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Carbon Monoxide Dangers, Holiday Tree Care & Water Heater Efficiency

  • Transcript

    Hosts: Tom Kraeutler & Leslie Segrete

     (NOTE: Timestamps below correspond to the running time of the downloadable audio file of this show. Text represents a professional transcriptionist’s understanding of what was said. No guarantee of accuracy is expressed or implied. ‘Ph’ in parentheses indicates the phonetic or best guess of the actual spoken word.)
     
    BEGIN HOUR 1 TEXT:
     
    (promo/theme song)
     
     
    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: Give us a call right now with your home improvement project, your do-it-yourself dilemma. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.
     
    We know that it’s a busy time of year for everybody; so, coming up this hour, we’re going to have some tips to help you stop taking a bath on your hot water bills. You’ve got a lot of guests coming by; they’re running that hot water heater all day long, all night long. You’re probably going to really see a serious bill come January. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s a new product on the market that can actually give you a very, very super-efficient way of heating hot water and we’ll tell you all about it in just a bit.
     
    LESLIE: And this time of year can only mean one thing: that it is time to go and get your Christmas tree. Now, you might be in a decision-making process right now between getting a live tree or an artificial tree. Well, there are big pros and cons to each type and we’re going to help you figure out which tree will work best for you, in just a little bit; along with some tips on how to keep a live tree living – you know, up through the holiday. I’ve had trees die like two weeks before Christmas and gone out and got …
     
    TOM: Well, there are a lot of old wives’ tales out there about how to do that. I mean do you add aspirin to the water? People say you put sugar in the water. You know, does any of that stuff work? Well, we’re going to tell you in just a bit.
     
    Plus, with heating systems in full operation, we’re going to also help you understand the dangers of carbon monoxide. It is called the silent killer because you can’t smell it or even see it but it can be very, very deadly. We’re going to get some expert advice on staying safe when we welcome TV’s This Old House host Kevin O’Connor in just a few minutes.
     
    LESLIE: Plus, this hour we’re giving away an Essentials-to-Holiday cleaning prize pack from our fine friends over at CLR. Now, you’ve heard us talk about their products many, many times and now is your chance – I mean being that you’re cleaning a lot as it is anyway (chuckles) – to try out these great products for free.
     
    TOM: So give us a call right now – the number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT – with your holiday home improvement question. 888-666-3974. Let’s get right to the phones.
     
    Leslie, who’s first?
     
    LESLIE: Sharon in Indiana needs some help with a possible addition. What can we do for you?
     
    SHARON: Hi. I’d like to see if it’s really worth it to put an addition on my house so that I can get to the basement from inside the house instead of going through the garage and down the stairs.
     
    TOM: And that requires an addition? You don’t have room to carve out for the basement stairs inside the house as it is now?
     
    SHARON: No. No, our house is really small and the only place where we could put it, there’s wiring that goes along that side of the house. So my husband said we’d have to move all the wiring.
     
    TOM: So, you have to actually physically build a foundation and all in order to get this basement entrance inside the house, inside the four walls of your house?
     
    SHARON: Yes.
     
    TOM: That’s the only reason you’re going to do the addition?
     
    SHARON: Yes.
     
    TOM: Hmm. I don’t know. I mean, typically, if you’re going to add finished living space, it makes sense; but I don’t know about putting on an addition just for a staircase. I mean if you’re going to add a bathroom, that’s going to help; adding kitchens; you know, adding more bedrooms. All of these things help add value to a house. Just a stairway to a basement, I don’t know. I would talk to some local realtors and see what other houses are shaped like and whether they think that they could get more for your house; just sort of an informal appraisal.
     
    Hey, have you thought about a spiral stair?
     
    SHARON: Yes, we have. But the only place for the spiral stair, again, would be like either right inside the living room door …
     
    TOM: Right.
     
    SHARON: … and there’s wiring all along that whole side of the house.
     
    TOM: Well, but moving wiring is easier than moving …
     
    LESLIE: Is way easier.
     
    TOM: Yeah, than building an addition, you know?
     
    SHARON: (overlapping voices) Oh, it is?
     
    TOM: There’s no foundation involved, for one thing, Sharon.
     
    SHARON: (chuckling) OK.
     
    TOM: Alright? It’s not that hard. It sounds to me like your husband doesn’t want to do it. (Leslie chuckles)
     
    SHARON: I think that’s probably the problem. (Tom laughs) We may just have to move.
     
    TOM: “Oh, I don’t know, Sharon. It’s just so hard. We’re going to have to move all that wiring. Probably need an addition to do that.” (Tom and Sharon laugh) I don’t think it’s quite that hard. But if you’re going to do an addition, that’s a pretty serious step and there’s a lot of expense involved and, just to get a staircase, it is probably not going to be worth it. If you can pick up some more finished living space, especially another bathroom, that helps to change the economic equation. OK, Sharon?
     
