- Have you been sneezing a lot lately? The allergy season is in full bloom and may last longer than usual. We share the best filters to keep allergens away.
- We love to celebrate the DIY spirit but as your DIY coaches we want to make sure you’re always careful when taking on those projects! Find out about a new study that details which home improving tools cause the most injuries – and here’s a hint – they’re NOT power tools!
- Are you ready to take on a big painting project this holiday weekend, like maybe painting the entire exterior of your house? As challenging as that may sound, its actually totally doable. We’ll share tips on tools that make the job a lot easier.
Plus, answers to your home improvement questions about:
- Sherlynn From Delaware has a leaky water pipe for her pool pipe.
- Sam in Louisiana is concerned about knob and tube wiring and how it might affect his insulation.
- Ella from Arkansas wants to know if putting new roofing layer over mold will have an affect on her allergies.
- Barb in Illinois is having a problem with hot water stopping mid-usage.
- Charlotte from Louisiana wants to expand her patio to divert water from pooling in her yard.
- Bryce in North Carolina needs to repair the ceiling in his bathroom with sheet plastic.
- Krista from Vermont has low water pressure from her shared well.
- Tim in Arizona is curious if it’s worth it to insulate a garage.
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 welcome to Episode 2207. We are here to help you improve and maintain your home. We’re like sort of the owner’s manual for your house. You know when you buy a toaster, you get a book? Tells you what to do? Not when you buy a house. You’re kind of on your own. So think of us as your coach, your counselor and yes, sometimes your therapist when it comes to fixing up home sweet home. Because if you can dream it, you can do it and we will help.
Coming up on today’s show, have you been sneezing a lot lately? Well, it turns out that the allergy season is not only in full bloom but it actually may last a lot longer than usual. We’ll explain why, in just a bit.
LESLIE: Oh, that is terrible news from the household of sneezing people that everybody stares at. Aye-yi-yi.
Well, guys, on the bright side, we here at The Money Pit love to celebrate the DIY spirit. But as your DIY coaches, we want to make sure that you’re always careful when you take on a project. So just ahead, we’re going to share a new study that details which home improving tools cause the most injuries. And here’s a hint: they’re not power tools. So we’re going to teach you a safer way to work, just ahead.
TOM: And are you ready to take on a big painting project this holiday weekend? Maybe like painting the entire exterior of your house? Well, as challenging as that might sound, it’s actually totally doable. We’re going to share some tips on tools that make the job a lot easier, just ahead.
LESLIE: Why do you always have to come up with a gigantic project for people, Tom?
TOM: Well, because it makes the smaller ones that much more satisfying.
LESLIE: It makes you want to tackle those smaller ones first. So, if you’ve got a small project or 10 small projects you want to tackle – or perhaps you want Tom to suggest a gigantic project – we are standing by here at Money Pit to give you a hand with whatever it is that you need to tackle.
TOM: Reach out to us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT or better yet, post your question on MoneyPit.com. All you need to do is click on the blue microphone button which says, “Leave a Message.” You can record your question right there, send it direct to us in the studio and we will get back to you the next time we produce the show.
So, let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s first?
LESLIE: Cherylyn (sp) in Delaware is on the line with a leaky pipe in a pool.
What’s going on?
CHERYLYN (sp): Yes. We have a steel pool built right after World War II. They had a lot of excess steel and they found a lot of pools to build. And we have – it’s somewhere in the pipes we have a leak. And we’re not sure exactly what the material of the pipe is. It’s that we think it might be black.
TOM: This is the pipe that does what? This is the pipe that fills the pool? This is a drain line? What kind of pipe are we talking about?
CHERYLYN (sp): A pipe that either goes to the pool from the pump and returns back to the pool from the pump or use the pump pool to the – go to the pump.
TOM: I don’t have a good solution for you for repairing an active pipe like that, short of replacing it. Generally speaking, when you have underground lines like that that rupture, it’s not a matter of repairing it, it’s a matter of replacing it. And it may be that you can leave the other pipe in place and just basically disable it and then install a new line to do the same thing that the old line was doing. But repairing it is not an option.
CHERYLYN (sp): Right, right.
TOM: Unless you can get access to it by basically digging down and exposing it. But it’s usually easier to run a new line.
