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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 we are here to help you. We exist to get you through your home improvement project. So what are you working on? Are you working on some décor projects because you’ve been stuck inside all winter and you’re ready to break it out for spring? We can help at 888-666-3974. Hey, are you thinking about a project and you don’t know where to start? Give us a call. And if you’re stuck in the middle of a project and need a little help to get it done, 888-666-3974.

    Coming up this hour on the program, have you ever noticed that your home makes noise? Well, mine certainly does. From squeaks to creaks to pings and pops, is what you’re hearing normal? Or is it a warning sign of something seriously wrong? We’re going to have some tips about which sounds are normal and which should never be ignored.

    LESLIE: And if you’re looking for some bang for your home improvement buck, we’ve got an upgrade that’ll up your home’s look, safety rating and its resale value. You know, adding a new garage door can do all of that. We’ve got Kevin O’Connor from TV’s This Old House joining us with his take on that topic.

    TOM: And also ahead, do-it-yourself is good, doing it to yourself by getting hurt tackling a home improvement project is bad. We’re going to help you stay safe, with power-tool safety tips for all your springtime projects.

    LESLIE: And we’ve all been there – I find this happens to me far too often – you walk up to your front door, you’ve got your hands full, your hands are super-freezing cold, as well, and only at that moment do you realize that your house key is nowhere in reach. Well, what would you do if you could unlock your door with just the touch of your hand, no key needed?

    TOM: Well, it’s about to become a reality for at least one listener because today we’re giving away the Kwikset Kevo Smart Lock. It’s a prize worth $219 that helps you do just that.

    So give us a call. That’s going out to one caller drawn at random. We’d love to hear from you right now, 888-666-3974.

    Leslie, who’s first?

    LESLIE: Mike in South Dakota needs some help searching for a tankless water heater. What can we do for you?

    MIKE: I love your show.

    LESLIE: Thanks.

    MIKE: Was just thinking about a tankless water heater as an option for our home. We’ve got a small utility room and one, it might offer us a bit more storage space in the utility room. But family of five, all-electric house, a lot of water usage, you can imagine, with an eighth grader, a third grader and a college student that comes home from time to time. And was just curious your thoughts on if there’s a good product to really take a look at and with return on investment, things like that.

    TOM: So, do you have any gas power whatsoever? Do you have a gas grill or a propane supply for heating?

    MIKE: We sure do. I do have a propane tank out back, about 250 gallons. I do use it primarily for gas grilling.

    TOM: OK. Perfect. What I would recommend is that you look at a tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters are awesome right now because they save you a lot of energy and they, literally, never ever run out of hot water. And with those kids, you’re going to need an endless supply of hot water. Trust me, as a father of three, they use a lot of hot water.

    Now, one of the complaints, typically, about water heaters is that it takes a long time for the water to get to the faucet, especially first thing in the morning. Rinnai, though, is now out with a new technology that incorporates a thermal-bypass technology, which enables you to have relatively instant hot water regardless of how far that fixture is from the house. So I would take a look at the tankless water heaters made by Rinnai and I would look, especially, at the models that feature thermal-bypass technology. Because that’s really state-of-the-art.

    MIKE: Excellent. I will do that. I live in an area where there’s quite a few plumbers, so we’ll see what options are out here. Thank you.

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

    MIKE: Awesome.

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

    JOYCE: I have nine windows and we had someone caulk the windows with the window sills, because we live in Boston and the cold air has been blowing in. I want to know how I can seal them up, because it didn’t do one iota thing for the gentlemen caulking the nine windows.

    TOM: Didn’t do any good, huh? And did he caulk them from the outside or from the inside?

    JOYCE: From the inside, because this is an apartment building. And what – we’re on the seventh floor and we have windows going on different angles. And so I’m trying to find out what is the easiest way to prevent the cold from blowing in, because it’s unbearable.

    TOM: OK. Since you’re on the seventh floor, I presume that you don’t use your windows – you would never use your windows for emergency egress. Do any of them go to a fire escape or anything like that?

