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Discover – And Learn From – Your Cleaning Personality Type, Discover The One-Touch APP With Answers To Every Home Improvement Question, And Find A Roof That Is As Safe As It Is Stylish

  • Transcript

    TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: And we are here to help you with your home improvement projects. What are you working on this beautiful summer weekend? You working outside the house? Trying to do a little pre-fall fix-up, get the house buttoned up and ready for the seasons ahead? Or maybe you’re getting set to entertain and you want to sort of deck out that outdoor room. Hey, those are great projects we can help you with, inside or out. Call us, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.

    Coming up this hour, do you ever hit a home improvement snag or need product specs on the spot? Well, now there’s an app for that. It’ll deliver how-to and more at your fingerprints. We’ll have those details, in just a bit.

    LESLIE: And when a storm hits, of course you need your roof to protect you. But you also want it to look good every other day when the weather’s just fine. Well, we’re going to help you find a roof that stands up against extreme weather without sacrificing style.

    TOM: And what do your cleaning habits say about you? You can take a quiz to discover your unique cleaning personality and the results come with customized tips for cleaning better, smarter and faster.

    LESLIE: And a lucky caller this hour is going to get one step closer to a healthier home, with a free 5-Minute Mold Test. Now, it uses EPA-recommended dust samples instead of air samples, for more accurate results. And you get those results in minutes.

    TOM: So let’s get to it. Call us, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.

    Leslie, who’s first?

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Harry in Arkansas on the line who wants to talk about water heating. What can we do for you today?

    HARRY: So I heard you talking about the waterless water heater the other day and I was curious. Suppose (inaudible at 0:02:54) I understand the principle of it. But I’ve got a family of about six or seven, eight and they’re packed in and – plus visiting plus the home folks. And I’m wondering about the recovery on those. How rapid is – can they recover to take care of, for example, everybody taking a bath in the morning before running off to school?

    TOM: Yeah, they actually recover quicker than a tanked water heater. And there’s no problem with using them for a big family. I mean heck, they’re used for hotels all the time. And the nice thing about tankless water heaters is that they’re, essentially, on demand. So as long as you’ve got water flow, you’re going to have hot-water flow.

    And you just want to make sure that it’s sized correctly, because they’re like any type of water heater. They’re purchased based on how many bathrooms that you have and how many other points of plumbing in the house that are going to need it, whether you have one kitchen, you have a tub and a slop sink, perhaps, in your laundry room, that kind of thing. So as long as it’s sized properly and installed properly, you won’t have any problem.

    Now, do you have natural gas on this home?

    HARRY: No, no. We are in an electric home.

    TOM: Ah, OK. That changes the answer. So, electric tankless water heaters are not going to deliver nearly the efficiency that a gas-fired tankless water heater would. So I would not recommend an electric tankless water heater.

    In that case, what I would suggest you take a look at is a fairly new technology called a “heat-pump water heater.” Now, a heat-pump water heater uses the same heating/cooling technology in traditional heat pumps but they use it to cool – excuse me, to heat – the water in a water heater. So that can give you a pretty healthy supply of water – that hot water that can stand up to – that could serve all of those bathrooms in your home. But it will keep the cost down.

    HARRY: Mm-hmm. OK. Thank you very much. I appreciate your answer.

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

    LESLIE: Liz in New Jersey is on the line and she has a kind of thrifty idea. She wants to reuse wall-to-wall carpeting? What’s going on?

    LIZ: Yes. I have carpeting that is 20 years old but it’s in my living room, which hardly anybody – you don’t have to step on it to go through other parts of the house. And it looks fine. And I was wondering if I could have that taken up, because underneath is hardwood and I wanted to refinish it. But my carpeting in my bedroom, which is smaller, is worn. And I was wondering if I could put that carpet in the bedroom.

    TOM: I don’t see any reason that you couldn’t do that. Pulling the carpet up is pretty easy to do as long as it was put down correctly to begin with.

