In this enlightening episode, we’ll discuss efficient new heat pump technology, learn savvy tips to reclaim your rental security deposit, and discover quick hacks for easy furniture repairs. For answers to these and lots more home improvement questions, your home transformation starts here!
- Rental Security Deposit: When your rental lease ends, don’t forget these tips for reclaiming your security deposit.
- Heat Pumps: New efficiencies in heat pump technology keep costs down and comfort up.
- Furniture Repair: Clean stains and fix dings and dents with these easy furniture repair hacks.
Top Questions & Answers
- Roof Moss and Mold: Mary wants to clean and prevent moss and mold on her asphalt shingle roof. Sunlight is the best solution and we recommend cutting back some trees.
- Insulation: Does spray foam insulation pose a mold risk? It’s unlikely that a leak in Luke’s roof would go undetected long enough to cause any concern.
- Replacing Windows: Marcia’s old wood kitchen window is hard to open and close. Replacing the window is easier and more efficient than the work involved in repairing it.
- Shower Plumbing: Chad’s showers vary from freezing cold to scalding hot. A pressure balance valve will keep the water temperature consistent even when the pressure isn’t.
- Garage Doors: Laurie has no remote control for the garage door opener. She can check on the manufacturer’s website for the model number of her unit to learn how to program the keypad and order the right remote control.
- Laminate Floor: Does the color of a laminate floor go all the way through and will it hold up to Leroy’s chairs? Good-quality laminate flooring has multiple layers but should be fine for the furniture.
- Shower Conversion: Cheryl wants to convert a small tub into a shower and gets tips on finding the right size shower pan to fit the space.
- Water Heater: What is the best temperature setting for a gas water heater? Dean should be careful to keep the water no more than 110-120 degrees to avoid burns.
- Ceiling Crack: After a wall was removed, it left a crack in the ceiling. Linda should cut out a bigger area of the drywall, then tape and spackle it well before priming the painting the whole ceiling.
- Installing a Fence: Vincent is putting up a chain-link fence where there is lots of water. We have advice on digging deep and filling the post holes with cement.
- Water Drainage: Shawnee has a problem with drainage and moisture in her yard from an underground spring, but it’s just a small area that doesn’t seem worth doing major work.
Ask Your Home Improvement Question
|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 with all the projects you want to take on in 2024. If you’ve got a project in mind, something on your to do list, something on your new project list, something on your I wish I could have gotten this to the Sooner list ever you want to do, whether it’s decor, repair, remodel, we’ve got tips and ideas to help you get through it and get it done right the first time. But to get that information, you got to reach out to us with your questions. Two ways to do that. You can go to moneypit.com/ask that’s moneypit.com/ask or just call us at 1-888-Money-Pit 80 888-666-3974. Coming up on today’s show, keeping heating costs down is usually a lot easier for homes heated with gas or oil than for those heated by electricity. But new efficiency technology in heat pumps is changing. All this for the better. So we’re going to share some ideas just ahead.
|LESLIE: And if you’re a renter, do you worry about getting your security deposit back when it’s time to move out? Well, we’re going to share the most commonly overlooked items that stand between you and getting all of your security just ahead.
|TOM: And did your furniture pick up a little extra wear and tear over the holidays? We’ve got hacks to fix. Water rings, dings and dents just ahead.
|LESLIE: But first, if you can dream it, you can build it. And we can help reach out with your questions right now at Money Pit icon/ask. We’d love to hear what you are tackling this new year. What are you working on? What are you thinking about working on? Let’s get those to do lists done.
|TOM: So call us right now at 1-888-Money-Pit. That’s 888-666-3974. Let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s first?
|LESLIE: Mary in North Carolina is on the line with a mossy roof. Tell us what’s going on in your money pit.
|CALLER: Well, we have a ten year old roof, asphalt, shingles, I believe they are. And the sections between shingles are beginning to be filled up with moss.
|LESLIE: It’s like a mossy grout line.