    SHARON: OK. Thank you.
     
    TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
     
    LESLIE: Bob in Alaska has a question about mold on a deck. What can we do for you today?
     
    BOB: Yeah, I’ve got a deck. It’s about 22×14 and it’s about 18 inches off the ground on the north side of the house. This year, I believe it was – it’s four years old – we started noticing some green spots on it.
     
    TOM: Now, Bob, I see on the screen that you’re from Wasilla, Alaska?
     
    BOB: Yeah.
     
    TOM: Can you see Russia from your deck? (Bob and Leslie laugh)
     
    BOB: No, not quite.
     
    TOM: Well, I mean they probably can see you so this could be, in fact, a matter of national pride. We don’t want them to think that the Americans don’t take care of their decks. Well, listen …
     
    BOB: Maybe they’re shooting mold over here, huh? (Leslie chuckles)
     
    TOM: (laughing) Maybe they are. Maybe they are.
     
    BOB: What’s the best way to get rid of this stuff?

    TOM: Alright, here’s what you need to do. First of all, you’re going to need to clean that deck now with a mildicide solution. Now you can use something as simple as bleach and water. You can use OxiClean; good product, does the job. You can use a product called Jomax. These are all mildicides and the trick here is how you apply it. You need to actually wash the deck down, let that stuff sit for 10, 15, 20 minutes. That’s how it goes to work and kills all of that mildew that’s forming on the deck. Then a little light abrasion – sort of a stiff working at it with a broom or a scrub brush, loosen it up, and then a good rinsing. And that’s something you’re going to have to repeat in your neck of the woods probably every six months, I would think; maybe once in the beginning of the season, once towards the end of the season to keep it looking good.
     
    Now, do you have any shade on that side of the deck? Are you getting a lot of sun?
     
    BOB: Yes, it’s the north side of the house; that is the shady side of the house.
     
    TOM: Yeah, and you know that’s part of the problem. The more sun you get on that, the less the moss and the mildew is going to grow.
     
    BOB: OK.
     
    TOM: So if you can thin out the tree just a little bit to allow a little more sunshine there, that will actually help a lot.
     
    BOB: What about the underside of the deck? You need to hit that with it, too?
     
    TOM: No, you don’t have to worry about that; just the surface.
     
    BOB: OK. And do any good to put any kind – can you put any kind of a sealer on it when you’re done cleaning it?
     
    TOM: You can. You can put a sealer on it. What we would recommend for that is a solid-color stain. Has there ever been anything on this at all?
     
    BOB: Well, it’s deck wood. It’s a brown, treated deck wood.
     
    TOM: Right. So you …
     
    BOB: No, there has been nothing put on it.
     
    TOM: Alright, so what you might want to think about is using a solid stain. Now, stains come in semi-transparent, clear and solid color. Solid color is going to do a much better job because it’s got more pigment in it. You’ll still see the grain that comes through it. It’s got some mildicide as well and it’ll look a lot better.
     
    BOB: OK.
     
    TOM: Alright, Bob?
     
    BOB: Well, won’t have to do it til next spring because it’s covered with about four inches of snow right now as of today.
     
    LESLIE: Wow.
     
    TOM: Alright, well you make sure that when that snow melts that the Russkis have something good-looking to stare at, OK? (Leslie chuckles)
     
    BOB: Yeah. OK. Hey, thanks a lot.
     
    TOM: You’re welcome, Bob. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
     
    LESLIE: Oh, you are on Sarah Palin’s hate list right now, Tom. (Tom laughs)
     
    You are tuned to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com.
     
    Well, we know you’re busy. We know it’s the holiday season. So pick up the phone and give us a call because we can help you get your home improvement projects done really quickly. We’ll answer all your questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We’ll get you right back by that tree to enjoy all your gifts and family. So give us a call at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
     
    TOM: 888-666-3974.
     
    Up next, you’re probably thinking about buying your holiday tree this week and you may have heard about lots of ways to keep that tree kicking as long as possible; like adding aspirin or even sugar to the water. We’re going to help sort out what works and what’s a total waste, after this.
     
     
    (theme song)
     
    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: Give us a call right now with your home improvement project, your do-it-yourself dilemma. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.
     
    We know that it’s a busy time of year for everybody; so coming up this hour, we’re going to have some tips to help you stop taking a bath on your hot water bills. You’ve got a lot of guests coming by; their running that hot water heater all day long, all night long. You’re probably going to really see a serious bill come January. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s a new product on the market that can actually give you a very, very super-efficient way of heating hot water and we’ll tell you all about it in just a bit.
     
