Join us for a jam-packed episode where we discuss the essential trio for a snug home. Learn the nuances of firewood selection, dive into the secrets of maintaining pristine indoor air quality, and uncover a DIY solution to seal those chilly floor drafts. Your ultimate guide to a comfy abode awaits with answers to these and other home improvement questions!
- Choosing Firewood: Enjoy cool nights by a warm fire by choosing the best firewood to burn cleanly and safely.
- Indoor Air Pollution: Breathe easier by using the right air filters to improve air quality and reduce dust, allergens, and germs.
- Sealing Floor Drafts: If upward drafts are giving you the chills, this DIY product seals and insulates gaps in the floor below.
Top Questions & Answers
- Cleaning Carpet: Sue needs to clean algae from the carpet on her concrete front porch. We suggest renting a steam cleaner and using the right chemicals for great results.
- Restoration: Kurt wants to be sure he’s taking the right steps for his restoration project and gets tips on beefing up floor joists.
- Cracked Ceramic Flooring: Ceramic floor tiles in a new house are already cracking. Debra should have an independent engineer examine the cause, which may be the lack of an isolation membrane between the slab and tile.
- Roofing Stains: Tim asks how to remove hard water stains on a painted metal roof. We recommend a good roof cleaning product that he can spray, let sit, and rinse off.
- Old Walls: Cynthia’s not sure if she uncovered a firewall while ripping out old plaster walls. We explain it’s likely rock lath that was used in the 1800s, before sheetrock.
- Cleaning Asbestos Concrete Siding: Lewis’ asbestos concrete siding has a golden glow from iron in the well water used in the garden. He’ll need to clean it with TSP and repaint the asbestos siding.
- Shower Plumbing: An old tile shower on the main floor is leaking into the basement. John should first check the lead shower pan by blocking the drain and filling the pan with water.
- Crawlspace Mold: There’s mold in the crawlspace of Rhonda’s condo from a moisture issue. She should document the problem and have it inspected because the HOA may be responsible for addressing any repairs.
- Wood Paneling: Jim is considering options for covering up old wood paneling. The easiest cosmetic solution would be to clean, prime, and paint the paneling white.
- Weatherstripping: Renea’s apartment is freezing cold in winter! A weatherstripping caulk and shrink film for the windows and sliding doors can keep out the chill but will limit access to open them.
- Wainscoting: Can wood pallets be used for wainscoting? We agree they’d be a good, creative way to upcycle materials for Olin’s living room project.
- Insulation Options: How does traditional attic insulation compare to the newer MILO insulation? It sounds like a cool concept, but we advise LaHonda to stick with more established insulation products for now.
|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. And Leslie, I think this is the official last show for us of 2023. So we want to send a special thank you out to all in our audience who take time to listen to the show and ask us questions. And we hope that we’ve been helpful and valuable to you as a resource for this entire year. And we look forward to doing it once again next week. Coming up on today’s show, heat from a wood burning stove makes winter easier to bear, so make sure yours burns the whole season long. We’ve got tips for buying the best, the cheapest in the safest firewood coming up.
|LESLIE: And you’re probably inside more often than not this time of year. So how healthy is the air that you’re breathing? Maybe not as healthy as you think. We’re going to tell you how to cut down on dust, allergens and even germs with a whole house air cleaner a little later.
|TOM: And have you ever felt a chilly draft whoosh across on a cold day? It may be coming up from the floor below. We’re not sure exactly why that happens. And the easiest way to fix it in today’s weatherization tip just ahead.
|LESLIE: All right. But first, guys, we want to know what you are working on so we can lend a hand. We know it’s a busy weekend. You’ve got a lot of festivities, a lot of celebrating, a lot of family and friends. So just go ahead, jot down a list. And when we get into the new year, let’s get rocking.
|TOM: The number here is 1888-Money-Pit. Or you can post your questions by going to MoneyPit.com/ask. Let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s first soon Ohio.
|LESLIE: Need some help cleaning a carpet? Tell us what’s going on.
