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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: And the fall season is officially here. It’s a beautiful weekend in our part of the world. We hope it’s nice where you are. And this is the season that’s not too hot, not too cold, it’s just right to get all sorts of projects done, whether it’s inside your house or outside your house. We want to help you get started on the right foot. Pick up the phone and let’s talk about your home improvement project, your renovation project, your décor project. The number here is 888-MONEY-PIT.

    And if you’ve got a paint project planned this fall, the most important part is prep. Unfortunately, it’s often the most skipped step, as well. So, if you’re not properly prepping because it takes too long, we have a solution for you. There’s a new product on the market that allows you to patch and prime in one step. We’ll tell you all about it, in just a bit.

    LESLIE: And also ahead, it’s a good time of year to get organized at home. And one place that often needs a good cleanout is the garage. We’re going to share some tips to make that project go fast, just ahead.

    TOM: Plus, when the temps drop, bugs head inside to keep warm in your house. We’ll have some information on how you can handle those pests that winter at your house, a little later this hour.

    LESLIE: And we’re also giving away a $100 Home Depot gift card from Owens Corning to one lucky caller. And you can use that to get started on an insulation project, which will help save you some energy dollars this winter.

    TOM: So, for help with your insulation project or any project, call us right now, 888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.

    Leslie, who’s first? Let’s get to it.

    LESLIE: Pam in Colorado is on the line. How can we help you today?

    PAM: We have floors throughout our house. Most of them are carpeted that squeaks, like bedrooms, hallway, living room, stairs, things like that and then a bathroom that has the vinyl flooring – the laminate flooring. And we’ve tried – there was a little kit that you could buy at Ace Hardware where you find the floor joists and then you put screws every so often down into the joists, I guess, and that didn’t work. It only made it worse.

    TOM: So you’re trying to fix a squeaky floor that’s under what kind of flooring material? Carpet?

    PAM: Yes, carpet. I’m sorry, yes, carpet.

    TOM: Alright. And it’s wall-to-wall carpet?

    PAM: Yes, it is.

    TOM: Alright. So, here’s the trick of the trade, Pam. You ready?

    PAM: I am ready. I am so ready.

    TOM: What you want to do – the first thing you need is a good stud finder. You’re going to get a Stanley stud sensor so that you can use a device – electronic device. It’ll allow you to sort of peek through the carpet and identify exactly where the floor joists are below.

    And once you identify the floor joists, what you’re going to do is take a Number 10 or Number 12 galvanized finish nail. And we say “galvanized” because it’s a little rougher than a regular, plated finish nail; it tends to hold better. and then you’re going to drive that at a slight angle, like about a 15-degree angle, right through the carpet and right through the subfloor and right into the floor joist.

    Now, when you do that, you’ll notice that the carpet sort of sags down and gets dimpled where the nail head goes through. The trick is to grab the nap of the carpet right around the nail head and pull it through the nail head. It’ll pop through and then you sort of brush the carpet and you’ll – that nail will disappear below it and you won’t see it again. So you can get away with actually fixing a squeak through carpet with this trick of the trade.

    PAM: Oh, wow. That would be awesome. And again, could you tell me the type of nail one more time?

    TOM: Yeah, a Number 10 or a Number 12 galvanized finish nail.

    PAM: OK. Number 10 or Number 12, floor joist at a 15-degree angle.

    TOM: Yeah. But you’ve got to find that joist or you’re – you can’t be nailing into air, you know? You want to make sure you’re nailing into the floor joist, OK?

    PAM: OK. Thanks so much. You have an awesome show.

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

    LESLIE: Paul in Michigan needs some help with a cabinet-refinishing project. What’s going on?

    PAUL: Well, I have some cabinets I’m refinishing and I have polyurethane over a stain on these cabinets.

    LESLIE: OK.

    PAUL: And I’m wondering whether I should put an oil-based primer on there or a latex primer. I’ve had several different opinions.

    LESLIE: Are you painting them?

    PAUL: Yes. Painting.

    LESLIE: OK. Have you done anything to sort of scuff up the surface to make it a little bit more susceptible to that primer?

    PAUL: I’ve got some sandpaper – 180 sandpaper – and I’m going to start scuffing them.

    LESLIE: Yeah. Because that’s really the first step. You want to rough up that surface a little bit to make it more ready to have that primer adhere, as best as it’s going to, to the surface. You can use regular sandpaper. You can use a little orbital sander. You can actually even use something called the Liquid Sander, which is a liquid material that you brush on and that sort of roughs up the surface, as well. Basically, you just want to clean it and scuff up that surface and mar into that polyurethane a bit so that primer will stick.

    Now, between the oil and the latex – you’re in a situation where you’ve got a lot of moisture, a lot of dirt and grime. An oil-based primer, I think, is going to adhere best to a cabinet situation and then allow your paint to adhere well as a result.

    PAUL: OK. And then should I use an oil-based paint, as well?

    LESLIE: No, I would use a latex top coat. Something with a gloss or a urethane over a matte finish, just so that you get a good sheen that’s easily cleanable. If you’re going with a urethane or some sort of top coat, you want to make sure that it’s non-yellowing. Because in kitchens, for some reason, all of that humidity and that grime tends to yellow those surfaces.

    PAUL: Well, thank you very much. That’s very helpful.

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

    LESLIE: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. Now you can call in your home repair or your home improvement question 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Up next, an easy and quick way to take some of the work out of paint prep. The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show continues, after this.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is presented by Arrow Sheds, the leader in steel storage sheds and buildings. Steel sheds are durable, secure and a great value. Arrow Storage Products, available at national home centers, hardware stores and online. See a complete line of products at Sheds.com.

    TOM: Where home solutions live, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete. The number here is 888-MONEY-PIT.

    We love to hear from you and give you a hand with your home improvement questions but we also love to give you some things to get those jobs done a little easier. So this hour, one lucky caller that we talk to on the air is going to win a $100 gift card to The Home Depot from Owens Corning.

    Now, you can use it to add some insulation to your attic, which really is a quick and easy way to help you save on those heating and cooling bills. And it’ll help you maintain a warm, comfortable home this winter.

    TOM: And if that’s a project on your to-do list, Owens Corning has a very environmentally-friendly insulation called EcoTouch. It’s 99-percent natural and more than half of it is made up of recycled materials. Plus, it’s soft to the touch and formaldehyde-free.

    Learn more by calling 1-888-GET-PINK and pick up the phone and call us at 888-MONEY-PIT right now for the answer to your home improvement question and your chance to win that $100 gift card to The Home Depot.

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Rick in Nebraska on the line who’s dealing with a sinking driveway. Tell us what’s going on.

    RICK: It’s starting to drop down. The house is a townhouse, actually, and it’s only about eight years old. What’s happening is my driveway is sinking down about an inch-and-a-half from my garage floor and I don’t know for sure how to cure this. It’s starting to crack down. I’ve got a crack about, oh, probably 6 foot going down from the garage.

    TOM: So tell me something, Rick. Because it’s a townhouse, are you responsible for the driveway?

    RICK: Yes, I am.

    TOM: OK. Hmm. Well, unfortunately, the reason it happens is – and especially in a newer townhouse like this – is it’s obviously the last thing that’s installed. And all of the soil that was excavated to build that townhouse settles and it settles a lot in the first decade that the home is up. And the driveway, they probably didn’t do a very good job tamping down that soil and properly preparing the base, so that’s kind of what you’re stuck with.

    So your options are to put an additional layer on the driveway or to tear it up and build it anew from scratch and kind of do it right. I would be tempted, since it’s down an inch-and-a-half, to put another layer on that because the settlement on it is probably fairly slow. And I think you could probably get away with putting another layer on and get away with it for several years. And at that point, if it settles any further, you can go ahead and tear it up.

    But you might want to get prices both ways. Because if you tear it up and you put in a proper stone base and it’s tamped correctly, the driveway doesn’t have to ever crack. But the standards, in terms of what makes a good driveway, have to be kind of established.

