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 1 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: Call us now with your home improvement question. Call us now with your do-it-yourself dilemma. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.
You know they say that there are only two things, Leslie, you can be certain of -
TOM: - death and taxes.
LESLIE: (chuckling) OK.
TOM: But I think we can add one more thing to that list: high heating bills.
TOM: However, you know you can use - there are things you can do. You can actually use your wood stove or fireplace to help cut down on those costs and coming up this hour, we're going to give you some tips on efficient wood heating that will keep you cozy and help you save some cash.
LESLIE: And here's another way to keep your home warm and cozy without spending an arm and a leg - insulate. We cannot stress enough how important it is to have the right amount and the right kind of insulation in your home and to have it in the right places; not in the closet waiting to be installed somewhere in your house. So in just a few minutes, we're going to move downstairs with the ...
TOM: (chuckles) Is that where you keep your insulation?
LESLIE: Well, you know the big batts; I just store them in the closet until I'm ready to fill up the attic.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Til you get around to it. (chuckles)
LESLIE: Until I'm like, 'Alright, this is the chore for the week.' (chuckles) So in just a few minutes, we're going to move downstairs with the tips to help insulate your basement properly.
TOM: That should keep the floor nice and warm and toasty on the first floor. And if you're looking to spruce up or spice up some of the rooms in your home, look no further than a coat of paint. It's the easiest. It's the cheapest way to update a room. And later this hour we're going to have some great advice on painting in cooling weather, including how to get rid of paint fumes when it's too cold to even open a window.
LESLIE: And we've got a fantastic prize for you all this hour. It is a home theatre speaker system from Orb. It really is amazing.
TOM: It's worth almost 1,000 bucks.
TOM: So if you'd like to get in on the opportunity to win the Orb speaker system, call us right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974. And you must have a home improvement question and be willing to come on the air and ask us. Let's get right to it.
Leslie, who's first?
LESLIE: Number one asked question here at The Money Pit - flooring; and we've got John in New Jersey who's doing some work at his money pit. What can we do for you?
JOHN: I've been in this house 25 years. I practically rebuilt it. I have hardwood floors that have always been finished with wax. I want to put polyurethane down but the guys who are supposed to know this stuff tell me that if I put polyurethane down the wax will come through.
TOM: They're right and you have some very rare floors there, John. You've been doing it the way people have been doing it for 100 or more years; by using a floor wax on those floors. And if you do try to put - and I know there's a lot of work for you because that's just the way that it. If you do try to put urethane on top of that, it's not going to hold. The only way you can do that is if you had the floor sanded. If you go down through that wax to raw wood, then you could use a urethane finish and it'll stay up. But if you try to do anything less than that, it definitely will not stick and you're going to have a big mess on your hands. So you have to decide how much of a commitment you want to make, John.
JOHN: What would you do if they were your floors?
TOM: I would continue to wax them if they've been done all those years. I'll tell you what I would do to freshen them up. I would rent a floor buffer with a sanding screen. It's sort of like one of those floor buffers you see the guys use in commercial buildings but you put a sanding screen under it and the sanding screen will just sand off just the upper sort of surface of that floor and then I would rebuff it with some new paste wax. That's how I'd refinish it. But again, if you can do the paste wax, it's not going to last as long as a urethane finish and you're going to have to do it again from time to time is the price you pay for that look of hand-rubbed wood floors, which is just gorgeous.
JOHN: Well, it's a colonial house, so I think I'll stay with it. Thank you, guys.
TOM: You're welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Dee Dee in Minnesota's having an issue in the bath. What's going on?
DEE DEE: My question is when we take a shower - we do have a vent in there but yet the walls sweat ...
DEE DEE: ... where you can kind of see it drip down and everything.
TOM: I have a solution for you, Dee Dee.
DEE DEE: What?
TOM: Cold water showers. (Dee Dee chuckles)
TOM: It will completely eliminate the problem. No, it's condensation, obviously, and ...
DEE DEE: Right.
