Learn one way you can enjoy a deck without all the maintenance. Find out how to kill weeds and keep them from coming back. Therma Tru has come up with a way to have the beauty of a glass door, without sacrificing privacy. Plus get answers to your home improvement questions such as, painting kitchen cabinets, removing paint from concrete, texture ceiling repair, laminate flooring repair, attic ridge vents, painting garage door, moisture in the attic, water in the basement and lifted tiles.
TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Standing by to answer your home improvement questions, to help solve your do-it-yourself dilemmas. We know you’ve got some. Take a look around your house. It’s a great time to pick up a hammer, pick up a saw and get that project started. But the first thing you need to pick up to do that is your phone and call us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.
We’ve got a great show planned for you and we hope that you are enjoying these beautiful spring days when everything is green and lush. But what if what you see on your lawn is just green, lush weeds? Not so good. We’re going to help you, because we’re going to have This Old House landscaping contractor, Roger Cook, stop by with advice on how to kill those weeds, once and for all, and stop them from coming back.
LESLIE: And also ahead, if you’ve got doors with large glass windows, that’s great for this time of year because you get to enjoy those beautiful spring views. But the problem is it also lets other people see what’s going on inside your house. So we’re going to have a tip on how to get a little privacy but still let the light in.
TOM: Plus, having a deck is a nice way to kick back and enjoy your yard, that is until the deck starts to scream for attention. You know, wood decks need a lot of care from cleaning to staining and then, of course, restaining just to stay ahead of Mother Nature. But you can go virtually maintenance-free with the right product. We’re going to teach you how to do just that, in just a bit.
LESLIE: And also this hour, we’re giving away a set of EcoVantage light bulbs from Philips worth 20 bucks. Now, these bulbs look and light a room just like those traditional incandescents but in a much more energy-efficient way.
TOM: So let’s get to it. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.
Leslie, who’s first?
LESLIE: Charlene in California needs some help with a patio-cleaning project. Tell us what’s going on.
CHARLENE: Well, a while back I heard on your show – one of your shows – that there’s a product called Wet something-or-other to keep the black mold off of the patio floor.
TOM: Yes. It’s called Wet & Forget because that’s how easy it is to use. You wet it down and it does the job right there and you will slowly but surely see all of the moss and the mildew go away and it won’t come back.
CHARLENE: Oh, it won’t come back ever?
TOM: Well, not ever. You’re going to have to do it occasionally again.
LESLIE: Well, couple of years.
TOM: But it lasts quite a long time. It’s not like you have to do it every couple of months.
LESLIE: But keep in mind that once you apply it, it’s going to get rained on and Mother Nature is going to do its work. And so, it might gradually fade over the next few weeks. If it doesn’t disappear instantly, don’t be upset. But it really works and it keeps it away.
TOM: Yeah. Go to their website: WetAndForget.com. You can read all about it right there. You can use their store locator to find a local retailer. But it really is a terrific product. Very environmentally-friendly and just does a great job.
CHARLENE: That helps me out and I thank you very much.
LESLIE: Juanita in Texas is on the line and needs some help with a kitchen-cabinet painting project. How can we help you?
JUANITA: I have wooden cabinet and it had oil-based paint on it. And I put some water-based paint not knowing what I was doing and I want to remove the water-based paint. How do I do that?
LESLIE: Now, Juanita, when it came to prep work, did you remove or prep that surface of the existing finish on the cabinets in any way? Or did you just go ahead and apply the new paint to the old?
JUANITA: I just applied the new paint to the old.
LESLIE: Now, I think that’s what the problem is and not so much about water-based over oil-based. The issue is with the oil base, you’re dealing with a sheen, so you’ve got a slippery surface on the cabinet there. And then you’re dealing with years of use, so the kitchen cabinets are going to be a little dirty and slippery themselves. So, when you put the new paint on top, it didn’t really have anything to adhere to and just sort of slicked right off. So I imagine it’s probably peeling and rubbing off in areas, right?
LESLIE: So what you want to do at this point is – I mean because you’re dealing with different mixtures of paints here, you might want to invest in a stripping agent. One that I like to use when it comes to cabinetry is called Roc Miracle and it’s R-o-c Miracle. Comes in what looks like a turpentine can. And you apply it because it’s kind of – I would take all the doors off.
