Avoiding Bed Bugs, Tips to Build the Best Patio and Solutions for Cooling Problem Rooms

  • Transcript

    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: Happy Fourth of July, everybody. We are so pleased to be with you on this beautiful holiday weekend. We hope you’re having a great time in your part of the country. We’re having a great time because we’ve got a great show planned for you.

    Coming up this hour, while you’re busy planning your summer getaway, bedbugs might be busy planning how to join you. It turns out that they like to come home after the vacation. We’re going to have some tips on how to keep that from happening to you, coming up.

    LESLIE: Plus this hour, it is patio season, guys. And if that’s a project on your horizon, we’re going to share tips on the single easiest way to build yourself one using paper bricks.

    TOM: And we’ve got a great prize we’re giving away this hour. It’s the new Milwaukee M18 FUEL 18-Gauge Brad Nailer and it’s worth 379 bucks. It’s a very powerful tool. It’s available at The Home Depot but we’re going to give one away this hour to a lucky listener. Make that you and call us, right now, for the answer to your home improvement question and your chance to win at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Charlene in Louisiana is on the line with a roofing question. What are you working on?

    CHARLENE: I have a shallow roof on my house. They call it a 2:3 pitch. It’s not flat but it’s very shallow, OK? Almost no attic, about maybe 2 feet in there. I was interested in an aluminum roof, like a lifetime roof? And I wanted to know which would be better: that or a regular shingle roof, like an architectural roof.

    TOM: You don’t have the pitch for an asphalt-shingle roof. You need to have at least a 3:12 or a 4:12 roof to put in shingles.

    CHARLENE: Well, I have shingles on it now and they’ve been there for 20 years.

    TOM: I’m telling you, you may but it’s not right. You can only put shingles on a roof that’s got a minimum pitch of 3:12 or 4:12. And if you’ve got them on there right now, count your blessings but it shouldn’t have been put on there. And any roofing manufacturer will tell you that.

    If you – your options, therefore, are either to do, say, a rolled roofing or a rubber roofing or a metal roof, as long as it’s rated for that low pitch. And I think a metal roof is a great investment if you’re going to be there for the long haul. But that’s what I would invest in because with that low of a pitch, you probably don’t see it very much and you want to make sure that it’s really going to be watertight. And with a low pitch, you just can’t use an architectural shingle; it just won’t work.

    Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Richard in Kansas, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

    RICHARD: I’m interested – I have an older home I remodeled. It’s built in the 30s and I wanted to put in a whole-house water-filtration system. And I was going to connect right to the service line going in.

    And I’ve been shopping around. I found the small canister types and then it just jumps up to a big, 33-gallon, barrel-type filtration, which is too much. And I just wanted to know what a good brand is and what I need – reverse-osmosis and all that.

    TOM: You know, Richard, 3M makes the Filtrete line. That’s F-i-l-t-r-e-t-e. And they have single filters for use under maybe your kitchen sink or bathroom but they also have a whole-house system. It’s not terribly expensive; I think it’s under 100 bucks. And installation is pretty straightforward, so perhaps you could even do it yourself. And they also have various levels of filtration.

     So I would take a look at the Filtrete Whole-House System Water Filters and I think that’s a good choice to make sure your water is tasting good throughout the entire home.

    LESLIE: Susan in Montana is having some drainage issues with the driveway. Tell us what’s going on.

    SUSAN: I had my office driveway resurfaced with asphalt. And I thought that the people did a really excellent job until we got a monsoon (ph) rain and all the water was collecting. And I had to leave to go down to Colorado and I got a frantic phone call from my husband telling me that the water was backing up into the house and it was like a big pool. And I called the asphalt people and they’re not responding to me.

    TOM: Well, listen, if they just resurfaced the driveway, they’re not going to do anything to change the pitch.

    SUSAN: That’s true. They did do it but they deliberately – supposedly, they had the pitch so that it would drain off into the lawn.

    TOM: And they didn’t quite get that right. So how do you fix that?

    SUSAN: Yeah.

    TOM: If the water is draining down the driveway back towards the building – so in other words, it’s never really draining off to the lawn anywhere – then what you have to do is you have to put a curtain drain in the driveway itself.

