TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air, online at MoneyPit.com. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: And we are here to help you with your home improvement project. So take a look around the house. If you’re driving, maybe you just think about looking around your house. And think about a project that you would like to get done. Maybe it’s one that you’re planning to do. Maybe it’s one that you started and kind of got stuck in the middle of. Maybe it’s one that you’d like to get your husband/spouse/significant other to tackle. Need some advice to kind of get that project moving in the right direction? Maybe you had to motivate your partner to pick up the hammer, pick up the saw and get to work? Well, why don’t you pick up the phone right now and let’s talk about it. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.
Got a great show planned for you. Coming up this hour, if you have been thinking about putting your home on the market, knowing what today’s homebuyers are looking for can help sell it quickly and make sure you get the best possible price. So we’re going to feature a trend report this hour on the new must-haves that are replacing standbys like granite counters and stainless-steel appliances. A lot of new things that homebuyers are looking for. Some of them are not even that expensive. We’re going to tell you what you need to know.
LESLIE: And also ahead, as the mercury dips, we’ve got some advice to keep your furry friends warm all winter. We’re going to tell you about some great ideas that will help keep your pets now only warm but also safe.
TOM: Plus, when it rains, it pours. And if you’ve got a leaky roof, this is just about the worst weather report that you can get. So this hour, we’re going to get some expert help from our friend, Tom Silva, the general contractor on This Old House. He’s going to teach us how to diagnose roof leaks and fix them once and for all.
LESLIE: And one caller this hour wins $50 worth of Renu products from Leviton. Renu is a very cool line of switches, dimmers and outlets with faces that you can change out to match any décor. And it’s available in 20 different colors, so you can sort of change out your switch-plate covers to match your mood.
TOM: So, let’s get to it. Give us a call right now with your home improvement question. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Tracy in Ohio is on the line with a question about storm windows. How can we help you today?
TRACY: My condo is fairly new. It was built in 2005. But the way that my – the front of my condo faces, where the weather blows in – I don’t know if it’s east or west but last year, I tried the strip thing and the plastic. And it – and the wind blew so hard that it came loose. So then I tried duct-taping it and yeah, it didn’t work at all.
So I’m wondering – you know, we can’t put storm windows on the outside because of the condo-association rules. But I’m wondering, is there a company that makes something that goes on the inside of the windows: something magnetic or something that could help?
TOM: Well, you certainly can get interior storm windows. It is a product that’s available from – many window manufacturers will – you can order it, probably. I would go to a regular window company and order these. But there’s different types of interior storm windows that are available.
The other thing that you could do that’s really cheap, especially if these are windows that you’re not going to have to open – we don’t like to recommend this for a bedroom window but for other windows because, of course, in a bedroom, you may have to open it for emergency egress, fire hazard, that sort of thing – is you can get a weatherstripping caulk. It’s a weatherstripping product that’s in a tube, like a caulk tube.
And you, essentially, caulk the seams of the window shut. And the thing about the weatherstripping product is in the spring, you peel it off and it doesn’t damage the windows. It looks like that sort of white, gooey stuff that they stick credit cards to offers in the mail when you get the credit card and it’s on the back of the card? It’s like that rubbery stuff? It just peels right off and it doesn’t damage anything.
So, that’s something that maybe you haven’t tried yet; you could give it a shot. And then, of course, if you want to go with maybe a more permanent solution, you could order interior storm windows and have them made.
TRACY: Well, I could squirt that stuff on there and then in the spring, I could peel it back off?
TOM: That’s correct. Yep. Unlike regular caulk, this is a temporary caulk.
TRACY: Wonderful. That sounds wonderful. I will give that a try.
TOM: Yeah, DAP makes a product called Seal ‘N Peel – the letter N, Peel. So, look it up. You might have to order it in a home center or a hardware store but it works great.
TRACY: Alright. I will try that. Thank you.
TOM: Tracy, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Alright. Next up, we’ve got Rudy in Tennessee joining us here at The Money Pit who had a leaky roof and now you’re trying to fix up all the remaining issues. Tell us what happened.