Did you do the boxes, as well?
JUANITA: No, I did not take the doors off.
LESLIE: OK. It might be easier for you, just because you’re going to be taking off the finish, to just unscrew the cabinet door from the hinges and leave the hinges on the box themselves and sort of label it. If you’ve got one door off, put a tape on the back that says “A” and put a piece of tape on the inside that says “A,” just so you know exactly where they go back to. It makes life a heck of a lot easier.
Lay them down on a flat surface, apply the stripper, let it sit there. Then you’re going to scrape it off. You’re going to give them a light sanding, clean them off well. And then I would personally use a very good-quality glossy paint, because that’s going to adhere well at that point and it’s going to be a good finish that’s very cleanable.
JUANITA: Alright. I appreciate it.
TOM: You’re very welcome, Juanita. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. Now you can be part of any home improvement adventure. Just pick up the phone and give us a call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We’re here to lend a hand at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Well, have you ever admired how beautiful your neighbor’s glass door is? That is until you realize that you can see everything those neighbors are doing, right through that clear door? We’re going to have a solution that offers a view out without the view in, next.
MIKE: Hey, this is Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs and I’ve just been told that Tom and Leslie might have a dirtier job than me? I find that hard to believe but then I heard they worked in a pit. It’s a money pit but it’s still filthy.
ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Bostitch. Professional-quality hand tools. Pneumatic and cordless nailers and staplers.
TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I'm Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I'm Leslie Segrete. Give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT, because we will help you with all of your home improvement dilemmas but one lucky caller this hour is going to get a really great prize. We’ve got the EcoVantage bulbs, which really is the energy-efficient light bulb for all of you traditionalists out there, because it’s got the same shape as, you know, a traditional incandescent. And it offers the same light quality as those incandescents that we all love but really, these are super-duper-duper energy-efficient.
Now, the EcoVantage light bulbs are available in soft white, natural light or clear bulbs. And they contain no mercury and are fully dimmable and instant-on. That sounds great and the best part is that they save at least 28 percent in your energy costs.
Now, the winner is going to get 6 different bulbs worth 20 bucks. So give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT for help with your question and a chance to win.
Michael in Missouri, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
MICHAEL: We’re trying to remove paint from a concrete floor and we’re not sure what type of paint it is. But the paint thinner and the really high-dollar paint removers have no effect on it. We painted on top of it and the paint that we put down on top of it was made for concrete and it’s supposed to be the high-durable paint but it just will not stick to it. You can just wipe it off with your fingernail.
TOM: Wow. What kind of top-quality concrete paint did you put down? Was it an epoxy paint?
MICHAEL: Oh, you’ve got me there.
TOM: Was it a two-part? Did you have to mix two parts of paint together to get there?
MICHAEL: No, sir. Well, they did the mixing at the store.
TOM: A couple of things. First of all, I would give it another shot with a good-quality paint remover. We’ve had very good success with Rock Miracle, which is one that is a pretty good paint stripper. So you want to get as much of that old stuff off as you can.
But in terms of the concrete floor, the sort of state-of-the-art way to finish a concrete floor today is with epoxy paint. And there’s a number of manufacturers that make this: Rust-Oleum makes one, QUIKRETE makes one, a few more manufacturers make them.
The way epoxy paint works is it’s a two-part mix. You get a can – a gallon – that’s short-filled; it usually has about two – about three-quarters paint and then an air space. And then you get a quart can that’s got the hardener. And you dump the hardener into the gallon, stir it up and then you apply that as the paint. And they usually also come with color chips that you can put in there to give yourself some texture, some finish to it. And then through chemical reaction, it will dry.
And you will find that the epoxy paint is a lot stickier than, certainly, a latex paint is. And so I would do the two things: I would strip off the paint that’s coming through – the one where you feel like you don’t have a good base – and then I would consider putting an epoxy paint down on top of the whole thing. Because I suspect that the paint that you did put down may not be that durable.
MICHAEL: Alright. I really appreciate it. Thank you.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Dawn in Florida who appears to be a texture junkie looking to retexture a ceiling.