    You know, a driveway is a light-duty version of a road and you don’t see roads sink and crack that readily but you see that more with driveways because the contractors don’t put the stone depth into it, they don’t compact it like you do a road. And you can do all that and have a driveway be permanent.

    But I think I would also think about how long I’m going to be in the townhouse. If it’s a really long-term home for me, then I’m more likely to make a deeper investment than if it’s a short-term home.

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

    WENDY: I bought a large commercial building in a historic downtown of Atlantic, Iowa.

    TOM: Oh, it sounds nice.

    WENDY: And it had a roof leak and we have repaired that; we’ve put a new roof on. But there was a lot of damage to the second-story ceiling, which was lath and plaster.

    TOM: OK.

    WENDY: And we want to put a loft – a residential loft – up on the upstairs. We have about 1,500 square foot of lath and plaster that needs to come down. So my question is: is there something that’s available as an aid to funnel all of that dirt and lath and plaster down off of the ceiling and out to a dumpster?

    TOM: Yeah. Let me give you some suggestions, having been through this very repair in my home which was all lath and plaster. I went about remodeling rooms in different stages. The first time, I decided I would take all the lath and plaster out and drywalled right on top of the original studs. And after going through that mess, I decided it wasn’t as important as I’d once thought to take the lath and plaster out.

    And the next time I did it, I simply put a second layer of drywall over the old lath and plaster and screwed through that drywall up into the ceiling joists and the wall studs to support it. And that was a much neater, much easier way to get a nice, clean, new ceiling without all of the mess and the dust and the dirt and the debris.

    So is the lath and plaster somewhat intact or is it all loose and falling off? What’s the status of it right now?

    WENDY: In some places, where there was a water leak, the plaster wants to fall off. And then in some places, it’s not so bad.

    TOM: Well, if you were to put 4×8 sheets of drywall over that and screw the drywall in, it’ll probably support any loose lath or plaster that’s there. And again, you won’t have this big mess of having to tear it all down, which is an awfully big project. Because it’s very heavy, you’ll be shoveling it off the floor, putting it in trash cans, carrying those cans down. And you can’t even fill up the cans because it’s too heavy to lift them.

    So it’s a big, stinking mess and if you could apply some drywall to the ceiling as it is now and attach through that drywall into the ceiling joists, it should support the old lath and plaster and give you a nice, clean surface to start with.

    WENDY: OK. Well, thank you very much.

    TOM: Well, you’re very welcome, Wendy. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: OK, so we’ve all been there: you want a gorgeous, fresh, new color for your walls but the idea of all that paint prep is just turning you off? Well, embrace it because the time you put into the prep makes all the difference when it comes to the quality of the finished paint project.

    TOM: Now, the first step is to remove all of the outlet covers, the switch plates and other fixtures and then tape off the trim.

    Now, you need to lay down drop cloths and while it might be tempting to go with the inexpensive plastic sheeting, canvas is much better. Here’s why: the plastic doesn’t absorb the paint, so you might end up tracking it around the room or worse yet, out into the finished part of the house; and the sheets are also too thin, so the drips can sometimes bleed through.

    Next, you want to check out the walls and look for any damaged areas – we’re talking about spots like where nail holes were, for example – and then you need to patch them.

    LESLIE: Now, when it comes to wall repair, there is a product from Red Devil that can help save time. It’s called Red Devil ONETIME Patch & Prime. And you can patch dents and dings and prime the wall all in one step. It’s basically a lightweight, premixed formula that will allow you to fill those holes in one application. No shrinking, no sagging. And ONETIME Patch & Prime will dry super-fast and it’s ready to paint in minutes.

    TOM: And you can use it outside or in. It’s not going to shrink or crack and it cleans up easily with water. It also works on plaster, drywall, stucco, wood and even particle board.

    And here’s something that’s kind of cool: the tub is square. And if you’ve ever tried to work with a material like that, the tubs are usually round and of course, you can’t really get a good application of the product on your putty knife. This is a lot easier to use with that putty knife. In fact, each pint-sized tub of Patch & Prime comes with a free putty knife so it’s totally ready for your next spackling job.

    You can visit SaveOnRedDevil.com for more info and for some special offers. That’s SaveOnRedDevil.com.

    LESLIE: Doug in Iowa has got a wallpaper question. What can we do for you today?

    DOUG: My parents live in an old Victorian mansion, Southwest Iowa, built around 1919. And this is not original wallpaper but it’s starting to kind of peel away from the top of the roof – the ceiling line. And I didn’t know what was a good way to, I guess, re-adhere that to the wall. And what would you recommend?

    LESLIE: So it’s just where the top section of the wallpaper meets that wall/ceiling joint?

    DOUG: Correct.

    LESLIE: Hmm. Now, does it seem like it’s happening all across the entire wall or is it just a piece here and there? Is it just at corners? What’s the situation?

    DOUG: Pretty much just at this one where these two strips meet. And I’m not sure why it was – why that occurred there but the wallpaper is just starting to peel back a little bit.

    LESLIE: OK. Well, there is a glue that you can buy and I want to say it’s called Seam Fixer or Wallpaper Seam Fixer. And it’s sort of like a bottled version of wallpaper paste. And it really is the best solution that I’ve seen for smaller fixes of wallpapering. I just recently used it because my four-year-old has become fascinated with our foyer wallpaper and has started to peel at areas. And as much as I love him, I’m like, “Dude, let’s not do this.” And it really does seem to do the trick.

    DOUG: Yeah, that sounds great. I’ll look into that.

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

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

    TOMMY: My question concerns my dryer. I moved into a house that had the washer and dryer already here in my laundry room. And when I was cleaning back behind the dryer – the dryer hose is aluminum type and it’s attached with tape. Obviously, not done correctly. And what I want to know is: what would you recommend? Is there a better dryer-vent hose or a tube of some kind? It’s a fairly short distance from the wall to the dryer.

    TOM: If it’s the flexible aluminum hose, then that – I would probably go ahead and put that back in. If it’s vinyl, I would not. But you’re sure it’s aluminum, right?

    TOMMY: It is. It’s like shiny aluminum foil.

    LESLIE: Yeah. And that’s the one that you want there because that’s heat-resistant.

    TOMMY: Oh, you do. OK.

    LESLIE: Yes.

    TOMMY: Rather than the white vinyl? It’s better than the white vinyl.

    LESLIE: Right. Because the white vinyl could overheat and potentially cause a fire hazard. So the aluminum one is great because it won’t hold onto all of that heat.

    Now, the question is: where does your dryer hose vent to? Does it go to the outside? Has it been cleaned in a while? These are all maintenance things that you need to be doing for your dryer.

    TOMMY: Right, Leslie. And that’s what I wanted to do because I am so afraid of fire hazards. OK, so I need to detach it? And it is vented to an outside vent.

    TOM: So what you should do is get a dryer-vent cleaning brush. There is one that’s available online called the Gardus LintEater. Leslie and I both have one of these brushes. They’re really cool. They’re like brushes on the end of fiberglass rods. And you stick them into a drill and just spin them into the vent and go back and forth and pull them out.

    TOMMY: Oh, my goodness.

    TOM: And you’d be amazed how much dust comes out of those things. So that’s one – I’m sure you could probably find it at a home center or at a hardware store, as well. But a dryer-duct cleaning brush is what you really need for that.

    TOMMY: OK. And then when I reattach that hose to the vent and then to the dryer, obviously I don’t want to use tape, which is what they’ve used.

    TOM: There’s a big bracket that is sort of like a clamp that fits around that. And it goes over the hose and the hose goes over the vent and then it all sort of screws together. And I’m sure you could also find those at a home center or a hardware store. No, you should definitely not tape it together.

