Hosts: Tom Kraeutler & Leslie Segrete
(NOTE: Timestamps below correspond to the running time of the downloadable audio file of this show. Text represents a professional transcriptionist's understanding of what was said. No guarantee of accuracy is expressed or implied. 'Ph' in parentheses indicates the phonetic or best guess of the actual spoken word.)
BEGIN HOUR 2 TEXT:
[audio timestamp: 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: The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974. Call us now with your home improvement question. Call us now with your do-it-yourself dilemma. This is the show where you learn things about how to build, how to repair and how to fix gushing wounds.
LESLIE: (chuckling) On yourself or on the house?
TOM: (overlapping voices) No, we're only kidding. (laughing) Hey, it could be both. Call us right now. 1-888-MONEY-PIT. We'll tell you how to get the job done safely because we don't want that to happen to you.
LESLIE: Yeah, we like 10 fingers.
TOM: Yes, that's right. We always inventory our fingers before and after home improvement projects just to be sure; just to be on the safe side.
Hey, if you're lucky you've got a little more time before you need to fire up that fireplace to help keep you warm. And there's nothing like cozying up to a crackling fire. But what do you do with that empty black box in the off season? We're going to tell you how to add a little sparkle to that black hole in just a little while.
LESLIE: And are crumbling concrete steps ruining your curb appeal? Coming up, we've got some great options for those plain, gray steps that's going to add function and drama to your home's exterior.
TOM: I think it's important to have drama on your home's exterior.
LESLIE: You have to.
TOM: You know, you ...
LESLIE: It's all about your home's drama.
TOM: Exactly. And you know, there's also a new wave in power tools being delivered by manufacturers right now we're going to talk about. It's called lithium ion. These batteries are now a standard part of the mechanical mix. If you're used to working with cordless tools and you're kind of sick and tired of running out of power or having to deal with the fact that they are really, really heavy, totally new battery technology out right now. We're going to tell you about that in just a bit.
LESLIE: And we're giving away a great prize this hour. It's from GearWrench and it's the 4-in-1 quad box ratcheting wrench. Ooh, that's hard to say. Ratcheting wrench. Try saying that.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Ratcheting wrench.
LESLIE: If you can say that 30 times you can win this $30 prize. No, I'm kidding. (chuckling)
TOM: You've got to call us and be willing to come on the air and ask your home improvement question.
Leslie, who's first?
LESLIE: Diane in Wisconsin is looking to change her garage into a snowmobile garage. How awesome is that? What's going on? Tell us about it.
DIANE: I have a detached garage and it would appear that there is enough room, when you open up the sliding door, to pull in both snowmobiles. And right now there's sort of an indoor/outdoor pet containment area. And I just don't know how to go about it; like what the floor surface should be. One of the snowmobiles has reverse and the other one doesn't. And as far as when you pull in, perhaps if there's certain colors of paint that would help with exhaust fumes and that type of thing.
TOM: Well, you know, we don't have snowmobiles out here in the New York-New Jersey area; although I think it would be kind of cool to go up and down the parkway on one.
LESLIE: It would be pretty awesome.
TOM: You know, my hand would get really cold when I have to reach in for toll money out of that warm glove. (Leslie chuckles)
DIANE: Oh, yeah. Yeah.
TOM: Yeah, that's a problem.
LESLIE: That's what the EZ-Pass is for.
TOM: (chuckling) On your snowmobile.
You know, I think what you want to really look into here, Diane, all kidding aside, is an epoxy floor. Because that's going to be the most durable type of floor surface and ...
LESLIE: And it's going to clean super easy.
TOM: And it's totally do-it-yourself. I mean basically these epoxy paints, when you buy them, they come in two parts. There is a, you know, the paint and there's a hardener. And you clean the floor. You apply them. Some of them have these color flakes that you can sprinkle in so it looks really attractive, even when the snowmobiles are not there.
TOM: And it hardens up real nice and I think it's going to be real durable for you. So I think that's the solution here.
DIANE: I love that idea. And I did not - you know, I didn't even think about - I mean I thought about a floor surface and I thought more about ...
TOM: Adding something on top?
TOM: Yeah, not necessary.
DIANE: But I like this idea better.
TOM: Yeah, it's a lot more durable than that. Made by a number of manufacturers. Rust-Oleum has one and QUIKRETE has one.
TOM: Yeah, look into the - look into the epoxy floor coating systems.
DIANE: Well, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.