    And in a driveway, basically it’s a job where the driveway is essentially sliced in half. They slice out a chunk of driveway that’s maybe 6 inches wide. And you drop this trough into it so that as the water falls down the driveway, it drops into the trough – there’s a grade on top – and then it runs out the bottom of the trough. And of course, that requires some additional plumbing, so to speak, because you have to hook it up to a drain pipe to take it to the lowest place on the property to get rid of the water. But that’s how you drain a driveway that’s not pitched properly.

    And typically, that’s put right near the house or right near the garage lip or something like that so that it catches the water at the lowest possible spot.

    SUSAN: So who would I call for something like that? A plumber?

    TOM: You’re going to need a general contractor that can install that for you. I mean a driveway-sealing company is not going to do it. A general contractor that could do that – it’s kind of a handyman project. It’s not a difficult project, it’s not a really time-consuming project but you essentially have to cut into that driveway and install a drain. You’ve got to catch that water and you’ve got to manage it. And that’s the only way to do it, Susan.

    Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. Now you can call in your home repair or home improvement question 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    TOM: Up next, don’t let your summer fun be ruined by bedbugs. We’ll have tips to keep your vacation bug-free, 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: What are you doing? Pick up the phone, give us a call. We want to talk to you about the projects on your to-do list. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. And we want to give you a chance at winning a great prize. Because this hour, we’re giving away the Milwaukee M18 FUEL 18-Gauge Brad Nailer Kit worth 379 bucks.

    There’s a lot of features and benefits to this Milwaukee tool, including ready-to-fire technology that eliminates ramp-up time. So it’s good to go when you are.

    You’ll find the Milwaukee tool at The Home Depot and online at HomeDepot.com. The Home Depot has the brands you trust and the innovative products you need. Head into a local store or visit HomeDepot.com for more.

    It’s worth 379 bucks but going out to one lucky caller drawn at random. Make that you. The number, again, is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Cal in Colorado, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

    CAL: Well, I have an interesting question here. I’ve got a house with an insulated concrete foam basement wall. That’s where you put concrete in between foam. And I have taken the outside wall – the foam – and have scored it with 30-grit sandpaper to give it a rough edge. And I screwed on the 2-foot-wide by 8-foot-long extruded aluminum – or steel screen to give me grip. But I’m putting on fake stone or “faux stone,” as some call it.

    And my question is – after I’ve screwed on the screening and I’m putting on – I’ve been told to take a Type S mix, which is a limestone/cement mix and use that as my scratch coat. And the question is: how soon – what is the longest I can wait before I put on the stone? If I try to do all the scratch coat first, which could be a day or two because it’s over 1,000 square feet, am I going too long or should I be putting – buttering up the stone and putting that against the scratch coat right away?

    TOM: I think that as soon as the scratch coat dries, you can go forward with the stone. But typically, most masons will do the scratch coat first and then do the stone thereafter.

    CAL: OK.

    TOM: I don’t see any reason that you can’t have it exposed for a short period of time.

    CAL: OK. So, we’re not worried about a day or two.

    TOM: No, certainly not. You kidding? The way construction projects go, a day or two is like nothing.

    CAL: OK. Well, thanks for the info on that.

    TOM: Alright, Cal. Well, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Laurel in Pennsylvania is on the line.

    And I’m reading, Laurel, that your ceiling fell down? What the heck happened to your apartment?

    LAUREL: Well, the lady upstairs had a problem in her kitchen and her bathroom. And I don’t know if there was a fire or what but she flooded the upstairs. And so some of my kitchen ceiling fell in with all the water coming down. It smells like smoke, it smells like rotted wood, wet wood. What do I do?

    TOM: Well, by the way, why are you dealing with this as opposed to a landlord or an insurance company?

    LAUREL: Well, he swept it up and then put another – put a new tile in the suspended ceiling and that was it. He didn’t repair the whole …

    TOM: Well, first of all, you asked about smoke smell and the way to deal with smoke smell is to use TSP and scrub the walls and scrub the ceiling. Trisodium phosphate. That will cut through the tar and the nicotine that sticks to the walls.

    Now, if you’re concerned about mold, there’s a product called Concrobium, which is excellent. Specifically designed to kill the mold. It’s far more effective than bleach. And the other quality I like about Concrobium is it leaves a protective coating on the surface when it dries so that the mold can’t grow back.

