In today’s episode, we’ve got tips for keeping your home mess-free, stress-free, and mold-free, from creating functional space in cluttered closets to deciphering the significance of foundation cracks to safeguarding against dreaded window mold and rot. Tune in to learn all this and much more from the Money Pit’s home improvement experts!
- Foundation Cracks: Crack the code of sorting minor cracks from major foundation issues.
- Closet Organization: Get organizing ideas to cure closet chaos and save space.
- Shower Windows: Keep mold and rot at bay in old bathroom shower windows.
Top Questions & Answers
- Painting Foundation: Anna needs tips on painting the cement foundation of her home. She should start with a good masonry primer before adding a coat of exterior paint.
- Cleaning a Fireplace: What is the best way to clean creosote from a brick fireplace? Bill gets suggestions about using TSP, brick and stone cleaners, and soot removers, plus safety advice.
- Painting Stucco: Do stucco exterior walls need to be treated before painting? Jean should lightly pressure wash them before priming and painting the surface.
- HVAC Replacement: John is thinking of putting a ductless heating unit in every room, but it’s an expensive idea and we think he really just needs better insulation.
- Garage Insulation: Christine has lots of questions about insulating a detached garage and a crawlspace. Spray foam insulation is a great option and very effective.
- Cold Showers: Brrrrrrr! It takes too long for the shower water to get hot, but it’s fine everywhere else. Sounds like Daniel should replace a faulty shower valve.
- Leaking Roof: The bathroom ceiling in Steve’s cabin is leaking, but the repairs and mold prevention should be covered by insurance since it was caused by storm damage.
|TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles. This is the Money Pit Home Improvement show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
|LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
|TOM: And we are here to help you take on the projects you want to get done around your house trying to take on some projects to get done before the end of the year, before the holidays. We can help with that. Want to plan a project for the year ahead? Want to get through the winter by paying less for energy than you did last year? We can help with that too. Frankly, we can help with just about anything you need to get done around your house, but you have to help yourself first by reaching out to us. Two ways to do that. Easiest thing to do is go to moneypit.com/ask, click the blue microphone button. You can tell us your home improvement question and get the fastest possible response. Or you can call us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. That’s 888-666-3974. We’ve got a great show planned for you coming up this episode, If your closet is looking a little messy, closet organization may be in order, but that’s one project that ranks right up there with getting dental work done is something to look forward to. So we’re going to share some step by step or shall we say shelf by shelf tips to make this job easy to tackle.
|LESLIE: All right. And also ahead, most homes have cracks in the walls. Fraud is a fact, but how do you know if a crack is minor or is one that spells serious troubles if you’re not repairing it correctly? We’re going to find out when welcome Bob Brown, the author of Foundation Secrets.
|TOM: And if you own an older home, you might have a window in the shower. Very typical with older homes, but not so much with newer ones. But the water, the wood that get along that window never a good combination. So we’ve got some tips to prevent windows from rotting and growing mold.
|LESLIE: But first, are you dreaming about a project that you’d like to tackle this fall? Well, maybe there’s a big to do on your list that you got to get done before the friends and family show up for the holidays. Whatever it is, guys, if you can dream it, you can do it and we can help. So let us know what all of these dream projects are, big or small. We can lend a hand.
|TOM: Reach out to us right now at MoneyPit.com/ask. Just click the blue microphone button.
|LESLIE: And in Delaware is on the line with a painting question. What can we do for you today?
|CALLER: We painted around the bottom of the house, the foundation with cement and sand. Okay. And what I want to know, can we paint over that with regular paint or would that bleed through.
|TOM: The cement and sand mixes like a stucco mix right in? Is that is that is that sticking to that foundation? Is it breaking off in any way or is it still solid?
|CALLER: No, no, it’s in good shape. But I wondered I really wanted to paint it. Some of the neighbors paint it and they look nice. Would it be okay?
