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: 1:00]
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 right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974 with your home improvement project, question, your do-it-yourself dilemma. We're here to help you out. There are no dumb questions. Just great stories that happen to other people. (Leslie chuckles) Yes. But no dumb questions. Call us right now. We'll help you get the job done.
Have a great show planned for you this hour. You know, for years and years roofers have used this material called tar paper under the roofing shingles.
LESLIE: I've heard of that.
TOM: Yeah, you've heard of that, right?
TOM: Well, apparently it has the same absorption qualities as a sponge.
LESLIE: (chuckling) That is not good.
TOM: And turns out not the best stuff to use. So we're going to talk about some new high-tech roof underlayments coming up.
LESLIE: And if you're like most folks, it's taken you some time to get your house just the way you want it and now that you've got it that way, you don't want to live anywhere else. Well we're going to have some simple tips for you to help you stay in your home through all the stages of your life; changes that you can make today that are going to help you now and later.
TOM: And is your home a bit dusty? Those dust bunnies, are they building up under the furniture? We've got a great tip on how to cut down on dust buildup coming up.
LESLIE: And one caller we talk to this hour is going to win - get this - a year-long membership to the American Homeowners Association. It's a special Money Pit offer that only our listeners get. And our membership does have its privileges, folks. Among dozens of other benefits, you're going to get access to prescreened, licensed and insured contractors all over the country - and we know how hard it is to find good contractors so this is a big help - and a $1,000 guarantee that their work is done right. Hey, that's pretty good.
TOM: Very good. Call us right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. We'll be giving that membership away to one caller to today's program.
Leslie, who's first?
LESLIE: We have John in New Jersey who's got some wallboard damage. What happened, John?
JOHN: Well, I had a leak in the ceiling and what I am now facing is that there are two - the two pieces of wallboard where they are seamed and there's a piece of tape over it, the tape has come loose. But in addition to the tape coming loose I believe that the paper has separated on the wallboard itself from the composition material that's between the - that's on the wallboard. And I'm not sure - I mean I've thought of three options: one is cut that piece out and put another piece in, which is something I can't do; the other one is to just put up another piece of tape and spackle it over; the other is to cut back the paper from the wallboard that's separated from the composition and spackle and then put tape over it in the seam and then spackle the whole thing. But I'm ...
TOM: Alright, John, let us see if we can straighten you out on this. Just tell me one thing. The area where the paper is separated from the drywall, is it just in the area where the tape was; like a fairly concentrated area there; couple of inches?
JOHN: Yeah, maybe in an inch or two.
LESLIE: And does it run the entire seam or is it just in a short section?
JOHN: (overlapping voices) No, no, no, no. This is maybe only about a - somewhere about 10 inches or 12 inches.
TOM: Alright, this is easy to fix. What ...
LESLIE: And you can do it yourself.
TOM: Yeah. What I'm thinking ...
TOM: What I'm thinking here, Leslie, is to do a little surgery here. Get a utility knife.
TOM: Cut out the loose tape. Cut off the paper that's separated from the drywall. Get that area cleaned up. Then get some fiberglass tape. Put it over ...
LESLIE: It's the meshy one.
TOM: Yeah, the meshy, sticky one. Put it over the seam. And then probably with about three coats of spackle you should be able to rebuild that area. Don't have to cut the drywall out.
JOHN: OK, so just clean it up. Get the loose tape off. Cut the paper off of the wallboard that is loose.
JOHN: And then put a piece of that fiberglass mesh tape - which I know what you're talking about - put that up there and then spackle over the whole thing.
TOM: That's exactly right.
JOHN: OK. Thank you very, very much.
TOM: You're welcome, John. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Tiffany in Louisiana, welcome to The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
TIFFANY: Yes, I have had a little problem with water running into my carpet area. We had some - the air conditioner leaked ...
TIFFANY: ... anyway and the carpet got soaking wet. And I can never get all of the water. I believe some of it is underneath the ...
LESLIE: In the pad.
TIFFANY: ... sheetrock. I don't know what to do.
TOM: Is it a large area that's still saturated?
TIFFANY: No, we did one of the little carpet rental where it - shampooer?
TIFFANY: And it suctioned up quite a bit of it but it's still damp.
TIFFANY: And I can't get it all out.
TOM: Well, what you're - the best thing to do is to (clears throat), generally when you get floods in carpets, is to get a fan on it as quickly as possible. Now, if it physically flooded, typically they're going to lift the carpet up and loosen it up so that it can get - the water can get - the air can get underneath and dry it out.
TOM: But if you don't want to take the carpet up you at least have to get a fan on there. If it's a bad flood, very often people will go out and rest whole - rent large fans that really move a lot of air through the house. But if it's a small area you could probably just put a regular window fan sort of pointing in that area and just blow as much air over it as you can and it'll evaporate eventually.
TIFFANY: OK. Do you know about how many days and how do I make sure it's not going to mold?
TOM: Well, you should be able to dry it out in a day or so. I wouldn't think it's going to take much more time than that. And once it does get dried out then you don't have to worry about any type of mold setting in.
TIFFANY: OK. Well, I appreciate your time.
TOM: You're welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Alright, well winter weather's almost upon us and now is the perfect time to stop those energy dollars leaking out and keep your house nice and warm. So call in your home repair or your home improvement question 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Up next, if I told you that you should put a layer of material under your roof shingles that tears easily, absorbs water like a sponge and could be leak-prone you'd probably think it wasn't such a hot idea.