Dawn, I think this a first. How can we help you?
DAWN: My house is about a year-and-a-half old and when they textured the ceiling, it’s a light orange peel, same thing they did on the walls. And they said it would be easier and more economical to do that than to try to do a slick coat on my ceiling. I don’t think that’s true. Instead now, a year-and-a-half later into it, then I noticed that you can still see the mud marks.
Well, I’ve been doing a lot of research on painting and they have all this Venetian plaster and all these different techniques. And I often got to wondering if I could do that on a ceiling: the same wall technique on a ceiling.
TOM: What does the ceiling look like right now? Like how deep is the texture that you have?
DAWN: Very light. It is a very light orange peel but you can still see the tape and the mudding. Late at night, I looked up there and I’m like, “I can still see the lines where the drywall goes together.” So, you can definitely see it raised.
TOM: I’m concerned that even if you do put the Venetian plaster kind of paint on that, that it might not be thick enough. Because if you can see the tape and the mud, it means that the ceiling was never properly spackled. And if it wasn’t properly spackled, you’re likely to see that through no matter what you do.
DAWN: Well, what do you think I should do? You think I should hire somebody to come in and just redo my ceilings? It’s not a very big house. It’s actually an ICF-construction house. It’s got solid concrete walls with rebar. And so it’s very solidly built and I went through a lot of trouble to have it done so a hurricane couldn’t blow me away. But I want it to look good on the inside, as well.
TOM: ICF stands for Insulated Concrete Forms, for those in our audience that have never heard that term used. And it’s a tremendous way to build a house, because it is hurricane-proof. Literally, all the things that get thrown around in a hurricane will not pierce the outside of the house. You’d be surprised how quick a 2x4 could be jammed right through a building that’s made with wood siding or even vinyl siding. Could be even worse.
And the ceiling itself, if it wasn’t completely spackled, I’m concerned that if you put anything on top of that, it’s going to show through. So I would suggest then – what you might want to do is to sand – have somebody come in and sand those areas that are not properly spackled. Do a good job spackling them and then lightly sand the whole thing, put a good coat of primer over it and then – because this is a repair, it’s not going to be as smooth as if it wasn’t a repair. So then you could use a plaster paint – a Venetian plaster or a textured paint – as a final step. Does that make sense?
DAWN: OK. Well, I think we’re on the same page and I appreciate it.
TOM: Well, have you ever wanted the beauty of a glass door but were concerned that you’d have no privacy? Well, the experts at Therma-Tru have solved that problem. They are a trusted sponsor of our program and they offer a range of privacy glass for virtually all their doors.
Now, the glass will let in the natural light but it won’t let your neighbors see what’s going on inside.
LESLIE: Ah and that’s the important part.
Now, the glass comes in four different designs or patterns, if you want to call it that, to add even more beauty to the door. And another thing that we like about the glass in Therma-Tru privacy doors is that it’s Energy Star-qualified, it’s triple-paned.
Now, the textured glass is actually sealed between the tempered, clear-glass sheets, which is going to provide reduced heat transfer, increased thermal performance and improved sound dampening. And as an added benefit, because that textured surface is in between two clean sheets of glass, super-easy to keep clean. You can learn more at ThermaTru.com.
Robert in Michigan is dealing with hard water. Tell us what’s going on.
ROBERT: I have a lot of problems with hard water, a lot of iron.
ROBERT: And I’ve seen advertised these electric water softeners, where you don’t use salt? It goes through an electric box or something? And in my mind, I can’t figure out how they would work.
LESLIE: Well, we’ve had some experience with one called EasyWater. And how this one, in particular, works is you take a – I guess is it a power supply, Tom? It’s an electrical cord or wire that you wrap around your water-supply pipe.
TOM: Well, the EasyWater itself actually – that’s exactly what it does: it creates a magnetic field. And so this is wrapped around the supply pipe and then it magnetizes or demagnetizes, so to speak …
LESLIE: And pushes everything away from each other so that they’re not going to stick. And then it sort of just rinses through rather than getting stuck where you see all of the issues that you get with hard water.
ROBERT: Alright. How do they work?
