In this episode…
Summer’s come to an end, but your fresh supply of veggies doesn’t have to. In this episode Tom & Leslie tips to how to turn your summer vegetable garden into a fall vegetable garden. Plus…
- Plus, as the temps go down the cost of heating your home goes up! We’ll share a few simple steps you can take around your home to reduce energy use and save money too!
- If you are ready for a healthy alternative to the cost and all the waste of bottled water– we’ll review water filters that can be installed in your homes plumbing system that’ll deliver great tasting water at a tiny fraction of the cost of buying bottled.
- Trying to fit your car in your garage? What a concept! Get handy tips for garage organization that can make it happen.
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: Well, summer has come to an end but we are ready to help you take on your fall projects. Have you got some ideas on projects you’d like to get done? Give us a call, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. We are ready to grab our tools and get to work for you. Inside or out, first floor, second floor, basement, attic, you name it, we’ve got some tips, some ideas to help you get those projects done once, get them done right. And then you can move onto more projects, because there is a never-ending list. At least there is around our houses and I’m sure around yours, as well. Help yourself first by calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT or posting your question at MoneyPit.com.
Well, the warm weather has passed but your fresh supply of veggies doesn’t have to. We’re going to give you some tips on how to turn your summer vegetable garden into a fall vegetable garden.
LESLIE: Plus, as the temperatures go down, the cost of heating your home goes up. We’re going to share a few simple steps that you can take around your home to reduce energy use and save money, too.
TOM: And if you’re ready for a healthy alternative to the cost and all the waste of bottled water, we’re going to review water filters that can be installed in your home’s plumbing system and deliver great-tasting water at a tiny fraction of the cost of buying bottled.
LESLIE: But first, we want to hear from you. What are your fall project plans, you guys? You doing inside work? You doing outside work? Whatever it is, we here at Team Money Pit are here to lend a hand.
TOM: Give us a call, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. And if you do, you may also win a set of four trigger clamps we’re giving away from Jorgensen. They are heavy-duty. They can be used with just one hand, making them great for DIYers and crafters alike.
They’re worth 120 bucks. Going out to one caller, one listener drawn at random. Make that you. Reach out to us, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT or post your question at MoneyPit.com.
Let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s first?
LESLIE: We’ve got Dan in Louisiana on the line who’s had some damage from recent storms and needs some help figuring out the next steps. Tell us what happened.
DAN: The problem is we got hit hard with the hurricane. My roof is gone. My house has shifted off its piers.
DAN: And the adjuster or insurance guy came out and said, “Oh, no, we can’t pay for that, you know. That’s not – we’re not going to do that.” And it’s just a lot of things on the inside while I – where I had water damage, sheetrock not coming down but I could tell there’s water marks on it. And they’re saying, “Well, we’ll just patch that little hole right there.” And I can’t do that. I’ve got to make – I want the whole ceiling painted. It won’t look good. So, I don’t know what to do.
TOM: OK. So, Dan, let me ask you something. The insurance adjuster that came out, this is somebody that works for your homeowners insurance company?
TOM: Alright. What you need, sir, is a public adjuster. A public adjuster is an insurance adjuster that works in the private sector. And the way public adjusters work is they will sign a contract with you where they will represent you to the insurance company.
TOM: And now you’ve got one adjuster – an expert adjuster – against the other. And the way they get paid is by a percentage of the claim that they get for you. So, it’s kind of a no-lose situation when you hire a public adjuster.
DAN: Right, right.
TOM: The thing is that the public adjuster, they’re not going to be bamboozled by the insurance company, because they know their business.
TOM: So I would focus – your next step is I would focus on trying to find a good-quality public adjuster. Now, I don’t know your area and I don’t know who’s working in that area. I don’t know whether public adjusters in that area are licensed or not. If you have an attorney or an accountant or somebody like that that you trust, see if you can get some leads on a good-quality public adjuster. And then have them represent you to the insurance company.
Because you’re exactly right: when it comes to those sorts of things, you don’t want a minor repair done when you need a major repair. You don’t want a touch-up. I mean how can you – you can’t touch-up a ceiling. Let’s say the paint on the ceiling is 5 or 10 years old. You can’t just touch that up; you’ve got to repaint the entire ceiling. I don’t care if the leak spot was 2 inches wide, so …
DAN: That’s right. I want to be whole.
