Learn the smartest way to expand a bathroom and key mistakes to avoid. Get tips to control clutter. Keep safety a priority by learning how to prevent supplicate keys from getting in the wrong hands. Learn how to clean and store window screens for the winter. Plus get answers to your home improvement questions about repairing a concrete driveway, fixing a crumbling foundation, eliminating mold in the bathroom, replacing a roof with a metal one, repair loose, fixing holes in siding, venting appliances, stopping shower leaks, soundproofing a room and how to keep a crawl space dry.
TRANSCRIPT FOR SEPTEMBER 28, 2009, HOUR 2
Hosts: Tom Kraeutler & Leslie Segrete
(NOTE: Timestamps below correspond to the running time of the downloadable audio file of this show. Text represents a professional transcriptionist's understanding of what was said. No guarantee of accuracy is expressed or implied. 'Ph' in parentheses indicates the phonetic or best guess of the actual spoken word.)
BEGIN HOUR 2 TEXT:
[audio timestamp: 0:025]
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: Pick up the phone, give us a call right now with your home improvement question, your do-it-yourself dilemma because we are here to help you get the job done; short of coming to your house and helping you haul the lumber, drive the nails, hit our thumbs with hammers. We’ll do everything else but that. (Leslie chuckles) We will give you the tips, the advice that you need to choose the right materials to make the best decisions for your house and for your home. You know, do you remove a layer of roof? Do you roof over what you have? Should you buy the highest-efficiency furnace or should you buy the standard furnace? I’ve got stains on the wall; you don’t know what to do. Do you need to prime before you paint? We can help you with stuff like that. Pick up the phone …
LESLIE: You are overwhelming my to-do list already, Tom. (chuckles)
TOM: Yeah, I just hit three things that you needed to do. I just thought of your house, Leslie, and made my list in my head just like that.
LESLIE: Hey, shh. Stop ratting out my money pit. (chuckles)
Also coming up this hour, the kids are gone and you’re probably hoping they never move back again.
LESLIE: Aagh! That is terrible.
TOM: Well, one way to assure that is to, quick, redecorate their rooms. You know?
LESLIE: (chuckling) Need a gym, home office?
TOM: Turn the bedroom into a totally tricked-out bathroom. (Leslie chuckles) You can come back but you’ve got to sleep in the tub. We’re going to tell you what you need to know if you’ve got some of those home modifications on your to-do list.
LESLIE: And also ahead this hour, the best way to keep your kids out of the house – no, I’m kidding (chuckles). Also ahead this hour, we’re going to teach you how to clean your window screens before the winter sets in. We’ve got a hint for you now: the best way to do them is to take them out first; not just on the house. (chuckles)
TOM: And we’ve got a great way to clear the clutter of the dozens of photo frames that perhaps are on your end tables and bookshelves. There’s a high-tech solution out there to this very common problem and we’re going to tell you what that is.
LESLIE: Good gosh, Tom, stop spying on my money pit. (Tom and Leslie chuckle) And we’ve got a great prize for you. Warm floors, they are a great addition to any home. So this hour, we are giving away a ThermoFloor floor heating system; big enough to go under a 10x10-sized room. It’s worth 600 bucks. That is a huge prize.
TOM: That’s hot (Leslie makes a raspberry sound), in more ways than one. (Leslie chuckles) 888-666-3974. Let’s get right to those phones.
Leslie, who’s first?
LESLIE: Alright, now we’ve got Larry. What can we do for you today at The Money Pit?
LARRY: Yeah, hi. I have a house right on the lake in (inaudible at 0:02:46.4) New York on Kinderhook Lake.
LARRY: And it’s a cinderblock wall, like (inaudible) I guess six-foot high. It’s the foundation of the house. And I’ve painted it – you know, I asked around in the different stores and stuff for what to put to it. It just keeps on peeling, especially where the cement – you know, that holds the block together? It just peels away. I’m wondering is there anything I can put there to stop it.
TOM: Hmm. Well, block wall gets very, very wet and holds a lot of water; so you’re really fighting the water here.