TOM: Alright. Now where do you use those snowmobiles? Do you use them to run up to the corner store for a quart of milk or what?
DIANE: You could. (Tom and Leslie chuckle) Actually, we live in an area north of Madison, Wisconsin; about an hour north. And we actually can take the snowmobiles right out of our - well, right now they haven't been in the garage but they're like just in the top of the driveway. And there's a snowmobile path and you can go to the grocery store or you can go to a bar or the hardware store ...
TOM: (overlapping voices) Wow, how cool is that? (Leslie chuckles)
DIANE: ... wherever you want. And then we're right across from a lake so you can down the lake even if there's not snow.
LESLIE: Wow, that's amazing!
DIANE: Yeah, it's really amazing. Really is.
TOM: Well, that sounds like fun.
Diane, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
You can go to the bar on your snowmobile. How about that? (Leslie chuckles) That could be pretty dangerous. (chuckling) You don't want to get in the path of one of those guys at closing time.
LESLIE: Steve in Washington has a roofing situation. What can we help you with?
STEVE: I'd like to know about replacing the plywood that rots around the gusset area and how you would do that without too much extensive work.
TOM: Hmm, well, is this plywood - you say the gusset area. What do you mean? Like around a chimney or - where is it leaking?
STEVE: Well, say that your gutters have overflowed ...
TOM: Oh, oh, oh. OK, OK, I got it. Around the gutter area. OK. Said the gusset area. I just wasn't familiar with gussets on a house.
The gutter area - well, listen. It's a big job, Steve, but if it's really bad it has to be done because you basically have to lift the roofing shingles off the roof in that area. How bad is this plywood rotted? Does it go all the way up in there or is it just at the edge?
STEVE: Well, actually it goes up probably about two feet from the bugs being eaten around it and it's been left for a considerable amount of time. And so ...
TOM: OK, well it's time to pay the piper on this. You're going to have to strip the roofing shingles off this roof and simply cut out the plywood and replace it.
STEVE: OK, cutting it out in two-foot sections or would it be - or would you replace a full four or - 4x8 sheet?
TOM: No, once you get the roofing shingles off, then what you can do is only replace the deteriorated part. Once the shingles are off if only the first two feet is deteriorated then you can simply chalk a line and cut that two-foot piece out. And then replace that.
TOM: So you just are basically going to patch it then you'd put more underlayment down there and then roofing shingles. And one thing you might want to add there is also something called Ice and Water Shield.
TOM: That's going to stop this from happening permanently.
STEVE: Ice and Water Shield.
TOM: Yeah, that's right. It's a rubberized membrane.
TOM: One of the ones that we recommend is made by Grace and it basically will prevent ice damming so that if the water freezes in the gutter, snow melts on the roof, comes down and tries to back up under the roofing shingles it'll protect that area where you've had the rot.
STEVE: That like a snow seal?
TOM: Well, I don't know what you would call a snow seal but it's simply called Ice and Water Shield.
STEVE: OK. Now, this plywood, now around the edge, I guess, when the house was built they put wafer board down instead of plywood. And it has caused the stuff to expand ...
TOM: Yeah well, if it's not plywood what you're describing is something called aspenite or OSB board.
STEVE: Yes, right.
TOM: And that, again, is another sheathing product that's going to have to be replaced.
STEVE: Well, good. Thank you so much.
TOM: You're welcome.
LESLIE: Well, it's officially fall and now is the perfect time to tackle those home improvement projects and we can help. So call in your home repair or your home improvement question 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
TOM: 888-666-3974. And before the snow hits, now's the time to fix those steps that are outside. If you've got some crumbling vintage steps that need replacing ...
LESLIE: That's nice.
TOM: ... we've got an interesting alternative to those steps. We'll tell you about it right after this.
[audio timestamp: 9:06]
[audio timestamp: 12:12]
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 making good homes better. I'm Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I'm Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Call us now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974. If you call us with your home improvement question, one caller we talk to this hour is going to win the 4-in-1 quad box ratcheting wrench from GearWrench. It's the hand tool industry's first five-degree ratcheting wrench with four different sizes on a single tool. It's worth 30 bucks, available in lots of places, but you could be among the first to have your own if you call us right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Yeah, and best of all, it's free.
Alright, Money Pit listeners. Have you got some crumbling concrete steps that have seen better days outside your home right now, hmm? Well, instead of simply replacing your old steps, consider creating a winding, gradually lifted walkway. This concrete path would offer easier access for older or even disabled visitors and also make for smooth transport of groceries, strollers, small children, roller skates, skateboards. You name it; it's going to make life a lot easier.