TOM: Right. Yep. And that’s why you paid for the insurance. And you’re going to have to demand that it be properly handled. So that’s your next step. You’ve got to find a good-quality public adjuster to represent you.
DAN: Where would I find that public adjuster if I – I don’t have a lawyer or a friend. Where would I find – are they in a telephone book or …?
TOM: I’m sure you could find one online.
TOM: But again, there’s good ones and there’s bad ones. So I’m sure there’s a community there of people you know of you can trust, whether it’s not a lawyer or a realtor. I don’t know who else you have in your community there but I’m just going to be – just get some references, get some referrals. Try to find people that they’ve had some experience with. Take your time. Find the right guy. Don’t just get the first guy that shows up at your door. Just take your time and find a good person.
TOM: And I think you’ll find that your experience with your insurance company after that will be – make a lot more sense.
DAN: That sounds – I really appreciate you all calling and taking my call. It’s miserable over here. It’s like a bomb went off in this city. There’s 90 percent homes that will be reroofed. And I don’t – I’m only – I only have a roof in my house to be releveled. People have trees that are splitting their homes in half. But what you see is a community coming together and everybody’s being humble. It’s wonderful. You look for the good in this stuff and God blesses you somehow.
TOM: Yep. Well, listen, Dan, we went through Hurricane Sandy up here not too long ago, several years ago. And we saw our share of devastation and you guys certainly have seen a lot more than we have. And I’m so pleased that your community is as strong as it is and coming together like it is. And I think that it’s going to take some time but you will heal from this and you will rebuild from this and hopefully be stronger than ever before.
Listen, as this process goes on, you call us back any time that we can lend a hand. And you spread that word to your neighbors, as well, OK?
DAN: I will. And you don’t know how important you all are to us. I listen to you all all the time and it’s – you all are a blessing. So you’re God-sent, so Godspeed to you all. Thank you so much.
TOM: Thank you so much, Dan. And good luck to you, sir.
DAN: Thank you, sir.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Gail at the line who’s got a question about a washing machine. Tell us what’s going on.
GAIL: I heard you say one day about – you’re going to tell people how to clean their washing machine. And I stayed around but then I had to go outside. When I came back, it was all over.
GAIL: And it’s just got a gray, you know – of course, it’s a white machine. But you can see gray up to a certain point. A light gray. It’s not the same white. So I need to do something for (inaudible) to keep it clean.
TOM: Alright. So are we talking about cleaning it from a health/sanitary perspective or are you talking about just wiping down the outside?
GAIL: No, no, no. The inside of the tub.
TOM: Right. So, what you want to do first is you want to run an empty load with probably about 3 or 4 cups of bleach, about three times what you normally would put in a load. And what this does is this will sanitize a lot of the internal plumbing without risking damaging your clothes. You want to run an empty hot-water load with about 3 or 4 cups of bleach.
Now, the other thing that you want to do – is this a front-load or a top-load?
TOM: So, if it’s a top-load, you don’t take this step. But for those listening that have a front-load, you want to take a bleach-and-water solution and wipe the seal of the rubber gasket around the door, all the way around. Because a lot of times, you’ll get some debris that will form in that seal and it will grow some bacteria. And then it can really smell. So wiping that seal down is important, as well.
So, that’s actually a pretty simple way to sort of sanitize your washing machine. Because in some instances, you can have bacteria that stays behind. But by running the empty load with bleach and hot water, that will clear it out.
TOM: Alright? Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: One of you who calls in this hour with a question will be chosen to win a great prize. It’s a set of two 12-inch and two 36-inch Heavy-Duty Jorgensen Trigger Clamps worth $120. They’re really fantastic, because they have E-Z Hold Bar Clamps, which allow for rapid and easy clamping. And then you can easily convert them into spreader clamps. I mean it’s super great to give you an extra hand when you’re trying to keep something together and you just can’t do it on your own. And the deep-reach pads are going to help protect your work.
This is a prize that’s going out to one lucky caller this hour.
TOM: It’s worth $120. Going out to one person. One. Only one. And you know what? We’ve got a set of 4 clamps: two 12-inch and two 36-inch. So call us, right now, with your question. It could be you. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Now we’re heading to California. We’ve got Steve on the line who’s got a question about insulation. Tell us what’s going on.
