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: And what are you working on this beautiful fall weekend? If it’s a home improvement project, you are in exactly the right place because we’re here to help you get that done, with the right tools, tips and advice to make that project be a complete success.
Coming up this hour, we’ll start with a question: when is it a good idea to have a hole in your roof? Well, when that hole is filled with a skylight, of course. But not all skylights are created equal. Some can turn out to be real leaky messes. We’re going to share tips on how to choose one for your house that will bring in the light but keep out the rain.
LESLIE: And also ahead, if you need to repair, do you typically reach out for the most indispensable tool in any household: duct tape? Well, as great as duct tape is, we’ve got info on a new advanced tape that can hold when surfaces are rough, dirty, damp or even wet.
TOM: And your stove’s exhaust hood is there for every cooking adventure but it rarely gets any attention, well, of course, except during a smoky-kitchen incident. We’re going to tell you about what you need to do to keep your vent hood in tip-top shape.
LESLIE: And to keep you fly-free for these remaining days of summer, we’ve got the Sonata Indoor Insect Trap from DynaTrap worth 44 bucks.
Now, this is an indoor version of the trap that keeps our home mosquito-free outside all summer. Now you can have the inside one and it’s really great for all those nuisances, like flies.
TOM: Ugh. I hate them and they’re so common in the fall. And this is great, so it’s – the DynaTrap people just have this science down. They kept me mosquito-free all summer with my DynaTrap Mosquito Trap and this product now is going to keep those pesky flies out.
We’ve actually got two to give away. If you pick up the phone and call us at 888-MONEY-PIT with your home improvement question or if you post it to The Money Pit’s Community page at MoneyPit.com, you’ll be eligible to win.
Let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s first?
LESLIE: John in Washington is on the line and has a question about painting siding. Tell us about it.
JOHN: I recently had a real-estate agent come by to talk about selling my house. And they pointed out that I had a siding called LP siding – Louisiana-Pacific siding – self-sealing, supposedly, from the 1990s. And they – it was like a big, red flag, I guess, that people didn’t put any moisture barrier behind it and it was supposed to be self-sealing when it overlapped. And I was wondering if you guys have heard about it. There’s a big recall on it.
TOM: Yeah. The LP siding was famous for its deterioration. It’s a composite type of a siding product and I think it was OK if it was installed perfectly. But the problem is that if you over-nail it and pierce the outside surface, it swells up and it starts to let the water in and it will start to deteriorate. And it does need paint.
I used to joke years ago, when this was going on, that it was OK as long as you painted it every day before you go to work.
LESLIE: That’s a lot of work.
JOHN: Don’t tell me that.
TOM: Because it does really swell. And so, I think your realtor is correct. It’s going to be a red flag. You’re going to be dealing with this in the transaction.
What I would tell you to do, John, is before you put your home on the market, I would get a professional home inspection done, as a seller, so that you can find out how the house is going to show in the eyes of a buyer’s home inspector, who will ultimately come in once you have a contract on the place. Because the Louisiana-Pacific issue should be investigated and it should be disclosed. And by disclosing it, you’re not going to have to dance around with any reactions from the buyers now not wanting to buy your place or wanting a big credit as a result.
Get to the bottom of it, get to the facts and get it from a professional. And this way, when buyers are looking at it, you can start the conversation with: “Yes, I know we have LP siding. There’s been concerns about it. It has not leaked. We don’t intend to replace it and I just want to make it clear, right now, before you have an inspector come in and tell you that it needs to be replaced. We’ve been following it. Here’s the information on it and I’m kind of putting that on the table.”
So by identifying it early on, you’re not going to have to negotiate later. Because what ends up happening in situations like this is you go down as low as you can in the price, buyer is paying as much as they can on the price and then you find a major problem, the whole deal falls apart. So I’m trying to protect you from that happening.
JOHN: That’s good advice. Now, do I go ahead – and should I paint it or – I mean it needs to be painted, right?
JOHN: Yeah, OK.