|CALLER: Yeah, that’s right. I’d like to know how to get it safely clean and keep it from growing back again. It isn’t the entire roof. We are in an A-frame house, so it’s very, you know, very sharp, very steep roof. And it’s just about the eight or ten feet closest to the to the edge. Okay.
|LESLIE: Do you see it all the way around? You just see it on, say, the north facing side or in the area.
|CALLER: On this north facing part.
|LESLIE: Okay. So that’s the area that gets the least amount of sunlight, right? Do you have like a large tree that’s, you know, adding more shade to this area?
|CALLER: We have a lot of trees.
|LESLIE: Yeah, a lot of trees.
|TOM: Yeah. Therein lies problem.
|LESLIE: Now, I mean, the best solution here is can you trim out or thin out those trees in any way to get more sunlight onto that portion of the roof? Because if you can do that, sunlight really is, you know, your best weapon in getting rid of this moss and keeping it away. Now, you’ll have to do some work to get it to be gone in the first place. But if you can add more sunlight, you’re going to help it stay away.
|CALLER: All right. Very good. Thank you very much.
|TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-Money-Pit.
|LESLIE: Now we’ve got Luke from Texas who’s got a question about insulation and what’s going on at your money pit.
|CALLER: So listen to a couple of episodes here recently. And I’ve noticed a trend of recommending spray foam insulation in the ceilings, or I should say in the ceilings, but in between the roof rafters. And I was going to I was very interested in doing that in my house. However, I started to become a bit concerned with issues of potential mold. I mean, if there’s any kind of ruefully, whether it be closed, fell or open fell from that sprayed any kind of roof leak, it’s going to that foam is going to trap the water in there.
|TOM: Walter, you’d have to have a roof leak that went on for some time. For that to happen, you would have evidence of the leak because I have spray foam in my attic and I’ve covered my rafters with it. And we had a really, really bad rainstorm once. And I got a bit of a leak around the chimney from the flashing, but it came right through and I saw it. I was able to deal with it. I wouldn’t worry about that. The one thing about spray foam you need to understand, Luke, is that when you spray foam in attic, it no longer is a vented attic. It is a now an unwanted attic on purpose by design, right? So everything is sealed in now, which is the reason it becomes so warm. And as opposed to, you know, being icy cold like it would most winters, I mean, my attic is practically the same temperature as the rest of my house. Now. And my energy bills went way down as a result of it. So I don’t have that concern at all. And if I did get a roof leak, I think I’d probably spot it pretty quickly. I think it’s the kind of thing that’s going to sit in there and sit for a long time and be a big discovery later.
|CALLER: Interesting. All right. Thank you so much for your input. I appreciate it.
|LESLIE: Hey, Money Pit podcast fans, you want to help us out, go ahead and leave us a five-star review on Apple Podcasts. And we’re going to give you a virtual high five. Plus, you’ll be helping us spread the word about our show. Just go to moneypit.com/review. Marsha in Illinois Need some help getting a window unstuck? Tell us about it.
|CALLER: I have a window over my sink and my kitchen, so I have to lean over the sink to raise this window. And it’s always been extremely hard to get up or down. And I just don’t know what to do with that. I think I’ve tried WD 40.
|TOM: Is this a wood window?
|CALLER: Marsha Yes, it’s a wood window.
|TOM: So probably over the years it’s gotten bigger, swollen in its place and it’s gotten tighter in the jams and I’ll presume with paint too, over the years that that didn’t make it any better. So why don’t you think about a replacement window? I mean, look, we can talk to you about taking this whole window apart and sanding down the jams and sanded down the sashes and making it easier to use and replacing the cords and the balance and all that work. But I think this would be a good time to treat yourself to a replacement when you have to do all the windows in the house, you know, you can buy a double hung replacement window in home center today for a couple hundred bucks, and it’s a pretty good quality window. So you may want to think about replacing it, just this one window or in the alternative, you can pull the trim off, you can take the sashes apart and you could sand them and sand them well, and that will make them a little bit smaller all the way around and make them easier to operate. And of course, also make sure that the balances are working. Now, if it’s an old wood window, you may have cords or chains that go up and you want to make sure that they’re still attached because that gives you a little bit of assistance as you open and close the window.
