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How to Create a Faux Inlaid Wood Floor, Granny Pods to Keep Older Relatives Safe and Nearby, Clean Mold, Mildew and Algae from Your Home’s Exterior and More

  • Transcript

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Pick up the phone, give us a call. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974. We want to hear about your home improvement projects – the ones that have gone right, the ones that have not done so well and everything in between – because we are here to lend a hand. No, we can’t come to your house and do the project for you but short of that, we’ll tell you what you need to get the job done so you can do it once, do it right and you won’t do it again, which means …

    LESLIE: I laugh at that, Tom, because sometimes I want you to come to my house and help me with a project. So even …

    TOM: No, you just get the virtual Tom when something falls apart at your house.

    LESLIE: So even as team members, I’m like, “Hey, what are you doing? Can you make it out to Long Island?”

    TOM: You know what? You can get in line behind my wife. Sheesh.

    Everybody’s got projects for me but I want to hear, this hour, about your projects. Help yourself, though, and pick up the phone and call us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    Now, here’s a project that you might be interested in: that is how to create a new look for your wood floor. We’re going to have tips on how you can create an inlaid, wood-floor pattern with just a few tools, a little time and effort and no saws. How about that?

    LESLIE: Hmm. I like that idea.

    And also ahead this hour, a new trend is showing that older Americans are forgoing nursing-home life for Granny Pods. I love this; I hope this is a real term that catches on.

    And Granny Pods are prefab homes that you can put up on your property so that Granny is close by and still independent and maybe a free babysitter? I’m not sure; I’m just offering that out there. Mom, you listening?

    We’re going to tell you more about these high-tech homes for the elderly – not you, Mom – in just a little bit.

    TOM: Plus, this time of year, we get a lot of calls about cleaning the outside of the house and calls about how to get rid of everything from mildew to algae to mold. We’re going to tell you about a cleaning product we found. It’s actually been around for 30 years but nobody knows about it. We’re going to solve that problem and tell you how you can apply this. And guess what? Once you do, mold will never grow again on those surfaces. That’s all coming up, in a bit.

    LESLIE: Alright. And one caller that we talk to on the air this hour is going to win a digital peephole from Brinno, worth 100 bucks. It’s like having a surveillance camera just outside your door.

    TOM: So, give us a call right now. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974. Let’s get to it.

    Leslie, who’s first?

    LESLIE: Dave in Oregon is having an issue with a counter/sink combo. What can we do for you?

    DAVE: I’ve got a bathroom sink that’s a combination; the sink is built into the top. The countertop is sort of a composite.


    TOM: Right, uh-huh.

    DAVE: It’s not real granite or anything; it’s just got a surface amount and then composite underneath.

    TOM: Yeah, it’s probably soapstone.

    DAVE: OK. And the bottom of that sink now is really rough; it’s turned yellow and it’s all scratched up.

    TOM: Yeah. The finishes don’t last, you know, indefinitely on that and that’s sort of the normal wear cycle for that kind of product. I don’t think that’s it worthwhile for you to try to fix it. I would just replace that top. It shouldn’t be terribly expensive.

    DAVE: Just refinishing it, I was getting a large amount of money.

    TOM: Yeah, it’s kind of crazy. It’s like you don’t want to throw good money into a product that wasn’t really designed to last indefinitely but those tops that are molded like that, they’re standard sizes. You can disconnect the faucet, take the whole faucet and drain assembly apart. Then you can loosen up the top. Typically, it’s only caulked in place. You have to kind of take a careful look at it and see how it looks. But try to get that top off, drop the new one in, then hook back up the drain and the faucet. With any luck, you can use exactly the same plumbing connections.

    And then, when you set the top in, you look at the alignment. Sometimes, when you look at the inside corner where it strikes the wall, there could be some spackle that’s built up right there and it creates a bit of a gap. If that’s the case, don’t cut the top, cut the wall. I’ve done a lot of sort of wall-surgery procedures where I’ve very carefully cut around, say, the backsplash and the countertop and then sort of just pressed that countertop into the wall nice and tight and then caulked the seam, so we didn’t have to cut the tops.

    DAVE: Ah, OK. Well, I think part of the problem is that this was a custom job. So it’s not a regular top.

    TOM: Are you sure about that? Because even if it’s a custom, I’m telling you, people don’t mold these for individual bathrooms.