TOM: If it’s not structurally deteriorated – that’s why I say get a home inspector on it to take a look at it first and find out about not only the siding – but look, you’re going to pay one price for the inspector to come out.
TOM: Let him do the whole house and find out what’s going on.
JOHN: Yeah, OK.
TOM: And this way, you can either disclose it or repair it at your option, at your leisure, instead of while a buyer is kind of looking over your shoulder at everything you do. You know what I mean?
JOHN: I see. OK, OK. Yeah, that’s good advice. I hadn’t thought about that. I was in a hurry to get a painter in but maybe I should …
TOM: Hmm. Slow down. Slow down a little bit.
JOHN: OK. OK.
TOM: Yeah, get the advice. It won’t take you long to schedule a home inspection. Then you’ll have a better idea what you’re doing.
Go to the website for the American Society of Home Inspectors. It’s HomeInspector.org. And you could find an ASHI-certified home inspector there. That will be your best place to start.
JOHN: Is that pretty expensive?
TOM: Probably $300 or $400. Well worth it.
JOHN: Oh, that’s not bad. OK.
JOHN: Yeah. Yeah, good. Thank you. That’s a good idea. I’m really – I’m glad I called. Thank you.
LESLIE: Peggy in Louisiana is on the line with a concrete question. What can we do for you today?
PEGGY: Well, we have a slab concrete bottom and they built up with the board skeleton and it’s covered with vinyl siding. And being Louisiana, it rains a lot. And the rain comes on the porch to where it’s eating the inside wall, which is wooden on the bottom. And I want to know how I can seal the outside vinyl siding to concrete slab to keep the water from coming in.
TOM: So what’s happening is that your concrete slab is in contact with the bottom of the vinyl siding? Is that correct?
TOM: And right under that siding, is that a wood wall all the way down to the bottom where that slab is? Because typically, you’d have about 6 inches of foundation before you started the siding, at a minimum. And then the vinyl siding would start. So if your vinyl siding is going down flush to the slab, it’s going to be almost impossible for you to seal it in any way, shape or form from the outside and stop that from happening.
Your only chance would be to take the siding off and then to install some flexible flashings. There’s different types of flashing that you can use. There are rubberized flashings that are very good because you can basically form them wherever you need, to get that entire area as tight as you possibly can. And then put the siding back on on top of that.
Siding itself, especially vinyl siding, if you were to caulk that or anything of that nature, it’s not really designed to seal in that way. So I feel like you’re just going to be kind of running yourself in circles there. And while it could stop to some extent or slow down at least temporarily that leakage that you’re reporting, the only way to really fix that and to get to the bottom of it is to pull that siding off and to flash it. And we’re only talking about the bottom of the siding here, not all the siding on the house. But the bottom couple of pieces would have to come off to do this job.
PEGGY: OK. Well, thank you very much.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: You are listening to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Post your question to The Money Pit’s Community page at MoneyPit.com or call us at 888-MONEY-PIT, presented by HomeAdvisor. They really have the best local pros for any home service.
TOM: That’s right. It doesn’t matter what the project is, they make it fast and easy to find top-rated pros. There’s also no membership fees and it’s 100-percent free to use. Try it out for yourself at HomeAdvisor.com.
Up next, what can you do to your home that can make it seem roomier, save you money and might actually help strengthen your bones and teeth? We’ll have that answer, after this.
Where home solutions live, 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, presented by HomeAdvisor, or post to The Money Pit community. You’ll get the answer to your home improvement question. Plus, this hour, we’re giving away a great prize.
TOM: That’s right. We’ve got the Sonata Indoor Insect Trap by DynaTrap.
Now, we have used DynaTraps at our home for two summers now. And the outside DynaTrap Mosquito Traps are incredibly effective. I don’t think I’ve gotten a single bite outside my house in two years. It just is so good, it’s crazy.
LESLIE: I mean it’s really amazing how good they are.
