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    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 we are here to help you with your home improvement projects. So pick up the phone and help yourself first and call us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.

    Today on The Money Pit, we are going to focus our show on how to best take advantage of your outdoor spaces. Because it is the season and having that backyard living space is becoming higher and higher up on a home buyer’s list of must-have features. So, you’ll always add value to your home when you upgrade the outside and we’re going to help you do just that.

    LESLIE: And if you plan on staying put, it’s just plain great to have that extra room for entertaining and spending your family time. We’re going to give you some great advice on some of the basics, this hour, like building or expanding a patio that you’ve already got.

    TOM: Also ahead, a stainless-steel sink might be on your shopping list for your outdoor kitchen or really for any kitchen, so we’re going to tell you what to look for when picking one because all stainless is not created equal.

    LESLIE: And decks were meant for relaxing, not maintaining. We’re going to talk about how to make sure you have one that’s easy to take care of.

    TOM: And to help keep your backyard safe and private, a good fence is key. So we’re going to talk about some options in fencing that can also lend a hand.

    LESLIE: And this hour, we’ve got a great prize up for grabs. We’re giving one lucky caller Eureka’s brand-new, lightweight vacuum. It’s called the AirSpeed ONE.

    TOM: I love the name, the AirSpeed ONE.

    LESLIE: It flies the President around.

    TOM: It’s worth 70 bucks, so give us a call right now. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.

    Leslie, who’s first?

    LESLIE: George in Iowa is on the line with a decking question. What can we do for you today?

    GEORGE: The wife and I have done the sealing with the deck twice. And both times – the first time, it lasted a year and it peeled up. And we sealed it again last year and it peeled up again this time after the winter snow had melted. So, we’re not sure – do you have any tips or some advice for us to help us out there?

    TOM: Well, you might want to think about doing a deck do-over where you just pull off the decking material and add a composite deck. Keep the structure. You won’t have to do this again.

    Some of the decking sealants, if you don’t strip down to the original lumber, they never absorb properly and they’ll bead up and they’ll peel off. So, your options are – to do that, strip off everything that you have there and you’ve literally got to strip it off down to the wood and sand it. And then you can use a primer and a solid-color stain and that will give you the maximum chance of adhering.

    The other thing you might want to think about doing, as I mentioned earlier, is doing sort of a deck makeover where you pull up the deck boards and then you replace just the deck surface boards with a composite, like Veranda, for example, which is available at The Home Depot. And this way, you’ll never have to worry about staining again. You can even keep your existing railing or you could go further and change out the railing, as well.

    But it doesn’t affect the structure of the deck because the material is still sitting on top of the old, original joist. Just that the deck surface has now been completely made-over. It looks great and you never have to worry about staining or sealing again. Because it’s a lot of work and you don’t want to have to do it every year, that’s for sure. Make sense?

    GEORGE: Yep, that makes sense. I appreciate it. Thank you very much.

    TOM: George, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Joann in Illinois who’s working on a kitchen-cleaning project. Tell us what you’re working on.

    JOANN: I have lovely, Quaker-made kitchen cabinets. They’ve been in, oh my, I suppose 35 years. They’re really good shape but the only thing I’d like to ask you is – you know, where you go to pull the – to open them? It seems like there gets to be accumulation of grease, oil or whatever. And I’d like to know: what is the best thing to use to wash them down?

    LESLIE: Have you tried an orange-based cleaner, like an Orange Glo?

    JOANN: That is – would be just a straight cleaner? It’s nothing you mix with water or anything.

    LESLIE: Nope. It’s just a straight cleaner. And I find that it’s really good at degreasing and desticking a lot of buildup. When we took the protective bumpers off of our very pointy wood coffee table when Henry got a little bigger, the sticky stuff just left the worst residue across my amazing apothecary table.

    And nothing I could use was getting off this residue and Orange Glo really did the trick. I was very surprised at how quickly it just melted the tape extract and all of that adhesive. And I use it on my kitchen cabinets. I use it pretty much on all my wood surfaces and I find it really does a good job.

