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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: Happy Father’s Day weekend, everybody.

    LESLIE: That’s right.

    TOM: Hope that you are enjoying it with your dad. Maybe you’re doing a project for him; that would be great. A nice way to help out dear old Dad this weekend, in particular. We’ve got a very busy show for you. Lots of great information coming. But we do want to hear from you with your home improvement questions. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    And this hour, we’re going to talk to not only the homeowners in the audience but also the renters. So if you are a renter, listen up. Here’s a question: is it cheaper to buy a home than to continue paying rent? Well, it turns out that in dozens of areas of the country, it actually is.

    LESLIE: Alright.

    TOM: You can make the dream of home ownership a reality. There’s actually never been a better time or a more cost-effective time to own your own house. We’re going to tell you all about it, in just a bit.

    LESLIE: And right along with the dream of home ownership is the dream of home improvement projects that you’re going to need to be taking on, including all of those little things that need fixing from time to time. But let me tell you, it is so worth it and you actually can do it yourself.

    For example, cracks in your driveways and sidewalks, they’re only going to get worse if they’re not repaired in a timely manner but these are super-easy. So coming up, we’re going to tell you how to do this project yourself.

    TOM: And also ahead, we have seen one of the deadliest and most destructive tornado seasons in American history this year. Lives have been lost, countless homes and buildings have been destroyed and the season isn’t over. But in all of the destruction, we want to try to offer a little glimmer of hope.

    A little later in the hour, we’re going to talk to Mayor Bob Dixson from Greensburg, Kansas. Now, that is a town that was basically leveled – flattened, completely taken out – four years ago by a level-four tornado but has now completely come together and rebuilt itself to become a model of green living. Bob is going to be by to tell us how they did that, in just a bit.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. You know, Mayor Dixson is truly a great guy and you guys are really going to learn a lot from his story: not just about how to rebuild but about seeing the bright side of things and always looking ahead and coming together as a community. So, we look forward to chatting with him, in a little bit.

    And this hour, we’ve got a great prize for you. We’re giving away a set of ODL door-glass blinds. And these blinds, they’re easy to install and what’s so great about them is they’re actually encased in glass so when you put them on your door, you’re not going to get that window treatment slamming and banging and no more dusting.

    TOM: So give us a call right now. That is a prize worth $117. Going to go out to one caller who reaches us with their home improvement question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Let’s get to it.

    Leslie, who’s first?

    LESLIE: Moe in Texas is having some issues with a roof. What can we do for you today?

    MOE: Yes. The leading edge on the west side of my roof, which is about approximately 30 feet of it, has been lifting up about 3 feet up onto the roof. And I’m trying to figure out how I can keep those staying down before they break.

    TOM: Huh. So the shingles are loose and the whole thing is lifting up and flopping in the breeze?

    MOE: Yes.

    TOM: Huh. Well, it sounds to me like it was never nailed. So, this is asphalt shingles?

    MOE: Yes they are.

    TOM: Alright. So what you’re going to do is this. Asphalt shingles tend to have sort of a sealant under the tab and they stick together. But I will tell you – I’m not saying that you should do this, because you have to get on the roof to do them; I’ll tell you how it’s done.

    Somebody gets on the roof; they take a flat bar, right? It’s like a – sort of like a crowbar except it’s sort of flattened out at the end, so it’s like a thick putty knife. And they very carefully work it under each shingle, so the shingle tab loosens but doesn’t rip. So you can flop up the shingle tab and then put a nail underneath it. You put a little dab of tar, you put a nail in the shingle tab and then you nail the shingle down and then you bring the tab back over so it’s completely closed. And you do that in four or five places and then that’s going to nail down that piece of roof.

    But you basically have to place the nails underneath the shingles. To do that, you have to lift them up. To lift them up, you have to use the flat bar to kind of break the seal.

    MOE: Ah, thank you. Thank you, thank you.

    TOM: No problem. That’s the way you do it, my friend.

    MOE: Have a great one. Thank you so much.

