TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: What are you working on on this beautiful but chilly weekend? Is it a project inside the house? Are you working outside the house? Is there one thing you want to get done outside before it gets too cold to work out there? Hey, whatever is on your to-do-list, slide it right over to ours. Pick up the phone and call us at 888-MONEY-PIT or post your question to our website at MoneyPit.com.
Hey, coming up on today’s show, if you’re lucky enough to have a sprinkler system for your lawn, now is the time that that system needs to be winterized. And you don’t want to see what happens when it’s not. Trust me, it’s not pretty. Happened to me once and it was a real mess. We’re going to tell you what needs to happen to avoid that frozen mess, just ahead.
LESLIE: Plus, winter weather is right around the corner. We know you might be ready for it but is your roof? We’ll tell you how to do a DIY inspection to make sure it is and it’s one you can do from the safety of the ground without ever stepping foot on a ladder.
TOM: Plus, this hour, we’ve got a great prize we’re giving away. It is the Mr. Beams Home Safety and Security Lighting Bundle, including the new Mr. Beams Ultra-Bright Ceiling Light, which is battery-powered. So, no need to run wires. You can pretty much light large areas of your house, like a closet or a shower or a shed or maybe your pantry, for up to a full year.
LESLIE: Yeah. The total package is worth over $169, so call us now and we’ll shed light on your home improvement project and maybe send you the Mr. Beams Home Safety and Security Lighting Bundle to shed light on the rest of your house.
TOM: The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. It’s going out to one caller drawn at random. Make that you. Call us, right now, at 888-666-3974.
LESLIE: Mark in Missouri, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
MARK: Well, I’ve done a lot of different construction worksites, job-wise and everything, and here lately I’ve been messing kind of with roofing. Of course, you know, you’ve got the shovels and all the good stuff like that. But there seems to me like there’s a lot of nail-pulling or nail-pounding this and that. And I was wondering who – I’ve got sort of an idea on – a “shingle stripper” is what I’ve named it. I don’t know, picture a concrete power trowel, slower rotation but with maybe some little, I don’t know, little, tight piece on it or something that turns at a slow – something that you could – not quite as long as that. Maybe 8 foot long that you could mount and it slowly turns down the roof.
TOM: Oh, you want something that is – automatically can pull the shingles off the roof? That’s an interesting idea. He wants a Roomba vacuum for the roof that’ll strip the shingles off.
MARK: Yeah. Exactly. I mean …
TOM: There is a roof-shingle stripping tool that a lot of major manufacturers have and that’s generally what I see the roofing crews use. And frankly, with that tool, you can strip a roof pretty quickly. I’ve seen four guys on a roof strip it in less than an hour and right down to the plywood, it’s ready to go. And I don’t think there’ll be – find a market for a product like that, which is why I don’t believe that one exists. I think the handheld roof-stripping tool is the one you need.
MARK: Of course, we use the shovels – the usual shingle shovels – and all that good stuff but it gets to be a task when you run into a nail or you – stuff like that or – and it seems like, I don’t know, even maybe like a wood-floor, sander-type apparatus to where it would – you know what I’m – kind of just get it up underneath the lip. You wouldn’t – the paper, you wouldn’t really – you could deal with. But just to where it would cut back on the nail-pounding and the …
TOM: Are you actually using a roofing tool? There’s different types of – you call them “shovels” but there’s a product called a D-handle roofing tool that is available at The Home Depot that I’ve seen. And it’s kind of like a scraper on a shovel handle. And it works very, very quickly to pull off shingles.
MARK: Would it? We’re using – yeah. We’re using a shingle – I call them “shingle shovel” but they work good. But I was looking – I’m just – I come up with ideas and I’m – to be honest with you, maybe one of these days I’ll come up with one to where I can retire but – instead of being a roof …
TOM: I certainly hope you do but I will tell you that the roofing tools that are out there – the Razor-Back one I remember seeing at an event some time ago. And I liked it because it has sort of a fulcrum design where it can get under the shingle and the nails. And then you sort of push the handle down and it pops them right up. So it might be that you’re not using the right tool yet and you might want to experiment more with some of those more modern roofing tools that strip the shingles off.