TOM: Well, they seem to work pretty good. We’ve gotten a lot of feedback on the system when we installed it. And we’ve heard from folks that have installed it. It worked well for us and it seems to work well for also the folks that we’ve talked to, so I would not be afraid to give it a shot.
And I know that they have a pretty good warranty on that so if you have any problems, you can send it back.
ROBERT: OK. I don’t have any information on it now and I don’t see it advertised anymore on TV.
TOM: Yeah. You know what? It’s actually pretty easy to find, Robert. Their website is EasyWater.com and that’s spelled out E-a-s-yWater.com. Don’t use the initials because that’s a competitor. There’s a lot of folks that have been trying to steal their traffic, so to speak. So if you just go to EasyWater – E-a-s-yWater.com, you’ll find it. The product is made by the FREIJE Treatment Systems Company – F-R-E-I-J-E.
ROBERT: OK. Thank you.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Beverly on the line who’s dealing with some windows that won’t come clean. Tell us what’s going on.
BEVERLY: I’m trying to find out how to clean windows on a house that was empty for – it was only 14 years old but it was – told it was empty for several years before we moved in.
BEVERLY: And the windows just can’t come clean with the normal methods.
LESLIE: Does it seem like there’s a fogginess on the inside that you can’t get to?
BEVERLY: Seems like it’s on the outside. Some of them are double-pane, some of them are single-pane.
LESLIE: OK. And are you seeing – so you’re seeing it on both types?
BEVERLY: Yeah, there’s nothing on the inside. Seems like it’s just all on the outside.
LESLIE: Hmm. Have you tried simply white vinegar?
BEVERLY: Not the white vinegar yet, no. We tried the over-the-counter things that are supposed to get the lime and – like the things off the shower.
TOM: Yeah, the mineral deposits.
LESLIE: Which, essentially, white vinegar does that; it really does a fantastic job of getting rid of mineral deposits. You know, generally, you would mix it with water but I would say in this case, try it undiluted. And newspapers are really a great trick when it comes to cleaning your windows; they do a wonderful job of really getting the windows clean without leaving streaks. But I think …
TOM: And Beverly, I know that you think this is on the outside of the glass but if it's a 14-year-old house, it probably has some older, thermal-pane windows. And thermal-pane windows, when they start to leak and the seals start to break, they’ll develop a very fine condensation inside the glass, where you can’t get to it. You can clean that all day long, it’s not going to change anything because it’s on the inside. And there’s not a lot that you can do about that short of replacing the window units themselves.
So, if you’re absolutely positive that they’re single-pane windows then, of course, it could come clean. But if it’s a thermal-pane window, it’s just not going to happen.
BEVERLY: Right, right. Yeah, it’s a little grainy to the touch, you know what I mean?
BEVERLY: So I’m just hoping I could get that clean. So, I really appreciate your help and I’m going to give that a try.
TOM: Alright. Well, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Kelly in Texas, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
KELLY: Yeah, I have a Craftsman-style home and it has ridge vents. But I had an energy audit just this spring and the energy audit said, “Kelly, you don’t have any soffit vents in your – around your eaves.”
TOM: Yeah. Hmm.
KELLY: Well, I don’t really have eaves. All of my roof ends in these exposed rafters. It does have gables and so he said, “You need to vent this house. Your house – your attic is not properly ventilated because you don’t have any way for the air to get in the bottom.”
TOM: OK. So you have no soffit. Is that correct? Basically, it terminates?
KELLY: That’s correct.
TOM: So here’s the solution, OK? There’s a type of vent called a drip-edge vent. And what a drip-edge vent does is it essentially extends the roof line by all of about 2 inches. And that 2 inch becomes an overhang at the edge that provides the intake ventilation for the soffit.
So, if you go the website for AirVent.com – it’s the Air Vent Corporation – take a look at the product selection there. Look at the Drip-Edge Vent and you’ll see exactly what I mean.
Now, to do this, you’re going to end up taking off the bottom course of shingles and maybe even putting two shingles in its place, because you’re going to have to actually physically extend the roof by a couple of inches. But done right, you will install that soffit that you don’t have and you won’t notice it from the outside. So you’re not going to physically notice a difference in terms of the architectural style of your house but you will provide that all-important space for intake ventilation.
