Deck Safety Tips and More
TRANSCRIPT FOR MAY 11, 2009, HOUR 1
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:
TOM: Hi, I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: And you are tuned to the Money Pit podcast. We are so glad that you are.
Now all this month on the podcast we’re going to be talking about staycation tips throughout our show and these are some ideas to make your home a little more comfortable, a little more pleasant, a little more fun if you’re not going to take a vacation this year; you’re just going to sort of stay at home and enjoy the place you have.
Now if you head on over to MoneyPit.com, we’re also making available a free chapter of our book, My Home, My Money Pit. It’s the outdoor living chapter available for free download at MoneyPit.com; chock full with lots of staycation tips to make your summer a lot of fun if you’re staying at home.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm, and you know what? All of this great information and all these great ideas are brought to you by our friends over at Fiberon Decking and also the WORX GT Trimmer/Edger.
Alright, folks. Let’s get started.
TOM: Now, on with the show.
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: Pick up the phone, give us a call. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974. Call us with your home improvement question, call us with your do-it-yourself dilemmas. Call us. Before you pick up the hammer; before you pick up the saw, pick up the phone and give us a call right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT and we’ll help you get the job done. Now, we won’t come to your house but we’ll do the next best thing. We will walk you through it.
And speaking of projects that you might be tackling – you know, with the recession all abound it means it’s time to get back to basics and instead of a big, expensive vacation, you might be thinking about staying home and relaxing in a retreat of your very own. We call it a staycation and if that’s where you’re headed this summer make sure you check your deck for signs of trouble before it starts. This hour we’re going to talk about that deck safety check and also talk about some alternatives to wood decking that will cut way down on the amount of maintenance it will take to take care of that deck in the years ahead.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm, and you know what? Those alternatives are so beautiful, so listen up for that.
Now, if you’ve already got that backyard oasis going on, complete with the furniture and the accessories, you need to make sure that you know what to do in case of a bad summer storm; which are bound to happen with heavy rain and high winds. We’re going to tell you how to protect your stuff and your house, coming up in just a bit.
TOM: And speaking of high winds, if you live in an area that’s prone to those high winds or say you live in the hurricane or tornado areas of the country, you might want to consider impact-resistant windows. These are special windows that will not shatter if they’re struck by something that happens to be thrown about by those high winds. We’re going to have more info on that and why there’s never been a better time to replace those old, drafty windows and potentially unsafe windows coming up just a bit when we talk about the 30-percent federal energy tax credit that’s available to help you pay for new windows in your house.
LESLIE: And we’re giving away a great prize this hour that’s going to help keep your staycations pest-free. We’ve got the Rescue Your Summer gift pack which includes two W*H*Y wasp, hornet and yellowjacket traps from RESCUE! It’s worth 80 bucks but, seriously, if you can get rid of those bees it is valuable.
TOM: So pick up the phone and give us a call. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Call us with your home improvement question. Call us with your do-it-yourself dilemma. Let’s get right to those phones.
Leslie, who’s first?
LESLIE: Cindy in Iowa needs a hand with a painting project. What can we do for you today?
CINDY: I have two steel entry doors and they’re just the way they came from the factory; they’re just the basic kind of putty color.
CINDY: And I wanted to paint them and I don’t know what to use; what type of paint or how to apply it would be the best: brush, roller or spray.
TOM: What I would recommend is that you take the door off the hinges; try to lay it out on a nice day on a couple of sawhorses; take all the hardware off. You’re going to want to lightly sand the whole thing so that you get off any old finish or any weathering or debris that’s on there. Then you’re going to prime it; I would recommend Rust-Oleum as the primer. You can use a good-quality oil-based brush to apply the primer and you can also use a top coat of Rust-Oleum over that and those two will work very well. And I will tell you that Rust-Oleum takes a long time to dry.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Mm-hmm, but it’s worth it.
TOM: (overlapping voices) It’s actually a good thing because it really is a very, very durable surface and with a door you really want something that’s not going to chip or take any – show any signs of wear and tear because a door gets a lot of abuse.