TOM: And easy is what we are all about; making your home improvement projects as easy as possible. Call us right now with your question. 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Bill in Pennsylvania is looking to make a deck. How can we help you?
BILL: Hi, it's kind of a unique situation.
BILL: The deck is too high not to have railings, so what they - what my parents want is like taper down. But they want like a stone type of a thing.
TOM: Hmm. On top of a wood deck?
BILL: Well, I was thinking, is there any type of material I could put down and then actually make a stone ...
LESLIE: To use as the railing? So you want a wood deck and then a stone railing; almost like ...
BILL: No, they actually want a stone deck with no railings.
TOM: That's called a patio. (chuckling)
BILL: Right, but it's got to be raised. Kind of underneath has got to be open and I was wondering is there any type of ...
TOM: Hmm, well I mean ...
BILL: ... system like a wood and plywood that I could use and then put like a - or a fake type of deck?
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Like a stone veneer.
TOM: Yeah, I was thinking about that Owens Corning product. The cultured stone?
LESLIE: I just feel like - would the weight be too substantial; especially for an elevated deck?
TOM: Well, if you just want it to appear to have a stone exterior, I mean you could use like a cultured stone product and ...
LESLIE: And it is beautiful. And there are so many different styles. It's from Owens Corning. It's their cultured stone veneer. There's a flagstone. There's ones that look like river rock. I mean there's a lot of different options there.
TOM: But really, if you want to have open space underneath I mean, you know, it's not - it would be unusual to have that be stone. So I mean I might try to talk them out of it first, but if you can't get away with it then I think that the cultured stone veneer is probably your best bet.
BILL: OK. I can get the information on their website, I guess.
TOM: Yeah, absolutely.
BILL: OK, great. Thank you very much.
TOM: You're welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.
Yeah, that product is great for walls; you know, retaining walls and things like that but ...
TOM: But because it's ...
LESLIE: Well, it's much more lightweight.
TOM: Well, because it's manufactured it could be adhered to, you know, the side of a deck the same way it's adhered to wood sheathing but just not the most obvious use for it.
LESLIE: Oh, no. Absolutely. I mean I've used it to do the sides of a bar. I've used it for the side of columns. I've used it on the siding of houses. Even as a wainscoting. It installs easily; it looks great; and, like you said, because it's manufactured, it's uniform in its styling. You don't have to worry about one batch being different from the next batch if you need to order more. It really is a good product.
TOM: Bill, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: John in Florida has roofing on his mind. What can we help you with?
JOHN: I have a villa here with a lanai. And it was built in 2002 and it's got four seams that are seven foot long with white tape on an aluminum roof. And now the tape has opened up in the middle of the seam and they're starting to leak. So that's my problem. Do I go to Home Depot and get more tape and glue and go over it or what do I do? Or maybe a paint or what?
TOM: So this is on the underside of the lanai roof, correct John?
JOHN: On the top side?
TOM: It's on the water side?
JOHN: Yeah, up on top.
TOM: OK. And just describe the tape to me one more time.
JOHN: Well, it's a white tape - two inches wide, I guess - and it runs down the seams. There's four seams that are seven foot long. And they are cracked right down the middle of the tape where ...
TOM: Alright. So what's happened here is you have expansion and contraction of that seam and it's cracked the tape. You're going to have to try to identify a source of supply for that specific product. I don't think that's something that's going to be available at a home center or a hardware store. You're going to have to work with a lanai roof manufacturer or perhaps a roofing supplier directly to identify it. And it's just going to be a matter of replacing that. Now, I realize that the home was built in 2002 but you know what? Five, six years in that hot Florida sun, it's going to have that kind of effect on it.
John, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Larita in Kansas has some leak stains on the ceiling that needs fixing. Tell us about it.
LARITA: Well, we previously had a leak in our ceiling. And so - but it's been fixed and so water doesn't come down anymore. But we still have that big, yellow spot on the ceiling where the leak was. And we painted over it with just white - you know, regular white paint, but ...
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And it showed right through.
TOM: And it came right through, didn't it?
LARITA: Yes, it came right through. And I wondering is there anything we can do to fix that?
LESLIE: Oh, absolutely. The one step that you skipped which would have totally saved you from having to do it again is priming the surface. When you prime it, it's a different type of adhesion value so it's really going to cover that stain and not allow that stain to penetrate through. So you want to prime the whole ceiling and then go ahead and put your topcoat over it.