TOM: ... what kind of a ventilation system do you have in that bath right now?
DEE DEE: I don't know. It's just a vent that we have up in the ceiling.
TOM: OK. Well, I suspect it's not doing its job. It may be a real weak, wimpy vent and you need something that's a lot stronger.
DEE DEE: So they do have bigger vents that ...
TOM: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. And not only do they have ...
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Oh, yeah. They're all sizes.
TOM: ... bigger vents, you know the best kind - have you ever like checked into a motel room and you see that there's a vent but there's no switch for it? Typically, those are remote exhausts where you can actually have the exhaust fan, say, mounted up in the attic and it's ducted right to each bathroom in the house. And once that comes on, it pulls a real strong draw from that moist area from the bathroom and takes it right outside. I suspect you probably have a real wimpy bath exhaust fan here that's not doing the job.
What I would do is I would improve that bath exhaust fan either by replacing it with one that's designed to pull more moisture out of that space or install a remote bath fan. And most importantly, in either case, make sure you put a timer switch on so that bath vent fan can run for 10 or 15 minutes after you're done with the shower.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) After your shower. Because there's still moisture in the room and then you've got the door open, so you're dealing with the mix of air temperatures; the condensation appears more so at that point. So if you run that fan longer, you're going to get that moisture out.
DEE DEE: Alright. Well, thank you.
TOM: You're welcome, Dee Dee. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: You are tuned to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show.
In case you've been wondering why you are showing up late or early someplace all week, it's because of the clock. Spring ahead, fall back, my friends. You've gained an hour and if you need some advice filling it up with home improvement projects, you're in the right place. Pick up the phone and give us a call at 1-888-MONEY-PIT with your home improvement question right now.
TOM: Speaking of which, painting rooms in your house during the cooler winter months requires a few tricks of the trade. We're going to have them for you, including a tip on how to avoid all the paint odor when it's too cold to open the windows. That's coming up, next.
[audio timestamp: 0:06:36.3]
ANNOUNCER: This portion of The Money Pit is brought to you by Ryobi, manufacturer of professional-feature power tools and accessories with an affordable price for the do-it-yourselfer. Ryobi Power Tools. Pro features. Affordable price. Available exclusively at The Home Depot. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.
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: Got a home improvement question; got a DIY dilemma? Give us a call right now. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974. Before you pick up the hammer; before you pick up the saw, pick up the phone and call us because one caller we talk to on the air this hour has a chance to win a really great prize. We're giving away the Orb Audio Mod1 Plus speaker system. It comes with everything you need to rock out your house. If you'd like to win it, call us right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. You must have a home improvement question and if you do, we will toss your name in The Money Pit hardhat and we might just award you that fantastic prize worth 1,000 bucks.
LESLIE: Man, and that is a great prize. And if you are lucky enough to be the fantastic winner of that one, you know that those awesome new speakers are going to be a great way to sort of spice up your home theatre system and entertain all of your guests that are about to start popping over for the holidays, which really are right around the corner. And think about it; cranking tunes is way better than, you know, little Johnny's piano recital. (Tom and Leslie laugh) But anyway, everybody's going to love your fun holiday setup; so get in it to win it. Pick up the phones.
And we've got another popular home improvement for the holidays; it's painting. Now painting, it's an inexpensive and quick way to redecorate your house just in time for all the guests to arrive and a new color and some accessories to match or to contrast and you've really got a whole, brand new space. Plus, without summer's humidity, you're going to save on drying time. But what about the paint smell? Especially during this time of year, when it's going to be a little too chilly to crack open a window, you want to look for paints that are low-odor - they're going to be marked all over the cans, 'Low Odor' - or even scented paints and those are available from so many manufacturers out there; you can find them at every home center. And these paints are going to work really well for kids' rooms and you're not going to have to run for the hills every time you put on a new coat because of the odor. So look for low VOC, low odor or scented paints and you will end up with a great project even when you can't open the windows.
TOM: 888-666-3974. Leslie, who's next?