So that’s what I would do. Take it off, prime it, flip it over, prime the other side. You might have to stop at that point and put the door back in for the night because you’ll be out of daylight. Next day, take it off again; put the first coat of the finish on the one side; flip it; do the other coat; put it back and repeat. You’re going to need probably two finish coats and one primer coat but you’ll be done with that door for 20 years; you won’t have to paint them again, Cindy.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm, and you don’t have to worry about using a brush leaving brush strokes because the oil paint does take a little bit extra time to dry; so it gives you that much more working time as you’re applying it so you don’t need to worry about seeing any of those brush marks.
TOM: Yeah, it flows really nicely.
CINDY: Alright. Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Cindy. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Robert in New Jersey needs some help with a roofing question. What can we do for you today?
ROBERT: Yes, I’ve got this mobile house trailer; it’s about 10×22. And the roof has been 10 years and needs some kind of sealing up; the summer/winter type of tar or something; whatever that I can put on there. Can you suggest something that’ll last another 10 years? (chuckles)
TOM: Yeah, another 10 ten years? Well, the roofing surface right now, is it leaking or does it just look worn?
ROBERT: No, it’s cracked. My neighbor said he saw it and he’s up higher and he said it seems to be cracking in spots. You know?
TOM: Is it flat roof?
ROBERT: Flat; yeah, flat.
TOM: Flat roof. OK. Well, the best, most durable roof would be one that’s a built-up roof and, to do that, you’d have to kind of pull out what’s there and put up multiple layers of hot tar and tar paper to build up a proper flat roof. Another option might be a rubber roof which could go on top of what you have there and be sealed down at the edges. The good news is there’s been a lot of advances in flat roof technology.
I will tell you this: make sure you hire somebody that does flat roofs all the time because there’s a lot of residential roofing contractors out there that hardly ever see a flat roof but once a quarter and they don’t know how to handle it. But if you can find somebody that’s a commercial roofer that wants a side job, that’s the guy you want to hire to do your flat roof.
ROBERT: Right. OK. Thanks.
TOM: Alright, Robert. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: You are tuned to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Well, we are about a week away from Memorial Day; if you can absolutely believe that, at this point. Are you ready for summer? Well, if not, we can help you get everything in your money pit in tiptop shape for that kickoff summer party. Give us a call 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
TOM: And if that party involves inviting friends and family to sit on your deck, you’d better do a deck safety check first. We’ll tell you what you need to know, next.
TOM: Where home solutions live, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
Pick up the phone and give us a call. Let us know what you are working on. And if you’re thinking about getting your backyard in tiptop shape for that staycation you’re going to be taking this summer, we want to help you with a prize that is going to keep your staycation pest free. We’ve got the W*H*Y trap. Now, no matter where you live you’ve got those stinging, nest-building pests like wasps and yellowjackets and hornets and you know that if they are around they can absolutely ruin your backyard fun. So we’re giving away the Rescue Your Summer prize pack which includes two of these traps along with four bait refill kits. And these are made of natural ingredients, not chemicals; so they are safe for you to put around your backyard.
TOM: You’ll also get some picnic supplies for your next meal under the sunny skies. It’s a prize package worth 80 bucks but you can win one this hour if we answer your question on the air. Give us a call. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Now with that prize we’ve got the W*H*Y trap. You know this is really a great way to enjoy your deck and enjoy your entire outdoor outings in the summer completely pest free.
Now May is National Deck Safety Month so we want to make sure that yours is safe. And here are some things you really need to keep in mind. We’ve got five important warning signs that you need to check for.
First up, we’ve got loose or wobbly rails or posts. Then we’ve got missing connections – for example, if your deck is only nailed to the side of the house and it’s not really supported in any other way. You need to keep an eye out for all of these things. You also want to look for corrosion, rot and any cracks. Now if you spot any of these, pick up the phone and get a professional to come out and repair any of these situations and that’s really going to be your best bet because we’re dealing with something structural here so you want to make sure that it is in good standing to keep you and your guests safe.
TOM: And I’ve got to tell you, every year we hear about deck collapses; usually around Memorial Day or around the 4th of July …
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Or 4th of July.