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

    LESLIE: Marilyn in New Mexico needs some help with a kitchen project. What can we do for you today?

    MARILYN: I needed to know, how do I get cooking grease off my kitchen cabinet?

    LESLIE: Are your kitchen cabinets wood?

    MARILYN: Yes.

    LESLIE: Have you tried one of those orange-based cleansers, like an Orange Glo?

    MARILYN: I’m afraid to try anything, because I’m afraid it’ll take off the finish, I guess, or dull them.

    LESLIE: No, no, no, no. No, you’re not going to take anything off the finish unless you go with something that’s like a chemical stripping agent, that’s made to remove the finish. But an orange-based product – that really gets a lot of gunk and sticky stuff off of wood surfaces.

    I know when we took the protective bumpers off of our wooden coffee table as our son started growing out of banging his face on the edge of the coffee table, I was left with all of this adhesive on there that I just could not peel off or get off. And the Orange Glo worked fantastic to remove it and made the wood sparkle like the sun; I mean it’s really fantastic.

    And I know it works really well with kitchen grease. I’ve used it on my cabinet doors and you’ll see you even get like a little buildup from just your fingers on the edge where you open the doors. And it really does do a heck of a job to get that stuff off.

    MARILYN: But it will take the grease off there, too? Because I’m having a problem with that.

    LESLIE: It absolutely will.

    MARILYN: Because sometimes I use even my fingernails because it’s gotten so crusty on there and gooey.

    LESLIE: Thick. Yeah, I would try the Orange Glo first. Try an orange-based product. That will – I bet you that will – 99 percent in my mind, I feel like that’s going to take that off. If for some reason it doesn’t, there’s another product out there from a company called Nutek Formulations and it’s called Grime-Away.

    And it comes in a wipe format and I’ve used that to get buildup of tree sap off of my outdoor furnishings. And that hasn’t damaged the wood surface of my outdoor furniture, so I don’t see why that would hurt your kitchen cabinet. But that’s more aggressive. I would start with the orange product first, since you’ve probably already got it in your house, and then look for the Grime-Away.

    MARILYN: OK. So just go with Orange Glo first and then, if not, go with the Grime-Away?

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.

    MARILYN: And where would I find Grime-Away at?

    LESLIE: It’s available at a variety of different retailers. I know The Home Depot started carrying them but if you go to their website, it’s Nutek – N-u-t-e-k – Formulations.com and look up the product, it’ll tell you where to buy it.

    MARILYN: OK. Well, thank you. I’ll give that a try, yeah, because I’ve been trying at them on and off for the last week and nothing has really worked.

    TOM: Alright, Marilyn. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. Now you can be part of The Money Pit fun by picking up your phone and giving us a call with your home repair, home improvement, design, décor. Whatever you are working on, we’re 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, are the cracks in your driveways and sidewalks cracking you up? You know, those surfaces can deteriorate very quickly, especially with the nasty winter that we had. We’re going to tell you exactly, though, how to fix them and make them go away for good, after this.

    (theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Generac, makers of the number one-selling Guardian Series Home Standby Generators. Now introducing a full line of consumer and professional power washers. Whether you need to power it, clean it or protect it, Generac can help. Visit Generac.com to learn more.

    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: The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. One caller we talk to on the air this hour is going to win door blinds from ODL. These are the Add-On Door Blinds product and it’s very cool because if you are lucky enough to have a front or back door with glass, you know that it’s great for watching the kids play and letting in the light. But when the summer sun gets a bit too strong, this is a nice way to turn it down.

    These add-on blinds essentially do just that; they add onto the glass and the blinds are now enclosed behind tempered glass. So there’s no dusting, there’s no exposed cords, there’s no swinging of the blinds or the banging of the blinds as you open and close the door.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And you know what? They’re really easy to operate, as well. You’re going to get a simple glide on either side of the add-on blind itself. One side just slides right up and down, which causes the blinds to raise and lower and the other sort of controls the louvers, so you can actually have full privacy or let in a little bit of light. It’s totally up to you and the blinds come in two great sizes: you’ve got a half-light at 36 inches and a full-size glass door at 64 inches, which is actually what our winner is going to get today.