    Now, I will caution you, if that space in the living room turns out to be not one piece of carpet but carpet with a seam in the middle of it, that seam could be your weak link. Now, that seam might not be obvious to you if it was done well to begin with but when you take the carpet up, you may find that it’s basically two pieces of wall-to-wall carpet seamed together with seam tape. And then if you try to move that piece upstairs, the tape could break apart because now you’re kind of disturbing it. And you may have a bit of a mess on your hands.

    But I see no reason why you couldn’t reuse the carpet. It’s certainly possible. That said, I think the most expensive part of this project is going to be the labor, because you’re going to have to have a professional carpet installer do this work. And considering the fact that the upstairs bedroom is fairly small, the added cost of brand-new carpet might not really add that much to the overall project.

    LIZ: Oh.

    TOM: So think about the economics of this, OK? If you’re going to spend money on an installer, then it’s going to cost you X dollars to have them come in, take the old carpet out, cut a new piece to fit upstairs and move it upstairs. You know, how much more can the carpet possibly cost you, especially if you bought a remnant or something of that nature?

    LIZ: Oh, I see. Yeah. I think it’s one whole, long piece. I really do.

    LESLIE: It depends. Because, usually, the bolts of carpeting are 13 feet. So if you’ve got a run of the room that’s bigger than 13 feet, then you’re probably going to have a seam somewhere in there.

    The other thing to consider is that 20-year-old padding might not be reusable, so you might have to get new padding. Whereas if you got new carpeting, they’re going to throw in padding, for the most part. So, think of all those things.

    TOM: Alright, Liz. Well, good luck with that project. We gave you some stuff to think about. 888-666-3974.

    LESLIE: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. We are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So whatever you are working on, whenever you are working on that, we can give you a hand and help you get out of that jam or help you figure out something that you were thinking of. We’re here for you at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Up next, are you a neat freak or perhaps a stress cleaner? We’re going to have tips to help you discover your cleaning-personality type. The results might surprise you. That and more when The Money Pit continues, after this.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is sponsored by Pella Windows and Doors. Pella products with Insynctive technology can connect with compatible home automation systems so they can be programmed to help keep your home in sync with you. Learn more at Pella.com.

    TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: And hey, you’ve got home improvement questions. We just so happen to have home improvement answers. And one caller who gets on the air with us this hour is also going to win a free 5-Minute Mold Test Kit.

    LESLIE: Yeah. Whether you’re buying or selling or even renting a place, you just want to be sure that the home you’re living in is a healthy one. You can save hundreds of dollars on mold inspectors with this EPA-approved approach.

    TOM: Learn more at 5MinuteMoldTest.com. That’s the number 5 – MinuteMoldTest.com. Or call us, right now, for the answer to your home improvement question and your chance to win at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Hugo from Missouri, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

    HUGO: I’ve got a leaky basement. Is there anything that can be done besides tearing up the whole outside and redoing it?

    TOM: Yeah, that’s exactly not what you want to do.

    So, the reason basements leak is because of drainage conditions that form at the foundation perimeter. So we’re talking about things like gutters that are overflowing or downspouts that are too close to the foundation perimeter or soil that’s sloping. Do you know – that’s sloping into the house or soil that’s flat.

    Do you notice if this leakage gets worse after heavy rainfalls?

    HUGO: Yes, that’s the only time it does leak is after a real heavy rainfall.

    TOM: So that’s really good news because that means this has nothing to do with a rising water table. This has everything to do with the water that’s basically just forming around the foundation perimeter. And that’s something that’s fairly easy to deal with.

    So, I want you to do a couple of things. Look carefully at the gutter system. You want to make sure that gutters exist, that the gutters have downspouts that discharge at least 4 to 6 feet from the foundation perimeter. And then you want to take a look and make sure that you have 1 downspout for every 600 to 800 square feet of roof surface. So just kind of stand back and try to estimate that in your head so we know you have enough downspouts.

    HUGO: OK.

    TOM: Now, typically, when they put downspouts in, they turn them out a foot or so and dump them into a splash block. And you’ll notice that that water will just sit right there and collect at the foundation perimeter. So you want to make sure they go out at least, like I said, 4 to 6 feet.