I don’t believe there’ll be a market for that particular product but listen, stay at it. Don’t let us talk you out of it. There could be other things that you’ll come up with that will sell. But I’ve seen these roofing tools be so effective that I don’t believe that there’d be a power version of it, OK? Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Susan in Missouri has a question about a fireplace. Tell us what’s going on at your money pit.
SUSAN: Well, I have a gas fireplace and it’s one of those where they seem to have cut the hole in the wall and stuck the fireplace in there and now I cannot stop the wind from blowing in. I don’t know what to do.
TOM: OK. So, is the wind coming in the hole where the gas pipe is coming through?
SUSAN: It seems to be coming from all around the fireplace. You know, it’s got the mantle and it comes from around the mantle. And anywhere where there’s – where it’s been put together, it seems to have air coming in. And of course, it is coming in – it’s got the outside box, I guess. They have the exhaust.
TOM: OK. So this sounds to me like it’s a manufactured fireplace as opposed to an old, brick one that was converted to gas. Is that correct?
SUSAN: Absolutely. Absolutely, yes.
TOM: And it has doors on it, too?
SUSAN: No. It does not.
TOM: Do you know what the brand is of the fireplace?
SUSAN: A Lennox, I believe.
TOM: Well, the first thing I would do is I would take a look at the installation. And very often, there’s probably gaps somewhere around that box that were not properly sealed. I could – I would also consider contacting Lennox and getting the original installation instructions. You may even be able to download those, which would give you or your contractor a guide to determine if it was correctly installed. And then, thirdly, I would find out if doors are available for that fireplace, because that could solve all your problems.
SUSAN: Oh, OK. OK.
TOM: Especially if it’s a gas fireplace premade and it has a combustion air supply, you may be able to keep that all behind glass doors to stop all the drafts from coming through.
SUSAN: Oh, that’s a great idea. Thank you. I’ll try that.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. Now you can call in your home repair or your home improvement question 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Up next, if you have a sprinkler system, now is the time to get it winterized. Done well, you won’t have any issues. But done poorly, you might end up with a few unexpected repairs this spring. We’ll have tips to have it done the right way, after this.ANNOUNCER: Today’s Money Pit is presented by Mr. Beams. Lighting solutions that can be installed in five minutes. No wires, no electrician, no kidding. Find Mr. Beams lights at major retailers and learn more at MrBeams.com.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: We’d love to hear about your home improvement projects. So give us a call, right now, at 888-MONEY-PIT. You might just win our giveaway this hour. It’s the Home Safety and Security Lighting Bundle from Mr. Beams, including the Mr. Beams Ultra-Bright Ceiling Light. Which is cool because it’s big enough to large – to light large areas, like closets and showers and sheds, but it’s battery-powered. So, one set of alkaline batteries can run this for a year, which is just amazing.
It’s worth 29.99 but the bundle includes several of the Mr. Beam light products for a total value of 169 bucks. So if you’d like to win it, give us a call, right now, at 888-MONEY-PIT for the answer to your home improvement question and your opportunity to win that fantastic prize form Mr. Beams.
LESLIE: Going out to California where Marlene has got a question about a rotten-egg smell in the bath. What’s going on?
MARLENE: In our master-bathroom shower, when you turn on the hot-water faucet, it smells like rotten eggs. It’s really awful. And this lasts for several minutes and then it’ll go away. We have, oh, six other hot-water faucets in the house, including a shower, and none of these faucets do this. And so we were wondering, should we call a plumber? Would a plumber know what to do to change this?
TOM: Marlene, that odor usually stems from your water heater. Even though you’re only smelling it in those couple of bathrooms, I suspect it could be forming in your water heater. That sort of rotten-egg or sulfur smell is actually caused by a bacteria in the water. And it’s reacting to the deterioration of the sacrificial anode, which is inside a water heater. It’s usually made of magnesium or aluminum and it will react with that and cause that odor.