CHERYLYN (sp): Alrighty. Well, thank you. That’s what we thought we’d probably end up having to do.
TOM: Alright, Cherylyn. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Sam in Louisiana is on the line and has a question about insulation.
How can we help you?
SAM: I bought this old house a year ago, in the middle of July when it’s so hot. It was built back in 40s, ‘45, something like that. It’s 2,000 square foot.
When I went up in the attic and was looking at what kind of insulation I was going to have to do to it – and I realized that the old insulation is no good. It’s all kind of been smushed down over the years. And it’s got the knob-and-tube wiring in it.
I’ve checked with several of the insulation companies. They tell me that they cannot blow insulation – the loose insulation – over top of the knob-and-tube because the knob-and-tube gets too hot and that it (inaudible). Then I talked to the fire department and their fire prevention. They say they have – that that is not a problem with them. They don’t work fires that have that as the main cause.
TOM: Let me stop you right there. The fire department has it completely wrong.
LESLIE: I can’t believe the fire department is saying that.
TOM: Yeah, I’m surprised. Just because they haven’t had a fire doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, which I think is the answer you’re getting.
So, first of all, knob-and-tube wiring. Knob-and-tube wiring is called that because it was the original – the first ever type of sort of built-in electrical wiring system. And the wires were run through ceramic tubes that were installed in joist beams and so on and across knobs that sort of kept them about an inch or so off of the beams that went along parallel with it. It was done that way because it’s an air-cooled system. That air has to circulate around that wire in order to keep it cool. So you cannot cover it with insulation because that defeats the purpose.
Secondly, knob-and-tube wiring is inherently dangerous. This old wiring in your house has got to be removed and it’s got to be upgraded. I would not continue to use it. Another reason we don’t like knob-and-tube is because it’s ungrounded and it’s ungroundable, which makes an electrical-shock hazard. And finally, that insulation on it – especially in a warm climate – tends to dry out and fall off and expose the live, raw wires.
So knob-and-tube wiring is a real antiquated system, Sam. And I know you called us because you had an insulation question. But now I’m going to turn this into, unfortunately, a bigger project for you. You’ve got to abandon that knob-and-tube wiring. Now is the time to do it while everything is open before you insulate. But I would definitely not keep that. I would not be comfortable at all with that. I think it’s potentially a fire hazard for you.
Now, in terms of the insulation, you have options. Yes, you could use blown-in insulation or fiberglass insulation right in those joist bays. Or you could use spray-foam insulation, which is going to be far more efficient, although more expensive. I’ve had both. I’ve had a house – an old house – that was insulated with fiberglass and lived in it that way for many, many years. And then when I had the opportunity – I was doing a roof-replacement project. And so, in the course of doing all of that, we opted to add spray-foam insulation at the underside of the roof sheathing. And I’ve got to tell you, my utility bills went way down, even though the house was originally insulated with fiberglass.
So, either way, I think you’re going to get more efficiency by insulating that home better.
SAM: OK. Even with the insulation that is fire-retardant, you’re saying I still cannot?
TOM: Yeah. Because you definitely cannot cover that wire. You’re not worried about the insulation catching on fire. I’m worried about your house catching on fire, including those wood beams that are just inches away.
SAM: OK. Well …
TOM: So I would take the opportunity to basically deactivate as many of those circuits as you possibly can. You know, it may not be as hard as you think. And run new, modern, up-to-code electrical wiring throughout that house, OK?
SAM: OK. That’s great. Thanks for you all so much.
LESLIE: Ella in Arkansas is on the line with a roofing question.
How can we help you?
ELLA: I’ve got a roof job coming on this in a couple of weeks and they’re doing my roof and they’re doing up my siding.
ELLA: Now, I had a big oak tree in my backyard. I had it cut down. But in the meantime, since it was there so many years, it left mold – the green stuff – growing on my shingles, right?
TOM: Yep. Mm-hmm.
ELLA: The guy that’s going to do my roof said that – “Oh, that’s OK. Well, you can get up to three layers of shingles before you have to take the old shingles off.” And I said, “Well, mold strikes a negative vibe in me because my husband and I have allergies.” Would that affect us? They said they’re going to put the new roof over the old roof and the mold. I told them, “No, that’s not going to happen.” He said, “Well, what we’ll do, we’ll pour – spray it with bleach – the mold – and we’ll rake it and then we’ll just cover it with the new roofing.” And my question is: since it is so much money, is that wise?
