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  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Jenny in North Carolina is dealing with something old being new again but not so much having that brand-spanking new smell. What’s going on in your old townhouse?

    JENNY: Well, I bought a townhouse about two years ago and it was a rental so it was – and it was trashed.
    TOM: OK.
    JENNY: So we basically redid all the surfaces. I mean, I took out all the carpet, put hardwood floors in the living areas, new carpet. It’s just on a slab so we scrubbed the slab; put new carpet in the bedrooms; painted all the walls, all the closets, all the woodwork. The only thing that didn’t get painted was the ceilings because they’re popcorn and it’d need to come down.
    So I thought after two years of just living there and being clean and – that it would smell better but it still – a lot of times when you come home, it greets you with the smell of an old, musty hotel room.
    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Because it’s haunted.
    TOM: (overlapping voices) Hmm. You don’t have any old, musty people living there, right? (chuckles)
    JENNY: No. You know, we’re very un-musty people. (Tom chuckles)
    LESLIE: Jenny, what are you guys doing about dehumidification?
    JENNY: Well, we have an air conditioner. I mean we live in the south so …
    TOM: Right. And air conditioners are not good dehumidifiers. You have a central air conditioner?
    JENNY: Yeah.
    TOM: What you might want to consider is something called a whole-home dehumidifier because if you have high humidity, you can have odors.
    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And high humidity could be pulling that odor out of that popcorn ceiling, out of the subfloor. I mean any time that there’s moisture, suddenly you smell something that you spilled on that carpet a year ago.
    TOM: Yeah. What you want to do is install a whole-home dehumidifier and that will automatically lower the moisture in the house. That will make a big difference.
    Now, this popcorn ceiling is another issue. You can, in fact, paint it. You want to use a very, very thick roller and we would recommend that you prime it first. You can use a water-based primer but you want to prime the ceiling first with a very thick roller. In fact, they have rollers that are sort of slit that …
    LESLIE: Spiral-cut.
    TOM: Yeah, spiral-cut or slit and they work really well with popcorn. You’ll get some popcorn that will come out and get stuck on it and …
    LESLIE: You might even get sections of it off but …
    TOM: But all in all, it will – when you’re done, it’ll look good and it’ll definitely seal in any odors that are associated with that.
    JENNY: OK. Thank you so much.
    TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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