LESLIE: Cal in Pennsylvania needs some help with a tiling project. What's going on?
CAL: I'm retiling my kitchen floor and when I took up the old floor, I realized it was mounted on previous linoleum which was on top of particleboard. And what I'm looking to do is properly install tile without tearing up the particleboard and I want to get back to almost exactly the same height as possible.
TOM: Now is the old tile directly on top of this linoleum that you uncovered?
CAL: Yes, with thinset or some sort of adhesive.
TOM: (overlapping voices) OK, mm-hmm. And did it seem to have stood up OK; like it didn't crack or move or become loose? Was it pretty solid?
CAL: There was one cracked tile. These were ...
CAL: ... six-inch tiles or eight-inch tiles. There was one cracked tile. It was cracked when I moved into the house three years ago and I don't know what ...
TOM: Well, listen; one cracked tile is not much to worry about. While it's not technically the correct thing to do, your best bet is probably to put tile right back on the surface that you took it off of and to add some glue and use a thinset material or a thinset adhesive and try to reglue right to that vinyl floor again. Now if it held up the first time, it's probably going to hold up the second time. The best way to do this would be to put a tile backer, but you're concerned about the height and I understand why. And of course, you want to avoid going any deeper on the tear-out. But since it worked the first time, I think it'll be OK the second time.
I would caution you, though, to not use a very wide tile because wide tiles are more unstable and if there's any flex in that floor, anything that's uneven, you'll get more cracked tiles. But if you stick with something in that eight-inch area or smaller that you had, I think you'll probably be OK.
LESLIE: Joanne in South Carolina is dealing with some noisy neighbors. Tell us about your living situation. Do you own your place? What's going on?
JOANNE: I live in a townhouse and my main bedroom and bathroom walls are connected to the walls of the townhouse next to mine ...
JOANNE: ... by basically a concrete wall and drywall on my side and drywall on their side.
JOANNE: Now when my neighbors have company, they are in the rooms next to these two rooms of mine ...
JOANNE: ... and I can hear sounds very easily; even though I do not know what is being said. And I would like to know how to soundproof between the concrete wall and my drywall to block most of the sounds coming through these two rooms.
TOM: You know, if you're building a home from scratch, it's easy to plan soundproofing into this. Owens Corning, for example, has a product called Quietzone insulation that can be framed into the wall. But if the wall is already up, you know you can't tear it apart.
One of the things that you might want to think about doing is adding an additional layer of drywall on top of the drywall that's there now; separated by something called Green Glue. It's basically a sound-deadening product that goes in between the layers of drywall. And there also are available sound-deadening drywall panels themselves that have sort of battens that are sort of built right into it that are used in commercial applications such as recording studios and places like that that will quiet things.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm, and you're not going to sacrifice that much, you know, space into your room. You're dealing with the thickness of drywall.
The other thing that you can do is hang some draperies along that wall; make it a design choice. That'll help deaden the sound. Add more art work. You know, add things to the wall that will sort of buffer that sound. But the best bet is to put that sort of sound-deadening drywall product over it.
TOM: Joanne, I hope that helps you out. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.
LESLIE: Argentina in New York is dealing with some inefficient windows. Tell us about what's going on.
ARGENTINA: I have 18 windows in my house and they're aluminum windows. What happened is I did have storm windows but I took them off and it's like the air is coming in. Even if I put plastic paper inside it doesn't help. So I don't know what to do. Do you think storm windows will help?
TOM: Well, storm windows will help but I tell you what, Argentina; it's like throwing good money after bad. The aluminum windows are so antiquated today; they're so drafty; it's so almost impossible to make them energy-efficient. I would rather see you take the money and concentrate on replacing the windows; maybe not doing the whole house; starting on the north side, then the east side. Work from the coldest sides to the warmest sides and start replacing those windows with vinyl-clad, thermal pane, Energy Star-rated replacement windows. It'll make a huge difference. And rather than see you take that money and put it into storm windows, I'd like to see you put it into good-quality replacements.
