In this episode…
Spring is a season where we like to get kids busy outside, especially since they have been cooped up indoors most of the winter. But warmer weather is also the most dangerous time of year for child-aged accidents. In this episode, Tom & Leslie have smart safety tips for this potentially hazardous season. Plus…
- Learn a very earth-friendly way to clean and disinfect surfaces though your house like countertops, walls and floors to eliminate the risk of viruses hanging out.
- You may know what good case of sunburn can do to your skin, but have you ever thought about what those harsh rays can do to your home? Sunlight can fade furniture and floors, raise energy costs. We’ll tell you about a way you can shut out the damaging rays with just the push of a button.
- If you are considering selling your home in the next few months, begin now with some easy updates to your curb appeal. We share easy ideas to get that done.
Plus, answers to your home improvement questions about, venting a dryer, painting a log cabin, installing a whole house generator, installing vinyl tile, installing a ridge vent, and more.
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: Coming up on today’s show, spring is a season where we like to get kids busy outside, especially since they’ve been cooped up indoors most of the winter. But that warmer weather is also the most dangerous time of year for child-aged accidents. We’re going to share some smart safety tips for this potentially hazardous season.
LESLIE: Plus, we’re going to share a very Earth-friendly way to clean and disinfect surfaces through your house – like countertops, walls, and floors – to eliminate the risk of viruses hanging around.
TOM: And we all know what a good case of sunburn can do to your skin but have you ever thought about what those harsh rays can do to your home? That sunlight can fade furniture and floors but it can also raise energy costs. So we’re going to tell you about a way you can shut out those damaging rays with just the push of a button.
LESLIE: But first, we want to help you with some projects around the house. We’ve got up for grabs, this hour, some fun tools from Arrow. We’ve got a mini glue gun, a rivet kit, a T50 Heavy-Duty Staple Gun. Lots of great prizes worth 50 bucks but going to one caller this hour.
TOM: That’s right, so make it you. Give us a call, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. If we choose your name out of The Money Pit hard hat, you’ll get that set of tools from Arrow Fasteners. That number, again: 888-666-3974.
LESLIE: Mike in Minnesota is dealing with “tumble-lint,” if you’d like to call it that. Lint blowing out a dryer vent.
MIKE: So I’ve got a dryer vent that directly vents through the exterior wall that it sits against, so there’s not much ductwork involved. My problem is that the vent sits 12 inches up from our deck surface, right in the middle, and it just makes an awful mess. So I’d really like to put in some type of maybe secondary capture system or maybe even reroute it on the exterior of the house.
I should also let you know that I have three teenage daughters and a wife, so doing less laundry doesn’t – isn’t really a popular solution at my house.
TOM: One solution could be just a clothesline, you know? Did you ever think of that?
MIKE: I’ll offer that one up to my wife, too, and see how that goes.
TOM: There you go. See how far that gets us.
Well, look, the good news is that having a dryer vent that’s so close to an exterior wall like that means that your clothes dry as efficiently as possible. Because if you try to route this anywhere else but directly out, it’s going to take a lot longer for those clothes to dry. Plus, you have the added hassle of needing to maintain the dryer exhaust duct, because it will continually build up with lint and have to be cleaned. So it’s clearly a trade-off.
I don’t think that anything that traps lint is going to be a good thing. It can cause a fire, actually. I mean the fact that it’s venting out is what it’s supposed to do.
Does the dryer lint vent work well inside the machine? Because it would seem to me that if the lint trap is working well inside the machine, you shouldn’t be getting as much lint in the dryer exhaust duct.
MIKE: Well, that’s what I expected, too, and it’s a new dryer. And certainly, it’s capturing a lot, too.
TOM: Well, if you did rerun it, where would you go?
MIKE: Well, I thought about putting it just below the deck, which is about 12 inches down. But I have a basement window there and it would just make a mess of the window. The only other option I’d have is to run it along, basically, the floor of the deck. Maybe it would probably take about 8 feet or so before I got away from the deck. But that would be a sharp right turn.
TOM: Well, here’s what I would think about. I would think about how many turns you need to make, starting at the machine, to get that to happen. So if you take – if you come off the machine and you take one elbow down and then you go into the floor, you take another elbow out, you’re essentially making a U-turn. And then that warm, moist air has to travel all that distance to get out. So, is it possible? Yeah. It’s not going to be as efficient, so that’s your trade-off.