STEVE: Yes. Recently, I’d heard of a new type of insulation. Supposedly, it’s supposed to be used on the space shuttles and – to protect people. It’s a reflective metal? And they talk about …
TOM: I think you’re talking about radiant barrier. Is that right?
STEVE: Is that what it is? I guess so.
TOM: Yeah. Yeah. It’s not only a type of insulation, it’s designed to reflect some of the UV rays of the sun back out, reflect the heat off of the insulation, try to keep it off the insulation and keep it up towards the top of the roof. My concern with radiant barrier is it overheats the shingles and shortens the roof life.
There’s a lot better ways to save energy than radiant barrier, starting with making sure that you have the right levels of insulation in your attic space and secondly, making sure that you have the right amount of ventilation venting that attic space. So, today, you want to have 15 to 20 inches of insulation if you use fiberglass in the attic. And you need to have a fully-vented ridge vent that goes down the peak of the roof and fully-open soffit vents. And those two things, working together, are going to make sure you have energy savings all year round.
But there’s no miracle fix here. There’s no new space discovery with this stuff. It’s been around as long as I’ve been on the radio and that’s a long time.
STEVE: Oh, OK.
TOM: Yeah. So if you have fiberglass, you can add additional batts on top of what you have. You can add additional unfaced insulation laying on top of what you have. Just make sure you don’t put storage on top, because you don’t want to squish it; you want it to be fluffy. And then make sure you have a fully-open ridge vent and soffit vents at the overhang, OK?
STEVE: Because obviously, I knew I needed soffit – a big gable vent or something like that.
TOM: A ridge vent is much better than a gable vent. It’s more efficient, because the ridge is always in an area of depressurization. In other winds, as wind blows over your ridge at the peak of the roof, it wants to draw air out of the attic. And as wind blows against the side of the house, it pushes air in the soffits. So the air goes in the soffit, underneath the roof sheathing, taking away heat in the summer and moisture in the winter and then exits at the ridge. And that cycle just repeats itself, 24/7, 365 days a year.
STEVE: Well, thank you. Yeah, I’ve put in ridge vents, so I just have to go up there on the ridge, take off the top shingle, lay – cut back the plywood a little bit.
TOM: That’s right. Just cut – yeah, cut the slot in and drop a new vent right on top of it.
STEVE: Well, thank you very much for clearing that up with me. I probably saved myself a lot of money.
TOM: Happy to help, Steve. Thanks for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Well, that steady stream of veggies from your garden might be coming to an end. But if you want to keep the produce coming well into the cooler weather, you can by transitioning your summer veggie garden into a fall vegetable patch.
LESLIE: Yes. Veggies like broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, spinach, mustard greens, beets, turnips, these all grow very well in cooler weather. And the key is to rejuvenate your soil, replenishing all of the nutrients that it’s spent growing those summer veggies.
TOM: So, first step, pull out the plants that are done producing and yank out any loose weeds or debris. We just took out all of our cucumbers. We had a great season of cucumbers but cucumbers, when you grow them, they take over everything. They’re …
LESLIE: Oh, do they?
TOM: They do not hold back. They go up the side of the house, they go on the fence. They just go anywhere they can. But when they’re done, they’re done, so pull those out. Then you can add compost and mulch and layer in some straw or hay on top of it. This is going to insulate the garden when the temperatures start to drop.
LESLIE: Now, most fall veggies can endure a little bit of frost. But you can extend their season by up to a month by adding a frost blanket on top of the hay.
TOM: Now, for new fall veggies, just sow a seed every 1 to 2 inches and before you know it, you’ll replace those store-bought salad fixings with the fresher version from your very own backyard garden.
LESLIE: Betsy in Georgia needs some help tackling a ceiling project. What’s going on?
BETSY: My question is how to remove popcorn ceiling. We have a bonus room above our garage that the popcorn ceiling was falling down in spots.
BETSY: And we scraped and scraped and we weren’t getting very far with it and we damaged the drywall with gouges from being scraped. So my husband put stippling on the ceiling to cover up the gouges and I don’t think it looks good at all.
BETSY: It looks dumb.
TOM: So he kind of put more texture back on where he had the old texture?
TOM: Yeah. So now do you have to remove the stippling, which was probably done with the spackle, correct?