TOM: The best thing that you can do is, first of all, you have to get as much of that old paint off as possible and then you need to use a very good-quality – you have to wait for a very dry day and you need to use a very good-quality primer. And I would use two coats of oil-based primer and you want to let it really dry, really dry. Then on top of that, you can use a latex exterior paint topcoat. That’s going to give you the best chance of adhesion. Make sure that the primer and the paint are from the same manufacturer and that will do the best job of helping it stay on as much as possible. It’s a real adhesion problem that you have; caused by probably layers upon layers of paint that are delaminating and the fact that the block gets very damp and very wet.
LESLIE: There’s nothing for it to stick to.
LARRY: OK. Thanks very much. Your program is very helpful. I’ve picked up a few tips from just listening to you every Saturday and Sunday.
TOM: Fantastic. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Now it’s time to help Grace with a driveway project. What’s going on at your money pit?
GRACE: I just got to tell you guys I love your program.
TOM: Oh, thank you.
GRACE: I scrambled to get a paper and pad because you mentioned a product for concrete, the patches.
GRACE: And you said it was Abatron?
TOM: Yeah, that’s right. Abatron is the manufacturer.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) The website.
TOM: A-b-a-t-r-o-n.com. You’re basically looking for epoxy patching compounds. They have these epoxy materials that are great for sealing up cracks in driveways.
GRACE: OK. Well, a second part of the question is after – well, for concrete patio is what I needed it for –
TOM: Yeah, that works fine.
GRACE: But my question is, you know, it’s going to kind of look unsightly now and I’m thinking how can I cover it to make it look like new but still concrete without putting like a paint color on it.
TOM: Well, first fix the cracks and then there are lots of ways to paint that patio and have it look fantastic.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Once you patch it, it’s going to be sort of grayish in color. It’ll kind of match what’s there. If you’re not really happy with how it looks, you can get a concrete stain or a concrete paint and then go ahead and apply that to the concrete to give it a uniform finish. The concrete paints and the stains, if you get the stains that are a solid color, you can really do a great job covering it up and, you know, changing the look of your drive.
GRACE: Great. Alright, thank you.
TOM: You’re welcome, Grace. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: You are tuned to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Now you can call in your home repair or your home improvement question, whatever you have got going on at your house, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Up next, one of those fall cleaning chores that we all need to do, cleaning window screens. We’re going to tell you the best and the easiest ways to do that and to store them for the winter, after this.
[audio timestamp: 0:06:18.2]
ANNOUNCEMENT: This portion of the Money Pit is brought to you by Behr Premium Plus Ultra Interior paint and primer in one with advanced NanoGuard technology. Designed to not only help you save time, but also preserve your home’s interior finish. For more information, visit Behr.com. That’s B-e-h-r.com. Behr products are available exclusively at The Home Depot.
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 for your chance to get in on our weekly giveaway. This hour, one caller we talk to is going to win the ThermoFloor super-efficient floor heating system. It uses electroconduction fiber heating elements and this system can decrease energy consumption up to 40 percent. It’s fast, it’s easy to install, perfect for a do-it-yourselfer. You can find info on the ThermoFloor system at ThermoSoft.com. It’s a prize worth 600 bucks. Going to go to one caller who reaches us for today’s show at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. You must have a home improvement question and be willing to come on the air and ask us.
LESLIE: Man …
TOM: Please come on the air. We’re not scary. We don’t judge. We’re just going to help you out. 888-666-3974.
LESLIE: And that’s a pretty good bribe to get people to call. A $600 floor heating system?
TOM: (overlapping voices) That’s right. We get our callers the old-fashioned way; we bribe them.
LESLIE: My goodness. That is a great prize to get. You will have it installed into your house before we even start to see the snowflakes of the winter season. So pick up the phone and get in on this. You will learn a valuable lesson about home improvement for your house and win a really great prize.
Now, you want to install it before it gets too chilly and here’s something else you want to do before the winter starts. You want to clean and store your window screens. Yes, add that to your fall to-do list. Now, your window screens; they have battled those elements all summer long, so you want to treat them gently.