RUDY: So, we had a big rainstorm. And just got a call from my wife and I came in and looked at it and I had a bunch of water running down the seam of my drywall, into the – onto the landing inside my house. Then I called a handyman. He came and took down the drywall and wait, he noticed that it was kind of leaky. The roof was leaking and then it came in on the drywall.
I had a roofer come out, licensed. He came, he repaired the roof and also put some water guards to kind of channel the water away. And then the handy-guy put up the drywall and taped it, painted it over. And so then, probably about a month later, all that drywall – the new drywall – kind of buckled, kind of came out.
And there’s no more water. It’s rained here multiple times since then. I haven’t seen any more water come in but I didn’t know if it was moisture still in the wall or if it was just bulky drywall that the person put up.
TOM: Well, it’s not – is no such thing as bad drywall. There are bad drywall contractors but no such thing as bad drywall. And when you say “buckle,” is it swollen or is it sort of popped off the wall?
RUDY: It’s popped off the wall. Like you can push a little bit on it and you can see the exact place where the patched drywall was. You can look at the seam and it’s kind of uneven.
TOM: OK. So, if it sort of popped off the wall, then I suspect that it just wasn’t adhered properly and it might just need to be resecured. You might need a few extra drywall screws or nails in that.
If it’s swollen and starting to look like it’s wet or damp or stained or moldy then, of course, the roof leak could be continuing. But if it’s just loose and came off the wall, then it might, in fact, be that it wasn’t attached very well and normal expansion and contraction of that area has forced it to sort of release. So I would go back to the contractor and ask if he can resecure it and retape it, respackle it.
RUDY: Perfect. Thank you, guys. Enjoy listening to your show.
TOM: Well, thanks so much for calling, Rudy. We appreciate it.
LESLIE: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com.
Well, we’ve got a couple of weeks left until Thanksgiving. What are you guys doing? You got your family coming over? Are you cooking? Do not clean your oven. We’ve got all sorts of tips to help you get ready for the big holiday and get your house in tip-top shape. So give us a call, when you’re not getting a turkey dressed, at 888-MONEY-PIT. We’re here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Up next, are you wondering if your house could be attractive to potential homebuyers? Well, before you go adding any new bells or whistles, we’re going to have a trend report on the new must-haves that homebuyers are asking for. That’s all coming up, next.
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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. Pick up the phone and give us a call, right now, at 888-MONEY-PIT.
One caller that we talk to on the air this hour is going to win a set of Renu lighting products from Leviton worth 50 bucks. Now, what’s really cool about this is that the faces on the Renu switch, their dimmers and their outlets, you can snap them off and then change them to a new color. Which means if you change your paint color, there’s probably a switch to match. If you want to do something fun and seasonal, you can do that, as well.
You can actually create a new look for your room at any time. They’ve got 20 colors to choose from. It’s actually easy to match your paint, your wallpaper, your décor. Whatever you’re looking for, they’ve got vibrant colors, sculpted lines. It creates an instant makeover.
TOM: It’s a really cool idea. You can visit Leviton.com/Renu – that’s R-e-n-u – for more information. Or call us right now for the answer to your home improvement question and your chance to win that set of Renu lighting products, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Now we’re going to go to Pat in South Dakota. You’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
PAT: We have a problem with our deck. We need to replace it. And we have investigated using composite materials and find that that’s really expensive and I don’t think we’ll be able to afford to do that. So we’re wondering about how well using cedar as the flooring and then using the composite on the rails would work.
LESLIE: I just actually put composite in our screened-in porch as a replacement to some old lumber that was there that just needed constant upkeep, even though it was a screened-in porch not fully exposed to the elements. And I found, believe it or not, the cost of the decking material and the cost of the railing material, from the same manufacturer, were the exact same price. Equally expensive.
So I don’t know if you want to mix it up in that capacity. I mean yes, maintaining a spindle or a railing system is a lot of work, if you were to go with a cedar or a pressure-treated type of lumber, but I don’t know that you’re going to save that much money there by going with a composite railing system.
