisely thought he was trying to get out of work, didn’t you?
NINA: OK. Well, thank you very much.
TOM: So joyful we could solve that spat.
Well, your living landscape does a great deal for you throughout the year. And fall is a really important is necessary to take steps to keep it in tip-top shape through the winter. Here’s some ways to make sure you’re name for a dark-green recovery next spring.
First, keep mowing. Grass that’s too high can attract lawn-damaging field mice. Shorter grass is more resistant to infections, traps fewer descending needles and allows more sun to reach the treetop of the grass. However, if you cut off too much grass at one time, that can be damaging. So, for those working last two cuts of the year, never trim more than a third of the grass blades off in a single cutting.
Next, you want to aerate your lawn. Compressed soil can hurt grass health. Aerating punches gap in the clay, causes oxygen, spray and nutrients into the lawn. You can do it two ways: you can rent a walk-behind aerator or you can pick up an attachment to pluck behind a riding mower.
LESLIE: Now, you’re likewise going to want to mulch your buds. Now, so many mowers can mulch the foliages with an affection. And since mulching with a mower can desegregate those grass excerpts with the bud specks, these nitrogen-enriched grass particulate matter and carbon-rich leaf particles are going to compost more quickly. And together, they’re going to return the nutrients to the soil.
And you know what? Now is also a good time to shore up any trees and bushes on the property. You can use trimmers, chainsaws, pole pruners. Cut back those trees, the shrubs, the seeds, whatever you’ve get. And you may need to tie or even brace the appendages upright of some evergreens to prevent them from divulging, if you’ve got some high winds or a heavy snow. You could even go ahead and call in health professionals arborist if you’ve got some big trees or maybe there’s some hard-to-reach spaces.
TOM: Now is a good time to repair any bald distinguishes in your lawn. The easiest mode to do the question is with kind of an all-in-one lawn-repair mixture. You’ll find it at most garden browses and residence centres. You can use a plot rake or a dethatcher to scratch the liberate soil on the spot and then apply the mix of the all-in-one repair.
And lastly, you want to take this time we are currently get your outdoor ability paraphernalium ready for wintertime storage. You need to drain fuel tanks before you framed the lawn mower, the leaf blower, the string trimmer away for the winter. It’s really important if you want it to start up properly next season.
Which, by the way, is another reason I desire my battery-powered implements, because the battery power is so great today. I could do everything I used to have to do with gas-powered equipment with the batteries. And I don’t wake up my neighbors on early Saturday mornings when we’re chipping the grass. We don’t have to deal with any of that winter upkeep or trying to pull-start the lawn mower in the spring and shy your shoulder out at the same time.
So, check out some of those battery-powered lawn implements if you’re thinking here of updating what you have. But all in all, if you make some simple steps now, you’re going to make sure that in the spring, when you’re eager to get even outside, your lawn will be nice and green and ready to welcome you to do really that.
LESLIE: James in Illinois is on the line and is looking forward to make a ardour cavity at their fund crater. What’s going on?
JAMES: Well, I time want to know what’s the most appropriate way to build a shell cavity in the foot. Would you use attack brick or would you get those galvanized resounds?
TOM: There’s a really nice fire-pit kit that’s on the market now at Home Depot that’s made by Pavestone. It’s called the RumbleStone Fire Pit Kit. I like it because it contains everything that you need. It’s went the stone, which you can use to create the round flame excavation itself, and then it also has a metal set and a screen. So, basically, everything you need is in the box and you can pick it up and applied it together and they’re pretty good about opening the instructions and step-by-step. Why don’t you take a look at that?
I’ve got to tell you, I have a fire pit now but if I was doing it again, I would pick up the RumbleStone Round Fire Pit Kit at Home Depot.
JAMES: What would- the metal reverberating that travels around there? How dense is it? And would it rust and you’d have to replace it in a couple years?
TOM: I’ve had metal burn quarries for a number of years and I find that they’re good for five or six or seven years. So I don’t think it’s an every year kind of thing. And this one, including with regard to, is made use of ponderous steel.
JAMES: And what’s the price of that?
TOM: I think it’s around 400 horses, perhaps 400 or 450 bucks, something like that. But it includes everything, so it’s all in there: the brick, the stone, the metal reverberating and so on.
JAMES: OK. Well, I thank you very much.