    If you want to check it out, head on over to their website. It’s ODL.com. Lots of great information there. And one lucky caller that we talk to this hour is going to win that full door-glass size. Give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT for your chance to win.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Well, you may never give your sidewalks and driveways a second thought but although concrete is one of the most durable materials out there, like everything else, it’s eventually going to need some maintenance.

    Now, the experts at Sakrete, who make concrete-repair products, say that the type of maintenance is going to depend on where you live. Of course, if you live in snow country and if you’ve used salt to de-ice your walks – contrary to our advice, I might add – you’re going to shorten the lifespan of the concrete. If you plant trees right next to the sidewalk, it is very likely that the walk will eventually rise up as those tree roots grow. And if you’ve got wet soils or water running just below the surface, then that surface is going to drop.

    But when the concrete does begin to show signs of age, you’ve got two choices: you could either rip it out and replace it or you can go with the usually more economical alternative, which is to repair it.

    LESLIE: Now, some of the repairs that you can actually tackle yourself and feel really good about include fixing those cracks in your concrete or even resurfacing a deteriorating concrete surface.

    So, Sakrete, for example, they make fantastic products. And if you’ve got a minor crack or a cosmetic repair, you want to go for something that’s made specifically for that. You can look for the Sakrete Concrete Crack Filler, which is a pourable, flexible concrete-repair material. And it’s important that you go for something that’s made specific for filling in those cracks because otherwise, it’s never going to stick and it’s just going to pop right out as soon as you get some bad weather or a freeze-and-thaw cycle.

    If you’ve got a concrete surface that needs restoring, it’s really going to save you a ton of money by doing this yourself, because you can actually repair chipped, cracked, even spalled driveways or walkways. One of the products that you can reach for is Sakrete’s Top ‘n Bond, which is a concrete patcher. And that’s great; it’s cost effective. I mean it’s a really good alternative to concrete replacement.

    You just want to make sure that you find the right product for the right job. This way, you’re going to ensure that the finished product that you’ve worked on really lasts a long, long time. And that’s the whole purpose of doing something yourself: keeping it affordable and making sure that it’s going to last.

    If you want some more information, you can check out a great website – it’s Sakrete.com – because they’ve got the products to help you get the job done quicker and cleaner. And you’ll also find out how much you’re going to need. They’ve got some easy-to-use material calculators on the website. You’ll find the right product for the right job and make sure you buy the right amount.

    TOM: That’s Sakrete.com and it’s spelled S-a-k-r-e-t-e.com.

    This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Call us right now with your home improvement question.

    LESLIE: Gary in North Carolina has run out of space at his money pit and needs help looking for more. What can we do for you?

    GARY: I was wondering about the ability on about putting a basement in on an existing home.

    TOM: OK. So the house right now, is it on a crawlspace?

    GARY: Yes, sort of.

    TOM: And you’re down in North Carolina. The first question I would have is what’s your water table? Can you build a basement in the part of the country you are?

    But I will tell you this, Gary, straight off: gravity being what it is, it would have been a lot easier to build the basement and the house on top of it. Adding a basement now when the house is already built is a pretty major, major project.

    LESLIE: It’s a big project.

    GARY: Yes.

    TOM: There’s two ways to do it: you can replace the entire foundation with one that has a basement or you could do what we call in the North here a Yankee basement, which basically means you move in a couple of feet from the edge of the crawlspace and dig down there and pick up some space that way.

    So the crawlspace sits on a retaining wall and then the basement is below that. Those are the two ways to do it. Either way, major, major, major job. It frankly may be easier to go buy a house with a basement and sell the one you have than try to build one; it’s a big project.

    GARY: OK. Well, that sounds like a good plan. I will take that into consideration.

    TOM: Alright, Gary. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Eleanor in Hawaii has a problem with the dryer. What can we do for you today?