    JOYCE: No, no.

    TOM: OK. So, there’s two things that you can do here, one of which is you can use a shrink film. It’s a clear plastic wrap that you cut to fit the size of the window. You attach it with a double-face – clear double-face tape that comes with it. And then you use your hair dryer to heat it and it becomes very taut and clear so it doesn’t obstruct the view.

    JOYCE: What about weatherstripping, like weather felt?

    TOM: Well, that’s all possible but there’s another option. And the reason I asked you if you needed to use your windows for egress is because I was going to recommend temporary weatherstripping.

    Now, there’s a caulk that’s like a weatherstripping sealant but it’s a temporary sealant, OK? So the way this works is you essentially caulk your windows shut. You caulk all the seams in the window, where they slide up and down, with this clear, temporary caulk. And then what happens is in the spring, you can actually grab the edge of this caulk and peel it right off. It comes off like a clear, rubbery strip. And it enables you to essentially seal your windows shut in the winter and then restore them in the spring.

    JOYCE: Thank you very much. And I enjoy your program immensely.

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

    LESLIE: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. Pick up the phone and give us a call because we are standing by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you with whatever it is you are working on at your money pit. We want to help you get things done right. If you can do it the first time without too many trips to the home center, woohoo, it’d be a win for everybody. Give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Well, nobody likes things going bump in the night but those noises are especially scary if you’re a homeowner. From scratches to bumps to clicks, find out which ones mean trouble and which mean you can turn back over and get some sleep. We’ll have those tips when The Money Pit continues, after this.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is presented by QUIKRETE Concrete & Cement products. QUIKRETE, what America is made of. Like us on Facebook and visit online at www.QUIKRETE.com for product information and easy, step-by-step project videos.

    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: Pick up the phone, give us a call, right now, with your home improvement project, your décor dilemma. The number is 888-666-3974.

    And one caller whose question we answer on the air today is going to win big. They’ll take home the Kwikset Kevo Smart Lock, which is the latest in smart-home technology.

    LESLIE: Yeah. Could you imagine no longer carrying around your house keys? I feel like I’d always be looking for them, though. But it’s really amazing because this smart lock will let you unlock your door with the touch of your hand. And get this: you can actually send electronic spare keys to your family and friends.

    TOM: Give us a call, right now, for the answer to your home improvement question at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Barry in Tennessee needs some help with his Jacuzzi. What can we do for you?

    BARRY: Well, what happened was the drain got stopped up. So I took some Crystal Drano and poured it and it got on the tub itself. And it burnt all the way around the drain. I mean it’s burnt plastic. So I was wondering, is there a way to get that back to looking new or do I just have to replace the whole tub?

    TOM: Well, unfortunately, you’ve chemically damaged the tub by using caustic drain cleaners. We really don’t like caustic drain cleaners for reasons just like this. They don’t really work very well to begin with and what happens is you end up overusing them or spilling them and I’ve seen them melt tubs and melt plastic before. You know, there’s a new drain-cleaning product on the market right now that I’ve just come across and it’s fantastic. It’s called DRAIN-FX. The website is DRAINFX.com.

    And essentially what this is is for under $20, you’re purchasing what’s, in essence, a pressure washer for your clogged drain lines. You hook this up to the sink faucet. It has a long tube that you can run hot water down. You drop this into the trap and then you turn the water on and it blasts the clogs away.

    It’s under 20 bucks. Check it out at DRAINFX.com. You should have one in your tool box because you never know when this is going to happen. And look, you could save yourself not only the hassle of a clogged pipe but in your case, the hassle of potentially replacing a tub or learning to live with the ugly stains that have resulted.

    Do not use caustic drain cleaners on these surfaces. Take a look at DRAIN-FX. It’s a much better option.

    Barry, thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    BARRY: Thanks.

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Lorraine in Arizona who needs some help with a paneling decorating project.

    Welcome, Lorraine.

