Join us as we discuss some helpful homeowner essentials, like how often you should be washing your germy towels, selecting the toughest hardwood flooring, and keeping severe weather worries at bay! Get answers to these and more home improvement questions in our latest podcast episode.
- Washing Towels: Find out some dirty secrets about bath towels and how often they should be washed.
- Hardwood Floors: Ratings reveal the toughest types of hardwood flooring.
- Severe Weather: Homeowners share their leading concerns about severe weather damage.
Top Questions & Answers
- New Construction: Are there lemon laws for new homes? Tina gets advice on reporting home warranty issues and hiring a home inspector to examine the problems.
- Garage Floor Repair: Mike’s got cracks in his slab garage floor. We’ve got tips for using a crack filler and sealer, then recoating the floor to give it a beautiful finish.
- Roof Leak: Rain is blowing through the roof dryer vents into Pat’s house. We discuss changing the type of roof vent and how to check the flashing around the vent.
- Smart Switches: Phillip is having a hard time finding smart switches to fit the wiring in his home. We suggest a product line that offers sophisticated smart home controls and good tech support.
- Wood Siding: What’s the best way to fill gaps in wood siding? Jennifer gets info about using steel wool, caulk, or spray foam insulation before priming and painting the area.
- Insulation: When does an old house need more insulation? Barb can add unfaced fiberglass batting on top of and perpendicular to existing insulation that’s flat and sagging.
- Home Additions: Matthew wants to increase the square footage of his ranch home. Adding a second floor would probably offer a better ROI than a basement.
- Deck Stain: Can Paula stain and seal her deck with one product? Exterior deck stains do both and we recommend choosing a good quality solid stain that will last longer.
- Dishwasher Repair: Jackie’s dishwasher stopped drying the dishes and mold is starting to build up. The heating element must have failed, but it may be better to replace the dishwasher than to repair it.
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 hey, guys, we’re here to help you take on projects you want to get done around your house. All you got to do is help yourself first by reaching out to us right here in the studio. You can do that by calling 1-888-MONEY-PIT. That’s 888-666-3974. Or the easiest way to reach us is to go to Moneypit.com/ask, click on the blue microphone button whatever’s on your to do list, slide it right over ours. We’re here to educate you inspired to help you build some confidence or even kind of home improvement therapist. If things aren’t going so well. We understand we have it there. So reach out to us with your questions. We are happy to help. Coming up on today’s show, if you have ever thought of adding hardwood floors to your home, you might be surprised to know that some hardwoods are well, actually not as hard as others. We’re going to share some tips that choose the most durable hardwoods for your home.
|LESLIE: And here’s a question to ponder. How often do you wash your bathroom towels? Well, you may want to rethink this after you hear what researchers have found out about bacteria that grows in those towels. It’s pretty gross. We’re going to have some details coming up.
|TOM: And we talk a lot in the show about remodeling projects to improve the comfort and value of your home. But a new survey says that three in four Americans are actually making improvements to their homes now to help them stand up to severe weather. We’ll share what those improvements are.
|LESLIE: And what projects are you guys working on? Whatever you are doing, reach out. Let us know what your project questions are. We’re going to share some tips to help you get that project done right. Get it done once so you don’t have to do it again because nothing is, you know, less fun than doing that same project over and over again. Let’s do it right, everybody.
|TOM: So let’s get to it. The number here is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Leslie, who’s first.
|LESLIE: Building a new construction project. We’ve got Tina in Delaware. How can we.
|CALLER: Help? Hi, Leslie. I was actually calling in regards to a home that we purchased about a year ago and then throughout that year, we’ve just been uncovering a lot of a lot of problems with the House. And I was more curious to know whether there is a lemon law, so to speak.
|TOM: I’m not aware of a lemon law for new construction, but how long have you been in this house?
|CALLER: It’ll be it was a year in November.
|TOM: And did you have a new home warranty on it?
|CALLER: Yes. So they are coming back and fixing the issues.