    LESLIE: And this time of year can only mean one thing: that it is time to go and get your Christmas tree. Now, you might be in a decision-making process right now between getting a live tree or an artificial tree. Well, there are big pros and cons to each type and we’re going to help you figure out which tree will work best for you, in just a little bit; along with some tips on how to keep a live tree living – you know, up through the holiday. I’ve had trees die like two weeks before Christmas and gone out and got …
     
    TOM: Well, there are a lot of old wives’ tales out there about how to do that. I mean do you add aspirin to the water? People say you put sugar in the water. You know, does any of that stuff work? Well, we’re going to tell you in just a bit.
     
    Plus, with heating systems in full operation, we’re going to also help you understand the dangers of carbon monoxide. It is called the silent killer because you can’t smell it or even see it but it can be very, very deadly. We’re going to get some expert advice on staying safe when we welcome TV’s This Old House host Kevin O’Connor in just a few minutes.
     
    LESLIE: Plus, this hour we’re giving away an Essentials-to-Holiday cleaning prize pack from our fine friends over at CLR. Now, you’ve heard us talk about their products many, many times and now is your chance – I mean being that you’re cleaning a lot as it is anyway (chuckles) – to try out these great products for free.
     
    TOM: So give us a call right now – the number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT – with your holiday home improvement question. 888-666-3974. Let’s get right to the phones.
     
    Leslie, who’s first?
     
    LESLIE: Linda in North Dakota is thinking about getting an air purifier. How can we help with that decision?
     
    LINDA: We have a three-story house and we’re wondering if we should get two smaller units; one for upstairs and one for the main floor.
     
    TOM: Now, your heating system …
     
    LESLIE: Yeah.
     
    TOM: … is it one zone or two, Linda?
     
    LINDA: We just have one.
     
    TOM: So you have a single zone. So you’re talking about buying a portable air cleaner?
     
    LINDA: Yeah.
     
    TOM: Yeah. That would not be the best thing. What we would recommend is that you buy an air cleaner that’s mounted into your HVAC system and, this way, it’ll clean the air in the entire house just with one unit.
     
    LINDA: We’ve already had one of them and it doesn’t work.
     
    LESLIE: Really?
     
    TOM: Well, what kind did you have?
     
    LINDA: We had an electric – when we had the furnace put in and it didn’t – way upstairs, it doesn’t pull the dust out.
     
    TOM: Hmm. Well, an electronic air cleaner – a very good one – will do the trick. I don’t know what you installed. We would recommend a brand called Aprilaire.
     
    LINDA: OK.
     
    TOM: Because there’s a big difference between these different electronic air cleaners. Now, the Aprilaire unit combines a media surface – so an actual filter surface that’s quite long; it’s sort of an accordion shape so if you unwound it, it would be many, many feet worth of surface and the more surface area, the more trapped particles – with an electronic component that forces the particles to collect on the media surface. So it’s the best of both worlds and, actually, the Aprilaire was ranked tops by a leading consumer magazine for many, many years.
     
    So this is the one that I have in my house and I’ve got to tell you, it works great. My wife is very sensitive to allergies and this has definitely helped her and also cut down on the dust generated by three big, dirty kids. (chuckles)
     
    LESLIE: (chuckles) And I mean we’ve seen the media. You know, I remember one time I was doing a news piece about the Aprilaire and Tom gave me the media from his house after a year of usage. I mean these things are disgusting, Linda – not that Tom lives in a dirty house; it just pulls everything out and even particles that are super-duper-duper tiny, like viral size.
     
    TOM: I would look at the Aprilaire Model 5000. That’s the one I have. It works great.
     
    LESLIE: You know, Linda, the portable units aren’t going to do the trick for you because the air that it needs to clean has to circulate past and through that portable unit; so if you’ve got it in one room, it might not even reach the other side of that room. The air just completely has to circulate.
     
    LINDA: Yeah, that’s why we were wondering if we should have a couple of them. Well, our main floor is all open. There’s just one wall.
     
    TOM: Yeah.
     
    LINDA: For living room and kitchen; that’s all open, so we thought it would work.
     
    TOM: Well, Linda, take a look at the Aprilaire website. It’s Aprilaire.com. Take a look at the Model 5000. I think you’ll be very happy with that.
     
    LINDA: OK. Thank you.
     
    TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
     
    LESLIE: Gary in Kentucky is calling in with an insulation question. How can we help you?
     
    GARY: I have a home that was built in 1957, 1958. And back then, when they built them, they did not put any insulation in the exterior walls on them.
     
    TOM: OK.
     
    GARY: And it’s a masonry brick outside exterior and, of course, drywall inside.
     
    TOM: Right.
     
    GARY: And I’m just trying the find the most economical way to get insulation in the walls. I’ve talked to a few people about blown-in insulation but the problem with that is they have stubbed-in cross breaks in between the wall joists and there’s no way to make sure you get the whole cavity completely filled; so I’m kind of at a loss as to a good way to get it done.
     