KELLY: OK. Appreciate it.
LESLIE: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. If you’re looking forward to spending all of your summer in your yard, just know so are most of those weeds that seem to be popping up and saying “hello.” Well, we will teach you how to get rid of them and most importantly, how to prevent them from coming back, after this.
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TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I'm Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I'm Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Hey, do you want to learn how you can save money, energy and maybe do your part to save the planet, as well? Well, take a look at our green product guide, which is online, right now, at MoneyPit.com and presented, in part, by Lutron.
LESLIE: With a C?L Dimmer from Lutron, you can dim incandescent and halogen bulbs, as well as compact fluoros and LEDs. So the dimmer that you install today is going to work with tomorrow’s energy-efficient bulbs. And they keep making new ones, so this one’s going to work with everything.
Choose Lutron and visit ChooseLutron.com.
TOM: 888-666-3974. Call us right now at 888-MONEY-PIT and we’ll shed a little light on your home improvement project.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Veronica in Iowa on the line who needs some help repairing some flooring. Tell us what’s going on.
VERONICA: Well, we have wood laminate floors throughout our home and when moving some furniture, we scratched the floor. And so I’m trying to find out if there’s an easy way to fix that.
TOM: Do you know what manufacturer of the floor is?
VERONICA: I don’t. I’m assuming that the floor was bought at Home Depot. The prior owner was an executive at Home Depot, so everything they put in the house came from Home Depot. But I don’t know the actual manufacturer.
TOM: Veronica, if you don’t know the manufacturer of the floor, there are some generic products that you can use. One that I would take a look at is Bruce. Bruce is, of course, a big floor manufacturer but they make one that’s supposed to work well on any type of laminate floor.
And it’s simply called Acrylic Wood Filler. I know it’s sold at The Home Depot, so that stays in the family of Home Depot products that are in your house. And it’s about 6 bucks a tube and you can also find it online. It’s going to come in different colors, so you choose the color that’s closest to your floor. And if it’s not exact, then what you can do is go a little bit lighter, a little bit darker and kind of mix the two together. Does that make sense?
VERONICA: Yeah, OK. Great.
TOM: Alright. Well, there you go. Good luck with that project. Problem solved. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, we all love a lush, green lawn but sometimes, what’s green isn’t exactly grass nor is it very lush. In fact, weeds can destroy a lawn and remove any chance of turning your backyard into a perfect putting spot.
TOM: Well, that’s right. But when you consider that just one dandelion plant can make up to 15,000 weed seeds, it’s a wonder any of us win the battle against these green invaders.
One guy that can, though, is Roger Cook, the landscaping contractor from TV’s This Old House. And he’s here to tell us both how to rid our lives and our lawns from weeds.
ROGER: How are you?
TOM: We’re well. This is an ongoing battle that many homeowners face. What’s the best way to control weeds in your yard?
ROGER: It’s a battle from spring to fall. It’s not one product you can put down once that’ll take care of everything, so …
TOM: And it’s not just what’s growing in your yard; in fact, you’re trying to keep out all of the dandelion seeds that are floating around the atmosphere from everybody else’s lawn, correct?
ROGER: What is it? One dandelion can put out 15,000 seeds, which become airborne and can spread and spread and spread.
LESLIE: I had no idea that something so adorable, that’s so fun to pick up and collect as you find them, could be so infectious, if you will. Those dandelions.
ROGER: Yeah, yeah. Well, that’s how all weeds spread: they all have to have some mechanism which puts them into your yard from the neighbor’s yard. It’s a great thing nature designed.
LESLIE: So, how do you go about finding the right product to get rid of that right type of invader, if you will, for your lawn?
TOM: Because it’s not just dandelions; there are lots of different types of weeds.
ROGER: There’s a gazillion. At least a gazillion.
ROGER: Identify the weed. If you have to, you can go to a garden center and bring it with you and they’ll tell you about the control you can use for it. The other is the stronger the lawn is, the less weeds it will have. So keeping a good, healthy lawn that’s cut long will really help.