TOM: Well, here’s the thing. Yeah, you can put three layers of shingles on but it’s a really bad idea to do that, aside from the fact that you’ve got some sort of growth on this roof. Whenever you put a second layer of shingles on, the first two layers, in your case, tend to retain a lot of heat and especially in an environment like Arkansas where you have really hot summers.
ELLA: Oh, yeah.
TOM: As that heat is retained, it accelerates the deterioration of the top layer. So in my experience, if you had a roof that typically would last 20 years, you put a shingle – a layer or two of shingles underneath, you’re going to have it last more like 13 to 15 years. I’ve seen it cut a quarter to a third of the life off by doing that.
So it’s always smart to remove old layers. They’re probably trying to avoid it because it’s expensive to remove old layers. They’ve got to pull it off and they’ve got to get rid of it but it absolutely is the best way to do a roof replacement. And if you’re planning on being in that house for most of the life of the roof, it’s well worth it.
TOM: Now, in terms of the moss or the mold or the mildew or whatever is on there, there are many, many things that can grow on a roof, depending on the environmental conditions.
TOM: And it’s not always mold, although people tend to call it that. There’s a product called Spray & Forget that we have a lot of experience with.
ELLA: Yeah. Mm-hmm.
TOM: And you spray it on the roofing surface. And it tends to smother all of those biological growths and stops them from coming back. It will kill what’s there, it will naturally just die off and go away and then there’s a bit of a residual effect to it that stays on there. And if you apply that about every 2 years, you’re not going to ever see any mold or moss or mildew or algae or lichen or anything else grow on that roof shingle.
It’s SprayAndForget.com. OK?
ELLA: OK. I appreciate it.
TOM: Well, have you guys been sneezing a lot lately? The allergy season is in full bloom and actually might last longer than usual. Newsweek is reporting that recent research suggests spring is becoming longer across the country, which could result in a longer pollen season.
LESLIE: That just sounds terrible. Well, while you can’t do much to reduce your exposure outside of the house, using a top-quality air filter in your HVAC system can help keep the air inside your house as clean as possible. And this is one reason we’re happy to be able to tell you about Castle filters.
TOM: Yeah. Castle makes a very unique filter. I say that because it holds 10 times more dust than traditional pleated filters and it lasts for a full year. Plus, it doesn’t obstruct the airflow and actually uses a new proprietary filtering-media technology.
Now, one of the ways to determine how well a filter actually performs is to determine the filter’s dust arrestance. Now, dust arrestance is simply a measure of the ability of a filter to remove dust from the air. So, when compared to traditional filters like MERV 8 and MERV 11 pleated filters, the Castle filters actually have the highest total dust arrestance. So they’re trapping more dust than just about all the other filters that are out there.
LESLIE: Now, the cost of a Castle filter is initially higher than a pleated one. But you’re installing just one filter per year with Castle. And with pleated filters, you’re going to need about eight or five, depending on your house, to get that same amount of filtration for the year.
Now, indoor-air quality has a big impact on how you feel and especially for allergy sufferers. This is one easy way that you can breathe easier at home but save some time and some money.
TOM: Castle filters help you protect home, wallet and the environment. They’re made in the U.S.A. and guaranteed. Learn more at CastleFilters.com.
LESLIE: Barb in Illinois is on the line with a tankless water-heater question.
How can we help you?
BARB: We’ll go along with a shower or some – or dishes for a while and then all of a sudden, the hot water will quit.
TOM: Right. It’ll get freezing cold.
BARB: Well, it gets ambient cold, anyway, which in Illinois is fairly cold.
TOM: OK. Yeah, I bet.
BARB: But if you turn it off completely and then turn it back on – and it only takes, you know, maybe 15, 30 seconds – it will come back fairly warm.
TOM: Mm-hmm. Yeah.
BARB: But the only way to keep it going, if it starts going down, is to keep turning it up higher and higher.
