In this show, we tackle a trifecta of home improvement challenges! Discover how to make your fireplace a heat-saving hero, peel away layers of old wallpaper, and unclog drains like a pro. Plus, get answers to additional home improvement questions!
- Removing Wallpaper: Removing wallpaper is quicker and easier with these tips.
- Fireplace Efficiency: Keep warm without burning money through your fireplace.
- Unclogging Drains: Weasel your way to clear drains with this handy tool.
Top Questions & Answers
- Bathroom Flooring: Besides tile, what kind of flooring is best for bathrooms? Zelda should consider bamboo flooring that’s durable and works well in moist areas.
- Water Heater: Jacob’s water is either too hot or too cold. Installing a pressure balance valve will keep the water temperature regulated.
- Kitchen Remodeling: Joan gets advice on how to plan a kitchen remodeling project and working with a kitchen designer.
- Dehumidifying: Randy wants to reduce the humidity in the crawlspace. He should put down a vapor barrier, check outside drainage, and install an exhaust fan.
- Mold Removal: We offer Debra tips on how to clean mold in her bedroom, but first she needs to fix the leak that’s causing it.
- Garage Door: A steel garage door is binding, making noise, and unbalanced. It sounds like the roller bearings are worn on one side of Pete’s garage door.
- Insulation Noise: Diane’s hearing odd sounds in the house after having blown-in insulation installed. It’s not the insulation, but she’ll need to do some detective work to find the cause.
- Ice Dams: To prevent ice dams, Jeff must have a sufficient ventilation area above the roof soffits and should install an ice and water shield.
- Crumbling Chimney: An old brick chimney is falling apart and unsafe to use. Kathy gets advice on disassembling the chimney rather than installing a chimney liner.
Ask Your Home Improvement Question
|TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles. This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
|LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
|TOM: And we are here to educate, to inspire, to build confidence, to guide coach you as you tackle your home improvement, your home repair your home renovation projects. If you’ve got questions on projects you’d like to get done or repairs you need to tackle and you don’t know if you can do it yourself. Need to hire a pro. You don’t know the best way to take on those projects. You don’t know which products you might need, which products are the best ones? Do you buy a more efficient furnace and save money on energy? Or do you buy a lesson efficient furnace and save money on the furnace? I mean, questions like that, there’s they’re rolling around your head. You’re trying to figure out how to get through a project. Reach out to us right now at 1-888-Money-Pit. We’re here to help you plan to help you solve problems, whether the decor, the repairs or the renovations. That number is 1-888-666-3974. Or you can always go to moneypit.com/ask and click the blue microphone button. Hey coming up on today’s show, having a fireplace to cozy up to on these chilly nights always seems like a great way to keep warm. But I hate to say this. According to the Department of Energy, it’s also one of the most enjoyable ways to waste energy. So we’re going to share three ways to stop wasting energy while you warm up with a fireplace.
|LESLIE: All right. And if getting rid of old wallpaper stands between you and your dream room, we can help with the right steps. Removing wallpaper can be quicker and easier than you ever imagined. We’re going to show you how.
|TOM: Notice we didn’t say quick and easy. We said quicker, quicker, easier.
|LESLIE: Because it’s definitely still a project.
|TOM: It’s still a chore. And if you ever had a bath or shower drain clogged due to long hair getting stuck in it, we’re going to share a simple $10 solution That’s so handy. You want to start using it on all your sinks and showers.
|LESLIE: But first, our focus is you. We want to know what you want to know. So if there’s a DIY project on your to do list, let us help you make it a DIY done a project. So let us know what you are working on this weekend or planning in the weekends ahead and we can definitely lend a hand.
|TOM: Send us those questions that money becomes less. Ask or call us right now at 1-888-Money-Pit. So let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s first?
|LESLIE: Zelda in North Carolina, is looking for some help with a renovation. What can we do for you?
|CALLER: Yes, I’ve done a lot with my floors, but I put some laminate in everywhere because I have a little Chihuahua dog and they’ve got to get scratches on real wood. But there is a bathroom upstairs and a long hallway in front. And I didn’t want laminate there because you don’t want even a bathroom. So what else will be good? Because I didn’t want the grout issues of tile or and I didn’t know what else to go through. I thought about bamboo or is there some tile that doesn’t have the grouting stuff or.
|TOM: Well, there’s a wide variety of choices. Now, you mentioned that you didn’t want to put laminate there. Do you want something that gives you a wood look?