First you want to remove the screens from your house and then put them on a flat surface, like your driveway. And then go ahead and use a mild soap and water; you know, with a soft, bristle brush. This way, you’ll get the dirt and the grime off of them. And you want to make sure that you clean both sides of the screen; not just one. You’re like, “Well, it’s a screen. I’m getting both sides at one time.” No, no. Do each side. And then you want to go around the interior and the exterior of the frame. Then go ahead and rinse off the window screens with lukewarm water and then allow the window screens to dry completely before you replace them into the window.
You don’t even want to think about using a pressure washer on them while your windows are closed and they are still in the frames because you will damage the screens and, most likely, your windows.
TOM: Now, you can put the screens back in or, if you prefer, you can store them during the winter months. You want to make sure you keep them upright or flat but don’t ever have them leaning on anything or put anything on top of them.
To learn more about caring for your windows, your window screens and a whole lot more, you can go to the Repair and Improve section of MoneyPit.com or simply search Money Pit window screens.
LESLIE: Tim in New Hampshire, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
TIM: Oh, hi. Well, I have a possibility of recycling a wood stove.
TIM: From my sister’s house. And I want to know if – it’s a smaller stove than my opening for my – I have an existing fireplace; a brick chimney.
TIM: OK? It was part of our mudroom but, frankly, we only have a few fires a year because it’s just not – it’s not that efficient to have the fireplace running. I think most of my heat’s going up the chimney. So I have the dimensions of a wood stove which, again, is being recycled and I just want to know if this would work or would you probably recommend (inaudible at 0:10:03.2).
TOM: So Tim, what you want to know is whether or not the insert that was in your sister’s house could be used in your house and the answer to that is it depends. It depends on the size of your fireplace. One of the things that you might want to do is compare the hearth of her fireplace to yours and see how closely it matches in height, in width and in depth.
The next thing is that you want to make sure that your chimney is safe. You need to make sure that that chimney is lined before you put a wood stove into it.
If you have some questions about this, you may want to subcontract out the installation to, perhaps, your local woodstove store/installer/expert type of person that does this all the time. And I also would recommend that you get a permit before you put it in because, this way, the fire marshal can come in and take a look and make sure it’s nice and safe. Wood stoves are fantastic; inserts are great but you have to be very careful with the installation. If you get it wrong, it could be very, very unsafe.
Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Okey-dokes, we’ve got Paul in North Carolina who’s got a crawlspace question. What can we do for you today?
PAUL: Yes, I have a crawlspace and I’m curious to know what the best way to seal it is. I’ve been told that I have a moisture content of between 25 and 30 percent.
PAUL: It’s a pretty – it’s a walk-in crawlspace and I’ve got vents all over the place but I would just like some of your advice.
TOM: Alright, couple of things. First of all, we want to take every step that we can to reduce the amount of moisture inside the crawlspace and …
LESLIE: By working outside.
TOM: Yep. Go ahead. Yeah, exactly.
LESLIE: Yeah, you want to make sure that you’ve got sufficient gutters and downspouts on your house and if you don’t have gutters, get them; if you’ve got them, make sure that they’re clean. Also with the downspouts; people forget to snake the downspout and if the downspout is clogged up, it’s not going to do its job for you. So make sure everything is clean and free-flowing.
Then you want to look at where those downspouts deposit the water. Chances are it’s just dropping all that rainfall right next to the foundation. So you want to make sure that, if you can, extend that downspout three feet, six feet, whatever you can do, away from the house so it gets away from the foundation wall.
Then you want to look at your grading; you know, all of the soil around the property. Make sure that it slopes away from the house. You want to go about six inches over four feet so it’s not very drastic. You just want it to gently slope away. Just move all that water away from the house. This way, you’ll keep it dry and then you can cover that floor with viscuine.
TOM: That’s right.
PAUL: OK. And I do have the viscuine on now and I really have a pretty good slope and everything. The concerns I have are if I’m going to go ahead and seal it, can I just plug up the vents with a urethane kind of thing or a sheathing and have the viscuine on the floors or do I have to encapsulate the walls, too?
TOM: Well, let me give you one more thing that you can try before you take this dramatic step and go to a completely-sealed crawlspace. And that is that you could get some fans that are – there are fans that are designed to fit into the same space that you have the crawlspace vents now – they’re 8x16 – and you wire those to a humidistat. So whenever the humidity comes up in the crawlspace, these fans will come on. You’ll probably have two or three of them.