|CALLER: I have a concrete frank porch slab that has had been covered with black carpeting. And we had a very muggy summer this year and green mold started to grow on it. And I tried, you know, washing it off and rinsing it off. And it just it just won’t take care of it. And I know that you had helped other people with mold problems with 10% bleach, but I wouldn’t dare put bleach on their black carpet. I wondered if there’s something else that will kill that mold.
|TOM: Well, how do we know it’s mold? It sounds like algae.
|CALLER: Could it be?
|TOM: That could be. Yeah. What I would do is I would simply if the carpet’s that dirty, I would simply go out and rent a steam cleaner, rid the carpet cleaner. Those carpet cleaners are pretty darn effective. I rented one myself at the Home Depot just a few weeks ago for a couple of rooms in an apartment that that we owned that was getting a new tenant. And I’m always astounded with what a phenomenal job those steam cleaners do on what looks like carpet that has to be torn out. But when you steam clean, it with the right materials, use the chemicals that come with the machine. It does a really good job. You just got to take your time, usually have to go over it a couple of times and it takes a little bit of work. But it really does a great job. So I wouldn’t try to do this any other way. The way the steam cleaners work is water is injected into the carpet and then almost at the same time, a very strong vacuum pulls that water back out with the dirt and debris attached to it.
|CALLER: Oh, so the steam kills the algae?
|TOM: Yes. It’ll clean it. And then if you dry it really well after that, it should stop it from coming back.
|CALLER: Okay. Okay. Well, that’ll help me, all right.
|TOM: And it won’t damage the color.
|CALLER: Okay. Thank you.
|TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck. Thanks so much for calling us.
|LESLIE: All right. Now we’ve got Kurt in North Carolina on the line who’s working on a restoration. Tell us about the project.
|CALLER: I’ve got to buy six floor joy spanning 15 feet. And I’d like to know if I ripped some three quarter inch plywood and sister it up against the two by sixes and glue and screw it. Good. That would be sufficient. My crawl space has six vents under the floor and I want to seal them up. I read it. Does it need cross ventilation? It’s kind of old school and I’d put six mil poorly on the ground. Your thoughts, please.
|TOM: All right. Well, first of all, in terms of beefing up the floor joists, destroying the floor joists by doubling them, I don’t necessarily think I would use plywood on them. I would double them.
|CALLER: To be flimsy.
|TOM: Well, I mean, it may be flimsy, but the thing is, if you want a sister, a floor joists and help support it, you need to go from bearing point to bearing point. So if it’s going from a girder to an exterior wall, the sister beam has to go the same length. You know, another thing that you could do, Kurt, is you could run another girder at the midpoint of that 15 feet from end to end. Now, it doesn’t necessarily have to be has to be as strong as the main girder for the house because you’re really just taking the flex out of it. So if you put a small footing underneath it, you know, it just got something in there to kind of stiffen the floor that would take the bounce out, Right?
|CALLER: Yeah, I thought about that on the main floor. But my second story, I didn’t want to, you know, like put a glue lamb in. I only have like seven feet, five inches to ceiling.
|TOM: I understand. So, you know, doubling them is a solution as well as using amid span girder.
|CALLER: All right, sir, I appreciate the information.
|TOM: You’re welcome. Kurt, thanks so much for calling us at 888-Money-Pit.
|LESLIE: Hey there. We hope you’re enjoying this episode of our podcast. If you are, you know what would totally make our day is if you leave us a five-star review on Apple Podcasts.
|TOM: Absolutely. Just go to moneypit.com/review and let the world know how much you enjoy our home improvement tips and tricks. And you might even win a copy of our book.
|LESLIE: Heading over to Texas, we’ve got Deborah on the line, who’s got a badly cracked floor. Let’s see what’s going on. My home was built two years ago in south central Texas, in the San Antonio area, about six months ago. All of the ceramic tile cracked in like a spiderweb fashion. I’m waiting for engineers report through the warranty company to see if they’re going to do anything about it. I believe they’re going to come back and tell me it’s settling. But I have a hard time believing that.
|CALLER: A house.
|LESLIE: Would be settling as such in two years. I’m just not sure what’s going to happen. Then I thought I would ask a professional.