|CALLER: Not necessarily.
|TOM: All right. Well, one of the options that I was thinking would be a bamboo floor. Bamboo is very, very durable. And it’s also very good in moist, damp areas. It doesn’t swell. And you can pick up bamboo as an engineered product, which means it’s made in multiple layers, which gives it dimensional stability. But of course, that is going to give you sort of that would look, there are also luxury vinyl products that are out today that are very, very sticky and heavy vinyl tile that are not very expensive.
|LESLIE: It’s like a rubberized vinyl even. They’re fairly thick. They’re, you know, available in like a plank style. So it actually looks like wood. Some of those will some will snap together as the rubberized vinyl. Some will sort of overlap and stick to one another. It depends on the quality of the product, to be honest with you. But they’re both, you know, whichever however much money you do spend on a rubberized vinyl, it goes together very easily. It looks fantastic and it’s a little bit softer. So it’s more forgiving on your, you know, your legs, knees back when you’re standing in the room for a long time.
|CALLER: Well, yeah, because have my first choice when I went to look was the bamboo, but I wasn’t sure if I could go in the bathroom so that that really is what I kind of like the best. Yeah. Great. Thank you so much. That’s very helpful.
|TOM: You’re welcome. Zelda, thanks so much for calling us at 888-Money-Pit.
|LESLIE: Jacob in Kentucky is on the line with a water heating question. What can we do for you?
|CALLER: Hi. Basically, the problem that I’m having is when I’m taking a shower and it kind of in the sink as well in my kitchen when I turn on the hot water. You could I mean, you can cook macaroni in the hot water. You got to kind of fidget with have you wash your hands too long or something? And in the shower, it’s kind of the same thing, you know, I won’t turn it on full blast on hot, but, you know, just about normal. And it’ll cool off after just a couple of minutes, sort of just almost go cold. And then, you know, just as you’re taking a shower, I mean, in the duration of five or 10 minutes, I mean, I end up going all the way over with all but the hot water, just the one knob and turning it on, I guess, you know, like full blast hot.
|TOM: So let’s see what’s going on here. How old is your water heater?
|CALLER: It’s fairly new. I think it’s just a few years old, maybe three years old.
|TOM: Electric or gas? It’s gas. So first of all, let’s check the temperature of the water heater. It needs to be at about 110 degrees and see if there may be a temperature indicator on the valve that you can line up or you could simply measure it with a monitor. Secondly, in terms of the shower, what I would recommend is that you install what’s called a pressure balanced valve.
|TOM: So what a pressure balance valve does is that once you set the temperature, it maintains the mix between hot and cold so that you deliver that same temperature regardless of what happens to the pressure on one side or the other. So if somebody flush the toilet or, you know, runs the dishwasher and all of a sudden you’ve got less cold water or less hot water, it’s going to adjust. So the flow may be greater or less, but the temperature will never change. And that makes the shower situation pretty much go away.
|CALLER: Okay, awesome. What was it called again? The valve.
|TOM: A pressure balanced valve. It’s a type of shower valve.
|CALLER: Okay, awesome.
|TOM: I appreciate your plumber for it. They’ll know exactly what you’re talking about.
|CALLER: All right. Well, I definitely appreciate your call.
|TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-Money-Pit.
|LESLIE: Joan in California, need some help with a kitchen remodel? How’s it going?
|CALLER: Yes, well, we haven’t started yet, and I just need some advice on how to get started. Do you start with an architect or what do you do?
|TOM: That’s a good question. So planning makes perfect. You want to start with the plan. Now, are you essentially going to replace the kitchen in sort of the same layout that you have right now, Joan? Or are you thinking about really changing things up a lot?
|CALLER: Well, it’s a very small kitchen, and I just want to know how to maximize everything.
|TOM: All right. So if it’s a small kitchen, you can probably do this inexpensively by perhaps starting with a home center. A lot of the home centers have designers that work on the work on designing kitchens for the cabinetry that they sell and for a very small fee. They can help you lay it out and take advantage of all of the latest options. If you want to do more than that, what you’re going to do is hire a certified kitchen and bath designer. But this is sort of like hiring an interior decorator that works just on kitchens and bass, and that’s going to cost you a few bucks. But if you want to just do this an easy way. I would start with a home center in the kitchen department and see if they’ll lay out some options for you using that, using the type of cabins that they sell. Those cabins are usually pretty affordable at that level. And, you know, you’ll they’ll be able to give you some ideas on things perhaps you haven’t thought about.