TOM: And also, cedar does require a lot of care. I know that it’s insect-resistant and decay-resistant but if you don’t stain it, it’s going to crack and check and split. And in doing so, you’re going to have to restain it every few years, so it is going to cost you some money. And I wonder, on a lineal-foot basis, how much you’re really saving.
I don’t know what kind of composite you priced out but the composite that’s available at home centers – like at Home Depot, the Veranda product – you know, it’s not terribly expensive. And it’s really pretty indestructible stuff. Once you put that down, you don’t have to worry about it any further in terms of any type of maintenance.
So, I would think carefully about using cedar over composite because I think that it’s going to be a fair amount of maintenance expense for you. It looks great for a year, then it gets all dark gray and blackish and then you’ve got to stain it.
PAT: OK. Well, that gave me the information. I can go forward within.
TOM: Alright. Well, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Well, for what, like a couple of decades now, stainless steel has totally dominated the appliance industry. But according to a new trend report, some of the biggest appliance manufacturers are now betting that it could be nearing the end of its popularity.
LESLIE: No way. I still love it. But get this: Maytag has rolled out a whole series and it’s calling it White Ice. Now, it features glass fronts that are meant to blend in more with your kitchen. And GE has a new, matte, gray finish called Slate. And Viking is rolling out colors that pop, like cinnamon, wasabi and Dijon. Food names, of course.
TOM: I kind of have to agree with you. All of those things sound very attractive but I don’t think stainless is going to go anywhere for a while. It’s holding onto its popularity for a lot of good reasons: it’s easy to maintain, it’s got a really super-long lifespan, it doesn’t dent. Yeah, it takes a bit of work to clean it but people like that.
LESLIE: Now, another trend that we’ve uncovered is the popularity of solar panels on homes. In fact, some say that it’s replacing stainless steel and granite as the must-have for homebuyers. But before you run out and install those solar panels, you need to look into the options carefully because there are a lot out there.
TOM: Yeah. And in fact, there are some companies now that will install those solar panels for free in exchange for access to some of the energy they give. It’s kind of a co-op thing where you – the company puts the panels up and then they get some of the energy, you get some of the energy and so on. There’s also rebates and credits available. And you really do need to do some thorough research, though, before committing to it.
Now, you can start that research at MoneyPit.com if you search “solar,” and you’ll get some of the latest information that we’ve pulled together on that topic.
LESLIE: Mike in Iowa is on the line with an insulation question. What can we do for you today?
MIKE: I’m looking to put some fiberglass insulation up in my attic. I have access to some 6-inch that’s faced on one side and it has foil on the other. Could I lay that down in my attic without having any problems?
TOM: You already have existing insulation there, right, Mike?
MIKE: Yeah, I’ve got 10 inches in my ceilings.
TOM: The answer is no and here’s why: the foil face is a vapor barrier and if you put a vapor barrier in there, you’re going to trap moisture. Now, a very common scenario is people put that up in the attic, they leave the vapor barrier facing up but that’s actually wrong. The only place a vapor barrier belongs is against the heated space, which would be under the 10 inches of insulation you already have there.
So, the foil face is not a good thing. Now, I will say that you – if you really want to be frugal about this, you could probably pull that foil off and lay the unfaced batt perpendicular to what you have right now. It’ll be a bit of a messy job because it sounds like it’s older insulation, so you’re going to have to protect yourself with dust masks and safety glasses, long sleeves and all of that.
MIKE: I don’t care to do that. But right now, in my attic, at one time I had a flat roof. And right now, I’ve got rolled tar – or not tar paper but rolled shingling up in my attic floor. That’s probably acting as a vapor barrier, I would guess, today.
TOM: It probably is, yeah. Because it would stop humidity from getting through it. The problem is that it traps it in the insulation and when it does that, the insulation doesn’t work well. Insulation that’s damp does not insulate, so that humidity is working against you.