    TOMMY: I will do that. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

    TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Still ahead, don’t share your home with pests for the winter. We’re going to teach you how to stop bugs that head indoors this time of year from making themselves comfortable in your house.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Plastics Make it Possible, reminding you that October is National Energy Awareness Month. From plastic foam insulation to LED light bulbs, products made with plastics help you save on energy bills in your home and contribute to sustainability year-round. For more information, visit PlasticsMakeItPossible.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.

    Well, as the weather cools down and you get ready to hunker down for the winter, so do the pests that need a warm place to spend colder months. Rodents, like mice and rats, they can actually carry dozens of diseases that can be transmitted to humans. So, here to tell us how to prevent and control a rodent infestation is Greg Baumann from Orkin. He’s the VP of training and technical services.

    Welcome, Greg.

    GREG: Well, thank you very much.

    LESLIE: Alright. So, now, how easily, really, is it for a rodent to get into your house?

    GREG: Well, it’s pretty amazing. People think of rodents and of course, they always think they’re a lot bigger than they really are. But a rodent can get into a house with just a small opening. Openings we might not even think about.

    LESLIE: I’ve heard comparison in size of an entry space to a dime or a quarter.

    GREG: Well, there’s a general rule of thumb. A rat can get into your house if there’s an opening the diameter of a quarter. A mouse can get into your house if there’s an opening the diameter of a dime. That’s pretty amazing when you think about it.

    LESLIE: And I guess if the conditions are right – if it’s chilly outside and the weather’s turning and inside seems all warm and cozy and you’ve got things that a rodent might find appetizing – they’ll really find their way in, regardless of the size, correct?

    GREG: That’s exactly right. And they’re looking for the same things that we are: nice, warm place; lots of food; and something to drink, as well.

    LESLIE: Now, besides the ick factor, I mean it truly is a health concern if you get rodents into your home, correct?

    GREG: Well, most people think of mice as a bit of a nuisance and maybe even cute, you know? So many times, they think of the mice we see on television and cartoons and what-have-you.

    LESLIE: Oh, it’s Mickey Mouse.

    GREG: Yeah, Mickey Mouse, exactly. But you know what? Mice and rodents, in general, are pretty filthy. They can contaminate food, they can spread disease because they’re not very choosy about where they leave their droppings and little gifts for us. And so they can also harbor ticks and fleas and these can transmit disease, as well.

    In fact, rodents were a key factor in the plague of the 14th century, where probably about a third of Europe was decimated.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. So, really, what can you do to sort of stay ahead of this as we’re entering the colder temperatures? What can we do to prep our house to keep these guys out?

    GREG: Well, there are a couple things that can be done. I think it’s really important to try to prevent them from getting in in the first place. So, view your house or your apartment as a fortress. You want to seal all cracks and crevices, any place that could gain entry. You want to keep those windows closed. As the weather gets a little bit cooler, you might want to open the window. Make sure you have a screen on or some way to prevent rodents from getting in.

    And if you have a garage, want to make sure that you keep your grass seed or dog food or cat food in plastic containers because these are just big buffets for rodents.

    LESLIE: Now, if you do have a rodent infestation or even a sign that you’ve got a rodent or two in your home, what really can you do about it?

    GREG: Well, first of all, as we say with most pests, just relax, take a deep breath. It’s going to be urgent but it’s not an emergency that has to be dealt with this very instant.

    What you want to do is get a confirmation. For example, we, at Orkin, would send somebody out, inspect the area and find out for sure if you do have a rodent or if you just have some sort of dirt. And sometimes, it could be some residual left from flies or just dirt, in general, that might not even be rodents. So the most important thing is find out if you do, in fact, have a rodent infestation.

    And at that point, you want to decide the best way to address it so you don’t have many rodents. Because they can reproduce very quickly.

    LESLIE: Well, Greg, thank you very, very much. I’ve conducted my portion of this interview while standing on my chair because you’ve thoroughly grossed me out.

    I just want to mention, real fast, that we’ve got a podcast series available at Orkin.com and MoneyPit.com. And we’ve got a new pest-control topic featured each month which gives you practical advice and tips for homeowners, so really a good source of information.

    I want to thank you, Greg Baumann, from Orkin, for joining us today.

    GREG: It’s my pleasure.

    LESLIE: Up next, we’re going to help you get probably one of the messiest spaces in your home organized, the garage, when we come back.

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    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 the number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. We’d love to talk with you about your home improvement project. Plus, we’d love to give you a $100 gift card to The Home Depot, which has been provided to us courtesy of Owens Corning.

    LESLIE: And you can use it to get started on an insulation project. Adding attic insulation is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to cut energy costs this winter. And most of you listening right now probably don’t even have enough attic insulation to begin with.

    TOM: Get started with EcoTouch by Owens Corning today. It’s made of 99-percent natural content.

    Visit HomeDepot.com/Insulation for how-to videos and Owens Corning product info. And give us a call right now at 888-MONEY-PIT for the answer to your home improvement question and a chance to win that $100 gift card from The Home Depot.

    LESLIE: Tracy in New York is on the line with a gutter question. How can we help you with this project?

    TRACY: I’m thinking about getting gutters put on my house but I’m not sure what I need to know and what I should ask when I have the contractors come over to do the quote.

    TOM: Alright. So you have no gutters right now?

    TRACY: That’s correct.

    TOM: OK. So, here’s a couple things to think about. First of all, what you want are seamless gutters. So the way they’re made is the contractors come out and the gutter material is actually in a sheet stock and it’s on a roll of metal. And they run it through a forming machine that actually creates the shape of the gutter. And this way, they can make the gutters the exact length that you need for the different sections of your house.

    Now, the number of spouts that you put into the gutter is important because you don’t have – you want to have less than 600-800 square feet of roof surface per spout or the gutters will back up and get overwhelmed. So pay attention to that.

    Also think about where the downspouts come down. You don’t want them dumping water right at the corner of the foundation because that will collect there and it can soak in, it can weaken the foundation, it can flood a basement or a crawlspace. Just generally a bad idea. So you want the downspout to extend at least 3 to 4 feet away from the foundation. If you had a water problem, I’d tell you to take it out further but if you don’t have a problem, at least 3 to 4 feet out.

    So, if you have one downspout and you have a – if you have one section of gutter and you have a choice as to whether the downspout is on the left than the right, use your head about thinking about that. Yeah, don’t bring it out near a walkway or something like that; bring it out in the opposite side of the house.

    Now, the other thing to think about is gutter guards: whether or not you want to put them in or not. Because when you get gutters, you’re going to get the need to clean those gutters. And there are such a wide variety of gutter guards that are available today. The kind that seem, in my experience, to work the best are those that work on surface tension. So these have sort of a complete cover to them and the leaves will wash over them and the water hangs this cover or maybe goes through some louvered slots and falls into the gutter. So, think about that. Check out with the company whether or not they offer a gutter-guard option at the time of the installation. This way, you can get it sort of all done at the same time.

    And then one other trick of the trade is that before you attach these to the house, do you know if the fascia is wood right now or is it aluminum? What are you going to be attaching it to?

    TRACY: Wood, I believe.

    TOM: So this is the perfect time for you to paint it. This is your one and only golden opportunity to put a couple of good coats of exterior paint on that. Because once that gutter is attached, you are never ever going to take them off or at least not for a heck of a long time. So get a couple of good coats of paint on that fascia now, before you put the gutter on, so that it’s protected.

    TRACY: OK. That’s great. Thank you so much for your help.

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

    LESLIE: Well, fall is fully underway and it’s the perfect time to organize your garage. So, the first step is to take stock of what you’ve got in there and what you’ll be storing away for the cooler months. Do you have bicycles that are taking up space? Maybe you’ve got some off-season sporting equipment? What about folding chairs for the beach or the lake?

    Well, the best way to store those types of items is up. You need to look into suspended shelving that will keep off-season items out of the way and free up that valuable floor space. You could even consider hanging these items from some hooks on the wall.

