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How to Keep Damaging Sun Rays Out of Your Home, Storm Windows Can Protect Your Home from the Elements, Add Beauty and Style to Your Garage Door, and more.

  • Transcript

    TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles, 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 need to pick up the phone right now and give us a call with your home improvement project, because we’re here to help. Short of showing up at your house with our truck and tools and actually getting the job done for you, we’re going to give you some advice, some tips, some advice, some encouragement to get the job done yourself. Pick up the phone and help yourself first, though, by calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT with that question, 888-666-3974.

    We’ve got a great show for you planned this hour. First up, you heard all the warnings about what the sun can do to your skin but what about what damage the sun can do to your home? That our sunlight can also fade furniture and floors, not to mention rise up those energy costs by increasing your cooling needs. We’re going to tell you, though, about a way, this hour, that you can shut out the damaging rays of the sun with the simple push of a button.

    LESLIE: And if it’s wind and rain that you’re trying to shut out, have you considered storm windows? You know, they’re easier to install than you might think. We’re going to get step-by-step advice from This Old House general contractor, and our friend here at The Money Pit, Tom Silva, a little bit later.

    TOM: And also ahead, if you’ve got a plain, boring garage door, that can take a beautiful house and really tone it down. That’s not what we want to do, so we’ve got an idea on how you can dress up your door with a trellis that’ll add value and style.

    LESLIE: And Father’s Day is just around the corner. We are giving away a prize package that would make any father figure on your shopping list drool. We have got eight tools from Stanley. It’s worth 235 bucks and it’s got everything from the cool FuBar Demolition Bar to a retractable utility knife.

    TOM: So help yourself first by picking up the phone and calling us with your question. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. We will toss your name into The Money Pit hard hat and one lucky caller to today’s program could win 235 bucks worth of cool tools from our friends at Stanley. Let’s get to it.

    Leslie, who’s first?

    LESLIE: We’ve got Jim in North Carolina on the line with a roofing question.

    JIM: I need a new roof. I’m originally from the Northeast – New York – and up there, it was very common to not strip the old fiberglass roof before putting a new roof on. I’m wondering what the advantage is to not stripping the roof versus stripping it to put a new one on.

    TOM: That’s a great question, Jim, and the answer really depends on one thing and that is how long are you going to spend in this house? Is this a house that you’re going to be in for the next 20 years or do you see yourself more in the 5-to-10-year range?

    JIM: We’re in the house for forever, the long – for long term.

    TOM: Forever? OK.

    JIM: Yeah, mm-hmm.

    TOM: Alright. They’re going to bury you in this place. Is that what you’re trying to tell me?

    JIM: Exact. We call it our “toes up.” We’re leaving toes up.

    TOM: Alright. It’s your toes-up house? Alright.

    So, if it’s your toes-up house, you’re going to want to make sure that that roof is going to last as long as possible and the way you’ll do that is by stripping the old layer. And here’s why I say that: if you have a second layer of roofing material under the exposed layer, that’s going to hold a lot of heat.

    And heat is the enemy of the roof. The hotter the roof gets, the quicker the asphalt and the other chemicals that make up the roof sheathing’s – the roof shingle’s ability to keep water away dry out, the shorter the roof life. So if you have a roof that’s really warm, it’s not going to last as long.

    And what I have found in the almost 20 years I spent as a professional home inspector, that when we saw roofs that had multiple layers, generally they lasted about a third less than a roof that was a single layer. So if the first roof lasted 20 years and you added a second layer, you might be looking at like, say, 14 or 15 years on the second layer. So that’s why I would suggest that you might be better off stripping off that first layer in your scenario and putting on just one layer.

    But if you had told me that “no, Tom, I’m only going to be in that house for 5 or 10 years,” well, then, who cares? Because you’re not going to be around to enjoy the benefit of the longer roof life. That’s why it makes sense, if you’re going to be there for that whole life of the roof, to go ahead and pull off the first one.

    A couple other things to keep in mind with that roofing project: also a good opportunity to take a look at your ventilation, Jim. Now, in a 20-year-old house, typically you don’t have enough ventilation, because they just didn’t vent roofs well back then. But you want to think about adding a continuous ridge vent down the entire peak of the roof and then a continuous soffit vent down both sides of the soffit. So that this way you’ll have plenty of opportunity for air to enter at the soffit, ride up under the roof sheathing and exit at the ridge. And that will give you a nice cycle of air, 24-7, that’s keeping that attic space cooler which, of course, makes your air conditioning more efficient and also helps the roof last longer, as well.

    JIM: That’s great. That all makes perfectly good sense.

    TOM: I had a good day. Jim, thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Michelle is on the line from Los Angeles, California with a cleaning question. How on Earth did you spill some glue on your floor? Tell us about it.

    MICHELLE: Well, this is an interesting story. My fiancé and I just bought a condo and it needed some renovations. We weren’t planning on buying a fixer-upper; it’s just how it worked out. And one of the things was the floors.