MIKE: I have wood heat and it takes a lot of moisture out of the house. That’s probably in my favor, I would guess.
TOM: I would think so. Now, you want to preserve that wood floor? You want to use all of that wood floor space?
MIKE: I’d like to use as much as possible, yes.
TOM: Well, why don’t you do this? Kind of a way to kind of have your cake and eat it, too, is to carve out an area in the center of the attic that you reserve, basically, just for storage. And then you add unfaced fiberglass batts on top of the wood floor to the other areas. Yeah, it’s not perfect having that whatever floor covering you have in between but I still think it’s going to add some insulation to that space and help cut some of your energy bills. And unfaced fiberglass batts are not that expensive and pretty easy to handle.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Mike in Tennessee, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
MIKE: Is it possible or even a good idea to put a propane water heater in – next to an electric water heater? With the bad weather that we’ve had and the possibility of losing the electricity, I was trying to determine whether or not I could put in a propane water heater and maybe cheap hot water to be able to wash the kids and the clothes when the electricity goes out.
TOM: Well, that’s an interesting approach. First of all, I don’t see why you couldn’t do that as long as both appliances were installed safely and in accordance with electrical codes and plumbing codes and in accordance to the – and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. So, there’s no reason why you couldn’t have the water heaters side by side with one being propane and one being electric. But you might want to think about a more permanent solution and a more practical solution to the underlying problem of losing power and that is to install a standby generator.
Now, you can get a standby generator that would run on propane gas. And a standby generator is very handy because it comes on automatically when the power goes off and it can handle the water heater, lights, refrigeration, heating systems, all the basics.
LESLIE: Well, pretty much anything that you want it to.
TOM: Yeah. And keep you moving throughout the house. So, rather than see you spend money on a second water heater, I’d rather see you spend some money on a propane-powered, gas standby generator.
MIKE: What would you think would be necessary for running, yeah, the basics that you were just mentioning there: the water heater, the refrigeration, the stove? You know, not running the whole house – I think that takes about 15,000 kilowatts – but just running a partial system there. What would you recommend for that type of a standby?
TOM: Well, exactly. And you can buy them based on different sizes. So, for example, if you wanted one that was about 8k, that would probably run you probably $2,500, plus or minus.
MIKE: Oh, OK.
TOM: And if you wanted one that was 20k, that’d probably run you about $4,500 and then something else in between. So, they’re not extraordinarily expensive. They have to be installed professionally and of course, this presumes that you have propane available to run them and not – or natural gas. But I presume you’re talking about propane.
It comes with something called a transfer switch. So, it gets installed next to your main electrical panel and basically, the circuits that are wired in the transfer switch are the ones that actually come on. So you might have a lighting circuit, a refrigerator, furnace and so on. If you happen to have central air conditioning, you may not use that because you’d be willing to put up with not having air conditioning for a few days but as long as your refrigerator worked and so on.
MIKE: Fantastic. Well, thanks for all the good information you folks provide.
TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Still to come, a leaky roof is no fun – no way, not at all – especially when it’s raining. Tom Silva from This Old House is stopping by next with tips to help you find those leaks and fix them for good.
NORM: Hi. I’m Norm Abram from This Old House and when we’re working on our projects, we listen to The Money Pit.
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TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air, online at MoneyPit.com. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: And speaking of online, you can follow The Money Pit’s Pinterest page and get great ideas on everything from outdoor entertaining to energy efficiency. You can also pin articles, blogs and more directly from our website with our Pin It button, then share those tips or add your own great ideas to our boards. Find it all, on the official Money Pit Pinterest page.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Frank in Texas on the line with a structural question. What’s going on at your money pit?
FRANK: Yes, I’ve got an older home, post-and-beam construction. I have about a 4x8 beam that’s cracked diagonally. And I’ve already poured a footer – a 2-foot by 2-foot by 6-inch footer – and I plan on bracing that. But what I’m wondering, once I jack it back into position, number one, is there an adhesive that might help hold it together? And on the sides, I want to marry in a support. Should I use OSB, plywood or 2x8?
