LESLIE: Walter in Alabama’s got an unwanted odor in his house. Tell us about it.
WALTER: We bought a farmhouse that’s about 30 years old and apparently the people that owned it before us kept animals inside. And we bought it, unfortunately, in November when it was nice and cool and then (laughter), when it got warm, we started noticing …
LESLIE: Ah, welcome the humidity.
TOM: Ew. So you’re in all kinds of …
WALTER: Yeah, we’re redoing the house …
WALTER: … and we’ve stripped the floors down to – there’s a pine subfloor with particleboard that’s been glued to the top of it.
TOM: Are you going to leave that particleboard in place?
WALTER: You know, it’s really been nice to know I have to get in there and pull it all up but if I have to, I have to.
TOM: No, here’s what we want you to do. Whenever you’re trying to seal in an odor or a smoke stain or anything like that, you need to use a very, very, very good quality primer. Because – what I mean, good quality, I mean not only good brand but also oil-based, as opposed to water-based. Because the oil-based primers do, really, two things: they seal in whatever’s there; and secondly, they give you an excellent very sticky surface that the new paint or the new whatever’s going to go on top of that can be applied to.
So what I would do is I would go ahead and clean it as much as you can. Then I would use an oil-based primer. You can get a good one from Behr or a good one from KILZ. But not – remember, they come water-based and oil-based. Buy oil-based and then paint that subfloor with the oil-based primer. Let it dry and then go ahead and put your – what are you going to put, carpet down on top of that?
WALTER: No, actually, we’re going to put tongue-and-groove pine down on top of it.
TOM: Oh, great. So go ahead and do that and then put the pine down on top of that. But oil-based primer, even though you’re not painting it as a finished surface, is going to seal in that odor.
WALTER: That’s great, y’all.
TOM: Alright, Walt. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.