|TOM: Hey, Deborah. So here’s what I’m thinking. I don’t. I don’t really chalk this up a settlement at all. If you’ve got a badly cracked tile floor, the best possible cause here is because they didn’t put an isolation membrane between what I’m presuming is a slab and the tile, which means as you get expansion and traction, they move separately, and the isolation membrane is not there. They’re going to crack. If you, in fact have a problem with the slab itself is definitely not a settlement issue. Something is dreadfully wrong and I appreciate that the home warranty company that you got from your builder is sending an engineer out. But I think you need to have your own engineer look at the some of these independent from that home warranty company to give an opinion as to why this happened, because it could be potentially safe. It could impact your safety. It certainly could impact the value of your home. So I would definitely recommend you hire your own structural engineer and have that evaluated yourself. Good luck with that project and I hope this is helpful.
|LESLIE: All right. Tim’s trying to get some stains off of his roof. Let’s see what’s going on.
|TOM: How do you remove hard water stains from painted metal roof? Hey, Tim. So if you’ve got roof stains and I’m not convinced what you’re seeing is hard water, but regardless, whatever kind of stains, those are a good product. The use to clean those is called JOMAX, excuse me, with his entire company. Mix it up. You add bleach to it, put in a pump sprayer he sprayed on the roof with acid a bit and let it dry there, and then you rinse it off. It’s pretty effective stuff. So I would give JOMAX a shot. Well, a warm stove is definitely a hallmark of the season, but you need to be careful when selecting which kind of wood to burn. If it used the wrong fuel, that can be dangerous and it can also cause damage to your wood burning stove.
|LESLIE: All right. First of all, guys never burn trash, driftwood or even treated woods. Always use seasoned wood for the best heat release and minimal creosote buildup. And that’s going to help prevent the chances of having a chimney fire.
|TOM: So when we talk about the season, Wood, what exactly is that? Well, fresh cut wood contains about 45% water, whereas seasoned wood, which is wood that’s kind of set out for a while, is only around 20 to 25%.
|LESLIE: Now, if you cut your own wood, you’ve got to make sure to chop six months to a year before you plan on using it. Time, sun, wind, all of that is going to remove the excess moisture for free splitting. It helps to get more surface area, which means more evaporation.
|TOM: Now when you’re buying wood for your stove, look for logs with darkened ends, cracks and splits. This means that wood is fairly dry. It should also be lightweight, making it an obvious clunking sort of sound when it hits another piece. If you buy wood that’s well dried out, it’s going to burn much, much better than wood that is too fresh. You know, when you hear those snapping sounds, you hear a lot of that woods burning. It’s got a little watery and that’s what you want to avoid. Dry wood is the best wood when it comes to a wood stove.
|LESLIE: Now we’ve got Cynthia from South Dakota on the line who’s got a question about a firewall. Tell us what you’re working on.
|CALLER: I have an old house, and I’ve been ripping out the plaster walls. And I found along this one wall through the whole entire house. Is this pretty durable and tough plaster board stuff? And I was wondering if that is a firewall, because that seems to be where all the cold air returns and stuff are. And if I should or should not rip it out. And if I do rip it out, is there a certain kind of drywall that I should use there?
|TOM: Where is this wall located exactly?
|CALLER: It could have been on the outside of the house at one point, but it’s like under the furnace.
|TOM: Well, first of all, the only place that you typically would have a firewall there was a fire rated wall with a certain rating is between the garage and the house. All the other walls and ceilings inside the homes are usually have traditional half inch drywall. If it’s an exterior and interior exterior wall inside surface of exterior wall of a garage wall. Then you would use a 5/8 inch thick fire rated drywall. But all the other places in the house, you’d have a regular, regular plasterboard, sort of regular drywall.
|CALLER: Okay. Have you ever seen this plasterboard before?
|TOM: Well, sure. Now, how old is the house?
|CALLER: I believe it was built in 1896
|TOM: See, there’s different stages of wall construction. In 1896, you would have had something called wood lath, So there would be wood strips on the wall. And then plaster put on top of.
|CALLER: That as on most of the walls. But this one particular wall, which could have been an outside wall at one point, I’m not sure exactly. It’s like in Q in two foot strips.
