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  • 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.)
    (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 question. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. And when we say home improvement, we don’t necessarily mean something that requires a hammer and nails to fix. Maybe you have a cleaning question, a storage question, an organization question. Maybe you want to save energy, save time, save money with your heating or cooling system around your house. All of those are great topics for us to help you out with here on The Money Pit. The number again is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
    All this month we are going green on the show. Why save that green info for just Earth Day when you can spread it out for an entire month? If you’re in the radio business that’s a good thing. (Leslie chuckles) Four weeks of shows versus one, right?
    LESLIE: It’s true and there’s so much information that you could never cover at all in one weekend anyway.
    TOM: Well, we’re going to try because it’s all on our website at MoneyPit.com. We’ve set up a special green section there with tips and advice on how you can make your home more green and, of course, that means saving green at the same time.
    LESLIE: And along the lines of going green – do you remember, when you were a kid, your mom telling you, “Don’t leave that water running?” Well, it turns out that your mom was on the right track and many homeowners today are doing everything that they can to cut down on their water use. And there are some companies out there – specifically, one indeed – that’s looking at products that are on the cutting edge of saving water. We’re talking about the latest on WaterSense certification from the experts at Moen.
    TOM: That’s coming up in just a bit. And water-saving plumbing fixtures aren’t the only way to save water. We’re going to have a few water-saving tips, a little later in the program, that don’t cost a cent and you can start doing them right now. Again, our green coverage is just a click away at MoneyPit.com. It’s all sponsored by the folks at APC who’ve also been kind enough to provide prizes for our weekly giveaway. We’ve got one of those this hour.
    LESLIE: That’s right. We’re giving away the Back-UPS ES 750G from APC. Now this is a battery-backup power strip – and you might be thinking, “Well, that doesn’t sound very green.” Aha, but it is. It’s actually very green. It’s going to cut down on those energy vampires; you know, all of those things that suck energy from your home all the time even when they’re not on.
    TOM: It’s worth about 100 bucks but if you don’t win one this hour you can also enter online. There’s a contest with a chance to win. All the details are at MoneyPit.com.
    TOM: 888-666-3974 is the number you need to know to reach us. Let’s get right to those phones.
    Leslie, who’s first?
    LESLIE: Bev in West Virginia needs some help with a gutter situation. What’s going on?
    BEV: Hi. I have a 1904 bungalow and my gutters, every fall, get filled with leaves and they’re too high for our ladder to climb up, so we have to have someone to come and do that for us.
    TOM: OK.
    BEV: What I was wondering is, is there some sort of a gutter guard or some kind of screening or something that would be good to use in a situation like this.
    TOM: Bev, there are a bunch of options out there. You could start with gutter screens and they’ll do a pretty good job of keeping out the majority of the leaves and debris but eventually the leaves will sort of rot and they need to be – the screens pulled out and then the gutters cleaned anyway. There are also a bunch of gutter guards out there. Some work better than others but, basically, the way they work is they allow the leaves to wash over the gutters and onto the ground but the water, through the force of surface tension, actually goes into the gutter. I put some of those on my dad’s house and they worked pretty good for quite a long period of time. I think that’s probably the best option and I’d probably go with a gutter guard over a gutter screen.
    BEV: OK. Alright, well thank you so much.
    TOM: You’re welcome, Bev. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
    LESLIE: Aaron in New Mexico has a flooring question. What’s going on?
    AARON: We refinished some floors, including our dining room floor, a couple of years ago. And we have a big oak table and oak chairs. We’ve put nice little rubber and plastic things on the feet of them but we still end up with a very worn-out looking floor and we’ve been wondering what we can do differently other than put down an area rug.
    TOM: Hmm. So you have feet on the chairs so that when they rub across the floors they don’t ostensibly cause damage and it’s still an issue?
    AARON: Well, we have feet on the chairs but it still seems to damage it.
    TOM: Hmm.
    LESLIE: The feet only sort of do so much as to, you know, protect from scratches. Eventually, with enough wear and tear and movement along the same line of traffic, you’re going to get not so much scratching but wearing that becomes obvious. And it’s a shame because as soon as you get two years on that beautiful, refinished hardwood floor, all of a sudden all of those things start to just completely appear before your eyes.
    AARON: Yeah. And we’re wondering if we should redo that area with a tougher finish or more coats or whether there’s something like that we can do to do better than two years.
    TOM: Well, there possibly is. There are some better finishes out there that are a little more durable. The least that you should be doing is using an oil-based polyurethane there and certainly having more than a couple of coats will help.
    AARON: I guess so. Well, thanks.
    TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
    LESLIE: You are tuned to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Pick up the phone and give us a call because you can reach us 24 hours a day, seven days a week with your home repair or your home improvement question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
    TOM: 888-666-3974.
    Now, have you ever thought about buying some furniture, say, out of the newspaper or online that was, say, used but maybe you need to save a few bucks? Well, before you do, there’s an important thing you need to check. You need to make sure, especially if this is furniture that you’re going to use for your kids’ rooms, that it has not been subject to a safety recall. How do you do that? There’s one website that will give you all the information. We’ll tell you what it is, next.