    JOANN: OK. I really enjoy your program.

    TOM: Thank you so much, Joann. Good luck with that project and thank you 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. We are just two weekends away from Memorial Day, so let’s get some projects going, let’s get the outdoor space in tip-top shape. We are here to give you a hand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Up next, if you don’t have a patio or you’d like to expand the one that you do have, don’t call a contractor just yet. We’re going to tell you how to build your own, after this.

    MIKE: Hey, this is Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs and I’ve just been told that Tom and Leslie might have a dirtier job than me? I find that hard to believe but then I heard they worked in a pit. It’s a money pit but it’s still filthy.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is presented by Arrow Sheds, the leader in steel storage sheds and buildings. Steel sheds are durable, secure and a great value. Arrow Storage Products, available at national home centers, hardware stores and online. See a complete line of products at Sheds.com.

    TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: The number to call is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974. If you do pick up the phone and call us with your home improvement question, we will toss your name in The Money Pit hard hat and you might just win Eureka’s newest vacuum. It’s called the AirSpeed ONE. It weighs less than 10 pounds but it cleans better than the number-one-selling bagless upright. It has increased airflow for more powerful suction and cleaner carpets.

    The prize is worth 70 bucks. Check it out at Eureka.com or pick up the phone right now and call us with your home improvement question, for your chance to win, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Mark in Oregon on the line who needs some help with a hardwood-flooring project. Tell us what you’re working on.

    MARK: Got an old wood floor – hardwood floor – that is looking, oh, kind of rough but I don’t really want to put a showroom shine on it. But yet I still want to keep it protected and I kind of want to keep it clean. So I was wondering if there’s a product that you would suggest to more or less not refinish it but yet keep it maintained, I guess.

    TOM: Well, so, what you’re saying is that you don’t want to go all-in and have it – and totally sand it down. You just want to sort of brush it up a little bit? Is that correct?

    MARK: Yeah, because it’s well-used. It’s in a dining room but yet I think I kind of like that antique or almost museum look to it.

    TOM: Is any of it worn down to the bone? Do you see the raw wood anywhere or is it just scuffed up a bit?

    MARK: It’s pretty much scuffed and worn down, I would say, yeah. But it’s not bad looking; it’s just – I just don’t want to really put a shine on it and make it look like it’s a brand-new hardwood floor.

    TOM: You’re going to need to pull all the furniture out of the room and then you have to do a light sanding of the floor. If it’s not really worn out to the point where it’s got cracks or crevices or digs or areas where the stain is missing or anything like that, it’s just sort of roughed up a bit, you can do a light sanding. And the easiest way to do that is with a floor sander and a sanding screen on it.

    You go out and rent one of these floor sanders, like you see used at a commercial building or the mall or someplace like that. And then they’ll give you, at the store, a couple of sanding screens that go underneath it. And then you very carefully and slowly – you do like a light sanding of the whole thing.

    And then you’ll have to hand-sand along the baseboard and the corners and so on. Then damp-mop it, just to make sure you get up all of the dust. Vacuum and damp-mop it. And then what you can do is apply two or three coats of satin polyurethane. You could even get flat polyurethane if you want absolutely no sheen to it. But satin usually has just enough sheen to protect it but not be too obvious.

    And you apply that with – not with a brush but with a lambswool applicator. You pretty much mop it on with the lambswool applicator and stay out of the room for a couple of days and you’ll be good to go.

    MARK: Well, it sounds great to me. I’ll give it a try.

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

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Pam in Illinois on the line dealing with a flat roof. Tell us what’s going on at your money pit.

    PAM: We are having a problem finding a leak on – our roof is – we have a roof that’s flat but it has a slope to it. We have our air-conditioning units that sit up there, along with the roofing vents. We’ve used that white vinyl to seal it; it’s a rolled roofing, you know. We’ve sealed it with a white vinyl.

    Around the air-conditioning units and the vents, we’ve used the black mastic tape but we can’t seem to get – to seal them. Do you have any suggestions, something that would work?

    TOM: So, do you know where the leak is?