    LESLIE: Like on-site.

    TOM: It’s just not …

    DAVE: OK. Because it’s offset. One side’s got some sink space; the other side is up against a cabinet.

    TOM: Right. So I bet …

    DAVE: And there’s only about 4 inches between the cabinet and the sink bed.

    TOM: Listen, I bet if you did an internet search or checked with a good kitchen-and-bath supplier, then you would be able to find that as a product that you can order.

    DAVE: Mm-hmm. Oh, OK. I was thinking if I do that, though, I may want to just go to a regular, ceramic sink rather than trying to get one of those again.

    TOM: Well, you know the four, most-expensive words in home improvement, don’t you? While you’re at it. Home improvement projects have a viral-like quality to them. You start small but it just keeps growing.

    Dave, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Alright. Annie in South Dakota has got a noisy house. Tell us what’s going on there.

    ANNIE: My house is around 13 years old and our master bathroom shares a wall with another bedroom in the house. And a lot of noise can be heard through the wall, if you get what I mean.

    TOM: I do.

    ANNIE: I was wondering, is there some way of insulating that wall without being too destructive?

    TOM: Hmm. Well, insulation would only help to some extent. You could do blown-in insulation. Probably a better thing to do is to put a second layer of drywall on it with an insulating glue in between, called Green Glue.

    ANNIE: Green Glue?

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. It’s made to deaden noise.

    TOM: Specifically designed for this particular purpose.

    ANNIE: OK.

    TOM: OK? Because what it does is – as Leslie said, it makes a deadening – sort of a deadened space where the vibration can be absorbed between the layers of drywall. You don’t have to use full, ½-inch drywall; you can use 3/8. But that will make a big difference, especially if you do it on both sides of the wall; you’ll find that the walls are a lot quieter.

    ANNIE: Oh, OK.

    TOM: Alright?

    ANNIE: Well, thank you.

    TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-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, decorating, design, engineering, plumbing. Whatever is going on in your home, we’re here to lend you a hand with those projects 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Just give us a ring at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Up next, are your wood floors just crying out for a fun, new look? We’re going to teach you how you can create an inlaid, wood-look border that’s easy to do and can really add some pizzazz to those floors. And that’s all coming up, next.

    (theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by ODL’s Add-On Blinds. Enclosed behind tempered glass, they eliminate the need for dusting and exposed cords, both problems with traditional blinds. Plus, they easily install over your existing entry glass. Visit www.ODL.com to learn more.

    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. And we’d love to hear what you are working on, so pick up the phone and give us a call right now at 888-MONEY-PIT. One caller that we talk to on the air this hour is going to win the Peephole Viewer from Brinno.

    Now, this is an LCD screen that’s super-easy to install, right on your regular peephole. And you don’t have to worry about low light or not being able to reach the height of your peephole or not even having your glasses handy. It’s got built-in zoom capability, which is going to allow you to see who’s at your door in an instant. It’s worth 100 bucks and it’s available at Amazon.com or Frys or even TigerDirect.com. But give us a call right now for your chance to win, at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Well, now it’s time for this week’s Fresh Idea segment, which is presented by Trewax. And today we’re going to talk about an idea on how you can liven up those older, hardwood floors that you may have in your house. And all you need to create a beautiful, inlaid, wood-border look is stain, a brush, painter’s tape and a stencil.

    Now, the first step is to make sure that your work surface is clear and free of any dust or debris because, you know, you can’t do any staining when you’ve got sort of junk on the ground to begin with. So, let’s get rid of that. And a good product, of course, to use – that would be the Trewax All-Natural Hardwood Floor Cleaner. It’s a product that’s non-toxic; it’s biodegradable. You can use it on the hardwood, engineered wood and even laminate. And it’s also great for cabinets and furniture.

    And once you’ve got that surface clean, you can decide on your design. Now, a very popular, inlaid look is a border that parallels the perimeter of the room and is just a few inches away from the wall. Older Craftsman-style homes look great like this, with an inlaid design on the floor, but you can also create a very custom look in a newer home, as well.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. You also don’t want to forget to pay special attention to the corners and even other nooks and crannies that you might have in that room, on the floor. Because that’s a great place to add an art deco or even a Greek key-design detail. And the great thing about faux-finishing is that you can mimic pretty much any exotic wood species or even marble or stone.