|CALLER: Okay. Well, I appreciate your advice. I guess I’ll have to invest in a new window.
|TOM: I think it’s going to be easier than all the work it would take to get the old window working. And I’m all for easy and that’s why I suggest that. Okay, Marsha, good luck. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-Money-Pit. Hey, look, if you got these old windows, I mean, you can work on them and put eight, 10 hours into a window and sure, it’ll be just as good as new, But you know, it’s still going to be an old, drafty wood window when you can go buy a double pane vinyl clad window replacement window that slips inside the existing opening. It just had better energy efficiency and a window that really works tilt in to clean. You know, the works just doesn’t make any sense.
|LESLIE: You’re still going to have to reach over that sink. It’s going to be easier to work.
|LESLIE: Chad in Florida is on the line, having a really hard time getting that perfect shower. Tell us what’s going on.
|CALLER: Oh, I’ve got an issue. The house was built in like the late fifties, early sixties, and you get to take a shower and you turn to hot water. You’d think it would be up and then you turn the whole water on. And it just seems like that, you know, you got to adjust the cold there and it’s it makes a kind of a creaking noise and, you know, it’s either scalding hot or freezing cold. And you always kind of get to sit there and adjust the cold side on the on the shower there. And it seems to do it more when it starts to get colder out.
|TOM: What you might want to do is think about replacing this with a pressure balanced valve. A pressure balance Valve maintains the mix between hot and cold, regardless of the pressure in the pipe. So as you pull more water or less water out of one side because the valve is doing that or somebody is using the water somewhere in the house, the flow of water can change. But the mix, the balance between the hot and the cold will not change. And that just makes it a lot more comfortable and frankly, a lot safer for to you for you to use that water. And if you’re still using two valves like that, you know, it might be time to upgrade to pressure balance, because I think you’ll find that that’s going to solve this problem.
|CALLER: All righty. Yeah. That was my next project. I got just got finished doing it and closing my carport and doing a diversion. And the bathroom is coming next, so.
|TOM: Wow. Well, we’re happy to help you select the next project, Chad.
|CALLER: Hey, I appreciate it.
|TOM: I’m sure your list, you were just wondering, what were you going to put on that list? And now? Now you’re all set. That’s right.
|CALLER: That’s right. It’s in that room. And you’re the homeowner, right?
|TOM: Yeah, absolutely. Chad, thanks so much for calling us at 888-Money-Pit.
|LESLIE: Well, saving energy and going green are big goals for homeowners, which is one reason heat pumps are more popular than ever.
|TOM: That’s right. Traditional heating systems use fuel like gas or oil to generate heat. Electric heat, on the other hand, has always been much more expensive. But heat pumps, which is a form of electric heat, is actually a much more affordable technology. Now, what heat pumps do is they use a small amount of energy to pull heat out of the air or the ground. And they use the heat or the cooler space in its simplest form. Heat pumps can heat much like an air conditioner, cools a home. It’s just that the refrigeration process is reversible. So it allows heat pumps to do both heating and cooling.
|LESLIE: Now, the biggest advantages of heat pumps is the fact that you don’t need to install separate systems to heat and to cool your home. And because they’re transferring heat rather than burning fuel to create it, heat pumps are more efficient than a gas furnace. Now, heat pumps do have their disadvantages, too. A common complaint is that they blow cold air. Now, this isn’t really true, but they’re not designed to put out warm air at the same temperature as a gas or oil furnished. For example, would the air is cooler, but it’s plenty warm enough to keep your home heated and it heats it very efficiently.