PAUL: Oh. Oh, that’s a good idea; as opposed to – Tom, as opposed to a dehumidifier?
TOM: Correct. And when the humidity comes up and the fans kick on, it will draw drier air from the outside through that space.
PAUL: OK. Alright, well all of that makes sense and I have done a lot of diligent work on this. I’m a real estate agent and I’ve had home inspectors over here looking at it.
PAUL: But I don’t like 25 percent moisture in there, so …
TOM: No, it’s too wet because when the moisture gets above 25 percent, the decay organisms in the lumber start to wake up and you can get some structural damage.
PAUL: (overlapping voices) You bet.
TOM: I would try the fans before I go through the trouble of sealing the entire space.
PAUL: OK. And we are on a well and septic and we get a lot of condensation in the – coming off the pipes; the water pipes from the …
TOM: Well, insulate them.
PAUL: Oh, OK. Alright.
TOM: Insulate them.
PAUL: Hey, you guys have been great. I listen to you all the time.
PAUL: Thanks a lot.
TOM: Glad that helps you out. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Gwen in Hawaii’s got some noisy neighbors. Hopefully, we can help this situation quiet down. Welcome.
GWEN: Well, I live in a condominium.
GWEN: I’m on the second floor and I want to put in laminate flooring but I need to find a good soundproofing to go underneath the laminate flooring that will protect the homeowners downstairs.
LESLIE: Oh, so you're the noisy neighbor, (Tom chuckles) potentially. (Gwen laughs)
GWEN: No, not yet. (Gwen and Leslie laugh)
TOM: Alright. Well, what you want is a sound-engineered plywood. There are special plywoods that are designed to reduce the transfer of sound and they're pretty expensive; you're not going to be able to find them in your average homes and you're probably going to have to order them but they do exactly what you need to be done. It's a plywood sub-flooring that's designed to suppress sound.
In fact, one of the major manufacturers is called Supress - S-u-p-r-e-s-s; their website is SupressProducts.com. And you can request information and hopefully find a local dealer for that product. But that's what you want underneath the laminate floor and that will make your downstairs neighbors all that more happy.
GWEN: OK. Thank you very much.
TOM: You're welcome, Gwen. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Greg in Missouri is having a situation with mold in the bathroom. How can we help you?
GREG: Yeah. I've got an older home with a crawlspace under it.
GREG: And I keep putting down new linoleum in the bathrooms and the linoleum grays at the edge.
GREG: And I've talked to several people and they suggested a vapor barrier under the home and I was just curious as to which way to go to create a vapor barrier. Some people say tar paper and then white rock on top. Some people say plastic and white rock; some people say foamboard.
TOM: Now, what you want here, Greg, is you want to use plastic and you want to use as wide a sheet as possible. You want to go all the way from edge to edge of the foundation. If you can, turn that up the inside foundation wall by about a foot and try to get it to seal against the wall. You could use caulking or you could use like an asphalt roof cement so you have a real tight seal against the wall.
When it comes to overlapping the sheets of plastic, I would overlap them a good two or three feet. You know, plastic is pretty cheap so you don't have to worry about using a little more or a little less. And the other thing, though, is to look at the overall reasons that the moisture is getting into the crawlspace and, for that, what I would do is look at the grading at the outside of the foundation; making sure the soil slopes away from your walls.
And also, don’t forget to check your gutters. You want to make sure that they’re clear and free-flowing so that that water from the roof edge is not depositing right at the foundation perimeter. All of those things together will help you reduce the volume of moisture that’s getting in the crawlspace and then the amount of that that can evaporate up into the house.
LESLIE: And you know, Greg, one more thing that you can do, now that you've managed everything outside and really controlled that moisture, you want to install a bathroom vent fan into that bath as well. This way, whatever moisture you're generating inside the bathroom can be brought outside.
You want to make sure it's properly vented to the outdoors and if you can, have an occupancy sensor installed; it'll just make it simple to use. It'll come on when you're in there and go off when you're out. This way, you don't have to worry about a family member who might forget to put it on; not to name any names.