TOM: Ugh. Boy, I tell you what, you made it – it went from bad to worse. You know what I would do if I wanted a really clean ceiling and that was the situation? I would knock down as much of that as was physically possible, so it’s nice and flat, make sure as much of the popcorn is gone as possible and then I would put a second layer of drywall over the whole thing. Tape it, prime it, paint it and be done with it. You’ll have a brand-new ceiling.
LESLIE: Bury it. Hide it.
TOM: I’m like, “Bury it.” Because that drywall is probably so damaged now from the scraping off of the old popcorn to the adding of the stipple. And then you’re going to have to sand and get rid of that. I just don’t think that – all the work that’s going to be worth you putting into that is just not worth it. You’re just not going to get a really clean look. So why don’t you just put a second layer of drywall over it? It’s really clean, easy to do and it will look much, much better in the long run.
BETSY: Right. And then we – our other ceilings have popcorn but we haven’t tackled that. So is there an easier way to get it off?
TOM: Well, here’s the right way to do it – is that you would dampen it and then you would scrape it.
LESLIE: So you use a paint sprayer or a garden pump sprayer and then you just lightly spray that on the ceiling. You know, get it wet. You’re going to have to cover everything; it is a messy job. And then you just scrape it away with a spackle knife.
TOM: And by the way, though, if you want to buy yourself some time and maybe – what happens with the popcorn, it gets dirty and grungy-looking. You can actually paint that. There’s a special type of roller that’s a very thick roller that’s got sort of slits in it and presses the paint up inside the sort of the pieces of popcorn. And you can get a nice bright, clean look to it. So, it is possible to paint that and have it look a lot nicer and a lot cleaner.
BETSY: Alright. Well, thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Betsy. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Doug in Iowa has got a wallpaper question. What can we do for you today?
DOUG: My parents live in an old Victorian mansion, Southwest Iowa, built around 1919. And this is not original wallpaper but it’s starting to kind of peel away from the top of the roof – the ceiling line. And I didn’t know what was a good way to, I guess, re-adhere that to the wall. And what would you recommend?
LESLIE: So it’s just where the top section of the wallpaper meets that wall/ceiling joint?
LESLIE: Hmm. Now, does it seem like it’s happening all across the entire wall or is it just a piece here and there? Is it just at corners? What’s the situation?
DOUG: Pretty much just at this one where these two strips meet. And I’m not sure why it was – why that occurred there but the wallpaper is just starting to peel back a little bit.
LESLIE: OK. Well, there is a glue that you can buy and I want to say it’s called Seam Fixer or Wallpaper Seam Fixer. And it’s sort of like a bottled version of wallpaper paste. And it really is the best solution that I’ve seen for smaller fixes of wallpapering. I just recently used it because my four-year-old has become fascinated with our foyer wallpaper and has started to peel at areas. And as much as I love him, I’m like, “Dude, let’s not do this.” And it really does seem to do the trick.
DOUG: Yeah, that sounds great. I’ll look into that.
TOM: Alright. Well, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Tracy in New York is on the line with a gutter question. How can we help you with this project?
TRACY: I’m thinking about getting gutters put on my house but I’m not sure what I need to know and what I should ask when I have the contractors come over to do the quote.
TOM: Alright. So you have no gutters right now?
TRACY: That’s correct.
TOM: OK. So, here’s a couple things to think about. First of all, what you want are seamless gutters. So the way they’re made is the contractors come out and the gutter material is actually in a sheet stock and it’s on a roll of metal. And they run it through a forming machine that actually creates the shape of the gutter. And this way, they can make the gutters the exact length that you need for the different sections of your house.
Now, the number of spouts that you put into the gutter is important, because you don’t have – you want to have less than 600 to 800 square feet of roof surface per spout or the gutters will back up and get overwhelmed. So pay attention to that.
Also, think about where the downspouts come down. You don’t want them dumping water right at the corner of the foundation, because that will collect there and it can soak in. It can weaken the foundation; it can flood a basement or a crawlspace. Just generally a bad idea. So you want the downspout to extend at least 3 to 4 feet away from the foundation. If you had a water problem, I’d tell you to take it out further but if you don’t have a problem, at least 3 to 4 feet out.
So, if you have one downspout and you have a – if you have one section of gutter and you have a choice as to whether the downspout is on the left than the right, use our head about thinking about that. Yeah, don’t bring it out near a walkway or something like that; bring it out in the opposite side of the house.