TOM: But that may already be the case with your home. Find out what might be wrong with your roof, next.
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[audio timestamp: 10:16]
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, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I'm Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I'm Leslie Segrete.
TOM: The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Call us right now and get in on our great prize giveaway. One caller we talk to this hour is going to win membership to The Money Pit's new American Homeowners Association. This is a very special offer only for Money Pit listeners. Membership entitles you to a network of prescreened, licensed and insured contractors all over the country and a host of other services including discounts on - you ready for this? - groceries. We can even help you with your grocery shopping. Learn more at MoneyPit.com.
And by the way, you can also sign up for your very own membership for less than 35 cents a day and if you are among the first 1,000 listeners to do that we're going to give you a Zircon LaserBall 360 and Zircon's i60 OneStep stud sensor.
TOM: It's a $50 value.
LESLIE: That's pretty amazing.
TOM: Visit MoneyPit.com for the details.
LESLIE: Hey, that's a really great incentive there. Alright, folks. Call in right now and get your membership.
You know, for decades the traditional roofing underlayment has been 15 or 30-pound felt. You know, but this really isn't the best material to use because not only does felt tear easily, it also absorbs water. This means that if water gets underneath your roof's coverings it might stay pressed against its wooden decking for weeks or worse, find a way into your home and cause structural damage.
TOM: Yeah, there are many better underlayments out there; for example, the synthetic underlayments. They work very, very well. Grace has one called Tri-Flex 30 that I've used. It's not like a regular roofing felt that actually absorbs water. Not good. This one sheds water when it's installed on a sloped roof. So instead of this - the rain soaking into the tar paper it actually runs off of it.
LESLIE: Yeah, and that's really important, especially considering that through your tar paper, this underlayment that they're using, there's going to be nails; there's going to be staples. So you want something that's not going to cause a leak because you are going to puncture it.
TOM: Good point.
More information on that product is available at GraceAtHome.com. Or call us right now with your roofing question. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Leslie, who's next?
LESLIE: Art in Iowa, you've got The Money Pit. What can we do for you?
ART: Hi. Yeah, y'all had mentioned a few tips (child speaking) for, you know, home improvements and keeping your house up to date. I was wondering, when you said about draining water heaters, does that apply if you still have a whole-house filter? Is that still necessary to drain a couple of gallons out of your water heater every six months?
TOM: If you have a filtration system? Is that what you're asking?
ART: Well, I have a whole-house filter that just, you know, it filters out like sediment and stuff like that.
TOM: Well, certainly you would be less likely to build up any time of a mineral deposit in the bottom of the water heater.
LESLIE: But don't you still end up with rust in the bottom?
TOM: Well ...
LESLIE: Not so much?
TOM: Well, now you - the rust would not be in the water part of it. The rust would be, if it's a gas-fired water heater, you can get rust in the burner compartment.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) In the coil. In the burner itself.
TOM: Right. And it has to be clean. You know, in the years I was a professional home inspector I would very often open up those burner compartments and see like a cone-shaped pile of rust - looked like a little volcano -
TOM: - you know, on top of that burner. So certainly you've got to keep the burner clean and functioning properly and that's something that you would do periodically. But in terms of draining it, it's not a bad idea to drain it once every six months or so, but certainly if you have a filtration system on your house then you're a lot less likely to get a scale buildup.
Ah! (Leslie chuckles) The baby, crying in the background.
ART: (chuckling) Yeah, my little boy there. Well, thank you all very much. (child crying) I really enjoy y'all's show.
TOM: You're welcome, Art. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. Bye, little boy.
LESLIE: (chuckling) Future home improvement doer.
Karen in Tennessee wants to talk fencing. What can we help you with?
KAREN: Hi. I had termites on my wood fence. I had a local pest control company eliminate the problem. But my question is how do I eliminate the evidence of the termites on my fence?
LESLIE: Where do you see the damage? Is it on a picket? Is it on the post? Is it on a rail?
KAREN: It's on the rail.
TOM: And is the - is the rail actually damaged or is it - was it just covered with mud tunnels?
KAREN: Covered with mud tunnels.
TOM: OK. So, you can just brush those off. What happens is the termites use like, I guess we could call it, saliva and they mix sand with it.
TOM: And it has a bleaching effect on the wood. And so it will make it somewhat discolored. But you can scrape those off and then if you don't like the look you could simply stain the fence.
KAREN: Mm-hmm. There might have been a little damage on one part of it.
TOM: If there's just a little - so little damage that you're not sure, Karen, don't worry about it. Now, termites are Mother Nature's way of getting dead wood. It's very common to have them on fencing. And if you treated the area around the house - was the fence near your house?
KAREN: Yes, uh-huh.
TOM: Well, then it's a good thing that you had the house treated. But I wouldn't worry about it. I would simply brush off the mud tunnels and move on and if it's not substantially damaged then just ignore it.
KAREN: Mm-hmm. And then you said otherwise I can stain it.
TOM: Yeah, you could stain it.
TOM: Yep, mm-hmm. Absolutely.
KAREN: Uh-huh. But one other thing. What about - what is it? The power ...?
TOM: Power washing?
KAREN: Yeah ...
TOM: Well, I mean you can certainly do that when you're prepping for staining. But really, all you have to do is brush off the mud tubes that were on there. See, termites live in the soil. They come up into the wood to feed. And because they can't be exposed to sunlight they build these tubes - these sort of