- According to the new survey, over 60% of homebuyers experience “Buyer’s Remorse” after the sale! We’ll share the most common regrets and how to avoid them.
- If your roof is more than 10 or 15 years old, you might be thinking that it’ll need replacement soon. Maybe not, we’ll share a new product that can add 5 years of life to your roof with a single treatment.
- Also ahead, buying green is all the rage today but did you ever wonder what makes a product truly green? There are actually a lot of factors and just as many false claims of “greenness.” We will help sort the ones that count.
Plus, answers to your home improvement questions about:
- Mary in Massachusetts is wonder if she can close her ridge vent.
- Mathew from Texas has an issue with his sink flange.
- Debra in Pennsylvania wants to know why she needs to replace her rubber flashing?
- Tim from New York wants an easier fix to repair sink cracks.
- Donna needs help cleaning showers.
- Vincent in Delaware is concerned about the cracking in his home.
- Carolyn from Iowa wants to know how to brighten up quartz flooring?
- Randy in Ohio needs the best stain for a freshly built deck.
- Sharon from Tennessee wants to how to choose the right water heater.
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: Here to help you take on the projects you want to get done around your house. This is Episode 2211; 2-2-1-1 for our podcast family. You can listen in when you want by following the show at MoneyPit.com/Podcast.
Well, now that we are past Memorial Day weekend and we are officially full bore into summer, that means it is time to take on just about any project you want to get done. You can work inside or out in this weather and believe me, I’m taking advantage of it. In fact, I’ve got projects that are sort of stacked up for good weather and bad weather, where you can move in and move out because that’s just such a perfect time to get stuff done around the house. If you look around your house, if you think about what you’re tackling these days or what you would like to do, if you need some help getting started or need some tips solving a problem, you can reach out to us. That’s what we do.
Couple of ways to do that. Click the Leave a Message button – the blue microphone button – on MoneyPit.com and leave us your message. We will get back to you on the next show. Or you can call us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Coming up on today’s show, according to a new survey by Clever Real Estate, over 60 percent of home buyers experience buyer’s remorse after the sale. That means they regret making the purchase. We’re going to share why they’re feeling that way and what the most common regrets are and how to avoid them.
LESLIE: Oh, geez. That is a big one to regret.
Also up ahead, if your roof is more than 10 to 15 years old, you might be thinking that it’s going to be time to replace that roof soon. Well, maybe not. We’re going to share a new product that can add 5 years of life to your roof with a single treatment.
TOM: And also ahead, buying green is all the rage today. But did you ever wonder what makes a product truly green? There are actually quite a lot of green factors and just as many false claims of greenness. So we’re going to help sort those all out, just ahead.
LESLIE: Alright. Pick up the phone, though. Let us know what you are working on. Whatever it is – project inside, project outside, something that you’re planning on tackling in the fall and you want to just get a head start on – whatever it is, we can chat about it, we can help you out, we can give you the ideas and the tips to get the job done. So give us a call.
TOM: The number here is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.
LESLIE: Mary in Massachusetts is on the line with a ridge-vent question.
How can we help you today?
MARY: You know, my house is 70 years old. In time, it needed to be re-shingled. So the roofer explained now they use ridge vent and they open the center of the roof. And it (audio gap) great and I was happy with the shingles but I do not like that ridge vent (audio gap) attic. It’s like having an open window. Is there a way I can close that?
TOM: No. That is doing exactly what it’s intended to do and exactly what it has to do, Mary. We all grew up with homes that were grossly under-ventilated. But if your attic is ventilated perfectly, it should be the same temperature as the outside. It is not a conditioned space; it is unconditioned. So the heat is trapped at the floor level where you have insulation but the ridge vent is designed to let air out of the attic where it’s most likely to exit.
So, for example, if your house is ventilated perfectly, the wind is going to blow over the roof, it’s going to depressurize the ridge and pull air out of the attic from that space. It pulls out moisture in the wintertime, it pulls out heat in the summertime.
And the other half of that are soffit vents at the overhang. These work together to properly ventilate a roof. So you’ve just never experienced a properly ventilated attic but that is exactly what ridge vents are supposed to do. And I would not change them because if you do, you’re going to have a number of issues to crop up.