|TOM: Now, if you’re considering a heat pump, there are really two types you need to know about. First, there’s air source heat pumps. These work much like your refrigerator. They take heat from the outside, pump it through refrigerant coils, and then it’s distributed to your home by a fan. But you might also hear them referred to as an air to air heat pump. The reversing valve is the most important part. It flips the operation around instead of bringing heat to your home. The heat pump sends the heat outdoors much like an AC would and the other type is called a ground source heat pump. They operate a little bit differently. They absorb heat exclusively from the ground outside via pipes that are buried and filled with water. Bottom line for me, I still prefer natural gas, but if electric heat was my only option, a well installed high tech heat pump is definitely the way to go.
|LESLIE: Laura, you’ve got the Money Pit. How can we help you today?
|CALLER: We have a Chamberlain, a one quarter horsepower garage door opener, and it has no remote mouth as so we have no remote for it. Also, it has the keypad on the outside, which I’m unable to use. So my question was, if I go to Home Depot, Evos would have universal remote work or do I have to call garage door company all to sell off the Chamberlain remote and program it?
|TOM: Why don’t you do this? Why don’t you get the model number of the Chamberlain garage door opener, which is probably printed on the back of the unit. Go to the Chamberlain website and get the owner’s manual for the door opener. With an owner’s manual, you should be able to program the keypad. It’ll tell you the right sequence to do that. And also you most likely can find out from Chamberlain exactly which remote is designed to work with that unit. Now, Chamberlain is a very good company and in fact, they have a new technology that’s called my cue. And the cool thing about the McCue technology is you can actually put this micro unit in your garage and then you’ll be able to open and close your garage door with your smartphone. So they’re way ahead of the game on this stuff.
|CALLER: Yeah, that’s how I was going to ask you to. Is this one too old to do that?
|TOM: I think that actually works on every garage door opener that was built after 1996. So it may not be might be fine to.
|LESLIE: Remember if it’s 96 or 94.
|TOM: Yeah, it goes back over ten years.
|CALLER: Yeah. Okay. So this one’s about six years old.
|TOM: I think that’s how I would proceed. I would not just go buy something and hope it works. I would do the research and you’ll figure it out. Okay, Laurie.
|CALLER: Okay, I’ll go on the web page. Thank you for the advice.
|TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-Money-Pit.
|LESLIE: Leroy in Delaware is on the line with a flooring question. What can we do for you?
|CALLER: I have a question on the laminate flooring. Number one, is it a solid color all the way through? And number two, where I would be using it as chairs with rollers on them. And I was wondering if you thought that would hold up with a pin being a chair. It had rollers on them.
|TOM: All right. So first of all, is the solid color all the way through? No, that’s not the way laminate floors work. So the way laminate floors work is, you have different types of composite materials. And then you have sort of the color layer, which is essentially sort of a photograph. And then you have the wear layer on top of that, which can be textured. So it can look like stone or feel like stone should say, or wood boards. Now, this textured sort of wear layer surface that’s available in different levels of durability, some floors are designed for light use, some floors are designed for commercial use. If you, you know, buy a tougher floor, one of the one of the better quality floors that’s designed for the heavier use, I don’t think you can have any trouble with those with those chairs on the rollers. Now, is that are all the chairs and rollers, is this like a desk chair situation?
|CALLER: Actually, it’s a kitchen table with four chairs in row.
|TOM: Okay. All right. Yeah. I think that allowing the floor is a good choice for that. But like I said, you got to buy a good quality one.
|TOM: Thank you. You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-Money-Pit.
|LESLIE: All right. Now we’ve got Cheryl in Texas on the line who’s looking to redo a bathroom and make it more modern with just a shower. How can we help you?
|CALLER: Well, I am the mother of four sons, and as they get bigger, they no longer like to get in the bathtub. And we find that they are always in my room in my shower. We’re wanting to take out the tub that’s in their bathroom and turn it into a shower. My issue is I don’t have a lot of space. It’s a Hollywood bath. And then the tub and toilet are in a separate little room that you can close off and the door facing of that little room sits right next to the tub itself. So my question is, is when I pull that tub out, the plan was to put, you know, a shower pin down and tile the area and then put a glass door, either sliding door on there. And will that be a wide enough space if it’s only the width of a standard tub?