    TOM: Well, you’re right in that they do put what’s called a cat across the framing and that blocks the air flow.
     
    GARY: Yeah.
     
    TOM: So, when it comes to blown-in, sometimes on the inside what you have to do, Gary, is put in multiple holes and you have to put one up high, one down low. And then when you use the blown-in, it has to be put in under a certain amount of pressure so that it expands to fill that space.
     
    Isonene has a formula that can do that that’s a very green formula. It’s actually made out of castor oil and it’s a foam insulation that will expand and fill all those nooks and crannies. You can also do it with cellulose but you have to make sure you have it under a certain level of pressure; otherwise, it won’t settle right.
     
    And the best way to determine where those braces are is with an infrared camera and the prices on those cameras have come down and most insulators are going to have them today. With an infrared camera, you can actually look at the wall from the inside and you can physically see the framing. It’s pretty interesting. Because the temperature where the frame is is different than the temperature where the frame is not. Do you follow me? So, with an infrared camera, you can kind of see where those voids are and work around it.
     
    But let me just take you in a completely separate direction and ask you what the insulation is like in your attic space. Because, typically, you want to make sure that you have the most insulation in your attic. That’s where you have the most heat loss – the walls maybe 15 percent and the floors maybe 10 percent of the heat loss but I want to make sure that we’re not ignoring the obvious here; that you’ve got a good, 19 to 22 inches in your attic.
     
    GARY: And that’s one of the other problems. I’ve already addressed part of that. The home itself, I’ve put the rolled-in insulation in the joists in the attic and I’m in the process now of upgrading that to a higher r value to increase the insulation in the attic right now. But then, also, I was trying to get to the exterior walls. The only problem I have with the exterior walls is where it looks like sometimes when they do put the holes in them for the insulation, some companies use like a plastic type of cap or plug instead of refinishing the drywall back and it’s just not very pleasing to the eye to see.
     
    TOM: (overlapping voices) Right. No, no. You don’t want to see the plug holes. If it’s done right, the plug is set just below the surface of the drywall and then it’s spackled over. With a 1950s house, do you have plaster walls or do you have drywall?
     
    GARY: They’re drywall.
     
    TOM: Because there was a time period in the early 50s that was sort of between what we call drywall today and a plaster finish; where you had a piece of drywall that was like 2’x4′ but then the whole thing was covered with plaster.
     
    GARY: Right.
     
    TOM: That’s a much harder surface than just the average drywall that we have today. But regardless of what kind you have, you definitely need to spackle over those and, sure, even a good spackle job is going to show a little bit but you certainly don’t want to be staring at plastic caps.
     
    LESLIE: Mary in Alaska, welcome to The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
    MARY: Hi. I have a sun room which is 25 years old. It sits on concrete block…
    TOM: OK.
    MARY: … which is six courses from the footing. The outside was sealed and insulated. There are two courses above ground and the outside has cedar siding and the inside is painted.
    TOM: OK.
    MARY: About three or four years ago I start noticing a white powder and sometimes moisture …
    TOM: OK.
    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.
    TOM: OK.
    MARY: … and it’s gotten worse over time.
    TOM: Alright, the problem is called efflorescence and what’s …
    LESLIE: And it’s easily fixed.
    TOM: Easily fixed. What you have is moisture that’s getting into the block area and then that water is evaporating into the interior house space but it’s leaving its mineral salt deposit behind; so this is really a two-step process.
    First of all, inside, this comes off with a vinegar solution. It’ll just melt it right away.
    LESLIE: White vinegar and water.
    MARY: OK.
    TOM: Exactly. Get yourself a gallon of white vinegar and mix it up with some water; spray it and it’ll come right off.
    MARY: Mm-hmm, and you may need to rinse it a little bit with water just to get the scent away but the white vinegar makes it go away lickety-split.
    TOM: Otherwise it’ll smell like a salad.
    And then outside the house you want to take a look at your drainage conditions, Mary, because I suspect that something is not quite right with the drainage; so you’re …
    LESLIE: Well, I imagine there’s a lot of snow that sits against the house. (chuckles)
    TOM: Yeah, I mean snow that’s melting near that foundation or gutters that are clogged or downspouts that are directed right near that corner; all of those things could add an excessive amount of water to that particular space.
    MARY: OK. It is the area where the snow comes off the roof.
    TOM: Yeah, well that could do it.
    MARY: Mm-hmm.
    TOM: Make sure the soil slopes away, too, because even if you have snow melt you want the water to run away from that wall. It’s definitely a drainage problem, that source, and it doesn’t sound too serious. So get those two things under control. The efflorescence is basically a clean-up job but outside try to work on those sources of moisture and keep it as far away from the house as possible.
    MARY: I can do that.
    TOM: You can.
    MARY: (chuckling) Yes, thank you so much.
    TOM: You’re welcome, Mary. 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.
     