|TOM: Okay. So what you need to do is you need to prime it first. You use a masonry primer. That’s really important, but…
|CALLER: You have to sand that out?
|TOM: No, as long as it’s intact.
|CALLER: Yeah, it’s in good shape.
|TOM: Yeah. Then you need to prime it first because the primer is what’s going to make the top right. Make the top layer of paint stick, so to speak. So you prime it first, let the primer dry really, really well, and then you can put on the top coat of paint, exterior quality paint on top of that. And it should be fine.
|TOM: But just remember after paint comes repaint, so once you pay it the first time, you’re going to paint it again and again. As years go by.
|CALLER: Yeah. Okay. Put the primer on first.
|TOM: That’s the key. Make sure it’s primed.
|CALLER: Okay. Use primer first. Okay. That’s what I want to know.
|TOM: All right. And good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-Money Pit.
|LESLIE: Bill in Ohio, you’ve got the Money Pit. How can we help you today?
|CALLER: I have a wood burning fireplace and it has a brick firebox. And I’m going to put gas logs into it and I’d like to clean it out as best I can before putting the gas logs in. And there’s soot, I guess, and creosote and I wonder if there’s any good way to clean that off the brick.
|LESLIE: There’s actually so there’s a ton of different products out there actually you can try the really depends how much is kicked on there because they all kind of work differently. First might be starting with like a TSP, which is a tri sodium phosphate, but that’s generally going to only work for not that much of a buildup. And since you’re talking about the interior, try that the TSP you can find in any of the home centers in the paint prep aisle, you mix it up, you can make it more of a thicker paste and then you put that on there and then you can brush that off or clean that off and see if that will do it. There’s a couple of other things. many of the stone companies will make something called a brick in stone cleaner or a fireplace. Brick and stone cleaner can find it online. If you search for those exact words, you can even go to. I know my local Ace Hardware has one that’s in a tub. It’s called a slip remover. There’s erasers. But I think that, again, is only going to really work for a little bit of a buildup. But because you’re on the interior, you might want to go for the heavy duty stuff.
|CALLER: All right. Yeah, I tried sodium or baking soda. You sort of paint it on and it actually did a fairly good job. But there’s just some areas that are just a little more resistant to that.
|TOM: And you have to remember that that brick surface is very absorbent. So you may not end up getting it all out, but as long as it looks kind of even, I think you’ll be good to go. Now, you also mentioned you’re putting in a gas log here. Be very careful that you have proper venting for this gas log because they throw out a lot of BTUs. Now, in some cases, what you might want to do is actually physically wire the damper open and then maybe put doors on this, that the damper could never be left shut by accident. There have been so many tragedies when those dampers have been left shut with gas logs where people have suffered horribly from carbon monoxide poisoning. So you need be really careful to make sure you’re not creating an unsafe situation, rather see the damper be wired open so it can’t be shut. Then you can put a pair of glass doors on that fireplace to keep the drafts getting out of the house.
|CALLER: Okay? Yeah. Okay. Thanks a lot.
|TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-Money Pit.
|LESLIE: we love hearing from our listeners and if you want to make our day, leave us a five star review on Apple Podcasts.
|TOM: it really helps us know what we’re doing right and how we can improve our show for you. So just go to MoneyPit.com/review and you might even win a copy of our book.
|LESLIE: All right, Now we’re going to Tennessee, where Jean has a stuck question What’s going on? How can we help you?
|CALLER: The house was built in 1914 and the outside the exterior walls are covered with stucco that has the kind of swirly fonts where they throw all that troubles on and it looks like it’s in good condition. So I was thinking we could probably just spray it a nice color. It’s still kind of golden, like it used to be, but wherever the branches of the shrubs went against it is kind of yucky and gray looking. But I know that when you do when we painted our patio slab, we had to do some treatment to it before we could paint it. Yeah, Stucco needs some preconditioning besides just closing it off with soap and lighting.