|TOM: Yeah. Okay. So that’s a ladder. That’s a ladder addition. And what they did with that is when they stop using wood laff they started using rock lath or like you would think of sheetrock in those two foot wide strips. They’d put that on and then cover that with what plaster? So that’s just a more modern version of the way walls were construction. So it went from would laugh to rock lath to sheetrock. That’s essentially the progression of wall construction over roughly the last hundred years.
|CALLER: Okay. Well, thank you for.
|TOM: The lesson on building history. I hope that clears it up.
|CALLER: Yeah. All right.
|TOM: Thank you. All right. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-Money-Pit.
|LESLIE: All right. Now we’ve got Lewis from Michigan on the line with a roofing question. What can we do for you?
|CALLER: House was built in 1929. The siding, it’s a side in question. The siding is asbestos, concrete shingles. We have iron in our well water. Once spraying the flour, the water is accumulated over the years on the shingles. Now, one wall of the house now has a golden glow. Well, any recommendations for removing the iron golden glow?
|TOM: Well, if it’s siding, you’re going to have to clean it and paint it. That’s the only thing you can really do. I mean, you could wash this house down. You can use a TSP, tri sodium phosphate that will tend to take out some of that, but you’re going to end up having to paint this siding. That’s the nice thing about asbestos, is it lasts forever. The not so nice thing about it is it has to be painted forever, but it’s a nonorganic product so it will not rot, it will not fall apart organically, but it doesn’t look very nice and it does absorb a stain and needs to be constantly maintained because the asbestos is held inside of a cement binder. It’s not a safety risk, it’s just really a maintenance headache.
|CALLER: Appreciate it.
|TOM: Thank you. Good luck with that project.
|LESLIE: All right. Now we’re heading over to John in Iowa, who’s dealing with a leaky shower. Tell us what’s going on.
|CALLER: Well, I’ve got a shower on my main floor where it basically leaks onto the floor in the basement. And when I removed the two inch trap, this is the home that was built in ‘41. But it’s been remodeled recently, probably within the last ten years, or at least the shower has. I noticed there wasn’t a whole lot of room between the tile in the and the flooring or the main wood behind it as well as the sealed up the drain. It was basically just a two inch PVC sealed with some sort of cement and then a drain popped on top of it. And I’m curious, I mean, how can I remedy this issue? I mean, obviously it needs a proper drain, but I couldn’t find anything to fit the hole that they had. All right.
|TOM: Well, first of all, it’s still leaking and you’re in the middle of this project. Is that correct, John?
|CALLER: Well, I basically I just bought this home and I basically said, okay, we’re not using this shower. We have it. We have an upstairs shower that we can use during, you know, during the remediation process.
|TOM: Is this a tile shower? Yes. So with a 1940 tile shower, the first thing I would expect to leak is the lead pan. And the way those showers are built is there’s a lead paint put in against the drain and the tile is put on top of the lead. And so over the years, those pans would crack. And the way you test a lead pan is simply by blocking the shower drain and then filling up the bottom of the shower with as much water as you get in there. Usually, you know, four or five inches of water and then wait and see what happens. So if it’s possible for you to test the pan, I would do that before I started. Before I start assuming that the leak was at the drain, because it might very well be that the drain is not leaking, the pan is leaking. And if that’s the case, then you have to tear out the shower base and rebuild it.
|CALLER: I see. All right.
|TOM: It’s the lead pan because, you know, it’s a pan that’s 67 years old. They just don’t last that long.
|CALLER: All right.
|TOM: Okay. So seal it off. Test it off. You know. You know it works. Well, one of those in those rubber jar openers that are about six inches in diameter put that across the drain, fill it up with water, and then watch for a leak.
|CALLER: All right, I’ll try that.
|TOM: Okay, John, good luck. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-Money-Pit. You know, Leslie, in the 20 years I spent as a home inspector, I used to check those pans for leaks all the time that way. And we got you get smart after the first time this happens to you that you never let that water sit very long.
|TOM: Like you fill it up. You go downstairs immediately and see if it’s leaking.
|LESLIE: Really, it’s that fast when you’ve got a crack and that sometimes.