    Up next, we are going to tell you what you need to know about carbon monoxide safety; so stick around.
     
     
    (theme song)
     
    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Therma-Tru Doors, the nation’s leading manufacturer of fiberglass entry and patio door systems. Install a new, energy-efficient Therma-Tru door today and qualify for up to a $1,500 tax credit. To learn more, visit ThermaTru.com/TaxCredit.
     
    TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show where home solutions live. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
     
    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
     
    TOM: Hey, want to make sure that your holiday is both safe and green? Visit MoneyPit.com now and search “holiday safety” for great tips and advice on everything from trees to decorations. It’s all there online at MoneyPit.com.
     
    LESLIE: Nancy in Connecticut needs some help with winterization of a house. How can we help you today?
     
    NANCY: Yes, hi. We go out west for the winter and leave our house in Connecticut. And for the past couple of years, we’ve left the heat on about 60 but last year we had a pipe burst – a radiator burst – and we had a huge, huge mess. And I’m wondering if we should just drain all the pipes, turn off everything and not have to worry about that.
     
    TOM: Nancy, are you turning off the domestic water supply?
     
    NANCY: Yes.
     
    TOM: So the water is off. It’s really the heating water because you have a hot water heating system?
     
    NANCY: We do.
     
    TOM: Yeah, the problem is that even though you’re leaving it at 60, there may be some parts of the plumbing that are more susceptible to cold weather. For example, those parts that are up against the exterior wall are going to get colder quicker.
     
    NANCY: (overlapping voices) Right.
     
    TOM: And leaving it at 60 is really pretty chilly still. I would probably have told you to go 65. But in terms of do I want to drain the whole thing, there are other issues with that. Because if you don’t have heat on in the house, the lumber is going to swell; the doors are going to swell; if you have wallpaper, it can start to peel off the walls; you can get mold that grows on drywall. Without that heat, there are a lot of bad things that could happen. So it is a good idea to have the heat on but I do think, in this case, what you want to do is go up a little higher and maybe go 65; even 68, if you’ve had a problem before.
     
    And put it on a thermostat – you know, a clock thermostat – so it’s mostly on at night. It can go off a little midday. But I would think that you would really want to maintain it in that 65 to 68-degree range.
     
    NANCY: OK, thank you so much for your help.
     
    LESLIE: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
     
    TOM: Well, you can’t see it or smell it but, according to the EPA, hundreds of people die accidentally every year from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by malfunctioning or improperly-used fuel-burning appliances. Here with some tips to keep us safe is our friend, Kevin O’Connor, from This Old House.
     
    Kevin, welcome to the program.
     
    KEVIN: Thank you, Tom. It’s good to be here.
     
    TOM: So where do we start?
     
    KEVIN: Well, that’s why it’s pretty scary stuff; because you can’t see it and because you can’t smell it. Carbon monoxide, it’s an odorless gas and it results from the combustion of fuel; like natural gas, oil and kerosene. And it can make you sick or even cause death. So there are a couple things you want to think about.
     
    First, make sure that you have your heating system tuned up every year; including a combustion analysis. And also, some other things: never run a car, never use a barbecue, run a generator or even a lawnmower in an open garage because the fumes could fill your house.
     
    TOM: And good point. And even if everything is operating properly, it’s always a good idea to have a carbon monoxide detector.
     
    KEVIN: It’s true and where you put them is important as well. You should place them outside of every bedroom, if possible, and there are also different styles to think about. You can get them hardwired or battery-powered. If you want more information on CO detectors, we’ve got a video on ThisOldHouse.com.
     
    TOM: Good point. And if you can only afford one detector, good idea to put it near the bedroom because that’s where most of the deaths occur; when people are sleeping at night.
     
    KEVIN: Good advice.
     
    TOM: Kevin O’Connor, thanks for stopping by the program. Great tip.
     
    KEVIN: Great to be here.
     
    LESLIE: And you know, guys, if you have a detector and it does go off, I think it’s really important to always remind people that you have to get out of the house immediately.
     
    TOM: Absolutely.
     
    LESLIE: Because I remember a story a couple of years ago, here in the northeast. A homeowner thought his carbon monoxide detector was faulty. He ignored it and in the end, he died.
     
    TOM: Yep.
     
    LESLIE: So it’s not something you can smell. If your alarm goes off, get out of there and call somebody who can come and check it out.
     
    TOM: Yeah, a lot of people confuse carbon monoxide detectors with the way smoke detectors work. But remember, when smoke detectors work, you almost always see the smoke or certainly smell it; with carbon monoxide, not so much. So you definitely need to take heed when the alarm goes off and get out of the house.
     