There’s a couple different ways I control weeds. There’s a real problem with crabgrass. And the areas are going to be the same, consistently, over and over and over, because it usually grows in areas that dry out.
ROGER: So you can put down a preemergent. But you don’t have to put the preemergent on the whole lawn. Crabgrass doesn’t grow on the north and the west side; it only wants the real sunny part.
TOM: Oh, that’s interesting.
ROGER: So you just treat the area where it was.
Now, that particular preemergent has to be put down just as the forsythia is flowering. That’s our key to knowing that the ground is now warm enough the crabgrass is starting to germinate.
LESLIE: And the forsythia is also known as the goldenrod, for people who might be confused. It’s that long, branchy shrub with the yellow, spiky – there are really pretty flowers on it.
ROGER: Yeah. Very, very early in the season.
LESLIE: Early May.
ROGER: One of the first to bloom. Yeah, yeah.
TOM: Now, is there a single herbicide that’s going to work on all of these weeds or do you really have to go on sort of a case-by-case basis?
ROGER: Case-by-case basis. You have to be really careful. When you buy an herbicide to spray on your lawn, you have to make sure it’s labeled for lawns. There’s a lot of herbicides out there that will kill weeds but they’ll also kill your grasses, OK? And that’s happened to my friend quite recently. He showed me all of the nice, little spots on his backyard and said, “What happened?” I said, “What did you spray?” He showed me and I said, “You just used a killer that’s indiscriminate. Whatever it touches, it kills.”
But if you can, go around and spray individual weeds with a small sprayer. You can cut down your use of herbicides by over 90 percent, instead of putting it on parts of the lawn, again, where there’s no need of it. So, by using a liquid and spending a little time and walking around and spraying the weeds – and if you can get them as they’re just emerging, that’s when they’re most susceptible to the herbicide – then you can control it pretty easily that way.
TOM: And you have to be very careful of overspray when you do that, especially if it’s windy out, correct?
ROGER: A little trick I use is I take a funnel and I cut it. And then I clamp it to the end of my sprayer. That way there, the cone is going to keep it from spraying out to the sides too far. And you literally can just put the cone over the plant you want to spray and spray it and then move on.
TOM: Cool. So you sort of trap the weed under the cone, spray it, move in. You’ve only sprayed what you wanted to do. No overspray, no worry about taking out good grass, for example.
ROGER: Works perfectly every time.
LESLIE: Is there a good place to go if you’re just completely stuck and can’t identify the weed and just don’t know what the best plan of attack is?
ROGER: A good garden center should have someone there who can help you identify the weed. Again, you can’t treat the weed until you know what it is. Then you can get the right formula to help you get it under control.
TOM: Now, what about sort of a chemical-free way of treating weeds? What about weed barriers and things like that? Do they help?
ROGER: Physical barriers, you mean, like Weed Block and things like that?
ROGER: They do, a little bit. I’ve had people put down newspapers and then put mulch on top of it and that’ll help keep the weeds. But what I find is that the weeds that aren’t in the lawn and then are in your beds, they tend to get into the mulch and germinate from the top. So those are the ones that you have to – you can – again, you can spray those but you’ve got to be very careful of your shrubs and your groundcovers at the same time.
Sometimes, it’s a lot of fun to just go out with the kids and pay them a penny a weed and pull them out all that you can.
TOM: Roger Cook from TV’s This Old House, so this is a battle you can win.
ROGER: You can win. You’ve just got to stay on top of it.
LESLIE: Alright. You can catch the current season of This Old House and Ask This Old House on PBS. For your local listings, visit ThisOldHouse.com.
TOM: And This Old House and Ask This Old House are brought to you by GMC. GMC, we are professional grade.
Up next, a deck can add value to your home, as well as countless hours of enjoyment. But it can also add countless hours of maintenance if you don’t choose the right product. We’ll tell you how to choose one that really stands up to the test of time, after this.
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ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Behr Premium Exterior Weatherproofing Wood Stains and Finishes. Formulated to restore, beautify and protect decks, fences and siding year-round. Behr is available exclusively at The Home Depot, where you can visit the new Exterior Wood Care Center, built to help you find the right products and colors for your project. For more information, visit B-e-h-r.com.