|TOM: Sure. I think you definitely can find a shower pan that can fit the width of that tub. Sort of elbow to elbow if you’re standing in it. I mean, think about it. If you’re in the tub, you’re taking a shower, right? You’ve got room on to the right, to the left of you. So we want a shower pan that essentially is the same size. Now, when it comes to residential pre-fabricated shower pans, they start at around 24. By 24. So that’s two foot square. You know, that would be probably, you know, the smallest that you would need, but you might be able to go up even bigger. But a little trick of the trade, if you were to find, for example, that for whatever reason, the way this room is configured, a 24 by 24 would not work. Then you should shop for a smaller shower pan, which you will find sold for RVs, recreational vehicles because they have tiny showers in them, right? And there’s a whole host of RV shower pans that are smaller than 24 by 24. I don’t think you’re going to need it. I think you’ll be fine with starting there, maybe even going up. But the size of the shower pads, what you want to figure out first, then you can basically build around that. Okay, that makes sense.
|CALLER: Sure, Sure. That’s what I want to do. Okay.
|TOM: All right. So good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-Money-Pit. Hey, Leslie. I ran across a news story of truly national importance. I mean, this is so important, I could not pass it up. It is very controversial, but I want to get feedback on this. All right. Something people care deeply about. Here’s the question. What is the right number of throw pillows to have on a couch? There’s a story on this, Bruce, about this. Unlike really, people care about this. Okay. Probably not my thing, but I would ask.
|LESLIE: You, it’s a love hate relationship because if you have them, they better look perfect all the time and not be, like, thrown on the floor and askew. And my kids, like, sit on them so they get squished. So it’s like I’m super selective about throw pillows. Like they’re not going to be comfy, they’re going to be super hard so that nobody’s touchy. You can squish them down too much because they choose to be a perch, like it’s ridiculous. So for like a special one or none, or you better have no kids in the house or pets. I mean, come on, throw pillows. It’s a subject.
|TOM: Well, they talk about the number of pillows based on corners, the sofa size and the style manner. They talk about the golden ratio for pillow groupings. One of the experts recommends a grouping of three pillows with specific sizes and numbers.
|LESLIE: Yes, 20.
|TOM: Two by 22 at 20 by 20, and a 14.
|CALLER: By 20.
|LESLIE: That sounds like a nightmare.
|TOM: So apparently there’s a magic grouping and then is very important to balance your pillow placement. Okay, I get that. Yeah, I agree with that.
|TOM: Anyway, it’s all from the spruce. Check them out online. I believe it’s the spruce .com great newsletter I get with tips like that every week.
|LESLIE: Diane in Kansas, you’ve got the Money Pit. How can we help you today?
|CALLER: Okay, We’ve just purchased a home, and in that home we’ve got a traditional gas water heater. Okay? And my wife loves to take baths every night. She’s one of those really hot bath type person.
|TOM: Okay, Good for her.
|CALLER: Just wanted to kind of know what the best setting for the water heater was. We’ve been told a couple different things. Usually we turn it all the way up, and that’s really hot. We’ve been told some different things, so.
|TOM: Yeah, well, I mean, is it just you and your wife or do you have kids too?
|CALLER: We do have kids as well.
|TOM: Yeah. You want to be careful with the children, especially? You don’t want the water to be any hotter than about 110 or 120 degrees. And if you turn it all the way up, get close to 160. And that’s really dangerous. So, I mean, if you have a 40 year old water heater and you’re taking a big bath every night, I think you’re going to have to adjust your schedules around that. That’s going to use a significant amount of it. But it also has a pretty fast recovery. If you opt at some point in the future, if you’re there in the House for a number of years and you want to get a water heater that’s never going to run in hot water, you should opt for a tankless water heater. They’re a little bit more expensive than a tank water heater, but they basically provide you an endless supply of hot water. So I think those are your options. Dean, thanks so much for calling us at eight 888-Money-Pit. Well, if you’ve been renting, you’ll definitely want to make sure you get your security deposit back when your lease ends. But for that to happen, landlords want to see that their property has been taken care of and left in good condition for the next tenant. So to help. Here are five simple things that tenant often forget to do that can leave their rental home looking its best and make a good impression on the landlord when it’s time to go.