    Well, for more great ideas on fixing up your home, be sure to watch Kevin on This Old House, which is brought to you buy their proud sponsor, GMC. GMC – we are professional grade.
     
    Still ahead, tips on a brand new way to heat water for your home and it’s among the most efficient systems we’ve ever seen. We’ll tell you all about that, after this.
     
     
    (theme song)
     
    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: Give us a call right now for the answer to your home improvement question. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Not only will we give you the answer, we will help you clean up the big, stinking mess that you will create when you do that project. (Leslie chuckles) Because this hour, we’re giving away the CLR cleaning kit worth 55 bucks. It includes the bathroom cleaner, the kitchen cleaner, pretty much the everything cleaner. It’s all in the kit; worth 55 bucks. Going to help you clean up all kinds of messes around your house; including, perhaps, I don’t know, spilled paint, extra glue that dripped out. You know, I’m sure there’s a product that will do just that if perhaps you’re a sloppy DIY-er like I am.
     
    LESLIE: (chuckling) I am, too, and I always find whenever I make a mess that I tend to, whatever gets on my hands – I know I’ve told you about this a million times, Tom – but I always wipe it on the back of my jeans. That’s why, hey, inventors out there; I always thought about inventing like a roll of paper towels that tucked into your back pocket.
     
    TOM: Yeah.
     
    LESLIE: Because I would call it the Hands-to-Pants (both chuckle), so you just have like a sheet of paper towels hanging off your butt pocket and then every time I’d go wipe it I could rip it right off. (both chuckle)
     
    Well, give us a call if you need a hand not making a mess with your home improvement projects. Give us a call even if you’re thinking about ways to save some money this time of year. I know we all are. And you know, heating water for your home is the second most expensive utility bill that you are paying. In fact, only heating and cooling your home costs more.
     
    Now, the best way to save money on hot water is to get the most energy-efficient water heater that you can. Now, there’s a new technology on the market that can help you do just that and it’s called an integrated air-source electric heat pump water heater and it’s sold by Rheem and it’s called the HP-50. Now, although electric water heaters have been expensive to run in the past, that’s not the case with the HP-50.
     
    Now, this is the most energy-efficient water heater on the market. It’s more efficient than any electric or even gas water heater that you can buy. And the energy-efficient design will help a family reduce its carbon footprint by nearly two tons each and every year. That’s huge.
     
    TOM: Yeah. Plus, it also qualifies for federal tax credits. Between that and the money you’re going to save, you’ll actually recoup your investment in no time. It requires no special ordering or special training. Most plumbers, in fact, will have no problem whatsoever installing it.
     
    You know, when you think of a heat pump, you also might associate that with noise; but that’s not the case. The Rheem HP-50 is very, very quiet; so you can cross that concern off your list as well.
     
    If you want more tips about this particular product, you can go to their website which is RheemHPWH.com. And remember, Rheem is spelled R-h-e-e-m.
     
    888-666-3974. If you need tips on how to solve a home improvement question in your house, pick up the phone right now and give us a call. We are here to help.
     
    Who’s next?
     
    LESLIE: Pierre in Indiana is next and he’s got a paint question. How can we help you today?
     
    PIERRE: Yes, I had a question about a sunroom. Me and wife are buying a home and in the sunroom, between the windows they’ve got the original wood; but as you go up to the peak of the ceiling on the sunroom, they have this white paint with like insect drawings all over it. And you can tell that it’s been painted – you know, every insect and all. And what I wanted – instead of just painting over it, I wanted to know how to take off the paint and just get that original wood showing again.
     
    TOM and LESLIE: Hmm.
     
    TOM: Well, there are a number of different ways to strip paint; none of which are easy. They’re all a lot of work and, considering that you’re talking about a ceiling, it’s even more work because gravity is working against you.
     
    PIERRE: (overlapping voices) Yeah.
     
    LESLIE: And a lot of these products – I mean they’re chemicals. They’re going to drip down on you.
     
    TOM: Yeah. So you just want to get this back to be able to see the grain, Pierre?
     
    PIERRE: Yeah.
     
    TOM: Yeah.
     
    PIERRE: Because they have – you can see the wood in between each window in the sunroom and if that look was all through it, it would be beautiful.
     
    TOM: I think that you can do it but I think you’re committing to a huge job and you’re always going to end up having some paint behind. I think that this is one you just might want to go with repainting it; choose an earth tone, so it doesn’t detract from the eye; and focus on the wood that you can see.
     
    PIERRE: I see. I see, yeah. Well, I appreciate it.
     
    TOM: Alright, Pierre. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
     
    LESLIE: I mean I’m just thinking about the amount of protective materials you’re going to need to cover up whatever is in that room, including yourself.
     