    PAM: Well, we’re thinking around the vent or the air-conditioning unit.

    TOM: Have you tried to take a garden hose up there and strategically sort of flood that suspected area to see if you can cause the leak to happen?

    PAM: No, we haven’t.

    TOM: So that might be a good next step. Start low on the roof, because it’s sloped, and flood that area with the garden hose for 15 or 20 minutes. And then if nothing happens, move it up a few feet and a few feet and a few feet to see if you can narrow down the exact area where the leak is happening.

    You’ve got a difficult situation, Pam, because first of all, rolled roofing is the weakest roofing material out there when it comes to low-sloped roofs. Secondly, you’ve got an air-conditioning compressor on the roof, probably sitting on 4x4s or something of that nature. So when the – where the air conditioner sits, as it goes on it vibrates. And so that vibration breaks down that roofing material, makes it really difficult for you to get something that’s leak-free.

    If the roof was built in a different way – and by that, I mean if the rolled roofing was stripped off right down to the sheathing and the roof was built with maybe a rubberized roof or something of that nature; and there are special types of support mechanisms for air conditioners that have flashing built into them ­- then you wouldn’t be having this issue.

    So there’s no sort – there’s no easy way to kind of make this go away. All I can really suggest is that you strategically try to find out where this leak is and then focus your tarring application efforts right around those spaces. Unfortunately, it’s not going to be easy to find it but once you do, hopefully you can identify the weak link. And then, as a matter of preventative maintenance, you can get up there and then reseal it every once in a while.

    PAM: OK. Well, you’ve certainly helped us and given us a lot of food for thought.

    TOM: Alright. Happy to do so. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Well, it’s hard to enjoy an outdoor living space if you have no patio at all or you need to expand the one you have. But before the dollar signs start flashing before your eyes, you should know that building a patio is not incredibly difficult for the seasoned do-it-yourselfer.

    And Money Pit sponsor, QUIKRETE, has some tips.

    TOM: Now, a patio, in its simplest form, is really just a concrete slab. But of course, you have to plan before you pour.

    The first step is to lay out the exact dimensions and the location and make sure you’re taking the sun exposure into mind. An easy way to see the shape of your potential patio is to use rope when you lay out the perimeter. I like to do that because then you can step back and review the space, get a good feel for it. You can even consider adding some furniture inside your pretend patio, just to make sure that it’s big enough that everything fits well, you’ve allowed …

    LESLIE: And you can get around everything.

    TOM: Yeah, get around everything and so on. Because when you draw it out on paper or even just sort of say to yourself, “Hey, 8×10, 10×15,” whatever it’s going to be, there’s nothing like seeing that rope laid out in your yard so you really get a good feel for it.

    Now, another important design factor to consider is if you’re going to put it up right next to your house, you want to mind the distance from the top of the finished patio to the doorway of your house. It needs to be no more than 8 inches. So make sure you prepare the soil well, account for compaction, make sure it’s solid and that – and then pour it in such a way that the patio slab will be no more than 8 inches from the doorway.

    And also, make sure that patio slopes away from the house. You don’t want to have a lot of water that hits that patio or run into the house. So you need at least an 1/8-inch per foot of pitch. Don’t fudge that number or you will have drainage issues for sure. And then you’ll be calling us to ask how to fix your wet basement.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And if you’re looking for a great way to give your patio some style, you can lay out redwood 2x4s to make boxes and then pour your concrete into them.

    Now, if you head on over to QUIKRETE’s site, that’s QUIKRETE – Q-U-I-K-R-E-T-E – .com and select “concrete patios,” you’re going to find a step-by-step guide on how to lay out the strips and finish your project. And when it comes time to make repairs on a patio or any concrete surface that you’ve got at your money pit, you want to try QUIKRETE’s Zip & Mix.

    Now, you can mix and use it right out of the pouch and you can match the contour and shape of any concrete surface. You can even use it on vertical or horizontal surfaces.

    TOM: To learn more, visit QUIKRETE.com – Q-U-I-K-R-E-T-E.com. QUIKRETE, it’s what America’s made of.