    Their website is CureMyMold.com – C-u-r-e – CureMyMold.com. Check it out. I think that that is the solution to your mold issue, Laurel.

    LESLIE: Well, summer is a busy time for so many of us but it’s also a busy time for bedbugs. One reason: bedbugs reproduce at a faster rate in the warmer temperatures. But also, they like to hitch rides on vacationers as the travel season heats up.

    TOM: Yeah. And bedbugs are definitely an equal-opportunity pest. They travel freely between high-end hotels, private homes and summer cottages. So, a routine inspection before you unpack can make sure that they don’t make the trip back.

    What you want to do is pull back the covers and inspect the mattress seams and look for small, brownish or reddish dots that signal bedbugs. Also, check behind the headboards, the molding and the mirrors. And also look into that upholstered furniture.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Here’s another tip, guys: you want to hang up your clothing and keep your suitcases off of the floor and anything that’s upholstered. And when you get home, you want to inspect and vacuum your suitcase before you bring it inside. And launder all your clothes, whether they are dirty or not.

    TOM: Now, the unofficial bedbug season goes all through summer and ends November 1st but it’s really best to keep diligent all year long, because the bedbugs certainly do.

    888-666-3974. Give us a call, right now, with your home improvement question.

    LESLIE: John in Delaware is dealing with a spider problem. I can’t even talk about it for fear they will jump into my house. What’s going on?

    JOHN: I moved to the beach about 10 years ago. I’m not – I’m 12 miles from the water but I don’t know whether that’s part of the problem or not. But we have spiders inside the house all the time. They’re always in the corners of the room. It’s rare to come into any room and not have one. And it seems like as quickly as you get rid of them, a week later you have more in the same areas. And it is very annoying.

    TOM: What do you do to get rid of them, John?

    JOHN: The only thing I do is I try to kill them and knock down their little web.

    TOM: Good luck with that. That’s not working out too well for you, I bet, huh?

    JOHN: No, it’s not.

    TOM: You’re not going to win the war if that’s your treatment approach. The thing about insects today is the best way to control them is through science. And if you look at a company like Orkin – you know, a company that’s been around forever – these guys know exactly what insecticide to put down, they know how to put it down in the right amounts and the products that they use today are very insect-specific.

    It used to be that there was sort of a broad-spectrum pesticide that was put down. Today, the pesticides are very, very specific for the problem. And if I was dealing with this in my house, I wouldn’t be running around with my boot trying to kill them all. I would have the pesticide applied in the right amounts, right place and be done with it.

    So, I would recommend that you call Orkin and have that taken care of the right way. It’s safer to do that than to buy over-the-counter pesticides, which you end up over-applying – which are far more dangerous, in my view – and certainly a lot less frustrating than having to stomp them to death, OK?

    So, I would use a pesticide to control these spiders and that’s the best solution.

    JOHN: OK. And you would not advise trying to do it on your own. You’d advise getting a company that’s – would they regularly – to have them come back?

    TOM: Yeah, you can’t buy the products that a professional can buy. They’re not available to the general public because they have to be applied just right. That’s why it’s a good idea to turn to a pro, like Orkin.

    John, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Nancy in Pennsylvania is on the line and having a hot-water issue. Tell us what’s going on.

    NANCY: Well, my hot water takes so long to – or my water takes so long to get hot when I turn on the spigot. And washing the dishes by hand makes that – I waste a lot of water that way.

    LESLIE: Nancy, is this a new problem or has this always been the situation?

    NANCY: No, it’s an old problem.

    TOM: Yeah. And it has to do with the physical distance between the faucet and the water heater. The farther they are apart, the longer you have to wait for the water to heat up.

    Now, newer water heaters today, and especially the tankless water heaters, are very small. And so the way a lot of builders are addressing this is they’re putting in multiple water heaters closer to the bathing or the washing areas of the house. So, typically, you’d have one for the kitchen and maybe the laundry area and you’d have another one for bathrooms. Because these water heaters are so small and so efficient, they can literally squeeze into anything that’s smaller than a closet.