    (theme song)
    ANNOUNCEMENT: The Money Pit is brought to you by APC. Protect your computer with APC’s newest energy-efficient backup 750G, guaranteed power protection that can save up to $40 a year on your electric bill. For more information and a chance to win, visit www.MoneyPit.com/Green. That’s MoneyPit.com/Green. That’s www.MoneyPit.com/Green. Now here are Tom and Leslie.
    TOM: Where home solutions live, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
    TOM: Give us a call right now. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. We’re giving away a great prize that will protect your computer and save you energy at the same time. If you’ve got family photos, music, personal files all stored in your computer but if you don’t have them protected it’s vulnerable in the event of a power failure. That’s why the new Back-UPS ES and SurgeArrest use power very wisely. They’re available from APC. They’ve got a feature that automatically powers down your devices to conserve energy and the battery, well, that protects your computer from going off and you losing all that data in the event of a power failure. It’s worth about 100 bucks but it’s going to go out to one caller we talk to this hour at 888-MONEY-PIT; so give us a call, pick up the phone. The number is 1-888-666-3974.
    LESLIE: Yeah, pick up the phone and let us know what you’re working on, especially if you’re thinking about going green but you’re sort of greenwashed. There’s just so much information going on out there that you don’t really know where to start.
    Well, the easiest way to go green at your Money Pit is to avoid tossing something old that is perfectly useable and there are great websites out there devoted to just that; like Craigslist and FreeCycle. You want to keep stuff out of landfills and that is a great idea. You just want to make sure that you check old furniture for safety, especially kids’ furniture; cribs, most important to look into this. So if you’re picking up a used piece of furniture, make sure you check out CPSC.gov and this is going to tell you all of the recalled items that are just too dangerous to ever use again. So make sure you check that before you put anything in your house.
    TOM: 888-666-3974. Leslie, who’s next?
    LESLIE: Margaret in Hawaii needs some help with a flooring situation. What’s going on?
    MARGARET: Well, we have a brand new house and we’ve installed natural bamboo on all of the floors and …
    TOM: Aw, that’s beautiful flooring.
    MARGARET: It’s beautiful. But I’m concerned about the maintenance on it, especially since we have three dogs.
    TOM: OK.
    MARGARET: Right now I’m getting used to the scratches (Leslie chuckles) but it’s the paw prints. I’m not sure how to clean the floor without ruining the finish on it.
    TOM: Well, generally if you use a very mild soap – like Murphy’s oil soap we use on our hardwood floors – it works really, really well. The key is to not use a lot of water but I will say that bamboo is very, very durable and water-tolerant. It’s the finish that you’re really concerned about, so you just don’t want to oversaturate it. But bamboo is a really tough floor and most of the finishes today – was it prefinished when you put it down?
    MARGARET: Yes.
    TOM: Yeah, so it’s probably an aluminum-oxide finish which is pretty durable, so I would just tell you to use a gentle floor solution like Murphy’s oil soap and not to use too much water. It is a lot of maintenance but, you know, that’s what you get when you have dogs and kids at the same time. (Leslie chuckles)
    MARGARET: And I was just – I had another question. If you know like how does it look like – other hardwood floors I don’t mind the look after they’ve worn a little bit.
    TOM: Mm-hmm.
    MARGARET: Will bamboo do the same type of thing?
    TOM: Not really because bamboo is extremely hard.
    TOM: So the finish will wear eventually but I don’t think you’re going to see the floor actually physically wear down like you would with, say, another type of hardwood.
    LESLIE: James in Tennessee has got a situation where the heating unit is vibrating his kitchen cabinets. What’s happening?
    JAMES: Well, so we bought this house, I guess, a little over a year ago and every time the unit comes on upstairs the cabinet – dishes in the cabinet downstairs rattle.
    TOM: Hmm. (James chuckles) And how old is the furnace we’re talking about here?
    JAMES: I think it’s probably about 14 years old.
    TOM: Hmm. It sounds to me like it’s out of balance.
    JAMES: Uh-huh. I’m not real sure about how to balance one. How would you go about that?
    TOM: Well, there’s a mount called an antishock mount that could be installed in between the blower unit and the actual housing of the furnace itself. I’m assuming that you have a horizontal furnace there in the attic space.
    JAMES: (overlapping voices) Yes. Yes.
    TOM: And that can help. The other thing that you can do is if this is resting on top of the floor joists, the whole unit could be supported from the roof rafters and taken up off the floor joists so, in effect, it’s now hung in the attic as opposed to sitting on top of the floor joist.
    LESLIE: Hmm.
    TOM: I’ve seen that done as well and that will stop the vibration from kind of transmitting through the ceiling, which is what’s happening here.
    JAMES: Yeah. Well, I kind of figured it probably had something to do with that but I wasn’t quite sure what could be done about it.
    TOM: Yeah. Well, those are a couple of ideas that I think will work. James, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
    LESLIE: Ray in North Carolina is dealing with a moldy situation. Tell us about the problem.
    RAY: I keep getting mold in my garage. It’s an unfinished garage and my dog stays out there a lot and I keep getting mold around the door frames and on the floor. How can I clean it and keep it from coming …?