    Now, the second thing is you also want to make sure that the soil at the foundation perimeter slopes away. If you have to add soil to do that, add clean fill dirt, tamp it down really super-well and make sure it drops about 6 inches over 4 feet. Those two things will stop your basement from leaking.

    HUGO: OK. Thank you. I appreciate it.

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

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

    STEVEN: I’ve got this porch and it’s got really, really old wood. I guess it’s about 15, 20 years old. Anyway, I cut it up to make a long, shorter porch and I winter-protected it about two years ago with Thompson’s WaterSeal which – it did a job. It just turned pretty looking wood into ugly wood. And I water-treated it. Now I’ve got my wood back and I want to treat it again but I don’t want it to go ugly on me.

    TOM: You don’t want it to go ugly on you, huh?

    STEVEN: Right. Yeah.

    TOM: Well, what kind of wood is the floor, Steven?

    STEVEN: I’m pretty sure it’s pine.

    TOM: Pine. OK. So, what I would recommend you do is apply a solid stain to that floor. Because a solid-color stain is going to have enough pigment in it where you’ll see the grain come through it but it’s not going to wear off and go ugly on you, I should say. Solid-color staining is what we use on decks. It’s also what we use on porch floors. It’s not like paint; it’s stain. But it’s going to show that grain.

    STEVEN: OK. Do I need to water-seal it after that?

    TOM: You do not. It’s all built in. Alright? So look for solid-color wood stain and that’ll do it.

    STEVEN: Oh, man, I appreciate that. Because I was dreading it, you know? Because (inaudible at 0:12:13) it’s just pretty to look at. We’ve got nice, good-textured wood and I just remember what happened last time. Man, I just don’t want to do that again.

    TOM: Yeah, it’s a lot of work just to use the sealer and stop right there. Because what happens is the UV-radiation from the sun gets to it, it breaks down the wood fibers and it starts to gray out on you. So, if you use a solid-color stain – and you can go right on top of what’s there now; just make sure it’s clean – you’ll be good to go.

    STEVEN: Yeah. We just got through pressure-washing it and that’s what got all the Thompson’s WaterSeal up.

    TOM: Yeah, just make sure it dries thoroughly before you stain it, OK?

    STEVEN: Hey, man, I appreciate you and I listen to you all the time. You all are great.

    TOM: Alright. Thank you so much. Good luck with that project.

    Well, will you take on just about any other dreaded chore just to put off cleaning your house? Well, most of us don’t love cleaning.

    LESLIE: Yeah. In fact, it turns out that each of us has a distinct cleaning personality. It’s actually what motivates us to clean, determines how and how often we are going to clean and how we feel about cleaning while we are in the thick of it.

    TOM: That’s right. Maybe you’re what’s called a “guest prepper.” Does this sound familiar? You clean and make things look nice only when company’s coming but shall we say, let your hair down when it’s just you and your family at home?

    LESLIE: Well, Jelmar, the maker of CLR cleaning products, has got cleaning tips for all you guest preppers out there, not only for when those guests are on their way but for keeping up on that housework even when there’s no guests in your home, guys, like all the time.

    TOM: Now, that’s just one cleaning personality type. So what’s yours? Head on over to CLR Cleaners’ Facebook page to take Jelmar’s Cleaning Personality Quiz and to get tricks and tips for your type. Just by taking the quiz, you’ll also be entered to win a $500 Visa gift card and Jelmar cleaning products. It’s all online at Facebook.com/CLRCleaners.

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Floyd in Iowa on the line who needs some help with a crawlspace. Tell us about it.

    FLOYD: OK. I just recently purchased a home. And in part of the basement, I have a crawlspace. And when the inspector came in to do the inspection on the house, he recommended that I put plastic down and to close the vent. When I was listening to you guys’ show the other day, I noticed that you guys said something about keeping the vents open so nothing ventilates into the house. So I was just kind of trying to find out, which direction should I go? What kind of plastic should I use? And does it sound like a good idea?