    In your case, though, it’s just a matter of the distance that the water has to travel. Unfortunately, in a house like this, though, I would say that it’s unlikely you will save enough money in water costs to make the installation of an additional water heaterworthwhile, Nancy.

    NANCY: But is there anything else I can do? Like I have been told, different times, that insulating the pipes wouldn’t help or some people say it would.

    TOM: Well, the only thing that insulating the pipes will do is it’ll keep the water that’s in the pipes, once it gets there, warmer longer. But again, it’s a distance thing. You turn the faucet on, the water starts to move from the water heater, where it’s hot, to the faucet. And it has to purge all of that cold water along the way. Once it purges, it’ll stay hot but it just takes a certain amount of time for that amount of water – that amount of volume of water – to move through the pipes.

    Does that make sense, Nancy?

    NANCY: Yeah, it does. And so there’s basically nothing I can do except different water …

    TOM: Well, except moving a water heater closer to the – to you. I mean there are recirculators that sort of take water and recirculate it back all the time. But again, that costs energy, too, and that costs plumbing expense, too. And I just don’t think you’re going to save enough to make it worthwhile.

    LESLIE: Mary in North Dakota needs some help with a concrete floor. What can we do for you?

    MARY: We’ve got crumbling concrete on the basement floor after water problems this spring.

    TOM: OK. Alright.

    MARY: And it’s very crumbly and powdery. And there are places on it that I’d like to paint, if I could.

    TOM: Mm-hmm. Do you want to try to stabilize the deterioration of the concrete?

    MARY: Yeah. I was wondering if there was some kind of sealant that could be sprayed or poured on it.

    TOM: Yeah, absolutely. First of all, in terms of the water problem, is this a problem that happened after a heavy rainfall?

    MARY: Yeah.

    TOM: Alright. So if you’ve got water that comes in after a heavy rainfall, I want to make sure we try to slow this down so it doesn’t happen again. Adding sump pumps, things of that nature, is not going to stop this from happening again. What stops the heavy rainfall from getting in is outside, looking at your gutters and your grading, making sure the downspouts are discharging away from the house, making sure your gutters are clean, making sure soil slopes away from the house.

    We’ve got extensive articles – actually, several of them – on MoneyPit.com. Just search “how to stop a leaking basement” and it’s the same advice. And we talk about the proper drainage improvements. So, do that first.

    And then, in terms of the concrete itself, you can use a patching compound. QUIKRETEhas a patching-compound product. You definitely want to use the patching compound because it’s designed to stick to the old concrete. If you try to put new concrete over it, it’s not going to stick. So, the ready-to-use patching compounds are trowel-applied. They’re latex formulas, so it’s easy to clean up. But that will seal the old concrete.

    Then, once that dries, then you can paint it. And what I would look for is an epoxy floor paint. The epoxy paints I like because they’re a chemical cure. When you buy the floor paint, you get the paint in a gallon can that’s about three-quarters filled and then a quart of hardener. You mix them together, stir them up and then you apply the paint. Sometimes, there is an additive that goes in after the fact that gives you some texture to the floor, helps kind of hide the dirt. But patching it first, then adding an epoxy paint will have that looking like new in no time.

    MARY: OK. But the name of the sealant was called what?

    TOM: QUIKRETE – Q-U-I-K-R-E-T-E. It’s QUIKRETE Concrete Patching Compound. Good stuff.

    Mary, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Up next, how many times has glue let you down? Fingers stuck together, broken toys that you just can’t fix or discovering that your three-month-old bottle of glue is as dry and crumbly as the Sahara desert. Well, there’s a new product on the market that will work where glue fails you. And it can never dry out. We’ll share all the super-cool details, next.

    ANNOUNCER: Today’s Money Pit is presented by Haier, the world’s number-one appliance brand. Stay cool this summer with a Haier Serenity Series Air Conditioner. Quieter than the average window air conditioners, yet cool your home effectively and efficiently. Learn more at HaierAmerica.com.

    TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    Well, most Americans have a love-hate relationship with a common household repair product: glue. I mean think about it: how many times have you reached for a bottle only to find that it’s dried up hard as a rock? Or you read and then reread and then, of course, read again the fine print to make sure that you’ve got the right kind of glue for your project, only to find out it’s just not going to stick?