|LESLIE: Now, first you want to clean the stovetops and the oven burner. Guards collect a lot of food buildup and there might be burn marks. So give them a good scrub with bleach or a kitchen cleanser for baked on residue inside the oven. You can make your own cleaner with a baking soda mixture or use a chemical oven cleaner. Be sure to wipe down vertical surfaces like mirrors, walls, doors, windows and cabinets using vinegar or alcohol wipes to remove the dust, the streaks, the scuff marks. All of that will go unnoticed if you take the time to do this now. Also, use a duster, rags or vacuum to get rid of all the dust that collects on the blinds, the ceiling fans, the vents, the window sills, moldings, baseboards. You basically want it to look spick and span like super clean. This way, there’s nothing to really attract their attention.
|TOM: Yeah, and if you have a washer dryer in there, leave them sparkling both inside and out. You want to wipe off any splotches on the outside and run an empty load in the washing machine with vinegar instead of fabric softener to leave it fresh and clean inside. And don’t forget about those hidden areas behind and under movable appliances and furniture. Really? Take a look around the stove, the microwave, the refrigerator, and any furniture staying behind to see if anything has fallen back in those nooks and crannies. And remember to sweep up any dirt and debris. I mean, generally the standard is broom clean. So if you leave it broom clean, you should be good to go.
|LESLIE: Yeah. And you know what? Take pictures of everything that you’ve done on the way out so that there’s no surprises. Or somebody can say like, Oh, but you left a hole here or this was that. This way nobody can make a claim against you because you’ve got proof.
|TOM: Now, that’s that is so true.
|LESLIE: Linda, you’ve got the Money Pit. How can we help you today?
|CALLER: The house that we live in was built in 53. It’s ours. We’ve paid it off. And trying to keep up, keep it and keep it in good shape. But in between the dining room and the living room, apparently before we purchased it, there was a wall that had been removed and the only sign is on the ceiling where the wall was removed. There’s a double crack like on each side of it too. Before is what it looks like about that. We’re in the drywall and I’ve tried use it’s a textured ceiling. And they did. We actually had knocked down put on it, but it we can’t feel the crack we I’ve tried to use drywall mud it just returned What can I do to fix this crack.
|TOM: So this was opposite both sides of a wall that was torn out. So they must have slipped in some drywall to patch it. Is that what you’re thinking?
|TOM: Maybe that’s not the best way. That’s not the best way to fix that sort of thing. You can’t like, put a narrow strip in there and have it ever look like a normal ceiling. If you’ve got a hole like that where you pull the wall out, what you have to do is cut a bigger piece of drywall out, maybe about a foot or two on each side of it. And you do that right on the edge where the floor joists are, the ceiling. joists Or in this case, then you have a bigger seem to tape and spackle and secure. And that’s done well, then you’re never going to see it again. So you putting all of this back on it time and time again, overall of this, you know, all of this period of time is probably made more of a mess. And it’s kind of hard to fix at this point. So what I would tell you to do is to cut out that hole, repair, put a bigger piece of drywall in tape, it spackle it, prime the whole ceiling, and then repaint the whole ceiling. And that would be the one to do the way to do this, you know, permanent line. Otherwise, you’re always going to see that.
|CALLER: Oh, okay. Thank you for telling me that.
|TOM: Good luck. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-Money-Pit.
|LESLIE: Give us a call here at the Money Pit and let us know what you are working on. We’ve got up for grabs this hour, the marble dream resurfacing kit from Daich Coatings. This is a super easy roll on resurfacing kit that makes your countertops, your vanity, even tabletops look like marble. Lots of great choices, defined veins, swirling veins. It’s an awesome kit worth 169 bucks. Check it out. A dish coating scum.