    TOM: Now, if you’ve got kids, this is also a good time to go through all the gear to see what you can toss or donate. I mean things like inline skates that are in bad shape or they don’t fit any longer, helmets that don’t fit, other protective gear. My gosh, we have got like two boys’ worth of lacrosse gear that goes from, you know, age 7 to age 18 and so much stuff that it’s time, once in a while, just to purge it right out. And I’m sure you’ve got stuff like that that you no longer use.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Next, you need to decide where you want to store any lawn-and-garden equipment that you might be keeping in your garage. It’s also a good time to get your garden tools clean, organized and then stored up on a peg board. You can keep your rakes and other fall tools handy and it’s a good time to think about getting your snow shovels and snow blowers ready to use.

    TOM: Lastly, make sure any hazardous materials – like deicers, gasoline, oil or lawn-and garden chemicals – are stored safely. The garage is a space where you often have toys and toxins stored together. You need to keep them separate. So all of those chemicals should really be in a separate location or at least high, high, high up on a shelf where kids just can’t reach.

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Kirk in Georgia on the line who’s working on a decking project. How can we help you today?

    KIRK: We removed an old hot tub and relocated a new one to be on top of the deck at another level, up toward the pool. But the old one has a hole on a big space of decking and what I was thinking about is how to best cover or repair that area. I’ve got old deck wood all around it but it would be very expensive to replace the whole deck. I’m trying to find a creative way to cover that back up and possibly build a bench against the fence that the hot tub was up against before.

    TOM: OK. So the horizontal surface that has the hole – that portion of the deck – is that the entire deck or is that sort of one section? Is it separated in any way from the rest of the deck?

    KIRK: Yeah, it is. There’s about a 2-foot span that was against the wall. When the hot tub was there, the top of the hot tub came and it was all resting up against the one fence there. There’s about 3 feet on one side that’s got short, little boards and then the big hole. And then on another side that’s adjacent to that one, there’s 2 feet of decking.

    TOM: So, basically, it stands on a different plane, so to speak, than the rest of the deck.

    KIRK: Yeah. To clarify, the part that has 2 feet is the long way, so those boards are – there’s like 3 boards that make up that whole span. And then the other one, there’s a bunch of short, 3-foot boards – 15 of them or so – that make up that edge.

    TOM: Why can’t you re-deck just this one area? Not the entire deck but just the one area where the hot tub is?

    KIRK: I absolutely can. The other wood is older; it’s been weather-beaten. It was painted before I got there. I had to strip the whole thing and of course, some of that wood can’t – the soft wood came out but I sand-belted the whole thing down and I got it to look fairly good. So, there’ll be a little difference, obviously, when I put in new wood but that was my plan.

    How do I – what do I do about the earth? Because there’s about a, whatever, 8×8-foot span there where there’s nothing because the hot tub was supporting everything. I’m wondering, how do I support that now?

    TOM: Right. What you’re going to have to do is you’re going to have to build the understructure for that. So, what I would do is I would add additional floor joists, so to speak, into that space. And the way you would attach those is with Teco brackets or joist-hanger brackets.

    These are these U-shaped, big, metal clips. They’ll attach to the beam that’ll be perpendicular to this and that depends on what the shape is. But you’ll get the beam in there; it’ll be hung by these Teco brackets. And you’re essentially going to sort of build the understructure like it existed at the beginning. Depending on how hard it is to get under there and work under there, it might be a little bit tricky. But you will have to add those floor joists at either 16-inch or 24-inch centers, depending on what the top decking is.

    Is the top decking 2-by material or is it 5/4?

    KIRK: It’s 5/4.

    TOM: Yeah. Well, you probably could get away with having 2-foot centers but I generally like to put them in on 16-inch centers when it’s 5/4.

    And what I would think – what you might want to think about doing is restaining the entire deck, not just replacing it. But once you repair the section and kind of rebuild that one section but – you could restain the entire deck and then that would be less obvious that that’s a newer section.

    KIRK: Appreciate the help. Thank you very much.

    LESLIE: Thanks so much for calling The Money Pit.

    Still to come, rolling pins, muffin pans or shower-curtain rings? We’re going to tell you how these items and more can help you get your closets organized, after this.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by the new Chamberlain MyQ Garage. When you forget, it alerts your smartphone so you can close your garage door from anywhere, on most garage-door openers. Coming soon. For more information, go to Chamberlain.com.

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Inviting you to check out The Money Pit’s Pinterest page. We’ve got great ideas on everything from outdoor entertaining to energy efficiency. And it is seriously addictive. You can pin articles, blogs and more from our website with the Pin It button. Then share the pins or pin your own great ideas to our boards. Find it all on the official Money Pit Pinterest page.

    LESLIE: It’s a great website, you guys. You’re going to become fully addicted.

    And while you’re online, head on over to the Community section of Money Pit and you can post your question there, just like Barbara in Indiana did. And she writes: “I have a fan in the over-the-stove microwave and it doesn’t vent to the outside. Should it be vented to the outside?”

    TOM: Well, generally, those built-in exhaust fans in microwaves will either work as recirculators or as a fan that’s direct-vented to the outside. It’s always better to have your kitchen exhaust fan vent to the outside, if it’s possible. But it’s not always possible like, for example, when the range is on an inside wall. If the range is on an outside wall or the microwave is on an outside wall and you can have it modified to vent outside, you’ll find that it works a whole lot better.

    Either way, make sure you keep that filter clean. Those filters do build up grease quite quickly and they can become a fire hazard if you don’t.

    LESLIE: Yeah. And some of them can easily be cleaned by simply removing them. If they’re metal, you can actually even pop those in the dishwasher or just clean them with a warm, soapy-water solution. You just have to make sure that you replace the filter, if it’s one of those carbon-based ones, with the correct one or just clean the one you have properly.

    Next, we’ve got Joe in Texas who writes: “I want to replace my roof but need one that will withstand the dry Texas heat. What do you suggest?”

    TOM: You know, any roof that you install – any modern roof today is going to be fine for Texas. But what I would tell you to focus on, Joe, is the ventilation of the attic space underneath the roof. If you’ve got good ventilation – in other words, if you’ve got continuous soffit vents, continuous ridge vents – that air is going to enter at the soffits, ride up under the roof sheathing, cooling the roof as it does and exhaust at the ridge vent. That kind of ventilation is really going to be the difference between a roof that lasts 10 years and one that can last 20 or 25.

    LESLIE: Alright. Good advice.

    TOM: Well, fall is a good season for closet-cleaning. But if you’ve a lot of accessories, it sometimes can be hard to find places to keep all of that organized. The solution might be to repurpose some of your common household items. Leslie explains how, in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.

    LESLIE: Did you know that you can use kitchen items to organize your bedroom closet? For example, a rolling pin makes a perfect bracelet or watch holder. Now, you can use shower rings on a hanger for scarves, ties or belts. And you can use muffin tins to store little trinkets, like pins or earrings.

    Or Tom, you could use them for cufflinks, tie pins or even to sort spare change.

    Now, those toilet-paper rolls that you toss away are a perfect way to keep tights from getting snagged in your lingerie drawer.

    TOM: I have that problem all the time.

    LESLIE: Your tights get your panties in a bunch? Woo-oo!

    It really is – for the ladies, storing tights and pantyhose is kind of a pain in the butt. They take up a lot of space, they’re really delicate, so this is a great way to store them safely. You just push them right inside the toilet-paper tube and then you can label the outside of them. And for the dudes, you can also do this with socks to avoid that one-navy/one-black-sock problem, which I’m not going to say doesn’t happen; it does happen.

    And finally, a corkboard with some cute, decorative push pins is a great way to hang costume jewelry, like necklaces. And it really makes them very easy to see when you’re accessorizing for the day.

    TOM: Sounds like good ideas to stop getting your knickers in a knot.

    This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Thank you so much for spending this hour with us. We hope we’ve provided you the solutions for lots of your home improvement questions and do-it-yourself dilemmas. The show continues online, right now, at MoneyPit.com.

    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.

    END HOUR 2 TEXT

    (Copyright 2013 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.)