    TOM: Well, there is a solution and it’s actually not a glue. The product is called Bondic and it repairs just about anything around the house through a process called “liquid-plastic welding.” With us to talk about that is Robert Harbauer, the CEO.

    Welcome, Robert.

    ROBERT: Hi, Tom. Hi, Leslie. Thanks for having me.

    TOM: So, Robert, let’s talk the basics first. What exactly is Bondic? We say that it’s not a glue but it sure seems to act like one.

    ROBERT: I’ve got two examples for you. One is imagine that you have a hole. You can’t glue a space. Or imagine that the part you have is broken beyond recognition, it’s fractured or it’s even lost. You can’t glue something that doesn’t exist. Bondic is plastic that you make into hard plastic from a liquid in four seconds. That’s what it is. Or if you’ve ever been to a dentist or if you ever had your nails gelled, Leslie – maybe you, Tom, I don’t know – but that’s the same technology. Because it’s UV-based liquid that turns into a rock-hard plastic in seconds when exposed to UV light.

    LESLIE: So it goes on like a liquid and then you expose it to the light and then it cures hard. But even if it’s curing like a hard plastic, can you actually use it to join things together?

    ROBERT: Yeah. There’s glue for everything but the problem is that when something breaks, you often don’t have enough of it or it broke because it was weak in the first case. So, now, with this product, you can make it better than original. That’s the fundamental principle.

    TOM: So if UV light makes it harden, why does it not harden from, say, being left out in the sun?

    ROBERT: No, it would. You have to use it in the shade. If you’re in a bright sunny day, no question. It’ll get hard instantly.

    LESLIE: That’s so interesting. Can you give me some examples, though, of projects that people are tackling around their house with Bondic?

    ROBERT: There’s thousands but I’ll give you a couple quick ones. One is almost everybody has some kind of smartphone cable. And because of the way you have it in the car or big desk or whatever, you get intermittent connection or it starts to wear out. And those things are expensive. Everybody knows it. So you can use Bondic to reinforce that in a few seconds and make it better than original.

    TOM: Now, I think it’s interesting the way you guys have designed the applicator. I say – I think it’s fair to say that it’s sort of pen-shaped, where the light is on one end of the pen and then the applicator is on the other end. And simply – you simply squeeze out some of the Bondic material where it’s needed, you turn this applicator upside-down, press a button and the UV light comes on. And about four seconds later, you’re done, right?

    ROBERT: Yeah. The trick is that you think of it as like manipulating honey. So it has that kind of consistency. And unlike glue – glue, the minute it’s exposed to air, the clock starts; you’re working under pressure. Or if epoxy, where you mix two parts, you’ve got to mix the right amount. You’ve got to have a screwdriver, you’ve got a messy situation. Here, it’s like a pin tip. You’re able to drop it, move it around, manipulate it. It stays there because it’s thick. And then when you’re ready, when you’ve got the pieces where you want, you flash the light, hold it as close as you can get it and then in four seconds, that’s hard plastic. That’s it. That’s the trick.

    TOM: This is a really unique product. I think the most unusual thing I saw repaired with it was a copper pipe that had a hole in it. You can actually do a plumbing repair with this stuff.

    ROBERT: Anybody who’s living in a Northern climate has the issue – or you have a trailer or whatever where you have a freezing night or a few nights in a row or you lose power. And a pipe will burst because of that. And getting a plumber on a Sunday or on a long weekend is expensive. My plumber has a huge boat, right? So I don’t want to call on a weekend and …

    TOM: Yeah, that I’m sure you helped pay for.

    ROBERT: You solve it right now. Yeah, you just solve it right now.

    TOM: Yep.

    ROBERT: And what if your hubby – your husband – or your son or whatever, you’re not – you’re ahead of them and you’ve got to solve the problem? I’ve got kids that are phenomenal users and creative using it for projects, for stuff around the house. I’ve got handymen, I’ve got big, tough guys using it for the smallest of things. People who go on trips – I’ve had people repair dentures on a cruise because there wasn’t a solution. Glasses, you sit on them all the time. It happens, whether they’re expensive or cheap, then you need a solution right away. This is the perfect emergency product that gives you independence. And you don’t need six different types of glue because it generally can do the problem quickly.