    ELEANOR: Yes. I am not getting any lint in my lint screen on my electric clothes dryer.

    TOM: OK.

    ELEANOR: And before I call a repairman, I was wondering if there was something I, myself, could check to see what the problem might be.

    TOM: Are you wearing lint-free clothes?

    LESLIE: Seriously.

    ELEANOR: No, no.

    LESLIE: Yes, everything is spandex. That’s so strange.

    TOM: Wow, that’s really interesting. I wonder if somehow the airflow is being blocked. Have you checked your dryer exhaust? Have you looked at where the dryer exhaust comes out the house to see if your …?

    ELEANOR: No, no, I haven’t because I was waiting to get some man in here to help me move it.

    TOM: OK.

    ELEANOR: And it goes up through the attic, out the roof.

    TOM: Oh, oh, oh, oh, yeah. There’s got to be a blockage somewhere because first of all, that’s a really long way for a dryer exhaust duct to run. And when you run it up vertically – dryers are not generally designed to have enough air pressure to push that lint up really far like that, especially against gravity.

    And what tends to happen is they get clogged and then they can become dangerous. And if you have that kind of a dryer exhaust, it’s really critical that you have it cleaned at least once a year.

    So I do think it’s a good opportunity for you to get a service person in to thoroughly clean it. They’re probably going to have to take it apart a bit but there are special brushes that fit in there and they actually fit up onto vacuums, too, so that you can loosen up the dust and suck it out all in one sort of move.

    ELEANOR: I see. Yeah, that sounds like it might be the problem. The clothes seem to be drying OK but I haven’t used it for several days. But I thank you. I’ll certainly have someone come and check that out.

    TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Ed in Maryland is having a siding issue. Tell us what’s going on.

    ED: OK. I have three courses of siding that have blown off the bottom of a modular home.

    TOM: OK.

    ED: And the – there is no starter strip on this siding. It was – it’s hooked into a piece of 5/16 Homasote and then nailed just across the top of the siding. And so, evidently, over the years, it’d get moist and deteriorated.

    Now, I’m going to put a piece of plywood down with a starter strip, put the courses back on. But what happens when I get to the original course that’s still nailed and I’m trying to put a new one in? How do I lift them up and then hook them back together again?

    TOM: With a little tool called a zip tool.

    ED: A zip tool?

    TOM: Yeah. It’s a siding removal or installation tool. It’s a tool that has a handle and sort of a curved blade. It allows you to get in there and either zip or unzip those locking sections of siding together. That’s how you repair it if you – if it’s blown off.

    ED: OK. Now, this house had no wrap or tar paper or anything like that. Should …

    TOM: Yeah, you know, I’ve seen that before and I think that, technically, according to the code you don’t need it but it makes me very uncomfortable. Except, at this point in time, there’s not really much you can do about it, because that affects the whole house. But I actually have seen houses without a building wrap.

    You believe that, Leslie? Where it’s vinyl-sided right onto the wood sheathing.

    LESLIE: That’s amazing that you would even do that.

    ED: Yeah. This company is long gone out of business – the modular home – but it does have the high-density styrene – blue styrene.

    TOM: Yep. Well, that’s good.

    ED: Yeah, so …

    TOM: So you do have some draft-proofing as a result of that, as well.

    LESLIE: But that should be on top of the paper.

    TOM: Yeah, exactly.

    ED: Yeah, well, there’s nothing. Alright. Well, I thank you very much.

    TOM: You’re welcome, Ed. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Kathy in Maryland has got some beat-up floors she needs help with. What can we do for you?

    KATHY: I have hardwood floors in my kitchen and they’re ¾-inch oak that are prefinished with a diamond finish. And it was supposed to last for 25 years, the finish. But with just kitchen use and dogs running through it and everything, it’s pretty beat-up looking. And I was wondering if that could be refinished.

    TOM: Potentially. What’s the thickness of the floor? Is it three-quarter or is it three-eighths?

    KATHY: It’s ¾-inch plywood – hardwood.

    TOM: Yeah.

    KATHY: Oak.