TOM: The Sonata is now an indoor trap that works very similarly to the outdoor trap. It’s going to kill mosquitoes, if they happen to get through, and other nuisance flying insects, like the flies, especially the biting flies. If they get in your house, these traps will deal with them. They protect up to 300 square feet. They’re pesticide- and odor-free. Whisper-quiet operation. There’s no zapping, no buzzing, no expensive attractants or propane required. It’s all included in the Sonata Insect Trap.
You can learn more at DynaTrap.com. The value is 44 bucks. We’ve got two to give away to one listener drawn at random. Make that you. The number, again, is 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Randy from Maryland on the line with a decking question. How can we help you today?
RANDY: I just put a brand-new deck on the back of my house. The house was actually built in 1988, so it’s good and settled. I just wondered how soon I could treat it. I’ve heard two months, three months. I’ve heard a whole season. I don’t want to wait too long but I don’t want to do it too early.
TOM: Randy, what’s the material the deck is made out of? Is it pressure-treated lumber or cedar or redwood? What?
RANDY: Yeah. It’s pressure-treated lumber.
TOM: OK. So what I would do at this point is I would wait until next spring. Let it be exposed to the environment for a while. It is true that the lumber, when it first goes in, is very moist. And by waiting maybe six months in your case, you’re going to find that it’s going to dry out a bit. And it’ll be ready to sort of take a stain better than taking it right now. So I would certainly let it sit for a while and then stain it before next summer when it gets sort of cool and dry out.
And then in terms of the stain itself, I would recommend that you choose a solid-color stain. It will still show the grain through but it’ll have more pigment in it and it’ll last longer. Does that help you out?
RANDY: I think so. So basically, say, wait a full season then?
TOM: Yeah. I would wait a full season and then I would stain it after that.
TOM: Thanks, Randy. I hope that helps you out. We appreciate you calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: OK. So, what can you add to your home to help make it seem more spacious, save you money and possibly help strengthen your bones and teeth? A skylight.
You know, skylights can open rooms up to natural light, make small spaces seem larger and create energy-efficient possibilities that may help lower your utility bills. Plus, some studies show that people who are exposed to more sunlight may boost their vitamin D. And that’s also known to strengthen teeth and bones. It also makes you feel a lot happier. Vitamin D really is so good for you.
TOM: Absolutely. And I’ll tell you what, now that we are starting to lose daylight, it’s a great time to put in a skylight. But there is a big headache if your skylight is not installed right: you could end up with costly water damage.
Now, when you are building skylights or other roof details, like valleys or rake edges or chimneys or ridges or dormers, you need to make sure you’re careful not to let that water get in. So with skylights, the best type of skylight to use is one that’s called a “curbed skylight,” so it sits up off the roof about 3 or 4 inches.
The other type – which is less expensive, of course – is a flush skylight. If you use a flush skylight, I have never found a flushed skylight that doesn’t leak or isn’t going to leak. So it’s a really bad idea, even though they’re less expensive. You want to use one that’s curbed, because the curbed skylights get flashed the same way the roof might be flashed if you’re going between a lower roof and say, a second-floor wall. It’s just a much better way to do it.
There’s also another option. If you don’t want to go through the trouble and expense of putting in a big skylight, you could use what’s called a “sun tunnel.” Now, a sun tunnel is interesting because it’s like a – it looks kind of like a vent that fits on top of your roof. But it’s actually a skylight at the top – usually, it’s round – and then there’s a mirror-coated duct that goes from that skylight through the ceiling. So you don’t have the big light shaft to have to frame and cut drywall and all that kind of stuff, which is a lot of work.
You basically take this tube, which is mirror-coated on the inside. It hooks up to the underside of the skylight, which is on the roof. It hooks down to the ceiling below and instantly, you’ve got natural light in your house. So, it’s a really good project to think about this time of year before it gets too cold or too dark outside.
LESLIE: We’ve got Sandra in Maryland on the line and she’s got a really old house and an electrical problem. What’s happening at your money pit?
SANDRA: A hundred-and-three years old.
TOM: Oh. That’s great. That’s a good age for houses. It’s just starting to get seasoned. Settling in a bit.
SANDRA: Oh, it settles a lot.