Now, the other thing to think about is gutter guards: whether or not you want to put them in or not. Because when you get gutters, you’re going to get the need to clean those gutters. And there are such a wide variety of gutter guards that are available today.
The kind that seem, in my experience, to work the best are those that work on surface tension. So these have sort of a complete cover to them and the leaves will wash over them and the water hangs this cover or maybe goes through some louvered slots and falls into the gutter. So, think about that. Check out with the company whether or not they offer a gutter-guard option at the time of the installation. And this way, you can get it sort of all done at the same time.
And then one other trick of the trade is that before you attach these to the house, do you know if the fascia is wood, right now, or is it aluminum? What are you going to be attaching it to?
TRACY: Wood, I believe.
TOM: So this is the perfect time for you to paint it. This is your one and only golden opportunity to put a couple of good coats of exterior paint on that. Because once that gutter is attached, you are never ever going to take them off or at least not for a heck of a long time. So, get a couple of good coats of paint on that fascia now, before you put the gutter on, so that it’s protected.
TRACY: OK. That’s great. Thank you so much for your help.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, as the temperatures go down, the cost of heating your home goes up. Here are a few fast and easy fixes to stop the less well-known sources of energy leaks.
Well, for example, you might be surprised to learn how cold air can make its way into your living space through the lights and outlets on those exterior walls. Now, the solution is simple. You just add pre-fit, plastic-foam outlet gaskets behind those cover plates and that’s going to seal the drafts.
TOM: Now, another place the heated air inside your home escapes – I mean escapes in huge quantities – is through the chimney. If you’re fortunate enough to have a fireplace, great. But all the time you’re not using that fireplace, warm air from your house is making its way up the chimney and out. And that’s just a big waste of energy.
Now, an easy fix is to insert something that is called a “chimney balloon” into the flue. It’s basically sort of a sturdy plastic balloon that inflates to fit your chimney and it acts as a plug to prevent that unwanted airflow from getting in there and finding its way out. The good news is that it’s easy, also, to remove when you want to use that fireplace.
LESLIE: Now, caulk is a great way to keep water out around the outside of your windows. But did you know that it can also stop drafts on the inside of the windows? Now, cold drafts can leak through exterior walls and make it into your house, as well. So to seal those out, you add a bead of caulk between the interior window trim and the wall.
TOM: And speaking of windows, here is one more very little-known trick: lock your windows. Now, of course we want you lock them if you’re going away. But you should always keep them locked even when you’re home. Because if you’ve ever noticed the lock on a double-hung window, you know that when you rotate it, it actually pushes the window down to the sill. And in doing so, it creates a very tight seal. So, if you lock the windows, you’ll actually also seal out some drafts, as well.
888-666-3974. If all this talk of saving energy has got you thinking about some questions you’d like to get answered, now would be a great time to call us – the number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT – or post your question at MoneyPit.com.
LESLIE: Buck in Texas, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
BUCK: I was calling to ask a question about a built-up roof, about 4,000 square foot. I was thinking about taking and putting a coating on top of it. No insulation in the attic. And was wanting to know if it really would actually defer the heat in the lower floor by putting a brilliant-white roof coating on top.
TOM: Well, those types of roof paints do have UV reflectors in there and they’re designed to make the roof cooler. And certainly, it will be a heck of a lot cooler than the black roof that you’re starting with. So I think that that’s probably a good idea in your situation, especially being in such a warm part of the country, Buck.
BUCK: Any particular product brand that you can suggest going on top of tar?
TOM: No. But make sure it’s a roof paint. I mean typically, you use a fibrous aluminum paint for something like that. What you really want to look for is the UV reflectivity of it. Because the more UV it reflects, the better the job it’s going to do.
And by the way, it will also extend the roof life, as well, because the cooler the roof is, that means less of the oil is going to evaporate out of the asphalt and it’ll last a lot longer.
BUCK: OK. Good.
TOM: Buck, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: And for one lucky caller to The Money Pit this hour, we’ve got a great prize. We’re giving away a set of two 12-inch and two 36-inch Heavy-Duty Jorgensen Trigger Clamps worth $120.
Now, they’re going to deliver 600 pounds of clamping power. These clamps really are serious workhorses for serious home improvers, crafters and makers. So make them yours. Give us a call for your chance to win. It’s worth $120. If you want to check them out, go to PonyJorgensen.com.