So, one of the solutions is to replace that anode. And if you look at the top of the water heater, it looks like there’s a bolt sort of stuck into the top of the water heater? That’s the anode there. And if you pull that anode out and replace it, even with one – a better bet is one that’s made of zinc. There’s a type of anode called “zinc alloy.” That will stop that odor from happening.
MARLENE: Oh, OK.
TOM: It’s probably best to have a plumber do that, yeah. But if you call a plumber about this rotten-egg odor and tell him to look at your anode, I think you might find the solution right there.
MARLENE: That’d be wonderful.
TOM: Alright. Well, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Mike in North Dakota is on the line and has a drywall question. What can we do for you?
MIKE: We’re putting in drywall. Would you put in ½-inch drywall if you’re going to finish the garage? It’s 2x6s with 16-inch centers.
TOM: Is the garage detached or an attached garage?
MIKE: No. It’s unattached.
TOM: So a couple of things. First of all, since it’s – the reason I asked you if it was connected to the house – because if it was, the wall between the garage and the house has to have a certain fire rating to make it safe. If you want to, you know, do a little bit better of a job than you may be required to, I would put 5/8-inch thick, fire-resistant drywall on those walls as opposed to standard ½-inch. It’s a little more expensive but why not have a fireproof or certainly a more fireproof garage assembly?
You also asked – I think it was our producer – whether or not the drywall has to be on the concrete. And the answer is no. You definitely don’t want it to be in contact with the concrete because drywall is covered in paper. And if you have it in contact with concrete, it’s going to get damp and wet and really messy. You want to make sure you keep it up at least an inch off of that floor.
MIKE: So what do you – when you finish it off, what would you put in there so that – to cover that inch up? Just a …
TOM: If you really wanted to finish it nicely, yeah, you could put sort of a baseboard type of a piece down. In my garage, I have a piece of 1×6 pressure-treated along the floor. And that makes up sort of a band board that’s sort of the baseboard molding all along. Because we’re always sort of pushing stuff up against it and that kind of stuff and I wanted something tough, because I knew if we were pushing a handcart up against the drywall, we’d end up with dents in it and that sort of thing.
MIKE: Yep. You’re right there. That’s what I did with my old one.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project, Mike. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, sprinkler systems are a luxury that affords you a green lawn and garden all spring and summer long. But if you live in a climate where they need to be winterized, it’s a job that has to get done right or you could be faced with a big repair bill come spring.
TOM: Yeah. That’s right. And that kind of happened to us, mostly due to a lack of communication. I actually thought that the sprinkler system had been winterized, as did my sprinkling contractor. However, one fine but chilly day early winter, we heard a very distinctive but alarming sound, Leslie, that says, “Pipe break.” And it was just a mess. The water was coming out a mile a minute. It was actually broke outside the house but it was flooding back in towards the basement. And, boy, we had to really scramble to get that taken care of very quick.
So, in our case, it was simple miscommunication but what I’ve seen more commonly is that people will not fully winterize their sprinkler system. They won’t get all the water out. And then the thing is you don’t find out about this till next spring, when you try to turn it back on to find out you’ve got a bunch of leaks.
LESLIE: Now, there really are three different ways that you can winterize your sprinkler system: there’s manual, automatic and blowout. Now, the first step in all cases, though, is turning off the water supply.
TOM: That’s right. Now, when it comes to the manual, basically, you’re going to open up the drain valves and allow the water to drain and gravity plays a piece in this. But if your system is set up so that it can’t be manually drained, then you might have to go with either an automatic or the blowout system, which is frankly the most common. And this is where a sprinkler company will actually use a high-pressure compressor to sort of push all that water out.
And I like that the best and here’s why: because you absolutely positively can be 100-percent confident that you got the water out of the system. You actually see it come up through the sprinkler heads, you can hear it at each sprinkler head and you know that you’re not going to have a problem next spring when it comes time to turn the water back on. But get it done once, get it done right so you don’t have any broken heads or broken lines that will be a big, expensive fix come next spring.