    LORRAINE: We have an older home that has two walls that has paneling on. And I was told that if we took the paneling off, it would probably damage the drywall. So I was considering maybe trying to put something over top of the paneling to give it a different look and wanted some suggestions.

    LESLIE: Well, it depends. It depends on how it’s attached to whatever is behind it. There may not be any drywall behind it; it might just be the paneling attached directly to the studs, in which case you would have to put drywall up. It could be that the paneling was glued to the drywall. Then you would never get it off without completely destroying the drywall. Or it could be that it was just nailed on. You’re not really going to know until you sort of peer at a corner or an area where you can take off a little bit of trim work and see what exactly is going on before you make a decision. So that’s probably best step number one.

    Now, if you find out that there’s really no removing it and your choices are to deal with the paneling and make it look better or cover over it with ¼-inch drywall, you can do that. It depends on how much work you want to do.

    Painting paneling certainly is an excellent option. It creates a totally different look when you paint paneling a crisp, glossy white or an off-white or something that really just poses a good, neutral backdrop and just sort of go with it.

    LORRAINE: OK. This is very light paneling anyway.

    LESLIE: And are you at a point where you just want to see it be darker, different or gone?

    LORRAINE: Different.

    LESLIE: Painting it really does look nice. It doesn’t have to be something that, in the end, you’re going to think, “Ooh, that doesn’t look good.” You just have to make sure that you clean it, you prime it well and then you give it a good top coat.

    Now, I would really start by just taking off a piece of trimming and door frame and seeing how it’s attached. And if you want to truly start with just a fresh look, you can absolutely cover over the entire space with ¼-inch drywall without losing too much space. You’re just going to have to sort of bump-out your electrical boxes, your switches, your trim work, et cetera which, for a handy person, isn’t that big of a deal. So it could be a project you could do on your own. Or to hire somebody wouldn’t be that expensive.

    LORRAINE: OK. Sounds good.

    LESLIE: Alright. Good luck with that.

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

    Well, if you had a dollar for every time you stopped in your tracks and said, “What’s that noise?” you’d probably be rich.

    LESLIE: It’s true. You know, guys, houses make a lot of noise. And that’s simply a fact we have got to learn to deal with. But most of us aren’t so sure which noises are normal and which noises spell big trouble.

    TOM: So, here’s one you should never ignore in your house and that is a hissing sound. It can mean that air is escaping. And it could also be the sound of a gas leak or I suppose a trapped snake, which would be equally terrifying.

    LESLIE: Yes.

    TOM: But listen, if you hear that hissing sound, you want to check for unusual odors. And if you find them, leave your house immediately and then call the gas company and have them investigate.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Now, here is a sound that just sends chills down my spine: scratching. And I’m talking about scratching from behind your walls or from your attic. And yes, it can sound creepy but before you go running for the hills -which I’ve already done, screaming out the front door -you need to at least bring your phone with you as you’re screaming down the street and call an exterminator. That scratching sound, it’s a pretty good bet that your house is also a home to rodents and perhaps a larger animal.

    TOM: Now, the sounds of running water can be soothing if you know where it’s coming from. But if you don’t, call a plumber. It could be the sound of a busted pipe in a wall or under a floor. And it’s surprising how little noise that running water can make, so too frequently you’ll see the flood before you hear the sound. So do listen for it.

    LESLIE: And boy, this winter really brought a lot of frozen pipes. I know especially where I live, people have just been dealing with it; the Northeast, we’ve been freezing our butts off. So you’ve got to be careful if you’re hearing that running water or if you’re seeing an odd leak on the outside that just seems like, “Where is it coming from?”

    Now, we’ve told you what’s abnormal, so what are normal sounds? We’re talking about squeaky floors or banging pipes. Those are pretty common, as are pings. You know that ping-ping-ping that you’ll get from your heating system? All totally normal.

    TOM: And here’s another one. If you ever hear a click-click-click after turning on or off your hot water, especially, all that is is a pipe rubbing against the wood framing inside the wall and it should not be cause for alarm.

    888-666-3974. If your home improvement project is causing you some alarm, give us a call; we’re here to help.