Number one, you’ll have moisture that will build up in the attic. And what that will do is make the insulation far less effective. If you add just 2-percent moisture to fiberglass insulation, it loses about a third of its resistance to heat loss. Secondly, in the summertime, you’ll have excessive heat, which will make cooling the house that much more expensive. So, I wouldn’t do a thing.
MARY: Hmm. OK. I was curious. I’m not thrilled with it but I guess I have to live with it.
TOM: Yep. Get used to it. It’s doing its job, Mary, OK?
MARY: Thank you.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Matt in Texas on the line with a sink-flange issue.
Sounds like a personal problem, Matthew. I’m kidding. What’s going on at your money pit, Matthew?
MATTHEW: Alright. So, I’ve got a regular sink. About 10 feet away, we have an island and it has a single bowl sink on it. The sink flange, after about 6 months, it starts to kind of rust and pit and oxidize. Just the flange itself, not the stainless-steel sink. There’s no caustic chemicals going through it, nothing out of ordinary that doesn’t go through the other sink. The basket that switches from sink to sink, nothing happens there. That’s static; doesn’t change at all. I’ve replaced the flange about 3 times in the last 2 years.
TOM: When you replaced the flange, did you put in plumber’s putty underneath it?
MATTHEW: I’ve used three different brands of plumber’s putty. It adds no corrosion on my copper supply lines. I went from stainless steel to plastic P-traps. I have no other corrosion issues underneath the sink. They’re the exact same faucets for both sinks. We have filtered water.
TOM: And the sink flange has a gasket underneath it, as well?
MATTHEW: Yes, it does. On the inside that mats to the sink.
TOM: Right. So there’s no connections, there’s no chance here that this is sort of a corrosive condition that’s happening because of two dissimilar metals, which can occur. The only thing that’s really left here is the quality of the finish on these flanges.
Have all the flanges come from the same source of supply?
MATTHEW: Come from three different areas.
TOM: But is it the same manufacturer or are they different brands?
MATTHEW: No, no. Different brands, different brands. I finally went from stainless steel and put an oil-rubbed bronze one in just to see if that makes any difference.
Now, I will notice that after I’ll change it – after about a month-and-a-half or so, I’ll get a rotten-egg smell out of the drain.
TOM: So that’s a sulfur smell and it’s usually caused by a problem with the water heater. There’s a sacrificial anode in your water heater. And if that sort of wears away, you’ll get a sulfur smell. And you mentioned you had filtered water, so you’re probably filtering out that to some extent. But look, some water is more acidic than others but this is an odd, odd problem. I think it probably has a lot to do with the quality of the stainless and perhaps the acidity of the water.
So I don’t think I have a good solution for you except that I’ve learned over the years that stainless-steel quality varies dramatically. And it may be that everybody you’re buying these flanges for is making the same-quality stainless and it’s just having a hard time mixing with your particular water supply here. Because it sounds to me like you’re doing everything else right, Matt. I’m sorry I don’t have better advice for you but I think this is a corrosive condition that’s caused by the quality of the stainless and the acidity of the water.
MATTHEW: OK. Alright. Well, I thank you for your help.
TOM: You’re welcome, Matt. Good luck.
LESLIE: Hmm. Maybe it’s a bribe, maybe it’s not a bribe. Definitely not. We’ve got some prizes up for grabs, though, so you’ve got to give us a call with a question for your chance to win.
We’ve got the Arrow Corded 5-in-1 Electric Professional Staple and Nail Gun. It’s called the ET501F, if you’re more familiar with the number name. And it’s a really great tool for a variety of projects, like upholstery projects, framing, insulation, if you’re working on a crafting project, maybe you’re repairing a fence, if you’re putting up some cable around the house. Whatever it is, this is a fantastic staple and nail gun. You’re going to fire up to 60 shots per minute and it’s super compact, so you’ll be able to work with it for a long time. And the 5-in-1 tool will fire 5 different types of Arrow fasteners, including heavy-duty staples. So you’ll for sure be able to get a ton of projects done.
TOM: That Arrow Corded 5-in-1 Professional Electric Staple and Nail Gun is going out to one listener drawn at random. Make that you. Reach out to us with your questions. Just click the microphone button that says, “Leave us a message,” on MoneyPit.com.