    TOM: (overlapping voices) On the floor? On the concrete?

    RAY: (overlapping voices) Yeah, on the floor. It’s a concrete floor. Yeah.

    TOM: That would be very unusual because mold doesn’t grow on inorganic places like floors.

    LESLIE: But it does grow on dust and dirt.

    TOM: Well, that’s true. Well, what you need to do is you need to wash everything down with a mildicide. I would use a bleach-and-water solution or I would use a commercially available mildicide and the common mistake is that people sort of scrub this stuff away but they don’t leave the mildicide product on the surface long enough for it to really do it’s job. You need to spray it on and let it sit for 10 or 15 minutes so it really goes to town and kills all of the fungal spores that are left behind and then you can clean it off.

    RAY: Right.

    TOM: And the other thing that I would do after that is I would use a bathroom-type paint that has a mildicide in it. I would prime the surface and then I would use a mildicide-based paint on top of that and that will help slow this down.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. What about an epoxy coating for the floor?

    TOM: Yeah, that as well. That’s a good idea. Because it makes it easier to clean.

    RAY: Well, thank you so very much. What would the – what’s the ratio of the …

    TOM: Bleach to water?

    RAY: … the bleach to water?

    TOM: I would probably go about 20% bleach.

    RAY: Twenty percent?

    TOM: Yep.

    RAY: Thank you so very much. I appreciate it. Love your show.

    TOM: You’re welcome, Ray. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
    LESLIE: Bea in New Hampshire is looking to replace a hot water heater. What can we do for you?
    BEA: Yes, hi. I was just wondering. When I had a new furnace installed – and that was probably 13 or 14; maybe a little older furnace – and I was wondering if I could get rid of that; you know, the hot water heater that’s attached to the furnace because every time I need hot water, you know, that’s going to go on to keep – you know, to heat up the water.

    TOM: You’re talking about what’s called a tankless coil and you don’t have a furnace; you have a boiler. Am I correct?

    BEA: Oh yeah, I guess.

    TOM: You have hot water heat.

    BEA: Right.

    TOM: So, there are different ways to supply domestic hot water. Most of us have standalone water heaters. What you have is called a tankless coil and, basically, your boiler heats both the radiators in your house and also the domestic hot water. And you’re right, the down side of that is that your entire boiler has to come on …

    LESLIE: To heat the water. Can you separate them by a retrofit or an install of a standalone tanked water heater or tankless or do they always work in conjunction?

    TOM: You can’t separate them but, essentially, what happens, Leslie, is you can disconnect the tankless coil and install a separate water heater.

    BEA: Would that be practical?