    TOM: Oh, God. And it’s going to go on forever.
     
    LESLIE: And then you’re going to need some sort of scaffolding and the biggest safety goggles ever.
     
    TOM: (overlapping voices) Right. Yeah, just imagine how long it’s going to take to get that off – and that’s assuming that it will come off easily enough. You know, some of those older paints, they’re pretty tough.
     
    LESLIE: Mary in Rhode Island needs some help with a bathroom floor. What do you have in mind?
    MARY: Well, I have some bamboo mats, floor mats, for the bathroom that I bought in a home goods store and I was wondering if I could put the bamboo flooring actually in the bathroom.
    LESLIE: You can, actually. Bamboo is a great choice and when you buy it today it’s made in sort of a like a laminate situation where you’ve got a base of flooring that’s made with like a cross-ply so you’ve got different layers of wood and their grains are opposing one another, which makes them structurally stable so it’s great for a bath; and then the topmost layer is actually the bamboo. And so it’s really very durable for a bathroom. They are super gorgeous to look at. Armstrong has some wonderful bamboo options, different colors, which are really lovely. It’s a responsible choice because it grows so quickly and it’s perfect in a high-moisture situation.
    TOM: That’s right. It grows in the tropics and it loves bathrooms.
    MARY: I think it’s beautiful, too, and I really like these mats and I’m looking at them and I’m saying, “Why can’t I put these down on the floor? They would look fabulous.” So thank you so much for that. I’m going to do it.
    TOM: Alright, Mary. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
    LESLIE: Now we’re going to talk to Carlos from New York who’s got a question about attaching some trim pieces. Welcome, Carlos.
     
    CARLOS: How are you? How you doing?
     
    LESLIE: Good, how are you?
     
    TOM: We are excellent. So how can we help you?
     
    CARLOS: My problem was how to adhere or put together my corner bead.
     
    TOM: OK.
     
    CARLOS: In the corner of the project that I had.
     
    TOM: OK.
     
    CARLOS: And every time I tried to put a nail, I would break up some of the plaster that I had.
     
    TOM: Right.
     
    CARLOS: I said, “You know, this nail thing is crazy. I’ve got to use an adhesive somehow.”
     
    TOM: OK.
     
    CARLOS: And it just came to me. It just came to me. I’ve got to use the construction adhesive that will glue this piece to the wall.
     
    TOM: So you used, what; Liquid Nails?
     
    CARLOS: I used Liquid Nails.
     
    TOM: Oh, are you one of our Liquid Nails storytellers?
     
    CARLOS: (chuckling) I guess I’m one of them; one more. (Leslie chuckles) One more satisfied customer.
     
    TOM: Yeah, you must have been one of the guys that wrote in with a Liquid Nails story. And so you used Liquid Nails to attach this corner bead. Well, that was a good solution.
     
    CARLOS: (overlapping voices) I used Liquid Nails and nothing worked as well as this piece did.
     
    TOM: Wow, that’s great. So, it came out good, huh?
     
    CARLOS: Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.
     
    TOM: Yeah, it’s pretty handy stuff to have around. There are a lot of things that you can do with that and, you’re right; sometimes a nail just isn’t going to do the job because the piece is too small or it’s going to split it or something like that.
     
    CARLOS: You need to have at hand three different types of glue if you are in the house doing projects and things like that.
     
    TOM: OK, so this is Carlos’s glue guide. Let us have it. (Leslie and Carlos chuckle)
     
    CARLOS: You need to have the construction adhesive; that’s number one.
     
    TOM: Right.
     
    CARLOS: You need to have the super glue at hand.
     
    TOM: OK.
     
    CARLOS: That’s number two. And without any doubt, you need to have an epoxy glue at hand.
     
    TOM: Alright, well that’s a good tip.
     
    Carlos, thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
     
    This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Up next, did you know that 94 percent of all contractors have had a tool stolen, Leslie?
     
    LESLIE: That’s huge and tools are expensive.
     
    TOM: They are. But you know what? The Stanley folks have a brand new, locking tool box that’s going to change all of that. We’re going to have tips on this cool, new product and more holiday gifts for the do-it-yourselfer in your life, next.
     
     
    (theme song)
     
    TOM: Where home solutions live, welcome back to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
     
    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
     
    TOM: Well, it is the last big shopping weekend before the big, Christmas holiday and if you’ve got a do-it-yourselfer on your holiday gift list, we have got some great information for you right now because you’re probably wondering, “What do I get the guy or gal that’s already got all the tools in the world.” Well, there are some new tools out. They’re very innovative. And with us to talk about that is Todd Langston. He’s the director of marketing for the Stanley Works.
     