TOM: Yeah, I bet, I bet. So, has the wiring been updated at all or is it original? Is it knob-and-tube? What kind of wiring do you have?
SANDRA: I have a mix of knob-and-tube and some updated. What’s down in the walls, I think, is still knob-and-tube.
SANDRA: Some of the stuff that’s more out has been replaced.
TOM: And what are you planning to do? What’s precipitating this question? Is this just a general concern about safety? Are you doing some other remodeling?
SANDRA: Well, what I’ve done is started redoing the kitchen.
SANDRA: And I took up the seven layers of linoleum and got all the creosote out and got all the stuff that probably I shouldn’t have been inhaling out of the kitchen. And we sanded the floors and kept the original, old, wood floors. And the paneling in the kitchen I’m not willing to tear down because it’s horsehair plaster behind it. And every time you touch the wall, you hear stuff fall.
SANDRA: So I’m not willing to replace it. We painted the paneling and I want to put new floorboard trim around. But all of the wiring – it’s those big, black wires that go from one outlet to another outlet.
TOM: Let me give you some advice on this because it is time to update that wiring. First of all, any existing knob-and-tube wiring is very dangerous and here’s why: when it gets to be 100 years old, the insulation on that wiring is very dried out, very brittle, very crumbly. I can’t tell you how many times, in the 20 years I spent as a home inspector, that I found that kind of wiring in a house and often found burn marks – very frightening – burn marks on the framing that surrounded it.
So, you definitely want to deactivate that wiring. You don’t have to physically pull it out of the walls as long as it’s not electrified. And then, of course, you want to update that with new, modern wiring that’s consistent with current electrical code.
Now, for the kitchen, you really want to do something different than what would’ve been done when the home was originally built. It had wiring but it had all of that kitchen, I’m sure, on one circuit. And that’s why an older home, sometimes, when you’re in a kitchen, you often see the lights dim when the refrigerators kick on, because they’re both – major appliance and lighting are on the same circuit.
You want to have one circuit for your appliances – your dishwasher, your refrigerator – perhaps even more than one circuit for that and then a separate circuit for lighting and outlets. And of course, all of the outlets also should be ground-fault protected because this is a wet location. And ground-fault protection protects you from receiving a shock if you were using an appliance that shorted or had any other type of electrical incident that occurred.
So, you are smart to be concerned about this. It is something that you should take care of, whether you do it one room at a time or the entire house at a time. You know, that’s going to be up to time and budget. But you should have on your overall remodeling plan the need to get rid of that knob-and-tube and completely de-energize it, because it is unsafe for the reasons I stated.
And also, by the way, that particular wiring is not grounded nor is it groundable. So that’s another reason it’s unsafe. It’s just the way it was done back then.
SANDRA: I think some of the kitchen had been done because I did have an electrician friend come in and install some new outlets. And he just ran from one to the next and I do have different circuit breakers downstairs and all that kind of stuff. But one of the things that when – I do have – I think the one wall hasn’t been done. I know that sounds odd. But when they have the wires that are out – the big, black wires going across on any of the wires – and I don’t want them to go behind the wall, because they can’t without damaging the wall. Do I need to put those metal covers over them before I can put the trim board down so I don’t …?
TOM: Well, if you have – if you’re talking about the original knob-and-tube wiring being big black wires, you can’t bury that. That’s very unsafe.
SANDRA: OK, OK.
TOM: And here’s why: knob-and-tube wiring – the reason – and by the way, for those that are not familiar with this, if you’ve ever seen an old house where wires seem to be strung on little ceramic posts that stick off the side of beams, those are the knobs. And then where the wires go through the framing, there’s a ceramic tube. That’s the tube. That’s why it’s called knob-and-tube.
And the reason that it sticks off the beam, Sandra, is because it has to be air-cooled. So that’s why you can’t bury knob-and-tube wiring under trim. You can’t even put insulation around it because it makes it doubly unsafe.
SANDRA: So if it’s the big, black wire, then I know I’ve still got original knob-and-tube in there.