    TOM: It would take you a long time to make up the cost savings. I will say that. So yeah, I mean I have a tankless coil on my boiler and we also have a standalone storage tank, which would be another way for you to go. You could have what’s called an AMTROL tank which is a water storage tank that basically stores some of my hot water so that the boiler doesn’t have to come on every time I demand hot water by turning on a faucet. Some of it is stored inside the storage tank.
    BEA: Mm-hmm. OK, that’s something that, you know, you have to add onto the furnace or …?

    TOM: Add onto the boiler, yes. It’s called an AMTROL tank. It’s a storage tank.
    LESLIE: Craig in Texas has a question about sheetrock. What can we do for you today?
    CRAIG: Yeah, I just barely caught the tail end of one of your shows and you were talking about painted sheetrock of China.
    TOM: Yes, mm-hmm.
    CRAIG: And I’ve looked it up online and I mean I’ve looked everywhere. I couldn’t find out anything about it. What brand was it or is there any in Texas at all, do you know?
    TOM: Well, you know I think it’s spreading across the country. I mean it started with Florida homes that were built between 2004 and 2005. The reason it was discovered is because the heating and air conditioning systems started to fail prematurely as well as folks having odors and other air quality issues. And it all came down to this Chinese-sourced drywall made by Knauf Plasterboard. And basically, because it had such a high sulfur content to it, it was causing some corrosion issues.
    CRAIG: Wow.
    TOM: Basically, the drywall was releasing sulfur-based gases and it was corroding the air conditioning coils, the computer wiring and, some say, even metal picture frames that were hung on the drywall surfaces. There also is somewhat of a rotten egg smell to it that’s released when the drywall is cut into for repairs and for structural investigations.
    Now the Florida Department of Health has been testing it to try to determine whether it poses a health threat. They’ve not discovered that it poses any immediate health threat but it certainly is an ongoing concern to homeowners and I do think we’re going to hear more about this, especially all along the Gulf Coast.
    If you want some more information, there is an article that I wrote about it and it’s on WalletPop.com. So go to WalletPop.com and search on Chinese drywall. It should pop right up.
    CRAIG: Hey, hey, thanks. I appreciate that.
    TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us, Craig, at 888-MONEY-PIT.
    LESLIE: When we come back, we’re going to talk about a great new EPA program called WaterSense which puts a rating for water usage on all of your plumbing fixtures, especially for the bath; 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. Did you know that adding a Therma-Tru entryway can add as much as $24,000 to what others think your home is worth? To learn more, visit ThermaTru.com. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.
    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show where we make good homes better. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
    Pick up the phone and give us a call at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, especially if you’ve got a question about energy conservation and energy being, you know, electricity or even water. Because you might remember when you were a kid your mom saying to you, “Hey, don’t leave the lights on in that room” or “Make sure you turn that water off.” My mom spoke like that; I don’t know if you guys’ mom did. (Tom and Leslie chuckle)
    Well, anyway, it turns out that your mom was right and many homeowners today are doing everything that they can to cut down on energy and water usage.
    TOM: And in fact, the government is trying to help out. There’s a new program that the government has and it’s called WaterSense. Now it works much like the EPA’s Energy Star rating, which we love, because it sets standards for energy efficiency. The WaterSense program does the same thing and Moen is on the cutting edge of water-saving technology; has been for a long time. So who better to tell us about the WaterSense program and what you can expect to see in Moen fixtures and faucets than Cathy Flynn. She is with Moen and one of their in-house experts.
    So Cathy, welcome to the show. Talk to us a little bit about the WaterSense program and what exactly does it mean to consumers.
    CATHY: WaterSense is a program sponsored by the EPA to promote water efficiency. And what that means is that if a product has a WaterSense label on it, it meets water efficiency and performance criteria outlined by the EPA.
    TOM: And those are two good things because not only do you want it to be efficient but you want it to actually work. (Leslie chuckles) That’s what I think everybody fears.
    CATHY: Absolutely.
    TOM: We still remember the low-flow toilets that never worked right and now, of course, all that is changed. When we’re talking about the faucets themselves, what is the savings exactly? I mean the average faucet goes out at about, what, 2.2 gallons a minute, I think?
    CATHY: That is correct. And so, with a WaterSense certification, the faucet is at about 1.5 gallons per minute. That equates to using about 32% less water.
    TOM: Wow.
    LESLIE: Now that’s a big difference. Are you going to notice a difference in performance or pressure when you’re using the faucet?
    CATHY: You may with some other manufacturer products but with the Moen products you’re not going to notice it. We launch products that do not sacrifice performance. We think that’s very important for consumers.
    TOM: And I’ve experienced that with some of your showerheads. In fact, I had received one myself, installed it and it works so well my wife said, “Hey, what about the other bathroom?” (Leslie and Cathy chuckle) “I want a second one.” So they do really work well and they don’t use a lot of water.
    Now, in the bathroom, what are some other places that we can actually save money? The showerhead, of course, is a good place to start. How much water can we save with a showerhead?
    CATHY: You’ll use 30% less water if you’re using a Moen eco-performance showerhead and that’s because the flow rate is reduced to 1.75 versus the standard 2.5.
    TOM: Oh, that’s fantastic. So that’s really going to add up and I think what’s important to note about the shower is that not only are you saving the water itself, but you’re also saving on the energy it costs to heat that water.
    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) To heat that water.
    CATHY: That’s correct.
    LESLIE: And Tom, with two teenage kids, you’re going to save a lot. (chuckles)
    TOM: Yeah, exactly. It sort of has a geometric factor.
    Let’s talk a little bit about the technology that’s behind this. I know that you guys are working really hard on coming up with ways that you can deliver a very reliable performance without using the same level of water and also developing systems that are going to work virtually maintenance free for the life of that faucet. You’ve got a new cartridge out I want to ask you about. It’s called the 1255 Duralast. How is that different than what we see in the average market?
    CATHY: Well, Moen’s new ceramic disk cartridge design provides the feel and the function of a new faucet for the entire life of the faucet. And this new cartridge is going to be featured in over a hundred of our single-handle faucets and that’s ranging from kitchen and bath products in a range of styles.
    LESLIE: Wow, that’s great. What about finishes? Because I know a lot of people are very particular about the finish that they put in their homes, so is there something that would work with every décor?
    CATHY: Absolutely. These products are available in a range of finishes from chrome to stainless steel, LifeShine brushed nickel or bronze.
    TOM: So it can look good, it can save the environment and can save you some money all at the same time.
    Cathy Flynn from Moen, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit; filling us all in on Moen’s WaterSense fixtures and faucets.
    If you want more information, you can head over to Moen’s website – it’s at Moen.com – or pick up the phone and call them at 1-800-BUY-MOEN.
    Thanks, Cathy.
    CATHY: Thank you.
    LESLIE: Well, now that we’ve got you in the frame of mind to save your water around your house, we’re going to give you some more tips for using water wisely, coming up; including free and easy ways to change the way you do simple chores that can add up to thousands of gallons in water saved, so stick around.