|TOM: Well the first thing I need to do is to make sure there’s no algae attached to it. And so we would probably do a very light pressure washing and cleaning of the outside of the house and let it dry for a good couple of days and warm weather. And then I would prime it with an oil based primer and then I would use a good quality exterior topcoat paint over that. You can’t cut any corners here. You can’t take any shortcuts. But if you do it once you do it right, it’s going to last a long time because that siding is not organic. You may find very well that pink and lasted 10 to 12 years as opposed to maybe 5 to 8 if it was wood.
|CALLER: All right. Well, thank you.
|TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-Money Pit.
|LESLIE: All right. John in Texas is on the line with a question about new heating and cooling for his money pit. What can we do for you?
|CALLER: I wanted to find out some information on these Douglas heaters and air conditioning instead of using the conventional furnace heater and air conditioning.
|TOM: So are you talking about heating units that get mounted like on the wall, for example, that are just sort of space units, but permanently installed?
|CALLER: Yeah, they look like regular heaters and stuff like that. I just want your thoughts on it.
|TOM: What room in your house do you want to have these heaters in?
|CALLER: I want to put them in every room and not use the furnace anymore.
|TOM: What’s wrong with the furnace and the air conditioner?
|CALLER: I just don’t like them.
|TOM: He just doesn’t like your furnace. Okay. Yeah.
|CALLER: I never have liked them. Because when we first had a furnace, we had one that was a gravity furnace and heated up the entire thing. It didn’t seem like they used much energy and then they made you turn from coal to gas, and you had an electric to that because it would be so more expensive.
|TOM: Okay, So first of all, I think what you’re going to find is that if you use space heaters, that collectively they are going to be more expensive than the central heating system. And if your central heating system is making it very expensive to heat your house, the problem is generally not the heating system. It might be the house itself in terms of the insulation that you have in the house. And the best place to look for that is in the attic. If you had to choose one place to add some energy efficiency to your house, it would be the attic by at least doubling the amount of insulation you have there. Most people don’t have as much, but you need 15 to 20 inches of fiberglass in a house for it to be reasonably energy efficient. I know what you mean about the old gravity fired of the gravity said Cold furnaces are really big units and they’re really hot and they do fill the whole house up quite nicely in that. Maybe now, especially with those older ducks using a more modern furnace, you’re not getting the distribution you want, But I don’t think that’s the issue and I don’t think the solution to space heaters is, I think a collectively you’re going to end up spending a lot more on those than you would on the heating system you have now. So I would tell you to try to improve the energy efficiency of the home and not replace the heating system itself. John, thanks so much for calling us at 888-Money Pit.
|LESLIE: Well, if your closet is looking a little messy. Closet organizer fashion could be on your to do list. But that is one project that ranks right up there with dental work as something that you really aren’t looking that much forward to. But a completely organized space might not be that far off.
|TOM: Well, to begin, you got to have an idea of how you want to use the space and what you want to store inside of it. It’s going to be a store. Is it going to be a storage area? It’s going to be a place you keep everyday clothes or is it really is going to be a spot where you keep formal or off season garments? once you figured that out, it’s an important part of the plan. Then you take everything out of the closet and toss, donate or sell what you don’t want, you don’t need or you don’t use on a regular basis.
|LESLIE: Now it’s time to organize your closet next and select the components that are going to hold all of those belongings that you want to put back into the closet. So what you choose and how much you spend is definitely going to depend on your design priorities and the amount of closet space that you’ve got to work with. You also need to remember that a great closet system can be a positive selling point if it comes time to sell the house. People love organized spaces and love being able to put their stuff in a specific place that’s already prepped for them. So good on you for getting this project done.
|TOM: And the nice thing about closet organization today is that there are so many different components that are available at home improvement stores that can make organizing your closet a very fun DIY project that’s going to give you incentive to keep your newly organized space neat.
|LESLIE: Now we’ve got Christine from Ohio on the line, and I think she’s got a lot of questions for us here at the Money Pit. How can we help you?