|TOM: Did you contact the warranty company or just the builder?
|CALLER: My husband’s been dealing with just the builder.
|TOM: So listen, a couple of things. This may or may not apply to you since it could possibly be too late. But if you buy a new home and it has a homeowner’s warranty, notice to the builder does not constitute notice to the warranty company. So I would tell you right away to contact the warranty company, let them know you’ve had problems because there are some things that there’s coverage for beyond the first year. Of course, get the most coverage in the first year. Secondly, make sure you’re doing everything in writing with both the builder and the warranty company so you have a record. I’m not aware of a Lemon law situation, but if you’ve lost confidence in your builder and in the quality of the construction, what I might suggest you do is hire your own professional home inspector and have the building examined. So this way you know whether or not it has any serious problems or not, you know, sometimes what you look at and think of a serious, you know, like a nail polish or something with that or doors and quite close, right? You know, could be typical with new construction. But an independent expert can assure you or alert you if there really is a problem. Those would be my suggestions. You know, beyond speaking with an attorney, if it gets real serious. But I think, first of all, you’ve got to figure out, you know, how deep you are in terms of issues with this House and then take the most appropriate steps. And I think having it evaluated by an independent expert, you should go to the American Society of Home Inspectors website to find one, because those guys are the best. That’s home inspector dot org, home inspector dot org. And then you’ll find one in your area that can do a great job. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 88 Money Pit.
|LESLIE: All right. Heading over to Texas. We’ve got Mike on the line who’s got a question about a garage.
|CALLER: What’s going on? I’ve got a garage. I’ve been up here for two years and I’ve got a crack. But four cracks in my garage and slab. Okay. And I’ve talked to different contractors and they said, well, I had to have it chiseled out and just report. I wonder if there’s any epoxy or anything I can let you know. Put a top dressing cover over or anything.
|TOM: Yeah. So what are you concerned about here? Are you concerned about like trip hazard? Is it like displace from one side or the other, or is it really cosmetic? What’s your concern?
|CALLER: It’s just cosmetic. If I ever want to sell it, people will see cracks in it, you know?
|TOM: Well, first of all, you should understand that cracks in a garage floor are not structural. It’s just a crack in the slab. It’s most likely caused by shrinkage and settlement. It has no impact on the structural condition of the building. So you don’t have to worry about seeing a crack in the floor going, I think the building is in bad shape. It’s really not. It’s, you know, think of it as a really durable rock, you know, over across the dirt floor, right. If you want to try to deal with it. Two things quick makes a number of crack fillers and sealers that you can basically use like a caulking gun and inserted into the crack. And they sometimes will tell you to widen the crack a little bit, especially if it’s hairline. And then beyond that, you could re coat that floor. Once you get those cracks seal just to stop moisture. And this coatings makes a product called Die Hard. It’s a garage floor coating kit, super durable, very beautiful. And that will leave that floor looking absolutely fantastic. So that’s what I would do. I would seal the cracks and then I would coat that entire floor with the dish coatings, garage floor, product. It really works very well and it’s a super durable product and I think the garage will look fantastic. DIY, C-H Coatings Dotcom.
|CALLER: I will look, I sure appreciate you have a great show and thank you so much for the help.
|LESLIE: All right. Now we’ve got Pat on the line. Who’s got a leak at home? What’s happening?
|CALLER: I have a wet spot up and the ceiling and the corner where the ceiling meets the wall. It’s a new subdivision. I think it’s about four years old. And I call the guy out and he told me it was that wall backs on to the laundry and he said it was the vent. It was windblown rain because we’ve had some really bad storms and that there wasn’t anything I could do about it, but just fix it, cut out the sheetrock and that stuff and fix what’s there.
|TOM: Yeah, that’s going to happen again and again and again, right?
|CALLER: Yeah. I don’t want to fix it every year.