TOM: I would have your electrician come in and determine where that wire’s being energized, make sure that if it’s knob-and-tube, it is completely disconnected and then run whatever you have to do from there. And if you can only do it one room at a time, you’ll be just that much more safe. But if you could do the whole house, then just do it.
SANDRA: OK. Great. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.
TOM: You’re welcome, Sandra. Good luck with that project.
LESLIE: You are listening to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show presented by HomeAdvisor, the fast and easy to find the right pro for any kind of home project, whether it’s a small repair or a major remodel.
TOM: And just ahead, the most indispensable tool in any household is, of course, duct tape. But as great as duct tape is, it doesn’t work very well when the surface is rough, dirty, damp or even wet. We’ll tell you what will work, after this.
Where home solutions live, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
Well, it’s often been said that the only two things you need in your toolbox is WD-40 and duct tape. But when it comes to duct tape, not all tapes are created equal and most can’t really even handle heat, moisture or cold weather.
TOM: Well, there’s a new tape on the market that can do that and more. It’s called T-Rex and it’s designed to deliver intense holding power no matter what the application. We’re talking indoors or out and through snow, rain, ice or blazing heat. It’s made by the ShurTech Company. And with us to talk about this very cool innovation in an age-old product is Stephen Wagner, who manages the product for ShurTech.
STEVE: Hey, thanks for having me.
TOM: I tell you what, this is a great topic for us to chat about because I think that everybody thinks duct tape is all created equal. And I spent many years as a professional home inspector and I’ve seen many, many duct-tape repairs. And I’ve generally found that the repair lasts for a very short period of time. I mean take duct tape on ducts, for example. You might get a season or two out of it but then it heats up and dries out and falls right off. You guys have really sort of reinvented the product with T-Rex.
And I saw some cool demos were you could even – you even had this stuff sort of frozen in a block of ice, you pulled it right out and it was still plenty sticky and just went right to work again.
STEVE: Yeah, that’s really a testament to the material that we’re using to make T-Rex Tape. It’s the same construction, really, when it comes down to it, as the regular duct tape that you mentioned.
STEVE: But what we’ve done is we’ve really gone out and sourced the best rubber, the best adhesives, the best fabric scrim that’s in the middle of the tape that really holds it together.
STEVE: Then we also use a very durable, aggressive and – well, most importantly, durable backing. And combined together, it really does give you that premium product. And like you said, we can bust it out of a block of ice and it still works fine.
LESLIE: It’s amazing. One of your ads shows somebody camping, hanging off of a mountainside and they’ve used the T-Rex Tape to sort of create the handles that are holding their sleeping system up in the sky. It’s amazing.
STEVE: Yeah, that was kind of a dramatic demonstration but it really – it’s a testament to the strength of the product and the quality of it. It was actually me that tested that out and I hung up there for a good while.
TOM: Oh, yeah. Well, I guess you had to be pretty confident to do that.
STEVE: So, they wanted to make sure (inaudible). Yeah, definitely confident in our product here at T-Rex.
TOM: Well, I also noticed that when you handle it, it definitely feels much thicker and much heavier. What kind of response have you been getting from the public? Have you been getting folks that are telling you that they’re taping things that maybe they didn’t think they could tape or repair before?
STEVE: Yeah, I think a lot of people have really – are expecting more out of their products lately. Premium products are doing very well across all categories. And typical duct tapes are usually 9-mil thick and T-Rex is 17-mils thick.
LESLIE: Oh, wow.
STEVE: So it really has that thicker adhesive, better durability and higher quality that people expect. And yeah, they can do more with this tape. It will stick to dirtier, rougher surfaces. It’ll last longer because of the UV-resistant material that we use to make this product. And again, it’s just super thick, so it can really be rubbed into grit and dirt and concrete or bricks. That really gives people a better experience with the tape and they don’t need as much of it, either. You can hold more with less tape, which is a big benefit.
LESLIE: Can you still rip it by hand?
STEVE: Yeah, it is very strong but as you mentioned, it’s important to be able to tear it by hand easily. It can tear it both ways very nicely, as well. So if you need a thinner strip for whatever your repair is, you can also cut it down nice and easily just by tearing it in half.