GREG: OK. That makes sense. I thank you much.
TOM: You're very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, are your kids out of town for the school season and has that got you eyeing their bedroom for maybe an office, a workout center? Hmm. (Tom chuckles) Whatever you’ve got in mind, we are going to tell you why expanding your bath may be a good idea for that extra space, next.
[audio timestamp: 0:18:01.3]
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: And we know that you’ve got your eye on the kids’ rooms for taking over and expanding the bath when they fly from the nest. You know, it could be a very good investment because it means your child can’t boomerang back after college.
LESLIE: (chuckling) That’s so mean.
TOM: But even better, larger and multiple baths are a bad selling feature these days in today’s new homes. You know, the easiest place to put in another bathroom is above, next to or below an existing one because you’ve got all the plumbing there. Now, one situation where we might think twice is knocking out a closet to put in a larger bath because storage always sort of trumps everything else in resale. A good compromise might be a half-bath.
LESLIE: Now, if you like that tip, have we got more for you because that tip came straight from the pages of our book, My Home, My Money Pit: Your Guide to Every Home Improvement Adventure. This book is full of the same great information that we bring you each and every, single week. But instead of listening to us, you can actually take this book with you wherever you go and read it and learn all the time. You will find yourself referring to it again and again. Heck, Tom and I wrote it and I find myself referring to it again and again. (chuckling) It is available for you right now at MoneyPit.com, so check it out and get yourself one today or put it on your holiday list.
TOM: I just wish you would stop folding the pages back in all my sections.
TOM: They’re all dog-eared and highlighted and circled and underlined.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) I read your pages. Why do you think I pass that bathtub tip off as my own when it comes to caulking? (Leslie laughs)
TOM: (chuckling) 888-666-3974. Let’s get back to those phones.
LESLIE: Now we’re going to talk to Betty in Connecticut who needs some help with the exterior siding. What’s going on at your house?
BETTY: Hi, our house was built about 20 years ago and we have vertical siding on the outside. It’s a two-story ranch; it’s like an embankment ranch with two stories on the back.
BETTY: And the siding is pulling away – like the vertical siding, which used to overlap, we’re seeing the paper they put underneath the siding; you’re starting to see that paper on the spaces.
TOM: So is the siding starting to sort of buckle and twist a bit?
BETTY: Well, yeah; almost like maybe they didn’t overlap it enough or …
TOM: Well, what happens, as siding – you’re talking about some sort of a vertical siding board here?
BETTY: Yes, cedar.
TOM: Cedar. Yeah, well, what happens with cedar is, as it dries out, it curls and cracks and shrinks and it will start – depending on which way the grain – which way the rings of the tree were, believe it or not, they’ll either cup up or cup down and that’s not an uncommon situation. And generally, it’s nothing to worry about; although, if it gets pretty bad and you can see behind it, you may want to try to renail it and/or silicone caulk those seams as a maintenance point so that you don’t let a lot of water in behind it. But that’s actually not unusual for cedar as it wears.
BETTY: What kind of silicone caulk would you use where it’s like a brown cedar?
TOM: (overlapping voices) Clear silicone. Well, you could use a colored caulk; you could use a brown silicone. But clear is fine because, usually, the color of the cedar comes right through it and you don’t see it when you’re done.
BETTY: Oh, thank you so much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project.
BETTY: You guys are terrific. Thank you.
TOM: Thank you. Thank you so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Now we’re going to help Daniel in Georgia with a roofing situation. What’s going on at your money pit?
DANIEL: Oh, I've got a question about roofing. I'm going to want to redo my roof here in the next year or so; shingles are starting to get brittle and I'm interested in the metal roof and wondering do I have to strip all the old shingles and tar paper off before I put the metal roof on and then also, generally, what do you feel about the metal roofs? Are they as good or better than or not quite as good as regular shingles?
TOM: Well, they're far better than regular shingles.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) They're great.
TOM: They're also far more expensive. It's a ...
LESLIE: And far more durable. They're going to last a lot longer, so that balances the cost out.
TOM: Yeah. And the painting on metal roof today has the added ability of being able to reflect some of the heat back out of the house, too; they've got new paint coatings now. So I think it's a good product. In terms of whether or not you remove those shingles, you don't have to but ...