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TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I'm Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I'm Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Give us a call right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. If you do, you just might be the one caller this hour that’s going to win a set of EcoVantage bulbs from Philips. These bulbs will satisfy all of you out there who are wary of giving up your trusted, 100-watt incandescent. We want to break the habit.
The EcoVantage looks and lights just like the incandescent bulb but it’s far more energy-efficient. They’re available in soft white, natural light or clear bulbs. And one caller this hour gets two of each, worth 20 bucks. So call us right now with your home improvement question. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, we don’t have to tell you all about the benefits of having a deck. Even if you don’t think about all the time you can spend on it with your feet up and a drink in hand, it still adds value to your home, as well as perceived square footage. But there is a big downside.
Now, any wooden structure that you’ve got outside is going to suffer from the elements. And of course, lay out a red carpet for wood-loving pests. Now, the pros at Kleer Decking have a solution.
TOM: That’s right. Kleer Decking is a proud, new sponsor of our show and they make 100-percent PVC decking. That means none of the maintenance usually involved in wood or composite decking is required. Because there’s no wood in it, you’re not going to get mold or mildew growth. And no termites or carpenter ants can attack it either.
Kleer Decking also comes in seven different colors, so that means no staining or restaining like the wood decks frequently need. And Kleer Decking also comes with a lifetime warranty. You can go to KleerDecking.com to learn more. That’s Kleer – K-l-e-e-r – Decking.com.
LESLIE: Louis in Florida is on the line with a painting question. How can we help you with that project?
LOUIS: I want to say one thing for the record, first of all. Leslie, you have one sexy voice.
LOUIS: I love listening to both of you but you’ve got him hands down.
TOM: I’m totally fine with that, Louis.
LOUIS: Hey, I do have a full-sized, double garage door. It’s made of aluminum. It’s a typical, 15, 16-foot wide, 3-panel garage door made of aluminum. It has the eight little windows in the top panel and it is fading. It is not that satin, painted look anymore and I was wondering, if I repainted that, maybe even go with a little bit different color, do I just need to wash it down first or do I need to – help me if I do – remove that paint first? I really – that may seal the deal if I have to remove the paint first.
LESLIE: Other than the sheen, Louis, there is no paint that’s sort of flaking and chipping off? It’s just an aesthetic thing that’s driving you crazy?
LOUIS: Exactly, exactly.
TOM: Yeah, then I think you can clean it using a TSP solution so you get any grime that’s attached to it off. And then a light sanding and I think you can go ahead and prime over that and then paint it again.
I would include the primer step because that’s going to make sure you get maximum adhesion. The primer is really the glue here that’s going to make the paint stick, Louis.
LESLIE: And it’s sort of the neutral base. If you go top coat over top coat, it’s not really going to stick as well as it should. And when you go in there with that flat, neutral primer, it’s going to go on there, it’s going to stick. Plus, if you’re going with a super-saturated color, you’re going to want to tint that primer, as well, to reduce your amount of top coats and sort of give it that nice, even base.
LOUIS: OK. Well, currently it’s white and I thought of maybe just going with an ivory: just a little bit, not quite as white. So, hopefully, one coat will do it after the primer. So I’ll be – actually be painting it twice: primer one coat and then top coat, one coat.
TOM: And it shouldn’t – and because it’s a metal door and not an organic door like wood, you’ll find that a properly-applied paint job like that, Louis, can probably last you 8 to 10 years.
LOUIS: OK. Well, that’s excellent. We made it in the house 13 years. The door itself has been through a couple of hurricanes and a whole bunch of Florida sun, so it’s probably time to just bite the bullet and do it.
LESLIE: Oh, great.
TOM: Alright. Well, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. Coming up, water, water everywhere. It seems like a ton of you visitors to our website have lots and lots of questions about water: really, how to get rid of it. We’re going to have all those solutions, next.
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ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Santa Fe, makers of the world’s most energy-efficient basement and crawlspace dehumidifier. Santa Fe offers a complete line of high-capacity, Energy Star-rated dehumidifiers, specifically designed to effectively operate in the cooler temperatures of crawlspaces and basements. Visit DehumidifierSolutions.com to learn more.