     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 the fall season is officially here. It’s a beautiful weekend in our part of the world. We hope it’s nice where you are. And this is the season that’s not too hot, not too cold, it’s just right to get all sorts of projects done, whether it’s inside your house or outside your house. We want to help you get started on the right foot. Pick up the phone and let’s talk about your home improvement project, your renovation project, your décor project. The number here is 888-MONEY-PIT.

    And if you’ve got a paint project planned this fall, the most important part is prep. Unfortunately, it’s often the most skipped step, as well. So, if you’re not properly prepping because it takes too long, we have a solution for you. There’s a new product on the market that allows you to patch and prime in one step. We’ll tell you all about it, in just a bit.

    LESLIE: And also ahead, it’s a good time of year to get organized at home. And one place that often needs a good cleanout is the garage. We’re going to share some tips to make that project go fast, just ahead.

    TOM: Plus, when the temps drop, bugs head inside to keep warm in your house. We’ll have some information on how you can handle those pests that winter at your house, a little later this hour.

    LESLIE: And we’re also giving away a $100 Home Depot gift card from Owens Corning to one lucky caller. And you can use that to get started on an insulation project, which will help save you some energy dollars this winter.

    TOM: So, for help with your insulation project or any project, call us right now, 888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.

    Leslie, who’s first? Let’s get to it.

    LESLIE: Pam in Colorado is on the line. How can we help you today?

    PAM: We have floors throughout our house. Most of them are carpeted that squeaks, like bedrooms, hallway, living room, stairs, things like that and then a bathroom that has the vinyl flooring – the laminate flooring. And we’ve tried – there was a little kit that you could buy at Ace Hardware where you find the floor joists and then you put screws every so often down into the joists, I guess, and that didn’t work. It only made it worse.

    TOM: So you’re trying to fix a squeaky floor that’s under what kind of flooring material? Carpet?

    PAM: Yes, carpet. I’m sorry, yes, carpet.

    TOM: Alright. And it’s wall-to-wall carpet?

    PAM: Yes, it is.

    TOM: Alright. So, here’s the trick of the trade, Pam. You ready?

    PAM: I am ready. I am so ready.

    TOM: What you want to do – the first thing you need is a good stud finder. You’re going to get a Stanley stud sensor so that you can use a device – electronic device. It’ll allow you to sort of peek through the carpet and identify exactly where the floor joists are below.

    And once you identify the floor joists, what you’re going to do is take a Number 10 or Number 12 galvanized finish nail. And we say “galvanized” because it’s a little rougher than a regular, plated finish nail; it tends to hold better. and then you’re going to drive that at a slight angle, like about a 15-degree angle, right through the carpet and right through the subfloor and right into the floor joist.

    Now, when you do that, you’ll notice that the carpet sort of sags down and gets dimpled where the nail head goes through. The trick is to grab the nap of the carpet right around the nail head and pull it through the nail head. It’ll pop through and then you sort of brush the carpet and you’ll – that nail will disappear below it and you won’t see it again. So you can get away with actually fixing a squeak through carpet with this trick of the trade.

    PAM: Oh, wow. That would be awesome. And again, could you tell me the type of nail one more time?

    TOM: Yeah, a Number 10 or a Number 12 galvanized finish nail.

    PAM: OK. Number 10 or Number 12, floor joist at a 15-degree angle.

    TOM: Yeah. But you’ve got to find that joist or you’re – you can’t be nailing into air, you know? You want to make sure you’re nailing into the floor joist, OK?

    PAM: OK. Thanks so much. You have an awesome show.

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

    LESLIE: Paul in Michigan needs some help with a cabinet-refinishing project. What’s going on?

    PAUL: Well, I have some cabinets I’m refinishing and I have polyurethane over a stain on these cabinets.

    LESLIE: OK.

    PAUL: And I’m wondering whether I should put an oil-based primer on there or a latex primer. I’ve had several different opinions.

    LESLIE: Are you painting them?

    PAUL: Yes. Painting.

    LESLIE: OK. Have you done anything to sort of scuff up the surface to make it a little bit more susceptible to that primer?

    PAUL: I’ve got some sandpaper – 180 sandpaper – and I’m going to start scuffing them.

    LESLIE: Yeah. Because that’s really the first step. You want to rough up that surface a little bit to make it more ready to have that primer adhere, as best as it’s going to, to the surface. You can use regular sandpaper. You can use a little orbital sander. You can actually even use something called the Liquid Sander, which is a liquid material that you brush on and that sort of roughs up the surface, as well. Basically, you just want to clean it and scuff up that surface and mar into that polyurethane a bit so that primer will stick.

    Now, between the oil and the latex – you’re in a situation where you’ve got a lot of moisture, a lot of dirt and grime. An oil-based primer, I think, is going to adhere best to a cabinet situation and then allow your paint to adhere well as a result.

    PAUL: OK. And then should I use an oil-based paint, as well?

    LESLIE: No, I would use a latex top coat. Something with a gloss or a urethane over a matte finish, just so that you get a good sheen that’s easily cleanable. If you’re going with a urethane or some sort of top coat, you want to make sure that it’s non-yellowing. Because in kitchens, for some reason, all of that humidity and that grime tends to yellow those surfaces.

    PAUL: Well, thank you very much. That’s very helpful.

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

    LESLIE: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. Now you can call in your home repair or your home improvement question 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Up next, an easy and quick way to take some of the work out of paint prep. The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show continues, after this.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is presented by Arrow Sheds, the leader in steel storage sheds and buildings. Steel sheds are durable, secure and a great value. Arrow Storage Products, available at national home centers, hardware stores and online. See a complete line of products at Sheds.com.

    TOM: Where home solutions live, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete. The number here is 888-MONEY-PIT.

    We love to hear from you and give you a hand with your home improvement questions but we also love to give you some things to get those jobs done a little easier. So this hour, one lucky caller that we talk to on the air is going to win a $100 gift card to The Home Depot from Owens Corning.

    Now, you can use it to add some insulation to your attic, which really is a quick and easy way to help you save on those heating and cooling bills. And it’ll help you maintain a warm, comfortable home this winter.

    TOM: And if that’s a project on your to-do list, Owens Corning has a very environmentally-friendly insulation called EcoTouch. It’s 99-percent natural and more than half of it is made up of recycled materials. Plus, it’s soft to the touch and formaldehyde-free.

    Learn more by calling 1-888-GET-PINK and pick up the phone and call us at 888-MONEY-PIT right now for the answer to your home improvement question and your chance to win that $100 gift card to The Home Depot.

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Rick in Nebraska on the line who’s dealing with a sinking driveway. Tell us what’s going on.

    RICK: It’s starting to drop down. The house is a townhouse, actually, and it’s only about eight years old. What’s happening is my driveway is sinking down about an inch-and-a-half from my garage floor and I don’t know for sure how to cure this. It’s starting to crack down. I’ve got a crack about, oh, probably 6 foot going down from the garage.

    TOM: So tell me something, Rick. Because it’s a townhouse, are you responsible for the driveway?

    RICK: Yes, I am.

    TOM: OK. Hmm. Well, unfortunately, the reason it happens is – and especially in a newer townhouse like this – is it’s obviously the last thing that’s installed. And all of the soil that was excavated to build that townhouse settles and it settles a lot in the first decade that the home is up. And the driveway, they probably didn’t do a very good job tamping down that soil and properly preparing the base, so that’s kind of what you’re stuck with.

    So your options are to put an additional layer on the driveway or to tear it up and build it anew from scratch and kind of do it right. I would be tempted, since it’s down an inch-and-a-half, to put another layer on that because the settlement on it is probably fairly slow. And I think you could probably get away with putting another layer on and get away with it for several years. And at that point, if it settles any further, you can go ahead and tear it up.

    But you might want to get prices both ways. Because if you tear it up and you put in a proper stone base and it’s tamped correctly, the driveway doesn’t have to ever crack. But the standards, in terms of what makes a good driveway, have to be kind of established.