|TOM: Yes, because if it’s going to leak, if it’s a bad crack, you know, it may never have been discovered or it might have been so slow. But by filling the whole pan up with water, you prove it very quickly. That’s leaking. So that’s why we always check very quickly to see if there’s a leak. And then if not, you know, fill it up with it, sit there for a half hour, go back and check again. But it’s a very, very common area for a leak and unfortunately, a very expensive one because you think about it, you got to tear out all that tile and you got to rebuild that pan. And today, of course, we don’t use lead. We usually use fiberglass, but it’s a pretty big renovation, probably a couple of thousand bucks worth of work.
|LESLIE: Ronda, in Alaska, you’ve got the Money Pit. How can we help you today?
|CALLER: Hi there. Yeah, a couple of years ago, we had a moisture problem in our crawl space. I live in a townhouse style condo, and as a result, the adjoining wall down in the crawl space, it has drywall on it and it’s got some mold. And I’m not sure how to get rid of that.
|TOM: Okay, so we’re talking about crawl space areas and a condominium form of ownership. Yes. Typically that’s you have to check your public offering statement. But generally that part of the structure is owned by the association. And therefore the association bears the responsibility of maintaining it in most multifamily forms of ownership in a townhouse condominium kind of ownership. Generally, what you own is inside sheetrock to inside sheetrock. Okay. And this is important to know because, for example, when you ensure your home, you know, the insurance that you purchased has to cover things like, you know, paint and kitchen cabinets and flooring, you know, carpets, stuff like that. Okay. But it doesn’t cover the wall or the floor structure because that’s covered by the association. So if you’ve got a mold problem in the common area that’s called the common area or is the area that’s common, the entire association, they are responsible for addressing it. Really? That’s why you pay, you know, monthly maintenance fees. Yeah. So make sure you know who owns what before you start messing with this.
|TOM: And especially in a multifamily situation, if you’ve got mold that’s festering in the crawl space that can, you know, get up into those units and really affect a lot of folks. I would first address this with the association. I would address it in writing. Okay. Include pictures. So you’re documenting it and then ask them to have a professional take a look at it. Okay. And by the way, by professional, I mean industrial hygienist. Yes. I mean, somebody who’s an expert in mold, not, you know, the local handyman that’s going to come down there and try to scrub it away and in the process distributed to the entire unit.
|CALLER: Awesome. Thank you so much. I appreciate your help.
|TOM: So, Leslie, I was installing a new thermostat and I had to run a wire from the wall to the thermostat and, of course, the wall cavity I had to run it through, had some sort of a blockage in it, which, of course, you know, is not normally there, but it was just my dumb luck that I found it. So I very nicely and neatly figured out where it was in the cut a square piece of the drywall out around it so that I could drill a hole through it and run my wire through it. Well, as I pulled that piece of drywall out, I noticed that it had been smashed in once before. And it all kinds of spackle and whatever was stuck out from the back of it. Well, the last heating guy did exactly that. It took his hammer. He smashed a hole in the wall, shoved the wire through it, Spackle that I should have done that. Already known that it existed once before.
|LESLIE: Sometimes, you know, those shortcuts are out there.
|TOM: I just try to do things the right way. And that does not include just taking my hammer and smashing a hole in the wall. But maybe it should sometimes.
|LESLIE: All right. Next up, we’ve got Jim in Oregon with a paneling question. Tell us what you’re working on.
|CALLER: I’ve got a house that was built in the early 1950s, and I moved into it in the seventies and it didn’t have any insulation in the in the walls of the house. So I took the interior paneling off, which was quarter inch plywood was all it was. And then I put insulation behind it and of course, rewired at the same time. And then when I put a quarter inch paneling back after I put the insulation and then I put courses in the seventies, a big paneling there. So I just put paneling over the top of that. Now I want to kind of upgrade it a little bit and I’m not too sure if my best route would be to clean the paneling really well and paint it or clean the paneling really well and have somebody come in and spray it like you do sheetrock. Or maybe I should put quarter inch sheetrock over the top of it and tape it off and then spray it or a possibility of putting on every stud, put a tub of two on a stud and then put insulation and it looks like Styrofoam with the tinfoil on each side and the panel over our sheetrock over the top of that. So I’m kind of looking at dollars and cents and which way to go.