TOM: Yeah. Yeah. So what you need is called a “pressure-balanced valve.” Now, the way that works is it controls the mix of hot and cold, regardless of what the pressure is in the line. So, if you have a lot of water pressure, it’s going to control the mix between hot and cold. But if just maybe the cold pressure starts to drop, well, it will equally drop the mix of the hot-water side so that you never change the temperature. You may have more or less flow coming out of the showerhead but the temperature won’t change and you will never have that shower-shock experience that you’re describing.
So ask your plumber for a pressure-balanced valve. Once you have that installed, you will no longer have to fool around with those faucets. It’ll work properly.
BARB: One for the kitchen sink, one for the shower, so on and so forth.
TOM: Those do not exist for the kitchen. So I think, in the kitchen, you’re going to be kind of on your own. But at least it’s just the kitchen faucet.
BARB: But it’s the same kind of thing?
TOM: But it’s the same kind of thing, yeah, except they’re designed for showers, mostly, and bathtubs. So, in the shower and the bathtub, that’s where you’re going to put the pressure-balanced valve. OK?
BARB: It’s also an intermittent problem. Is that …?
TOM: Yeah. But it’s going to solve it. Whenever it happens, it will solve it. It’s a permanent fix. OK?
BARB: Thank you.
TOM: Good luck. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Charlotte in Louisiana is on the line. Is dealing with a water issue on the patio.
What’s going on?
CHARLOTTE: We have a small patio on the back of our house and we want to extend it out to help divert the water. The water needs to – the rainwater needs to flow through our yard and we want to – I wanted to know what might be decorative that wouldn’t just look like a slab of concrete and that would also help slope down to allow the water to flow through our yard.
TOM: Why don’t you build the new section out of paver bricks and pick a color that compliments the existing concrete patio? You can almost surround it. I mean you can have brick color, you can have a gray-stone color. There’s lots of different colors associated with that. And you could make it look like it was designed to be that way, almost like two sections.
What do you think, Leslie?
LESLIE: Mixed materials are such a huge trend right now for outdoor spaces, so that really is a good way to cleverly give yourself that height difference that you need to move that water away.
CHARLOTTE: So the paver bricks could – because I was wanting – instead of just having it squared off, I was wanting to kind of angle it maybe to look maybe like a path that had some character to it. Could I do that with the paver brick?
LESLIE: You can. You can do anything with the paver bricks. And they come in a variety of shapes and sizes and thicknesses, as well. So if you wanted to use something to look like a pathway, you could very easily do that.
CHARLOTTE: OK. And that wears pretty well, huh?
TOM: Oh, absolutely. Yeah.
CHARLOTTE: Yeah. OK.
TOM: Do a good job on the install. A lot of times, people don’t install them properly and they don’t put the right base down. And then they start to heave and wave and get saggy and weird and weeds grow up through them. But if you have it dug out properly and you have a good, solid base and you lay the bricks in right, it gives you many, many years of life.
CHARLOTTE: OK. So we could have a concrete base and then put the paver bricks on.
TOM: Not a concrete base. It would be a crushed-stone base that would be tamped down very, very well.
LESLIE: So you dig down first, however many inches. It depends on the thickness of your paver stone. So you dig down, usually, two or three times that thickness. You put down a stone, tamp that down. It’s like a contractor mixed material of stone. What do they call that? A number …
TOM: It’s like a crushed gravel.
LESLIE: It’s like an aggregate.
CHARLOTTE: OK. Gotcha.
TOM: I think, actually, they call it “stone base.”
LESLIE: So you put that down, tamp it down, then you put sand over that, tamp that down. This way, you’re just compressing it and compressing, compressing into a structurally stable base. And once the sand is down and tamped and everything is level and stable, then you put your pavers on top of it.
CHARLOTTE: OK. Good deal. OK. Well, that’s great. Alright. Thank you so much. I appreciate the info.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Brice in North Carolina, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
BRICE: I was considering using a polyethylene sheet to replace or repair the ceiling in my bathroom. And I wanted to know that’s a good substitute for wall board and what material to seal it up with.
TOM: When you say a polyethylene sheet, do you mean sheet plastic?
BRICE: I could use some of the material on the fascia board on the outside. I was told this came in a sheet.
TOM: It’s like a waterproof paneling, in essence. Is that what you’re saying?