LESLIE: Oh, yeah, seriously. The money you save in the service contract that allows them to shut off your sprinkler system correctly is worth it considering, though, if you have a frozen pipe one time, you’re going to spend all of that and then some in the repairs.
TOM: 888-666-3974. Let us help save you some repairs. Call us now for the answer to your home improvement project.
LESLIE: Gwen in Rhode Island is on the line with a painting question. Tell us about what you’re working on.
GWEN: I’m going to have my house painted and I was going to have it power-washed. And someone said to have them use bleach. But I don’t remember my husband having it done with bleach, because I don’t remember the smell. And I wanted to have – about the roof power-washed, too, and I wanted to know what to use for the roof.
TOM: So if you use bleach, the problem with that is you’re going to kill all your landscaping. There are better options. There’s a product called Spray & Forget that works quite well where you really don’t have to power-wash it. If you’re going to power-wash it, there are different detergents that are specifically designed to work with power washers that will help kind of emulsify and loosen up that dirt as you apply it.
You do have to be careful with a power washer. If you use too much pressure, you can cause damage to the siding or certainly damage to the roof. But if you want to try something very passive – especially if it’s mold, moss, mildew or algae – you could simply apply Spray & Forget and leave it on for several days and you’ll see it start to break down. It stops those materials from growing. And leave it on for a few days; you’ll see them start to fade away.
GWEN: And what about the roof? What should I use with the roof?
TOM: Same thing. Same product. Yep. Exactly.
GWEN: OK. Thank you very much. I listen to you all the time.
LESLIE: You’re so welcome, Gwen.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: John in Minnesota, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
JOHN: Yes, I have a sauna in my basement that I have to transfer over to a shower.
TOM: OK. You want to convert it to a shower?
JOHN: Yes. And I’m wondering what I could put on those walls to dress it up, like some paneling or panels? Or do I have to use tile?
TOM: OK. Well, first of all, before we talk about what you’re going to put on the walls, how are you going to drain this? Is there a drain below the floor?
JOHN: Yes. I have a cement floor and there’s a drain right in the middle of the – in that room there. Yes.
TOM: Now, do you know if that drain is connected to the plumbing system of the house? Or is it just a basic floor drain that perhaps goes outside somewhere?
JOHN: It is hooked up to the – my sewer system.
TOM: Alright. Terrific. Well, that’s the hardest part. That’s solved. So now it just becomes sort of a décor question for you. And you say that this was a sauna at some point in time?
TOM: So I guess the sky is the limit here. What do you like? Do you like tile? Do you like solid surfacing materials, like Corian? You have – you can pretty much do anything at this point. You’re going to start with the floor and you’re going to put – you’re definitely going to put tile on the floor, I would think. And place that drain with a cover that’s built into the tile base. And then from there, you’re going to build it up.
So you could do, really, anything you want to do at this point. You could put tile on those walls, you could put solid-surfacing materials on those walls. Or if you want to keep it funky, you could leave them as a wood – you could leave it as wood. I’m presuming it’s probably cedar or some other type of moisture-resistant material.
JOHN: Well, the walls are that – it’s that clay tile.
TOM: Oh, the walls are clay tile? So then it has to be covered, yeah. So then the right thing to do here, if it’s just basically sort of a raw surface right now, is you’re going to need to put in a shower pan to start with. And then build up the bathroom from there.
Now, if you’ve already got walls that are sort of creating this – how big is the space that the sauna was in now?
JOHN: Eight by eight.
TOM: OK. Do you want an 8×8 shower? You want it to be pretty much a drive-in shower there? It’s a pretty big shower but do you want it to be that big?
JOHN: Well, I was going to probably have like 80 percent of it to shower. I wanted to put a double – like a double, two-headed shower or one on the – have a rain shower on top and one coming out the side and then the other …
TOM: Yeah, like a car wash.
JOHN: Yeah, exactly. Then the other part just kind of a drying area.
TOM: So, John, this sauna area, this 8×8 area, this is made of the terracotta clay tile?