LESLIE: Well, that's why the metal roof is such like an eco-friendly product, because you don't have to get rid of all of that stuff to the landfills.
TOM: Right. But now that I said that, I would tell you that if it was my house, I probably would and the reason is I don't want to have all those old shingles under the roof. I don't want to have to deal with the edge, where the shingle overhangs the fascia ...
TOM: ... and then have the metal lip right above that. I just don't like the idea of having, you know, three-quarters of an inch to an inch-and-a-half of shingle mound under there. I would personally rather take it all off but in terms of the manufacturer, they absolutely say you don't have to do that; so it's totally up to you.
DANIEL: Oh, OK. I see. That helps out a lot. I'll have to try to balance the man hours and the elbow grease that I'd have to put in to strip all the shingles off and that type of stuff.
LESLIE: And the cost, possibly, to dispose of them.
TOM: Yeah, absolutely. There's a good website for the Metal Roofing Association, which has got good information on this. I think it's MetalRoofing.com.
DANIEL: OK. Well, I'll take a look at that and I appreciate all the information.
TOM: You're welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Up next, we’ve got a quick and easy way to clear out the clutter of photos and frames and all that stuff that’s been on your bookshelves, your mantles and your end tables and we have a way to do that without hurting your grandmom’s feelings. We’ll share what that is, after this.
[audio timestamp: 0:23:42.1]
ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by the new Rheem heat pump water heater. It’s easy to install and more than twice as energy-efficient as any standard electric water heater. The new Rheem heat pump water heater qualifies for federal tax credits. For more information, visit www.RheemHPWH.com.
TOM: Welcome back to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show where home solutions live. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete and we are taking your calls at 1-888-MONEY-PIT right now and, quite frankly, all the time but especially right now because one lucky caller is going to win a great prize. Now we all know that radiant floor heating is a great option to cut down on energy use and go green at the same time; not to mention to keep your feet darn warm and happy. So one caller that we talk to on the air this hour is going to win enough ThermoFloor floor heating system to complete a 10x10 room. Now, the ThermoFloor system, it delivers heat safely and uniformly and, I think most importantly, it’s easy to install; which is a big selling feature.
Now, it improves air quality and cuts energy consumption using electroconductive fiber heating elements. It is a …
TOM: Sounds very high-tech.
LESLIE: It really is but, I promise you, easy to install. This prize is worth $600 but one very lucky caller into The Money Pit today is going to win this great prize. So pick up the phone, give us a call at 1-888-MONEY-PIT for your chance to win. And if you want to learn more about the system, the website is ThermoSoft.com.
Alright, here’s a quick decorating tip for you. If you’ve got to display a lot of photos – maybe you’ve got the kids’ recital photos; you’ve got family vacations; and, of course, grandma’s 75th birthday – but you want to do this without cluttering up surfaces, you really ought to take a look at these digital photo frames that were out. I saw a lot of these at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Very cool, very high-tech. You can load a boatload of photos into this and they simply cycle through in sort of a slideshow fashion. This way, everyone is happy. You can get far more photos to display than you could ever possibly display physically and it looks great, too. I use a digital display on my computer monitors for like a screensaver and it’s so much fun to see all the old photos of the kids that cycle through. Now you can have that sort on different surfaces in your house.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Well, anywhere.
TOM: Really anywhere. Exactly. So check them out.
LESLIE: You know what we always do is my in-laws have one. They live down in Florida, so they don’t get to see our little guy that often. So I have them – I got them a digital frame and I have them send me back the disk every so often and I just update it with more photos and keep adding to, so they get to see Henry from when he was super-little to now and it’s always like a nice surprise.
TOM: Good idea.
888-666-3974. It’s also a good idea to pick up the phone and call us with your home improvement question.
LESLIE: Sheryl in Connecticut has a splashy bath. Tell us about it.
SHERYL: Hi. Yes, I have a house from the 30s and I’d like to maintain the original design with my shower/tub combination by using a shower curtain. But of course, water slips out and drips. And so I’m wondering if you can steer me towards a resource for a ceramic splashguard.