    You know, a driveway is a light-duty version of a road and you don’t see roads sink and crack that readily but you see that more with driveways because the contractors don’t put the stone depth into it, they don’t compact it like you do a road. And you can do all that and have a driveway be permanent.

    But I think I would also think about how long I’m going to be in the townhouse. If it’s a really long-term home for me, then I’m more likely to make a deeper investment than if it’s a short-term home.

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

    WENDY: I bought a large commercial building in a historic downtown of Atlantic, Iowa.

    TOM: Oh, it sounds nice.

    WENDY: And it had a roof leak and we have repaired that; we’ve put a new roof on. But there was a lot of damage to the second-story ceiling, which was lath and plaster.

    TOM: OK.

    WENDY: And we want to put a loft – a residential loft – up on the upstairs. We have about 1,500 square foot of lath and plaster that needs to come down. So my question is: is there something that’s available as an aid to funnel all of that dirt and lath and plaster down off of the ceiling and out to a dumpster?

    TOM: Yeah. Let me give you some suggestions, having been through this very repair in my home which was all lath and plaster. I went about remodeling rooms in different stages. The first time, I decided I would take all the lath and plaster out and drywalled right on top of the original studs. And after going through that mess, I decided it wasn’t as important as I’d once thought to take the lath and plaster out.

    And the next time I did it, I simply put a second layer of drywall over the old lath and plaster and screwed through that drywall up into the ceiling joists and the wall studs to support it. And that was a much neater, much easier way to get a nice, clean, new ceiling without all of the mess and the dust and the dirt and the debris.

    So is the lath and plaster somewhat intact or is it all loose and falling off? What’s the status of it right now?

    WENDY: In some places, where there was a water leak, the plaster wants to fall off. And then in some places, it’s not so bad.

    TOM: Well, if you were to put 4×8 sheets of drywall over that and screw the drywall in, it’ll probably support any loose lath or plaster that’s there. And again, you won’t have this big mess of having to tear it all down, which is an awfully big project. Because it’s very heavy, you’ll be shoveling it off the floor, putting it in trash cans, carrying those cans down. And you can’t even fill up the cans because it’s too heavy to lift them.

    So it’s a big, stinking mess and if you could apply some drywall to the ceiling as it is now and attach through that drywall into the ceiling joists, it should support the old lath and plaster and give you a nice, clean surface to start with.

    WENDY: OK. Well, thank you very much.

    TOM: Well, you’re very welcome, Wendy. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: OK, so we’ve all been there: you want a gorgeous, fresh, new color for your walls but the idea of all that paint prep is just turning you off? Well, embrace it because the time you put into the prep makes all the difference when it comes to the quality of the finished paint project.

    TOM: Now, the first step is to remove all of the outlet covers, the switch plates and other fixtures and then tape off the trim.

    Now, you need to lay down drop cloths and while it might be tempting to go with the inexpensive plastic sheeting, canvas is much better. Here’s why: the plastic doesn’t absorb the paint, so you might end up tracking it around the room or worse yet, out into the finished part of the house; and the sheets are also too thin, so the drips can sometimes bleed through.

    Next, you want to check out the walls and look for any damaged areas – we’re talking about spots like where nail holes were, for example – and then you need to patch them.

    LESLIE: Now, when it comes to wall repair, there is a product from Red Devil that can help save time. It’s called Red Devil ONETIME Patch & Prime. And you can patch dents and dings and prime the wall all in one step. It’s basically a lightweight, premixed formula that will allow you to fill those holes in one application. No shrinking, no sagging. And ONETIME Patch & Prime will dry super-fast and it’s ready to paint in minutes.

    TOM: And you can use it outside or in. It’s not going to shrink or crack and it cleans up easily with water. It also works on plaster, drywall, stucco, wood and even particle board.

    And here’s something that’s kind of cool: the tub is square. And if you’ve ever tried to work with a material like that, the tubs are usually round and of course, you can’t really get a good application of the product on your putty knife. This is a lot easier to use with that putty knife. In fact, each pint-sized tub of Patch & Prime comes with a free putty knife so it’s totally ready for your next spackling job.

    You can visit SaveOnRedDevil.com for more info and for some special offers. That’s SaveOnRedDevil.com.

    LESLIE: Doug in Iowa has got a wallpaper question. What can we do for you today?

    DOUG: My parents live in an old Victorian mansion, Southwest Iowa, built around 1919. And this is not original wallpaper but it’s starting to kind of peel away from the top of the roof – the ceiling line. And I didn’t know what was a good way to, I guess, re-adhere that to the wall. And what would you recommend?

    LESLIE: So it’s just where the top section of the wallpaper meets that wall/ceiling joint?

    DOUG: Correct.

    LESLIE: Hmm. Now, does it seem like it’s happening all across the entire wall or is it just a piece here and there? Is it just at corners? What’s the situation?

    DOUG: Pretty much just at this one where these two strips meet. And I’m not sure why it was – why that occurred there but the wallpaper is just starting to peel back a little bit.

    LESLIE: OK. Well, there is a glue that you can buy and I want to say it’s called Seam Fixer or Wallpaper Seam Fixer. And it’s sort of like a bottled version of wallpaper paste. And it really is the best solution that I’ve seen for smaller fixes of wallpapering. I just recently used it because my four-year-old has become fascinated with our foyer wallpaper and has started to peel at areas. And as much as I love him, I’m like, “Dude, let’s not do this.” And it really does seem to do the trick.

    DOUG: Yeah, that sounds great. I’ll look into that.

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

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

    TOMMY: My question concerns my dryer. I moved into a house that had the washer and dryer already here in my laundry room. And when I was cleaning back behind the dryer – the dryer hose is aluminum type and it’s attached with tape. Obviously, not done correctly. And what I want to know is: what would you recommend? Is there a better dryer-vent hose or a tube of some kind? It’s a fairly short distance from the wall to the dryer.

    TOM: If it’s the flexible aluminum hose, then that – I would probably go ahead and put that back in. If it’s vinyl, I would not. But you’re sure it’s aluminum, right?

    TOMMY: It is. It’s like shiny aluminum foil.

    LESLIE: Yeah. And that’s the one that you want there because that’s heat-resistant.

    TOMMY: Oh, you do. OK.

    LESLIE: Yes.

    TOMMY: Rather than the white vinyl? It’s better than the white vinyl.

    LESLIE: Right. Because the white vinyl could overheat and potentially cause a fire hazard. So the aluminum one is great because it won’t hold onto all of that heat.

    Now, the question is: where does your dryer hose vent to? Does it go to the outside? Has it been cleaned in a while? These are all maintenance things that you need to be doing for your dryer.

    TOMMY: Right, Leslie. And that’s what I wanted to do because I am so afraid of fire hazards. OK, so I need to detach it? And it is vented to an outside vent.

    TOM: So what you should do is get a dryer-vent cleaning brush. There is one that’s available online called the Gardus LintEater. Leslie and I both have one of these brushes. They’re really cool. They’re like brushes on the end of fiberglass rods. And you stick them into a drill and just spin them into the vent and go back and forth and pull them out.

    TOMMY: Oh, my goodness.

    TOM: And you’d be amazed how much dust comes out of those things. So that’s one – I’m sure you could probably find it at a home center or at a hardware store, as well. But a dryer-duct cleaning brush is what you really need for that.

    TOMMY: OK. And then when I reattach that hose to the vent and then to the dryer, obviously I don’t want to use tape, which is what they’ve used.

    TOM: There’s a big bracket that is sort of like a clamp that fits around that. And it goes over the hose and the hose goes over the vent and then it all sort of screws together. And I’m sure you could also find those at a home center or a hardware store. No, you should definitely not tape it together.