    Now, once you’ve determined your design, you want to tape it off or if you’re using a stencil, you can even use some of that stencil adhesive, which helps you hold it in place. But you want to make sure that you wipe it down in between each one, when you replace your stencil.

    So once you’ve got it all mapped out, you can use glazes or paints. And you want to find ones that are designed specifically for faux-wood finishing. And they’re available at any craft or even a hardware store. And once you’re done, just add a coat of polyurethane and that’s going to seal in your hard work.

    And that’s your Trewax Fresh Idea for this week. You can learn more about Trewax, all-natural wood and floor cleaners at Trewax.com.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Do you have a flooring project in mind? Maybe it’s a kitchen redo? Whatever is on your to-do list, why don’t you give us a call and we will do it together? The number is 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Glenn in Illinois is dealing with a leaky water heater. It’s leaking into the furnace? What’s going on?

    GLENN: Well, no. It’s actually – it’s leaning. It’s going to start stressing me out.

    TOM: Oh, leaning. OK.

    GLENN: The water heater is leaning and the furnace is next to it.

    TOM: Right.

    GLENN: And there is like – together, they’re the leaning Tower of Pisas, towards each other.

    LESLIE: Oh, good Lord.

    GLENN: Who have – apparently, whoever did the furnace or the water heater, they cut the floor joists in the crawlspace, so ….

    TOM: Oh, no. Oh, man. What a mess. So you’ve got a water heater problem, you’ve got a structural problem.

    GLENN: Yes.

    LESLIE: And a furnace problem.

    TOM: And so the reason it’s leaning is because the floor joist is cut underneath it?

    GLENN: Exactly.

    TOM: Alright.

    GLENN: And I’ve gotten under there and put in a couple of – what do they call those things that screw up underneath and kind of support it?

    TOM: Oh, like some jacks?

    LESLIE: It’s like a jack.

    GLENN: Yeah, a jack. Exactly.

    TOM: Hmm. Alright.

    GLENN: I put a couple of those under there but it seems to be making it worse.

    TOM: Yeah. Well, listen, if you have a cut floor joist, you have to sister it; you have to put a new one next to it. And sometimes that’s a little bit tricky but that’s the only way to properly reinforce it. In terms of the sag …

    GLENN: Do you have to jack it above the …?

    TOM: You don’t have to necessarily jack it; you have to put it side-by-side. What I was going to tell you is that once a floor sags, it’s really hard to get it back in place. Sometimes, you can pick it up a little bit and then you attach this new floor joist across the cut one and then that ends up carrying the load, so to speak. And you would glue it and screw it or nail it together or even bolt it. It’s called a sister joist. Think of it as a splint over the broken one and that’s …

    GLENN: Oh, do you have to take the weight off of it in order to do that?

    TOM: No. No, no. You leave everything that’s there; you just sort of work this one up next to it. Sometimes, you might have pipes or wires in the way that have to be adjusted or temporarily removed to get it in there but in a perfect situation, you’re going to want to go from the foundation wall all the way to the girder – if it’s that kind of a floor joist – so that you cover it with as long a piece as possible.

    So, I would also caution you that if you try to straighten out the water heater, it may go from a leaning water heater to a leaky water heater because you’ll be putting stress on the pipes. So, you might just want to kind of lean – leave everything where it is but reinforce that joist so it doesn’t cause any further damage.

    LESLIE: Maureen in New York needs some help refinishing a bathtub. What can we do for you?

    MAUREEN: Hi. My question is – we’re going to replace the bathtub we have and we found an old, clawfoot tub that was taken out of the house. It’s in pretty nice shape but it does need some kind of help. It’s rusted and whatnot and I don’t know if it’s too much work to refinish that or how you go about refinishing that. Or is it better to buy the new, plastic tubs that they have, kind of? The newer ones are really light.

    TOM: Well, I love those old, cast-iron tubs. I mean they’re …

    LESLIE: That’s like fantasy bath time to me.

    MAUREEN: Yeah, really. I agree.

    TOM: Exactly.

    LESLIE: That’s all I dream out.

    TOM: That’s the last time they made a bathtub big enough for me to fit in.

    LESLIE: And you could soak up to your shoulders and be completely relaxed.

    TOM: Exactly.

    MAUREEN: Absolutely.