    TOM: Yeah. I don’t see why you couldn’t. There is one other thing that you can try, though, which is short of total refinishing and that is you could try just taking off the upper surface of the finish. You could rent a floor buffer with a sanding screen and that step/procedure actually takes off a little of the upper finish, smoothes out the scratches and then you could refinish from there.

    Now, is this one stained or is it natural?

    KATHY: It’s light – it’s stained light. The wood is light oak.

    TOM: Yeah, well, if it’s stained, then you may have to sand it down to raw wood, yeah.

    LESLIE: Go all the way down. Otherwise, you’re going to get a mismatch.

    TOM: If it’s a natural finish, you could – you’d just be basically roughing up the surface but not really going down through the – through it completely. You might still be able to go with the floor buffer. Might be worth a shot. It’s a very inexpensive thing to rent and all it does is lightly sands the upper surface of the finish and gets it ready to accept a new coat. But short of that, you would have to sand it down. But if it’s ¾-inch, then I don’t see why you couldn’t refinish it the same way you’d refinish any hardwood floor.

    KATHY: OK. Great. Thanks.

    TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Still to come, do you know which town calls itself the greenest in America? We’re going to talk to the mayor of that town and learn how a devastating storm led to some amazing changes, coming up.

    (theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Skil. And now you can easily cut through the most difficult projects with ease, with a Power Cutter from Skil. With powerful, lithium-ion technology and an auto-sharp blade system, Skil’s lightweight Power Cutter will soon become your favorite tool, too. The Skil Power Cutter. It cuts just about anything.

    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: Well, 2011 has seen one of the deadliest and most destructive tornado seasons in American history. Hundreds of lives have been lost and countless homes and buildings destroyed. And the season isn’t over yet.

    LESLIE: That’s right. That’s why we are joined by someone who knows firsthand about tornado destruction, after a powerful twister tore through his town in 2007. But he also knows how to create a silver lining from tragedy.

    Bob Dixson is the mayor of Greensburg, Kansas, the town that bills itself as the greenest in America.

    Welcome, Mayor Dixson.

    MAYOR DIXSON: Well, Leslie and Tom, what an honor to be with you today and pleasure to visit with you.

    TOM: And it’s a pleasure to have you, too, sir.

    Now, you really turned a tragedy into triumph. For those that are not aware of your story, can you back up and tell us about May 4, 2007?

    MAYOR DIXSON: On May 4, 2007, it was on a Friday and at 9:47 that evening, an EF5 tornado that was almost 2 miles wide came through our rural community in Kansas. Ninety-five percent of the buildings were leveled to the ground, just like a bomb went off.

    LESLIE: I mean that’s really – it’s really a devastating situation for you to be in, as a leader of a town. What kind of guidance can you give to the mayors of these communities who are dealing with the exact same situation you were in not that long ago?

    MAYOR DIXSON: I think the number-one thing for us was just immediately, right off the bat, is the renewed faith in the human spirit. It became not about possessions, not about buildings; it was about human life and our relationship with each other. And that’s what sustained us early on is faith, family and friends. And for the first several weeks of just cleaning up, of getting back into town, of those decision-making processes, it was all about people.

    And we would have 600, 700 people show up at City Council meetings, at planning meetings, at County Commission meetings because they were involved. And when we talk about leadership, I say that the people that rebuilt Greensburg are really – and Kiowa County – are really true leaders, because they’ve invested their life here. They could have easily packed up and left but they stayed.

    TOM: Well, you certainly took a leadership position in that rebuilding effort and decided consciously to go completely green on every project that you constructed. Can you tell us how you came to that decision and what some of the accomplishments have been?

    MAYOR DIXSON: Well, early on, Tom, just the fact that we were meeting with elected officials, state and federal agencies – and one of the first ones to mention the term “green” and being from Greensburg was Governor Kathleen Sebelius at that time – said, “You guys have a great opportunity here to build a town back as sustainable as you can, as green as possible.”