    (theme song)
    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Citrus Magic, the 100% natural odor-eliminating air freshener. Unlike other air fresheners, Citrus Magic actually eliminates odors and lasts up to four times longer. Visit CitrusMagic.com for more information. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.
    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete and you should pick up the phone and give us a call at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. We’re giving away a great prize this hour that’s going to help protect your computer and save you energy and dollars at the same time. Now you’ve got family photos; all of your music – and I bet most of you out there right now have not backed your music up; personal files – maybe you haven’t backed those up either – all stored in your computer. But if you don’t have it protected, it is absolutely vulnerable for power surges.
    Now the new Back-UPS ES and SurgeArrest, those use power very wisely and have a feature that automatically powers down your idle devices to conserve energy. It’s worth about 100 bucks but it could be yours just by asking your home improvement question on the air right now. The number here is 1-888-MONEY-PIT and if you don’t get through this hour, just head over to MoneyPit.com for another chance to win the Back-UPS ES and SurgeArrest.
    TOM: Hey, another way to go green is to use water wisely. Now you can always upgrade your plumbing fixtures; especially if you have older showerheads or toilets, which can be very wasteful. But you can also do a few things that don’t cost a dime, like running your dish and clothes washers only when they’re full. You could save up to 1,000 gallons of water a month by doing just that.
    You could also fill a small pan of water to wash fruits and vegetables when cooking, instead of running them under the faucet going full blast and then reuse this water for watering houseplants. You can water your grass with a hose instead of a sprinkler to make watering shorter, more efficient and targeted.
    Hey, we’ve got lots more water-saving ideas on MoneyPit.com. Just check out our special green section with all sorts of tips and advice and solutions to help save you water all year long. That’s online right now at MoneyPit.com.
    Leslie, who’s next?
    LESLIE: David from Michigan, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
    DAVID: What we’ve got is a ranch house and a walkout basement and the house has quite a tall ceiling. And that all faces to the north, the walkout exit. So what happens is when there’s a good, strong, north wind in the winter we get a nice, creaking sound over our heads when we sleep against that north wall.
    TOM: Hmm.
    DAVID: So, what I – the only information I could get in regard to that, online and through people that might have dealt with it, was that perhaps what I wanted to do was go up into the attic and take some 2x4s and support the trusses; connect them kind of together, I guess you could say; connect them crossways. And it did have an effect but, unfortunately, what it did is it took the creaking noise from the edge of our bedroom to directly over our heads. (Tom and Leslie laugh)
    LESLIE: So it went from bad to worse.
    DAVID: So my wife wasn’t as impressed as I had hoped she be. (Leslie laughs)
    TOM: Yeah, right? (David chuckles) Well, how old is your house?
    DAVID: It’s a 1987.
    TOM: OK. It is important to reinforce trussed roofs and the truss manufacturers actually specify exactly how you’re supposed to do that.
    DAVID: OK.
    TOM: Now, if the house was built correctly, all of this reinforcing would be actually in place. The fact that it’s not there is a bit of a concern. I can’t tell you how to go from point A to point B except to say that you are on the right track in terms of adding some cross members to that. And I would also want to make sure that none of the trusses were cut improperly because you can’t really cut a truss and sometimes you find that contractors do that. That’s why the framing inspection is usually after the mechanical inspection, because sometimes the plumber or the heating contractor will take an extra cut out of a structural member.
    DAVID: OK, right.
    TOM: So the first thing I’d like to make sure is that the trusses are in good structural condition. The second thing I would look at is the reinforcement. And the truss manufacturer or the architect will actually specify that. Is there any chance you can get your hands on a copy of the plans for your house?
    DAVID: Only some rough ones but I do know the builder, as it turns out; so I could probably get a hold of him again.
    TOM: I would do that and ask the builder if maybe you could buy him a cup of coffee (David chuckles) or a drink or something and have him come over and take a look at that. Let him know you’re not concerned structurally speaking but it is kind of annoyance and he would help save your marriage (Leslie and David chuckle) if he could just stop by and take a look. Because I suspect that the bracing may have become loose or for some reason it’s not doing its job and maybe you could improve upon that and silence that roof structure. Because noise in the roof structure is not good.
    LESLIE: Well, it’s spring swarm season everywhere in this country and Pat in Hawaii is dealing with termites. What can we do for you?
    PAT: Well, I have a condo that I take care of. It isn’t one that I live in.