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Kathleen in Rhode Island who’s doing some decorating and needs some help choosing floors. How can we help you?

    KATHLEEN: Ah, there are so many choices. We’re looking at laminate, engineered and hardwood. What do you suggest? I have one concrete floor, which is the walk-out basement. And then it’s the first and the second floor. First is main living area and second is bedroom.

    TOM: Well, in the basement, you can’t use solid hardwood; you can only use engineered hardwood or the laminate because it’s too damp.

    LESLIE: Right. And the laminate’s probably the better choice.

    KATHLEEN: But what about wear and tear? That’s the other thing. I mean laminate cannot ever be sanded. You need to rip it out and redo it when engineered can be.

    TOM: Well, I’ve got probably 10 years on a laminate floor in my kitchen and 3 kids that grew up on it. And I’ve got to tell you, it’s pretty tough stuff.

    KATHLEEN: And now there are different degrees of laminate, too, no?

    TOM: There’s different finishes, there’s different durability. There’s a test called a Taber Abrasion Test that’s done on laminate surfaces. It’s also done on the finish of hardwood surfaces. And that’s what determines how durable they are.

    So, as long as you – if there’s an option in the quality of finish, from something that’s maybe designed for residential or commercial, I’d always go with the tougher one.

    LESLIE: Right. Well, Kathleen, in my home, our basement is where my kids hang out, it’s my workspace. And I put a laminate floor down there and I chose one that has a beautiful grain to it. It looks like a hardwood. And then I’ve used area rugs to sort of warm it up and make it feel more homey. But it’s super-durable. I had a plumbing issue go awry and lots of water underneath it and it didn’t buckle, bend. I was able to dry it all out and keep it really, really in good shape. So I’m all for a laminate in a lower level.

    Now, when it comes to your main floor and your bedroom area, I’d be more inclined to lean toward an engineered hardwood or a hardwood, depending on your budget and depending on the aesthetic. You can go with – if your concern is wear and tear and refinishing, you can go with a commercial-grade finish. It’s going to be a little bit more costly but it’s going to allow that hardwood to really stand up.

    The other option to consider is in your entrance foyers or places where you come in and out, like a mud room, go laminate again in there or do a tile or a marble or something that will be more easily cleanable, more durable, just to handle that type of wear and – wear situation.

    Now, I personally, on a second floor and even in living spaces – you say you’re by the salt water. I imagine you have a certain sort of design style that could be sort of – I’m guessing like a traditional but contemporary at the same time, since you’re on the water. And wider planks are very popular now.

    KATHLEEN: Yes, I agree. They’re very attractive.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. They’re very attractive. You can go for a plank that has some sort of a hand-scraping detail to it that looks a little bit more age-y and more worn and – but still be durable.

    KATHLEEN: OK. And so you’re comfortable with that for a full living space? The laminate.

    TOM: Alright, good, we talked you into it. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Up next, garage doors are one of the best investments that you can make if you buy the right one. So how do you know what to do when you’re picking out the right garage door? We’ll share all that info with you when The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show continues.

    JOE: Hey, this is Joe Namath. And if you want to move the ball on your home improvement projects, listen to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show.

    TOM: Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show heard coast to coast and floorboards to shingles on over 330 radio stations across the country. And hey, we want to take a moment to welcome two new Money Pit stations in Chattanooga, Tennessee: WSDT and WSDQ. Welcome aboard, Chattanooga. Pick up the phone. We want to hear from you at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Alright. Colleen in Texas, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

    COLLEEN: Yes, I was wondering about a product called Restore. It’s called Liquid Armor Resurfacer and I have a dock that I wanted to put it on.

    TOM: Alright. I’m familiar with those Restore products. I’ve not used them but I know what they’re supposed to do. One thing I would tell you is – I don’t know about the brand you mentioned. I would make sure it’s a brand that’s been around for a long time. Because we’ve seen some of those thick-paint products do more damage than good.