TOM: Then I think you can glue ceramic tile right to that with a good-quality tile adhesive, as long as it’s fairly flat. Because the tile’s not going to bend. But if it’s a flat surface, you should be able to adhere the tile right to it, since it’s already a water-resistant back, and pretty much go up from there.
Now, the floor, you have to build up a shower pan there so you get good drainage down to the hole in the floor, so to speak. But once you get that established, I think you could adhere ceramic tile right to those terracotta walls and go right from there.
Now, make sure that you have ventilation in that space, you have an exhaust fan. Of course, do all your plumbing ahead of time. And the last thing you’ll do is lay those tile walls in. Does that make sense?
JOHN: OK. Yes, it does.
TOM: Alright, John. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Hey, if you are expecting an addition to your family sometime soon, this show makes great sense for you. We’ve got the creator, Chip Howell, of a new show called Baby Makes 3 stopping by The Money Pit, talking about design trends on this new series that talks about creating your dream nursery. So stick around
TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
Well, laminate flooring has become one of the most popular styles of floors invented in the last 20 years. It’s beautiful, it’s durable and it’s pretty easy to install.
TOM: Yes. But one thing it’s not is water-resistant. That’s all changing now with the introduction of a new product from Pergo called Outlast. It has a water-resistant technology called SpillProof24. With us to talk about that is Will Hudson, the laminate-flooring merchant for The Home Depot.
WILL: Thanks, Tom. Good to talk to you.
TOM: I’m so glad to hear about this product because we, from time to time, get calls from listeners who have suffered this same fate with bad spills and water that invariably gets on the floor. And then the laminate flooring swells and basically becomes unusable. I mean it’s an almost impossible situation to repair. So I guess you were hearing the same thing. Is that what led to the development of this product from Pergo?
WILL: That’s exactly right, Tom. One of the areas that we heard from customers is they’re looking for more protection against water. With laminate flooring being made of wood, it can swell and expand when exposed to water. So, as a result, we tell our customers to use tile or vinyl planks in water-prone areas such as kitchens, bathrooms or mudrooms. Well, customers no longer have to make that tradeoff thanks to the partnership between The Home Depot and Pergo.
LESLIE: Yeah. Well, I think you’re right. It’s not just those obvious places, like the basement or the bathroom, but when you think about the other places where water still gets tracked in, like your mudroom or your entry foyer. You know, you’ve got your kids coming in with wet boots or snowy boots. It’s all of those places where water comes in. You might not see it right away, it sits there on the floor for a while and can do its damage.
WILL: That’s exactly right. There are some obvious places, like kitchens and bathrooms, where Outlast+ is right in the wheelhouse. But there are some other more subtle areas, like a mudroom or an entryway, where you’ve got the kids tracking in rain or mud, you’ve got those accidental spills – we call them “pet liquids” – that can crop up from time to time that – maybe one of those slippery spills that someone may not remember.
TOM: Very, very politically correct of you, Will.
WILL: But with Outlast, you no longer have to worry about it.
TOM: We’re talking to Will Hudson. He is the laminate-flooring merchant at The Home Depot. It makes him the head flooring guy.
So, Will, for those that are not familiar with laminate-flooring technology and exactly what a laminate floor is, can you give us a brief overview? Because I think most people associate laminate with old laminate countertops. But this flooring product is a lot tougher than that, right?
WILL: Absolutely. So think of it as more of a sandwich where you’ve got an MDF board as the base and then you can design that look however you’d want. So, a different print that would go over the MDF board and then a laminate press over to protect. So, over the years, there hasn’t been a ton of innovation here. But with Outlast, that’s changed. And Pergo really came up with a unique locking system that is what prevents the water from seeping into the boards and creating damage, that you mentioned in your kick-off, on water basically causing that swelling and expansion of a board.
LESLIE: So, Will, I think when you’re talking about this locking system, I mean we’re really talking about the joint where the two floorboards meet. They kind of lock together and that’s what’s creating that water-resistancy. It just can’t get through there, right?