    He decided that he would install them himself; he’d done it once before. And so these floors required a glue, which a lot of folks like – we know a lot of people and people were like, “Glue? I never heard of glue.” But that’s what the lady that we bought the floors from said, so we got this really intense glue.

    And he kind of slammed through these floors pretty quickly and now I have this glue in fingerprint and bulges on top of the floors. It’s really terrible. And I’m just wondering – we’ve tried – the turpentine works but it takes the finish off. That’s what you’re supposed to use to get it off your tools and off your hands and stuff? But it takes the finish off the floor. We’ve tried these 5505 wipes that are like $20; that didn’t work. Those are the recommended product: the anti-product to the glue. We’ve tried something called Goof Off or Goo Off or something like that. I don’t know if you have a trick but this glue is really intense.

    TOM: I think what you’re going to have to do is try to get it off as best as you can but you – just buy into the fact that you’re going to probably want to refinish these. And it’s not that big of a deal, by the way. What you could do is get everything off and then what I would do is I would sand the whole surface. And you could rent a floor buffer with a sanding screen. It’s not like a caustic, rough belt sander.

    MICHELLE: Sure. But I don’t think with a sanding screen …

    TOM: No. You put a sanding screen on it and it abrades just sort of the upper surface of the floor.


    TOM: And then once you get that all abraded and even if you have to sand down deeper in the areas that are really bad, it’s OK. Because you get it all abraded and you get it all roughed up just a little bit with the floor buffer and the sanding screen. Clean it up really good so you have no dust and then you get some urethane – clear urethane. You want to use semi-gloss. And you apply that with a lambswool applicator.

    Now, that kind of looks like a mop for a kitchen except there’s lambswool on the end of it. And you essentially pour a little urethane in a paint tray and you mop it on very carefully and very smoothly, working out of the room. And then give it a day or two and it’ll dry and you should be good to go.

    Now, the one other thing I would do is check with the manufacturer of the hardwood floor to see if there’s a specific floor finish that they recommend for refinishing, because I’m not quite sure what they did initially.

    MICHELLE: Thank you very much.

    TOM: You’re very welcome, Michelle. Good luck with that project and congratulations on your upcoming wedding.

    Hey, if you survive the home improvement, you’ll survive the marriage, OK?

    MICHELLE: We’ve been living together five years, so this kind of thing is not new, honestly.

    TOM: It’s nothing, huh? Alright, Michelle.

    MICHELLE: Thank you very much.

    TOM: Take care.

    LESLIE: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. Well, summer’s official start is just days away. What is on your to-do list? We want to help you get all of those things done so that you can actually relax a little bit this summer but not too much; we’ve got projects for you. Give us a call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Up next, you wouldn’t think of going in the summer sun without sunscreen these days but are you doing anything to protect your home from those same damaging rays? We’ll tell you an easy way to do that, next.

    MIKE: Hey, this is Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs and I’ve just been told that Tom and Leslie might have a dirtier job than me? I find that hard to believe but then I heard they worked in a pit. It’s a money pit but it’s still filthy.

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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: Making good homes better, welcome back to 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: The number to call is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. You can get the answers to your home improvement questions and probably the answer to your Father’s Day shopping problems, as well. Because one lucky caller this hour is going to get a prize package from Stanley worth 235 bucks.

    LESLIE: That’s right. It’s got eight different tools in it, including the FuBar – the Functional Utility Bar; let’s keep our minds out of the gutter – which is a next-generation hammer that actually lets you rip through demolition jobs with ease. It’s also got a tool box that’s water-sealed so it’ll protect your tools.

    TOM: You can find more great gift ideas in our Father’s Day gift guide, online at MoneyPit.com, which is sponsored by Stanley.

    LESLIE: Eddie in Mississippi is on the line with an insulation question. What can we do for you today?

    EDDIE: I’m just wondering if spray-foam insulation will cause any moisture problems or any other problems that I’m going to expect?

    TOM: No, absolutely not. In fact, a sealed crawlspace is one very sensible approach that you could do with spray-foam insulation. A product like Icynene would work perfect for an area like that. If you have fiberglass insulation, then you have to ventilate the foundation area in that crawlspace and that’s a different approach. But if you’re using foam insulation, the entire surface becomes totally sealed and you will find that it remains very dry.

    EDDIE: OK. I have another question. How thick would you suggest that I put the spray foam?

    LESLIE: I don’t think it’s something you do yourself.

    TOM: Yeah. I don’t think it is something …

    EDDIE: The contractor said that they normally do like an inch-and-a-half or they could put it however thick I’d like. I just wondered how thick it’s normally applied.

    TOM: That’s going to depend on the type of foam insulation that the contractor is working with. Every manufacturer’s insulation is going to have a different R-factor per inch. But what you – the number you really want to focus on is not how many inches it’s thick but what’s required to give you an R19 level of insulation.

    EDDIE: OK. Well, thank you very much.