ARGENTINA: OK, thanks very much.
TOM: You're very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: We're going to talk roofing with John in Utah. Tell us what's going on.
JOHN: Yeah, I've got a roof that's leaking in two spots. It's got the - it's got a one-inch thick shingle; the wooden shingle.
JOHN: And I can't figure out where the leak is exactly and I was wondering if there's something I can spray on these wooden shingles without having to tear this whole roof off to repair it.
TOM: Well, are the leaks anywhere near intersections? Because, typically, the number one place a roof is going to leak is around, say, a plumbing vent flashing or where two roof planes come together or where the roof might intersect with an upper story of the house. Do you suspect that any of those areas could be involved or perhaps where a chimney comes through?
JOHN: There's one that's like right in the middle of the roof; there's no pipes or anything going through.
JOHN: It comes right down - it drips down off of my chandelier.
TOM: Oh, boy. (chuckles)
JOHN: And then the other one is right above a shower.
TOM: OK, for the one that's right above the shower ...
LESLIE: So that extra water really doesn't make a difference. (chuckles)
TOM: Yeah. (chuckles) I would look to the plumbing vent that's going to be in that same area. That would be a very common leak. If you have a shower in a bathroom, you're going to have a plumbing vent that'll come up through the roof. There's going to be a flashing collar around that and, generally, those collars have like a rubber boot and they often crack and deteriorate and get really leaky.
As for the one that's in the middle of the roof, is that a roof that you can walk on?
JOHN: Yeah, I can walk on it.
TOM: Well, why don't you get up there with a hose and see if you can be very strategic about running some water down your roof and try to figure out and narrow down what you're doing; where the water has to run to cause the leak.
LESLIE: And not just down. Like spray up and sideways and sort of be aggressive in spraying at the shingles because sometimes you get high winds that sort of lift things up and force the rain under. But be safe.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Yeah, I would start using gravity to let the water trickle down the roof and if that doesn't work, then you can, as Leslie said, get a little more aggressive with it.
Also, if it's possible to get up into the attic at the same time after - at the same time you're doing this and have somebody look up and keep an eye, maybe between the two of you, you can figure out where the leak is. It's going to probably come down to some cracked shingles somewhere in the middle of that space and it might be that they expand and contract, as wood often does that; and it only happens, perhaps, when the shingles are fairly open.
JOHN: OK. Would I have to take those shingles off in that spot or can I repair it on the inside or ...?
TOM: If you identify where it is exactly and you're absolutely convinced that it's leaking in that place, yes, you would want to take the shingles off. But because they're wood shingles, you can - once you get the first row off, you can slip a flat bar under them and pry up the nails and basically extract them; get down to the bottom and fix it and then put them back together again.
JOHN: Alright. OK, well thank you guys.
TOM: You're very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Time to help Robert in Rhode Island in the kitchen. What can we do for you?
ROBERT: I have a question on my kitchen cabinets. I remodeled the kitchen and I put in sealed particleboard cabinets.
ROBERT: And on the shelf underneath the kitchen sink, there was a stain and I tried to take it off with a little Ajax or Comet and it stuck the seal; it removed a little bit of the seal. So I'm trying to find out if there's any way I can reseal that particleboard to keep moisture out of it. I'm afraid of moisture getting in there.
TOM: Now this is just a shelf inside the cabinet?
ROBERT: Yeah, it's the shelf underneath the kitchen sink.
TOM: Mm-hmm. OK. Well, I think you certainly can and any urethane would work fine for that.
ROBERT: You think so? Oh, great. That's very easy to do.
TOM: It certainly is. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show.
You know, some weeks ago we got an e-mail from a listener who wanted to know the most efficient way to use her wood fireplace. We told her to fill it up with concrete. (Leslie chuckles) But there actually is an efficient way to use your wood stove and we're going to talk about that, next.