WILL: That’s correct. Think of it as a floating floor. There’s no nails involved. It’s one of the easy DIY aspects of this product. It makes it such a DIY-friendly install versus a wood that may need nails or tile that may be a lot more involved. This is right down the alley of our DIY customers. And by having that really super-airtight locking system in between the boards, those joints prevent any water from coming, from above the surface, into those boards that would create the damage that we talked about earlier.
TOM: Now, when we think about laminate, I think the first thing that folks think is laminate that looks like hardwood floor. But this product can really look like a tile or even a vinyl or a marble, depending on the style you choose. Is that correct?
WILL: Absolutely. We can make it have a tile look. What we’re really seeing popular right now is some of these new-age wood looks. So I’m (audio gap) gray coloring, beige, multi-tones. We’re seeing hand-scraped hickories that really look a lot (audio gap) authentic wood. And it’s these on-trend looks that have enabled us to really have a lot of success with this product so far.
LESLIE: I mean really, this is a first. You’re getting a beautiful opportunity to have a board that has all of these natural details. Even a hand-scraped board. It’s got that texture.
WILL: Exactly. The new – this new laminate isn’t flat like a countertop, like you mentioned. It has real ridges to it, nooks, the hand-scrapes, the crosscuts that we talked about early. I encounter these floors a lot and it’s fun to play some tricks on folks and say, “Pick the real wood. Pick the laminate.” And with this new stuff from Pergo, it’s tough to tell the difference.
TOM: The product is called Pergo Outlast+ and it has the SpillProtect24 technology, which locks out water from those flooring joints for up to 24 hours. Gives you a chance to get it cleaned up with no damage to the floor. It’s backed by a lifetime warranty and available at The Home Depot.
Will Hudson, Laminate-Flooring Merchant, thanks so much for being a part of The Money Pit.
WILL: Thanks a lot, Tom.
LESLIE: Alright. Up next, is your roof ready for this rough weather ahead? We’re going to tell you how to make sure it is, after this.
TOM: Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
Give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT. You will get the answer to your home improvement question. Plus, this hour, we’re giving away a Home Safety and Security Lighting Bundle by Mr. Beams. And that includes the Mr. Beam Ultra-Bright Ceiling Light.
It is way bright, you guys – 300 lumens – so you can light up a large area. It’s got a unique diffuser on it, as well. So you get a really wide coverage area of about 300 square feet. So you can light those larger areas, like a shed or a big garage space, even your shower or a closet or a pantry. And it’s battery-operated, so you can install it anywhere. It’s totally wireless, so you or anybody who’s maybe not the most electrically certified can go ahead and install this at home.
The Ultra-Bright Ceiling Light is 29.99 but the bundle includes several of Mr. Beams lights for a total value of 169. You can check it all out at MrBeams.com or learn more by calling them at 877-298-9082.
TOM: 888-666-3974 is our telephone number. Call us, right now, at 888-MONEY-PIT for the answer to your home improvement question.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Doug in Virginia on the line with a siding question. How can we help you?
DOUG: Yes. I had – my son’s house has some vinyl siding on it. And the folks that owned it before he did were patching something with some of the spray-foam insulation – the crack-filler stuff – and it oozed out all over the siding. So I know I can go back and cut it loose, cut what’s extra stuff. But when I get down close to the vinyl, what can I clean the residue off with to make it clean without damaging the vinyl?
TOM: It’s very difficult because you get – those foams are usually polyurethane and they have real adhesive qualities to it. Real adhesive. So, what you can do is try to gently scrape it off with a putty knife. But make sure you use – an older one is better because it won’t be quite so sharp. And very carefully do that.
And then, I’ve stripped off some foam – errant foam – with WD-40 as the solvent. So you might want to try that with a Scotch pad because Scotch pad is not abrasive. But you could spray the siding with the WD-40 and then work the Scotch pad back and forth. You may find that you pull off some of that residue. It really depends on what kind of foam it is. But you’re right, once it’s dry, to cut as much of it off and then try to abrade the rest of it off. But do so with a mind not to damage the siding.
DOUG: OK. Well, I’ll give it a try. WD-40.