|LESLIE: You know what, John? I think it’s really smart to keep a notepad in the kitchen and everybody and anybody yourself in your family who use the space as you walk through and notice little areas where you’re tripping over one another or things that just don’t make sense or you wish that, you know, X was here and not there, sort of jot all of those down. So when you do go sit down with whether it’s, you know, a certified kitchen and bath designer or someone in the home center, you sort of have all of these issues that could be addressed or might be able to be addressed.
|CALLER: One thing I really want is more electrical outlets. So that’ll have to definitely be in the plan.
|TOM: Well, it’s definitely in the plan. And, you know, you’ll do these things in order or the first thing you’ll do is rip out the old cabinets and the next thing you’ll do would be to rough in new wiring and new plumbing to have it exactly where you want it. And then, of course, to start the installation of the new cabinetry is almost the last step. It’s also a good time to think about universal design in the kitchen, maybe having countertops of different height. So as you get older, you could sit down and work at the kitchen cabinets counter as opposed to just standing up. So think of the sort of accessibility issues when you design this kitchen as well.
|CALLER: How much time should I allow for something like this?
|TOM: Well, it depends on whether you have sort of all your ducks in a row. Sometimes it takes a while to get all the cabinets delivered, but if everything is accessible and on site, you know, you can tear out this kitchen and rebuild it inside of a week.
|CALLER: Oh, wow.
|TOM: If you have everybody lined up and everybody’s there when they need to be there and you know, the plumber shows up on time, the electrician shows up on time and so on. Sure. I don’t see any reason you can’t get it done in a week.
|CALLER: Well, thank you very much.
|TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Joan, thanks so much for calling us at 888-Money-Pit.
|LESLIE: Hey, you retired a living in a money pit. Well, we’re here to help. And if you want us to help out, it would be awesome if you could leave us a five-star review on Apple Podcasts. Just go to the moneypit.com/review. It’s only going to take a minute and it means the world to us. With that, Randy in Florida on the line who’s got a dehumidification question? What can we do for you?
|CALLER: Our house is off grade and the crawl space area has ventilation all around the house. And we wanted to see about encapsulating it, you know, with the vapor barrier plastics and with being in Florida, I was just so worried about humidity and possibly wanting to insulate it and see, you know, see what your opinion was.
|TOM: Well, I do think it’s a good idea for you to add a vapor barrier that will help reduce the amount of humidity that gets into the space above the floor and that can make the home more efficient and certainly more comfortable. What you might also want to think about doing is adding an exhaust fan. They have fans that are basically the size of a concrete block or a foundation vent, and you could put fans on one side of the foundation and have vents open on the other side, then have those fans operate on a humid estate so that whenever the humidity gets really damp in that crawl space, the fan can kick on and pull some dryer air from outside across that essentially the crawl space for pulling the moisture out with it. So those two things can help you manage moisture on the outside of the house. You also want to make sure that if you’ve got gutters, you should have gutters on the home and that there’s downspouts that extend away from that foundation.
|TOM: Because when you dump the additional water that collects on your roof right against the foundation, that definitely improves in increases the humidity that’s in that space. All of those things working together can keep it a lot drier.
|CALLER: Okay. So would you be extending that vapor barrier up the walls of the crawl space or would that interfere with that ventilation unit that you’re speaking of?
|TOM: Well, you don’t want to block off the vents, but yeah, I would extend it up the wall. If you can extend the 12 inches or so just to make sure it’s sealed. Well.
|CALLER: Okay. And then would you add a dehumidifier down there or would that essentially be what the ventilation unit you’re talking about would do?
|TOM: That’s kind of what the ventilation would do. I would not add a dehumidifier into that space. It’s not really designed for an unconditioned space like that. Humidifiers are not really designed for that.
|CALLER: Okay. And then so that would keep the humidity low enough that we could then put the padded insulation between the floor.
|TOM: Joyce’s Yeah, it will keep it low, will make it lower, it will make it reasonably lower. It’s never going to be, you know, 100% dry. It’s always going to be damp. But I do think, yes, that will keep the moisture down, which is what you want to do and allow you to get more efficiency out of the insulation.
|CALLER: Okay. All right. Great. Well, thank you so much.
|TOM: You’re welcome. Randy, thanks so much for calling us at 888-Money-Pit.