|TOM: Going out to one lucky listener drawn at random. Make that you reach out to us right now with your home improvement or decor questions at 1-888-Money-Pit.
|LESLIE: Vincent in Texas is putting up a fence and need some help with the project. What can we do for you?
|CALLER: Yeah, I’m putting up the chain link in front of my house where my house is. It’s in the depth of the street. Both the street goes up and reaching them about four blocks from the lake. We need a lot of rain in there. Water levels up and about 14 inches down. I’m hitting water. Okay, So is there a special assessment or how should I do that in sending the post?
|TOM: Okay, so what you want to do is cause a chain link. You’re going to want to dig down about three feet and try to do that with the post hole digger, even if you hit water. And then the way you deal with this is you mix up concrete like, like a quick root product, some basic masonry, concrete mix, mix it up in a wheelbarrow through the right consistency and then shovel it into the hole and let it displace the water that’s in the hole. Does that make sense? So as you put the concrete in, the water will kind of work its way right out and what will be left will be the concrete. It will dry nice and rock solid and you’ll be good to go.
|CALLER: Okay. Thank you. You saved me a lot of worry.
|TOM: All right? Don’t worry about it. That’s the way to handle that. Mix it out of the hole and then drop it in the hole in the water will displace. Good luck. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-Money-Pit.
|LESLIE: Well, now that the holiday season has passed, is your furniture looking a little worse for the where did you pick up a few new rings, dings, dents? Well, here’s a few hacks to help you bring that furniture back to shape.
|TOM: So first, let’s talk about those white rings. Those are caused when water vapor penetrates the finish and they’re easy to remove, all you do is wipe them gently with a cloth that’s barely dampened with denatured alcohol.
|LESLIE: Now, shallow chips were a clear finishes chipped, but the underlying color is still intact. You can fill that thing with a few drops of clear nail polish. And the trick here is to kind of do it in layers too, depending on how deep that thing is. After the polish dries, you can sand flush with 600 grit sandpaper. And then if you want to restore the sheen on satin finishes, you can rub with a four of steel wool and paste wax for gloss finishes. You can go ahead and use auto polishing compound and Iraq.
|TOM: Now let’s talk about those big scratches in the worn edges. A felt tip touch up marker works really well for worn edges and scratches. They come in a variety of wood tones to match common furniture finishes. You can use them to color large scratches or edges where the stain has worn away, apply them only to the damaged area and then wipe immediately if any gets on the neighboring finish and finally apply a coat of paint wax over the repair and the entire adjacent surface to impart a very even and lovely sheen. And you will see scratches no more.
|LESLIE: Shiny in North Carolina. Need some help with the backyard problem. What’s going on in your money pit now?
|CALLER: Remember when it would rain? All the water would drain toward the back of this on the downslope, right? And then I had some a contractor come in and connect all my downspouts and all to this black pipe. And I connected all of it and ran it out to one source toward the end of that little creek. And in doing so, I mean, everything was fine. It worked fine. And they thought where I was having such water problem, they sort of made a horseshoe out of the black pipe with the styrofoam, you know, peanuts and all of that. And it’s what they did when they dug around the horseshoe areas. They found that that was dry cause I figured if it was winter, it would drain and take care of the problem. But when they put that horseshoe in, wherever they put it, it was completely dry and it was further down that they realized that I had underground spring. So all of my drainpipes, everything’s draining perfectly, but it’s one. And the problem I had with that underground spring.
|TOM: But is that underground spring rising up to the point where the yard is flooding and how much of how much flooding we’re talking about here?
|CALLER: It’s not necessarily flooding, but it’s just where I can’t mode. And there’s a place about I’m going to say, 12 inches square squares, maybe that is has potable.