TOM: You know, Steve, I’m a backpacker and last summer, I took about a dozen scouts on about a 100-mile backpacking trip to New Mexico.
STEVE: Oh, wow.
TOM: High altitude. Pretty intense backpacking trip. And of course, we had to carry everything, so I wasn’t about to carry a full roll of T-Rex. But what we did is we took some T-Rex and we actually took maybe a yard of it and wrapped it around every trekking pole so that we always had a supply of good-quality T-Rex Duct Tape to basically make a repair, patch a tent that would rip or anything of that nature, kind of right with us.
So we literally carried it for that 100 miles in case we needed it. And I was really glad that we did, because we actually did need it a couple of times. One was to fix a boot that tore open, separated from the heel. And the other one was actually to patch a tent that got a small hole in it from a fire.
STEVE: Yeah, I’m glad to hear that. And that’s an age-old use for duct tape. And then we also have smaller rolls. We have one that we call the Mighty Roll. It’s a really thin roll, so you could fit it in a glove box or a toolbox or even a backpack if you didn’t want to bring that full roll, as you mentioned before.
TOM: So I see that you’re also offering T-Rex in other types of tape. You’ve got a clear repair tape, a packing tape and a mounting tape. So are all those products premium products, compared to the other products that are on the market that maybe don’t have the same amount of adhesive or thickness or matting material?
STEVE: Yeah, absolutely. We’re really, really careful about what we launch under the T-Rex brand. We want to make sure that it’s addressing the needs of the consumer with that highest and most premium-quality product that we have out there. Our Clear Repair Tape, for example, it’s not just a clear plastic backing. It’s actually something called an “ionomer backing,” which comes out of the meatpacking industry because it’s extremely puncture-resistant, very durable, very stretchy. And it’s also got that UV-resistance.
What we did is we took the best, highest-quality adhesive that we could, laminated it onto that backing. And now you have this clear repair tape, which is just an unbelievable product, UV-resistant. It actually sticks to wet surfaces. If you push the tape down into that water and rub the water out from under the adhesive, it’ll stick to that surface, which is really a dynamic proposition for a tape to have when you think about it.
TOM: That is very cool. Steve Wagner, the product manager for T-Rex Tape made by ShurTech, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit.
If you’d like to learn more, check out TRexTape.com. That’s T – R-e-x – Tape.com.
STEVE: Thanks for having me, guys. I really appreciate it.
LESLIE: Alright. Coming up next, your stove’s vent hood quietly does its job day in and day out but rarely does it get the attention it deserves. Well, show your appreciation by keeping it in tip-top shape. We’ll tell you how, after this.
TOM: Where home solutions live, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: And whether you are buying, selling or just enjoying your home, we are here to help you every step of the way. You can call in your home improvement or décor question to 888-MONEY-PIT which is presented by HomeAdvisor, the fast and easy way to find the right pro for any kind of home project, whether it’s a small repair or a major remodel.
LESLIE: Bill in Texas is on the line with a question about algae on a roof. What’s going on at your money pit?
BILL: OK. I’ve got a little issue with a lot of this – I would say it was algae. It’s green on the north side of my house.
BILL: And I have power-washed it in the past but all I used was straight water. And it didn’t take long to come back. I’m looking to paint it here pretty soon and wondered if you have anything in mind that I ought to use.
TOM: So, first of all, you should understand why it’s happening. North side of the house being the cooler side of the house is where you usually get the most deposit of mold, moss, mildew or algae.
BILL: I’ve also got a lot of bushes there. I’m sure that’s part of my problem.
TOM: Yeah, I agree. When you block sunlight, that’s the most natural mildicide out there. When you block sunlight, then you invite that. So, to the extent possible, you should try to thin those bushes out a bit or cut them back a bit at least to let some more air and sunlight get in there.
Now, in terms of eliminating the problem that you have now, can’t just blast off the algae like you’ve done in the past because, as you’ve seen, it comes right back. What you have to do is you have to use an algaecide that actually kills the algae. And that gets right down into the root of the matter, where it’s attaching to the house, and stops it from regrowing.