    TOM: OK.

    PAT: But anyhow, we’ve got termites in the kitchen cabinets.

    TOM: Oh, boy.

    PAT: I have talked with our pest control people here on the island and they say there’s very, very little we can do about it other than taking the cabinets out and having them put in a house that’s being exterminated and, you know, just to set in there while they’re tenting it. And that’s, you know, a very costly process. We did buy some stuff called Terminate and we took all the drawers out and every wood surface, because some of it is covered with plastic. We rubbed this – it’s like a foam; we put on rubber gloves and rubbed it all over the wood and it just dried; it didn’t have a smell. But we were just wondering if there’s anything at all that we can do.

    TOM: Well, the first thing you need to do is you need to get the termite identified. If it’s a subterranean termite this is an easy problem to fix because if it’s subterranean then basically what you’re going to do is – and this has to be done by a pro – but you would treat the soil around the outside foundation perimeter because the termites are going to have a connection, probably, through the wall. And if they’re infesting the cabinets you can also bet that they’re inside the wall doing damage there as well.

    PAT: These condos are up off the ground; they’re above carports. So no, it isn’t that kind of a termite. We were told that they probably came with the cabinets from the local supplier.

    TOM: Then they may be a drywood termite and he’s right; typically, when you have that kind of an infestation you tent the home and you fumigate it and that’s how you get rid of those infestations. So, any type of treatment that you do to this may be somewhat effective but it wouldn’t be as effective as doing it correctly. It’s not uncommon, in your part of the country, to have to do this from time to time.