|LESLIE: Well, now that it’s mid-winter, you may be enjoying your fireplace, but fireplaces have chimneys. And according to the Department of Energy, chimneys can be problematic when it comes to home energy efficiency, because they can let that warm air inside your house escape up the chimney, and then that can drive up your home heating bills.
|TOM: That’s right. So here are a couple of ways that you can save money and energy when using the fireplace. First up, when the fireplace is not in use, close the damper. This can be easy to forget, but in the colder months, warm air has an easy exit from the house through that opening.
|LESLIE: Yeah, and the same is true for cold air in the summer. You could be wasting a lot of air conditioning in the process. Also, if you’ve got glass doors, close them between uses.
|TOM: Good point. Also, check the hearth for any cracks and seal those because over time mortar that holds the bricks together and a fireplace can develop hairline fractures from which air can escape. So be sure to seal any cracks in the hearth. And then you’re good to go enjoying that fireplace. Guilt free. You’re not wasting energy in the process.
|LESLIE: Now we’re going to Arkansas, where Deborah’s on the line, thinking there might be some mold in her money pit. Tell us what you’re seeing.
|CALLER: The last time that we had water got in one of my rooms and was the water daddy. And I noticed that there was black spots on them, which was mold that was on there. And I was just inquiring about, should I get someone to come out and clean that? Or if I would be able to clean it myself.
|TOM: Have you fixed the leak yet, Deborah?
|CALLER: No, I have not fix that.
|TOM: Okay. So the first thing you need to do is fix the leak, because if you don’t fix the leak, it’s just going to come back over and over and over again. So do that, first off. Secondly, with respect to the mold, I would spray a bleach and water solution on that. About one third bleach, two thirds water, protect the surrounding area so you don’t stain the carpet or the furniture or anything like that. Let it sit for a good 15 or 20 minutes and then you can clean it up. After that, rinse it off and clean off the wall after that. And then I’d spray a product called Can chromium mold control over that, which will leave sort of a residue behind that will stop any future mold from growing. But there’s no sense doing all that if you still have a leak because that leaks going to cause the mold to keep growing. So fix the leak first, then get rid of the mold after that. Okay, Deb?
|CALLER: Okay. All right. Thank you. Appreciate it. You’re welcome.
|TOM: Good luck with that project.
|LESLIE: Pete in Wisconsin is on the line with a garage door problem. What’s going on in your money pit?
|CALLER: Well, I’m a mostly a do it yourself, but I do call the professionals and have them come in when needed. I installed steel, a steel insulated garage door about three years ago, maybe for an hour and work just fine until just recently. It sounds like a binding when I when I went to when you’re lying in the up position. And I ran it like 50 times trained just trying to find where it’s binding. I’m not seeing any place where it’s rubbing on the track or any raising else, but it sure is making a noise like it is. And as I watch it, it appears as if one side may be going up slightly higher than the other. Any ideas, guys?
|TOM: Pete, can you disconnect the garage door opener from the door itself?
|CALLER: I can, and I have.
|TOM: Okay. And once the garage door opener is disconnected, can you open and close the garage door smoothly and evenly, with no binding whatsoever?
|CALLER: There’s less binding, but there are still some. You can tell it. There’s still a load on. On one side, it kind of feels like.
|TOM: So it sounds to me like maybe the roller bearings are shot on some part of the door because there’s those roller bearings that fit inside the track. And, you know, they help move the door up and down. And if something is stuck, if one of those bearings is not turning, it’s going to jam on that one side and they’ll sort of fight itself and it’ll try to come up crooked. And that might be what’s causing this. I would disconnect the garage door open from the from the scenario and work on getting the door to operate nice and smoothly. Okay. If it’s binding, if you feel like it’s binding or an even without the garage door opener attached to it, then you know, that’s the heart of the problem right there.
|CALLER: Okay. Would do you think that would solve the appearance that that one side is being raised like I imagine it would?
|TOM: You mean raised like more than the other side? Like one side comes up first. Yeah. Yeah. Because if the side, the staying down is binding, then there’s a drag on that. So it’s going to try to pull the door up crooked.
|CALLER: Wonderful. Well, I think you may have fixed my problem. I’m going to go check those, those rollers and make certain that those are all good. And if I need to place any of those, those are relatively inexpensive. But The Money Pit isn’t so bad tonight.
|TOM: All right. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-Money-Pit.
|LESLIE: All right. Now we’ve got Diane in Massachusetts on the line with a noise question. What’s going on at your money pit?