    I know, for example, that Rust-Oleum, which is a good brand, makes a product called Restore. It works on concrete and decks, as well as vertical siding. So I might start by taking a look at the Rust-Oleum product. Just make sure you stick with a name brand that’s been around a long time so that you know that you’ve got a really good product that you’re putting on the deck.

    And I would also make sure that you tested it in an area, maybe on a couple of deck boards, to make sure you’re completely happy with it before going all-in on the entire deck or dock.

    COLLEEN: And is it harder to use this type of product versus just a regular paint?

    TOM: Yeah. It’s going to be more difficult because it’s about 10 times thicker than paint. So the application has got to be done right. You’re going to use similar tools but it’s just going to be slow.

    COLLEEN: OK. Well, thank you so much.

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

    LESLIE: So your garage door takes up a large chunk of your home’s front façade. And if you replace that garage door, the annual Cost Versus Value Report from Remodeling Magazineshows that you’re going to get back more than 80 percent of your investment, proving that garage doors deliver and they’re an excellent return on investment.

    TOM: Yep. But that makes it all the more important to really consider your new garage door carefully. Here to discuss some options is This Old House host Kevin O’Connor.

    Welcome, Kevin.

    KEVIN: Hi, guys. Great to be here.

    TOM: So, today, it’s all about the ROI and the improvement it will deliver. And it’s encouraging to see such positive results from garage doors, because they’re one of the hardest working components of the house.

    KEVIN: They certainly are. Obviously, any time you do an upgrade, you’re thinking about what sort of return you’re going to get on your investment and the garage door is a pretty good one.

    When thinking about the garage door, I would suggest that there are two things that you need to consider. First of all, it should look good.

    TOM: Right.

    KEVIN: But it also should work right. And if you think about this, a lot of us actually come through the garage as the main entryway into our house, because we drive the car up into the garage and then go right from the garage to the house. So it’s something that we are going to use very frequently.

    LESLIE: And I think you have to really think about how you’re going to utilize this garage door. How will it function? What kind of opener do you need? Is this the primary entrance? You know, what should you sort of start to look at, other than the aesthetics of it, when you’re considering a new garage door?

    KEVIN: Well, don’t discount the aesthetics, right? Because sometimes the garage door is the focal point of what you see, right?

    LESLIE: Well, that’s, of course, top of the list, the aesthetics.

    KEVIN: I mean many houses – right. It’s got to look good right there. But you’re right. You want to make sure that this thing works properly.

    An automatic garage-door opener, in my mind, is almost essential. You want to be able to have it push a button and have that heavy garage door open by itself. In that case, there are three types of openers to consider. There is a chain-drive opener, a screw drive or a belt drive. And they’ve got different characteristics.

    The chain drives, they’re very powerful. They’re great for heavy doors but they can be somewhat noisy; they’re sort of older technology and we hear them.

    TOM: Yeah.

    KEVIN: And that affects people, especially if there’s living space above the garage.

    TOM: It kind of vibrates the whole house.

    KEVIN: The whole house, exactly.

    TOM: Yeah.

    KEVIN: A screw drive is great if you have a one-piece door and it is actually on a tilt that actually opens, as opposed to a door that sort of has brakes and kind of rolls up into the ceiling.

    And then a belt drive, it’s probably the quietest option out there. You’re going to pay a little bit of a premium for that but if you’re concerned about the noise and the vibration, belt drive is a way to go.

    TOM: We just switched to a belt drive and it was amazing how silent it is compared to our old garage-door opener.

    KEVIN: Do you have any living space above the garage?

    TOM: No. But just – I can just appreciate it, though.

    KEVIN: Sure.

    TOM: Yeah, you really have to pay attention when it’s going up and down because you don’t hear it.

    KEVIN: Absolutely.

    LESLIE: And I think it’s also important when you’re considering the type of mechanism for your garage door. You want to think about what type of family are you? Do you need modern luxuries? Do you want to remotely monitor it? Which is all a possibility.