There’s a product called Spray & Forget that works quite well. And you simply apply it and then it will stop the algae from growing itself and basically, it falls away. So Spray & Forget takes a little while for that to happen but it’s very effective. And you can apply it then periodically, say, every three months or so to stop it from growing once again. That would be the best way to get it off and have it stay off. Spray & Forget.
BILL: Sounds like a plan.
TOM: Alright, Bill. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
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Get the details and enter now at MoneyPit.com. You can even increase your chances of winning by entering once a day and sharing the sweeps with your friends.
TOM: It’s online now at MoneyPit.com.
LESLIE: Heading over to Ohio. Linda is on the line with a window question. What can we do for you?
LINDA: In my apartment, it’s supposed to be energy-efficient. But my heating bills and my air-conditioning bills are really high. I don’t think I can climb up there and put the plastic on the windows anymore. Is there any other way to make it more efficient?
TOM: It’s a real challenge when you’re a renter because you’re right: there’s only limited things that you can do but there are things that you can do.
Now, you mentioned putting the plastic on there. I’m not quite sure what you’re doing in terms of the plastic but the shrink-film plastic works the best where, essentially, it covers the whole interior of the window space. And then you use a hair-dryer once you apply it and it gets really taut and clear. That’s one thing that you can do.
The second thing is that there is a sort of a liquid weather-stripping. It’s like a weather-stripping caulk. And it looks like silicone caulk, right? So what you do with this stuff is you essentially caulk your windows shut. You put it in all the places there’s gaps. And the nice thing is that in the spring, it remains rubbery and you can kind of grab the edge of it and peel it right away.
Now, the only bad thing is this: whatever window you caulk, you won’t be able to open all winter long. So, if it’s a bedroom window, you can’t do it there because you need egress in the event of an emergency. But it works great, especially with really old windows, because it does seal them up and it’s easy to do and it doesn’t damage the windows. It peels right off.
LINDA: Do you have a name or are you not allowed to say it on the air?
TOM: There’s a number of different brands of it. I know that Red Devil makes one, I think DAP makes one and I think there’s also a generic one. And you ought to be able to find it at The Home Depot. And if it’s not on the shelf, I would ask the service desk and describe the product to them. The weather-stripping caulk is what you’re looking for. And perhaps they’ll be able to order it for you. But I have seen it on the store shelves.
LINDA: I’m writing this down.
TOM: Alright. Well, listen, good luck. I hope that helps you out, Linda. I appreciate you calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, your stove’s exhaust vent hood is there for every cooking adventure but rarely you give it any attention. Am I right? Except maybe that one time you’re burning something in the kitchen and there’s a lot of smoke. Well, to keep it operating safely, the filter in your stove’s vent hood needs some regular attention.
TOM: Yeah, it does. And those standard filters need to be cleaned. And the best way to do that is with a degreasing solution followed by warm and soapy water. Or you can certainly put it on the top rack of your dishwasher.
Now, if your fan is using the activated charcoal filters, get in the habit of replacing those about every quarter, about every three months. Do those two steps and that vent fan will be in good working order, except for the smoky kitchen incidents. And then I don’t think there’s any fan that can really stand up to that.
LESLIE: That is true. Just know the phone number for the fire department and your alarm codes, for when your smoke alarm goes off.
Well, dishwashers are supposed to make your dishes clean, not stinky. Nathan, what’s going on?
NATHAN: The smell is coming from the dishwasher. I changed the drain hose, cleaned up the interior. Still has got a smell.
TOM: Typically, when you get odor from a dishwasher, it’s because of microbes that are decaying from all the food particles that are in there. And to get rid of that smell, you really need to do a thorough job cleaning it. There’s a product called Dishwasher Magic that’s very effective and it’s also very easy to use. You put the bottle of Dishwasher Magic in the tray and then you run the machine. And it’s specifically designed to get into all of those nooks and crannies and deal with that type of debris and odor that results from it. And it comes clean in one cycle.