[audio timestamp: 0:18:03.1]
ANNOUNCER: This portion of The Money Pit is brought to you by Aprilaire, makers of professionally-installed, high-efficiency air cleaners. For more information go to Aprilaire.com. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show where we make good homes better. I'm Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I'm Leslie Segrete and you should pick up the phone and give us a call at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. We're giving away a great prize this hour. We've got the Orb speaker system. It's worth $1,000. It really is fantastic. And if you don't need it for your own house, it's a great opportunity to give it to somebody as a holiday gift; you know, right around the corner.
TOM: It would qualify for regifting.
LESLIE: That's like regifting on the grandest of scales.
LESLIE: So, really. Good luck, everybody. Pick up the phone. Give us a call. Let us know what you're working on. We're going to give you the answers and help you get the job done right so you're not constantly running back and forth to the home center. And we want to thank you guys. You know, when you pick up the phone and give us a call, a lot of you have already read our Money Pit book and we're getting great feedback on it. So thank you so very much. And you may have heard we've got this new book, My Home, My Money Pit; it's your guide to every home improvement adventure. It's fun and it's super-informative. It looks at your house from every angle. And we've got some tips in there about our favorite subject; you know, saving money.
TOM: That's right. You know, we'd like to help you cut costs around the house, especially in this economy, which can really eat up a lot of your budget. One idea that we include in chapter eight is how to get the most out of your wood stove. You know, wood stoves and fireplaces gained popularity during the oil crisis of the 70s and, now, many Americans are turning to them again. Here's what you need to know.
First of all, store your wood in a dry place. You want to make sure you have really dry fuel because burning wet or green wood wastes energy and contributes to the creosote buildup which makes the whole thing less efficient. The harder, denser and heavier the wood, the more heat you'll get out of it. That's why we recommend only burning hardwood because it actually generates more heat. And don't use your wood stove as a trash incinerator; don't use it to burn anything but the wood that you stick in it.
Also, when you buy a wood stove, make sure you buy one that's Energy Star-rated because they are the most efficient out there and if you don't like the idea of having to come up with wood all the time, think about buying one of those brand, spanking new pellet stoves because they are fantastic and efficient as well.
LESLIE: Yeah, and the pellets are super affordable and I think - I was reading something - it's around $300 for a normal-size house to heat for the entire heating season in pellets. So that really is efficient, compared to what a lot of people are going to be paying out there.
Now we've got a lot more tips and a lot of advice on wood stoves and fireplaces and you can find all of it in chapter eight of our new book, My Home, My Money Pit. Check it out today at MoneyPit.com.
TOM: 888-666-3974. Call us right now with your home improvement question.
Leslie, who's next?
LESLIE: June in Alabama, welcome to The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
JUNE: I have granite countertops in the kitchen and I've only had them a year and a half and they've turned dark. And they're cleaned periodically; probably every three months. But they're much more attractive light and they've just turned dark; especially around the stove and around the sink.
TOM: Now June, when you clean them, do they brighten up again?
JUNE: They brighten up and they shine but the color doesn't change.
LESLIE: It sounds like you're dealing with two areas where there's a lot of moisture, especially around the sink; and it seems to me, just from the description, that perhaps the seal that's on the top of the granite - which needs to be taken care of every year; you need to put a new coating on it - but it seems like perhaps it failed at where they cut the tile, you know the granite edge for the sink or for the two pieces that butt up to the stove, and maybe you got moisture underneath. And it seems like mold; wouldn't you think, Tom?
TOM: Well, it also sounds like - I was thinking along the same lines; that the seal may have failed. You know there's a website called Stonecare.com. It's got some great products that could actually straighten this out.
JUNE: I went to that ...
TOM: You're probably ...
JUNE: I went to that website but they have so many products. The only thing that I saw that might apply was a degreaser.
TOM: June, I think that the product that you need is actually a stain remover. It's a poultice powder, which is essentially designed to lightly abrade the surface, and it works for food stains; it works for mildew stains; and there are even stain removers for things that are tough, like oil and grease, to get out. It sounds to me like this countertop probably wasn't sealed properly when it was first installed and, as a result, you've had a lot of absorption just from normal use. And so you kind of need to get those stains out and then we can start over again, once it's nice and clean, with a good-quality sealer and not have to deal with it again.