TOM: That number, again, is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Tommy in Nebraska, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
TOMMY: My question concerns my dryer. I moved into a house that had the washer and dryer already here in my laundry room. And when I was cleaning back behind the dryer – the dryer hose is aluminum type and it’s attached with tape. Obviously, not done correctly. And what I want to know is what would you recommend? Is there a better dryer-vent hose or a tube of some kind? It’s a fairly short distance from the wall to the dryer.
TOM: If it’s the flexible aluminum hose, then that – I would probably go ahead and put that back in. If it’s vinyl, I would not. But you’re sure it’s aluminum, right?
TOMMY: It is. It’s like shiny aluminum foil.
LESLIE: Yeah. And that’s the one that you want there, because that’s heat-resistant.
TOMMY: Oh, you do. OK.
TOMMY: Rather than the white vinyl? It’s better than the white vinyl.
LESLIE: Right. Because the white vinyl could overheat and potentially cause a fire hazard. So the aluminum one is great because it won’t hold onto all of that heat.
Now, the question is: where does your dryer hose vent to? Does it go to the outside? Has it been cleaned in a while? These are all maintenance things that you need to be doing for your dryer.
TOMMY: Right, Leslie. And that’s what I wanted to do, because I am so afraid of fire hazards. OK, so I need to detach it? And it is vented to an outside vent.
TOM: So what you should do is get a dryer-vent cleaning brush. There is one that’s available online called the Gardus LintEater. Leslie and I both have one of these brushes. They’re really cool. They’re like brushes on the end of fiberglass rods. And you stick them into a drill and just spin them into the vent and go back and forth and pull them out.
TOMMY: Oh, my goodness.
TOM: And you’d be amazed how much dust comes out of those things. So that’s one – I’m sure you could probably find it at a home center or at a hardware store, as well. But a dryer-duct cleaning brush is what you really need for that.
TOMMY: OK. And then when I reattach that hose to the vent and then to the dryer, obviously I don’t want to use tape, which is what they’ve used.
TOM: There’s a big bracket that is sort of like a clamp that fits around that. And it goes over the hose and the hose goes over the vent and then it all sort of screws together. And I’m sure you could also find those at a home center or a hardware store. No, you should definitely not tape it together.
TOMMY: I will do that. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, if your family uses a lot of bottled water, you may be ready for alternatives that cost less but deliver the same great taste.
Now, two types of filters do just that for you. You can save money and go green with an under-sink water filter or a whole-house water-filter system.
TOM: Yeah. And here’s how they work.
For under-sink filters, now most are what’s called “dual-cartridge filters.” They have both carbon-block and granular-carbon filters. And those dual filters reduce the most common chemicals or contaminants that we find in tap water from municipal sources. This could be stuff like lead and mercury, asbestos, pesticides and even cysts. They’ll also eliminate sediment. They’ll get rid of the bad taste and the odors caused by the chlorine that’s added to municipal systems, as well. You do, however, need to pay close attention to the filters. They’ve got to be changed about every 6 months or when 500 gallons of water have passed through them.
Now, the other type, which is a little bit more convenient, is called a “whole-house water filter.” It’s convenient because it’s much larger and it’s installed at the main water valve, so it pretty much filters all of the water that’s going into your house. And it will also trap dirt and impurities, like rust, but it can also improve water taste, it can reduce cloudiness and reduce contaminants. Filtrete, for example, has one that’s pretty inexpensive. It’s a quick-change system. It costs under 100 bucks. And those filters last about 12 months.
So, one way or the other, you don’t need to use all that bottled water. You don’t need to deal with the cost, the expense or the environmental impact of throwing away the millions of plastic bottles of water we do every year. You can add these filters. They’re not expensive. They’re pretty easy to install and enjoy great-tasting water at home.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Rhonda in Washington who needs some help with window cleaning. Tell us what you’re working on.
RHONDA: Hi. Well, you know what? We bought new windows and then my husband turned the sprinkler on and now we’ve got water-deposit stains all over these new windows. And it’s on the west side of my house and it’s just baked on. And I cannot find any way to get that cleaned off and I was wondering if you had any suggestions.
LESLIE: There’s actually a super-easy trick of the trade. Have you tried white vinegar?
RHONDA: Oh, you know what? I soaked paper towels in white vinegar and just soaked it on there and it didn’t seem to do anything to it.