And by the way, keep in mind that with most dryers, you can actually move the dryer vent. For example, I have a dryer that I’m reconfiguring right now that has a dryer exhaust duct out the back. But I noticed that the side of the dryer has had punch-outs – holes – for it. And so I just looked up online and the installation instructors – instructions – showed me how to rerun the duct coming out the side of the machine so that I could vent it quicker to an exterior wall than having to go down through a floor.
MIKE: Oh, OK. That might be an option, too.
TOM: So consider that you may be able to come out of the dryer in a different direction.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Brenda in West Virginia on the line who needs some help with her log cabin.
BRENDA: I was wondering if it’s more economical to put polyurethane on new logs with a sprayer or roll it on.
TOM: You want to have the shiniest house on the block, Brenda?
BRENDA: No, I’m not really looking for shine.
TOM: Is that …?
BRENDA: I’m looking for just a protectant. The inside – I’d have to do the inside and the outside and was putting the polyurethane on the inside.
TOM: You wouldn’t use polyurethane. On the outside, you would use an exterior stain.
TOM: And there are different types of exterior stain: there’s either transparent, semi-transparent or solid-color. Solid color is going to give you the most protection; it has the most pigment in it. It has to be redone the least frequently. So, that’s going to last the longest.
TOM: There are lots of good brands out there but solid-color stain would be the material to use on the outside of that home. And you could apply it, by the way, with a sprayer; you don’t – you certainly don’t want to brush it because of all the nooks and crannies on the uneven surfaces. The easiest way to do that is with a paint sprayer.
TOM: Alright, Brenda. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Going up north to Rhode Island where Doug has got a question about heat sources. What can we do for you, Doug?
DOUG: Yeah, hi. Good evening. I appreciate your show and I thank you for all your hard work in providing such wonderful answers.
My question has to do with – I’m looking – considering an alternative source for heat in the event of power loss. And I’m trying to weigh my options and I’m looking at pellet stoves and wood stoves. And I’m wondering what your opinions are and if there are – if there’s anything else that I should be considering.
TOM: Yeah, you should be considering a whole-home generator if you’re concerned about power failure. Look, it’s not just the heat that you need in a power failure. Have you thought about installing a generator?
DOUG: You know, if I did install one, it would have to be one that just kicks on: one of those whatever-they-call-it, the automatic style?
TOM: Yeah. It’s called – let me explain this to you, Doug. It’s called a “whole-home generator.” It’s a permanently installed appliance. It would be installed outside your house. You can buy one that can cover every single circuit in the house or you could buy a smaller one that would just cover select circuits like, for example, your furnace or your boiler. And when the power fails on the grid, the whole-home generator automatically kicks on and then repowers your entire house.
Now, these don’t run on gasoline. They can run on natural gas or propane, which means you never have to worry about fueling them or finding gasoline to fill a tank, for example. Because that’s what you’d have to do if you had a portable generator. So I would protect my power first.
Now, as to the question about installing some alternative heat source, like a pellet stove or a wood stove, sure, one of the other of those is fine. I think you’ll find maximum efficiency with the pellet stoves. And the most efficient stoves also have their own combustion air supply. That’s where most folks go wrong. Because if you don’t have an outside combustion air supply, where do you think all that air comes to fuel that fire? It comes from inside your house and that’s the air that you’ve already paid to heat through your heating system. So, you want to have an external combustion air supply to help improve the efficiency.
Does that make sense, Doug?
DOUG: Yeah, it makes a lot of sense. I do have natural gas.
TOM: Well, then, you’re all set up. I would take a look at the KOHLER generators or the Generac generators. Both great brands.
DOUG: Yeah, I’ll look into it.
TOM: Good luck, Doug. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
TOM: Well if you’re a DIYer, we’ve got three DIY tools to give away this hour from our friends at Arrow Fastener.
Arrow Fastener is a great company. They’re here in New Jersey, where I live, and they’ve been making staple guns in Saddle Brook for 90 years, which is just phenomenal. And they’ve got three tools they gave us to give away: the Arrow Mini Glue Gun, which is great for DIY and craft projects; the Arrow Rivet Kit, which is super handy for all sorts of repairs; and the Arrow T50X TacMate, which is the heavy-duty staple gun. And that is great for repairs, crafts, upholstery, as well as decorating.