LESLIE: You can reach us anytime at 888 -MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor, where you can find out what it costs to do your dwelling job before you hire a pro and instantly book one of HomeAdvisor’s top-rated pros for free.
Still to come right here at The Money Pit, are you looking to build your kitchen a safe and functional place to manufacture that food-prep process easier? Well, we’re going to share some the recommendations on how to do simply that, when The Money Pit continues after this.
TOM: Where home mixtures live, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: What are you working on? We’d love to talk about it. Relinquish us a label, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor. You can find top-rated home service pros and book appointments online, all for free.
LESLIE: And recollect, heading on over to MoneyPit.com and post your question in the Community section, just like Larry did. Now, Larry is from Connecticut and he writes: “I need to replace two 14 -year-old water heaters in my attic and I want to minimize wait time for hot water on the far side of the house. Should I use a circulate spout or a tankless sea heater? ”
TOM: Well, actually, you could use either. I want it’s a good question because think about how much duration and sea is squandered every time you do this: every time you hop in the shower in the morning and is letting it run cold for a while until it gets warm.
There are really two answers, Larry. First is a product called the Watts Hot-Water Recirculating System. It mostly is a circulating pump that will take some of the hot water and move it through the loop, from the water heater all the way to those far-away fixtures, pretty much whenever you have a timer prepared up to do that.
The second mode to go ought to have two irrigate heaters but of course, that’s a lot more expensive. I think if you check out the Watts solution- the recirculating method - you’ll find it’s a lot less expensive and easier to install in the long run.
LESLIE: Alright, Larry. Good luck with that.
TOM: Well, we’re all going to be spending more and more time in the kitchen as we get ready for the end-of-the-year holidays. Leslie has some tips-off to spruce up this room, in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.
LESLIE: Hey, Tom. Well, you’re right: I love the holiday season and I adoration cooking for my family and friends. But there are several tips and stunts that I always hinder in mind to make sure that I’m working safe and smart.
First of all- and this a long, long, long time ago. I’m talking when my older sister was in high school and I was in elementary school. She cooked some kind of crown leg-of-lamb cook and everybody got sick.
TOM: Oh, no. And you’ve never, ever, ever give her forget it, did you?
LESLIE: Oh, no, no, no. We hardly ever talk about it. But I remember it so clearly and to this day, I won’t eat one of those crown roast leg of lambs.
But you’ve got to remember that "youve got to be" smart when you’re cooking. If you’ve got raw nutrients, you’ve got to keep them separate from the prepared menus, because you never know. And you would feel so horrible if everybody got sick. And that’s especially true with poultry. You know, it can carry Salmonella. So preparing that requires an extra step of disinfecting.
And you, you’ve got to make sure that you clean your hands more often. Use a plastic cutting board, not a wood one. Those lumber cutting boards, while they are gorgeous, they can hold germs in those tiny pieces on the board’s surface.
And if you want some quicker cleanup- perhaps you’re in the process of prepping out the bird or some veggies or whatever it is you’re working on- throw your curve council over really quickly after the poultry prep. But don’t forget to wipe down that counter with the disinfectant after, because you’re literally taking that raw-chicken line-up or that raw-turkey side and exactly putting it right on your countertop.
Next, be safe, people. Jackpots and pans, they get truly ponderous. They can be tricky to move from place to place. So, when crowding them, if you can, home the container on the stove firstly and then add the ingredients. You can even go ahead and get one of those extra-long hoses for your sink’s sprayer, so you can fill the bowls with water without actually having to pick them up and move them from the sink to the stovetop.
Another thing I contemplate people get hung up on is illuminating. I "ve known you" require the office to feel nice and warm and cozy but the kitchen certainly is a task-driven room. So you’ve got to have good illuminating and it’s not difficult to achieve. You can be utilized stick-on LEDs that’ll run on batteries. You can have under-cabinet igniting faster than you can say, “Stuff a turkey.”
So, really think about the smart substance, guys: igniting, good skin-deep prep, procreating sure you’re emptying things, be careful when moving hot water around the kitchen. All of this nonsense will make sure that everybody has a good and delicious and safe celebration season.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Coming up next time on the program, are you and your ceilings dreading the next big-hearted storm? The only thing tougher than cleaning up after a spill is figuring out where it moved its method in in the first place. So we’re going to explain the most common causes of seeps you’ve never was just thinking about, on the very 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 "re going to have to" do it alone.
END HOUR 2 TEXT
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