|TOM: Yeah. No, that was, that was, that was silly advice. Here’s what you need to know. So first of all, it’s a roofing repair. It depends on what type of, of, of vents you have on that roof of the dryer. You know, some types of events are a little more susceptible to wind driven rain, especially if they’re low to the roof, where the rain kind of, you know, when the rain starts to go horizontal, it pushes up in there and then drips down. And of course, the vent is not designed to be to contain water. So it’s just going to leak at the lowest point, which seems to be right where you’re seeing it. So you may have to change the type of roof vent that you have there. So that doesn’t happen. You may not have one that is taller, stands up off the roof, and it could even have a turn at the top, kind of like a candy cane or turn at the top. So it points down, but lets that air exhaust. You don’t want to have too many twists and turns because it blocks the flow of the of the wind getting out. But you may need a different size type event. And that presumes that this leak is not just simply caused by the flashing around the vent. An easy way to tell that is to run a hose up there and flood water from the top of the roof down over where this vent is and see if it caused the leak to occur unless it’s visible. I mean, sometimes I can look at these things and see that the flashing wasn’t installed, right. It wasn’t overlapped correctly with the shingles, but I would eliminate that as a possibility. And then we’re left with wind driven rain. If that’s a constant problem, then you’re going to need to basically re put in a new type of vent that is not susceptible to the wind driving the water into your house. Does that make sense?
|CALLER: Yeah, it does. If it’s a flash, you can kind of just sail around there.
|TOM: I would. I don’t like to tell you to seal it because that’s a temporary fix. If it’s flashing, the roof can be remade around that and you should be able to seal it properly just with the roofing material. If you go up there and you put a bunch of tar around it, not only does it look terrible, but it’s going to crack again and open up and you’ll be doing it again and again and again. We don’t like the Groundhog Day types of repairs, you know, we want you to do it once and be done with. It shouldn’t be leaking. And those are the two possibilities. So take a look And good luck with that.
|LESLIE: Hey, Money Pit podcast fans, you want to help us out, We’ll 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 Money Pit, Rt.com slash review. All right. Phillip in Arkansas is on the line, has some questions about smart switches.
|LESLIE: How can we help?
|CALLER: For about a month or so, I’ve been always kind of waiting to turn off most of my single, single poll light switches in my house and choose a smart switch. Well, such as, for example, I live here, right? I’ve been trying to think of, you know, how about how about this? I’m an 80 guy here thinking, you know, how can I, you know, turn an eye and I see concepts and theoretical concepts? Well, I was doing some research and everything, and a lot of electricians were telling me, you need a grandma, a neutral wire and a liquid water. Well, every single switch that had been doing research and knows out there all have for I’m like, Well, how about to do this? Two loads of ground in neutral. How much to do this? Well, turns out that there was only one brand out there. I know. Anyways, that’s why I was kind of turning to you guys because yes, when I hear your podcast and everything, I’m always, you know, finding ways around things. I mean, when you talk to these guys, if they have said they have heard of anything else, because I’m looking at all these different brands and they’re all based off of off of four wires, two loads of ground, and Angel, my system doesn’t have that. So that’s off kind of hoping maybe yarn or something.
|TOM: One brand that I would recommend that we have a lot of personal knowledge of is Lutron Caseta. Now Lutron and Caseta, if you just, you know, Google Lutron Smart Home products, this is a line of very sophisticated, smart home smart home controls. So they’ve got the switches, they’ve got all the different lighting systems. You could have mixed types of light on this. You can have all sorts of things and it also is programed in with the sun. So in the winter, like the lights come on outside earlier than they were in the summer and that kind of stuff. It’s a really smart system and really well-made. And the nice thing about Lutron is that they have a 24 seven call center that’s staffed by technicians. So when you run into these types of questions, you can call them and they will have a solution for you. So I would recommend the Lutron by Caseta Wireless Smart Home products very highly. I think you’ll find your solution right there and you won’t have to deal with all of these opinions from all these electricians will be able to do most of this yourself. These are the guys that invented the dimmer. Okay. That’s how long this company’s been around. There are the first inventors of the dimmers, you know, when they used to be big round knobs on the wall, they invented it. They. So I would definitely take a look at the Lutron Caseta wireless system. I think you’ll be satisfied with that. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
|LESLIE: Well, if you’re thinking about adding hardwood floors to your home, you may be surprised to know that all hardwood floors are not the same. In fact, some can be more than twice as hard as others. And that also means that they’re more durable. So here’s how you can sort out those differences.