|CALLER: So my first question is about the garage insulation. Our plans call for an uninsulated garage and we got some estimates on spray foam. And so I had them give. Me an estimate on the garage. I was wondering how much of an investment should we put on the insulation in the garage or is it worth it at all?
|TOM: So is this new construction, Christine?
|CALLER: Yes. Okay.
|TOM: Yes. So garages don’t have to be insulated by building code. Usually the only the only part of the garage that would naturally be insulated would be the wall between the garage and the house. This is a detached garage?
|TOM: Detached. Okay. So that it would have no insulation. So the only reason to insulate this is if you in the future decide that you’re going to want to heat that space. And if it is a detached garage, that may very well be the case. And it’s never going to be easier than it is right now to insulate that space. In terms of the insulation choice, since it is new construction, I would definitely recommend that you use spray foam insulation because it’s very effective compared, much more effective than fiberglass. It also stops any drafts that are going through the walls. Okay, so my $0.02 would be I would definitely insulate that garage and I would do it with spray foam. Yeah. Before it’s all finished off, because this way you’ll be good to go. Now on the inside of that garage if you’re going to put spray foam on those walls, you’re also gonna need to cover them. So think about that. You don’t want to leave that spray foam exposed because those get beat up over time, Right? So you could put on any type of wallboard. I would maybe lean towards a fiberglass wall board. It looks like drywall, but it’s a little bit harder and it doesn’t grow mold because it’s outside.
|CALLER: Okay. And in the crawlspace of the house where we have the addition, were going to get spray foam. Should we just get it on the grass on the joint or should it go all the way down the cinder block?
|TOM: Well, typically, it definitely goes on the underside of the of the floor joists. And most importantly, at the box beam, which is the outside right above that foundation. But the foam would not go down below that. If you do want to insulate the crawl space walls, there’s a different type of a sort of a fiberglass batting that’s used for that that’s contained inside of a wrap, usually has like a foil face. And that’s going to work better for that small section of fiberglass of excuse me, foundation wall.
|CALLER: Okay, great. Thank you so much.
|TOM: Well, you’re very welcome, Christine. Very exciting. You’re getting a new house and we’re glad that we’re able to help you make the right decisions.
|LESLIE: Yeah, good luck with that.
|CALLER: Yes. Thank you so much.
|LESLIE: All right. Now we’ve got Daniel in Washington on the line. Daniel, welcome to the Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
|CALLER: Well, you can help me figure out why my wife takes a cold shower and I take a hot shower.
|TOM: I bet she’s not too happy about that either.
|CALLER: She’s very unhappy, and she seems to think it’s my fault.
|TOM: So who goes in the shower first?
|CALLER: She does.
|TOM: And it takes a long time for the water to get hot.
|CALLER: Well, she turns it on. Our bathroom shower is about I guess if I added up all the pipes maybe 30 feet from the water heater. So it’s not very far. We’ve lived in the house for 12 years. So we can usually we can usually count on hot water coming about 4 seconds after we turn on the water. Right. And it’s not happening this time. She’ll leave it on for a minute or so. It’s still cold. And she says, What the heck, I needed to get going. So she takes a shower and then she screams and yells at me.
|LESLIE: And then it’s all your fault.
|CALLER: 20 minutes later, after she clears out of there, I get in there and the shower is nice and warm.
|TOM: Well, that’s an odd problem because it certainly it’s not the distance that’s very, very short. Now, as far as you know, is your water heater working normally? So if you go to your kitchen sink, just deliver hot water pretty quickly.
|CALLER: When we turn it to the left, it’s hot. And when we turn it to the right, it’s cold.
|TOM: All right. So the kitchen sink is fine.
|CALLER: And the kids’ bathroom is fine. Okay.
|TOM: So it’s not the water heater. It’s not the pipes. What’s left here? The shower valve. You’ve got a bad shower valve.