    Like our ancestors built this town for us to last lifetimes, it was our duty and our responsibility to build a town back to last lifetimes for future generations. We have new businesses on downtown Main Street rising from the rubble, new City Hall, new school, brand new hospital, several hundred homes all over town; been getting close to 300 homes. Coming back, our population’s back to around 800; we were about 1,400 before the storm.

    So we think – we’re very proud of the accomplishments we’ve made in the last four years. And the City Council had passed a resolution in December 2007 that all municipal buildings would be built at the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum.

    LESLIE: Oh, that’s amazing. LEED Platinum is very difficult to achieve. And I had actually read something interesting that when you guys were reconstructing the school, you actually used lumber that you reclaimed from Hurricane Katrina and even barns around Kansas. What else were you able to sort of find out of the rubble and repurpose?

    MAYOR DIXSON: City Hall has close to 60,000 bricks that had been reclaimed from our old power plant that got destroyed. And so all the bricks in City Hall have been reclaimed from the rubble. Some of the wood on the façade of City Hall is reclaimed from the Army Depot plant.

    We have, all over town, implemented not only recycling and reclaiming pavers from – and wood and bricks but we’ve involved the new technologies of alternative energies of wind, solar and geothermal. And all those things make Greensburg and Kiowa County right now a living laboratory where people can come and see all this technology based on our ancestors’ concepts of being good stewards of the environment.

    TOM: We’re talking to Mayor Bob Dixson. He is the mayor of Greensburg, Kansas, a town that was completely destroyed in 2007 by an EF5 tornado. Took that opportunity to completely reconstruct the town, which is now the greenest in America.

    Mayor Dixson, before we let you go, can you talk to us about some of the payoff that you guys have seen as a result of this effort?

    MAYOR DIXSON: Several things. Just one thing, right off the bat, that I can think of, the biggest payoff for us right here – or me, personally – is we are a community. Everybody’s pulling together, making decisions together.

    We are also seeing an increase in property values, which helps our tax base, because we’re building strong, durable structures. We’re seeing energy consumptions on residential and commercial and municipal buildings cut by as high as 70 percent of what was there before. We’re seeing – we’re developing that data with our energy manager here in town to really document what is going on and how we are accomplishing what our goals were.

    LESLIE: That’s great. The truest inspiration in leading is by example, so that’s fantastic. Congratulations on really seeing through this very, very dark time.

    MAYOR DIXSON: Well, Leslie and Tom, there’s one thing I would like to just say to your listeners and all those in the Southeast that went through this wicked tornado season is whatever we do in the process, don’t make life decisions quickly. Allow yourself a little time in the grieving process before you get into the planning and making those life decisions. And take time for yourself and allow those people that are coming to volunteer to help you, truly help you.

    TOM: Great advice. Mayor Bob Dixson, thanks so much for joining us with your story. I know that all of our hearts go out to the victims of this year’s storms and hopefully, your story can provide them some hope and some inspiration in the years to come.

    MAYOR DIXSON: Leslie and Tom, thank you very much.

    LESLIE: Alright. Still ahead, it is cheaper to buy a home than to rent, in many U.S. cities. We’re going to tell you how owning your own home can actually pay off in the long run, after this.

    (theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Skil. And now you can easily cut through the most difficult projects with ease, with a Power Cutter from Skil. With powerful, lithium-ion technology and an auto-sharp blade system, Skil’s lightweight Power Cutter will soon become your favorite tool, too. The Skil Power Cutter. It cuts just about anything.

    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. And we would love for you to be part of the fun, so pick up the phone and give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT, because we’re going to help you with all of your projects but we’re also going to pick one lucky caller out of The Money Pit hard hat and give them a great prize.

    We’ve got the Add-On Door Blinds from ODL worth 117 bucks. And the ODL Add-On Blinds, they’re really great because if you’ve got a door with glass – you know, window treatments can be such a challenge. And so here the blinds are actually enclosed behind tempered glass, so there’s no dusting, no exposed cords, no slinging, no banging. You can actually enjoy some privacy, if you want to, in the middle of the night while you’re wearing your jammies.