LESLIE: Deborah in Pennsylvania, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
DEBORAH: OK. I’m purchasing a home that has a couple of stains on the ceiling. And it turns out the stains are located directly under the vents. I don’t know any other way to explain it but they’re like these tubes on the outside where the roof is. So, I was told by the inspection that those rubber-stopper things that go around them need to be replaced.
TOM: OK. Yeah. So, the plumbing-vent flashing is what is leaking here. And the plumbing-vent flashing consists of an aluminum piece of flash material that goes underneath the roof shingles and a rubber boot that is designed to fit over the plumbing pipe. And they very often – that rubber boot will very often crack and deteriorate and does have to be replaced.
Not a terribly complicated job. A roofer or a carpenter can do it in about 10 or 15 minutes. They just basically have to peel up a roof shingle or two right around there. You can do that with a flat bar. You can actually put the flat bar under the roof shingle, get it right up to where the nail is and kind of wiggle it back and forth. That nail will come right out. You can kind of disassemble the roof one shingle at a time, replace the flashing vent and put it back together.
So, pretty easy, straightforward repair project and not the least bit unusual, Deborah. OK?
DEBORAH: OK. Well, I appreciate you taking my call. Thank you.
TOM: Yeah, you’re welcome. Good luck, Deborah. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Tim in New York is having an issue with the tub.
What’s going on in your bathroom?
TIM: So, my wife and I moved into our home 2 years ago and the previous homeowners recently redid the bathroom. It’s very nice but unfortunately, the bathtub has two cracks in it. So I recently had – to be real quick, I recently had a bathtub fitter come in and take a look at it. They can’t do it because they don’t have the molds for it and they would have to cover up the tile anyway. So my question is: is there an easy fix? And even if I had to replace a tub, do I have to take out tile to do so?
TOM: Well, you have to take out probably the first couple of rows of tile. It depends on how difficult it is to get the tub in and out of that space. It’s a pretty big job. It might be that it’s just not worth trying to save the tile. This is the time where you might just want to think about whether or not you could just renovate the entire bathroom. Because frankly, by the time you get that tub out, you’re going to be taking so many other fixtures out of the way to kind of get the tub in and out, you might end up doing that anyway, Tim.
You know, the bathtub is the first thing that goes into a bathroom and everything else works around it or fits around it. And I think the bath-fitter idea was a good one but if they can’t do it, they can’t do it.
TIM: Yeah. I looked up online and they have these epoxies that fix cracks. I don’t think it’s going to work or be a permanent fix. Do you have any knowledge on that?
TOM: That’s true. I would agree with that. It’s very difficult to repair a crack or a chip in a tub. Is it a fiberglass tub?
TIM: It is. It’s a fiberglass tub.
TOM: So, look, they repair fiberglass boats, right? Or fiberglass cars? So you can use – right from an auto-body shop, you can use fiberglass-repair compound to fix this. It’s not going to be pretty, right? I mean like a Bondo product or something like that. It’s going to be obvious but if you want to buy yourself some time and use the tub for a while, you could do that.
I had a shower stall once where the fiberglass pan cracked. Then I repaired that with fiberglass and Bondo just by basically applying the fiberglass in a couple of layers and then putting the compound over top of that. And you could see it but it didn’t leak after I fixed it.
TIM: OK. Well, maybe I’ll look into that. The bathroom is so new that I don’t want to rip out, well …
TOM: I know. I hear you. It hurts. And it may be very well that the tub was put in incorrectly. Because when you put in fiberglass tubs, you’re supposed to put a solid fill under them. Usually, you’ll put a loose mix of mortar mix underneath it because it basically gives you something solid to step into, because the tub has some flex.
TIM: Yeah. I don’t think they did that because you could actually feel the tub moving underneath my feet.
TOM: Yeah, yeah. Unfortunately, it sounds like it wasn’t put in right.
TIM: OK. Alright. Well, thank you very much. That was very helpful.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: So, is owning a home still the American dream or has it become a nightmare? Now, a recent survey by Clever Real Estate says rising costs have also led to a rise in homeowners – particularly, first-time buyers – experiencing buyer’s remorse. In fact, more than half of the homeowners – about 52 percent – say that the true cost of owning a house took them by surprise.