|TOM: So first, the hardness of wood flooring is determined by what’s known as the Jenga rating J and K. It’s important to know this because the higher the Jenga reading, the harder the floor will be, which means it’s less likely to wear and to dent.
|LESLIE: So, for example, Red Oak is probably the most common hardwood floor in most homes, and that has a Jenga rating of 1290, which is pretty much the industry benchmark for comparing the relative hardness of different wood species. Now, with older homes, softer woods like southern yellow pine are common and that has a Janka rating of 870, which is about a third less than today’s standards.
|TOM: Now, for the highest ranking ratings in flooring, the exotic solid hardwoods really top the scales. We’re talking about hardwoods like Brazilian walnut pecan and chestnut with Jenga ratings over 3000, which make them more than twice as hard as red Oak. And among the most durable selections of hardwood floor available today.
|LESLIE: Heading over to Marilyn, we’ve got Jennifer on the line. What is happening at your Money Pit?
|CALLER: I have a house. I live in a city, probably one built in the 1950s. And the question that I have is that the plywood that is near the roof I’m sorry, the plywood that is near the brick. It has a gap. My question to you is, can you fill that gap with foam attic installation?
|TOM: When you say the plywood that’s near the roof, are you talking about like the soffit, the overhang?
|CALLER: No. Okay. You know what? Not to soft. I’m sorry. The plywood. It’s like the siding. The siding is a flat roof house. Okay. And then we have fighting and fighting that actually is there. You know, probably look like it has some type of roofing caulk or something there to close up those gaps, right? You use foam because, you know, you just don’t want birds or something to slip in there or and then they can get behind your wall.
|TOM: So what’s throwing me is that generally you don’t have plywood siding in the 1950s house. Generally, you have clapboard or other another type of wood siding.
|CALLER: Yeah, it is. It is a wood siding. Yes, it is a type of wood siding.
|TOM: So basically we’re talking about how we fill a gap in wood siding. And you want to do this in a way that you don’t have any rodents or birds or whatever can get in and out of that space. Probably the best thing to do is to fill it with steel wool because that will stop anything else from going into it. Now, is this under the soffit or is it going to be fully exposed to the weather? Because then we have to talk about how to kind of like, you know, make sure it’s somewhat watertight, too.
|CALLER: Well, we have a rubber roof on the house. The house has a rubber roof on it. It’s just at the siding. And it’s the playhouse. The playhouse, the square. And you have the, you know, I guess it’s one type of wood, right? We just want to make sure it looked like before because it looked like it was white or looked like it was either some type of roofing caulk or some type of foam that was there to fill it.
|TOM: How big is this gap like? We’re talking about a quarter inch or an inch.
|CALLER: Prior quarter inch, two.
|TOM: That’s really tiny. Yeah. You could just caulk that. You may have to put it in in like two layers, but you could caulk that. That shouldn’t be big. And, you know, you want to caulk and then you could paint right over it.
|CALLER: Can you use foam attic also?
|TOM: What does that mean to you? What does foam attic? You mean spray foam insulation?
|CALLER: Yeah, the spray foam insulation come into the can.
|TOM: Yes. All right. So you’re talking about great stuff and that’s expandable polyurethane insulation. Could you use that? Well, yes, but. All right. So you could use that and you would let it expand then you’d let it harden and then afterwards harden. Then you can go back with a utility knife and cut it flush with the siding. But at that point, you would have to prime it and paint it because you can’t leave it exposed to the weather because the sun will basically deteriorate that foam really quickly. It’s not designed to be, you know, weatherproof. So you could use it, but you would have to also prime it and paint it to protect it.