TOM: What you would do is you would put another beam next to it that has to go the same width. It has to go bearing point to bearing point as the split beam. And then you would glue it with a construction adhesive from the new beam to the split beam. And I would bolt them together. And if you do that on a beam-by-beam basis, then it should be an acceptable repair.
It’s just a little tricky because you’ve got to get that new beam next to the old beam and it’s going to not be straight. And you’re going to have to work around wires and plumbing and such to get it in there and nice and tight.
But take your time fitting that beam. If you get the new beam in right, then it could be quite strong.
FRANK: Alright. I appreciate the advice. Thank you.
LESLIE: Well, one of the most important structural components of your home might not just be the foundation. We’re actually talking about your roof. It’s going to weather every storm, it protects the rest of your home’s structure and of course, it keeps you warm and dry if it’s in good shape.
TOM: That’s right. But with all the beating your roof takes, a roof replacement is usually in every homeowner’s future at one time or another. Here with tips to help us through that project is Tom Silva, the general contractor on TV’s This Old House.
TOM SILVA: Thanks, guys. Nice to be here.
TOM: Nice to have you back again. And Tom, just because you have a leak in a roof might not mean that you need a new roof. But what are some of the key signs we should be looking for to know if our roof really has reached the end of its life?
TOM SILVA: If you don’t like to be up on a roof, I’d say a nice pair of binoculars to look from the ground, to look at the condition of the shingles.
TOM: Good advice.
TOM SILVA: Usually, the granules will start to wear off. If you clean your gutters and there’s a lot of granules in your gutters, usually at the end of the season, that means that they’re starting to wear down. If the roof is cupped or if the corners are peeled up, that’s a sign that the roof is getting ready to be replaced.
They wear out. The rainwater comes down, hits them and they get abuse from the wind, the rain.
TOM: And the sun, the UV.
TOM SILVA: The sun, yes. Yep.
TOM: Yep. Mm-hmm.
LESLIE: Now, here’s something that we talk about a lot on the show. We talk about when you’re replacing your roof, do you put the new roof on top of the existing roof shingle? Do you take everything off? I know we looked into replacing our roof and in our village, you needed to sort of jump through the hoops to remove the existing layers of shingles there. But if you wanted to just go right on top, you didn’t need any paperwork at all. And I feel like you should take it off.
TOM SILVA: Yeah. Well, I don’t ever put a roof on a roof. I do not like it. I think it’s absolutely stupid. That roof is going to end up in a landfill eventually, anyways.
TOM SILVA: So, for someone to say, “Oh, no, leave it on and go over it,” that’s wrong. It’s absolutely wrong. You’re adding problems because, number one, you’re adding more weight – constant weight – to your roof. And you’re shortening the lifetime of that shingle anyways because it’s sitting on top of an insulation bed, so it can get hotter. And if it gets hotter, it’s going to wear out faster.
TOM: Now, if you are going to strip your roof off, you have an opportunity to reconstruct it, really take advantage of some of the more modern materials that are available today. What would you recommend in terms of, you know, underlayments and ice-and-water shields and that sort of thing, to kind of make sure the base is good to go? And would that change based on what part of the country you’re in? So, for example, if you’re down in Florida – an area that’s prone to hurricanes – might you build it different than you were up in Vermont?
TOM SILVA: Mm-hmm. Well, yeah, absolutely. There are a lot of products out there that will basically keep your house dry and the roof shingle, in this case, becomes basically aesthetic. And their materials are really great.
But one of the things that I look at, when I strip a roof, is I now am able to look at the existing sheathing. What’s the condition of it? Does it need to be replaced? Are there boards that have to be fixed? Then I can look at that, fix what I have to fix and then I automatically renail off the whole sheathing, tighten it back up to the roof structure. That’s important.
Now, if I live in a climate that has a lot of snow and ice, I want to think about ice protection from ice dams. And I’d want to put on a self-sealing membrane. There’s a few of them out there. For example, Grace Ice & Water Shield is probably the one that’s most known for.