TOM: Yep. Try it. It’s one of the thousand uses for that stuff. You know, they say you only need two things in your toolkit: WD-40 and duct tape. They’re pretty close.
DOUG: Then I can go over the whole back of the house with WD-40 to revitalize the vinyl, right?
TOM: Well, I wouldn’t – if it’s the whole back of the house, if you’re talking about spot-cleaning, OK. But if it’s the whole back of the house, then I think you’ve got a bigger problem. I think you’re looking at new siding.
DOUG: But would I get an oily spot when I use the WD-40 that will look different than the rest of it?
TOM: You will, you will. But soap and water will take it away.
DOUG: I guess that’ll fade, yeah.
LESLIE: That’s why it’s good for only like a little spot.
DOUG: Alright. Well, thanks a lot.
TOM: Alright, Doug. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, now that winter is almost upon us, it’s a really good idea to give your roof a thorough inspection to make sure that it can stand up to the wind, water, snow and ice ahead. It’s coming, guys.
TOM: Definitely. And it’s not really that hard if you know where to look. So first up, grab your binoculars, get outside and do a visual inspection of your roof. You want to look carefully at the most common areas where leaks occur. And it’s pretty much anywhere where something comes through the roof or where a roof intersects. So, for example, you want to look for loose or cracked flashing around a chimney or around a vent pipe. And also look for damaged or discolored or missing shingles, as well.
LESLIE: Now, minor problems like these, that can lead to the need for major repairs. So you want to fix them quickly before water has a chance to get inside your home. You want to use a pro for repairs but don’t let them talk you into a roof replacement when, really, just a repair is needed.
TOM: Yeah. And keep in mind that interior leaks and watermarks can signal problems on your roof. But these inside hints aren’t the only signs of trouble, which is why that outside inspection is so important which, again, you could do very safely from ground with a pair of handy binoculars. Look for all of those intersection points where roofs and walls come together, as well as all the places where things come through the roof, like pipes and chimneys. If you’re going to have a leak, I can almost guarantee you it’s going to happen because of one of those places.
LESLIE: Getty, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
GETTY: Oh, hi. My uncle is struggling with a mouse problem.
GETTY: And he wants to get rid of them the old-fashioned way but his wife doesn’t want them to be harmed or killed or anything.
LESLIE: That’s a tough one.
GETTY: Yeah. So they’re trying to figure out a way of, I don’t know, catch them or keeping them out of the house, stuff like that.
TOM: So, what I would suggest is that, first of all, you try to mouse-proof your house as much as possible. So, by doing that, you need to seal all the gaps that may surround the exterior, most commonly around where pipes and things come through the walls.
Secondly, you want to avoid anything that creates a nesting site or areas where the mice can sort of dig into. For example, a common one might be firewood piled close to the house and that sort of thing, high grass. So you want to try to make that as un-mouse-friendly as possible.
Next, you want to look at moisture sources and food sources that are inside the house. So, for example, I’ve seen folks develop mouse problems because they have pet food – in the big, heavy pet-food bags – perhaps sitting on the garage floor where the mice decide they’re going to cut their own door into the side of that bag and help themselves. So, you want to make sure that any type of food source is off the ground, up on shelves and in rodent-proof containers, metal containers.
TOM: You could also put in – now, see, she doesn’t want to kill them. So pretty much any other way to get rid of these things is going to remove – is going to kill them. I mean you could use bait stations where they’ll – does she just not want to kill them or she doesn’t want them to die in the house? Because it’s a fine point, you know? If you use a bait station, they usually take the bait and go outside while that stuff goes to work.
TOM: I can understand her perhaps not wanting to use mousetraps, because that can get kind of messy and gross. But I would suggest you try to make your home as rodent-resistant as possible. We’ve got a great article on how to do that. It’s called “Beating the Rat Race.” It’s on MoneyPit.com. But I do think that if you really want a permanent solution, you’re going to end up having to use some rodenticides, as well.
GETTY: OK. I think that’d be a fair idea. She’s wanting to catch them all and take them down the road somewhere.
LESLIE: Oh, geez.