|TOM: Wow, you have a lot of choices. I mean, do we want we really want a cosmetic solution here? Yes, that’s the case. There’s no reason you can’t paint this. I mean, painted paneling can look quite attractive if it’s done. Well, right, Leslie? But I think priming is probably important.
|LESLIE: Yeah, I mean, you’re right about wanting to clean it. Then you’re definitely needing to prime it with a very good quality primer because you want it to adhere very well to the paneling and, you know, depending on if this is actual wood paneling or some sort of, you know, wood like paneling, you just want it to stick. Well, and then I would go with whatever paint over it. You know, the issue here is whether or not you like the look of the vertical lines. If you like them, then you’re going to love it, paint it, because somehow white paneling looks fantastic, especially if you’ve got a decor and a home style that lends itself to that look. It can really work for you. I really wouldn’t paint it any other color because then it’s like, Oh, that’s painted paddling. We’re suddenly in a white. It’s like, oh, it’s got like a country chic-ish charm to it. But, you know, it’s really up to you whether that’s a look that you like and will enjoy. If you can work with it, then I definitely say go for the paint.
|CALLER: So if I paint it white on it, my Bighorn sheep hanging on the wall and an open stuff would stand out really well.
|TOM: Yeah, but they would.
|LESLIE: That’s a whole ‘nother conversation for another day.
|CALLER: Yeah, I can just understand. I used to own a sporting goods store, so I understand that.
|TOM: All right. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us, Jim. At 1-888-Money-Pit.
|LESLIE: While the EPA has named indoor air pollution as one of the top five environmental risks to public health and tells us that indoor air can be up to 100 times more polluted than the air outside. But if you’re thinking that they can’t be talking about my house while they can, especially if you don’t have the right kind of air filter.
|TOM: Now to start, there are really four types of air filters to understand. The first are flat filters. Now these are the basic filters that are made from fiberglass. They typically need changing on a monthly basis, and while they capture dust, they really don’t capture the kind of contaminants that can make you miserable, like allergies. Next, we have a class called Extended media filters. Now, these use a particle filter and a small electrostatic charge to clean the air, and they do a much better job than just the plain flat filter.
|LESLIE: All right, then there’s electronic filters. Now, these units use a high electrical charge to capture particles like a magnet, and they’re extremely effective on small particles and performed about 30 times better than flat filters. Finally, we’re going to talk about ultraviolet filters. Now, UV filters are extremely effective at capturing particles, bacteria and viruses. And these are the kind of filters that hospitals use. I mean, especially when you’ve got diseases present. These filters, the UV ones, do a great job.
|TOM: Now, for some of these filters, when it comes to installation, it’s a job for a pro because they need to be built into the existing system. This way, air is continually clean as it passes through the filter.
|LESLIE: Now, prices are going to vary depending on the type of filter that you go with and its size, but it’s definitely well worth the investment, especially if anyone in your home suffers from allergies.
|TOM: Yeah, and don’t forget, you’ll also be doing a lot less dusting around the house as well.
|LESLIE: Renee in North Carolina Need some help? Weatherproofing. What can I do for you?
|CALLER: I just recently moved into a brand new apartment complex, so, you know, the windows are, you know, pretty, pretty good windows. But what I found is that it is freezing in here now that the temperatures drop. So I’m looking for suggestions on how to put up temporary fixes to the windows leaking the air in and also the sliding door. I have a big sliding glass door that I’m not sure how it’ll weatherproof that.
|TOM: All right, Renee, first of all, as far as the windows are concerned, one of the things you might want to look into is whether stripping caulk, there’s a certain type of caulk that’s designed to be removable. And one of the products is called SEAL ‘N PEEL. I think that one is by Red Devil or DAP. Both manufacturers have a version of this. And the way it works is you essentially can caulk the windows shut. She can caulk around all those gaps. And then in the spring, you can grab the caulk bead and peel it off, and it comes off like a piece of rubber.
|LESLIE: Just make sure you leave one window unclothed, you know, unsealed, because just in case you need 40 grass, you know, in an event of an emergency because it comes out, but it just doesn’t come out that fast.