    TOM: Yeah, I know. It’s like a pool.

    LESLIE: I would – if I could, in my own life and the bathroom could support it and I was ready for it, I would absolutely have a vintage, clawfoot tub or a reproduction thereof that is also cast-iron.

    Since you’ve got one that needs some work, you’re better off probably giving it to a pro and having them completely reglaze it. It’ll last a long time; almost as long as if you bought a new one. It’ll be durable. It will hold the temperature on your water fantastic. You will have a hot bath from the moment you get in until the moment you get out.

    MAUREEN: Oh, that’s great. Do you have any idea what that runs or what it would cost to have somebody refinish it?

    TOM: I would guess it would probably be in sort of the $200 to $500 range.

    MAUREEN: Oh, that’s fine.

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: But it’s worth it.

    TOM: And it’s definitely going to be worth it because they’ve they got the tools and the equipment to do this so that it really stays on. There are a lot of sort of do-it-yourself glazing kits out there but they’re sort of glorified paint and they just don’t stick around.

    MAUREEN: Yeah. OK. Yeah, that’s what I was wondering. If you did that, would it even hold up?

    TOM: Yeah. No.

    LESLIE: Probably not.

    TOM: I wouldn’t do it myself.

    MAUREEN: OK. Well, thank you so much.

    TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Alright. Jeff in Texas is working on a kitchen remodel. How can we help you?

    JEFF: I’m in the process of gutting my kitchen, basically.

    TOM: Alright.

    JEFF: I’m taking up the floors and we’re replacing the countertops and I don’t know where to start first, where to begin first in replacing. I bought the tile; we’ve bought the countertops. Where should I start, as far as putting – to be installing?

    TOM: I think you should work from the bottom up. I would do the floors first and you have to decide – you have a dishwasher here, Jeff?

    JEFF: I do.

    TOM: You’re going to have to decide whether you want to tile in under the dishwasher space, because you can’t tile up to it; you won’t be able to get the dishwasher – well, you may get it in but you won’t get it out because you put it in before the top goes on.

    LESLIE: Yeah. Once you get the counter on.

    TOM: So, keep that in mind and make sure you have enough height for the dishwasher to tile right in under it. And add the countertop as a final step.
    JEFF: OK. Great.

    TOM: That would be the right order. Just watch the dishwasher issue; that’s where people get themselves in trouble.

    JEFF: It’s old Formica and I’m putting in new faux-granite; it looks great (inaudible at 0:15:42).

    TOM: That sounds nice.

    LESLIE: Oh, very nice.

    TOM: Yeah, that sounds great. But I bet you’re eating a lot of pizza right now while you’ve got the kitchen torn out.

    JEFF: Yes, sir. A lot of microwave food.

    TOM: Alright.

    LESLIE: Well, you can use a microwave in any room in the house.

    JEFF: That’s right. We have it in the dining room.

    TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Dot in Wisconsin who is dealing with a wet basement. Tell us about it.

    DOT: We get water in our basement and I’ve had many different ideas as what to do about it? But I was wondering what options you might have for me.

    TOM: Well, Dot, tell us, when does your basement get wet? Is it after a heavy rain or a snow melt?

    DOT: Yes, that is the time. Yes.

    TOM: OK. So, the reason it’s getting wet is because you have bad drainage on the outside of your house. You need to look at your gutters, make sure that they are clean and free-flowing. You need to extend your downspouts away from the corners of your house and you need to look at the grading around the house. You want the soil to slope away 4 to 6 inches. And those three things will stop your basement from leaking.

    Because what happens is water is collecting at the outside foundation; it’s sort of laying against that wall, going through the foundation wall. It could actually even come up into the floor of the basement, almost like a geyser – I’ve seen this happen – all because the water is collecting at that foundation perimeter. So if you dry out the outside, that’ll stop it.

    LESLIE: And find its way in.

    DOT: OK. I have to let you know we do have a cement driveway and then we have an attached garage. And I believe that the cement that was put down was kind of sloped the wrong way and I’m thinking we might have to get that all taken up.

    TOM: Well, that’s indeed possible, if you have a driveway that’s running into the house. But you don’t have to tear it all out. You can put in a curtain drain at the low point, try to collect the water and then run it around the house or someplace downhill and then drain it out there.

    DOT: OK. I thank you.

    TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

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

    GLORIA: I had a new kitchen sink put in and it was not level. So they told me to shim it, which I did, but it now needs to be resealed because it’s not level. So can you tell me what I seal it with?

    TOM: Yeah, are we talking about the edge where it overlaps the countertop, Gloria?

    GLORIA: Right.

    TOM: OK. Well, the best thing to use for that purpose is a kitchen and bath caulk and the reason the product should say kitchen and bath caulk is because it’s treated with a mildicide. Of course, being a very damp area, if it’s not treated with a mildicide you’re going to have some problems with mold growth. DAP makes a product that’s a kitchen and bath caulk with an additive called Microban and it’s very effective at not growing mold, so I would …

    GLORIA: Microvan?

    LESLIE: Microban.

    TOM: Microban and the manufacturer is DAP – D-A-P. So look at the DAP Kitchen and Bath Caulk and I think that you’ll find that that’s probably the best way to seal that. 


    TOM: Very inexpensive, by the way. We’re only talking about a couple of dollars for the caulk and you definitely can do it yourself.

    This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Up next, is keeping an eye on your elderly relatives becoming a challenge? Well, you can watch them now from the comfort of your own home, if they move into your backyard. No, we’re not talking about setting up a tent. We’ve got tips on how a new kind of building called a Granny Pod is changing the way that families live.

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    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Skil. Want hardwood floors but are on a budget? The affordable and feature-filled Skil Flooring Saw is just what you need for your installation project.

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: And you’re probably spending a lot more time outdoors right now. And as soon as that weather warms up even more and the sun is out longer, you’re going to start to see things grow and multiply and not always in the best possible way. We’re talking about mold, mildew, moss and algae, all of that nasty-looking green stuff. We get a lot of calls about – to the program – about how to clean it and there is a solution.

    LESLIE: That’s right. And you know what? When we talk about cleaning up mold and mildew, we’ve always recommended using a pressure-washer and we usually talk about using some sort of bleach to help you get rid of it. But we now know about a great product that uses neither. So, here to tell us about Wet & Forget is the president of the company, Brett Perry.

    Welcome, Brett.

    BRETT: Thanks for having me, Leslie.

    LESLIE: Oh, it’s our pleasure.

    TOM: Now, Brett, why is it that moss and mildew and algae always take hold on all of our outside surfaces? Just so we understand the enemy that we’re fighting.

    BRETT: Well, the spores for those types of growth are out there in the environment all the time and they’re floating around and they’re looking for a place to land with a nice food source for them and then – and a nice, moist environment. And they start to – when they find the right place, they land and they start to multiply. And for a while, you can’t even see them but very soon, it’s an ugly eyesore on your deck or your siding or roof or just about anywhere else.

    LESLIE: Pretty much all of your house.

    TOM: And this is a massive business in some of the southern states, where there’s folks that this is – their entire career is pressure-washing the mold and the mildew and the moss off sidewalks and surfaces.

    BRETT: Well, certainly, southern states, you do get a problem all year round. But it’s also a massive problem in the Northeast and the Northwest.

    TOM: Now, how does the Wet & Forget product actually work to clean it?

    BRETT: Well, Wet & Forget is a funny name but it really just describes what the product – how you use the product. Basically, what you do with Wet & Forget is you dilute it five-to-one with water and then you just apply it to the surface with a pump-up garden sprayer.


    BRETT: And essentially, what it does is it’s sterilizing the surface when we apply it.

    TOM: Ah, OK.

    BRETT: And then, we just leave it. We don’t scrub it, we don’t rinse it.

    LESLIE: And it just magically makes everything disappear?

    BRETT: It magically makes everything disappear. Now, it’s a very, very gentle process. It doesn’t happen overnight. The secret to Wet & Forget is it has a pH of 8, which is very close to neutral, which means we can apply it to any outside surface, from siding to roofing to decks of all types and even to things like canvas awnings.

    Once we apply it, it sits on the surface. Because we’re not having to rinse it away immediately, it keeps on working and goes to work on those growths and slowly breaks them down. And then the weather – the wind, sun and rain – breaks them down further and just slowly removes them from the surface, in a very gentle process.

    LESLIE: So if it rains the next day, you don’t have to reapply?

    BRETT: Absolutely not. In fact, if it rains the next day, it’s even better. You just don’t want it to rain for about five or six hours after you’ve applied it.