    Pat, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
    This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Up next, lots of plumbing problems this week as we reach into our e-mail bag. Up next, we’re going to help one listener figure out why the only way to fill the tub in their house is apparently by using the showerhead. These and other plumbing mysteries solved, next.

    (theme song)
    ANNOUNCEMENT: The Money Pit is brought to you by APC. Protect your computer with APC’s newest energy-efficient backup 750G, guaranteed power protection that can save up to $40 a year on your electric bill. For more information and a chance to win, visit www.MoneyPit.com/Green. That’s MoneyPit.com/Green. That’s www.MoneyPit.com/Green. Now here are Tom and Leslie.
    TOM: Where home solutions live, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
    TOM: Pick up the phone and give us a call right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT with your home improvement question, your do-it-yourself dilemma or, if you’re a bit shy, head on over to MoneyPit.com and click on Ask Tom and Leslie and send us an e-mail question.
    LESLIE: That’s right, our first shy e-mailer is Scott in Pennsylvania who writes: “I need to run water through the showerhead in order to fill up the tub with hot or warm water. The water, when run through the faucet, never gets hot enough. I don’t have a traditional hot water heater – or water heater – and it’s heated through my oil furnace which is located on the opposite end of the house. Any idea what’s going on?”
    TOM: Not a clue. (laughs) Actually, I think there’s a problem with the diverter valve in the faucet and I would recommend that you replace that, Scott, because it has nothing to do with your probably boiler – not a furnace; probably your boiler is what heats your water – and I doubt it has anything to do with that. I think the problem is that the diverter valve is not diverting the hot water into the spout; it’s sending it up to the shower itself. And so I would simply replace tat diverter and you should be good to go.
    LESLIE: Alright, next up we’ve got Annie in New Jersey who writes: “I need help with my kitchen sink! It’s so annoying to hear the pipe vibrate and shake. It’s both the hot and cold water and the only way for me to stop that noise is to use a lower stream of water. What is it?”
    TOM: The valve seats are wearing out and it sounds like you’ve got a pretty old faucet. I would replace the faucet because the new ones have ceramic valve seats and the cool thing about the ceramic valves is the older they get the tighter they get; so they actually get better with age, not worse with age. You can try to replace those valve seats on the older faucet but, frankly, it’s probably not worth it because, you know, by the time you get done finding the right parts, taking it apart, putting it back together again, you know, for probably 50 bucks you can get a better faucet and just replace it with the same amount of work.
    LESLIE: Alright, now we’re going to take an e-mail from Jim in South Carolina who writes: “I had a sprinkler system installed a couple of years ago and every time it changes zones the pipes under my house knock. How do I keep the pipes from knocking every time my sprinkler system changes zones?”
    TOM: Ah, you need a water hammer arrestor. What happens is the water is flying through the pipes and when the valve wants to shut off and another open up, lot of centrifugal force there. A water hammer arrestor is sort of like a shock absorber that will stop that once and for all.
    LESLIE: Hey, got more plumbing questions? Pick up a copy of My Home, My Money Pit. We’ve got an entire chapter devoted to just that; plumbing.
    TOM: Well, we’re all pretty busy these days but if you’ve got a half hour, we’ve got some great home maintenance tips that take 30 minutes or less. Leslie’s got one of them in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.
    LESLIE: That’s right. Now in a half an hour you can check your bath exhaust fans. Now, exhaust fans that discharge into the attic instead of outside are dumping moisture where it can cause damage. Now damp insulation is not going to insulate and then that same moisture can condense on your roof sheathing and then cause rot; all super-bad things. So you want to test yours by turning on the fan and then go outside and take a look at where you’ve got that vent flapper and make sure that you see that flapper door on the exhaust fan vent spring open. Then you also want to take a look in the attic to make sure that the duct that goes from the fan to the vent is free-flowing and has as short of a distance as possible to travel. So if you take a few minutes, look at that, you will have a moisture-free bath and a nice, toasty attic to help keep your house nice and warm.
    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Thank you so much for spending this hour with us.
    Coming up next week on the program, lawn and garden season is fast approaching. You want to keep your lawn lush and your landscape gorgeous; well, we’re going to help you do just that without wasting any water to make it happen. We’ll have easy ways to go green while you’re growing green, next week on the show.
    I’m Tom Kraeutler.
    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
    TOM: Helping you build big dreams.

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    (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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