    TOM: Plus, you get fingertip control to raise and lower the blinds and you can have full-view or tilt the blinds to any angle that you need to control the light. It’s a very easy DIY project to install them. Two of the most popular sizes are available: 36 inches or a full 64 inch. You can visit ODL.com for more info.

    And one caller that we talk to on the air is going to win the full door-glass size. The number, again, is 1-888-MONEY-PIT and you must have a home improvement question to qualify.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Alright. Pick up the phone and give us a call. We’d love to help you out with whatever it is you’re working on.

    And maybe this weekend, as you’re kicking around with Dad, you’re maybe asking him for some money and you want to buy your own house. And a lot of kids start asking their parents for helping hands over Father’s Day weekend. Why should it be an excuse to stop asking for things, just because it’s Father’s Day?

    But seriously, if you are thinking about crossing the line from renters to home ownership, it’s actually a great time to really think about that. And the summer, we all know, is an excellent time to look at houses in the market. And the reason why home ownership sort of beats renting – well, there’s so many reasons. But actually, according to the Rent versus Buy Index, which is released by Trulia, home ownership is actually more affordable than renting, in four out of five major U.S. cities. It …

    TOM: That’s crazy, huh? Wow.

    LESLIE: I mean it’s really amazing. It makes sense that the most affordable housing-market conditions can be found in those cities hardest hit by recent foreclosures, so think Miami; Las Vegas; Phoenix, Arizona.

    And when you’re buying a foreclosed home, “buyer beware” is the key idea here. So if you want some more information about buying a home, buying a foreclosed home, you want to check out MoneyPit.com. We’re a great website; we’ve got a ton of good information there. Plus, we’ll even give you the rundown on how to ask your dad how to borrow money; just because it’s Father’s Day doesn’t mean they need a break.

    TOM: 888-666-3974. Call us right now with your home improvement question.

    LESLIE: Kenneth in Georgia, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we for you today?

    KENNETH: My sink in my kitchen is inside of an island.

    TOM: OK.

    KENNETH: The sewer vent beneath the island – beneath the sink which is underneath the cabinet – is starting to stink really badly and I don’t know why it’s stinking all of a sudden.

    TOM: Well, is – does it have a trap in it? In other words, is it properly plumbed? That’s the first thing to check. Does it have the U-shaped pipe underneath that’s filled with water?

    KENNETH: I’m not sure. No, I’m not.

    TOM: OK. Well, that would be the first thing. There’s two reasons that this thing could smell: number one is it’s not plumbed properly. Sinks have to have a P-trap underneath. Looks like the letter P or the letter U. And essentially, what happens is water …

    LESLIE: And essentially, it stands for pee-yoo. If you don’t have one, it stinks.

    TOM: Absolutely. And the water sits inside the U-portion and basically that acts as the trap and blocks the sewage gas; allows water to pass but won’t let the gas come back up. So if it’s not plumbed properly, you could have basically an open vent pipe to the sewer line and that could stink really, really bad.

    The second thing is that sometimes you get a biological film that forms in sinks from all of the soap and the hair and the food particles and everything that’s in there. And if that happens, typically, if you fill the trap up with bleach, it will kill it. You have to let it sit for a little while but that will kill that and stop the odor from happening.

    KENNETH: Gotcha. Now I’ve tried the bleach and it solves the problem for maybe a week or so and then it comes back.

    TOM: Yeah. Take a look at the trap; let’s make sure you have one. Otherwise, you could put all the bleach in the world down there and it’s not going to happen.

    LESLIE: And it’s not going to make a difference.

    KENNETH: Now, I’ve lived in this house for maybe five years, so I would have to have a trap, right? Otherwise, I would have been had this problem, right?

    TOM: Yeah, we would hope so. How old is the house?

    KENNETH: The house was built in 2000.

    TOM: You would think so.

    KENNETH: Yeah. OK.

    TOM: But that’s the first thing to check, OK?