    TOMMY: I will do that. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

    TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Still ahead, don’t share your home with pests for the winter. We’re going to teach you how to stop bugs that head indoors this time of year from making themselves comfortable in your house.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Plastics Make it Possible, reminding you that October is National Energy Awareness Month. From plastic foam insulation to LED light bulbs, products made with plastics help you save on energy bills in your home and contribute to sustainability year-round. For more information, visit PlasticsMakeItPossible.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.

    Well, as the weather cools down and you get ready to hunker down for the winter, so do the pests that need a warm place to spend colder months. Rodents, like mice and rats, they can actually carry dozens of diseases that can be transmitted to humans. So, here to tell us how to prevent and control a rodent infestation is Greg Baumann from Orkin. He’s the VP of training and technical services.

    Welcome, Greg.

    GREG: Well, thank you very much.

    LESLIE: Alright. So, now, how easily, really, is it for a rodent to get into your house?

    GREG: Well, it’s pretty amazing. People think of rodents and of course, they always think they’re a lot bigger than they really are. But a rodent can get into a house with just a small opening. Openings we might not even think about.

    LESLIE: I’ve heard comparison in size of an entry space to a dime or a quarter.

    GREG: Well, there’s a general rule of thumb. A rat can get into your house if there’s an opening the diameter of a quarter. A mouse can get into your house if there’s an opening the diameter of a dime. That’s pretty amazing when you think about it.

    LESLIE: And I guess if the conditions are right – if it’s chilly outside and the weather’s turning and inside seems all warm and cozy and you’ve got things that a rodent might find appetizing – they’ll really find their way in, regardless of the size, correct?

    GREG: That’s exactly right. And they’re looking for the same things that we are: nice, warm place; lots of food; and something to drink, as well.

    LESLIE: Now, besides the ick factor, I mean it truly is a health concern if you get rodents into your home, correct?

    GREG: Well, most people think of mice as a bit of a nuisance and maybe even cute, you know? So many times, they think of the mice we see on television and cartoons and what-have-you.

    LESLIE: Oh, it’s Mickey Mouse.

    GREG: Yeah, Mickey Mouse, exactly. But you know what? Mice and rodents, in general, are pretty filthy. They can contaminate food, they can spread disease because they’re not very choosy about where they leave their droppings and little gifts for us. And so they can also harbor ticks and fleas and these can transmit disease, as well.

    In fact, rodents were a key factor in the plague of the 14th century, where probably about a third of Europe was decimated.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. So, really, what can you do to sort of stay ahead of this as we’re entering the colder temperatures? What can we do to prep our house to keep these guys out?

    GREG: Well, there are a couple things that can be done. I think it’s really important to try to prevent them from getting in in the first place. So, view your house or your apartment as a fortress. You want to seal all cracks and crevices, any place that could gain entry. You want to keep those windows closed. As the weather gets a little bit cooler, you might want to open the window. Make sure you have a screen on or some way to prevent rodents from getting in.

    And if you have a garage, want to make sure that you keep your grass seed or dog food or cat food in plastic containers because these are just big buffets for rodents.

    LESLIE: Now, if you do have a rodent infestation or even a sign that you’ve got a rodent or two in your home, what really can you do about it?

    GREG: Well, first of all, as we say with most pests, just relax, take a deep breath. It’s going to be urgent but it’s not an emergency that has to be dealt with this very instant.

    What you want to do is get a confirmation. For example, we, at Orkin, would send somebody out, inspect the area and find out for sure if you do have a rodent or if you just have some sort of dirt. And sometimes, it could be some residual left from flies or just dirt, in general, that might not even be rodents. So the most important thing is find out if you do, in fact, have a rodent infestation.

    And at that point, you want to decide the best way to address it so you don’t have many rodents. Because they can reproduce very quickly.

    LESLIE: Well, Greg, thank you very, very much. I’ve conducted my portion of this interview while standing on my chair because you’ve thoroughly grossed me out.

    I just want to mention, real fast, that we’ve got a podcast series available at Orkin.com and MoneyPit.com. And we’ve got a new pest-control topic featured each month which gives you practical advice and tips for homeowners, so really a good source of information.

    I want to thank you, Greg Baumann, from Orkin, for joining us today.

    GREG: It’s my pleasure.

    LESLIE: Up next, we’re going to help you get probably one of the messiest spaces in your home organized, the garage, when we come back.

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    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 the number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. We’d love to talk with you about your home improvement project. Plus, we’d love to give you a $100 gift card to The Home Depot, which has been provided to us courtesy of Owens Corning.

    LESLIE: And you can use it to get started on an insulation project. Adding attic insulation is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to cut energy costs this winter. And most of you listening right now probably don’t even have enough attic insulation to begin with.

    TOM: Get started with EcoTouch by Owens Corning today. It’s made of 99-percent natural content.

    Visit HomeDepot.com/Insulation for how-to videos and Owens Corning product info. And give us a call right now at 888-MONEY-PIT for the answer to your home improvement question and a chance to win that $100 gift card from The Home Depot.

    LESLIE: Tracy in New York is on the line with a gutter question. How can we help you with this project?

    TRACY: I’m thinking about getting gutters put on my house but I’m not sure what I need to know and what I should ask when I have the contractors come over to do the quote.

    TOM: Alright. So you have no gutters right now?

    TRACY: That’s correct.

    TOM: OK. So, here’s a couple things to think about. First of all, what you want are seamless gutters. So the way they’re made is the contractors come out and the gutter material is actually in a sheet stock and it’s on a roll of metal. And they run it through a forming machine that actually creates the shape of the gutter. And this way, they can make the gutters the exact length that you need for the different sections of your house.

    Now, the number of spouts that you put into the gutter is important because you don’t have – you want to have less than 600-800 square feet of roof surface per spout or the gutters will back up and get overwhelmed. So pay attention to that.

    Also think about where the downspouts come down. You don’t want them dumping water right at the corner of the foundation because that will collect there and it can soak in, it can weaken the foundation, it can flood a basement or a crawlspace. Just generally a bad idea. So you want the downspout to extend at least 3 to 4 feet away from the foundation. If you had a water problem, I’d tell you to take it out further but if you don’t have a problem, at least 3 to 4 feet out.

    So, if you have one downspout and you have a – if you have one section of gutter and you have a choice as to whether the downspout is on the left than the right, use your head about thinking about that. Yeah, don’t bring it out near a walkway or something like that; bring it out in the opposite side of the house.

    Now, the other thing to think about is gutter guards: whether or not you want to put them in or not. Because when you get gutters, you’re going to get the need to clean those gutters. And there are such a wide variety of gutter guards that are available today. The kind that seem, in my experience, to work the best are those that work on surface tension. So these have sort of a complete cover to them and the leaves will wash over them and the water hangs this cover or maybe goes through some louvered slots and falls into the gutter. So, think about that. Check out with the company whether or not they offer a gutter-guard option at the time of the installation. This way, you can get it sort of all done at the same time.

    And then one other trick of the trade is that before you attach these to the house, do you know if the fascia is wood right now or is it aluminum? What are you going to be attaching it to?

    TRACY: Wood, I believe.

    TOM: So this is the perfect time for you to paint it. This is your one and only golden opportunity to put a couple of good coats of exterior paint on that. Because once that gutter is attached, you are never ever going to take them off or at least not for a heck of a long time. So get a couple of good coats of paint on that fascia now, before you put the gutter on, so that it’s protected.

    TRACY: OK. That’s great. Thank you so much for your help.

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

    LESLIE: Well, fall is fully underway and it’s the perfect time to organize your garage. So, the first step is to take stock of what you’ve got in there and what you’ll be storing away for the cooler months. Do you have bicycles that are taking up space? Maybe you’ve got some off-season sporting equipment? What about folding chairs for the beach or the lake?

    Well, the best way to store those types of items is up. You need to look into suspended shelving that will keep off-season items out of the way and free up that valuable floor space. You could even consider hanging these items from some hooks on the wall.