BRICE: Yes, a panel. Yes.
TOM: I mean I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t use it if you like the look of it. It’s not necessary. You could make the repair with standard greenboard, which is a water-resistant drywall. Did you have to tear open the ceiling for some reason? Why are you replacing it?
BRICE: Well, we had a roof leak and …
TOM: The easiest thing to do would be to put a second layer, even if the drywall below is damaged – the existing drywall is damaged. But as long as it’s not swollen or deformed in any way, I would just put another layer of drywall right over that. That’s the easiest, fastest way to make that repair. And then you would tape, prime and spackle those corners between the two. This way, it looks normal because just putting a piece of plastic paneling up there, you’d have to trim it out. It’s going to look always a bit odd because that’s kind of a weird configuration.
I would just try to get it back to where it was. I would put a piece of water-resistant drywall up there. I would spackle it – three coats – prime it and paint the whole thing and you’ll never know that the leak ever happened.
BRICE: Very good. That helped.
TOM: Happy we could help you out, Brice. Good luck with that project. Thanks, again, for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, here at The Money Pit, we celebrate the DIY spirit. But as your DIY coaches, we want to make sure that you’re always careful when you take on those projects. If you’re not, a do-it-yourselfer can quickly become a do-it-to-yourselfer.
Now, a new study by Clearsurance points out how easy it is to get hurt. They analyze data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System to identify the most common home improvement injuries, which body parts are inured most and which tools are most dangerous.
LESLIE: Well, first of all, let’s look at total injuries. There were over 290,000 – 290,000 – home improvement injuries requiring treatment and an emergency room and 25,000 home improvement injuries requiring hospital admission. Now, the most common injury from home improvement projects were lacerations, which is a cut. About 127,000 of those, followed by factures – 36,000 of those – and contusions and abrasions at 35,000.
Now, the most commonly injured body parts. Fingers come in first, followed by hands and eyes.
TOM: Well, the most dangerous household tools – probably those that are causing some of those injuries – you probably think that would include power tools, right? They have to be one of the most dangerous tools to use on a project. Actually, it’s hand tools that cause the most injuries during home improvements: 107,000 injuries. So think screwdrivers, hammers, wrenches or utility knives. Power saws came in second with 83,000 and power drills did make the list but they were down at 29,000. So kind of not what you expect.
LESLIE: Yeah. It’s funny. I feel like any time I’ve injured my hand, it’s always been with a power drill. I’m either leaning too hard on the screw and it bounces off and hits the webbing between my other hand or something really dumb like that. So you really do have to be careful.
Now, home improvement injuries increase during the warm spring and summer months. Plus, it’s a three-day weekend, so all of you DIYers be really, really careful out there. Home improvement before barbecuing and beer and hot dogs, guys. Just let’s keep that a rule of thumb.
TOM: I think if I totaled up sort of my own home improvement injuries – let’s see, I definitely have more cuts but not stitchable cuts. Only once did I have a stitchable cut. But I had a power saw injury: a regular circ-saw injury where I was cutting some plywood. It kicked back, it spun in a circle and I didn’t pull my hand off the saw quick enough, so I broke my finger. Didn’t cut the finger but I broke it.
And it was funny because I had to go to the hospital and the doctor says, “Well, we’ve got to operate on it and put you in a cast.” And I’m thinking something on my hand, like an expanded split. I wake up and I’m wrapped up from my fingers to my elbow and I’m in a sling. People are like, “What happened?” “Oh, I broke my pinky.”
LESLIE: Oh my goodness, that is a lot of bandage for such a tiny, little appendage.
TOM: It was a lot of bandages for a little finger.
LESLIE: Oh, my goodness.
TOM: But he did a good job. I can still see the scar today but it works perfect. No pain.
LESLIE: And you’ve got a good story.
TOM: That’s right.
LESLIE: Krista in Vermont is on the line and is dealing with some very low water pressure.
Tell us what’s going on.
KRISTA: I bought my house about a year ago and I’m on a shared well with my two other neighbors. And they both have great water pressure but we have really awful water pressure. It takes 3 hours for the washing machine to run. We cannot use our garden hose. And we’ve had some plumbers come take a look and they said that there must be some kind of restriction in the water pipes, since the other neighbors both have really great water pressure.