LESLIE: And I'm Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Hey, are you planning on spending a small fortune to keep your lawn looking good all summer? Well, you don’t have to. Just go to our website at MoneyPit.com and search “garden and lawn care for cheap.” You’ll get an idea of what to plant and how to take care of it, for a beautiful lawn all at a bargain price.
LESLIE: That’s right. And while you’re online, you can check out the Community section of MoneyPit.com. And you can post your question there, just like James from Delaware did. And James writes: “I have moisture in my attic. Just my attic. I’m worried I’m going to get mold in my insulation. Any idea how the moisture is getting there or how to get rid of it?”
Well, it could be a couple of things and it could be a misdirected bath vent fan, don’t you think?
TOM: Oh, absolutely. I mean anything that’s dumping moisture into the attic is going to be a problem.
But here’s the thing, James: the insulation really can’t grow mold because it’s not an organic material. If it gets really dusty and dirty, the dust inside of it can have mold attached to it but the insulation itself can’t. But just because it won’t grow mold doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be concerned about excessive moisture. Excessive moisture can help the roof sheathing delaminate, it can make your insulation not very effective.
So what I want you to do is to take a look at your ventilation, as well as make sure that there are no moisture sources ducting up there, like Leslie mentioned with the bath fan. But you want to have a ridge vent that goes down the peak of the roof, a soffit vent that goes down the soffit area. And then those two will work together to make sure you get plenty of air inside the attic that takes out the moisture in the wintertime, it takes out the hot air in the summertime and it’ll keep that attic nice and dry.
LESLIE: Alright. Next up, we’ve got a post from Kristy in Pennsylvania who writes: “I’m in the market for a new home. Can you tell me if there are any telltale signs that there’s been water in a basement? I know it’s supposed to be disclosed but I just want to make sure.”
TOM: Ah, Kristy, that’s why we have professional home inspectors, something that I did for 20 years. So let me throw a plug out to the folks at the American Society of Home Inspectors, the best inspector association in the country. Those inspectors are going to know how to inspect for water problems. So make sure you get a good, professional home inspection done. You can go to ASHI – A-S-H-I – .org and find a good inspector in your area.
Things that you can look for yourself are the obvious, like water stains on paneling or drywall in the basement. But also look for the conditions that lead to water infiltration. For example, if you’ve got soil that is too flat around the foundation perimeter, the water will collect there. If you’ve got gutters that are clogged, if you’ve got downspouts that are not extended, all those things can cause water to collect around the foundation perimeter and they can definitely lead to a wet basement.
LESLIE: Alright. Next up, we’ve got one from Tildy in Kansas who writes: “A pipe burst in my bathroom and water went everywhere. Many tiles lifted and are now discolored. What am I going to have to do to fix this?”
TOM: Fix the pipe?
LESLIE: I know, right? And it sounds like whatever the tile is attached to was not the correct surface. Because as the water went through the grout lines, it sort of buckled whatever was behind, right?
TOM: Yeah. I would not try to save these tiles, if they’re all lifted.
By the way, Tildy, if you get a burst pipe, that’s something that’s typically covered by homeowner’s insurance. A sudden discharge of water like that from a broken pipe, you may get all this expense covered. And what I would do in that case is tear out all the tile that’s there and basically get yourself a beautiful, new bathroom-tile floor.
LESLIE: Yeah. That really is probably the easiest thing to do to make a huge transformation in your space.
And it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. You know, you can pick a beautiful tile floor for your bathroom space. If you go with, say, a 12-inch tile and turn it on the diamond and lay that in an interesting way, you can pop a smaller, decorative tile in the corner just to make something stand out. There’s even beautiful – I do these little penny-sized little ceramic tiles that just look like these tiny, little circles and they even come in fun hexagon shapes. Those are just adorable.
And if you go to Daltile, there’s a lot of great sources there. And you can actually mix and match and create your own sort of custom tile blend. It’s very nice.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Thank you so much for spending this hour with us.
I'm Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I'm Leslie Segrete.
TOM: The show continues online. Remember, you can do it yourself ...
LESLIE: But you don't have to do it alone.
END HOUR 1 TEXT
(Copyright 2012 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.)