TOM: … or some other big holiday or big celebration. So you want to make sure that your deck is absolutely secure.
Now if it turns out your deck needs to be seriously repaired or maybe even completely replaced, you might want to think about the alternative decking products that are out there; like Fiberon. It’s a great way to avoid corrosion, rot and cracks. These are composites that are really maintenance-free. They work very, very well; they look good and they don’t need nearly the care that wood needs as a decking surface.
If you want more tips on composites, you can go to the Fiberon website at FiberonDecking.com. Or pick up the phone and give us a call right now. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Leslie, who’s next?
LESLIE: Jack in Texas is calling in with a plumbing question. What can we do for you today?
JACK: Hi. I have a home that’s about 13 or 14 years old now and I have an upstairs bathroom that is an extra bathroom and it has two sinks in it.
JACK: And there seems to be a lot of suction on one of those sinks and I don’t know how to stop it from doing that.
TOM: So it drains particularly well; is that what you’re saying?
JACK: It drains well but there’s constant air being pulled down in it and because there’s constant air being pulled down in it there seems to be a – it dries out and then there’s like a growth in there and then it clogs it all up again.
TOM: Yeah. Well …
JACK: So it can’t keep water in the …
TOM: It won’t keep water in the trap?
JACK: Correct, in the trap.
TOM: Well, was the trap formed correctly? Does it look like a normal p trap under the sink?
JACK: Yes, sir. And then it feeds off from one sink to the other.
TOM: Right. And is the p trap after both sinks?
JACK: No, sir. I believe it’s just one trap.
TOM: And so it’s after both sink drains.
JACK: Yes, sir.
TOM: And if you fill that up with water do you still think you have the suction problem?
JACK: I do because it seems like even with the plug down it eventually just sucks it right out of there.
TOM: That’s very unusual. Well, one thing you could do is you could make the trap deeper and it would hold more water and it would be less likely to be able to drain out if the – if the trap is very shallow, that could account for what’s happening here. So that might be a matter of just extending the trap so it becomes deeper and holds more water.
JACK: OK, well I will give that a try.
JACK: I appreciate that.
TOM: You’re welcome, Jack. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Lola in Pennsylvania, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
LOLA: Yeah, I was calling about the gutter on the north side of my house.
LOLA: Short of replacing it, is there anything that can actually truly remove the black mildew that forms on it every year?
TOM: Yeah, sure. You can clean it with a house wash material. There’s a product on the market called JOMAX – J-O-M-A-X; it’s a siding wash and it’s specifically designed to attack those stains and that’s a product that you could mix up and use to clean them with.
LOLA: With a power washer?
TOM: You may not necessarily need to use a power washer. You need to spray this stuff on first because if you just try to blast off the mildew …
LESLIE: You’re just washing away the material itself that’s cleaning.
TOM: And you get some of the roots, so to speak, that stay behind and then it comes back just as quick. You need to treat it first. So you need to use a house wash like JOMAX or a bleach-and-water solution. Spray it on there, let it sit for 15 or 20 minutes and then you can use the pressure washer to blast off the residual.
LOLA: Oh, and it will totally come off?
LESLIE: Oh, yeah.
LOLA: Thank you.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
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.
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.
LESLIE: Igor in New York, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
IGOR: I would like to replace our kitchen cabinet doors with European sizing; it’s in metric.
IGOR: And I would like to replace them with a glass or tinted glass. My question is: what kind of hinges I can use so I can – from outside they’re not going to be as visible or – and mountable.
TOM: So do you want to set the glass inside the cabinet door or do you want the entire door to be glass?
IGOR: Entire door to be glass.
TOM: OK. You’re going to need a glass hinge. You see these a lot on like glass door cabinets. I’m sure they’re special order but I’m sure, also, that they’re available.
IGOR: So it’s a special glass hinge?
TOM: Yeah, it’s a glass door hinge. You very often will see it on, well, China cabinets or other types of glass cabinets. It kind of looks like a clamp that holds the glass in place.
IGOR: I would have to drill something or …?
TOM: You may very well have to drill but there are also others that just simply clamp onto the edge of the glass.