JUNE: OK, so where do I get this stain remover?
TOM: Well, that website that I was talking about, Stone Care, has different types of poultice powders. I think the product that you want is called FPP Stain Remover. It's about 20 bucks a pint and that ought to do it for the whole top.
JUNE: OK. Alright, thank you very much.
TOM: You're welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: You know it's interesting. This darkening sort of occurs when moisture gets trapped underneath and it's even worse with like oils. That's why they say - and this is something new that I learned - never, ever put a pizza box on top of a granite countertop because if the oil sort of saturates the box and then sucks into the countertop, forget it; it's like a moisture stain that's never going to dry.
TOM: As beautiful as granite tops are, they really take a lot of work to keep them clean and looking good.
LESLIE: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show.
Up next, insulating your basement to save energy and money this winter; we've got all the tips that you need to know to keep your wallet full and your feet toasty, so stick around.
[audio timestamp: 0:24:09.3]
ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is being brought to you by Guardian Home Standby Generators, America's choice in power outage protection. Learn more at GuardianGenerators.com. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.
TOM: Welcome back to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I'm Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I'm Leslie Segrete and you should give us a call at 1-888-MONEY-PIT; especially if you've got, on your shopping list, some brand, spanking new speakers for your dream home theatre system. Well, if that's on your list, you are in great luck, my friend. We are giving away a high-end, high-tech speaker system from our friends over at Orb. It is worth almost 1,000 bucks. It includes all the bells and whistles and all the speaker wire that you're going to need to wire your entire room for some pretty kick-butt sound. Give us a call right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT and be ready with your home improvement question and a home improvement question is not, 'I want those speakers.'
TOM: (chuckling) Yeah, it's an usually fantastic prize.
LESLIE: (chuckling) It really is great.
TOM: We give away such a wide range of prizes on this show. You know one week it could be couple of tubes of caulk and the other week it could be a speaker system. You're in luck because this week it's the speaker system.
LESLIE: Yeah, totally.
TOM: Hey, speaking of speakers, you know the right insulation can make sure that great-sounding new theatre system doesn't keep the neighbors up all night. Owens Corning has a new product that works well for this. It's called Quietzone Insulation Batts. These are especially designed to deaden sound and block noises and are absolutely required if your teenager decides to start a garage band.
LESLIE: (chuckling) Especially if they decide to put that garage band in your basement. (Tom laughs) Now, if you're looking for insulation to keep your home warm, a good place to add insulation, that's often overlooked, is your basement. If you've got a heated basement, only the walls need to be insulated but the ceiling may also be insulated for noise control between the floors. Now when floor space or wall depth is an issue, there is rigid foam insulation and that can be installed over the firring strips. It really is a great space saver. Their notch design system; it really makes installation super easy and the panels butt together to form a really tight barrier against air infiltration and energy loss.
Now Owens Corning has a product called InsulPink Foam Insulation Board. It's exactly for this purpose and you can learn more at their website; it's InsulateandSave.com. It's really chock full of a lot of information to keep you nice and toasty this heating season.
Hey, we've also got more info in our next Money Pit e-newsletter, including tips for weatherstripping to seal out drafts. You can become a newsletter subscriber by visiting MoneyPit.com and signing up today. Our newsletter is free and we never, ever give out your e-mail address to anyone.
888-666-3974. Let's get back to the phones.
LESLIE: Tom in Texas, you've got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
TOM IN TEXAS: Yes, I've got really kind of a weird situation here; first time it's ever happened to me. I spilled a whole gallon of oil-based enamel on my driveway.
TOM: Oh, no.
TOM IN TEXAS: And I just don't know what to - how to get it up.
TOM: How about paint stripper? Have you thought about that?
TOM: What about using one of the paste paint stripper products where you apply it to the paint, let it sit and then peel off the stripper and the paint comes with it?