The package is worth 50 bucks. You can check them out at ArrowFastener.com. And while you’re there, be sure to check out the step-by-step project directions and enter the giveaway for more great products. That’s at ArrowFastener.com.
That prize package is worth 50 bucks. Going out to one caller. Make it you. The number, again, is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Linda, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
LINDA: We had a new kitchen floor installed about a week-and-a-half ago. It was a middle-of-the-road-grade sheet vinyl. And a couple of hours after the installers left, we were moving stuff back in. And we moved the refrigerator and it gouged it a couple of times. And the flooring has a 15-year warranty, so they said they would honor that and replace it or patch it or whatever. But then, two days after that, my eight-month-old puppy got a hold of the seam and ripped it in several places and also took a couple of chunks out of the middle of the floor.
TOM: Oh, boy.
LINDA: So, I called the gal – the rep – back and she suggested going with an LVT click-it tile – luxury vinyl tile.
LINDA: And I was just wondering what you guys thought as – if that would be a viable option, mainly because of the dog. I just don’t know.
And another thing is she was saying that they would probably install it right over the floor that they just put down, so that would mean we have the subfloor, my old floor, the new floor and then this tile on top of it.
LESLIE: It’s a floor sandwich.
TOM: First of all, whether or not you can put it on top of old layers of floor is really a manufacturer specification. It’s not unusual.
For example, when you put down laminate floor, that always sits on top of whatever is underneath it, because it kind of floats. So it might be that it’s perfectly fine.
TOM: Luxury vinyl tile is probably way more durable than sheet vinyl. Sheet vinyl tends to be really soft, so I’m not at all surprised that it got torn up just by moving the refrigerator back and forth. I mean you would think that if you’re in the flooring-design business, that that would be sort of a standard. Like if your kitchen floor can’t handle a refrigerator being rolled back and forth, you probably shouldn’t be in the business.
TOM: But unfortunately, a lot of those sheet products are very, very soft and can easily tear. It’s a darn good thing that you got your claim in, though, before the dog ripped the rest of it up. Because otherwise, they may not have had any interest in helping you.
But I do think a tile is going to be a pretty durable option. I wouldn’t be too concerned about putting it on top of the old floor as long as it’s permitted by the manufacturer’s installation instructions, which you certainly should ask to – for a copy of so that you can review.
LINDA: OK. Alright. Well, thanks very much. I appreciate it.
TOM: Alright, Linda. I hope you love that dog. It’s costing you a lot of money.
LINDA: Yeah, we do. We do. Alright. Thank you.
LESLIE: Well, now that it’s getting warmer, it’s a good time to prepare for one of the most dangerous seasons for kids and teens. And when it comes to keeping them safe, you’ve got to start with the most obvious place. I’m talking about water. Now, if you have a home with a pool, you should have multiple layers of protective devices: fences, door alarms, pool alarms and pool covers. Using all of those together is going to provide layers of protection from drownings.
TOM: And from hanging out on decks and patios to keeping windows open for fresh air, it’s no surprise that more falls from high places happen this time of year. So, we want to keep kids safe by installing window guards on windows that are any higher than the first floor. You should have gates at the top of staircases that can also keep that roughhousing and running from taking a tragic turn, then tumble down those steps.
LESLIE: Yeah. And finally, maybe you did it when you were young but that doesn’t mean that your kids should be piling into cars or in cargo areas of SUVs, station wagons, vans or even pickup trucks. Even if it’s just a quick trip for ice cream, kids under the age of 12, you’ve got to keep them in the back seat. Those front-seat airbags can seriously injure those smaller bodies.
TOM: Good point. This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Call us, right now, if you’ve got a safety, a home improvement, a décor question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Time to talk to Phillip in Rhode Island about a roofing question. What can we do for you?
PHILLIP: Well, in Rhode Island, in my neighborhood in Jamestown, there’s a lot of beautiful, red cedar-shingled houses. And I just put brand-new, red-cedar shingles on my house, on my roof. I noticed some of the houses age beautifully. Like when I – what I mean in beautifully is they age darker red and sometimes little bits of black or streaks of black and red and deep, deep red. And some of them don’t age that way. It’s like – and I’m just wondering if you guys know anything about how to get them to age the way I want them to. I don’t want them to age light; I want them to age darker red.