|CALLER: So you can use it and maybe you can taper once you cut it, you could tapering off with some type of roofing caulk, like you were mentioning, and that where there would be almost like a double sealing, if there’s a.
|TOM: Big gap behind it. Yeah. You just want to use that to fill the space. Use it gently. Okay. You’re better off when a couple of smaller applications of that stuff. Because I’ll tell you something about great stuff. If you just shoot a bunch of stuff into a hole like that, it expands. And I’ve seen it, you know, push siding boards off the house or like, swell the side framing of a window or the window on open or close anymore. So use it carefully. All right.
|CALLER: Thank you all very much for answering my question. I enjoy your show, as always. It’s always a learning experience for all those DIY folks out there.
|TOM: Thank you very much. Happy to help you out. Good luck.
|LESLIE: We’ve got Barb in Delaware on the line. Who’s got a question about insulation. Tell us about.
|CALLER: It. So I have a home that was built in 1966. There was a time when you had to have insulated. It seems to be very good. My question is, do I need to have more insulation? Hi, Jim.
|TOM: Well, Barbara, the 1966 house, you definitely are going to be due for more insulation because frankly, the standards have changed over the years. And after all those years, I’m sure the existing insulation has settled and sagged and lost some of its buoyancy, which means it doesn’t insulate very well. So the simple fix here is to add additional insulation to your attic. You could use unphased fiberglass bats, probably eight or ten or 12 inches thick. You could lay them right on top of the existing floor or the existing insulation perpendicular to that, and that will restore a lot of insulation power to your house. That means you’re going to be more comfortable and your heating bills are going to go down.
|LESLIE: Now we’ve got Matthew from Illinois on the line who’s looking for some ideas on what projects are best for the House. How can we help?
|CALLER: Well, I have a three bedroom, two and a half bath house. It’s a ranch in a very desirable neighborhood for our area. And I’m wondering if we’re trying to add some square footage, if it’s a better value to do some underpinning and dig out a basement or to look at adding on a second story, what would be more cost effective and what is better to affect the value of the House?
|TOM: That’s a good question. I want to ask you about your neighborhood. Are most of the homes ranches or are there some two story homes around you?
|CALLER: It’s about 5050.
|TOM: So, I mean, my gut would tell me that putting a second floor on would probably be much more desirable to have homebuyer having a basement is a is a nice to have. I don’t think it’s a have to have. And it certainly doesn’t replace the value that you would get by having a second floor with additional bedrooms and bathrooms, because those are the things that really add to the value of your home. You know, you could very simply get in touch with a local real estate agent. Perhaps there are usually realtors in all these areas that are just looking to develop their book of business, whether it’s for somebody that’s going to sell now or sell in the future and ask them that question, they may be able to look at the listings and say, well, look, here’s a house similar size to you with a finished basement. And you know what that was worth compared to a home that maybe had a crawl space. In the second story, I mean, the data is out there. If you want to investigate your local area. But my gut would say that a second story would bring more value to your house than just the first floor with the finished basement. Leslie, what do you think?
|LESLIE: I mean, I think a finished basement is great, depending on the type of people that are in the area. Is it more families? Is it more younger people? It’s also the size of the house. So you have to kind of consider who the prospective user of the home is if you’re trying to sell down the road.
|CALLER: Well, it’s definitely a family neighborhood. I know I’m one of the only homes in the neighborhood that doesn’t have a basement, but I do have a three car garage. So I get that extra storage space from that and maybe some extra bedroom bathroom space would be more desirable.
|TOM: Matthew I hope that helps you out. Good luck with the project and let us know what you decide.