|CALLER: Well, I did the House 12 years ago and I had blown in insulation, put in three years. And the house is noisy. I can hear a humming. It’s annoying. It’s a buzzing. I don’t know why after doing all of this surrounding the house and trying to keep it warm, I would hear a humming, a resonance in my house.
|TOM: Well, I’ll tell you what, there’s got to be a reason for this and it’s going to take some real detective work to figure it out. I’ll give you an example from my own home. You know, we recently I’d mentioned earlier on the show put in spray foam insulation and sealed up the attic. It’s never been warmer in the house as a result of it. But in one part of the house, it still was technically a conditioned attic. So by code were required to leave some vents in that attic. Now, it ended up that it was so tight in that attic space, even with the vent, that whenever the wind blew, we get this really weird, almost like, haunting sound. You know, when you were a kid and you took an old bottle and you blew rocks the top of it and made a big, deep sound with it. Yeah, like a big jug. Well, that’s what it sounds like when the air blows across this vent and it makes a really weird sort of vibrating sound in that part of the house Until I figured it out, I was really scratching my head. So there’s always a reason for this. In our case, it was event. In your case, it could be plumbing. Very often we get noises in homes that are sourced from plumbing. Sometimes when you run hot or cold, water pipes will expand or contract and cause sort of like a creaking sound that will vibrate through the entire length of the pipe and amplify itself. As a result, it could be electrical If there’s outlets or panel boxes in those parts of the house, they definitely should be inspected to make sure that nothing is disintegrating inside that electrical area. There’s nothing about adding blown in insulation that will cause a noise, so the source must be somewhere else that you’re going to have to dig into a bit more than before. You’ll know what to do about it. But I would trust your instincts if you’re hearing it. It definitely exists. Sometimes people think they’re going nuts. But I got to tell you, there’s a reason for that. But it’s definitely gonna take some detective work to get to the bottom of it.
|CALLER: Okay. You coming over?
|TOM: All right, well, you put on the coffee, and next time I’m up in Massachusetts, we’ll stop by. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-Money-Pit.
|LESLIE: Well, if getting rid of old wallpaper is what’s between you and that dream room, we can definitely help now with the right steps. Removing wallpaper can be a quicker and easier project, so we’re going to share how Now you’re going to notice I didn’t say yay. Quick and easy. It’s so fun, but it’s quicker and easier because definitely removing wallpaper is a hard, time-consuming project because nothing about removing that wallpaper is quick or easy. But we can cut out some steps here.
|TOM: Yeah. So first up, what is the best way to remove wallpaper? Well, there’s really two steps here. First of all, you need to score the paper. And when I say score, I mean to put light knife cuts into it. You can use utility knife or a wallpaper scorer tool to create small holes in the paper. And you’re doing that because of the last steam or the wallpaper solution to penetrate through and start to melt the adhesive base and then second, rent a steamer totally worth the cost and hassle. A wallpaper steamer makes this job a lot simpler. You want to work with it from the top down and get into the sort of the flow of steam and remove one section of wallpaper at a time.
|LESLIE: Yeah. Now here’s another trick. If the wallpaper is still resisting removal, you can add solution. And I’m talking about a very simple one here. It’s hot water and fabric softener in equal parts 1 to 1, and you pour that solution into a spray bottle and then apply it to those tough to remove spots and then work quickly because that solution does lose its effectiveness after about 15 minutes. So only spray it in the area that you’re working on that you can tackle in that amount of time.
|TOM: Now, once you’re done removing the wallpaper, you need to prep that clean wall. So you want to use a mixture of distilled white vinegar and water to remove any remaining glue and then wait till the surface is completely dry and then apply a primer before you paint or add new wallpaper.
|LESLIE: Yeah, guys. And if this still seems like too much work is painting or wallpaper over the existing wallpaper an option? I’m going to go with no guys. Or at least that should be like your very last option.
|TOM: Last option?
|LESLIE: I mean, it doesn’t look good. Eventually that wallpaper is going to fail and start to peel, and then your paint’s going to be peeling. And what is? Your paint have seams and it’s just never a good idea. It doesn’t look the way you think it’s going to look.
|TOM: So much harder to try to take off multiple layers of wallpaper or wallpaper that’s got paint over it because it just takes that much longer, that much more effort for the steam to get behind it all.
|LESLIE: Oh, my goodness. Just don’t do this. All right. Jeff in Michigan is on the line with an outstanding issue. How can we help you?