|CALLER: You came to the conclusion pretty quickly. It’s not the hot water heater. Somebody suggested that it’s some dealybobber inside the hot water heater that has to kick over.
|TOM: By virtue of the fact that your water heater delivers hot water to your kitchen sink and delivers hot water to your kids sink. It’s only not delivering hot water to your master bath sink or shower, right?
|CALLER: It does deliver hot water to the master bathroom and the master bathroom shower. But it takes, I don’t know, 10 minutes or so after my wife goes in there. So what one theory is that we’re by her by her taking a cold shower, but having the knob, the nozzle turn to the right to the left where it would give hot water. It activates something.
|TOM: Okay. So let me ask you let me ask you one more question. In your in your master bath room, you have a sink, correct? Yep. And does that sink get hot quickly?
|CALLER: Sure. But maybe not. Maybe not. First thing in the morning.
|TOM: What does it take? As long as the shower to get hot.
|CALLER: I haven’t tested that.
|TOM: All right, so test that if the sink gets hot quickly. The only plumbing fixture in the house is not getting hot quickly is that shower. Then you got a problem with the shower valve and that could happen. Something could break down inside the shower valve. And it might be that it takes so long to run before it finally that some of that hot water in because maybe you’re waiting for one of the pipes to one of the valve parts to expand it. Just something that jams shut. And it’s just not letting the hot water out. So I suspect if you’ve eliminated everything else is normal. It’s just that shower that’s not ideal place to shower valve. It’ll probably save your marriage. Think about it.
|CALLER: Well, at least my hearing.
|TOM: There you go. Thanks so much for calling us at 888 Money Pit.
|LESLIE: While most homes have cracks that’s a fact. But whether it’s a wall or a floor or even foundation, some number of cracks are more common than not. But how do you know if a crack is minor or one that’s going to spell serious trouble if you don’t correctly diagnose and repair it?
|TOM: Well, Bob Brown is the author of Foundation Repair Secrets. He spent decades working side by side with engineers and scientists to understand why foundations fail. And he knows when it’s time to panic. Bob, welcome to the program.
|BOB BROWN: Great. Thanks. I’m glad to be here.
|TOM: Panic is what people do when they see even the slightest crack in their homes. But some number of cracks like those on walls and ceilings, for example, are pretty typical in every home, right?
|BOB: Yeah, Some cracks are fairly typical, especially on air conditioned areas like garages. And on the outside you’re going to get thermal cracks. So in almost every home has cracks in the floors, all concrete cracks. You can’t stop concrete from cracking.
|TOM: Well, now, if you do see a crack, though, what is like an indication that it could be structural compared to say something that’s just cosmetic in the sense that it’s not really going to cause harm to the building?
|BOB: Yeah, So there’s actually three categories of cracks. There’s structural serviceability and cosmetic and almost no cracks are structural. In other words, structural from the strict sense of the word, meaning that it could provide it and endangers the home from structural collapse. Almost never seen that almost all the problem cracks are either cosmetic or are what they call serviceability or functional cracks, which have to do with they open and close a lot. They make doors and windows not function right in that pests. And those are the kinds of things that cause problems and foundation repair companies around the country try to kind of obfuscate that a little bit and tell everybody that, oh yeah, this is a structural issue when they’re not even structural engineers.
|LESLIE: It’s a lot of scare tactics. Now, when it comes to foundation cracks, do you find that the soil type affects the foundation more than another like clay versus non clay?
|BOB: That’s right. Clays are usually the problem soils. Now you can have settlement from sandy ground, gravelly soil, and that’s a one-time event that eventually, over time, unless out of water is added, they kind of stop over time because they can expand contract, expand contract and they can cause a lot of problems over time. You know.