    TOM: So it dries and really gets a chance to soak in.

    BRETT: That’s right.

    TOM: Now, what about the surrounding landscape? Do we have to be concerned about the bushes and the trees and the shrubs and the flowers?

    BRETT: Well, I always say, it just takes a little common sense. We want to avoid dousing your plants in the product, because it can spot up the leaves on your landscaping. And certainly, things like soft tissue, like flowers, will tend to crinkle up.

    TOM: Right.

    BRETT: It’s not going to leach into the soil and kill your plants like bleach-based products will. But a little common sense – you know, if you doused your plants with enough of it, they would certainly not do so good. But if you’re concerned about the overspray when you apply it, the best thing to do is just rinse them down with water beforehand and afterwards or cover them up.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Now, Brett, we know that regardless of what you do, over time it’s a problem that comes back and needs to be retreated. Does Wet & Forget sort of extend that time period between cleaning the siding, wherever you tend to get the mold and mildew growth?

    BRETT: Well, the great thing about the product is it really does the job properly, so it really kills it right down to the microbial level and removes it from the surface. So you get a fairly good length of time before you may have to reapply it.

    Nothing is going to stop these things from coming back completely because, as I mentioned earlier, these things are floating around in the air and they’re looking for a place to land. The problem that most people have is they’re not doing the job properly, initially, and so it’s just coming back then from what’s already there.

    So because we clean the surface properly, we get a good length of time out of the product. Every situation is different, though. It depends on the microenvironment: how much moisture there is, how much sunlight they get in that particular area, the type of growth or it’s more of a green algae or a black mold, things like that.

    Generally speaking, we say you should get about a year out of our product before you have to reapply it.

    TOM: Wow. Well, that’s terrific.

    Now, Randy, what about roofs? We get a lot of calls from folks that have algae that’s growing on the roofs. OK to apply this to the roof shingle?

    BRETT: Absolutely. Again, your roof shingles, you’ve got to be careful with them because they’re delicate; they’re covered with a lot of little particles.

    TOM: Right.

    BRETT: By using Wet & Forget, you’re not going to damage it in any way; you’re not going to remove any of those particles from your shingles. In fact, we just had a message sent over the internet from one of our customers who applied the Wet & Forget to their roof shingles last August, I believe, and he was just writing in to say what a fantastic product it was. He just – the snow had just melted and he couldn’t believe how clean his roof was.

    TOM: Well, that’s a great testimonial.

    LESLIE: That’s great.

    TOM: Brett Perry, the president of Wet & Forget, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit and filling us in on this great, new product.

    If you’d like to follow up, get some more information, check out WetAndForget.com. That is the website for the product and for its president, Brett Perry.

    Thanks, Brett.

    BRETT: Thanks, Tom. Thanks, Leslie.

    LESLIE: Alright. And still ahead, a high-tech home idea that’s going to keep your granny independent and nearby at the same time. We’re going to tell you all about the MEDCottage, after this.

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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: Give us a call right now. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Not only will we help illuminate you with the ideas and the inspiration and the tips and the answers and the solutions to your home improvement projects, we’re going to illuminate you in a different way because we’re going to give away, this hour, the Peephole Viewer from Brinno.

    This is pretty cool. It’s an LCD screen that’s easy to install, right on your regular peephole. You don’t have to worry about low light or not being able to reach the height of the peephole or not having your glasses handy, because there’s a built-in zoom capability so you can zoom right in on the face of that person on the other side, to see if you know them before you unlock that door. It’s available at Amazon.com, at Frys and also at TigerDirect.com.

    But this is a $100 prize. It’s going to go out to one caller that has the courage to pick up the phone and call us with their home improvement question. It’s easy. All you’ve got to do is dial 1-888-MONEY-PIT. And if we draw your name out of The Money Pit hard hat at the end of the program, we will send that Peephole Viewer from Brinno to your door.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And you know what? That’s really a great prize because – well and a great product – because when you think about what happens to older citizens across this country, they’re targeted a lot by people who knock on the door. And they’re dressed up in a water-company uniform or something where you feel like, “Oh, they’re official, so I should trust them and let them into my house because they say there is an issue,” and then people of a certain age are taken advantage of. So that’s really a great and useful prize for a generation of Americans that really need some help.