TOM: Yeah, we don’t always get to choose how we age, right? And that applies to our shingles, as well.
So when you choose red cedar, that gets darker over time and it will turn to a very dark gray, typically, as it’s exposed to sunlight. I guess it’s possible that you could apply a stain to the cedar shingles, even though they’re roofing shingles, but most people don’t do that.
So, what we typically get calls about, when it comes to cedar, is how to not to have – how to prevent them from getting darker. And one way to do that is to replace the vent across the ridge of the roof. Or if you don’t have a vent there, you can essentially do the same thing with a strip of copper.
If you were to overlay the peak of the roof with, say, a 12-inch-wide strip of copper – so half goes on one side and half goes on the other – what happens is as rainwater strikes that, it releases some of the copper. And that acts as a mild mildicide and helps to keep the roof shingles clean and prevents algae growth.
PHILLIP: Oh. But it still – then they wouldn’t age dark; they’d stay lighter.
TOM: It would be less likely to get as dark and they certainly wouldn’t grow an algae. Perhaps you may have noticed that sometimes when you look at houses, especially around chimneys that have metal flashing, you’ll see bright streaks at the bottom of the chimney. That’s for the same reason. What happens is that metal flashing releases some of its copper and then cleans that area under the chimney. That’s why it gets streaky there. But if you do it across the whole peak of the roof, then it will sort of clean evenly.
PHILLIP: It’ll clean evenly. But I’m looking for that aged look: the kind of the darker-shingle aged look, the darker color. And I guess it’s just up to Mother Nature is what you’re saying.
TOM: It really is.
TOM: It really is.
PHILLIP: I appreciate it. Thanks very much, you guys.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Mary in Massachusetts is on the line with a ridge-vent question. How can we help you today?
MARY: 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.
Well, flu season is upon us. And along with all the concerns we have about our health, it’s a really good time to take stock of the way we disinfect the surfaces of our homes. You know, in our house we use the JAWS Disinfectant Cleaner. So I decided to ask Bruce Yacko to join us to talk about disinfectants, how they work and what we need to do to keep the surfaces in our homes as clean and safe as possible.
BRUCE: Nice to talk to you.
TOM: I think that this is a term that sometimes gets – it gets thrown around without people really understanding what it is. When we say disinfectant, that is a very specific type of product that does a very certain job. Can you just start there and talk about how that might vary from things that we call “sanitizers” and that sort of thing?
BRUCE: Sure. Well, a disinfectant is designed to kill 100 percent of the germs and viruses and things on a surface. A sanitizer would do about 99 percent of them.
TOM: I see.
BRUCE: And so, typically, your disinfectants are stronger in terms of their performance and are designed for more universal use, like in a hospital.
BRUCE: You wouldn’t want to sanitize a hospital, nor do you want to sanitize your home.
TOM: Right. OK.
BRUCE: And so, you really would want to disinfect those areas so you’re killing 100 percent of the viruses and bacteria and all the harmful things that are in that area.
And used to be, Tom, that you had to use very high pH, high alkaline products to do that. Well, that’s no longer the case. So we can have neutral products that are safer for the home and the surfaces in the home and the people in the home and still do a very high level of disinfection.
And actually, our disinfectant is used in the White House, it’s used in the Capitol Building, the Pentagon, some very prestigious places around the country that we really want to protect from harmful pathogens in those areas.
LESLIE: Bruce, I think during flu-and-virus season, we’re always hearing people saying, “Wash your hands. Clean the surfaces.” But I don’t think people really think about those surfaces that our dirty hands are touching every day, over and over and over again and coming into contact with when we’re out and about in our daily routine.
So, thinking about our houses, we’re washing our hands. What’s a good routine to get into cleaning-wise for all of those surfaces, to make sure that we’re disinfecting things the best that we can?
BRUCE: Well, I think it’s something that – and again, by having a neutral product and one that’s a great cleaner, in terms of our JAWS Disinfectant, there’s absolutely no reason not to use it like you’d use a general kitchen degreaser in your house. And so, having the ability to know that you’re cleaning away the greases and the oils, which is typically harboring those bacteria and allowing them to survive in foods – cleaning those off the surface efficiently, which is really what you’re trying to do, and then leaving that disinfectant on that surface to be able to kill whatever bugs may exist on that area I think, really, it makes a whole lot of sense.