|TOM: I live here in the Northeast. I spent 20 years as a professional home inspector bug. And one of the types of cracks that we typically see up here is one that’s caused by simply by gutters, gutters that are overflowing or downspouts that are discharging water against the house. And that water just soaks in right at the foundation perimeter. It freezes, it expands. And then over a number of years, it starts to crack and open up that wall. It kind of like you get a parallel crack with the floor. It might start small, but it can get open, too three quarters of an inch or more. So do you think maintaining good drainage and the such is really important to maintain the structural stability of the home no matter where you live?
|BOB: So in addition to owning a foundation repair company owned an engineering company, and almost every report we tell everybody drainage is key. It not only put gutters on your house, but that hard paper 20 feet away. Those are those are the key things to remember.
|LESLIE: So, Bob, how do you know who the right person for the project is, or at least for guidance? When you do see cracks and you do suspect an issue, is it an engineer? Is it a foundation repair company? How do you know where the conflict of interest might be? Where do you start?
|BOB: Well, having owned both, I can tell you for sure that you should not call foundation repair companies for two reasons. Mainly. Number one, their salesmen are 100% commission. And so they’re going to try to find something to sell no matter what. And number two, they’re not qualified. They’re not engineers. They’re and it really when we’re talking about engineers, we really need geotechnical engineers. Those are soil engineers, structural engineers, and they’re not all that helpful in these situations. People call them a lot and they show up to the house, but they’re not really all that helpful. A geotechnical or forensic geotechnical engineer is who you need to call.
|TOM: the advice I’ve always given our listeners and my clients before that was that if you have a serious crack that you should be calling an independent structural engineer for that crack to be reviewed. And if a repair is required, have the engineers specify exactly what has to be done to make that repair. At that point, you can take his specification and go out the foundation repair companies and don’t ask them what they think, because frankly, at this point you don’t really care. What you want is a repair company that’s going to follow the advice specified by the engineer and then once they’re done, make the final step of having the engineer come back and certify that it was done correctly and there’s no further cause for any concern. And also make sure that the foundation repair company only gets paid when the engineer signs off on it at the end. This is sort of protects you as a consumer. It also gives you sort of a pedigree that if sometime in the future of the house goes on the market and an inspector like me goes in as, huh, this wall was repaired, what happened here? If anyone presented me with those documents, I would tell them my clients. I’m very satisfied with the quality of the repair and they got nothing to worry about.
|BOB: Yeah, you hit the nail on the head, Tom. Quite often the consumers will call out three different foundations, repair companies. They get three different plans, and they’re not experts. How do they know which ones? Right? Maybe none of them are right, right? Because none of them are done by engineers.
|TOM: You make some great points. Bob Brown is the author of a brand new book called Foundation Repair Secrets, and he also is a guest contributor to MoneyPit.com. You can read Bob’s post on Money FT.com with more tips and advice on how to address these sorts of issues within your own home. Bob, thank you so much for sharing your expertise with our audience. Good luck with the book and have a terrific day.
|BOB: Thank you very much. Appreciate that.
|TOM: Well, if you guys want an older home, you probably have a window in the shower. I know it seems weird, but that’s just the way they built homes back then. And by older. I’m not talking about like 100 years old. it could be a house that was built in the seventies, which there’s a whole lot of those out there. So if you’ve got that, trying to keep the water away is not easy. And if you don’t keep the water away, you can get some serious damage as well as mold. And Right. If it gets really bad, I’ve seen it get into the wall studs, the insulation and the siding. You basically be a real mess.
|LESLIE: Yeah, it can definitely turn into a real mess. Real fast. Now, there are a few things that you can do to keep moisture at bay and then prevent it from spreading first. This one’s fast and inexpensive, involves sort of hanging an additional shower curtain inside the shower, but definitely don’t do the whole wall where the window is. Just do the window itself and you can cut the shower curtain to kind of fit into that window opening. So don’t be afraid to make like a teeny tiny shower curtain and you use like an adjustable tension rod. So, especially since that shower curtain is not going to be heavy, you don’t need a lot of support there. So you can get a tension rod, set that to the opening of that window itself and then trim a shower curtain to cover that up. And that’s going to help you tremendously.