    KENNETH: Will do. Thank you very much.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. Still ahead, wood surfaces that are part of a porch or an all-seasons room can begin to show signs of age. If they do, how do you fix them? Are they outside or are they inside? Well, just because they’re under a roof doesn’t mean you don’t have to do a really good job keeping them from rotting away. We’re going to tell you how to do that, after this.

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    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by ODL’s Add-On Blinds. Enclosed behind tempered glass, they eliminate the need for dusting and exposed cords, both problems with traditional blinds. Plus, they easily install over your existing entry glass. Visit www.ODL.com to learn more.

    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. And if we sound extra-excited at the close of this hour of The Money Pit, it’s because we’re super-excited and so pleased that so many of you are posting and responding to questions in our Community section. We love that we’re creating a sense of family, as far as do-it-yourselfers go, and we’re so happy to have you as part of The Money Pit family.

    And our Community section, it’s a great way for all of us do-it-yourselfers to communicate about your ideas, your solutions or even if you just want to brag about your project, that’s fine, too. And if you haven’t started being part of the fun, well, what are you waiting for? Check out the Community section at MoneyPit.com.

    And while you’re there, you can post your questions, just like John from Minnesota did.

    TOM: And John says, “We have a three-season room and the inside is covered in all wood. What’s the best way to protect the wood from aging? The three-season room is also surrounded in windows.”

    Alright. Well, when you have a three-season room, you need to kind of almost consider that an outside space because the winter season is the one season when you don’t use it. But for the most part, it’s exposed most of the time so, therefore, you want to treat the wood as if it is outside. And that means prime and paint with exterior-grade paint.

    Now, if you want to maintain sort of a natural look, then the other thing that you could do is you could use a stain for that. You can use something like the Behr Premium Weatherproofing Stains. That works well on decks but it also works well on siding and that’s kind of what this is at that point. So you could use a latex stain like that or you could use paint but you do have to protect it, because the humidity and the moisture will start deteriorating that material if you don’t do that.

    LESLIE: Alright. Next up, we have a post from Iris in New Jersey who writes: “We have very hard water and would like information on water softeners. Do they really add salt to your water? We just redid a bath with oil-rubbed fixtures and now they’re turning white from the hard water. Please help.”

    TOM: Actually, almost all water softeners do have salt; they do add salt to your water. But there is one brand that doesn’t; it’s called EasyWater. Their website is EasyWater.com – E-a-s-y – Water.com. And they don’t use salt; they electrically charge the minerals in the water, causing them to essentially not stick to your faucets and fixtures. They come through and then they just get washed totally away.

    Well, Leslie, a new survey is out and it has revealed the smelliest results of the worst household odors. Now, my question is: who volunteered for that survey? Tell us that and more, in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.

    LESLIE: That’s right. You know, you can actually call them America’s Most Unwanted and they’ve been known to hold entire households hostage, causing shortness of breath and nausea and even panic in their victims. At the very least, they keep home-sweet-home from smelling so sweet.

    Now, the culprits are household odors and these are the worst of the worst. So, according to a recent survey – boy, they’ll survey anything, let me tell you – more than 8 out of 10 Americans think that rotting garbage or garbage-can odor is the most offensive household smell. That sounds pretty fair, because you can have a whole lot of stinky things in one place. So collectively, it’s gross.

    Now, rounding out the top five in order were pet odors, mold, B.O. – as in body odor – and tobacco odor.

    TOM: Yuck.

    LESLIE: Pyoo (ph), we’ve got some stinky Americans in this country.

    TOM: Absolutely. And if you want some tips on how to deal with odors in your home, you might want to take a look at MoneyPit.com. We’ve got lots of advice right there on how to do just that.

    This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Coming up next week on the program, do you plan on staying in your current home well into retirement? Now is the time to get that home ready for every age and every stage of your life. We’ll teach you how to make your current home more accessible without sacrificing style, on the next edition of The Money Pit.

    I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Remember, you can do it yourself …

    LESLIE: But you don’t have to do it alone.

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    (Copyright 2011 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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