    And when it comes to elderly relatives, we all know that it’s just a tough decision to really think about where they’re going to live. Can they take care of themselves? Should I put them in a nursing facility? It’s just something that most of us would prefer not to do and our older loved ones would almost always rather stay in their own home than be somewhere that they’re just not comfortable.

    So as 78 million baby boomers are preparing for their senior years, it’s something that many of you will be struggling with at some point. Well, we found one idea that might provide a great solution: it’s called the MEDCottage and it was created by Reverend Kenneth Dupin. And it’s a portable, modular, medical home that encourages family-managed care as an alternate to a nursing home.

    The MEDCottage is a 12 by 24-foot structure and it gets leased or you can purchase it and then it’s parked on your property, kind of like an RV. And it connects to your home’s electrical and water supplies, so it gets powered up right away, just like that.

    TOM: Now, the MEDCottage is also loaded with technology for the health, the comfort and the safety of its occupants. There are sensors, for example, that can alert caregivers if Grandma has fallen and she can’t get up for some reason. Or there’s a computer that could even remind the occupants to take their medications.

    Now, the MEDCottage is already authorized for use in Virginia and it’s designed to comply with local zoning laws across the nation. So don’t be surprised if you see one of these Granny Pods in your neighborhood very soon.

    If you want more information about this new technology, you could read my blog at MoneyPit.com.

    LESLIE: Well, it’s spring swarm season everywhere in this country and Pat in Hawaii is dealing with termites. What can we do for you?

    PAT: Well, I have a condo that I take care of. It isn’t one that I live in.

    TOM: OK.

    PAT: But anyhow, we’ve got termites in the kitchen cabinets.

    TOM: Oh, boy.

    PAT: I have talked with our pest-control people here on the island and they say there’s very, very little we can do about it other than taking the cabinets out and having them put in a house that’s being exterminated and just to sit in there while they’re tenting it. And that’s a very costly process. We did buy some stuff called Terminate and we took all the drawers out and every wood surface, because some of it is covered with plastic. We rubbed this – it’s like a foam. We put on rubber gloves and rubbed it all over the wood and it just dried; it didn’t have a smell. But we were just wondering if there’s anything at all that we can do.

    TOM: Well, the first thing you need to do is you need to get the termite identified. If it’s a subterranean termite this is an easy problem to fix, because if it’s subterranean then basically what you’re going to do is – and this has to be done by a pro – but you would treat the soil around the outside foundation perimeter because the termites are going to have a connection, probably, through the wall. And if they’re infesting the cabinets you can also bet that they’re inside the wall doing damage there, as well.

    PAT: These condos are up off the ground; they’re above carports. So no, it isn’t that kind of a termite. We were told that they probably came with the cabinets from the local supplier.

    TOM: Then they may be a drywood termite and he’s right. Typically, when you have that kind of an infestation, that you tent the home and you fumigate it and that’s how you get rid of those infestations. So, any type of treatment that you do to this may be somewhat effective but it wouldn’t be as effective as doing it correctly. It’s not uncommon, in your part of the country, to have to do this from time to time.

    LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Chris on the line who needs some help cleaning a laminate floor. Tell us what’s going on there.

    CHRIS: Yeah, I have a laminate floor throughout most of my house and I’ve heard yay and nay on whether or not you can use a steam mop. And the other half of the question, I’m going to redo a kitchen and I’ve heard that there’s a new kind of laminate out that you can use with a possible water application. I don’t know if it’s got gaskets on the connectors or if you put glue in there or what. I’d like some information on that.

    TOM: Well, laminate floors are good for damp locations. You know, I wouldn’t necessarily put it in the shower but it’s good for a damp location. And the better floors with the longer warranties are the most appropriate choices.

    I know, for example, with Armstrong floor, when it comes to installing it in a damp location, they recommend that you glue the boards together, even though they are click-together boards. They recommend that you glue them.

    LESLIE: Just giving it that extra grip.

    TOM: Right, together. So I don’t see any issues …

    CHRIS: OK. Well, this is in the kitchen.

    TOM: Yeah. I don’t see any – well, I don’t see any issues with that. As far as the steam mop, yeah, I think a steam mop is fine but just don’t – try to limit the water and the heat. As long as you keep moving, I think it’ll do a great job on the laminates.