|TOM: Now, as far as the door is concerned, I would just use shrink film for that. So the shrink film, basically, you put a two sided adhesive tape around the door and then you attach the film to that and then you take a hairdryer and warm the film and it shrinks and gets nice and taut and crystal clear.
|CALLER: Okay. So the film would actually prevent the door, the sliding glass door from opening.
|TOM: Correct. You would not be able to use that door in the winter. Mm hmm. I mean, if you have to be able to use it, then you just have to use weather stripping. But it’s probably not going to be as effective.
|CALLER: Okay, well, this has been very helpful. I just been afraid. But if anything that would sort of destroy the window or the paint.
|TOM: I know you want to get that security deposit back eventually, right?
|CALLER: Definitely. Or not. Pay more.
|TOM: All right, Renee, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-Money-Pit.
|LESLIE: Alonzo on the line with a Wayne scoring question. How can I help you today?
|CALLER: Yes, I was wanting to do some Wayne’s coding in my living room, and I’d seen some people do it with palettes, actually taken with the pieces off and using the flats for the Wayne’s coating. And I know they do treat them with some chemicals and stuff and as long as I run it through a planer and everything with that, pretty much treat it as long as it’s filled up with the polyurethane and I’ll keep it from being toxic, from with the children and stuff.
|TOM: Well, I can’t really answer that question because I’m not sure how they treat the pallets. And frankly, I’ve torn a lot of pallets apart in my days as things have been delivered and I never really had a concern about treatment and never actually can recall smelling an odor from the treatment.
|CALLER: Well, I never would. I thought about it when I looked at some pilot ideas online and I saw where some people had done wood floors with them and the lion’s coating. And it just it looked stunning, really. It was totally different working from what you think a pallet would usually be, you know, And so that’s what gave me the idea about, well, that would be a cheap idea. Yeah.
|TOM: And hey, it’s an upcycling, too, Leslie. I mean, you’re taking something and reusing it in a new and creative way. Better than sending it to ground to a dump. Yes. Well, I wouldn’t be personally too concerned about treatment because I’m not sure that they are treated. But I would say that if you detect any odors and you’re thinking that they’re treated, then you know, the virtue of the fact that you’re going to seal them will probably minimize that. So I for me, I don’t think it would be a concern.
|CALLER: Okay. Well, that sounds good. And I appreciate it, guys.
|TOM: All right. Well, and good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-Money-Pit. Well, have you ever felt a chilly draft whoosh across to you on a cold day? You might be thinking you’ve got to check the windows or the doors for drafts, but it actually might be coming up from the floor below. We’re going to share a solution in today’s weatherization tip presented by DAP.
|LESLIE: That’s right. Now drafts that shoot up from the floor below your feet often happen because the rimjoists Now that’s the floor beams that line. The exterior of the floor just were never sealed properly. And you might also spot these kinds of drafts by running the back of your hand along the baseboard molding on exterior walls. These drafts can have a big impact on your comfort and your energy bills.
|TOM: Yep. And in fact, according to the Department of Energy, the potential energy savings from reducing drafts in the home may range from 10 to 20% per year. Now, the fix for the situation is pretty simple. The best way to do that is with spray foam insulation head on over to your basement or crawl space and pull back the insulation along the perimeter, then apply the foam across the entire inside surface of the room, joist. This both insulates and seals out drafts in one application. And once you’re done, you can restore the insulation and you’ll be good to go.
|LESLIE: All right. Now, DAP makes touch and foam, which is the perfect system for a job like this. Tension foam is a portable, self-contained one component, polyurethane foam dispensing kit that’s perfect for pros and serious DIYers who want to seal and insulate gaps in wall and floor cavities, as well as attics, basements and crawl spaces. And as the foam is applied, it expands to fill the gaps where those drafts sneak through, and that’s leaving you a lot more comfortable.
|TOM: And that’s today’s weatherization tip presented by DAP, makers of touch and foam professional wall and cavity foam. DAP has revolutionized spray foam application with the first one component, broadcast spray foam. You’ll find the dap touch and foam system at Menards and select Home Depot stores. You can also learn more at dap.com.
|LESLIE: Lonnie in Texas is having some issues with insulation. I wanted to try out something new. Tell us about it. I just wondered if you had an opinion about traditional attic insulation versus the new MILO insulation.