    KEVIN: Yeah, nowadays you can actually have these systems hooked up so that – obviously, you’ve got the controller in the car to operate it, open and close it. But there are systems that will allow you to do that as you drive away from the house or you’re very far away from the house.

    You know, you’re 20 miles down the highway, you realize you didn’t close the garage door, there are now apps from your smartphone that can say, “Oh, I’d like to close my garage door now” or even alert you. You can set it up so that if you do drive away and you get a certain distance and haven’t closed the garage door, you get a little ping to your smartphone that says, “Garage door is not closed. Would you like to do that remotely?”

    LESLIE: And it won’t even yell at you for doing that.

    KEVIN: It will not even yell at you.

    TOM: Hey, let’s talk about garage-door safety because once you have the garage door’s openers set up, they do have to be properly maintained. So what’s important to do in terms of that?

    KEVIN: Well, garage-door safety has come a long way over the years and that’s a good thing. Because, obviously, when these things are working by themselves, you don’t want anything to get crushed, you don’t want your children or your pets to get hurt in this process.

    And there are two basic safety checks. There is, along the sides of the door, an optical eye. And it basically sends a beam of light across the opening of the doorway, so that if anything is in the way, it’ll send the garage door back up. So check that on a monthly basis. Actually put something in front of that optical eye and make sure that the door does stop going up or down when that beam is broken.

    TOM: OK.

    KEVIN: And then secondly, you want to make sure that there is a sensor so that when the door comes down, if it feels any resistance before it’s closed, it will go back up again. So lay something, like a 2×4, about an inch-and-a-half off the ground so that the door can come down onto it. And make sure that when it hits that object, the door goes back up. That will prevent anyone from getting hurt or crushed by the door.

    LESLIE: And do not attempt that with your foot.

    KEVIN: You have something you want to confess, Leslie?

    TOM: Really bad idea. I do feel like there’s a story behind that.

    Kevin O’Connor, the host of This Old House, great advice on how to make sure we have a garage door that’s working well, safely and lasts us for a long time.

    KEVIN: Always great to be here, guys. Thank you.

    LESLIE: Alright. Catch the current season of This Old House andAsk This Old House on PBS. For local listings and step-by-step videos of many common home improvement projects, visit ThisOldHouse.com.

    TOM: And This Old House and Ask This Old House are brought to you on PBS by GMC. GMC, we are professional grade.

    Up next, losing yourself in a project is great but losing a limb or a function? Not so much. It happens more often than you think. We’re going to teach you how to keep yourself out of the running for home improvement injuries when The Money Pit continues, after this.

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    Hey, you are listening to The Money Pit and if you are lucky enough to get on the air with us today, you could be really lucky to win today’s awesome prize. We’re talking about the Kwikset Kevo Smart Lock.

    Now, it’s going to let you unlock your front door with a mere touch of your finger or even the swipe of your phone. And it’s a keyset that’s worth $219 but let me tell you, this is priceless should you be carrying a child, a bag of groceries, a whole bunch of home improvement supplies and you just can’t get to your keys.

    TOM: And invariably, whatever arm I am carrying my stuff in, my keys are always in that same pocket.

    LESLIE: Agreed. Always happens.

    TOM: So I always have to switch things around to get into the house.

    Well, this is really home security of the future. It’s going to go home with one lucky winner today, so pick up the phone, give us a call with your home improvement question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. We will draw one name out of The Money Pit hard hat and if that’s you, we will ship to you the Kwikset Kevo Smart Lock.

    LESLIE: Well, guys, have you been outside lately? Can you smell that special something in the air? You know what I’m talking about. It’s that smell of spring and it is right around the corner, believe me. But before you rev up to tackle those spring projects, let’s take a few precautions to make sure that you’re not revving up for a trip to the ER, also.

    TOM: Well, for starters, you want to use tools the way they’re intended to be used. And if you don’t have the right tool for the job, consider renting the right one. Renting is surprisingly cheap and can make a workshop or a job site much, much safer.