Now, in addition to the spike in home purchasing prices and mortgage payments, homeowners are currently spending more than ever on costs related to that home’s ownership. The average U.S. homeowner is going to spend more than $15,000 each year on maintenance and improvement costs alone, which is more than $2,000 higher than in 2019. Now, those costs include utilities, home improvements, maintenance and repairs, property taxes and the cost of homeowners insurance.
TOM: And all of those unexpected expenses may be the reason that one in eight homeowners say the benefits of owning a home aren’t worth the hassle. In fact, 60 percent of homeowners say they’re feeling some level of buyer’s remorse, up from only 35 percent in 2019.
So, what do they regret the most about the home purchase? Well, more than 70 percent of homeowners say they regret at least one aspect of their home purchase. But what do they really regret the most? Well, 40 percent say their house requires too much maintenance, 32 percent say the house is too small or lacks features and 30 percent say they were unprepared for those hidden costs.
LESLIE: Yeah. And now, as for those maintenance costs, high costs were especially common among young owners, with millennials almost 3 times as likely to spend at least $5,000 in maintenance and repairs compared to baby boomers. Now, those most common repairs were painting or staining, major-appliance repair, plumbing and electrical work. And those numbers really don’t surprise us because inexperience is expensive. And everything needed to take care of a house cannot be found on social media.
TOM: Oh, that’s just not true.
LESLIE: Though they really think it can.
TOM: Well, we can help alleviate part of the pain, at least, towards resolving some of those regrets by holding down costs with do-it-yourself projects to help improve and maintain your home.
So, millennials, it’s OK to ask for help. Now, we know you don’t want to ask your parents but you can ask us, because we don’t judge. And we’ll help you take care of getting those things done around your house without spending a lot of money that you really can’t afford at this stage in your life.
LESLIE: Donna in New York is on the line and is having an issue cleaning some showers.
What’s going on, Donna?
DONNA: Well, I work at a fitness facility. And boy, do I have a problem with one out of four of the shower stalls there. That one, of course, is in the men’s room. Oh, my God, it’s so gross. It constantly cakes up this slimy, brown, gross, moldy – I don’t even know what this gunk is on the walls. And I have tried everything. I used bleach, the bathroom cleaners, antibacterial scrub brush. I’m at my wit’s end. I don’t even know what to do.
TOM: Yeah. It’s just getting away from you.
Well, first of all – and I know this is out of your control but the more humidity that builds up in that space, the worse this will continue to get. So if they don’t have good ventilation, they get dirtier and dirtier because it supports the growth of mold, mildew, algae and moss.
But one product that I’ve had great success with is called Zep – Z-e-p. It’s a shower, tub and tile cleaner. It’s a commercial cleaner. It’s not expensive. It’s about seven bucks a jug at Home Depot. And when you spray it on, it foams up and does a really good job of cutting out that nasty combination of soap scum and then everything that grows in the soap scum. Because the soap scum is like a food to a lot of those materials and that’s why it just gets so nasty. So I would try the Zep – Z-e-p – and see how you like that.
DONNA: Oh, my God. I am so glad I got through.
TOM: Alright. Good luck. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Vincent in Delaware is on the line with a plaster issue.
Tell us what’s cracking up at your money pit.
VINCENT: My cousin has a two-story house. It’s all brick. It was built in the 1930s. Upstairs in the bedroom, there’s a crack going from the ceiling to the floor in both outside corners. And there’s a crack going from the corner to the center of the room. And in front of the house, the brick is separate – pulling away from the molding on the floor, about a ¼-inch.
TOM: So, for a house that was built in the 1930s, that kind of cracking is not all that uncommon. Has it always been this way or do you think this is a more recent development?
VINCENT: I think it’s been recent because he just – last time I was talking with him, he showed me the house. He says, “Look, do you have any idea what’s causing these cracks?” To me, it looked like the walls are separating from the building because – especially in the front.
VINCENT: Between the molding and the outside wall, you can get a flashlight, look down there and see the brick.