    CHRIS: OK. Alright. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

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

    LESLIE: Coming up next, in your kitchen, venting your cooking area is probably the most important step that you can take to cut down on cooking odors and moisture problems going all around your house. We’re going to help you do just that, after this.

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    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Stanley Tools, your trusted name in quality hand tools. To learn more about their complete line of quality tools and everything for your tool box, visit StanleyTools.com.

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: And we love to hear what you guys are working on, over at Team Money Pit. And we get a lot of questions from our listeners who want us to repeat the answers, maybe the tips, the advice or even the product recommendations. And there’s really an easy way for you to get your answers. All you need to do is search our show archives at MoneyPit.com.

    And while you’re there, everything is available for your reference and best of all is that it’s totally free. Just head on over to MoneyPit.com today for all of the answers.

    TOM: And while you’re at MoneyPit.com, why not post a question in our Community section, just like Susie did in Lexington, Kentucky? This is a long one, so let’s break it up. She says, “I’m installing an electric range in the island in my kitchen. What is the functional difference between a slide-in and a drop-in range?”

    Well, how about this? One slides in and one drops in.

    LESLIE: Oh, Tom. I think it …

    TOM: I mean the drop-in drops from the top; the slide-in slides in through the side of the countertop. Those types of ranges can be in islands or they could be in the main wall of the kitchen, on an exterior wall.

    LESLIE: I think it’s an aesthetic choice, right?

    TOM: It’s really aesthetic. I think that the drop-in probably is the more contemporary choice but I think this is Susie’s real question. She wants to know: “What is the best way to vent the range if I have a second story above? A vent in the island? Venting through the floor?”

    Well, yeah, if it’s a drop-in range, it’s also going to be a downdraft. So, in other words, the gases that come off the cooking are going to be pulled down and then into that cabinet, then down to the floor. And then you actually vent through the floorboards and then out to the exterior wall. That’s the easy way to do that. And in fact, some of these drop-in ranges are pretty cool because they have an actual sort of vent hood that rises out of the surface.

    LESLIE: Oh, they’re amazing.

    TOM: Yeah, they’re really pretty cool.

    LESLIE: It’s sort of hidden along that back edge. They pop up a couple of inches and really just get all of those odors and moisture right off the cooking surface and go right back down and vent it outside. And …

    TOM: And you don’t have to take up all the visual space with a big vent hood on top of the island, either.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Yeah, it gives you a great opportunity to put in some fantastic light fixtures and really make the island a focal point of your new kitchen.

    TOM: Well, as you start to tackle your spring project list, don’t forget safety. Eye injuries send more than a million people to the ER every year and many of them could have been prevented with the right safety gear. Leslie has the last word on how to protect your eyes, in this edition of Leslie’s Last Word.

    LESLIE: That’s right. You know, as you begin work on your spring to-do list, please remember to keep yourself safe. Ninety percent of the eye injuries that people suffer at home are totally preventable. People using lawnmowers, alone, account for more than 4,000 serious eye injuries a year. And household cleaners account for another 125,000. And construction workers are more likely to sustain an eye injury than any other worker in this country.

    So, if you’re working with wood, metal, cement, wire or just about any other home improvement material, please make sure that you wear safety goggles or safety glasses and get the ones with the side shields. They’re kind of dorky but they really do help to keep everything out of your eyes.

    You also want to remember to keep your kids away from your work areas. If you take just a few, simple steps, you could save your eyesight or seriously, a bad, scratched cornea, which is no fun. Because I took on a home improvement project once with While You Were Out, forgot my safety goggles for an instant. Wind came, dust went in my eyes, scratched my cornea. It was the worst, worst thing and then, of course, everybody on set with their dirty hands was like, “Let me touch your eye.”

    So if you get something in your eye, don’t touch it. Do a rinse, take care of yourself and wear your safety goggles to avoid that completely.

    TOM: Good advice. This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Coming up next week on the program, if you’ve been striving to create a lush, green lawn around your home but feel like you’re constantly losing the battle to those bald spots and the weeds, you might be tempted to throw in the towel and start from scratch. If that’s you, the question is this: should you reseed your lawn or use sod? We will tell you exactly what to do, on the next edition of The Money Pit.

    I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Remember, you can do it yourself …

    LESLIE: But you don’t have to do it alone.

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    (Copyright 2011 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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