    TOM: OK. So, let me clarify for you. First of all, putting a plastic vapor barrier down across the floor of a crawlspace is always a good idea. You use the plastic Visqueen – the big, wide sheets – overlap them about 3 feet. Try to get as much of that surface covered. What you’re doing is preventing some of the evaporation of soil – of moisture up through the soil – so that’s a good thing.

    In terms of the vents, the vents should be opened throughout most of the year except, perhaps, just the coldest months of the winter. So if you close it, say, November and December and maybe January, that’d be OK. But for the rest of the year, those vents should be open because it helps take the moisture out.

    FLOYD: Now, I also have insulation up in the rafters of the floor joists. Is it a good idea to put – or to seal that with any kind of plastic at all or should I leave those exposed?

    TOM: Nope. No, you can leave it exposed just like that. It needs to ventilate.

    FLOYD: OK. Good deal.

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

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Jenise (sp) in Kansas on the line who’s got a question about grout. What can we do for you today?

    JENISE (sp): I had installed a porcelain tile. It’s a heavy-duty tile. So I used epoxy grout on the floor and all throughout the shower, the floors, the ceiling, the walls. And what I’m wondering is, do I need to seal it? If I need to seal it, what kind of sealer should I use on an epoxy grout?

    TOM: I don’t think you need to seal epoxy grout, because the epoxy is going to prevent things from soaking into it. It’s really the sand grouts that we want to seal.

    JENISE (sp): Well, I’ve already noticed some discoloration and it was white grout and it’s already sort of a brownish tint.

    TOM: Oh, is that right? That’s probably water stains.

    JENISE (sp): Oh, OK.

    TOM: Yeah, that – usually that’s mineral salts that dry out. So try to wipe it down with a white-vinegar solution – white vinegar and water. That might clear it up.

    JENISE (sp): Was that a good choice to use epoxy, do you think, or …?

    TOM: I think so, yeah. Absolutely. For a bathroom? Perfect location for that.

    JENISE (sp): Thank you so much. I appreciate it. You have a good day now.

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

    LESLIE: Bill in California, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?

    BILL: I’m looking for the best way to seal up a French door on my house. Where the two doors go together or shut together, they won’t – they don’t seal.

    TOM: They don’t seal properly?

    BILL: No.

    TOM: So, that’s called the “astragal” where they come together; that’s that molding configuration. And so are you getting water through these doors, Bill? Or are you getting just drafts?

    BILL: Just drafts.

    TOM: The first thing I would do is I would examine the fit of the doors when they come together, to see if the doors are actually closing evenly up and down. So if there’s a little bit more of a gap at the top or the bottom, that’s a different issue and you’d have to physically adjust the door so that that doesn’t happen anymore.

    The second thing is I would look at the seal – sorry, the sill – where the door closes, to make sure that the sill is continuous. And an easy way to do that is with light. If you were to kneel down on one side of that door and shine a flashlight in to see if you saw the light coming under the door, that might give you an indication as to whether or not you have gaps at that sill level.

    The third thing is that there is typically a hole in that configuration of the door where air gets in at the very top and at the very bottom, where you need about a 1-inch-square piece of weatherstripping to seal it. And that’s where the doors come together at the top and the bottom.

    And then the rest of that, I would just look at the existing weatherstripping that’s on that door, make sure it’s getting a tight seal all the way up and down. You really have to look at it in components, to try to determine which part of that is broken down and which part of it is most responsible for the air leakage that you’re getting in there, Bill.

    BILL: Oh, OK. Take a look at those items then.

    LESLIE: Joyce in Missouri is on the line with a grout question. What can we do for you?

    JOYCE: Hi. I have ceramic tile that I have had down for a few years. And I have – the grout is a charcoal color with a black-and-green tile. And the charcoal has dulled over the years and looking almost chalky. What can I do? Do I have to pull all that grout out and regrout it? Do I need to paint it or what can I do to give it new look of life?

    TOM: Well, the grout is pretty easy to replace. There are special tools called “grout saws” that you can use to carve out the grout and then put new grout over sort of where the old grout was. You don’t have to get it all out but you’ve got to go down at least an 1/8-inch or so. And so, if your real concern is the grout and the condition of the grout, I think that’s the easiest way to deal with that.