|TOM: Hey, Lonnie. Yeah, the MILO insulation is an interesting product in that it’s actually made from sorghum, which can be grown in a farm. So I think it’s kind of a cool story. Whether or not that’s enough to get me to switch away from old fashioned fiberglass or mineral wall insulation or spray foam, I’d have to say probably not. I think it’s going to have to be out in the market a heck of a long time for me to make that switch. You know? And by the way, when it comes to fiberglass insulation, there’s a new kind of insulation called next gen fiberglass that Owens Corning makes. And it’s a very sustainable product in its performance. And also doesn’t release those fibers in the air, which makes it a heck of a lot easier to install. So I think there are other probably better options, more tried and true options than going for a brand new insulation product like that. Appreciate the fact that it’s something that’s incredibly sustainable in terms of the way it is brought into this world. But I’m not ready to make that jump just yet.
|LESLIE: Jewel in Wyoming reached out the Team Money Pit and wants to know how can you tell if you have too much snow load on your roof and what’s the best way to remove it?
|TOM: Yeah, you know, if you get a really, really heavy snow and it starts to build up on the roof, usually you get in trouble when it starts to melt, right, Leslie? I mean, it starts to rain because the temperatures go up and it starts to get wet. That’s when it really gets heavy. So what you want to do is try to remove as much of the snow as possible. Now, there’s a very safe way to do that from the from terra firma, essentially, and that is with something called a roof rake. Now it looks like a garden rake, not the kind you use for leaves, but the kind you use to scrape the soil. It’s about three feet wide, maybe two and half to three feet wide. And it has a set of aluminum telescoping poles that connect to it. So the idea here is that you put together enough sections to get that roof rack up on your roof and then you sort of walk backwards or pull it backwards so that snow falls off. If you can keep the snow from accumulating like that, that’s going to make the weight a lot less, especially when it starts to warm up. And you’ll also hopefully avoid ice dams, too. So I think it’s a good idea with heavy snowfall like that to make sure you have a roof rack to go around, pull off as much as you can and avoid any potential harm that could happen. I had a friend once that didn’t do that to a barn and he had and he had a pretty serious collapse and it seriously injured some of the farm animals. So we don’t want that to happen to you, animals, anybody. So give it a shot. You know, make them get the roof rack, keep it handy and put it together and pull that snow down before it causes trouble.
|LESLIE: All right. Now we’ve got one from Tyler in Oregon who writes, I have a very large tree between my house and my detached garage. So large that cutting it down does not seem like an option without damaging one of the structures. What is the best way to safely remove this tree? I feel like Tyler is imagining like using an ax at the bottom of the tree and shouting timber.
|TOM: Yeah. Listen, Tyler, first of all, this is beyond the scope of video wire. Let’s just make that super clear. But the way that professional arborists will deal with this is they’ll work from a crane, and what they’ll do is essentially disassemble the tree, and this makes sense. So in other words.
|LESLIE: It’s kind of amazing.
|TOM: Yes, they’d have taken it apart from the bottom when it falls to start cutting off the top of the tree and they’ll have ropes hung down onto those branches. So the ones that are cut, they can be lowered down slowly and then taken to the chipper and so on. And I’ll just sort of chip away at it and they’ll chop away at it that way from the top down. And never at any chance is there a risk of that falling down the process. I saw them do this to my beautiful maple tree, which broke my heart, but it was really hitting bad and started to lean a little bit too much toward my power lines and I had to have it removed. And that’s how they did it.
|TOM: Took it apart one stick at a time and came down in less than an hour with no harm done to the house whatsoever.
|LESLIE: I mean, it’s really amazing watching them do this. I remember we had an old large tree in the front and like it was scary and terrifying and amazing. But they are pros and they do it right.
|TOM: This is the Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Happy holidays, everybody. Happy New Year. We hope that you guys have had a terrific year. We thank you so much for spending these weekends with us and we hope that we’ve been helpful to you with tips and ideas and we’re all looking forward to next year. We get to tackle a whole new set of home improvement and home decor projects. We’ll be here for you every step of the way. Until then, 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.
|(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.)