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Jake from Minnesota on the line who’s working on some windows at The Money Pit. What’s going on?

    JAKE: Yeah, I have an older house and I want to start replacing the windows but I don’t have the budget to do them all at once. And I was calling to ask if, from an energy-efficiency standpoint, it matters which ones I do first, like first floor or second floor, a certain direction, anything like that.

    TOM: I would do the north windows first because you’re in Minnesota. We want to try to keep it as warm as possible. That’s going to be the coldest side of your house. So I would do the north side first, perhaps the north and the east sides followed by the south and the west sides, in that order.

    JAKE: OK, perfect.

    TOM: When you select windows, make sure that you choose windows that are ENERGY STAR-rated. There are great major manufacturers that make replacement windows today, like Andersen and Pella. I would stick with a name brand because you know the quality is going to be there.

    JAKE: Sounds good. And first floor, second floor? Does that matter?

    TOM: No, the side – the compass direction – matters. So, north and east first, south and west second.

    JAKE: Alright. Perfect.

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

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

    DARLENE: Well, we heat our house with wood and our fireplace bricks are real cream – light-cream colored and they’re very roughly textured. My question is – the soot – above the fireplace doors, soot gets in the brick and embedded in there. And I’ve tried to scrub it out with everything I can think of, other than muriatic acid. And I know I can’t use that in the house. Do you have any suggestions?

    LESLIE: Have you tried TSP, which stands for trisodium phosphate? And it’s sort of like a cleaning prep step when you’ve got some really sticky stuff that won’t come off.

    DARLENE: I think I did some time back but maybe I should use a stronger solution instead of – it says not to use it the way it comes out of the bottle.

    LESLIE: Well, what you can do with TSP is it comes in a powder format and it’s available in the clean – well, in the painting aisle, generally, of the home stores. And I would just mix it up so that it’s more of a paste than a liquid and apply it that way. And let it sit there and give it some time to do its job.

    DARLENE: Alright. That sounds great.

    LESLIE: Jenny in North Dakota, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

    JENNY: Hi. I’m calling to see how we can permanently remove some lilac bushes.

    TOM: You’re not a fan of lilacs, I guess, huh?

    LESLIE: Wow.

    JENNY: Well, it’s not the idea of not being a fan; it’s just that they were planted too close to the house.

    LESLIE: So why don’t you transplant them?

    JENNY: Is that possible?

    LESLIE: Absolutely. I mean, Jenny, if I could tell you the countless times, as a child, that my mom would – and even to this day, my mom, if seeing a beautiful, blooming lilac bush or tree in the cover of night would make one of myself or my sisters or herself hop out of a car and pick other people’s flowers. I’m like, “Tell me where you live. I’ll take it to give it to my mom.”

    JENNY: Yeah. Don’t get me wrong. I love the aroma, I love the trees. They’re just right in – and they’re obscuring the sunlight that’s coming through the picture window and …

    LESLIE: And that’s why they’re doing so well, because they love the sunlight. But you can absolutely transplant them. You just need to dig a diameter around the root ball and then dig under, just scoop it up and stick it somewhere else.

    JENNY: Oh, OK.

    LESLIE: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com.

    Well, if you are already an outdoor-living pro, why not go all the way and add a kitchen? We’re going to tell you the ins and outs of picking the right stainless-steel sink for outdoors or indoors, after this.

    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.

    TOM: And we are talking outdoor living spaces today on The Money Pit. If you’d like to take your backyard space from blah to bam, just head on over to MoneyPit.com and search “outdoor lighting.” We’ve got tips there on how you can take just a few strategic lights, place them in just the right places and deliver a professionally landscaped look to your yard. That’s all online at MoneyPit.com.

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Heather in Tennessee who’s dealing with a flooring situation. What happened?

    HEATHER: Well, my husband and I were – we have a water feature on our countertop. And we overfilled it one day and it leaked out onto the hardwood and while we were at work. And it’s left a 6×8-inch-diameter area of bulking of our hardwood floors. I can’t really see it but you can feel it when you’re walking over it with socks on; it kind of snags. So I didn’t know if there’s anything that you could do because – a DIY project? Or do you have to have the whole floor resanded, restained? I really don’t want to go through all of that mess.