    JOYCE: OK. So that’d be – the best way to make it look fresh and new again is just take the top layer off at least an 1/8-inch and just regrout it?

    TOM: Yeah. Make it look fresh and new by putting in fresh and new grout.

    LESLIE: Yeah. And then make sure you seal it.

    TOM: Right. Yeah, that’s key. You want to seal it first.

    LESLIE: Otherwise, it’s not going to look fresh and new for so long.

    JOYCE: Seal it after I put new grout in and let it dry? Then seal it and then we’re good to go?

    TOM: Right, exactly.

    JOYCE: OK. Thank you.

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

    LESLIE: Still ahead on the show, no more running inside to your computer when you need some help with a project. We have got some information on a home improvement app that’s available, on the spot, exactly when you need it, where you need it, coming up.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is presented by Haier, the world’s number-one appliance brand and a leader in air-quality solutions. Haier is a new kind of appliance brand, focused on home solutions designed for each stage of the emerging consumer’s life.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    Hey, what’s the first step of any building or repair project? Well, there’s an app for that. One way to know for sure exactly what tools and materials you’re going to need is by downloading the QUIKRETE mobile app.

    TOM: Here to tell us more about this exciting, new app is Mike Major from QUIKRETE.

    So, Mike, is this mobile app your baby?

    MIKE: No, it’s not my baby. The marketing people have done an excellent job at putting together an app that really makes it comfortable for customers to find out what they need for a project. And basically, they can go from beginning to end with a project.

    TOM: Yeah, it’s really helpful because so many times we see folks standing, say, in the aisles of the home center, sort of strolling up and down, blindly staring at all the materials in front of them and sort of trying to assemble the project in their heads, figuring out exactly what they need. Having an app like this that will walk them through so many projects has got to be really helpful.

    MIKE: It is helpful. And QUIKRETE was one of the innovative people in this industry. Because what we started out doing, not – about five or six years ago, we were putting QR codes on all of our packaging. And with a QR code, the savvy shopper could take a shot of the QR code and see some of the information. But the app has just kind of taken that to the next level for us.

    TOM: So what kinds of projects are covered by this app?

    MIKE: Well, there’s everything from building a slab to pouring a post to doing steps. We’ve got some apps – some projects on there, like building a fire pit. They can do all kinds of different things with it. And it’s just really cool to be able to see exactly what they’re going to need as they go through it. I mean it’s going to tell them what tools they’re going to need. It’s going to give them a project calculator to tell them how many bags they’re going to need for their specific project.

    LESLIE: Now, are there how-to videos, as well, to sort of help them through certain stages of the project? Because I know with concrete, you’re sort of really dealing with a certain amount of time to get things done. And you want to make sure you’re prepared.

    MIKE: Yes, absolutely. And yes, there are videos.

    As a matter of fact, we’ve got videos tied in to the mobile app but we also – those videos are also on our website, as well as doing a YouTube search, just putting in “QUIKRETE” there’s 27 different videos that you can just search and see how the project’s done.

    It really makes it simple, because there’s a lot of people that are afraid of concrete projects because they feel that there’s a finality of a concrete project, you know? Because there’s nothing more solid than that, so they feel like, “Oh, I’m a little scared. I don’t know that I can handle that.” So, looking at a video and getting a little bit comfortable with the project before you start putting the water to the concrete really helps out.

    TOM: Yeah. And in that order, exactly.

    MIKE: Exactly, exactly.

    TOM: Mike Major from QUIKRETE, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    MIKE: Thanks, guys.

    LESLIE: Alright. Still ahead, do you want protection against storms but you don’t want to sacrifice style? Well, we’ve got roofs that will offer you protection against extreme weather but still look fantastic, when The Money Pit continues.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is sponsored by Pella Windows and Doors. Pella products with Insynctive technology can connect with compatible home automation systems so they can be programmed to help keep your home in sync with you. Learn more at Pella.com.

    TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Well, getting rid of mold isn’t easy but figuring out whether you actually have mold, well, that’s no walk in the park, either.

    LESLIE: Well, one lucky caller this hour is going to win the new, easy and accurate 5-Minute Mold Test. Yes, guys, five minutes flat is all it’s going to take for this test to test a sample and determine whether or not you’ve got mold present in your home.

    TOM: It’s the first step towards a healthy home without the hassle or cost of a mail-in test or a mold specialist. And it can be yours if we answer your question on the air today. Learn more at 5MinuteMoldTest.com. That’s the number 5 – MinuteMoldTest.com.

    And call us, right now, for the answer to your home improvement question and your chance to win at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Richard in Illinois on the line who’s getting some water through the foundation. Tell us what’s going on.

    RICHARD: What it is is over time – I’ve got a ranch house with a walk-out basement and on the walk-out, when you come out, there is a retaining wall that is about 8 foot tall where it meets the house. It hasn’t really separated from the house but there is water that gets in between the retaining wall and the foundation. And then it gathers right at the bottom on a heavy rain and then seeps back into the basement.

    So, I’m trying to figure out – the previous owner that had this house has put something in there, like a caulking of some type, that has gotten hard over time and it’s not slowing it down too much.

    TOM: So this is a gravity situation, so let’s give you a gravity solution. Let’s have the drainage work with you and not against you. And by the way, you can seal this until the cows come home and it’s still going to find its way in. What you have to do is stop the water from accumulating.

    So on the opposite side of this retaining wall, I’m guessing that there’s some runoff that goes towards the wall?

    RICHARD: Yes, there is.

    TOM: So what you’re going to want to do is intercept that runoff so we don’t get as much water that collects in that area. What we want to try to do is limit the amount of water that gets into that area to just direct rainfall with no runoff. That means no gutter discharge, no runoff from higher elevations.

    So the way we do that is, first of all, examine the gutter situation and make sure there’s no water dropping at the high side of this where it could work its way down. If there is, you’ve got to run a pipe underground to get it to a place where it’s not going to interfere with leakage into the basement.

    Secondly, in terms of intercepting the runoff, what you could do is install something called a “curtain drain,” Richard. It’s a rather simple drain that you might construct yourself. You dig a trench that’s about 12 inches deep and 12 inches wide. You put some stone in that trench, then you put a perforated pipe on top of the stone, surround it with more stone, lay a piece of filter cloth across the top and cover it with soil. So when it’s all done, it’s invisible.

    And the end of that drain that you just installed should exit to daylight somewhere, so you need to figure out the best way to do that, based on the configuration of your yard. What that will do is it’ll intercept the water that’s coming down from higher elevations. It’ll fall into that trench, come up into the pipe, and then run around the house as opposed to collecting in that particular corner.

    If we can keep the water from collecting in that area, you will probably be just fine, because it’s rare that just direct rainfall accumulates enough water to actually leak in the house. It’s almost always the runoff from gutters and from drainage.

    RICHARD: Right. And needless to say, I’ll probably have to do some – get rid of some landscaping, because it’s got some little, green bushes there along that wall, as well, so…

    TOM: Yeah. And that’s a good point because sometimes, you can make the problem worse by having landscaping that traps water. So just think in terms of water control here, not in terms of trying to seal that water out, and I think you’ll be in good shape.

    Richard, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Well, you just can’t turn on the news this time of year without hearing of another tornado or a coming hurricane that’s going to ravage a region or a town.

    TOM: Yeah, that’s right. And as so many of our friends and neighbors here in the Northeast learned during Hurricane Sandy, you really can’t assume that extreme weather is not going to happen to you. And that means that every homeowner really needs to shop for home upgrades with extreme situations in mind.

    LESLIE: Yeah. And some manufacturers are actually realizing this and have made it easier and even fun for them to merge style and safety.

    Now, one of those manufacturers is DaVinci Roofscapes. Their roofs are available in a Class 4 rating and that means they’re going to resist hail and winds up to 110 miles per hour. But even more, these durable polymer slates and shake roofs are available in DaVinci’s full line of 50 colors, including 14 different shades of one of the hottest colors for your roof right now: gray.