IGOR: Oh, clamp. OK.
TOM: Yes. So I would – I would search on glass door hinges. I bet you’ll find them that way. You’re not going to find them in the hardware store or the home center but they should be available.
LESLIE: Yeah, there’s actually a great website. It’s called Sugatsune – which is S-u-g-a-t-s-u-n-e.com – and they manufacture every type of glass door hinge: ones that are sort of glass-to-glass-mounted with overlay; complete overlay. And they don’t sell them on the site but they tell you exactly where to buy what you need.
IGOR: You have wonderful program. I always listen.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Well, thank you very much, Igor.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Thank you.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Natalie in Louisiana, welcome to The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
NATALIE: Hello, my question is about removing cigarette smoke odor from a house before selling it.
NATALIE: In this economy, I think I need every advantage I can get.
TOM: Probably do. Do you have carpets?
NATALIE: Yeah, but I’m planning to replace them because they’re worn out.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Good. That’ll make a big difference.
NATALIE: (overlapping voices) So that takes care of that problem.
TOM: Yeah, that’ll make a difference. If you pull the carpets out –
LESLIE: And the padding.
TOM: – and the padding for sure – and if you clean the rooms that have the most tar and nicotine on the walls and then you prime everything with oil-based primer – don’t use water-based – that will do a really good job of sealing in whatever is left on the walls and probably eliminate most of that smoke odor.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm, and you know, Tom? There’s a company that makes a topcoat latex paint that puts perfume in it. (chuckles) You could go that extra level. And I believe that sort of scent in the perfume, it only lasts about six weeks but it could be enough to sort of make it very inviting.
TOM: And I know that Dutch Boy is coming out with a paint that actually has ARM & HAMMER in it and so that will actually help as well. But the base coat is really important here so choose KILZ and a nice, good-quality topcoat and you’ll be good to go.
NATALIE: OK. I’m also worried about the woodwork. I have stain-and-varnished cabinets and built-in bookshelves and I’m worried about the air conditioning ducts because I know nobody smokes in the walk-in closet in the bedroom but, boy, you can smell the smoke.
TOM: It’s probably from the clothes more than anything else. You could have the ducts cleaned. That might help a little bit. You’re also going to want to make sure that you replace the filters. And if you don’t have one, put in a good-quality electronic air cleaner and that’ll help with the odor situation as well.
LESLIE: And you know what? The name of that additive for the paint is called Paint Pourri – like potpourri but Paint Pourri – and it comes with a ton of different scent options. And if you Google search it, you’ll find that some people have been advising that it does help sell your home.
TOM: Natalie, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Up next, before that first big summer storm comes crashing through your neighborhood, you better make sure your backyard is ready for the full brunt of that storm; first off by picking up any branches that are lying about and especially trimming the trees so that those branches don’t break off and become missiles when the winds whip up. We’ll tell you how to do that, next.
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: Where home solutions live, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
Pick up the phone and dial 1-888-MONEY-PIT. We’d love to hear what you’re working on and we’d like to give you a hand with that project. And now that we all know and are very aware that summer is around the corner, we’re starting to see signs of summer weather and we know that those storms are on their way. And you know, it’s so crazy. It’s the middle of the summer and you can see storms that have high winds, heavy rain, even hail – which is like a winter thing but you can get that all over the country any time of year.
So now if you find out that a severe storm is expected in your area, you want to make sure that you prepare your yard. Go about it; remove any diseased, damaged tree limbs. This not only helps the tree but it eliminates those loose or weakened branches that could end up crashing onto your roof or falling through your windows are landing on your neighbor’s house. It just get rids of any potential projectiles that that tree could offer up in a storm.
You also want to look for thicker trees. Now when you see those thicker trees, carefully trim the excess branches so the wind can freely blow through that tree without blowing the tree down. I’ve seen it happen before. You can see a huge tree completely knocked over under the right circumstances.