LESLIE: Wait now, this is like a clawfoot tub that’s open on all sides?
SHERYL: No, it’s not clawfoot. It’s installed against three walls but the wall that is facing the room, rather than having a glass enclosure, has a traditional shower curtain.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) It’s a curtain. Now, with – I don’t want to make you feel bad but we have a similar situation and I just tuck the shower curtain – the clear liner curtain – into the tub.
SHERYL: (chuckling) [That you said] (ph) doesn’t make me feel bad. (Tom and Sheryl laugh)
LESLIE: OK. I’m like I don’t want to be like, “Hey, tuck in your shower curtain.”
SHERYL: It still kind of sneaks out. It’s in a guest room and so I can’t really go in there and (inaudible at 0:27:59.0).
TOM: You have all of those guests taking sloppy showers. (Leslie chuckles) That’s your problem.
SHERYL: Yeah, well, you know. That’s the way it works. (chuckles) I’ve eaten gotten one of the liners that has little suction cups on it and sort of pushed it up against the wall but it doesn’t really stay.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) So it sticks in?
TOM: (overlapping voices) Yeah. Yeah.
LESLIE: And is it only in the corners or do you think it’s happening everywhere?
SHERYL: No, I think it’s just actually dripping down the tile and then going over the lip of the tub.
TOM: OK, so when you say ceramic splashguard, are you talking about that little guard that goes between the lip and the tub and the …
LESLIE: The wall.
TOM: … the wall? Kind of looks like a bit of a bracket?
SHERYL: (overlapping voices) Yeah, like a triangle. And I’ve seen – you know, not that they’re great-looking – plastic ones but I don’t want that.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) I’ve seen them in clear.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Yeah. Yeah.
LESLIE: Hey, Sheryl, you know, you’re right. Those splashguards, I’ve only seen them in like yucky-looking plastic but here’s an idea. What about – you know those corner tile shelves that you would attach in the corner of the tub to put a soap dish on and they come in white or whatever?
LESLIE: Can you use that?
SHERYL: Well, I thought I would go to that if I didn’t find the actual guard. The only place I’ve actually seen one of these guards is in an old hotel that was beautifully restored and it, rather than having the curve come out of the sort of triangle, it was more of a concave next to it, which …
SHERYL: But you know what? The corner ones you’re talking about probably would function well; they’d just stick up a little farther.
LESLIE: Right, and they might have ridges for bars of soap.
TOM: Yeah, and then you’re still going to have a challenge in terms of how you’re going to attach it but I think if you use an adhesive caulk, you could probably seal it on there quite nicely.
TOM: It’s worth a shot; you know, not a big investment, easy to put on and if it doesn’t work out you can just as easily take it off again.
SHERYL: Or kick the guests out. (Leslie chuckles)
TOM: There you go. (chuckles)
SHERYL: OK. (chuckles) Thank you.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Talking vinyl siding with Eli. What’s going on? What happened?
ELI: Well, my children were playing in the backyard and they threw a hard object against the siding and poked a hole in it. (Leslie chuckles) And I’d like to repair that or somehow make it look a little better.
TOM: Well, here’s a couple things you can do. If you can find a piece of siding in a less-obvious place on your house, you can swap out the good siding for the bad siding and move the piece that has the hole to an area that’s let obvious. If you can’t identify – if you cannot identify any replacement for this, that’s one way to address it.
ELI: Can you take a small piece of siding in the middle of the whole wall?
TOM: Yes, you can? There’s a little tool called a zipper tool.
LESLIE: Oh, it’s going to save your life.
TOM: It disconnects that piece of siding and it can be removed without disturbing the rest of it. Now, if you can’t do it yourself, you may just want to have a siding contractor do this. It shouldn’t be more than sort of a service call charge.
ELI: Well, great. Sounds good.
LESLIE: Hey, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.
When we come back, we are going to help an e-mailer find a permanent fix for a cracked vinyl shower pan; so stick around.
[audio timestamp: 0:31:04.6]
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: Pick up the phone and give us a call any time of the day or night. 1-888-MONEY-PIT is our 24/7 number and if we are not in, our screeners will take your message and we’ll call you back the next time we are. You can also go on over to MoneyPit.com, click on the Contact button and e-mail us a question just like Lorraine did from New York.