LARITA: So just a regular - a regular paint and then another coat? Or ...
TOM: No. No, no. A primer. See ...
TOM: ... there's different type of paints, you know? If you use the regular ceiling paint, that doesn't have any - ceiling paint; c-e - doesn't have any sealing, s-e, qualities. (Leslie chuckles)
LARITA: OK, so when I go in I'll ask for primer.
LESLIE: A primer.
TOM: Right, primer.
LARITA: Then I'll just paint over it again with the regular paint.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. You want like a Zinsser or a KILZ. Those are good primers.
LARITA: OK. Alright. Thank you very much then for you help.
TOM: You're welcome, Larita. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
You've got to seal your ceilings.
LESLIE: Ed in Pennsylvania is looking to buy an old building and needs some advice. How can we help?
ED: It's a building I'm currently renting I'm thinking of buying. And what I'm concerned about is it's such an old building, I can't tell if there's asbestos in the basement. There's this nasty stuff wrapped around some of the pipes and, you know, other nasty things that are in the ceiling.
TOM: Is it a steam heating system, Ed?
ED: Yes, it is. It's steam heating.
TOM: OK, it most likely is if it's an old steam boiler. And that was very typical. The kind of asbestos that's wrapped around that is called air cell asbestos. It looks a bit like corrugated cardboard but it's whitish. And then around the elbows it's packed; kind of looks a little like plaster. And that's very, very typical.
Now, if the asbestos is intact - it's not deteriorated; it's not falling off ...
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Crumbling in any way.
TOM: ... and crumbly, right - if it was in that condition we would consider it friable and that's the buzz word that means it's time to do something about it. If it's fairly intact, then you can leave it alone and you are really at very little risk of exposure. However, if it's deteriorated or if that basement is an area that's going to have a lot of activity - like I wouldn't want to send down there, you know, with balls throwing around and stuff like that where they're going to smack it and ...
LESLIE: Where they could crack it.
TOM: Yeah, and release it to the air. But if it's not deteriorated then I think it's OK to leave it in place. Now, if you do want to remove it it's definitely not a do-it-yourself job. It has to be done professionally. Fairly complicated ...
TOM: ... because asbestos fibers themselves are actually lighter than smoke. And so, when you release asbestos fibers to the air, if there was no wind it would take eight hours for them to hit the ground. That's how light and airy they are.
LESLIE: Wow, that's crazy.
TOM: Yeah, so you have to be very careful. To do it, what happens is you have an asbestos abatement company come in and they actually depressurize that space so anything that gets into the air gets thrown immediately outside. It has to be packaged properly and disposed of properly. So it's a fairly complex process. What I would recommend that you do is hire a professional home inspector ...
TOM: ... to get that home inspected before you go any further. You can find a good one by going to the website for the American Society of Home Inspectors; a non-profit organization that tests and certifies its members and that's at ASHI.org - A-S-H-I.org. That's the best way to really understand what you're dealing with there ...
TOM: ... and know what steps need to be taken.
LESLIE: And you know what, Ed? It's also going to help you if you do decide to make an offer on the building because then you know exactly what needs to be fixed and you can use that as a negotiating tool; you know, perhaps maybe they'll fix it or you'll fix it or it'll reduce the price. It's good to know what's going on before you do invest such a huge chunk of change.
ED: Exactly, yeah. Well, it sounds like this is going to be a chunk of change to get rid of all this stuff, so I appreciate the thoughts.
TOM: You're welcome, Ed. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: You are tuned in to The Money Pit and up next, more power for your power tools. We are going to have tips on a high-tech new battery line that's going to help you get the job done quicker and faster. Plus, how one manufacturer is making their entire line of existing power tools available for the new batteries without forcing you to have to replace the entire tool line that you already own. We're going to tell you all about it, right after this.
[audio timestamp: 22:47]
ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is being brought to you by - well, by us. Save hundreds a month on groceries, not to mention significant savings on home improvement products and services with your new Money Pit American Homeowners Association membership. And get $50 in Zircon tools if you join in the next 30 minutes. Call now. 866-REAL-HOME. That's 866-REAL-HOME. Now here are Tom and Leslie.
TOM: 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. 888-666-3974.
Well, by now you've probably come to know and love Ryobi's One+ tool line. I know that we do. I've used it for many, many projects around the house because all I've got to do is rotate two batteries and I am always under power for the projects that I want to get done. It's a complete line of power tools that can run off of the same battery and charger and it basically eliminates the clutter in your workplace.