    TOM: The product is called Bondic. It is not a glue but in fact, that is their website: NotAGlue.com.

    Robert, where can we find Bondic in retailers across the country?

    ROBERT: Tons of places. Ace Hardware is a great one, True Value, CVS, Target, Walmart automotive section. You’ll start to see it more and more as you go out there. And Bondic is the original dentist-invented one.

    TOM: Bondic and duct tape: two things you should have in every toolbox.

    Robert Harbauer, the CEO of Bondic, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    ROBERT: Guys, thanks for having me.

    LESLIE: Alright. Up next, are you ready for a new driveway or patio at your money pit? Well, building one is getting a lot easier when you do it with paper bricks. We’re going to share tips, in just a bit.

    TOM: Where home solutions live, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on this beautiful Fourth of July weekend. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    Happy Fourth of July, everybody. Give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT. Whether you’re working or just relaxing or maybe daydreaming about what to do at your money pit next weekend, we are here to help you out. Plus, we’ve got a great prize up for grabs this hour. We’re giving away the Milwaukee M18 FUEL 18-Gauge Brad Nailer Kit worth 379 bucks.

    I mean it’s a super best-in-class power being delivered constantly to this tool. So you will get smooth, flush, set nails every single time. It’s got ready-to-fire technology, which really eliminates that ramp-up time so you can just keep on working. It’s low-maintenance, no gas cartridges, no cleaning required. It’s got a great run time. You can deliver 1,200 nails per charge. That’s going to keep you working.

    You can find it at The Home Depot, with all the Milwaukee tools right there, or at HomeDepot.com. The Home Depot has the brands you trust and innovative products you need. Head into a local store or visit HomeDepot.com for more.

    TOM: And that Milwaukee M18 FUEL 18-Gauge Brad Nailer Kit is worth $379. Going out to one caller drawn at random. That number, again, is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Alright. Next up, we’ve got Mark who’s got a question about some unwanted summer visitors. What’s going on?

    MARK: We’re starting to get these black ants that are coming into the house. Big ants. I don’t understand why they’re, you know, all of a sudden coming in where they haven’t been coming in before.

    TOM: Well, ants are – can be seasonal in terms of their – the times when they’re active. If they’re large, black ants, I would want to know if they’re carpenter ants or not because those can actually eat wood. They could be damaging to the house. So I think if you have that much infestation, I would have it inspected by a pest-control professional.

    Now, if it turns out that you have to treat them, the most effective treatments with ants and with some other insects like termites, as well, is to use a bait treatment. Because the baits are effective, because the ants take it back to the nest and it gets split among the colony and it eradicates the entire colony, as opposed to just kind of killing them off one ant at a time. They share it and they eradicate the entire colony. So, baits are the most effective way to rid your home of ants and they really are best when they’re professionally applied.

    MARK: Thank you so much. I appreciate your time.

    TOM: You’re very welcome. Thank you for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    Well, if you’re enjoying the summer weather but think you might enjoy it more by lounging out on a brand-new patio, that project might be easier than you think when you use a new product called RumbleStone Plank.

    LESLIE: Yeah. RumbleStone Plank are paver bricks created by the Pavestone Company. And they are perfect for those high-traffic areas, including your driveway and patio. In fact, the 4-inch thickness of the RumbleStone Plank can withstand heavy payloads, making it strong enough for residential driveways.

    TOM: Now, plank pavers are an extension of Pavestone’s complete RumbleStone line, which provides no end to the number of projects you can build. Aside from patios and driveways, they work well for building benches, fire pits or planters and a lot more. I like the fact that they’re versatile, they’re durable and they’re easy to maintain.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And the RumbleStone Plank will match the color and texture of the RumbleStone line. And the product is made with an inorganic iron-oxide pigment, so they will not fade with extended UV exposure from the sun.

    TOM: Assembly is also easy with exterior, heavy-duty construction adhesive. And there’s no cutting required. Learn more about the complete RumbleStone line at Pavestone.com.

    LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Deb in Missouri on the line who needs help with a flooring question. How can we help you?

    DEB: Yes. Well, we replaced our flooring but we destroyed most of the molding trying to get it off along the mopboard.

    TOM: OK.