LESLIE: Alright, Lorraine writes: “We have a crack in our vinyl shower basin. We put a fiberglass patch filler on it and it seems to have stopped the leak; although I don’t know if it’s a permanent solution. Is there any way of fixing it without replacing the whole basin and taking down all of the marble tiles around it? Would putting down on top of it help?”
TOM: No, because tile is not waterproof.
TOM: It’s just going to cover the crack. Listen, I know that when you use a fiberglass patching kit and you repair – actually it’s not a vinyl shower pan; it probably is a fiberglass shower pan and that’s why the fiberglass patch works well. You can pick that up, by the way, at an auto parts store if you’ve got this problem at home and it does a pretty good job. Now you need to put down the resin and a couple layers of cloth and more resin, but it’s a bit unsightly. There’s no easier way to do this or a prettier way to do this. If it doesn’t work, you do need to take out the shower pan. Unfortunately, those fiberglass pans are only going to last you, if you’re lucky, about ten years. If you fixed it now and it’s holding, I’d just continue to enjoy it until it cracks again. At that point, I would go ahead and replace the entire pan.
LESLIE: Alright, Barbara in Indiana writes: “I have a fan in the oven over the stove …” – “I have a fan in the over-the-stove microwave” – I’m sorry – “and it doesn’t vent to the outside. Should it be?”
TOM: Only if it’s possible. I mean if you have the ability to have an exhaust fan that vents outside, that’s great. But I think what you’re talking about is a recirculating kitchen exhaust fan and that’s very common if you don’t have the ability to vent outside. I mean we had one where we actually had it vented through the microwave to the exterior wall because we were fortunate that the range was on an exterior wall. If that’s not your situation, a recirculator is the best that you can do, Barbara.
LESLIE: You know what, Barbara, though? Make sure you clean out all of those filters on your recirculating fan vent there because that will help it operate far more efficiently and reduce the risk of fires.
TOM: Did you ever think about who has the keys to your house? I mean that’s a question you might seriously consider. How many times have you given out your key in the last year and to whom did you give that key? It’s not the safest practice and Leslie tells us why in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.
LESLIE: That’s right. Nearly two-thirds of us American homeowners out there have knowingly – knowingly; we’re like, “Here you go. Here’s my key” – we have knowingly circulated our house keys outside of our immediate family, including to workers like painters, service techs, whomever you might trust for that moment in time. Now, this makes your house way more vulnerable to invasions, so you want to be smart about issuing out spare keys and take care when you’re carrying your own set through your everyday chores; you know, like dropping your car at a valet or leaving the car at the auto shop. You want to make sure that when you do leave your car at the valet or the auto shop, that you remove all your other keys and just leave them your car keys because you never know what they’re doing with your key when you’re not there.
And if you think hiding a key outside of your home is a great solution, well, think again because most of those smarty burglars out there know all of the best places that you are thinking of; like fake rocks …
TOM: (overlapping voices) Like the fake rock. (chuckles)
LESLIE: Yeah, under the doormat; you know, inside the flip-flop that’s got the heel that opens up. We’re all on the same page when it comes to, “Hey, I’m a genius. I’m the first one to think of it.” You are not. We know it’s under the garden gnome. So be safe, be careful with your keys. Just be smart about it, alright?
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show.
Coming up next week on the program, it’s a time when we really should think about trimming our trees and if you’ve ever decided to take a tree down and had a stump that’s left behind and wondered what to do about it, we’re also going to invite a This Old Expert, Roger Cook, the landscaping contractor, to stop by with some tips on how to trim trees and get rid of the stumps that are left behind. You want to do that now because before those winter winds come and start cracking those branches and sending them sailing towards your roof, then you’d have to call us and ask us how to fix those big holes. We’ll tell you how to make sure that doesn’t happen to you.
Everything we’ve talked about on today’s show is on our website at MoneyPit.com. If you’ve missed anything, head on over there and check it out.
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.
[audio timestamp: 0:35:37.0]
END HOUR 2 TEXT
(Copyright 2009 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.)