    TOM: Yep. You pick the shade you like best without sacrificing peace of mind.

    Now, you can check out all 50 of those roof colors and get expert color-roofing advice from Kate Smith with Sensational Colors. That’s all online at ColorMyRoof.com. Check it out: ColorMyRoof.com.

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Jan in Iowa on the line who is dealing with a concrete patio that has some carpeting issues. What’s going on?

    JAN: We purchased our condo as a retirement home with a patio – an outdoor patio – with indoor/outdoor carpeting already installed on it. And we think it’s awful. It’s discolored and stained and we want to remove it. We need to know the best way to get it up off the concrete. And then we would like to know what to use as something that could improve the appearance of the concrete. Because we know it’s going to probably have bits of glue and who knows what that’s adhering to it. And it won’t be attractive.

    TOM: Yeah, it’s a very time-consuming, messy job to rip up indoor/outdoor carpeting that’s been glued down. So, let’s just assume that that’s the case. And you’ll get off as much as you can but there’ll still be some black rubber backing and other bits of glue that’s still stuck there. So, it is difficult to decide what to do with that.

    I would tend to think that the best thing to do might be to cover it. And what you could do is you could take a brick paver and basically assemble pavers right on top of the patio. Now, that will raise it by about an inch-and-a-half to 2 inches but it will look beautiful. And you won’t have to worry about any movement in the brick pavers, because you have a solid piece of concrete underneath.

    JAN: Alright. So once the carpet is off, then the brick pavers could be installed over the concrete.

    TOM: Yep. Right on top of the concrete. You can – there’s lots of different styles and colors and they’re all modular. And they fit together like puzzle pieces.

    JAN: We’ll do that.

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

    LESLIE: Rob in Washington is on the line and is dealing with some flooding. Tell us what’s going on.

    ROB: Well, I own a 1-acre lot and I’m surrounded by 58 acres of green belt. And my house sits up in the front of the lot and I have a cement driveway that runs down into a 1,200-square-foot shop. And every time it rains here in Seattle, which is every other day …

    TOM: Yeah, frequently.

    ROB: And at Daylight Savings, we get an extra hour of rain. But I get – my shop floods and I need to know what kind of drain system I can put in in front of my shop. The cement is maybe 14, 16 feet wide.

    TOM: So basically, Rob, what is happening is the water is running down the cement driveway and into the shop. Is that the main source of the water? What you need to do is to put a culvert across the driveway.

    So the way that works is you, essentially, cut the driveway in half; you slice out a gap in the driveway. And it might be 8 or 12 inches wide.

    ROB: How close to the shop though?

    TOM: I would go probably a few feet in front of it. I wouldn’t go too far away.

    ROB: OK.

    TOM: Because that just gives you more water – more sidewalk to collect sort of in front of it. So I would go fairly close to it. And then you basically cut the driveway in half and you drop this culvert in, which is sort of like a U-shaped channel. And then on the opposite end of it, it’s attached to a drain line, which would go to a curtain drain.

    So the water would go down the garage, it would fall into this culvert. And you can buy these or order these at building-material supply centers that service masons. And people that do more commercial-type work can be able to find these premade. And the drain tile – the drainpipe – will connect to the culvert so the water would go out to this drain line and then you go into a curtain drain.

    So the curtain drain you’d make yourself. And again, on the downside of the property, you’d carve out an area about 12 to 18 inches wide and deep, fill it with stone, lay the drainpipe in there, cover it with more stone, put some filter cloth and then some topsoil or whatever you’re going to cover it with.

    So, essentially, the drainage for this is invisible once it’s done but you’re intercepting that runoff down the driveway and running it around the building and into the drain tile. And that pipe that you install there must be perforated. And I would recommend using solid-PVC perforated pipe, not the flexible, black, landscaping perforated pipe.

    ROB: OK. Thank you, guys.