TOM: For more storm-safe tips, check out our next Money Pit e-newsletter. We’re going to have some ideas to help you batten down the hatches and tell you what any storm-ready toolbox should include. It’s all free; available at MoneyPit.com. Sign up. It’s free, it’s confidential and we do not sell or rent your e-mail address; we keep it to ourselves so we can feed you great home improvement tips every, single Friday morning. Again, all available at MoneyPit.com.
888-666-3974. Let’s get back to those phones.
LESLIE: Bill in Indiana needs some help with insulation. What can we do for you today?
BILL: I have a home that has about 1,200 square feet and I want to reinsulate the attic. I’ve got about eight inches of a combination of mica, rock wool and then fiberglass that I laid in myself; total about eight inches. And with the economy the way it is and so on, I think it’s a good idea for me to bring it up to standard. It’s an older home …
BILL: … built in about 1949.
TOM: Is the insulation – Bill, is it flush with the top of the floor joist right now?
BILL: No, it’s just above it.
TOM: It’s just above it? Alright.
BILL: It’s above it about – I’d say four inches above it.
TOM: OK, and you’re not doing any storage, I presume, over it. Right?
BILL: That is correct.
TOM: OK. Well, what you want to do is probably add another six inches of unfaced fiberglass insulation. You would lay those batts perpendicular to what you have right now. And you are correct in not doing any storage there because you can’t compress it. It’s got to be nice and big and fluffy if it’s going to do its job. But if you do that between the eight inches you have, additional six – a total of 14 inches – you know that’s going to be around an r 42 or so which is a pretty well-insulated ceiling. I think you’ll see an impact based on that.
BILL: OK, now I have about a 12-inch overhang. I have a hip roof, so I have an overhang all the way around and …
TOM: (overlapping voices) Right. You want to keep the insulation so it does not compress off or choke off the ventilation. So you want to keep that back from the edge of the outer wall because you don’t want it to sort of touch the underside of the roof sheathing. You want to make sure air can get under the soffits and right up under the roof sheathing and exit through vents at the ridge.
LESLIE: Andre in Virginia is dealing with some clanging pipes. Tell us what’s going on.
ANDRE: Yes, whenever my wife takes a shower and the hot water is running and my pipes – if you’re downstairs, they start cracking and making cracking noise.
LESLIE: Now, Andre, this doesn’t happen when you take a shower?
ANDRE: No, I don’t hear it.
LESLIE: What?!!! (Tom and Andre laugh) You are ignoring it, I am sure, and blaming the misses.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Yeah, he doesn’t hear it. Really. What’s happening …
ANDRE: Well, I’ve turned the shower on before and went downstairs and nobody was in it and I still heard it, so … (chuckles)
LESLIE: Maybe she’s tap dancing in the shower. Did you ever think of that? (chuckles)
TOM: Maybe she is, maybe she is. Andre, the reason this is happening is because as the hot water goes through the pipes, the pipes heat up and they obviously expand. Now, depending on how they’re attached to the wood framing, if they’re attached really tightly, sometimes when they expand they make like a cracking sound. But what’s happening is the pipe is actually rubbing against the wood and making that sound and because they’re metal pipes they transmit the sound; it can become quite loud and quite annoying. If it really bothers you, you might want to disconnect the pipes from the wood and then reconnect them. You can use a bushing that surrounds it that actually allows the pipe to slide back and forth when it heats up and when it expands. But that’s what’s causing the sound.
LESLIE: You are tuned to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show.
Up next, what do you do when a window breaks at your home; you know, from storm damage or maybe the neighbor kids’ baseball? You never know what causes it but when it happens you need to be prepared, so stick around.
ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Fiberon. Bring your vision to life with Fiberon; innovative, reliable decking that enhances your outdoor living space. For more information, go to FiberonDecking.com. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.