TOM: This is not well water. You’re on street water?
KRISTA: We’re on well water.
TOM: You’re on well water. And the well serves all the neighbors?
KRISTA: Yeah, it serves the two neighbors that live north of us.
TOM: OK. Well, they’re right that there could be a restriction. The restriction could be a valve that’s partially closed. It may look open but maybe it’s really closed. It could be, if you have old pipes – do you have old pipes there? How old is the house?
KRISTA: Yeah, it’s from ‘54. Yeah, it is copper.
TOM: Old for plumbing is like 20s, 30s, 40s when they had steel pipes.
TOM: So, ‘54 is going to be copper and decent-quality copper.
So here’s what I would do. I would start testing that water pressure at different points. If you can test it close to where it comes into the house, that’d be the first place to check it.
TOM: You may have to put a tap in the pipe to do that, like an extra little valve to do that. But I would start checking it at different points and see if we can kind of narrow down where the restriction is.
TOM: You have to do a little detective work here. You’re going to find, at some point, it’s restricted. It could be the main water valve, if you’ve got one. Sometimes well systems don’t have those.
KRISTA: Right. The valve in our house was just replaced but I don’t know about the valve at our neighbor’s house, where the well head is. And we were also told by one plumber that we could put a water-pressure tank in the house to fix it. And then another plumber told us that wouldn’t work at all.
TOM: That’s not going to work. You need a – you could – there’s a booster that you could put in. But I would start trying to figure out if this is a problem at the point where the water comes into the house, because that’s going to change the discussion. It’s not your plumbing; it’s the well system. And I imagine you have some rights, since you’re sharing a common well here, to get the same pressure as everybody else.
KRISTA: Yeah. OK.
TOM: And that’s going to have to be a discussion you’ll have with the people that are involved, OK?
TOM: But you’ve got to figure out what you’ve got – you don’t know that yet – and that’s the way to do it. Does that make sense?
KRISTA: Alright. Yes. Sounds good. Thank you.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project.
LESLIE: Well, are you ready to take on a big painting project this holiday weekend? Maybe you’re painting the entire exterior of your house? We aim big here. We really like to push large projects. Well, as challenging as that may sound, it’s actually totally doable if you’ve got the new Wagner Control Pro High-Efficiency Airless Paint Sprayers.
TOM: Yeah. These are really advanced. The paint sprayers have a high-efficiency airless technology that produces up to 55-percent less overspray compared to traditional airless sprayers. And the output of softer spray with improved control and that means you’re going to get a high-quality finish. And my favorite feature is that it goes on three times faster than a roller, so you can get big projects done pretty quick.
LESLIE: Yeah. And speaking of big projects, if you want to take on a project as big as painting your house this summer, Wagner has a step-by-step detailed post and video on their website and that’s going to walk you through from prep to painting.
Now, whether your project is to paint a deck, a fence or that entire house, these airless paint sprayers make big jobs so much easier to tackle.
Now, the Control Pro 170 can pull paint right from either a 1-gallon can or a 5-gallon bucket and that means you won’t need to change paint cans frequently. And that’s going to save you even more time on the project.
TOM: The Wagner Control Pro Paint Sprayers make it easier to paint like a pro. Now, the Control Pro 170 is available both in-store and online at Lowe’s Home Improvement. And you can see the complete line of Wagner products at WagnerSprayTech.com. That’s WagnerSprayTech.com.
LESLIE: Tim in Arizona, you’ve got The Money Pit. What are you working on?
TIM: Hey. Well, I have a garage – a two-car garage. It doesn’t not have insulation on the ceiling. So, on two sides, it’s touching the improved, lived-in side of the house. Two walls. And two walls are touching the exterior. I’ve got insulation over everything but the garage and I was just wondering, would it benefit me to put insulation above the ceiling, above the garage?
TOM: What’s above that ceiling space? Is any of the house above it or is it just the roof?
TIM: Just the roof.
TOM: Yeah. Not really, unless you are planning to work in that garage in cold weather and you want it to be warmer in there. But there’s no reason to insulate the garage ceiling because there’s no – the garage is not heated and we’re also not worried about a cold floor above it. Sometimes, folks have garages where there’s bedrooms above it and they get kind of cold floors because of that.