But a lot of people put that on incorrectly and even roofers put it on incorrectly. The first layer – the first row – should overhang the roof edge by at least 3 or 4 inches. That should then wrap down around the leading edge of the sheathing, down under and onto the fascia board. Then that has to get protected by another piece of wood because the sun will break it down. Then you put your first course of drip edge on that. It’s a self-sealing membrane. So when you nail through it, the water won’t leak.
TOM: And that’s a great reason, right there, to strip the roof off down to the sheathing every single time. Because you couldn’t do that if you were putting a second layer on.
TOM SILVA: No, you cannot do that. Yeah, absolutely.
TOM: And another point that you made, which I think is great, is about that sheathing. What I used to see in all the years I spent as a home inspector was that the older homes – especially the homes that were built, say, in the 60s or 70s which, of course, to a guy from This Old House is not that old. But that said, those homes, I find, in that era, the ventilation was very poorly done and you see a lot of damaged sheathing.
TOM SILVA: Oh, yeah. A lot of damaged sheathing and lots of times, the sheathing is too thin.
TOM SILVA: Because they started using plywood back then. It was a new deal and the plywood – “Oh, this is really strong. We can put in ½-inch when you shouldn’t put ½-inch on a roof.” You should have a minimum of 5/8. And if you’re replacing a board when older – in older houses, you want to make sure that the board you use is the same thickness that the board’s existing. Because with the shingles that they have today, if you use a standard three-tab fiberglass shingle, that shingle will actually fall into that little valley and you’ll see a dip in the roof shingles.
So, it’s not – structurally, it’s fine. It’s just appearance-wise. And those are the little things that bug me. If it’s not perfect, it’s not right.
TOM: That’s right. And that’s our motto: do it once, do it right, you won’t have to do it again for a very long time.
Tom Silva, General Contractor from TV’s This Old House, great advice. Thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.
TOM SILVA: My pleasure. Nice to be here.
LESLIE: Alright. You can catch the current season of This Old House and Ask This Old House on PBS. For your local listings and some step-by-step videos on many common home improvement projects, visit ThisOldHouse.com.
TOM: And This Old House and Ask This Old House are brought to you by The Home Depot. More saving, more doing. That’s the power of The Home Depot.
And still ahead, how to keep pets warm and safe this winter.
ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Lutron’s new Maestro Occupancy-Sensing Switch. Never ask “Who left the lights on?” again. Starting at around $20, this motion-sensing light switch turns the lights on automatically when you walk into a room and off when you leave and works with all types of light bulbs. Learn more at LutronSensors.com.
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.
Put down the silver that you’re polishing for all of those guests that are going to be arriving very soon and give us a call, right now, at 888-MONEY-PIT with your home improvement questions.
One lucky caller that we talk to on the air this hour is going to win a set of Renu lighting products from Leviton worth 50 bucks. Now, it’s really awesome because the faces on the Renu switches, their dimmers and their outlets, you can snap them off and change them to a new color which, surprisingly enough, can actually change the entire look of your room, anytime.
They’ve got 20 colors to choose from. It’s easy to match your paint, your wallpaper. Whatever you want in that room’s décor, you can find a match.
TOM: They’ve got vibrant colors, sculpted lines. Pretty much adds up to an instant makeover. You can visit Leviton.com/Renu – that’s R-e-n-u – for more information. Or pick up the phone and give us a call right now for the answer to your home improvement question and your shot to win that set of Renu products from Leviton.
LESLIE: Natasha in Missouri is on the line with a molding question. What can we do for you today?
NATASHA: Our house is about 11 years old and the interior walls – the sheetrock or the drywall – is finished with a nice, round, bullnose corner, so it doesn’t come to a right angle, so to speak. And just through wear and tear with kids and dogs, we have found several dents appearing. And I’m wondering if you have ideas on how we might repair that or if we are going to have to just replace that whole corner edging. Any thoughts?
TOM: Yeah. I mean is this like the metal rounded corner?