So in a timeframe like this, where people are very concerned – the flu season has been a pretty major season this year. That flu shot you took may or may not have killed that flu – that influenza that you were trying to defend yourself against – but our disinfectant will. And so, by having a product that cleans efficiently, effectively, doesn’t hurt surfaces in their home, nice things to work with in terms of they’re pleasant – they don’t have fumes and odors and things like that, won’t leave streaks behind whether it’s being used on a kitchen marble surface, dark surface or used on your floor.
That it really has the ability to do – and during this time of the year when flu is prevalent, we’re in the house a lot, we’re closed in. Being able to use a good, solid, hospital-grade disinfectant – which it is – that’s used in medical facilities across the – really, across the globe, that why not protect yourself no differently than they would in a medical facility and really have a great cleaner, to boot?
TOM: Yeah. And that makes a lot of sense.
And I want to explain, for those that are not familiar with your system, the product’s called JAWS. And that’s because it stands for Just Add Water – the Just Add Water System. And so, your product is sold as a concentrate. And by doing so, you are not only providing a product that’s safe for the environment but you’re taking a lot of waste out of the – out of not having to throw away plastic bottles.
Plus, you’re lightening up the shipping. You’re not paying for all the fuel and all the exhaust to get what is essentially a lot of water – in most cleaning products, that’s probably the biggest ingredient – across the country and just providing the essential product.
And I think it’s cool the way you guys have designed it with these refills that just pop into the top of the bottle and just release into the water. And there you get a full bottle of disinfectant, just like you would if you were to go to the supermarket and pick up one off the store shelf.
BRUCE: Absolutely. You know, they’re small, they’re efficient. They’re about the size of a roll of nickels. And all you’ll do is you’ll fill up that hard – and again, it’s an elegant, beautiful, heavy-duty bottle designed for 26 refills. You have a heavy-duty sprayer on the top designed for the life of that sprayer, about 50,000 pulls.
And all you’re going to do is when that bottle goes empty, rather than throwing it away or recycling it – and we have seven oceans full of plastic, single-use bottles – all you’ll do is you’ll refill it with your water, your tap, insert the cartridge. And when you tighten down the sprayer, it’s kind of fun and interesting. And really give it time to do that piece of art that it does in front of you to create the next bottle of the cleaner.
And you’re not going to have 50 bottles of cleaner around your house. But having those little cartridges around that give you an opportunity to come back in the next time and clean, when the bottle goes empty and you simply reconstitute your product in your own home, it’s kind of fun. It’s interesting, it’s easy, it’s convenient. It doesn’t take up a whole lot of space and in the end, it’s cost-saving.
TOM: The product is the JAWS Disinfectant Cleaner. That is one of six products made by JAWS in the same way.
Bruce Yacko from JAWS, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit.
You can learn more at JAWSCleans.com. And Bruce has also provided us a promo code just for our listeners, that’s worth 25 percent off the cost of your purchase. And you just enter MONEYPIT as your promo code. You’ll save 25 percent.
Bruce, thanks for doing that. And thanks, again, for stopping by The Money Pit and clearing us up on the term disinfectant so that we can keep our homes as safe and clean as possible.
BRUCE: Great to be with you, as always, and thank you for your support.
LESLIE: Hey, are you a crafty person? Or maybe you’ve got some small projects around your Money Pit. Well, we’ve got a great prize up for grabs for you this hour. We’ve got some tools from Arrow Fastener up for grabs. We’ve got the MT300 Mini Glue Gun, the Arrow RL100K Rivet Kit, and Arrow T50X TacMate Heavy-Duty Staple Gun. These three tools will help you tackle so many projects around your Money Pit.
It is a great prize pack worth 50 dollars going out to one lucky caller this hour, right here at The Money Pit. So give us a call, right now, at 888-MONEY-PIT for your chance to win.
Well, we all know the damage the sun can do to your skin but did you know that it can soar through your windows and doors and do quite a bit of damage to your home? Those UV rays – the ultraviolet rays – can fade fabric and paint, they can drive up cooling costs and they can whitewash those wood surfaces. So we’ve got a few pro solutions to prevent this, presented by HomeAdvisor in today’s Pro Project.