But no, unless you, again, are going to work in it, there’s no reason for you to insulate that. You want to insulate the wall or ceiling between the garage and the living space of the house. But since you just have a roof over it, there’s really no reason to insulate that space.
TIM: Well, I guess part of what I’m asking is: could the heat somehow come down from the attic into the garage?
TOM: Yeah, it certainly can and it certainly will. Will the insulation help? I suppose it would, in that case, but you’re going to super-heat that attic space and so you’re definitely going to need to want to vent it probably more so than it is now. Because when you add insulation, you also have to add ventilation. And since you’re in Arizona, where heat’s more of an issue than colder nights, it’s something you might want to think about.
Does that help you out?
TIM: Yeah. Maybe I’ll save some money on insulation.
TOM: Listen, we could think of more projects for you to spend money on. Just give us a chance.
Alright. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, Aiden in Florida wrote in saying, “My wife unplugs all of our appliances in a thunderstorm, including the refrigerator. I’ve argued for years that she doesn’t need to do this. Can you tell me who’s right?”
I love to settle a spousal fight. But I mean this seems excessive. I do feel the pain because we had that – before I put in the whole-house surge protector, we had the lightning strike and lost the dryer. So, I do know that those things are possible.
TOM: They are possible. They’re not common, they’re not likely but I have seen this very thing happen. It happened to my neighbor and it was really the first time even that I had a personal experience with it. And it took out – let me see, it took out her microwave, it took out her cable boxes. There were a few things. And I think it might’ve affected the washing machine, too. But hey, you never really know. And I think the idea of putting a surge protector into that system is really the hot ticket there because that’s going to stop a lot of that damage. It’s something an electrician can install inside the box.
Just picking out the refrigerator – I don’t know. The chances of it getting damaged is pretty rare. But if it makes your wife feel better, then I would just advise you to not argue with her and remember, she’s always right and keep the marriage happy, you know?
LESLIE: Well, what is the saying? Happy wife, happy life?
TOM: Yeah, exactly.
LESLIE: I think that’s how the saying goes, whereas in my house it’s do everything to annoy Mom and then Mom just goes and hides in another room and you’re OK.
LESLIE: Well, I hope that helps you out, Aiden. And in the end, she’s saving you money by not having to replace those appliances.
LESLIE: Maybe not the groceries but the appliance, for sure.
TOM: The one time you don’t do it, you know you’re going to get hit with lightning and all of the food will go bad or something like that.
LESLIE: Of course. Ugh.
TOM: A better option may be just to put in a standby generator, a whole-house generator. Then you never have to worry about your power going out.
Well, maybe the vegetables in your garden can be eaten but can they be shaken or stirred? Leslie has tips on the most popular plants for cocktails, in today’s edition off Leslie’s Last Word.
And might I say, what a fun topic for this holiday weekend.
LESLIE: I mean it really is. Come on guys, move over tomatoes. Growing fruits and herbs for drinks really is a fun, new approach to your backyard garden. And spring is the perfect time to get it going.
Now, you can add some zest to seltzer, beer or cocktails with your home-grown limes. They can dress up a plain, old glass of water or bring out those floral notes in the finest of alcoholic beverages. And limes can be grown in pots outside during the summer. And then go on and bring that pot inside your house and keep it in a bright area so you can have limes when the weather cools down, as well.
Now, lavender is another great addition to your traditional cocktails. It pairs especially well with gin because it brings out that floral element that is in the gin itself. And lavender is also super easy to grow. You can either do it right in the garden or in a container. And if cocktails are the end goal, you want to go with English lavender, which is the sweetest variety. And lavender also works great in lemonade. Plus, it makes it a fun, purplish hue, which is just so lovely.
Now, if alcoholic drinks aren’t for you, you can add fruit or herbs right from your garden to your ice-cube trays for flavorful and eye-catching ice cubes. They’re the perfect touch to any summer party and they’re going to get you and your guests totally in the mood for summer. So come on summer and come on all your fun gardening projects.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Coming up next time on the program, as kids move outside to play, it’s a good time to make sure the areas they play on are properly constructed and safe. We’ll walk you through the steps you need to take to make sure your kids won’t get hurt on those home playgrounds, on the very 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.
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