TOM: Well, I think if you think it’s recent, then you have two options at this point, one of which would be to hire an ASHI-certified professional home inspector. And that’s a guy who’s a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors. That’s really important because those are the guys that are really the pros in the business.
The second option might be to hire a structural engineer, which is going to be more expensive but it’s something you’ll need if it turns out to be a serious problem. Because the structural engineer will actually specify the repair. You can have it corrected and then you can have the engineer certify that it was done correctly.
If you think it’s active, that’s important information and I would have it looked at by a professional. I wouldn’t mess around with a contractor or anybody like that. I would have it looked at by someone who has nothing to gain from giving you repair advice, only diagnostic advice – an expert diagnostic advice – to determine what’s going on here, OK?
VINCENT: Yes. And what was the abbreviation for that home inspector?
TOM: Yeah, ASHI – A-S-H-I. It stands for American Society of Home Inspectors. If you go to ASHI.org, you can put in your zip code and find a list in your area.
VINCENT: OK. Thank you very much.
TOM: Good luck, Vince. Thanks, again, for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, if your roof is more than 10 or 15 years old, you might be thinking that it’s going to be time to replace that roof soon. Well, you could be right. I mean as roofs age, the shingles do dry out and lose their water-resistancy. And that’s especially true today because most shingles have less asphalt in them than before. And that just means that they’re going to dry out all that much more faster. And when that happens, the shingles are going to need to be replaced, which could be pretty expensive.
TOM: Now, though, there’s a new way to extend the life of your roof called Roof Maxx. It’s a roof-rejuvenation treatment that restores the flexibility and waterproofing protection of aging asphalt-shingle roofs. And this can save you about 80 percent over the cost of a traditional roof replacement.
LESLIE: And Roof Maxx’s new technology uses natural, plant-based bio-oil for a full asphalt-shingle restoration. Now, this gives shingles flexibility and instantly can add 5 years of life to your roof.
TOM: Yeah. It’s kind of like when you treat an older deck or driveway to add life to their investment. Roof Maxx does something similar for asphalt roofs, only using a revolutionary new technology that soaks old, brittle shingles with millions of microbeads of all-natural bio-oil to restore their flexibility and prepare them to better protect your home.
LESLIE: Each Roof Maxx treatment is going to come with a 5-year flexibility guarantee. Now, with three treatments possible – one every 5 years – Roof Maxx can add up to 15 years of additional life to your asphalt roof.
TOM: Now, if you’d like to learn more or set up an appointment, get in touch with your local Roof Maxx dealer at RoofMaxx.com. They can do a free assessment and decide if your roof’s a good candidate for a roof rejuvenation. That’s RoofMaxx.com, Roof – M-a-x-x – .com.
LESLIE: Carolyn in Iowa is on the line and has a question about a quartz countertop.
Tell us what’s going on.
CAROLYN: Yes. What I notice are some dull spots that are showing up on the quartz countertop. We built this home 2½ years ago. And I always had understood, with quartz, you didn’t have to polish or seal or anything. And we’re trying to be really careful.
TOM: Oh, no. Oh, no. Surely, you jest. Quartz is indestructible because you can put hot stuff on it but it’s also really absorbent. And you can – you definitely need to polish it.
CAROLYN: OK. So, all that report that I’ve heard that you never have to do anything to quartz, it isn’t true? You do need to …?
LESLIE: You have to do stuff to granite, to marble, to quartz over time because there’s a sealant that they put on it. And depending on where you got it and who the yard is, if it’s a granite or a marble, it wears away with use.
And so, the lighter the color, the more often you have to do it. And it should be – they say with quartz and marble and granite, every 2 to 3 years. I have a granite countertop. I’ve probably done it three times in the 15 years I’ve been in my house. And it’s mostly because the areas where you see what they pour that fills into the spaces, it’s kind of popped out, especially on the edge. But other than that, I haven’t really needed to do much to it.
TOM: There’s a polish online at Amazon.com called Supreme Surface that’s really well-recommended. It’s four out of five stars. I would give that a start if you’ve never tried it before. Order it online. But as Leslie said, you definitely do need to polish natural stone. Otherwise, it is going to get dull over the years. And it sounds like it’s about time to do that with your house.