NATASHA: I think it’s metal. I tap on it and it sounds plasticky but it might be metal, which would explain the dents.
TOM: Why not just plaster over those?
NATASHA: I thought about that. Some of them are just little dimples but I don’t know if I can successfully fill and sand and patch. But that’s one thought we’ve had.
TOM: Yeah. You could skim-coat it. And the other thing that you could do, if it’s a crisp dent, is you can use auto-body filler. We use that on metal doors, like metal doors that have dents in it and that sort of thing. It’s just a little harder to sand. But if it’s just the outside corner on drywall, you could use spackle for that. Build it up and then sand it. It sands really easily. You’re just going to have to prime it and repaint it.
TOM: Shouldn’t be a big deal.
NATASHA: Great. Well, that’s exciting. Some other advice I’d had was to replace the whole corner, so I love your suggestion much, much more.
TOM: Well, you can always do that but why don’t we try the easiest stuff first?
NATASHA: Maybe in the bedrooms where it’s not so obvious. We’ll try that first, so …
TOM: Then you can practice and you’ll get good at it.
NATASHA: That’s right. Hey, thanks so much. I really appreciate your help.
TOM: You’re welcome, Natasha. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Well, it’s time now for The Money Pit’s Pinterest Tip of the Week, presented by Citrus Magic Air Freshener.
Now, pet owners know that this time of year can be especially dangerous for all of our four-legged friends. Here’s a few things to keep in mind.
LESLIE: Yeah. You know, you make sure that your drafts are sealed, that you’ve got your car all winter-ready and you’ve got the snow boots ready to go by the door but don’t forget that your pets are members of the family, too. And even the most outdoor-loving dog out there can feel the harsh conditions of winter.
The best thing that you can do is invest in a good coat for your pet and look for one that reflects so that your pet can be seen during winter’s longer night hours. And helpful for you, too, so that people can spot you when you’re walking the dog.
TOM: Now, here’s something that you may not have been thinking about. If you notice your dog lifting its paws and whining during a walk, the ground or the pavement might be making his feet very, very cold. Now, sidewalk salt and chemical ice will melt and these can be dangerous for pets. So, deck out your dog in booties that you can allow him to romp in the snow with much longer. They’ll also give him some traction on those icy surfaces. And they’re also machine-washable.
And if your dog does get into that sidewalk salt, please rinse his feet off when he comes in the house. He’ll be much happier as a result.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. If you turn your heat down low at night or if your pet slumbers in an unheated space, like your garage, you really want to consider a heated pet bed.
Now, there are different types: both electrical and those with a stuffing that can be safely heated in the microwave. And they’re all great for pets, especially the smaller dogs. I find Daisy – she’s seven pounds. I feel like she’s shivering when I take a shower that’s too hot and I open the door.
TOM: And that’s your Pinterest Tip of the Week, presented by Citrus Magic Air Freshener. There’s magic in the air. Visit our Pinterest page and check out our Tip of the Week Board for more information on this and other home improvement-related ideas.
LESLIE: Burt in Delaware is on the line and needs some help with a bathroom vent. What can we do for you?
BURT: Our house was built 21 years ago and I’m working on remodeling an upstairs bathroom. And I’m putting a – it’s a small, Jack-and-Jill bathroom with a commode and the shower in a separate area but it’s very small. So I’m putting a fan directly over the shower that’s on a GFI. And when they vented the old fan, they just stuck it out at the top on the – out by a soffit. And I’m just wondering – that might not be the best way but it’s still – is that still – does it still work, I guess, is what I’m asking?
TOM: Yeah, it’ll work. The thing is you want to make sure it actually comes through the soffit. I’ve seen bathroom vent fans be dumped like in the soffit, expecting the warm, moist air to come through the perforation of the soffit.
TOM: But if it actually turns and vents straight out through the soffit, that’s fine. It’s probably a fairly short run, which means you’re not going to have any loss as you move that air along the duct and then bring it out.
BURT: OK. But you’re saying cut a hole in the soffit.