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 at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Maybe you have a problem that’s really bugging. You no matter where you live or what stinging, nest-building insects you have in your backyard, the W*H*Y trap will catch them. W*H*Y stands for wasps, hornets and yellowjackets. This particular trap has two ways in but no way out. We’re giving it away to one caller that reaches us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: And you know what? The best thing about these W*H*Y traps is that you can use them in the spring, the summer and the fall. They are multiseasonal. I’ve seen other traps that are only good for one season but this’ll cover you for the entire outdoor duration that you want to be in your yard. Plus, the W*H*Y trap does not attract honeybees, which we want to help protect because we’re seeing a shortage of them. And the best part is that we are giving away a Rescue Your Summer prize pack. It’s worth 80 bucks. Now it includes the two W*H*Y traps we’ve been talking about and four bait refills to one lucky caller this hour. That number again is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Now, another common occurrence in summer – besides all of those bugs – is a summer storm; including high winds that can lead to damage in your home. You know if a branch or other object breaks a window, you want to make sure you clean it up safely. When a window breaks, please do not try to knock out the remaining glass in the frame; big mistake; easy to get cut that way. You want to use safety gloves to remove the loose and fallen pieces of glass then have a professional come in to repair or replace the unit.
Now, to clean up those small particles of glass use several thicknesses of wet paper towels and then throw them away. Don’t just use one because obviously the glass will cut right through it. Cloth towels, sponges or mops should not be used for cleanup because they can harbor tiny glass particles that you’ll never get out of them.
LESLIE: And the next time you go to use that thing, those glass pieces are going to be right in there.
Also, don’t try to replace the glass yourself. You know, some windows have insulating glass units that contain harmless argon glass that helps with your window’s energy efficiency. Now, when you need those – a replacement unit – they can be ordered and installed by a pro and that will perfectly match the original window.
Now Simonton windows, they produce Energy Star-qualified replacement and new construction windows and doors as well; including a line of impact-resistant products which are great, especially if you live in areas of this United States that are very prone to hurricanes, tornadoes or high-winded storms and that could happen everywhere. And the best part is that Simonton windows are eligible for a tax credit. You need to visit Simonton.Com/TaxCredit for all of the information you need to find out about the credit and those energy-efficient windows.
TOM: And if you are thinking about replacing your windows this year, now is a fantastic time to do just that because of the federal energy tax credits that can actually cover about 30 percent of the cost. We’ve got all those details contained in the chapter of our new book, My Home, My Money Pit, and we’re making that chapter available for free download right now at MoneyPit.com. So download the “Your Guide to Replacing the Windows in Your House” for free at MoneyPit.com right now. Before we change our minds (Leslie chuckles), get over there and grab the free chapter and you’ll have everything you need to know to tackle a window replacement project.
888-666-3974. Let’s get back to those phones.
LESLIE: Now we’re going to welcome Juanita from North Carolina with a painting question. What can we do for you today?
JUANITA: I’d like to know, please, what you know about the liquid ceramic paint. I understand that it’s considerably more expensive and it’s something that originated in Canada maybe 20, 20-something years ago. I understand it goes on like really thick as far as so many mils thick compared to regular paint and that it breathes and I just wondered if you had any feedback or any information on that.
TOM: Juanita, I am not that familiar with liquid ceramic as a coating in particular but we did do a little research about it on their website and my sense is that it’s a product that is sold to professional installers or painters and that they sell it to you. Is that what’s happening?
JUANITA: Yes, sir.
TOM: OK. You know, there are a number of products out there that claim to be pretty much better than paint and there’s not much wrong with the painting products that are available today and if they’re put on properly; if the surface is prepped right; if it’s primed; if there’s good workmanship involved, you can get a good-quality paint job today that can last you 10-plus years. So, I’m not so sure that some of these alternatives to traditional paint really make any sense; especially when I read on their website that the cost of this is two to three times what it would cost for a standard paint.
JUANITA: Yeah, I understand that but then, too, it was talking about the thickening agent was titanium dioxide.
TOM: Titanium dioxide is a normal ingredient in paint. There’s nothing special about that. I would stick with a name-brand manufacturer of paint; one that’s tried and true, has got a good history behind it and you know the main brands that are out there. I’m talking about the Sherwin-Williams, the Behrs, the Benjamin Moores, the Dutch Boys. Good-quality paint product like that, properly applied, is going to give you better bang from your buck than anything else.
Juanita, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Up next, federal energy tax credits don’t just apply to windows; they apply to doors, too, and that’s a question that’s coming in from one of our listeners in the e-mail bag. We’re going to talk about the federal energy tax credits that are available for entry and storm doors, after this.
ANNNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Generac’s Garden Series generator. Be protected and never worry about power outages again. Visit your favorite home improvement center or call 888-GENERAC or visit GuardianGenerators.com. Your home will stay on the next time the power goes out. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.
TOM: Welcome back to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show where we make good homes better. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Pick up the phone, give us a call at 1-888-MONEY-PIT any time of the day or night or e-mail us by heading over to MoneyPit.com and clicking on Ask Tom and Leslie. Edward did just that from New Jersey.
LESLIE: Alright, we’ve got Edward’s here and he writes: “This year, for the 2009 residential energy credit, I want to have a storm door and exterior door combination installed. What product information can you give me and how much tax credit is given?”
TOM: Interesting question. First of all, Edward, if you’re going to install a new exterior door, you do not need to install a storm door. If you want a screen door, fine; but exterior doors today are so energy-efficient they will qualify by themselves for the federal tax credit. In fact, Therma-Tru Doors is a manufacturer that we’ve worked with for many, many years. They’re one of the sponsors of this show. They have, on their website – on the home page of their website – a section about the federal tax credits and exterior doors. They’re very similar to the window requirements in that you need to have a 30/30 rating. Basically, what that means is you have to have a U-factor and a solar heat gain coefficient of .30 or more and that’s a measure of the door’s energy efficiency. That’s what you need to get. It’s available on a lot of doors for not a lot of money. So I would tell you just replace the door. You don’t need the storm door.
Now, for those of you that already have a door and want to add a storm door on top of it, the federal energy tax credit is available for just the storm door if it meets that criteria; but I suspect that a storm door that meets that 30/30 rating is going to be so expensive that it might make more sense to just replace the exterior door and, again, just add the screen door if you need that level of ventilation.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm, I mean it’s interesting because the Alliance to Save Energy, on their website they categorize exterior windows including skylights and storm windows and doors. So if you’re going for a storm door, you really do have to meet a major criteria to accomplish this tax credit and, you’re right, it can get kind of pricy. So think before you go for that.
TOM: You know, what’s also interesting is the Energy Star-rated products – which typically are the best out there – some Energy Star-rated products actually don’t meet the requirements for the federal tax credit. It’s actually superior to the Energy Star requirement.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Interesting. Read those labels.
TOM: So you’ve got to be very careful about making sure that whatever you buy meets the requirement.
LESLIE: Yeah, do your research and read those labels.
Alright, we’ve got another one here from Leonard in Massachusetts who writes: “Our home was built in 1941 and we bought it in 1982. During that time, the surface of the sheet rock on all of our interior walls has gone from acceptable to looking like alligator skin. Is there some way to correct or cover this problem without wallpapering the whole house or, worse yet, installing new sheetrock in every room?”
TOM: Hmm. You know, it sounds to me like there’s a lot of layers of paint there, Leonard.
TOM: If the house was built in ’41 and it’s been painted ever since, you know at some point you’re going to not be able to add more paint because what happens is the paint will delaminate; it separates, it cracks and it pulls back. And what you have to do, unfortunately, is to remove that old paint and get down to a good surface. You can’t keep putting more paint on top of bad paint because it’s just not going to stick and you’re going to get that kind of effect. So I would tell you to do this selectively. I would choose the rooms that I really want to have a drywall-styled finish; remove the paint there. In the other rooms, consider a different type of surface. If you want to replace drywall, you don’t have to use 1/2-inch-thick drywall; you can use 3/8 or 1/4-inch-thick drywall and put it as a second layer to what you have.
LESLIE: And that’ll just give you a nice, smooth surface to go ahead and paint on top of; which I’m sure is the look you’re looking for. Alright, Leonard? Hope that helps.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Thank you so much for spending this hour with us. We hope we gave you some tips to save you some money, make you more comfortable and help you take care of your very own money pit. The show continues online at MoneyPit.com and, remember, while you’re there you can download the free replacement window guide; the bonus chapter that we’re making available from My Home, My Money Pit: Your Guide to Every Home Improvement Adventure.
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.)