|CALLER: What we have we have a house that was built 20 years ago. It’s Cape Cod and on the front part of the house during the cold season, when we get snow and ice, it seems to be building up ice dams in the front. And it has, oh, probably 18 inches of insulation in the upstairs. So I’ve even tried the electric heat tape to try cutting it back and it still seems to ice up. So I’m just trying to figure out what I can do to solve that problem.
|TOM: Okay, So the insulation, does that sort of get pressed right up against the underside of the roof sheathing? Or do you allow ventilation to pass over the top of the insulation?
|CALLER: What it does is they have their foam like ducks up to it, down to the front of the fascia.
|TOM: Is there ventilation in the soffit areas that air can pass over that? Because the problem here is this. All right. Heat is passing up through that insulation and it’s warming the roof directly above it. And as a result, the overhang is staying super cold. So it’s freezing there and causing that dam to build up. If you have proper ventilation where the air is getting into the safe, it’s running up underneath the roof, sheathing it now at a ridge that will protect against ice dams. That’s all you can do, really inside from the outside. Do you have you had to do any repairs as a result of these ice dams if you actually got water leaks or anything like that?
|CALLER: No, we have not.
|TOM: Because if you do the good news is that they’re covered by homeowners insurance. And if that was the case, I would have that portion of my roof removed and make sure I have ice and water shield installed up three or four feet from the roof edge to make sure I never got any leaks in there again.
|CALLER: Okay. All right.
|TOM: So I would take a look at the insulation, make sure you’re getting good ventilation above it. And if it does happen again, if you ever get a leak, call your homeowner’s insurance agent, get a claim filed, and then have ice and water shield put in so it never happens again. Jeff.
|CALLER: Okay, great. I appreciate it.
|TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at eight. At 888-Money-Pit.
|LESLIE: Kathy in Massachusetts is on the line with a crumbling basement wall. Tell us what’s going on at your money pit.
|CALLER: Our house was sold about 1802. That’s the earliest records that we have. And the chimneys are literally turning to dust in the basement. The bricks themselves, they’re not just crumbling. They are they have become dust. And I need to know. So anything we can do to salvage them or if we take them down, does it compromise the ability of the whole building?
|TOM: Well, it definitely would not compromise the stability of the building because chimneys are not part of the structure. They just hold themselves up. Now, are these active chimneys or inactive chimneys? Are they being used for a fireplace or for the heating system?
|CALLER: No. We are afraid to use them for fireplaces.
|TOM: Okay. No, that’s. That’s wise. Well, how is your heating system being vented, Kathy? If it’s not through the chimney.
|CALLER: There’s two fireplaces in the building that extend up to the second floor to the roof. And we have we have a gas boiler that is vented through one of them, but we can actually vent it to the outside.
|TOM: Is the chimney that’s deteriorating. The one that the gas boiler is in.
|CALLER: Both of them are one of them was a cooking ovens back in the 1800s. They used it for a school for young girls and taught them the fine arts of cooking. And that is a large walk in fireplace and it’s just totally crumbled. The bricks are falling out and a lot of it’s just dust. The other one is a little better shape, but it’s still turning to dust.
|TOM: All right. Well, first of all, it would be highly unlikely that either of them are safe to use because they’re not lined. Now, the process of lining, there’s a number of ways to do that. But one process of lining is where they drop a tube down the middle of the chimney itself and they pour they pour a concrete kind of slurry nicks around the outside of the tube, then deflate the tube and pull it out. That process can actually make the chimney stronger. If that’s something you’re interested in, you could explore that. It’s probably costly if you want to just get rid of the chimneys in the fireplace, then that’s totally fine. And what you’ll do is essentially disassemble them from the top down and then roof over the openings. As long as you’re not going to use them, you have no plans for it. I see no reason to keep them.
|CALLER: Well, right. Sounds like a good plan for us.
|TOM: Good luck. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-Money-Pit.
|LESLIE: Well, if you’ve got a Rapunzel or two, you know I have long hair. I’m never going to have short hair. I’m not going to be one of those ladies that, as I’m aging says, I’m going to cut it all off. Now. I love having my long hair, so we always have to figure out ways to deal with clogged drains because long hair, it finds its way to get stuck, goes in the drains of the sink, the shower, the tub, and it really can cause a havoc. But if you use a caustic drain cleaner, that’s never a good idea. And plumbers are expensive. But fortunately, you don’t need to do either.