    LESLIE: Yeah. And the job site is not the place to try out your improv skills, guys. Read the directions. Read the warnings, especially if you are using a tool for the first time. Even if it’s the same tool but a different brand, look at the directions and make sure you’re using it correctly.

    TOM: And this is real important: if you buy a new power tool, be sure you register the product online or by mail so the manufacturer can let you know about recalls or problems. It happens very, very frequently. Leslie and I follow the recall news very closely and it is amazing how many times there’s a recall that involves a power tool or other home improvement product. And unless you register that, you’re just not going to know about it.

    LESLIE: Yeah. You know what is always surprising to me? When I read a recall about a knife and it’s being recalled for a laceration hazard.

    TOM: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Just saying.

    LESLIE: It just seems par for the course with a knife but I’m just saying.

    You really need to register, because you will find out so many things are recalled. So in addition to registering your tools, you can also to cpsc.gov and that’s the Consumer Product Safety Commission. You can register there and you can sort of register by category of things.

    I know I have, you know, child safety and kid stuff, as well as cooking things and home improvement stuff. So you can sort of select what it is you want to know about and you’d be surprised the recalls that happen daily because – shortcuts. You might be tempted to do them and they really could be helpful sometimes but if you don’t know what you’re doing and you take a shortcut, you could lose materials, you could lose limbs. It doesn’t make sense, guys. It could have dire effects.

    TOM: And finally, remember that an injury can come in many forms. Even the simple screwdriver causes about 10,000 workshop injuries a year to experts and new do-it-yourselfers alike. So be careful out there. 888-666-3974.

    Leslie, let’s get back to the phones. Who’s next?

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

    CELINA: Last week, I had estimates done on my home to have all my drainpipes replaced.

    TOM: Hmm. Why did you do that?

    CELINA: My house was built in 1944 and we’ve had some trouble here lately with clogs and everything. So, I just decided to go ahead and replace all the drain lines.

    TOM: Is that because the – you were getting roots and that sort of thing in the pipes?

    CELINA: I don’t think there’s roots in them, no, because we’ve had those – the pipe from the house back to the drain replaced already. This is just the inside pipe. And they’re old and yes, we have had a couple of them to rupture but I just decided to get them all replaced.

    However, today, my son told me that all of that is useless if I don’t get the main line coming into the house replaced, also. And I wanted to see what your take was on that.

    TOM: Well, we’re talking about two different types of pipes. You’re talking about drainage pipes versus supply pipes. And the supply pipe that comes into the house may or may not need to be replaced. The questions I would have for you are: what’s the pipe made out of and are we having any problems with it?

    Now, in an older house, you may have the original steel plumbing – steel main-water pipe – coming into the house which, if the house was built – did you say the 40s?

    CELINA: Right.

    TOM: That’s a super-old pipe that definitely is at risk of breaking.

    CELINA: OK, great. So when they come back out to do my plumbing, because they’re doing it in two weeks, I need to ask them to look at the pipe. And that means – because none of the people that gave me estimates even mentioned it was bad.

    TOM: Well, I would take a look at that. And typically, in a house, you don’t replace the drain pipes. I’m a little surprised that you’re doing that. Typically, in an older house with steel pipes, you end up replacing the supply pipes. And you do the horizontal pipes first because they’re the easiest to access. And you do the vertical pipes that go up through the walls last because they’re the hardest to access. And you can do it in stages.

    The first step of a steel-pipe conversion is to do the main. The second one is to do all the horizontals in the basement crawlspace and the third is to do the verticals. And so, typically, that’s what you do in a house that has that kind of plumbing.

    You mentioned you had some problems with clogging with the drainpipes but that’s pretty unusual. And I actually have never heard of anyone wanting to replace drainpipes. Typically, they replace supply pipes.

    So you might want to get a second opinion on this and not just take the opinion of the plumber that wants the work.

    CELINA: OK, great. Thank you so much.