LESLIE: Pick up the phone, give us a call, post your question. However you reach out to us, we are standing by to help you out with all of your projects at your money pit. Plus, we’ve got a great reason for you to reach out.
We’ve got the Arrow Corded 5-in-1 Professional Electric Staple and Nail Gun up for grabs. This is a tool that will fire five different types of Arrow fasteners, including heavy-duty staples, so you can take your Arrow fastener and do a ton of projects. You can do framing, upholstery, insulation, crafting, fencing. You name it, you can tackle it with this Arrow Corded 5-in-1 Professional Electric Staple and Nail Gun. It’s going out to one listener drawn completely at random, so make it you.
TOM: The number here is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Or post your questions by clicking Leave a Message on MoneyPit.com.
LESLIE: Randy in Ohio is on the line with a decking question.
How can we help you today?
RANDY: I just built a deck. And it’s got that new-wood look, you know? What kind of stain can I put on it?
TOM: So you have a number of options. You said you just built it, so you might want to let it dry out. Sometimes we don’t recommend staining until about the second year, because the pressure-treated lumber is going to have a lot of moisture in it. But when you are ready to treat it, what I would recommend that you use is a solid-color deck stain. Deck stains come in solid color and semi-transparent. And if you use solid color, it basically has more pigment in it, so it tends to last a lot longer.
So, go for a good brand – a good-quality brand – of a solid-color deck stain. And I think that’s something that you’ll hope to get maybe two or three seasons out, depending on the use of your deck.
RANDY: Alright. Yes, it does. Thank you so much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Well, green home improvement options seem to be multiplying lately and it isn’t always clear how much you’re actually helping the planet and yourself with the choices you make.
LESLIE: Yeah. Just as organic and healthy are finding their way into every corner of the supermarket, building products and fixtures can easily be greenwashed, with their true value being hidden behind big prices and even bigger claims. So if you’re planning to purchase a home improvement-related product and you want to ensure that it is environmentally-friendly, there are a few things that you can look at, beyond advertising claims, to determine if a product is truly green.
TOM: Now, first, you want to start by considering the basics: the raw materials that go into the product and where they come from. Remember that anything that has to be transported a long way brings other precious resources into the equation.
Next, look at the adhesives, the coatings and the finishes used to make that product viable and whether or not that manufacturing process actually leads to the release of harmful substances.
And finally, consider product packaging and the likelihood that it will release VOCs – that’s volatile organic compounds – into your home environment during and after installation.
LESLIE: Now, a product’s afterlife is also a factor when you’re determining its greenness. Just as there are benefits to selecting a product made from sustainable ingredients, you need to know that those ingredients can be recycled, reclaimed, even repurposed when that product’s time with you is over. All good things do come to an end and when that happens, a green one is much preferred.
Sharon in Tennessee is on the line and has some questions about tankless water heating.
How can we help you?
SHARON: Just my husband and I. We’re in a house that the tank is probably – the one we have is probably 11 – 10, 11 years old. But we find that in the bathroom – the master bathroom, which is at the far side of the house from us – you have to run the water 5 or 10 minutes before it gets hot. And we’ve heard good things about those, so I thought, well, what do you guys know about them? Because I don’t know if they’ve been out long enough to “work all the bugs out of them.” Are they a good investment? Are they good economically?
TOM: Yes, yes and yes. So they have been out for a long time; longer than you might think. I’d say probably 10 to 15 years.
LESLIE: Oh, yeah. Definitely.
TOM: But the thing is, you don’t really have a need to replace your water heater near that often, so it – sometimes folks are still not familiar with them.
However, one complaint that I heard you mention was that it takes a long time for your water to get hot. That may not change and here’s why: because the time it takes your water to get hot is more a function of the distance between the water heater and the plumbing fixture that you’re standing at waiting for the water to get there.
TOM: It just takes so many minutes for that amount of water to pass through the pipes and show up as hot on the other side. Whether that’s a tank water heater or a tankless water heater is not going to change that. It’s still going to take longer to get – just the same amount of time to get there, alright?