|TOM: Now, another idea is to simply re-slope the windowsill to prevent water from pooling on that flat surface and seeping inside the wall. You can remove the wood still and replace it with tile that’s sloped downward towards the shower so it will drain. You can also remove the wood cell and trim and replace it with PVC. Which is great because it doesn’t rot. We’re talking about products like AZEK. It looks like wood, it cuts like wood, but it does not rot like wood.
|LESLIE: Now, sometimes the best option long term is to actually just replace an existing wood window. Ideally, that window should be fixed, not open a bowl and made of vinyl or fiberglass, because both of those are water resistant instead of wood, which definitely is not. Now, glass blocks are another option because they bring in natural light into the shower. They give you some privacy and they offer better protection against moisture and definitely glass block does have an eighties vibe to it but I always feel like in a bathroom, that eighties vibe kind of goes away because it’s appropriate for the space.
|TOM: Yeah, you get a lot of light and you get all the privacy. Now, whichever option you choose, be sure to check the seal around the window regularly and dry that windowsill after each shower. If the problem persists and there’s already damage, it may be time to remove the window completely and then close up the space after repairing it, or certainly replacing the window with a more modern one that’s going to be properly installed and simply not right is a bigger job, but it’ll definitely solve the problem once and for all.
|LESLIE: Steve in North Carolina You’ve got the Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
|CALLER: I’ve got a cabin where? Blue Woods here in North Carolina and built a bathroom onto it. And that’s years ago. I’ve done this. We put a flat roof over the bathroom and the ceiling leaked during the last storm very, very badly. When I removed the tiles and I used the pink insulation in the roof, what do I do?
|TOM: So all that has to be torn out. Now, you mentioned it was because of a storm. Is this cabin insured? You have a homeowner’s policy on this?
|CALLER: I do, yes.
|TOM: that storm damage should have been covered by your policy. Yeah. If you haven’t filed a claim, I would definitely do that because it’s probably covered now since you had such a bad leak. Obviously, all that has to be taken out. So you’ve removed the ceiling. You have to pull out all the insulation. You need to wear appropriate breathing protection. You’re doing this and try to control that area because with all of that mold, you don’t want it to get into the house, Right. So that’s why it’s your job for a probe. if I was doing it, I would depressurize the room I’m working in so that there was good ventilation and everything was blowing out, right. So I would make sure that I manage that, pull out all the insulation you’re going to need to spray down all of the inside surfaces with a mold inhibitor. There’s many good commercial products on the market that do that, and you’re going to have to replace that roof. Now, you said it was a flat roof. That’s the least favorite type of roof, I would say, because it’s if there’s going to be a leak, it’s going to happen a lot quicker on a flat roof than the other kind of pitched roof. But you’re going have to replace it. What kind of material used to use roll roof water on it?
|CALLER: We did. And that was that was my mistake.
|TOM: Yeah. Roll roof is not designed for flat roofs. Roll roof. You got to have at least about a about A to 12 pitch for it to work, right? And so you really need to use a like a rubberized pitchman or something like that, but choose a material that’s designed for flat roofs when you replace this. But I think it’s a how do you Steve, you just needed me to say I tear it all out and listen, if you can if you can get coverage because of the storm, maybe it won’t cost you as much as it might have.
|CALLER: Okay. Listen, and before I let you go, I wish I would let the trailer music play a little more. I love your—.
|TOM: All right. Thanks very much. We appreciate that. I’m going to put that on the website. A lot of folks love that tune.
|LESLIE: Everybody loves.
|TOM: It. You don’t even know we have like additional verses to it.
|CALLER: Oh, I want to hear the whole thing.
|TOM: All right. Thanks very much. Have a great day.
|CALLER: Okay. Thank you. You too. Bye bye.