|LESLIE: Well, here’s a question to ponder, you guys. How often do you wash your bathroom towels? I mean, depending on how often it is, you might want to rethink that after you hear what researchers have learned about the amount of bacteria that grows in those towels. So here you go. A freshly washed towel, like just straight out of the dryer, already contains 190,000 counts of bacteria, but that increases to 17 million head counts of bacteria after one day of use at its source to as high as 94 million counts of bacteria. After a week, I feel like a week is like, I don’t know, four or five days is where I let it go. And then I’m like, I wash all these towels.
|TOM: Well, not to let an alarming statistic go to waste. The folks at showers to use survey 2200 people to ask how often they wash their towels and found that many of them were using the towels for a lot longer before giving them a freshen up. In fact, 3% of those surveyed wash their bathroom towels once a year, almost one in ten no wash there. I know. Wash their bathroom towels twice a year and a third wash their bathroom towels once every three months. Gross, gross. And even gross.
|LESLIE: That’s disgusting. That towel is in your butt, and then it’s on your face. Come on, people. This is thanks.
|TOM: For the visual.
|LESLIE: You know what I’m saying? It’s like I do. You know, I always have, like, one towel for my hair and face and one towel for my body. And then, like, after two days, I’m like, I wash laundry. And if it gets to three days, four days, I’m, like, grossed out. So it’s like. And the kids forget it. Like, Henry will use a towel every single day. But Charley, I think if I didn’t, like, pry the towel off the bar, he’d use the same towel for his entire life. So who knows? I feel like there’s, you know, reasoning to why these people do this. But get this, men. Sorry, Tom. And all the guys out there, you guys seem to have the least hygienic habits. Men were five times more likely to clean their bathroom towels just once a year. Gross. With 5% of males respondents admitting to giving them an annual wash, compared to only 1% of women.
|TOM: So what do you think is the right number of times to use a towel before you wash it? I’m thinking like 2 to 3.
|LESLIE: 2 to 3 showers. Like 2 to 3 days. Yeah.
|TOM: Yes. Just clean.
|LESLIE: Four. I’m grossed out. But, you know, I’m like, shoot, I forgot. Or I’ll just throw it in the hamper and take a fresh one.
|TOM: Maybe four of. It’s the last towel I can on the rack. Everything else is in the wash, you know, but two or three is pretty normal.
|LESLIE: You imagine once a year maybe they thought they were asking like, take out all your towels from the closet.
|TOM: it must be a misunderstanding.
|LESLIE: Yeah, I think.
|TOM: People, I think know, some folks out there just don’t have the same appreciation for bacteria build up as you and I know.
|LESLIE: How can anybody any more? Now we’ve got Paula from Arkansas on the line. How can we help you?
|CALLER: Well, I was looking for a sailor for my deck, but I also wanted it stained. I don’t want it looking like the wood, the original wood. I think it’s pine. And I’d like to have it something to match the trim of our home. Okay. I like the stain and a sealer all in one, if that is possible.
|TOM: Yeah. Well. Well, first of all, you don’t have to buy these things separate because exterior stains are just that. They are sealers and stains. And one what you need to know about it, Paula, is that you’re going to have different choices on the on the transparency or the translucency of the stain itself, because you can buy a clear stain, which is just that it doesn’t have any color or you can buy so semi-transparent, which is sort of a medium amount, or you can buy solid color, which is completely opaque. Although the green will show through, you won’t have any differentiation in grade. Semi-transparent will give you some differentiation. So you want to buy a good quality exterior stain. I would recommend solid color was it lasts a lot longer. And in terms of which color you choose, there’s lots of options. You can get, you know, a cedar, you can get a redwood, you can get sort of a nice sort of charcoal gray. All the major manufacturers have a good selection of colors with that product. Most importantly, you need to do a good job on the prep. You follow the manufacturer’s instructions, but generally you’re going to want to pressure, wash the deck and wait a few days of sunny weather. So it dries out really nicely and then you can apply the solid color stain after that. Okay.
|CALLER: Okay. So this is a stain.
|TOM: It’s a stain. It’s an exterior stain. Don’t condone don’t get confused by looking for two products, okay? It’s one product, exterior deck, stain it seals and stains together. Okay.