    TOM: Well, if the floor is swollen, it’s kind of a one-way street and you’re not going to be able to kind of get the toothpaste back in the tube. At this point, if you want to try to make it flat and smooth again, you do have to sand it out.

    Now, it might not be as terrible as a project as you think. You may not have to do the entire floor; you might just be able to do a repair of that particular area. Do you happen to have the stain and the finish that was used on that floor?

    HEATHER: I don’t, I don’t. And I actually – another reason I’m kind of leery of it is because we got the same man that did our hardwood floors to begin with come back and put hardwood in our bedroom. And they don’t match whatsoever. So I’m kind of really worried.

    TOM: Let me ask you another question. Do you have any extra pieces of that floor anywhere?

    HEATHER: I don’t.

    TOM: Do you have any area of the floor that’s less noticeable, like in a closet or a pantry?

    HEATHER: Yes.

    TOM: OK. Here’s a solution for you. A good carpenter can do this. You can basically cut out some of the floor that’s in the lesser-visible area. Cut out enough of it to be able to use to repair the area in your kitchen. Then you could cut out the bad boards, throw those away and then insert the boards that you salvaged from the closet area. And then go ahead and repair that closet area with whatever is handy or whatever new you can purchase and stain it to get as close as you can.

    And because it’s inside the closet, no one will probably ever know – be the wiser for it. Yet you’ll have some boards that match exactly the damaged boards in the kitchen, in order to repair that spot. How about that?

    HEATHER: That sounds a whole lot better than resanding everything, so …

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

    LESLIE: Well, there’s sleek, shiny and stylish. I’m talking about stainless sinks and they’re a big hit with homeowners right now.

    TOM: Yes. But once you get beyond how great a stainless-steel sink can look and how easy they are to care for, do you know which one is right for you? Richard Trethewey does. He’s the plumbing-and-heating expert for TV’s This Old House.

    Welcome, Richard.

    RICHARD: Speaking of slick, shiny and stylish. Here he is.

    LESLIE: Richard Trethewey.

    TOM: Hey, aside from deciding if you need one bowl or two when you pick out your stainless-steel sink, there’s a lot of qualitative differences among the products, aren’t there?

    RICHARD: Yeah. I think the first thing we’d start with is the thickness of the sink. They measure it in terms of its gauge. And really, counterintuitively, the lower the number, the thicker it is.

    LESLIE: The thicker it is.

    TOM: Thicker it is, right, yeah.

    RICHARD: It’s really backwards. It’s really very backwards. So, you’re going to see, most often, you can get 22 gauge and that’s light, light, light. But you can move it to 18 and to 16 and there’s really a difference. When you have a really light-gauge sink and that water comes down and hits that sink bottom, it can really sound like rain on the roof and like a little timpani. So you really want a heavier gauge; at least I do.

    Some of these sinks also have a nice insulation on the back. They do a rubberized insulation, which can actually add to the sound quality, make it feel like it’s a heavier sink.

    TOM: Now, what about the depth of the sink? The ones that are shallow should be less expensive to make and they may look big but they’re not going to hold the dishes.

    RICHARD: Yeah. I tell you, I love, love, love a deep sink. It just – you can put the big pot in there and swing the spout over and stuff like that. But the standard is only 6 inches deep and that’s …

    LESLIE: Which is so shallow.

    RICHARD: It’s the builder’s model. And so, it’ll do what you need; it’s functional. But it’s really great to have that big – I like a big, single bowl; I’m not big on a bunch of little bowls (inaudible at 0:23:28).

    LESLIE: The money you save will be spent on paper towels.

    RICHARD: Yeah, there you go. That’s right. That’s right.

    And then it was always just a question of – a square sink was all you could get before. Now, they have all these sort of softened, curved sort of shapes in the stainless-steel world. It’s really a – it’s become art.