LESLIE: Ah, but it's going to get even better because a brand new line of lithium ion One+ products is coming to a Home Depot near you this fall. And you are hearing about it first right here, right now, right from the guy in charge of product development for Ryobi, Jason Swanson.
Welcome, Jason. How are you?
JASON: I'm doing great. How are you guys doing?
LESLIE: We are very excited. I mean this is really something new that no one's ever done before. This is a lithium ion battery that can be adapted to the existing One+ system?
JASON: You're absolutely right and, shoot, it'll be the most affordable one, too.
TOM: Now let's talk about lithium ion as a technology because we're not used to seeing this on the market. The lithium ions that I have tested are really incredible because they're much lighter so there's less wear and tear on you, the home improver tackling the project. But also, they can actually carry a lot more power for a longer period of time.
JASON: Yeah, you're absolutely right. It carries about twice the performance and what that means is you'll go from having, say, an average of 300 drywall screws or, say, 100 - drilling 100 holes to ...
LESLIE: Per charge.
JASON: Yeah, per charge and doubling that number so you're going to get twice the amount of work done in the same given amount of time.
LESLIE: And when you're dealing with a lithium ion - you know, I know with nikehead batteries they sort of dwindle out at the end and you have to be really careful as to not overuse them as you're nearing the end of the battery's charge. What happens with the lithium ion ones?
JASON: Well, the industry calls it the fade-free power. So you're going to get a strong start and a strong finish and then it'll just die and then you'll have to recharge the battery.
TOM: What's cool about this is there are so many folks out there that already own a One+ system and, typically, when a manufacturer rolls out a new platform you have to replace the tools. I mean that's ...
LESLIE: Gotta start from scratch.
TOM: That's happened time and time again in the years that I've been collecting tools. But I think it's really cool that now you can keep your One+ equipment and you can upgrade to this battery platform and use the same tool and get a lot longer run time and a lot lighter tool to actually work with.
JASON: Oh, I agree totally. You can't alienate the people that have spent probably hundreds and sometimes even thousands of dollars on getting into your system. So, the One+ with lithium will give the customer something that has greater performance at a great price.
TOM: How will you be able to buy this? Is it going to come with a battery and a charger? I imagine that you need a separate charger for this?
JASON: The three things you can buy are: number one - the battery and a charger, which we're going to call the upgrade kit and that'll be - I believe it's somewhere in the $100 range; if someone wants to get into the drill and flashlight kit, which will also include two batteries and that same charger, it'll be in that $170 range.
LESLIE: So, with this launch of the new lithium ion battery for the One+ system, are there going to be any new tools introduced or something that sort of makes it stand out more special from the existing line?
JASON: Why we're going to have four new products and, best of all, the color's going to change. You're going to see it's hyper green or, better yet, a Hulk-colored style of tools.
LESLIE: (chuckling) So it's so bright green because it's angry like the Hulk?
JASON: You've got that right. (Leslie chuckles)
TOM: Hulk-colored and Hulk-powered. (chuckles)
Jason Swanson, Director of Product Development for Ryobi, thanks for stopping by The Money Pit.
LESLIE: Up next, do you want a warm glow from your fireplace without the mess? We're going to tell you how, right after this.
[audio timestamp: 27:23]
[audio timestamp: 30:10]
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.
And the number here is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Hey, give us a call right now to ask us your home improvement question on the air. And if you do, we're going to throw your name into the Money Pit hardhat for a random prize drawing. You could win the 4-in-1 quad box from GearWrench. It's great for tight spaces and over-torqued fasteners. This tool is worth 30 bucks. It's available at a ton of stores out there. But it could be yours today for just asking a home improvement question on the air, so call us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
OK, let's talk about that fireplace. You know, fall is a critical time for this because it's obviously the time to get it ready; get it clean. But if you've been staring at that all summer long because you didn't want to build a fire when it was 90 degrees out (Leslie chuckles), we understand, here is a little decorating tip that you could have used and certainly you can use right now until you're ready to fire it up for the winter. Instead of a full-log fire you can arrange pillar candles of various sizes in the hearth. You know, some tall ones in the back; some medium ones; some short ones. Mix it up a bit. You can light them when you have guests over the house. It looks very attractive; gives you that warm glow; doesn't use up a lot of energy in the house; doesn't force a lot of warm air to be sucked up the chimney. Really attractive; really easy; and you can do it very inexpensively. And it's a nice way to convert that big, black hole into something that's a real attractive part of your interior d