    TOM: Now, if you’ve got kids, this is also a good time to go through all the gear to see what you can toss or donate. I mean things like inline skates that are in bad shape or they don’t fit any longer, helmets that don’t fit, other protective gear. My gosh, we have got like two boys’ worth of lacrosse gear that goes from, you know, age 7 to age 18 and so much stuff that it’s time, once in a while, just to purge it right out. And I’m sure you’ve got stuff like that that you no longer use.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Next, you need to decide where you want to store any lawn-and-garden equipment that you might be keeping in your garage. It’s also a good time to get your garden tools clean, organized and then stored up on a peg board. You can keep your rakes and other fall tools handy and it’s a good time to think about getting your snow shovels and snow blowers ready to use.

    TOM: Lastly, make sure any hazardous materials – like deicers, gasoline, oil or lawn-and garden chemicals – are stored safely. The garage is a space where you often have toys and toxins stored together. You need to keep them separate. So all of those chemicals should really be in a separate location or at least high, high, high up on a shelf where kids just can’t reach.

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Kirk in Georgia on the line who’s working on a decking project. How can we help you today?

    KIRK: We removed an old hot tub and relocated a new one to be on top of the deck at another level, up toward the pool. But the old one has a hole on a big space of decking and what I was thinking about is how to best cover or repair that area. I’ve got old deck wood all around it but it would be very expensive to replace the whole deck. I’m trying to find a creative way to cover that back up and possibly build a bench against the fence that the hot tub was up against before.

    TOM: OK. So the horizontal surface that has the hole – that portion of the deck – is that the entire deck or is that sort of one section? Is it separated in any way from the rest of the deck?

    KIRK: Yeah, it is. There’s about a 2-foot span that was against the wall. When the hot tub was there, the top of the hot tub came and it was all resting up against the one fence there. There’s about 3 feet on one side that’s got short, little boards and then the big hole. And then on another side that’s adjacent to that one, there’s 2 feet of decking.

    TOM: So, basically, it stands on a different plane, so to speak, than the rest of the deck.

    KIRK: Yeah. To clarify, the part that has 2 feet is the long way, so those boards are – there’s like 3 boards that make up that whole span. And then the other one, there’s a bunch of short, 3-foot boards – 15 of them or so – that make up that edge.

    TOM: Why can’t you re-deck just this one area? Not the entire deck but just the one area where the hot tub is?

    KIRK: I absolutely can. The other wood is older; it’s been weather-beaten. It was painted before I got there. I had to strip the whole thing and of course, some of that wood can’t – the soft wood came out but I sand-belted the whole thing down and I got it to look fairly good. So, there’ll be a little difference, obviously, when I put in new wood but that was my plan.

    How do I – what do I do about the earth? Because there’s about a, whatever, 8×8-foot span there where there’s nothing because the hot tub was supporting everything. I’m wondering, how do I support that now?

    TOM: Right. What you’re going to have to do is you’re going to have to build the understructure for that. So, what I would do is I would add additional floor joists, so to speak, into that space. And the way you would attach those is with Teco brackets or joist-hanger brackets.

    These are these U-shaped, big, metal clips. They’ll attach to the beam that’ll be perpendicular to this and that depends on what the shape is. But you’ll get the beam in there; it’ll be hung by these Teco brackets. And you’re essentially going to sort of build the understructure like it existed at the beginning. Depending on how hard it is to get under there and work under there, it might be a little bit tricky. But you will have to add those floor joists at either 16-inch or 24-inch centers, depending on what the top decking is.

    Is the top decking 2-by material or is it 5/4?

    KIRK: It’s 5/4.

    TOM: Yeah. Well, you probably could get away with having 2-foot centers but I generally like to put them in on 16-inch centers when it’s 5/4.

    And what I would think – what you might want to think about doing is restaining the entire deck, not just replacing it. But once you repair the section and kind of rebuild that one section but – you could restain the entire deck and then that would be less obvious that that’s a newer section.

    KIRK: Appreciate the help. Thank you very much.

    LESLIE: Thanks so much for calling The Money Pit.

    Still to come, rolling pins, muffin pans or shower-curtain rings? We’re going to tell you how these items and more can help you get your closets organized, after this.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by the new Chamberlain MyQ Garage. When you forget, it alerts your smartphone so you can close your garage door from anywhere, on most garage-door openers. Coming soon. For more information, go to Chamberlain.com.

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Inviting you to check out The Money Pit’s Pinterest page. We’ve got great ideas on everything from outdoor entertaining to energy efficiency. And it is seriously addictive. You can pin articles, blogs and more from our website with the Pin It button. Then share the pins or pin your own great ideas to our boards. Find it all on the official Money Pit Pinterest page.

    LESLIE: It’s a great website, you guys. You’re going to become fully addicted.

    And while you’re online, head on over to the Community section of Money Pit and you can post your question there, just like Barbara in Indiana did. And she writes: “I have a fan in the over-the-stove microwave and it doesn’t vent to the outside. Should it be vented to the outside?”

    TOM: Well, generally, those built-in exhaust fans in microwaves will either work as recirculators or as a fan that’s direct-vented to the outside. It’s always better to have your kitchen exhaust fan vent to the outside, if it’s possible. But it’s not always possible like, for example, when the range is on an inside wall. If the range is on an outside wall or the microwave is on an outside wall and you can have it modified to vent outside, you’ll find that it works a whole lot better.

    Either way, make sure you keep that filter clean. Those filters do build up grease quite quickly and they can become a fire hazard if you don’t.

    LESLIE: Yeah. And some of them can easily be cleaned by simply removing them. If they’re metal, you can actually even pop those in the dishwasher or just clean them with a warm, soapy-water solution. You just have to make sure that you replace the filter, if it’s one of those carbon-based ones, with the correct one or just clean the one you have properly.

    Next, we’ve got Joe in Texas who writes: “I want to replace my roof but need one that will withstand the dry Texas heat. What do you suggest?”

    TOM: You know, any roof that you install – any modern roof today is going to be fine for Texas. But what I would tell you to focus on, Joe, is the ventilation of the attic space underneath the roof. If you’ve got good ventilation – in other words, if you’ve got continuous soffit vents, continuous ridge vents – that air is going to enter at the soffits, ride up under the roof sheathing, cooling the roof as it does and exhaust at the ridge vent. That kind of ventilation is really going to be the difference between a roof that lasts 10 years and one that can last 20 or 25.

    LESLIE: Alright. Good advice.

    TOM: Well, fall is a good season for closet-cleaning. But if you’ve a lot of accessories, it sometimes can be hard to find places to keep all of that organized. The solution might be to repurpose some of your common household items. Leslie explains how, in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.

    LESLIE: Did you know that you can use kitchen items to organize your bedroom closet? For example, a rolling pin makes a perfect bracelet or watch holder. Now, you can use shower rings on a hanger for scarves, ties or belts. And you can use muffin tins to store little trinkets, like pins or earrings.

    Or Tom, you could use them for cufflinks, tie pins or even to sort spare change.

    Now, those toilet-paper rolls that you toss away are a perfect way to keep tights from getting snagged in your lingerie drawer.

    TOM: I have that problem all the time.

    LESLIE: Your tights get your panties in a bunch? Woo-oo!

    It really is – for the ladies, storing tights and pantyhose is kind of a pain in the butt. They take up a lot of space, they’re really delicate, so this is a great way to store them safely. You just push them right inside the toilet-paper tube and then you can label the outside of them. And for the dudes, you can also do this with socks to avoid that one-navy/one-black-sock problem, which I’m not going to say doesn’t happen; it does happen.

    And finally, a corkboard with some cute, decorative push pins is a great way to hang costume jewelry, like necklaces. And it really makes them very easy to see when you’re accessorizing for the day.

    TOM: Sounds like good ideas to stop getting your knickers in a knot.

    This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Thank you so much for spending this hour with us. We hope we’ve provided you the solutions for lots of your home improvement questions and do-it-yourself dilemmas. The show continues online, right now, at MoneyPit.com.

    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.

    END HOUR 2 TEXT

    (Copyright 2013 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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