    LESLIE: With little platforms and little areas.

    RICHARD: It’s really become art. And so, if you choose to add that sort of signature look to your kitchen, you can have all kinds of beautiful shapes that never existed before.

    LESLIE: Now, what about composition? When you’re creating these sinks, do you need to look at what other metals are being used that might affect its quality?

    TOM: Yeah, you mentioned the thickness but stainless isn’t stainless isn’t stainless. I mean stainless really changes from sink to sink in terms of the quality of the stainless, right?

    RICHARD: Yeah. Yeah, they can measure it in terms of its series: how much chromium and nickel are in it. And so the best series, the 300 series, you’re going to need – it’s got like 18-percent chromium and 8-percent nickel. And that’s going to help to sort of resist corrosion.

    People hear “stainless steel” and they think it’s all the same and there are a million grades of stainless steel. And that really is a question of what the chemical components of the alloys that are in it. You’ll know when you pick the wrong sink when it starts to rust too soon.

    TOM: Exactly.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And I think another thing that’s interesting or that people might forget is the drain assembly or the basket. They don’t always match if you’re buying it separately.

    RICHARD: That’s right. Yeah.

    LESLIE: So, is it better to go with one that comes with the sink? And not that they ever come with the sink; you have to buy it from the same manufacturer.

    RICHARD: Yeah, right. There are so many great accessories companies in the plumbing world nowadays that you can almost always find a basket strainer or they actually have snap-in covers over the basket strainers to match whatever color you want. So there’s all sorts of choices. The basket strainer will never be the problem, you know. You really just want to look at that sink and say, “Which one do I want for quality? Which one do I want for shape? And then what am I willing to pay for?” It’s material quality. And in the long run, it’s always cheaper to buy the better one.

    TOM: Makes sense.

    RICHARD: At least that’s what my dad taught me.

    LESLIE: Right.

    TOM: I think your dad was right. Richard Trethewey, the plumbing-and-heating expert from TV’s This Old House, great advice. Thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit, Richard.

    RICHARD: Thanks, guys.

    LESLIE: Alright. You can catch the current season of This Old House and Ask This Old House on PBS. For local listings and step-by-step videos of many common home improvement projects, visit ThisOldHouse.com.

    TOM: And This Old House and Ask This Old House are brought to you by State Farm Insurance. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.

    Up next, unless you enjoy scrubbing barbecue sauce off a deck, it’s best to think about stain-resistant decking material. We’ll have tips on that topic, after this.

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    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. Pick up the phone and give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    One caller this hour is going to have cleaner carpets very soon. No, Tom is not coming over to vacuum your house but you could be the winner of a great prize. We’re giving away Eureka’s newest vacuum. It’s the super-lightweight AirSpeed ONE and it’s got a sleek frame, which makes it super-easy to carry up and down the stairs. And it’s worth 70 bucks.

    Now, you can actually check out the AirSpeed ONE at Eureka.com. But pick up the phone and give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT and we’ll give you help with your home improvement project and your chance to win.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    LESLIE: Chuck in Rhode Island needs some help cleaning something. What’s going on at your money pit?

    CHUCK: How would you suggest I go about removing blood stains from carpeting?

    LESLIE: Well, I’m assuming since you’re calling in, it’s nothing that we want to hide or cover up, correct?

    CHUCK: No, no. Oh, no, no. No, no, no, no.

    TOM: Alright. Have they been down there a long time?

    CHUCK: Yeah, about six months.

    TOM: Alright. So, there’s a couple of different things that you can try. One of which is to make a paste out of salt. And so you take a bowl of cold water and you put enough salt in to make a bit of a paste. And then you apply that to the carpet, let it sit a bit. Brush it in with a small brush, like a small hairbrush or a toothbrush, and see if it starts to lift the stains away. You can dab it with water to kind of thin out the salt.

    Then after it dries, you can vacuum it and that’ll pull all the rest of the salt off of it.

    CHUCK: Uh-huh. OK.