|LESLIE: Tiffany from Ohio wrote into Team Money Pit and she says, We have a slow running drain in our bathtub. I bought a bottle of chemical drain cleaner from the local store and follow the directions. The water now drains faster than before, but when the tub starts to drain, I hear loud gurgling sounds. What would cause this noise? The house is about 25 years old.
|TOM: So you may have cleared part of the clog, but you may have revealed another problem. The other problem is that you have a blocked vent somewhere. So if part of the reason that the drain was slow is because the van is clogged, that’s why you’re getting the gurgling, the water, still finding a way through, but it’s sucking air instead of through the vent pipes is taking it back through the drain. So you’re going to need to either live with that or you’re going to have to have a service come out and clear it, because that’s the only reason you would get that kind of gurgling.
|LESLIE: All right. Now we’ve got Michael, who writes, We have a metal roof and like seeing the rain running off. If I put a medium pound rock where the rain falls, will that be sufficient to stop erosion or should I put plastic under the rock as well, like making a dry creek?
|TOM: Well, it’s probably best to add weed cloth underneath the rocks, but I’d be concerned about all that water sort of potentially impacting the foundation. Another option would be to run a curtain drain under the grade and catch that runoff, and then you can drain it farther away from the foundation. This is a much more effective way to add a drain than what you’re thinking of. I would look at the products that are made by easy drain. They are sort of a combination drain with some pebbles that surround them and a filter cloth, and they’re really easy to install compared to a traditional curtain drain which requires stone and filter cloth and all those other kinds of stuff to be put in and layer. I think that’ll be a great solution to enjoying your metal roof and catching that water and moving it properly away from the house.
|LESLIE: Yeah, but that’s really pretty to watch that rain fall down. I like the solution, Michael. Enjoy those rainy days.
|TOM: Well, you might not even realize it, but one of the most common home accidents is a fall. Well, Leslie’s got tips to help you avoid the slips in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.
|LESLIE: Leslie, I know we said to fall guests, that kind of thing, but falls and fall ill is very common this time of year. it really is one of the most common household accidents that send Americans to the E.R.. But did you know that a third of all of these home accidents you can actually prevent? There are simple things that you can be doing right now to decrease those chances of you and your family members from taking a tumble. For example, if you’ve got throw rugs, get rid of them. You want to make sure area rugs are held down with double sided tape or skid resistant padding underneath them. I can’t tell you how many times we see area rugs when we go visit friends and family that are just kind of willy nilly hanging out on the floor and they are super slippery. So if you have somebody coming into your home, maybe you’re comfortable with that rug. That way, you know it’s there. You know how it reacts. But somebody who’s just stepping in the door once a year, twice a year, they’re not going to know that. So definitely make sure you secure those rugs down. And you also know your way around the house very well. the spacing, you know the layout. But guests are not going to so rearrange that furniture for clear wide pathways around the house. Now, think about your lighting. today’s LED lights, they provide a much better quality of light than incandescent bulbs. And you can install night lights and you can use the highest wattage bulb that’s approved for those lamps and light fixtures, because, again, guests don’t really know their way around your house and they’re not familiar with how everything is. So give them the best advantage. Bright lighting, good task lighting, adjust that. Also uneven steps again you know them you know which step going down to the basement is the tricky one but other people don’t. So tighten up those loose railings. Be aware of tripping fall hazards around the house. Let’s just try to keep your family safe so we could all have a wonderful holiday season.
|TOM: This is the Money Pit Home Improvement show coming up next time on the program, one appliance that you might own and you’ll never want to be with that again is your garbage disposal. But during the holidays, disposal is good, jammed more often than any other time of the year. If that happens to you, there’s no need to pay a plumber double time and a half. We’ll tell you about a super easy way to get it back in action on the next edition of The Money Pit. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
|LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
|TOM: So remember, you can do it yourself.
|LESLIE: But you don’t have to do it alone.
|(Note: The above referenced transcript is AI-Generated, Unedited and Unproofed and as such may not accurately reflect the recorded audio. Copyright 2023 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.)