|TOM: I don’t think this is a problem we’re solving. I think it’s a fairly small area. The yard and areas. The yard that good soft like that. Yeah. The grass can be hard to cut, sometimes have to cut it by hand stead of using a, you know, power mower on it. But I don’t think it’s worth you do anything about it. You would have to do some major, major work to try to take the water that’s collecting there and run it downstream and have it sit somewhere else. So I don’t think it’s necessarily a big issue. Johnny, thanks so much for calling us at 8888-Money-Pit.
|LESLIE: Can reached out to Money Pit and says we have a whole House fan and recently added more insulation to our attic. There used to be a wooden hatch between the attic and the second floor ceiling that we removed to run the fan, but the contractor covered it. Is there a better, more automatic option?
|TOM: Yeah, there definitely is. But before we do that, let’s just explain to everybody what a whole House fan is, because we’re not talking about an attic fan here. Now, what a whole House fan is, is it actually sits in the upper hallway of your house? So let’s say if it’s a two story Colonial would be the second floor hallway ceiling and it basically points takes the air from the house, pulls it up in the attic, and then there’s big vents in the attic where that air will now go out. It will be pushed out of the attic. And what’s really cool, that whole house, fam, is that in the summer, for example, you can use it on a timer. So in our house some years ago we had one with the whole house. Fam went to bed, we would turn the fan on a timer and it would run for like 30 minutes while were falling asleep with a nice breeze through the house. You’d open a couple of windows and then it would go off and we would never have to run the air conditioning. After that, you know, were asleep and happy as clams at that point. So it’s a really nice thing to have in a house, but you do need to have the ventilation provided for that. You have the space provided for that. So if your area was closed off, what you need to do is this. First of all, you need to build a chase around where the fan is. By Chase, I mean kind of like a wood box that holds the insulation back from it. And then there’s a type of register that you can put at the bottom of this that automatically will open up. It’s on springs and when the fan kicks on, the suction of the fan will draw this register open and the air will pull through it. Then when the fan goes off, it will automatically close. So that’s what you’re missing here. You don’t have to remove or replace a box or plank or anything like that. You can maximize that insulation, just keep it away from the fan and then use the automatic register to control when the air gets into the house.
|LESLIE: All right. Next up, Nick wrote in saying, and now that it’s really cold outside, my hardwood floor and tiled kitchen floors are really cold. Even with the heat set to 70 degrees, is it worthwhile to insulate the ceiling? Joyce Of the basement? Oh, I would say yes.
|TOM: Yeah. I think it’s never a bad idea to insulate a basement ceiling. I mean, in fact, in my house, which has hardwood floors, all but a very old house, I actually insulated the ceiling twice over the crawl space and it made a nice difference. So you want to make sure that when you do this project that you extend the insulation all the way to the outskirts of the house, the box being we call that this is where the floor beams sit on the foundation. And that’s really important is a lot of chilly air gets in there. The best insulation would be to use fiberglass bat insulation sized properly for the spacing of the joints. And what you do is you push it up there. Then you use a little piece of wire that actually is called a lightning rod because it goes in quickly and it holds the insulation up and it sticks into the adjacent joist to keep it from falling out. So it’s a pretty easy project to do and it’s one that will definitely make you more comfortable and give you a great return on investment.
|LESLIE: All right, Nick, I hope that helps you out because nothing is worse than those cold floors, especially during the winter months when you’re trying to get ready in the morning and your tootsies are freezing. Let’s fix that.
|TOM: You’re listening to the money Pit Home Improvement Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. Thank you so much for spending a little bit of your day with us. We hope that you’ve found some tips and advice in this episode that are useful to you. If you’ve got questions for us, if you’ve got a project that you would really like to tackle in 2024 and just don’t know where to start, what to do first, what you need to do it yourself, or you can hire a pro. Reach out to us 24 seven by calling 1-888-Money-Pit. That’s 8888-666-3974. Or for the fastest possible response, just go to Money Pit .COM/ask and click the blue microphone button. Until then, I’m Tom Kraeutler.
|LESLIE: And I’m Lesley 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 2024 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.)