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

    LESLIE: Coming up, your doorbell tells you when someone is out front. But what if it could say so much more? We’re going to teach you how to customize your doorbell’s ring so that it says or plays whatever you want it to, after this.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by QUIKRETE. It’s what America is made of. For project help from start to finish, download the new QUIKRETE mobile app.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    Hey, you guys, do you have a young adult in your life that’s headed off to college in these next coming weeks? Well, you can help them earn an A-plus in DIY with an off-to-college toolbox. You want it to feature all of the hardware and supplies that they’re going to need for their dorm or even their apartment fixes. We’ll tell you exactly what to include in your off-to-college kit on our home page at MoneyPit.com.

    And while you’re online, post a question in the Community section, just like Matt did who writes: “Should I keep my closet door shut when the air conditioner is running? Will this help keep cooling costs down?”

    TOM: That’s a really good question and I would say, generally speaking, any non-climate-controlled space you can close off, including those closets, does have a bit of potential to lower your home cooling costs. And the reasoning is simple: any added square footage forces air coming out of the HVAC system to have to go a longer way in order to achieve that desired room temperature.

    Now, one exception might be if the closet is damp. If this is the case, it would be good to have that drier, less damp air flowing through it so that the clothes and the other fabrics stored in there don’t get moldy. And that could also be accomplished via louvered closet doors, so it’s not like you just have to leave the doors open. That would help you circulate some air, as well.

    LESLIE: And who keeps their closet doors open? I mean come on. I have so much stuff shoved into my closets because I live in a small house. The last thing I want to do is have those closet doors open.

    Geez Louise, Matt.

    TOM: That’s right. You want to hide it.

    LESLIE: You must be super-organized.

    Alright. Next up, we have a post from Marissa who writes: “I’m going to purchase a mini-split ductless air conditioner. My question is: what do I need for the installation?”

    TOM: Well, this is not the kind of thing that you want to buy on, say, a do-it-yourself website or store. You need to have a licensed pro size this and pick up all the components. I really don’t think this is the kind of project you should tackle yourself, Marissa, because you’re going to end up buying the wrong stuff. It may not fit together. It might be too big, too small, too whatever. So don’t do air-conditioning installs yourself. Anything that is more complicated than installing a window unit really shouldn’t be tackled except by a pro.

    LESLIE: Yeah, that’s good advice. You’re never going to know what to get.

    TOM: Well, whether you dread the sound of it or you can’t wait to hear it ring, your doorbell is an important part of your home. And now there are some fun ways to make it functional, too. Leslie has got creative, new options for your doorbell’s look, sound and design, in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.

    LESLIE: Yeah. You know, your doorbell is one of the first things that guests see when they visit. So, why not make it something to remember? Now, you can swap out your status-quo cover for a sophisticated, engraved or even hammered-metal one. Or you can even create a custom plate that features your initial, your house number or perhaps a family crest, if you are fancy enough to have one of those.

    Now, if you want to get a visit started off right, you can greet your guests with something that’ll give them a chuckle before they even have the opportunity to step inside. There are all kinds of ideas online for witty DIY doorbell covers, including one made of the Enter key from a computer keyboard and another for Halloween, where it’s a squishy plastic eyeball that’s placed over the doorbell button. That gives you an eye-popping way to announce your arrival or even just fun for the trick-or-treaters.

    And since you’re the one who has to hear your doorbell each time it’s going to ring, why not consider bringing the customization indoors? Now, wireless doorbells rely on radio waves. And some of the models come with a variety of customizable sounds and chimes instead of a traditional bell. There are even models that are going to let you use songs or voice recordings to announce someone’s arrival, similar to a customized ringtone on your phone.

    Or you can simply add safety for you and your guests with a doorbell that’s backlit by an LED light. Those are going to be available in several colors and they add a nice, contemporary and modern touch to your household staple, which really takes the whole doorbell experience to a new level.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Coming up next week on the program, we’re going to talk about fences. They make great neighbors but that’s not all they do. We’ll have tips for building a fence in your yard that will help your home value and your budget, 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.


    Copyright 2015 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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