TOM: You’re not going to catch them. They’re pretty fast.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
GETTY: Thank you.
LESLIE: Now that Halloween has passed, it’s time to decorate for the holidays ahead. We’re going to have tips to take you to the end of the season, after this.
TOM: Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
Alright. We’re going to jump into our e-mail questions here or your posts. We’ve got one here from Blake in New Mexico who writes: “I’m teaching myself some basic woodworking. I was wondering what the difference is between regular white glue and glue specifically for wood.”
That’s a really good question.
TOM: It is. And white glue is basically polyvinyl glue. And yellow glue is aliphatic resin glue. Now, the difference is that both are water-based but the yellow glue can be sanded and painted. And it’s also got a shorter drying time.
Now, neither of them are truly stainable, so you have to be very careful with any spillage. If it happens, what you want to do is avoid sort of rubbing it off, because you can press it into the grain. Then you’ll have an area that won’t take stain. So I like to let it dry to kind of a rubbery consistency and then sort of lift it off with a putty knife.
The other thing to remember is that both of those adhesives are water-based. Therefore, they’re not great for anything that’s going to get really wet. If that’s the case, you’re probably going to use some type of epoxy and then skip the polyvinyl white glue or the yellow aliphatic resin, which is also called “carpenter’s glue.” Make sense?
LESLIE: Yeah. Blake, when it comes to adhesives, especially with woodworking, it’s kind of like a chemistry experiment. You want to make sure that you’re getting the right chemicals involved in the adhesive for the project that you’re doing. And really, a carpenter’s glue is the most used when it comes to woodworking.
TOM: Well, there is no one who loves decorating for the holidays more than my friend, Leslie. And there’s no better place to decorate for that season than your entryway. And as luck would have it, that is the topic for today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.
LESLIE: Oh yeah, you guys. Your entryway really serves as the perfect place to show off your love of the season. Now I’ve got a few ideas to hopefully inspire you.
Fall wreaths, they really are a beautiful touch. Now, you can buy a basic Styrofoam or even grapevine wreath from your local craft store and then gather things from your own yard to pin to it. So you can look for leaves or pinecones, acorns, whatever says fall to you. Now, you want to make sure, when you’re applying things to your wreath, try to cover up all spare areas so that there’s nothing sticking out that looks rough, especially if you’re using the Styrofoam one. So you can actually wrap the Styrofoam with an autumn-y ribbon and then go ahead and apply that fall décor to it so that you really get the full look.
Now, when it comes to hanging that wreath, you want to avoid putting a hole in your front door. It could damage it. It can also avoid the warranty, if you’ve got one. You can actually get a small easel and prop it up on your porch. Or you can use fishing line or a suction cup and hook the wreath right to your door and hang it on there.
And speaking of your door, have you ever thought about framing it with garland? Garlands really aren’t just for Christmas. You can use something as simple as a rope and then attach fall décor items to it. Or you can frame your door by propping tall corn husks up on either side and putting pumpkins next to them. You can even use artificial-leaf garland or even orange lights. It only takes a few seconds to create a really beautiful, lasting first impression.
Now, when your choosing these décor items, you want to plan for items that will take you all the way through starting up for the other holidays that happen in December. So think of things like corn, squash, pumpkins, even planters of mums and purple cabbage. Because that will give you a head start. So, for next year, you could start in September and then go all the way through Thanksgiving and the end of November. And you can add things to and from to sort of make it Back to School or Halloween or Thanksgiving. Don’t do it over and over and over. Just add to and take away. And then come December, we’re talking a different game, guys.
TOM: There’s no doubt that you are the number-one fan of holiday decorating.
LESLIE: I love it.
TOM: No, I know. It’s fantastic.
LESLIE: I get so sad when the holidays are over. So sad.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Hey, coming up next time on the program, a warm, toasty home does come at a price. But the best way to keep those utility costs low is by making sure your house is properly winterized. We’ll have tips to do just that, on the next edition of The Money Pit.
I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Remember, you can do it yourself …
LESLIE: But you don’t have to do it alone.
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(Copyright 2016 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.)