|CALLER: Okay. I was trying to confuse you, but I guess I can’t say No.
|TOM: No, Try harder. Good luck. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
|LESLIE: Well, a new study found that over the next five years, a third of Americans believe severe weather events will leave their homes without power more often. Now, the poll of 2000 U.S. homeowners found three in four have made improvements to their homes to address severe weather concerns with the majority making modifications proactively to prevent future damage to the home.
|TOM: Yeah, the homeowner stated that their top concerns as a result of severe weather are structural damage at 65%, power loss at 58. And third, the running. Kind of surprising is the safety of their family and friends. I guess you know where you rank the severe weather event. But this is not surprising but said over one in four so they don’t feel confident that their local power provider can keep the power going during severe weather events. That’s becoming more and more common across the country, which is the reason more and more folks are investing in whole house generators so they don’t have to rely solely on the power companies, especially if you’re really, really can’t be without power. It’s really important to have a backup system and whole house is definitely the way to go. Prices came down on those a while ago, plus they run on natural gas. So, you know, to worry about getting gasoline, natural gas covers so much of the country. It’s pretty important update to make. Although a second one know I’ve had it for over 20 years.
|LESLIE: Jackie in Florida is on the line with a dishwasher. Question Tell us what’s going on.
|CALLER: Here’s my thing. It’s a whirlpool dishwasher. It’s only four years old. And all of a sudden, just one day, a few weeks ago, just I notice all the dishes just stopped drying. And so I did some looking of it, just troubleshooting. It could be this, it can be that. And now they seem to be washing, but just not drying.
|CALLER: But now there’s more building up in it as well. Yeah, and I’ve even noticed that like it’s still hot. If I pull it right after the cycle’s done, it’s still you can still feel the warmth of it.
|TOM: But, but you got it. But you have to hand dry them in other words.
|TOM: Well, usually if the dishwasher is not drying the problems in the heating element, the fact that they’re warm is probably just the hot water that you’re using to wash it with, because dishwashers, you know, are hooked up to the hot water side of the heating element is that the electric coil that’s in the bottom of the dishwasher that may have fell, but you got a decision to make because you just mentioned you have a four year old dishwasher. And having somebody come out and diagnose it and repair it is probably going to cost you 200 or 250 bucks. So what you got to figure out is whether or not you want to risk that or just go ahead and scrap it and go and order yourself a new one. When it gets to be middle age like that, it doesn’t always make sense to repair it.
|CALLER: Right. And here’s the here’s the thing. I even I’ve tried to even look up online to see if I could buy the heating element myself and then replace it myself by.
|TOM: We certainly can do that.
|CALLER: Part. The part number doesn’t come up. I can’t find a matching part to it. And so then I talked to Whirlpool and of course they want to send someone out.
|TOM: Did you try Sears? Because I think Sears has Whirlpool parts and they’re really good about stock in a lot of parts. And also taking them back if they don’t fit.
|CALLER: Do I have to pull out of the cabinet to get to the screwed on hook or does a pull Right.
|TOM: I wouldn’t know without looking at it, you know, and that’s the other thing. You’re going to be diving into something that you’re unfamiliar with. And it might just be that again, it just doesn’t you know, it just doesn’t work. So I’m sure that somebody out here has had that problem before and has a YouTube video waiting for you to look at.
|LESLIE: Yeah, there’s everything.
|CALLER: Yeah, right. You can do everything on, you know. And that’s actually what I was into YouTube as well, and that’s how I figured out how to fix anything. And everything these days is YouTube is great, but I didn’t know service like, a simple way, you know, I cleaned it well. I scrubbed everything down thinking maybe that was the problem because you know how dirty they get warmed up. Yeah. No.
|TOM: Well, like I said, I don’t think it’s a clog situation, because if you told me the dishes weren’t coming out clean, then we’d be having a different conversation. But it sounds like they’re just not drawing. And that’s most likely going to be that coil.