    DEB: And we were wondering, what’s the best way to put new on? What would be the best to use? The walls are all plaster. It looked like the nails had been set before the plaster was dry, because we had to cut them off.

    TOM: And so how high up the walls did the molding go? Because usually with plaster walls, the molding is a lot taller than a standard 3½-inch base molding.

    DEB: It’s 3½ inches.

    TOM: It is 3½ inches?

    DEB: Yes. But we could go a wee bit higher and it still look nice.

    TOM: Right. OK. Do you want the molding to be painted or natural?

    DEB: Well, I don’t think we’ll ever match the doors. It’s all wood and I don’t think we’d ever match that.

    TOM: OK. So do you want the molding to be painted, then?

    DEB: Yes. We’ll probably go painted, yes. But adhering it to the walls is going to be a real pain because of that plaster.

    TOM: Hmm. Yeah. Well, you’re going to do it with a combination of trim screws and LIQUID NAILS. So you’re not going to nail it, OK?

    What you’re going to do is – probably the least expensive thing to buy is something called finger-joint Colonial baseboard molding. It’s a very straightforward molding with a little bit of a fluted edge on top. It looks nice; it looks finished.

    Is it – does the thickness matter? Does it have to be a certain thickness to cover a gap between the wall and the floor?

    DEB: At least a ¼-inch, yes.

    TOM: Quarter-inch? OK. So all you’re going to need is the molding then. Because you could put the molding and then shoe molding over that, which would extend it out to almost an inch. But no, you’re going to buy finger-joint baseboard molding. Finger-joint means it’s ready for paint.

    Now, before you apply it to the walls, I would prime it so it’s a lot easier to paint this molding. In fact, I would prime it and I’d put one finish coat of paint on it, because it’s a lot easier to paint it when it’s up on some sawhorses than when it’s attached to your house.

    And then when it comes to installation, you’re going to – and you know what? You might want to get a carpenter that knows how to do this because, frankly, it’s just a lot easier if you know how to make a corner joint, which is called a “coped joint.” And you do it with a coping saw.

    But the way you attach it is with – after it’s all cut to fit, you apply some LIQUID NAILS to the back of the molding and then you put in only as many trim screws – and trim screws are kind of like drywall screws except they have a really tiny head, like a finish nail. But you only put enough of those in to hold it while it’s drying. So you’re not going to have nearly as many trim screws as you will nails. And it’ll be really solid.

    And the last thing you do is fill those holes. And you put one finish coat of paint on when – and then you’re completely done. So by putting the paint on ahead of time, you’re halfway there. All you do is touch it up, fill the holes, one more coat of paint, you’re good to go. OK?

    DEB: Awesome. Thank you so very much.

    TOM: Deb, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Andrew in Texas has had something very unfortunate happen to a pool: the steps broke? What happened?

    ANDREW: Well, we were just chilling out in the pool one night and it’s got a brand-new liner in it. In East Texas, they use salt-water pools, so you have to line them. And my buddy was getting out of the pool. He stepped on the fiberglass steps, which were not brand-new. And unfortunately, his foot went through the steps.

    LESLIE: Now, the fiberglass steps are underneath your liner or these sort of sit on top as like an attachment?

    ANDREW: It’s an attachment to the liner. They’re two separate entities that are underwater.

    TOM: OK. Can the fiberglass steps be removed from the pool for repair purposes?

    ANDREW: I believe so. I have not tried it. In all honesty, looking at the degradation of the steps, the shape that they’re in, I think it’d be easier to just do a quick patch right now, if that’s possible, or just entirely remove the steps. But can I do that without sacrificing the liner?

    TOM: Yeah, if you can get the steps out of the pool, like disconnecting them out of the pool, the easy way to do that patch is with more fiberglass. You can go to an auto-repair store – like a Pep Boys or a place like that that sells, perhaps, auto-body supplies – and you can buy fiberglass.

    You could buy the fiberglass resin and you can buy fiberglass material itself. And you apply the resin to the step, you press the material in place, you let it dry and then you would add more resin on top of that and then more – and then gelcoat to finish it off.

    Now, it’s not going to match, color-wise but it could be very strong and perhaps, next time, your friend won’t step right through them.

    ANDREW: An easy fix is an easy fix, right?