    TOM: So that’s one way to do it. The other way to do it is to try to make a mixture of hydrogen peroxide up and water. This hydrogen peroxide will also clean up blood. I always say to try this, though, in an area that’s inconspicuous because it also has somewhat of a bleaching effect. We don’t want to have you bleach out the carpet.

    So you can try it in a corner, under furniture, in a closet, wherever you have a less visible area.

    CHUCK: What ratio of the peroxide to water?

    TOM: Well, no, actually, you can just put the peroxide on without water. Just put like 3-percent hydrogen peroxide.

    CHUCK: OK. I’ll try those items and see what happens.

    TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.

    Well, if you’re planning to build a deck this year, one of the elements that you might want to consider is stain-resistance. You know, summer is a season where so many of us like to entertain on the weekends and we really should be spending that time relaxing and not cleaning and maintaining the deck. So one way to avoid that hassle is to use a great composite deck like a Trex Enhance. That decking is available at The Home Depot.

    Now, Trex is a Money Pit sponsor and the product is almost completely maintenance-free, so you don’t need to sand, stain or paint your deck to get it ready for that outdoor entertaining.

    LESLIE: That’s right. Trex Enhance, it’s interesting because the product is wrapped, actually, in a protective shell, which means that it’s going to stand up to deck-party mishaps, like dropped grill tools and spilled barbecue sauce. And it also stands up to outdoor furniture, so you can actually scoot around your chairs and tables without worrying about scratching the surface.

    TOM: Trex Enhance is available and in stock at The Home Depot. Visit HomeDepot.Trex.com to learn more.

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Ann on The Money Pit who’s got a question about a porch. How can we help you today?

    ANN: Our front porch, I guess, has settled. And there’s a huge crack and it goes completely through the whole slab of concrete. How would we go about economically fixing that or is it possible without having to repour the whole thing? And it’s like a slab on top of bricks, so there is a hollow spot underneath the slab.

    TOM: OK. So it’s broken in two? And can you see through the crack into the sort of the void below?

    ANN: You can’t exactly see through but it is a wide crack. It’s wide enough to see. Not all the way through, though.

    TOM: What you would do is if it’s wide enough where it’s not going to hold a patching material, you would put something in there first called “backer rod,” which is like a foam road. And it comes in different diameters. And that would sit just below the surface of the crack, maybe a ¼- to ½-inch below the surface of the crack. And then you would repair that crack with a flowable caulk, like a flowable urethane? Or I know that QUIKRETE has some patching materials that will also work.

    And that backer rod keeps that seal up towards the surface – does that make sense? – and doesn’t fall down in. So it’s not like you’ve got to put coat after coat after coat. And that flowable urethane will expand and contract with the concrete slab. So you don’t have to tear it out and replace it; you just have to fix it correctly.

    LESLIE: Alright. Now we’re heading out to Washington where Robert has got a stainless-steel question. Tell us what’s going on.

    ROBERT: I got these stainless-steel appliances and I have started to develop small, little rust spots on them. And I’m not sure what’s causing that.

    TOM: Well, it’s because not all stainless is the same. There’s actually over 100 grades of stainless steel. And some are more prone to corrosion than others. So the fact that you have some rust on your stainless-steel appliance doesn’t surprise me.

    What you’re going to have to do with that is two things. First of all, you’re going to have to remove the rust, which you can do with steel wool or a Brillo pad. Something like that. You really don’t want to use a lot of abrasion, so as little abrasion as possible. And then you have to coat it with a stainless-steel polish.

    And the polish will help seal in the surface and prevent the rust from coming back as frequently. But there is some degree of maintenance associated with stainless steel. And the stainless steel that’s of poorer quality will rust more frequently. I think a lot of folks think that stainless is stainless is stainless but it’s not. There’s a lot of different grades and some are better than others.

    ROBERT: Alright. Well, that makes sense because it’s all the same brand but it’s only happened on my stove and on the range there.

    TOM: Right, right.

    ROBERT: And it hasn’t happened to the dishwasher or the refrigerator.

    TOM: Yep, that’s right.

    ROBERT: So that does make sense. OK. Well, hey, thanks a lot.