|CALLER: Okay. All right. Well, thank you. I think you just made that my final decision.
|TOM: All right. Well, we’re glad we can help you out. That’s what we do. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. Hey, you guys, you can call us at 188 Money Pit. Or you can also post your question online by going to one of our many social media feeds. And that’s what Rob did.
|LESLIE: All right. So Rob wrote in saying, I live in a 23 year old ranch style home with an 812 roof pitch. Now, the roof structure is made of ceiling joists and rafters rather than trusses and has blown an insulation. The blown in insulation has begun to settle some. So I’m considering upgrading to spray foam insulation. Is it better to have the foam installed between the ceiling joists or between the rafters?
|TOM: That is a very, very good question, Rob. I did this project in my house and I pondered the same, and I decided that the place he normally would put spray foam insulation would be between and even over the roof rafters, because that’s where he’s going to rise to, and that’s where they want to stop it, right? But the question is, what do I do with the existing insulation that was in the ceiling? Joyce? Well, I left it, of course, because why get rid of it? Kind of had a doubly warm attic as a result of that. And after I got done installing the spray foam, they sprayed not only the ceiling rafters, but the walls and everything was really sealed of tape because, you know, the ventilating attic anymore. That’s spray foam. We know what a huge difference it made when I go to my attic. Now, even in the cold of winter, it’s the same temperature really as sort of the rest of the house. It just holds the heat. It doesn’t leak any the heat out. So heat that used to escape around, you know, around light fixtures or around, say, the attic hatch way, that sort of thing. It just doesn’t get up there. So it’s really quite comfortable. So good choice.
|LESLIE: All right. Now we have Robert in Rhode Island who wrote in saying, I need to replace my water pressure regulator. He says, we’re surprised when a plumber gave us a quote of $950. Is this something we can replace on our own?
|TOM: Well, that’s a crazy high price, Rob. The new regulator is about $50 apart. It’s got thread fittings, so there’s no soldering required. And if you find one, it’s the same size and shape as the old one. It doesn’t have to be in place, so it’s pretty easy. I would just make sure it’s on the house side, the main water valve, and remember that once you remove it, all the water that’s in the pipes in the house are going to it’s going to drain out. So unless there’s a second main water valve somewhere to stop that, you have to expect that that’s going to happen. If you can’t do it yourself, you need to shop for another plumber. But I had a similar experience with a heating contractor that I before this experience actually thought was pretty good. But I needed a transformer and I said, Great, you have one on the truck, do you? Yeah. I saw how much this guy says why I got to call the shop. So he’s called shop and they quoted him a price of $500 for this transformer. Well, a little bit of research found that the exact same transformer, not even like a different brand. I mean, the same one was $35 at Home Depot, which to me was a fort. I figured out to be a 1400 5000 percent markup, which I think is kind of ridiculous. So guess what? They just lost a customer as a result of that kind of behavior. So I think that’s what you’ve got to do. You’re the consumer. You have the power to decide who you’re going to work with, who you’re going to not work with. If they’re going to take advantage of you, especially with extraordinary pricing like that. And thankfully for me, it wasn’t an emergency. But can you imagine if it’s an emergency, how those kinds of prices, people even blinking them, they don’t know any better and they’re really grossly overpaying. So I think if you got something like that, you just got to find every plumber. It’s all there is to it.
|LESLIE: Yeah, I mean, that really is a lot of money. So it’s like you always you’re right. You have to compare those estimates. You have to make sure they’re comparing the same things, the same type of product, and then make sure you’re getting the best deal with the right person to do the job.
|TOM: You are listening in the Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Thanks so much for spending a bit of your day with us. We hope we’ve been helpful as you tackle projects around your house or come up with some ideas for things that you want to get done. You can always reach out to us anytime of the day or night by going to Money Pit dot com slash and clicking the blue microphone button or simply picking up the phone and calling us at 888-Money-Pit. 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 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.)