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

    LESLIE: Hey, if you guys have just bought a home and in that new home you found some old shag carpeting, well, there’s one thing that that shag carpeting is particularly good for: it’s for protecting that beautiful hardwood that no doubt is lying underneath it. We’re going to have some tips to restore an old carpet-covered hardwood floor, when The Money Pit continues.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is presented by QUIKRETE Concrete & Cement products. QUIKRETE, what America is made of. Like us on Facebook and visit online at www.QUIKRETE.com for product information and easy, step-by-step project videos.

    TOM: Where home solutions live, you are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    Hey, if you’re feeling radio-shy, don’t be upset. We’re here for you. You’ve got more than one way that you can be part of The Money Pit and you can win big. Like us on Facebook. We know you’re already on there, because I see you liking our comments and liking things and I see you liking our funny stories. So why not like the official Money Pit page? You can get news, updates all about our upcoming sweepstakes. Super-easy. Go to Facebook.com/MoneyPit and click Like.

    And while you’re online, post a question just like I’ve got here from David in Utah who writes: “We’re moving into our new home next week. I went ahead and pulled up old carpet in three rooms the other day, which revealed gorgeous hardwood. Problem is the hardwood is covered in staples and rust. What’s a quick fix for fixing this up before we move in? I don’t want it to look bad for first-time visitors but I don’t want to take on sanding and refinishing right now, either.”

    TOM: So, my advice, David, would be that it’s a big mistake not to do a proper refinishing job of your floor right now. It will never be easier to finish those floors than it is when the house is empty. Yes, it might put off your move by two or three days but it’s totally worth it.

    When you pull up carpet, carpet does a great job of protecting those hardwood floors for the many years that it was down. But of course, as you noticed, you have nails – nail holes in it from the tackless, which is that sort of spiky strip that holds the carpet edges in. And you’ll have staples from all the padding that was tacked in place.

    So once you pull all that stuff out, you’ve got to sand down to at least the surface of the wood to get rid of that rust mark. Then you’ll probably fill them in and then refinish on top of that. You may not have to stain the whole floor but at least you have to sand down to the surface just a little bit, touch it up with some wood filler and then go ahead and refinish it with two to three coats of polyurethane.

    If you don’t want to do it yourself, hire a pro to help you. In any event, if you’re going to use a regular, professional belt sander for doing the floors, that I would not do myself because it’s a machine you have to really have a hand – have some hands-on training with. If you just sneeze while you’re doing it, you’re going to put serious damage in your floor, really.

    There’s another kind of machine, by the way, that is an oscillating sander and it’s called U-Sand. And it has four rotating sanding discs under sort of one head and it’s got a vacuum bag attachment, which minimizes the dust. And that’s kind of good for moderate sanding if you don’t have to take a lot of material off, which could be the situation with your floor. And if you do want to do it yourself, you can rent those machines at rental centers. I personally have rented one in a Home Depot and it works really, really well.

    But I would definitely recommend you take the extra few days, right now, to sand those floors and properly finish them. They’ll look beautiful and you won’t have to think about it again for another 5 to 10 years.

    LESLIE: Alright. Next up we’ve got one from Mason in Tennessee who writes: “Our pressure-treated pine fence was stained 12 years ago when we put it up. I recently power-washed it and like the new, natural look. Can I leave it like this or do I need to stain it again?”

    TOM: Well, that new, natural look is only going to last you a few months. So, no, I would stain it again. And what I would do is I would use a solid-color stain as opposed to a semi-transparent. The more pigment you put into that wood, the longer it’s going to last. And even though it’s pressure-treated, the stain actually prevents the UV light from the sun from deteriorating the fibers that would – and causing it to crack and check and just look nasty. So I would definitely continue with this project and go ahead and stain it.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And you know what? It’ll last longer, it’ll stand up better to the sunshine and it’ll make you happier in the long run.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. Thank you so much for spending this hour with us. Hey, if you’ve got questions, you can always post them to The Money Pit Facebook page at Facebook.com/TheMoneyPit. Or pick up the phone and call us at 888-MONEY-PIT. If we are not in the studio, guess what? We may just call you back the next time we are.

    Happy Home Improving. 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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