    And Todd, you’ve got some very, very interesting products coming out for this holiday season. Talk to me first about the Security Guard truck box.
     
    TODD: I’d be glad to do that. Tom and Leslie, first of all, I just want to say thanks for having us on the show. We appreciate the chance to be here.
     
    TOM: Our pleasure.
     
    LESLIE: Oh, thanks, Todd.
     
    TODD: Well, the Stanley Security Guard truck box is actually – it’s the first of its kind because it’s got a lot of great features on it and it’s a perfect kind of a Christmas gift, too. And we’ll probably talk about a few different gift ideas but this one in particular is neat in a lot of ways; in that, first of all, it’s got an alarm keypad on it that allows you to be able to put in your own personal keypad and if anybody tampers with the box while you have it either docked in your truck or while you’re on the jobsite, if you choose to, or wherever you may be working, that alarm will go off and it’ll alert anyone that’s nearby that someone is tampering with it.
     
    TOM: And that’s a really good point because this box is a portable box. I think when we think of truck boxes, you think of the big sort of diamond-steel plate box that locks across the back of the pickup. This is different. This is sort of like a portable, large tool box that has wheels on one end and a handle on the other so you can physically take it off the truck to your jobsite and then lock it in place with an alarm.
     
    TODD: That’s exactly right. The way it works is it’s a lot like your computer that docks to a docking station. There’s a docking station that you mount to the back of a truck and what happens is you can roll it in, it docks to the docking station, you lock it and it’s good to go. So, if anyone tampers with the box, the alarm keypad is there to protect it. Otherwise, it’s docked in and it’s locked. But the other thing it gives you is a lot of freedom. So if you undock it, you have the freedom to take that truck box out and roll that to wherever you need to, to where the work is.
     
    And the other thing that’s nice about it, that people don’t think about at first, is it liberates your truck bed. If you get one of the diamond-plated types of truck boxes, you basically commit the back of your truck away and you always have that truck box there. This gives you the freedom to remove it if you want to put 4×8 sheets of plywood, load it with lumber or whatever you may need to have. You’ve got that freedom to be able to do it.
     
    LESLIE: And the base that goes into the truck bed, that’s universal for all pickups or are we looking at a specific model of truck?
     
    TODD: No, it would fit in any type of truck. There are just really five pins that you just mount in the back of the truck and, once you mount those in, you’re in good shape to roll ahead with the truck bed.
     
    TOM: Now this is great for folks that even have caps on the back of their pickup. I know I had a pickup for years when I was in the construction business – way before radio – and you know, it had a tiny, little lock on it and we would kid ourselves into thinking that our tools were secure; but, truth be told, they really weren’t. So this is a great product that’s sorely needed.
     
    You’ve also got a very cool flashlight out that we took a look at the pictures of the 3-in-1 flashlight on StanleyTools.com and what a really innovative product. I tell you, it’s something that I could have used camping this past weekend, Todd. (Leslie chuckles)
     
    TODD: (chuckling) A lot of people find all kinds of different uses for it. Actually, back on Halloween it was a great flashlight to take around with the kids in the neighborhood because it is three flashlights, literally, wrapped into one cradle. And each one of these lights, actually, they can be put in as one to give you about 60 lumens of light or you can separate them out and they can be three separate flashlights that you can position in different ways if you want to that are 20 lumens each.
     
    But the thing that’s beautiful about is you’ve got that capability to separate them and you also have the hands-free capability to use that tripod cradle that, when they’re all mounted in, you can use it and it’s hands-free. So if you’re working under a car; if you’re working under a sink; wherever you may be, it gives you that ability to be hands-free and focus on using your hands to do the work and let the light do its work for you.
     
    TOM: Terrific.
     
    We’re talking to Todd Langston, the director of marketing for Stanley Works.
     
    Todd, we’ve got about 30 seconds left. Want to ask you about the Bostitch CPACK300; a very innovative product. It’s a combo kit of pneumatic tools.
     
    TODD: That’s right. The CPACK300 is a great product in terms of value. You get three pneumatic tools. You get an 18-gage brad nailer, an 18-gage stapler, a 16-gage nailer, you get the compressor. Everything’s all wrapped up into one kit. It’s a great Christmas gift idea. If someone is looking at doing things like projects around the house like crown molding, kitchens, bathrooms, that type of thing, it’s everything you need; you don’t have to go back to the store to by anything like a set of nails or anything like that. It’s all in the kit and it’s a great price for the Christmas season, too. It’s around $280.
     
    TOM: Fantastic.
     
    Todd Langston from the Stanley Works, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.
     
    If you’d like to check those products out, you can go to Bostitch.com or StanleyTools.com.
     
    That’s all the time we have. 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.
     
     
    (theme song)
     
    END HOUR 1 TEXT
     
     
    (Copyright 2009 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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