    TOM: You’re welcome, Robert. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Coming up next, privacy and safety should be top concerns with any outdoor fun. And a fence can provide both. We’ll talk about those options, next.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Lutron’s new Maestro Occupancy-Sensing Switch. Never ask “Who left the lights on?” again. Starting at around $20, this motion-sensing light switch turns the lights on automatically when you walk into a room and off when you leave and works with all types of light bulbs. Learn more at LutronSensors.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.

    TOM: Well, when it comes to safety and privacy, a fenced-in backyard is definitely your best bet. I mean you get to corral the pets, the kids, the belongings all in one area and still deliver a very attractive look to your entire outdoor living space.

    LESLIE: That’s right. And a fence also can help keep the value of your home up, especially when it’s in great shape. So here to tell us about fencing options is Paul O’Reilly with The Home Depot.

    Welcome, Paul.

    PAUL: It’s good to be here at Money Pit.

    TOM: We all have a money pit. We consider it a term of endearment. And good products like new fencing can help us really maintain it. So let’s talk about the standards that are available in fencing.

    Now, I’m not going to ask you about wood fencing but I want to acknowledge that that’s sort of the base level of fencing that we’ve had for years. But the problem with wood fencing is is that the moment you install it, you start counting down the days when you’re going to have to reinstall it because it has a very short life expectancy.

    In fact, I’ve often kidded with Leslie that I’m pretty sure that the installers help with that process because they tend to put it too close to the ground, which invites insects and decay and all sorts of things to get into it.

    But that doesn’t happen when you have either composite or vinyl fencing, two new options that have become increasingly more available across the country. And that’s what you guys are selling now at The Home Depot. You have a product called the Veranda Vinyl Fence and also Veranda Composite Fence.

    So let me ask you about vinyl first. Is that more difficult to install than a traditional wood fence, Paul?

    PAUL: Well, it really isn’t. Composites are brand new over the last couple of years. Vinyl has been around since the mid-90s or even before. Home Depot has pre-built panels with an installation guide that makes it really easy to do. Vinyl is quite lightweight, especially the front of the house, the Leave it to Beaver style. It’s driven by the low-maintenance part of it. People are kind of tired of painting and staining and that’s really what you get with wood. So the vinyl eliminates all that and it really is easy to install.

    Home Depot also has a more traditional, routed, professional style for the professional fencers, as we call them, in the industry. So, both of those groups – the pre-built panels for the kind of do-it-yourselfer and then the pro-style, routed for the professional. Both of those style groups have great value.

    LESLIE: Now, are you finding it challenging – I think when people think of a vinyl fence, they immediately start to think shiny, white. But truly, vinyl is really a composite and there are so many options out there, correct?

    PAUL: The predominant wood trim, even alternative building-product trim for houses in the U.S. is still white. There’s still a great deal of demand for white vinyl fencing, again, driven by the fact you don’t have to paint it. At the same time, technology has allowed the people that manufacture the vinyl to bring in colors, wood-grain looks. And if you really want to get that real wood-grain look, that’s where the composite comes into play.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And what about installation? Is this truly something you have to do on your own or is there any help in finding somebody who can do it for you?

    PAUL: Home Depot has a nationwide dealer network of service providers that install both the vinyl and the composite. You know, they’re all high-end, background-checked, experienced fencing people that have been in the business a long, long time. So you can feel comfortable with the installation process with Home Depot. You can call 1-800-HOME-DEPOT or speak to any store associate and they’ll come out and give you a free, in-home estimate.

    TOM: Good advice. Paul O’Reilly, Home Depot’s fence expert, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    PAUL: Thank you. Appreciate it.

    TOM: If you’d like more information on Home Depot fencing, you can simply call 1-800-HOME-DEPOT, head on over to HomeDepot.com or stop by your local Home Depot and talk to a store associate.

    Paul O’Reilly, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit and filling us in on Veranda fencing.

    That’s all the time we have. Thanks so much for spending this hour with us. Remember, the show continues online at MoneyPit.com.

    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 2013 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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