TOM: So, that’s not going to change. What will change, though, is you will have an unlimited supply of hot water. Because tankless water heaters, pretty much, when they’re sized right never, ever run out of hot water. And it’s going to be a very efficient way for you to get hot water.
I should have asked you this earlier but are you on gas – natural gas?
TOM: OK. Yeah, then you’re OK. If you were on electric, we’d be having a different conversation. Because electric tankless water heaters are not efficient at all. But gas is perfect.
SHARON: Good. OK. Well, something for us to give some second thought to and then get some quotes maybe.
TOM: Now, there is also an option that Rheem has right now, where you can actually add a bypass valve at that farthest bathroom fixture from your water heater. And what that will do is it will recirculate warm water through the pipes, based on a timer or based on your use pattern. So, with that addition, you may not be waiting at all for hot water. So that’s another option, as well.
LESLIE: Post your question, just like Arnie did. Now, Arnie writes saying, “I have a 110-year-old cabin that was painted and then sandblasted and stained. Now, it needs cleaning and a new coating. Is there any reason not to go with paint as opposed to a solid-color stain?”
I’m assuming he’s talking about the exterior.
TOM: Yeah. I would think so.
So, my preference, if it doesn’t have paint on it already – and if you’ve, in fact, gotten all the old paint off with the sandblasting process – I would tend to go with solid-color stain. And the reason is because I like the fact that it fades, as opposed to peels, you know – cracks and peels. If you have paint on there, the way paint wears is at first, it kind of loses its coating, loses its sheen. Then it starts to crack and check and it just is so darn hard to prepare another coat of paint to go on top of that. But with stain, that’s really not a problem.
So you could have either, Arnie. But my personal preference is stain but not any kind of stain. Only solid-color stain. Solid-color stain has more pigment, it has more titanium dioxide. That’s a pigment material that’s in that stain. And once it adheres properly – and you may need to prime it, by the way, first. And that’s OK. But once it adheres, it wears really, really well. I’ve had solid stain on cedar siding on my housing and the thing has lasted like 20 years, which is unheard of.
LESLIE: What is the primer like for a siding like that?
TOM: For cedar, you use an anti-tannin primer and it’s actually an oil-based primer. I like that because it really has good adhesion to the substrate, which is the original wood. But it also will allow the new solid-color stain to stick to it, as well. So the solid stain, in my case, was latex but the primer was solvent-based.
LESLIE: Alright. Well, good tips. Hopefully that makes a nice project for you, Arnie.
TOM: Well, even a tiny water leak can cause a lot of damage over time. But if you’ve got a spare ½-hour, you could easily check for leaks under all the sinks of your home. Leslie explains how, in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.
LESLIE: Yeah. You know what? Here’s really the best way to check for a sink leak at home. You want to turn each faucet on and then run it full blast for a minute or two. And then with a bright flashlight, inspect the drain under the sink. If no leak is spotted, you want to close the stopper, let the sink fill up past the overflow. Don’t walk away during this part because some faucets can fill a sink faster than that overflow drain can drain it. So you want to make sure you’re standing close by.
After the water has been running through the overflow for about a minute or two, you want to check that drain under the sink again. If no leak is spotted, your sink is good to go. Move onto the next sink and repeat. And I’m telling you, guys, you could check today and then tomorrow something could be completely different. So just always keep an eye on it.
I remember one day, not so long ago, I was washing my face. And I was like, “Wow, there is an exceptional amount of water on the floor by my feet.” Which I don’t normally throw that much water around when I’m washing my face. And of course, that U-bend pipe right under the sink, that trap there, somehow – which wasn’t there yesterday – sprung a leak. Easy repair but definitely a surprise. So stay on top of it, guys.
TOM: Reminds me of the time I found a leak at my feet, right in front of the kitchen sink. And couldn’t understand it until I discovered that a mouse had chewed a hole in a dishwasher drain line. And that’s what caused it. So, it can happen at anytime for lots of crazy reasons. So keep an eye on that because the sooner you stop it, the less damage you’re going to have.
This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Hey, coming up next time on The Money Pit, if you’ve got any furry family members, it’s smart to think about which flooring types might hold up best in the face of all those scratchy paws, accidents and excessive shedding. We’ll share tips on the best flooring choices for households with pets, 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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