|TOM: All right, so here’s one of my favorite drain cleaning tools for this problem. And it’s simply called a drain weasel. And here’s how it works. It’s sort of like a miniature drain snake. Very easy to use. You simply insert the wand you rotate the handle to remove the clog that uses kind of like it’s almost like the hook side of Velcro, but like a big a bigger hook at the end of the wand it reaches down 18 inches in to the pipe. It’s really effective at grabbing out any kind of hair that’s in there. You can even go through one of those drain plates on your shower that has the little holes in it. You don’t have to take that apart. And the best part is it’s disposable. After you unclog it, you don’t have to yank the nasty hair off of this drain weasel. You just toss the one in the trash and you replace it with a refill. You can buy one of these in like five or six refills for, like, ten bucks. So really inexpensive and a good tool to have.
|LESLIE: Around my long hair. Thank you. As does everyone else in my home now, Jack rodents to Money Pit saying I just bought a house in Maine with a crawl space. It’s cement slab with about three foot of headroom. Should I insulate and what type if I do so? And should I put a plastic vapor barrier over the cement?
|TOM: Wow. So first up, congrats on the new house in Maine. And love means beautiful out there in terms of adding a vapor barrier on top of the cement slab. Not a bad idea. Not as important as if it was dirt, but not a bad idea to do that. And in terms of insulation, and you could consider insulating the walls of the crawl space with Dow foam board, it goes up and has sort of interlocking joints and it will make those walls a bit warmer. And that’s going to help and of course, make sure that the floor joists are also insulated as well so that those floor stay nice and warm in those chilly Maine winters.
|LESLIE: All right. Great tip.
|TOM: Well, you guys ready to spruce up your child’s room with some furniture that adds style organization and a bit of safety? Leslie has tips to do just that in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word. Leslie, where do we start?
|LESLIE: You know, first of all, you want to look for some furniture pieces that are durable, classically styled, and they’re going to work for a range of ages. Now, convertible furniture, such as a crib that becomes a starter bed. Smart choice. But even if you just shop for finishes, that will coordinate well with later additions like a whitewash or a colored paint or just a classic wood look that are easy to find, you’re going to find that whatever you add into the space, these furnishings can kind of grow with it. So you want to do that so you can be in good shape. Definitely don’t go with anything crazy or covered in characters because it’s just not going to last as you go forward. Now, going with Vintage Furniture is also a possible budget friendly, attractive idea. But if you do go with vintage furnishings, you have to go carefully because you can bring the fun of vintage graphics and styling into a room with cool furniture and accessories found at these antique shops, maybe even a tag sale or an online treasure trove. But this approach really does work great for kids’ spaces. But you do have to think about a few precautions here. You want to steer clear of anything that has a chippy finish on it because that paint could have led you want to look for, especially if it’s a crib, you have to make sure that they’re sort of up to code because a lot has changed as to what’s considered safe these days with crib design. So definitely just keep thinking about what you need to keep the kids safe when it comes to, you know, a good source. Here is the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website. It’s cpsc.org. This can kind of help you, especially in that crib category with what’s good today, what’s kind of an unsafe option when it comes to vintage choices. So definitely go to the consumer Safety Product Commission website to help you out there and finally choose colors that feel timeless. You know, consider the level and frequency of investment that you’re willing to put into your kids room’s backdrop, if you don’t mind repainting over the current color a few years from now, Great. But just remember that there’s a lot you can do to update the look of a well-chosen color or pattern of a room without painting or re papering. If you’ve selected something that works with your furniture change and a fair amount of neutrality in mind, now, Charlie, when we did his room during Covid, picked his favorite colors green. I let him go with it. We picked like, I mean, it’s definitely like Green Bay Packers, Green. It is green and took a lot of coats to not look like wishy washy green. But we only did one wall and kept every other wall in his room, sort of very neutral and tone down so that it’s not a lot to repaint over when it comes time to not love the green anymore. But it’s just enough of that color that made him so super happy. So you’ll find ways to work it in.
|TOM: Good advice. If you’d like more tips, check out Create a kids room that will grow with your Child. That’s our latest post on Money Pit. Dotcom coming up next Time on the program, have you ever picked up lumber for a project that included to buy something like a two by four, two by eight, etc.? And you notice that the wood actually measured much less than that.
|TOM: We’re going to tell you what happens to all that missing wood you thought you paid for on the next edition of The Money Pit. 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 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.)