    TOM: Yeah. But the easiest thing is to get it out of the water so that you don’t have to drain the water. And you could do that repair on your – maybe in your garage, on a workbench or something like that, and then just put the whole assembly back in after it’s nice and dry and strong again.

    LESLIE: Alright. Thanks so much for calling The Money Pit.

    Well, when you start a remodeling project, it’s important to make every dollar count. But not all improvements deliver a good return on investment. We’re going to share tips on one to avoid, next.

    TOM: Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: And we’d love to help you with your home improvement project. If you don’t want to call, maybe you’re just shy. The number is 888-MONEY-PIT, of course, but you could also go online or post your question to our Facebook page at Facebook.com/TheMoneyPit, which is exactly what Tommy in Nebraska did.

    LESLIE: That’s right. Tommy writes: “I have central air-conditioning that works great. I have a couple of rooms I don’t really use and was wondering if I could just close up the vents and shut the doors to those rooms during the summer and maybe save some money on cooling. Would that work?”

    TOM: But what I would suggest is that you look at the duct layout, because there may be dampers, which are kind of like valves for ducts, that are installed in the lines in the runs of those ducts that are going into those rooms. It would be much more effective. The closer you can get to the air handler, in terms of shutting that off, the better because you don’t want to have an extension of duct or a section of duct that’s basically just charged with air all the time, if you can help it.

    LESLIE: Now, would you find those ducts – the dampers – up at the air handler or are they in the line themselves?

    TOM: They’re typically close to the air handler. Really, within a foot or two, generally.


    TOM: And you can – they’re also handy for balancing if you get too much air in one, not enough air in another. You can kind of balance the flow there. So see if you can find those dampers. That would be the place.

    If not, you certainly can just close the registers. But sometimes, that will result in a whistling. So what some people will do is pull the register off the wall, put a piece of plastic behind it and then put the register back on. Just don’t forget to remove that plastic in the wintertime or you’re going to be mighty chilly in those rooms.

    LESLIE: Alright. Good advice, Tom.

    And, Tommy, hopefully you start seeing those summer savings this season.

    TOM: Well, if you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace in your home, we’re certain that you’re enjoying fires all winter long. But what do you do with that big monstrosity in the summer? Leslie has got some ways that you can decorate it nicely, in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.


    LESLIE: Yeah. You know, fireplaces, they really do make a room so comfy and beautiful. But in the summer season, they just sort of sit there like a blank canvas looking at you like, “What are you going to do with me now?”

    Well, first off, let’s start with a good cleaning, because chances are you’ve been using it during the winter months. Get it cleaned by a pro, make sure everything’s operating in tip-top shape. And then let’s talk about how you can make it look nice.

    Now, depending on where you are in the country, most chances are you’re going to find fireplace screens on sale. I’ve seen a couple of really cute ones that have little, glass votive candleholders right attached to the front. They’re adorable in the winter months because you can use them with candles while your fireplace is going. But I’ve used them in the summer months, on projects for Hotel Impossible, to put little ferns in or little succulents: things that don’t really require a lot of water but also make a beautiful boost of green right there in your home where you can use it. So that’s a great option if you find one on sale this time of year or if you’ve got one already.

    Another idea is remove the screen altogether and get a tiered candle holder. And then you can put some beautiful candles in there or even just a variety of sizes of pillar candles and create sort of a vignette of candles in there, as well.

    Another thing I’ve seen done is people make beautiful, wooden sort of fireplace screens that they then modgepodge (ph) with family photos or words of encouragement or inspiration. And that can be put on there in a decoupage finish. And that makes a great way for your family to relive maybe some of the beautiful memories of the winter months or some inspiring messages for the summer season to come. Either way, let’s put the focus on using the fireplace for something pretty in these warmer-weather months.

    TOM: Good advice. This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Coming up next time on the program, if you’re planning a landscape change that involves installing shrubs, there are hundreds available. But you need to make the right choice so that they thrive in your local environment. We’ll get some great options when landscaping expert Roger Cook from TV’s This Old House joins us 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.


    (Copyright 2016 Squeaky Door Productions, Inc. No portion of this transcript or audio file may be reproduced in any format without the express written permission of Squeaky Door Productions, Inc.)

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