TOM: Absolutely. You don’t just want to dump it inside the soffit; you want to cut a hole and bring it out. Otherwise, you’re going to – ask for problems with moisture, as well as a fire hazard because all of that dust will collect up in that one space and that’s just not a good idea.
BURT: OK. Well, that’s what I need to know. Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re very welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Still ahead, are you debating different flooring options for your home? Well, we can help you decide which one is the best for you. Because after all, we love talking about floors, so stick around.
ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Stanley Tools, celebrating their 170-year anniversary. At Stanley, making history is our future. To learn more, visit StanleyTools.com.
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 time is running out on our Money Pit Weekend Warrior Facebook Sweepstakes. We are getting a lot of interest in this. There are thousands of folks that have entered because we’ve got three great prizes up for grabs.
Check this out. We’ve got the – Black & Decker has given us three lawn-and-garden power tools. There’s a blower vac, a hedge trimmer and a string trimmer.
LESLIE: And if you hate cleaning gutters, we’ve got GutterClear 365, which protects them from getting clogged in the first place with all the leaves and gunk that just tends to build up. We’re giving away enough to do your entire house.
TOM: And our grand prize is a set of lithium-ion, 20-volt power tools from PORTER-CABLE. Now, this is a great platform because you get all the big tools – including the drill driver, circular saw and a reciprocating saw – just to name a few.
LESLIE: It’s a total of $1,500 worth of prizes, so “fan” us on Facebook to enter today. If you share the sweepstakes with your friends, you’re going to get bonus entries, which will give you more chances to win. It’s all at Facebook.com/TheMoneyPit.
And while you’re online, you can post a question for us there, like Darlene in Illinois did. And she writes: “How do we install hardwood floors on a slab foundation? We don’t like laminates. We want real hardwood.”
You don’t unless it’s engineered. True?
TOM: Yeah. Because if you put solid hardwood on a slab, what happens with a slab foundation is it’s just too damp, too moist, Darlene. And eventually, that hardwood is going to swell and buckle up and you’ll basically cost yourself the need to do an entire new floor again. So, don’t use solid hardwood.
What you can do, as Leslie correctly suggested, is use engineered hardwood. Now, engineered hardwood is real hardwood but it’s also made differently than solid hardwood. Solid hardwood is just, obviously, one solid board. Engineered hardwood has thin layers of hardwood that are glued at 90 degrees to each other.
Think about plywood. Have you ever seen plywood, especially from the edge? You see that there are very thin layers glued together. That’s what engineered hardwood is. The difference is that the upper level – the upper surface – is the real hardwood with real finish on it. When it’s done, when it’s put together, you cannot visually tell the difference between engineered and real hardwood.
So that’s the thing that you want to do for a slab. You don’t want to use solid hardwood because you will be very sad when it swells and buckles and you have to do it all over again.
LESLIE: Alright. Next up, we’ve got one from Gabriela in New York who writes: “I live in an apartment with hot-water steam heat. The paint on the wall above one of the units is peeling and has dark specks that look like mold. Is that caused by the heating unit? If so, what can I do to fix it or stop it from happening?”
TOM: It’s caused by your housekeeping, I hate to tell you. What happens is you get this convective loop of air right above a radiator, where the warm air from the radiator washes up the wall. Any dirt that’s in the air is getting coated on that wall over and over and over again.
So, clean it, prime it. Get rid of that loose paint, prime it and repaint it and just kind of accept it. Those dark areas above heating registers and above radiators are just convection, not mold.
LESLIE: Yeah. No, seriously, once you get on this, it’ll be something that you’ll have to maintain just to keep it clean. But it’s a really easy fix.
TOM: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Thank you so much for spending this hour with us.
Remember, if you’ve got questions, especially as you move forward fixing up your house for the holidays, which begin next week – can you believe that? It’s right around the corner. You can reach us, 24-7, at 888-MONEY-PIT or post your question online at MoneyPit.com.
I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Remember, you can do it yourself ...
LESLIE: But you don’t have to do it alone.
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(Copyright 2013 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.)