LESLIE: Alright, first of all, the most obvious way to stop UV light from getting through the windows is having a window shade. But that also means you need to manage the up, the down. And let’s face it, that’s not always going to be a priority.
A better solution is to have a pro install a smart-home solution that incorporates motorized shades that are automatically going to go up and down based on the number of hours of daylight throughout the year. And with a system like this you don’t even have to think about whether they’re up or down. Plus, they also come down at a preset time in the evening to ensure security.
TOM: Now, another option is to have a pro install window film. Window films are very thin and they’re designed specifically to block UV rays. They can protect furnishings. They can even help cut cooling costs in rooms where window coverings are not an attractive option.
And unlike the window films you may think of from seeing cars with sort of darkened glass that looks very sort of spooky and unsafe, today’s window-film technology is amazing. It can give you complete protection from UV rays and be 100-percent clear, so you don’t even know it’s there.
LESLIE: And that’s today’s Pro Project presented by HomeAdvisor.com. With HomeAdvisor, you can get matched with top-rated home service pros in your area and book appointments online, all for free.
TOM: No matter the type of job, HomeAdvisor makes it fast and easy to hire the best local pros.
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-stain 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 three times in the last two 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. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: You can always call in your question here at The Money Pit or post your question at MoneyPit.com, just like William did.
Now, William writes: “I need to repaint my exterior fence. This will be paint, not stain. And the fence surrounds my lot at about 1/3-acre and we’ll be doing the front and the back. I will not be doing this by hand, so I need a sprayer. My question is: do I purchase a sprayer or should I rent a commercial sprayer?”
TOM: I must say that painting a fence is one of the most difficult pain-in-the-neck projects, because you have so many surfaces and so many angles. That’s why using a sprayer is the right solution.
Now, you can do either: you could rent a sprayer from a home center or – like a Lowe’s or a Depot or another rental outfit. They’re not that expensive to rent a pro-level sprayer. But if you think you’re going to do it and do spray-painting jobs perhaps more than once or twice, you might want to buy one. They’re not expensive.
Wagner just came out with a brand-new one called Control Pro 130. Now, this has a small tank. It’s got a steel spray gun. It’s got a very interesting 10-inch pattern spray tip. It’s got a 25-foot hose. It’s got everything that you need to spray lots of projects around your house: walls, decks, floors, you name it. And again, it’s around 200 bucks, so it’s not very expensive. So that is – they’re both an option for you.
I think it really comes to – first of all, how much work do you have to do? You’ve got a third of an acre, so you’ve got fences on two sides. It’s a lot so, yeah, we are going to spray. B, is this a one-time absolutely never going to have a project like this again? Or C, is it possible that maybe once I have this tool in my hands I will find other things to do with it, which is what happens at my house? And if so, take a look at that Wagner Control Pro 130.
LESLIE: Alright. Hope that helps you with your project.
TOM: Well, if you’re thinking of selling your home this spring, adding landscaping is a great way to step up your curb appeal. Leslie has some tips on the best way to do that, in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.
LESLIE: That’s right. First of all, a messy lawn creates a very bad first impression. Overgrown, patchy lawns, even outsized bushes is going to cause your home to stand out but in a bad way. Now, the good news is that taming your jungle is an easy fix. For a few hundred dollars you can hire a lawn service company to trim the lawn, shape the hedges. And your curb appeal will go from messy to maintained without blowing your budget.
Next, adding some low-maintenance landscaping is going to save you money and add value when it comes time to sell. No question shrubs and colorful plants are going to add curb appeal to any home. But when you’re shopping at your local garden center, make sure that you think green. Purchase plants that are native to your region and plants that are drought-tolerant. These are going to require less water and less maintenance, which means more savings to you and more green in your wallet.
And last, if you’re not selling soon, plan for the future by planting a shade tree. Mature trees can make your home more desirable. And a fully grown, properly placed tree can cut your cooling costs and add valuable curb appeal to your home.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Coming up next time on the program, do you experience tripped circuits maybe a little more than you’d like? Like maybe when you’re in the middle of blow-drying your hair or shaving or something like that or using the vacuum? If that’s the case, you might want to think about upgrading your electrical-service panel. We’ll tell you how to know if it needs to go, 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.
(Copyright 2020 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.)