TOM IN TEXAS: Well, yeah. I was thinking about that or maybe putting the paint stripper down and then using a pressure washer to get it off.
TOM: Well, that would be the last step because if you use a pressure washer on that you're definitely going to damage the concrete. You will find that you're going to have to resurface it after that because you'll probably blast away some of the softer parts of the concrete; you'll be seeing some aggregate after that. But ...
LESLIE: But the paint will be gone.
TOM: But the paint will be gone. (Leslie chuckles) So that's a good thing. I would try to use a paint striper on this to try to lift it up and I think that it will probably come up. The thing is if the concrete has really absorbed the paint it might be deep into it and, if that's the case, you're going to have some residual appearance of having it and you can decide ...
TOM: Yeah, you can kind of decide how important that is to you.
TOM IN TEXAS: Well, OK. I appreciate the advice.
LESLIE: Hey, it happens to the best of us.
TOM: Hey, Tom, I'll tell you what happened to me. My two-year-old son spilled a gallon of paint down the staircase from upstairs; so it gets worse. (chuckles)
TOM IN TEXAS: Oh, no. Well, I guess I'm not the only one, huh?
TOM: That's right. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Yes, and we all know why the Segrete household has the white stripe painted in the garage. (Tom and Leslie laugh) The sound of that can of paint flying off the shelf was just - and it was so late and the project was so done. I was like, 'That looks fine to me.' (Tom and Leslie laugh)
TOM: You're like, 'Can't see it from the kitchen. I'm done.'
LESLIE: Bruce in South Carolina is living in a log cabin and you've got a question about that house. What can we do for you?
BRUCE: Well, I've got a question to find out what to put on the log to protect it from the sun and the rain; what would be the best products.
TOM: (overlapping voices) OK. Mm-hmm. Well, is this a house that you've already built, Bruce?
BRUCE: Yes, it is.
TOM: OK, how old is it?
BRUCE: Well, it's only about three years old.
TOM: Has it had any finish on it at all?
BRUCE: I have put some - one product on there but it's not holding up to the elements.
TOM: Mm-hmm. OK. Well, I mean, essentially, the way you would treat a log home is the same way you would treat any wood siding product. So the first question is do you want to stain it and if you want to stain it you're going to have to choose whether you want to use a semi-transparent or a solid color stain; and that, in and of itself, gives it plenty of protection. The difference between solid color and semi-transparent is that solid color still shows the grain but it has more pigment in it, so it tends to last longer; although some people don't like the solid color. They want to see more differentiations in color and, hence, like the semi-transparent.
After that, you're going to put a clear finish over that which, by the way, is not always required, depending on the stain that you use. Now some of those stains can actually be the last coat, the top coat.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Well, some offer UV protection and some don't.
TOM: Exactly. Now, on my home - I had a wood-sided home and you know what I put on it? It was cedar-sided - and so a lot of logs are made out of the same material; I used boiled linseed oil and, believe it or not, it lasted like 20 years before I had to finish that.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Now, Tom, I know there's a difference. There's boiled linseed and then there's regular linseed oil. How do you know which is the proper one to use on your home?
TOM: You'll know if you put the wrong one on because it doesn't dry. Only the boiled linseed oil actually dries; the other stays very tacky.
BRUCE: OK, boiled linseed oil, then.
TOM: Yep. Well, that's what I used and it worked great. But you know, there's a lot of advances in these materials and I think your first question is do you want to stain it; and if you are, you may want to choose ...
BRUCE: No, we - yeah, we want a regular log look.
TOM: Well, you can get the regular log look and still stain it, but that could be the protection right there.
TOM: You know, if you use a semi-transparent cedar-color stain, for example, that might be all the protection that you need; and use one that has good UV resistance.
BRUCE: OK. Well, that helps a lot then.
TOM: Alright, Bruce. Well, good luck with the project. Sounds like a beautiful home. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Well, when it gets really frustrating, it's always helpful to vent a little and your attic feels the same way. That's why, up next, we're going to talk about attic ventilation and why it can make a world of difference in reducing your heating and cooling costs. That's coming up, after this.