NATHAN: OK. Alright. That’s all I had. Thanks.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Hey, when it comes to bathroom design, do you feel kind of stuck with only using tile as your flooring choice? Well, not so if you love the look of wood. We’ll tell you how you can have that in your bath and more, 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.
And The Money Pit is presented by HomeAdvisor.com. Find top-rated home pros that you can trust. And for local pros who want to grow their business, HomeAdvisor is the easy way to get connected with project-ready homeowners.
TOM: Hey, starting October 1st, you can enter The Money Pit Weekend Warrior Sweepstakes for a chance at winning some very cool tools from The Home Depot. We’ve got over 40 prizes worth over $4,500. Enter today at MoneyPit.com.
LESLIE: And you know what else you can enter? Just enter your home improvement question right there at MoneyPit.com, as well. I’ve got a post here from Jeremy who writes: “We’ve got a screened-in porch. What’s the best way to insulate this space to create a livable bedroom?”
TOM: Gosh, we get so many questions from folks that have screened-in porches or other types of sunrooms, that want to convert it to finished living space. I understand the interest in doing that but it’s – you have to understand that they’re not built the same as, say, an addition might be. The foundation is not the same. If it’s a slab, it’s probably just the slab. If it’s a deck, it’s on footings.
The first thing you need to do is to make sure it’s legal. Because in some towns, it’s not. The second thing you need to do is to check that structure to make sure it’s durable. If it’s not legal or if the structure is not durable, I just would not take it any further.
LESLIE: Yeah. And you know what? It’s going to be really hard to just stay warm in that space. Tom is right: use it as a screened-in porch and enjoy it, because that really does add a great, usable space to your home.
TOM: Well, if you love the look of wood flooring – and who doesn’t; it’s absolutely gorgeous – and you also want to do a bathroom makeover, well, you can actually put the two together. You don’t have to use just tile; you can use laminate flooring or other types of flooring that are waterproof or water-resistant. Leslie tells you how, in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.
LESLIE: Yeah. You know, wood-look flooring in a bath really is a great way to bring a warmer surface to your bathroom design and make the bathroom just feel so gorgeously finished.
Now, traditionally, we’d say, “Wood flooring in a bathroom? No way. It can’t stand up to the water, it can’t stand up to the moisture. It’s never going to last. God forbid you have a leak, you’re going to be totally out of luck.” But not so. So many of the laminate floorings today are becoming more and more advanced so that they can actually withstand being submerged in water should that happen, though hopefully that doesn’t happen.
So you want to make sure you look for a laminate flooring that’s truly water-resistant. And then go ahead and pick out any of these wood-look laminate-flooring choices out there. I mean Pergo has one, Outlast+, that’s really meant to withstand this type of moisture exposure. And the really – the bathroom setting is ideal for this type of product.
Now, the good news is regardless of what the price point is, usually folks’ bathrooms are on the smaller side, so you don’t need a tremendous amount of wood flooring. That said, you can get really creative in a small space by doing a herringbone pattern or an interesting inlay. You’ve got a lot of choices when it comes to the wood-look flooring and a bathroom is a great place to show it off.
TOM: And you probably don’t even have to take up the old tile, right? You can usually lay it right on top.
LESLIE: As long as everything’s in good shape and it’s not sticking up or breaking or anything, go right ahead.
TOM: Great idea. And that’s today’s Flooring Design Tip presented by Pergo Outlast+, the only water-resistant laminate that prevents water from seeping into the joints. Pergo’s SpillProtect24 technology creates a watertight surface so spills can be wiped up or will simply evaporate over time. Plus, Pergo’s superior design with deep textures and high-definition printing create an incredibly realistic wood look.
Outlast+ resists water and ends worries. Available in 19 different colors for 2.79 a square foot at The Home Depot and online at HomeDepot.com.
Coming up next time on The Money Pit, before you fire up the fireplace or wood stove, it’s really important to make sure the chimney is clean and venting safely. We’ll tell you how, 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 2017 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.)
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