TOM: Rhonda, have you tried LIME-A-WAY?
TOM: LIME-A-WAY is a cleaner that’s designed to dissolve mineral deposits. What you have are mineral salts. And it’s kind of like CLR. It’s made by Reckitt Benckiser. They’re a big cleaning manufacturing company. And it works very well on vinyl siding and other vinyl surfaces and I’m sure it will work well to take those deposits. It’ll take lime off; it’ll also take rust stains off.
RHONDA: Soak it in a paper towel and stuff and then just put it on there like that and let it just sit?
TOM: No, it’s a concentrate. You just mix it.
RHONDA: Alright. Well, cool. Thank you so much.
TOM: What’s on your fall to-do list? Put it on our list. Swing it right over by calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT or posting your question to MoneyPit.com or Facebook.com/TheMoneyPit.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got a post here from Shawn who reached out to us on Facebook. Now, Shawn writes: “I’ve decided I’d like to start parking my car inside of the garage.” I mean that’s a kind of great idea. “Do you have any tips for organizing and storing all of the stuff that’s parked in there right now?”
TOM: Well, that’s a great fall project, isn’t it, because it’s a time of change, right? We’re putting away our lawn equipment and that sort of thing and we’re getting out our shovels and the stuff that we’re going to need. So, always a good time to think about organization.
You know, when it comes to the garage, there’s something special about that space and it’s a special danger. And that is – it always concerns me, Leslie, that you’ve got the kids’ toys stored next to the pesticide, right? So you’ve got to be really careful to keep that separate. You’ve got some pretty active boys there at your house and I know you’re concerned about stuff like that, too.
LESLIE: Oh, for sure. But it’s also – in addition to pesticides, there’s tools. And some of the tools are sharp or dangerous. So we’re very curious and these kids want to just take everything and anything.
So you’ve got to make sure that you keep these items separate. If you do store chemicals or paint items or anything that seems kind of dangerous, you can have a cabinet that has locking doors or at least get them up and out of the way of kids.
Another thing I like to do is sort of sort things by season and put the stuff that’s in the current season towards the front and the things that are out of season towards the back. So you’re constantly kind of rotating what’s easier to have access to over the others.
And then you’ve got to look up. You really need to figure out where you can put extra things that’ll allow your car to get in but still keep your stuff in there.
TOM: Absolutely. I was with a buddy of mine this past week and he wants to get some storage space in his garage. He’s got a nice garage but he’s got a lot of stuff on the walls already. So I said, “What about all of the space?” He had a big, tall – not an attic space but a big, tall sort of attic opening area. And we found a really nice shelf on Amazon: 8 feet long, steel, about 2 feet deep and a whole cable system to support it. And now it looks fantastic and there’s a whole bunch more space up there now that he can use for storage that he never had before.
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got a post here from Sam in Kentucky. Now, Sam writes: “I have a 100-year-old house that was rewired about 5 years ago. Now I have random on-and-off circuits and ceiling fixtures going on in one part of the house. Do you have any idea what is causing this?”
TOM: Yeah. I don’t know exactly but that’s bad. You should not have anything going on and off random. And that usually happens when there’s a loose wire and there’s some arcing or sparking or vibrations. All sorts of things that could be causing that.
If you have had that wired so recently, you need to get in touch with an electrician, Sam, and get that problem diagnosed. There’s no way you should be having things go on and off by themselves. If you – when you say random on and off, are you saying that they’re tripping circuit breakers? Well, then, that could be the same issue. You could have some bad wiring in there and the circuit breaker is tripping off to protect your wiring from overheating.
So when you have that sort of thing happening, you really need to get it looked at. There’s very few circumstances where your lights and outlets should not be anything but consistently on or consistently off. And that’s not the case here, so get it fixed.
LESLIE: Alright, Sam. Good luck with that. You don’t want to have any sort of dangerous situations at home, especially if you’re not at home to monitor if there’s a fire or something. So just be safe.
TOM: You’ve been listening to The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Hey, thank you so much for spending this little part of your day with us. We love answering your home improvement questions. We know they come at all times of the day or night, which is why you can call us at all times of the day or night at 1-888-MONEY-PIT or of course, post your question to our website at MoneyPit.com. If we’re not in the studio when we hear from you, we promise we will call you back the next time we are.
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.)