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ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Owens Corning. It's easy to insulate your home and save money. What's stopping you? Learn more at InsulateandSave.com. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show where we make good homes better. I'm Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I'm Leslie Segrete.
TOM: And are you looking for some interesting, innovative and green ways to update the flooring in your home? Well, if so, please check out my current AOL column, Green Flooring Ideas. It stems from our observations of Green Build 2008 which is a really fantastic trade show where a lot of these technologies are launched for the very first time. You can read it online at MoneyPit.AOL.com.
LESLIE: And head over to MoneyPit.com and click on the Ask Tom and Leslie icon and e-mail us your question. We've got a bunch here today. We've got Jim from New York who writes: 'I have a 50s-built home with a hip roof. There is no overhang, so no flow-through ventilation. We've put two 12-inch turbines on rear north side and have a ridge vent across the top and also have small vents on east and west side of the house. It's still very hot in the summer and there is a lot of moisture in the winter. How can we fix this?'
TOM: Well, by putting the turbine vents right near the ridge where you have a ridge vent, you basically are venting absolutely nothing because as those things spin they're going to sort of reverse the flow; it'll suck air in the ridge vent and then out the turbine vent.
You know a hip roof is among the most difficult to ventilate properly, Jim, and it really is important because if you don't flush the heat out, as you know, it's going to be hot and if you don't flush the moisture out you could have condensation problems, which makes your insulation very ineffective. So we would recommend a couple of things.
First of all, since it is a hip roof, I would add some more roof vents probably about three feet down from the top ridge so you have plenty of ventilation at the upper end of that roof structure. Now, you need to also add ventilation at the overhang but because you don't have an overhang, I'm going to give you a nifty little trick; it's called a drip-edge vent, made by a number of ventilation product manufacturers. What this basically ...
LESLIE: Where does this go?
TOM: Well, what this does is it basically extends the roof line by about three inches and ...
LESLIE: So it creates an overhang, kind of?
TOM: It creates a very, very small overhang. That's right. And you can cover it with roof shingles so you don't see it when it's done and it creates that intake vent, which is so critical, at that soffit edge of the house; the end of the rafter. So now you'll have air that'll move into the rafter bay there; go up underneath the roof sheathing, carrying out the moisture in the winter and the heat in the summer and then exit through all of those roof and ridge vents that we have at the peak. And that ought to solve this problem.
LESLIE: Now can that be installed sort of as a retrofit to an existing roof or is that something that needs to be done during a new roofing project?
TOM: It would be nice if it was done during a new roof project but you can pull off the shingles at the bottom edge of your roof, install the drip-edge vent and then reshingle just that area.
LESLIE: Alright. Now we've got one from Mercedes in Lake City, Florida who writes: 'Is it dangerous for our health to cook with hard water and how can I recognize iron in the water? Does removing hard water with an electronic system help our health?'
TOM: No, Mercedes. Actually, hard water is not unhealthy so it's not dangerous to you nor is the electronic system for removing it. I think you're talking about one of our newer sponsors, EasyWater, who has a system, for softening water, that does not use salt. Salt, of course could be unhealthy for you. This EasyWater system uses electronic frequencies that it actually runs through the water to essentially make sure the hard water deposits - the calcium, the magnesium deposits - don't stick together and when they don't stick together they also don't stick to your faucets. So that is not a health hazard. The hard water itself is not a health hazard but, certainly, having hard water is a big, stinking mess because it pretty much impacts everything from appliances to washing your glasses; everything comes out spotty.
LESLIE: Oh, absolutely.
TOM: And even your clothes can be very dingy.
LESLIE: Yeah, and it can make your dishwasher or your washer and dryer operate very inefficiently. So it's worth it to take care of; just even to make those appliances run far better.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Thank you so much for spending this hour with us. We covered a lot of ground with tips to make your house more comfortable, more energy-efficient and just a lot more fun to be around. The show continues 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 2008 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.)