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

    LESLIE: Well, many parts of our country have already been sweltering in the sun. And we all know the damage that sun can do to your skin but did you know that it can come through your window and damage your home? That’s right. It fades fabric and paint and it drives up cooling costs and it’s harsh on wood surfaces, as well. But the experts at our sponsor, Lutron, have come up with a way that you can stop sun damage just by pushing a button.

    Lutron makes a remote-controlled cellular shade called the Serena. They’re battery-powered, so they’re easy to install and you don’t have to run a wire. And these shades are great because they’re remote-controlled, so you can raise or lower them from anywhere in the room with just a touch of a button.

    TOM: I got a chance to see these when they were first introduced and they really are amazing. They also come with a white backing that acts as a reflector and that keeps out those damaging rays and keeps your home cool. And it’s a very cost-effective way to keep the sun out, as well, because the shades start at just $299. And I know that many motorized shades on the market today can range into the thousands of dollars.

    You’ve got to see these very well-designed Serena Shades. Beautiful, energy-efficient way to improve your home. They start at $299. You can find out more on their website. Just go to ChooseLutron.com. That’s Choose – C-h-o-o-s-e – Lutron – L-u-t-r-o-n – .com.

    LESLIE: Todd in Illinois is on the line and dealing with a lot of basement condensation. Tell us what’s going on.

    TODD: I’ve got a two-story brick house with a basement about 200 square feet, mud floor. Got the, oh, block walls kind of in concrete. And I have got a lot of condensation on my rafters. It got so bad that I had to replace the main circuit breaker because it was corroded and getting condensation.

    And I was wondering, what should I do about that? Should I just put a dehumidifier in or should I put a dehumidifier in and put plastic over the floor? Or should I install a GFCI when I hook that dehumidifier up in that (inaudible at 0:14:04)?

    TOM: OK. So, Todd, you have a lot of condensation in this small basement on a dirt floor, correct?

    TODD: Right.

    TOM: Alright. So, a couple of things. First of all, we want to reduce the amount of moisture that’s getting into that space. And that means looking at your drainage conditions outside that space. We need clean gutters, we need downspouts extended away from the wall, we need soil that slopes away from the wall. We want to reduce the amount of water that’s hugging that area and then wicking through the walls and raising the humidity.

    Secondly, since it’s a dirt basement, you could pour what we call a dust-cover slab, which is not like a 6-inch slab but usually a couple of inches just for kind of storage. And you could put plastic underneath that. So it’s a little less expensive, a little less concrete. Not designed to stand up and it will crack, by the way, but it will seal in the floor and stop the moisture from coming up through that floor.

    And then thirdly, you should install a dehumidifier and then make sure you hook that up to a condensate pump so it runs on a humidistat, collects the moisture and then pumps it outside. This way, you don’t have the aggravation of having to empty it every day or two.

    TODD: Alright. OK. Thanks a lot.

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

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

    WANDA: My home has replacement windows in it already and we were changing them out with some new replacement windows. But when they began the installation, I noticed, when I was standing outside watching them, the first window had a gap of 1 inch between the brick and the window itself, all the way around it. And my thought was, “That seems like an awfully big gap to stuff insulation in and then put a trim on.”

    So after they did the second window, I said, “You know, you just need to stop. I think that looks wrong.” And they kind of looked at me and I thought to myself, “I have to call The Money Pit and find out: are they doing it correctly or am I wrong?”

    TOM: Wanda, I mean it sounds like a big gap. Typically, the space around a window is going to be more like a ¼- to a ½-inch and then it’s shimmed, because this allows the house to sort of move around the window, so to speak. And it is filled with insulation. But is it tight on the inside frame and the gap’s only on the outside? Or is it open that much all the way around?

    WANDA: No, on the inside it was probably a quarter to a half and they just filled that with the caulking. And then when I went outside and I went, “Oh, my gosh.”

    TOM: OK. But you have to remember this: the window can only be as wide as the hole and the hole is inside to inside. So it sounds like it was measured correctly on the inside.

    Now, when it comes through the wall, there probably, in the old window design, was a brick mold or a trim that went around the outside of that window that was wider. And very often, with the old wood windows, there is a brick mold. That’s what actually – when I say “brick mold,” that’s what it’s called; it’s called “brick mold” and it’s a type of wood trim that’s about 2¼ to 2½ inches wide. And that may have extended to the edge of that brick.

    Now, you don’t fill this up, though, with insulation; you retrim the window to cover that gap. And what has to happen here is they have to tell you how they’re going to trim out the window so it looks right on the outside.

    WANDA: OK. But the gap – the space that’s in between the drywall and the brick, the outside where they put the trim – will they put – should they put fiberglass insulation or should they – I know some of them were putting – squeezing the foam in there.

    TOM: No, not when it gets past the exterior wall. The wall cavity itself, yes, that all should be sealed in. Typically, the insulation doesn’t go all the way out but it wouldn’t hurt it. The key here is that we want to make sure that it’s – that the seal between the window trim and the brick is good so you don’t get water behind that.

    WANDA: OK. Alright. I appreciate it. Thanks.

    TOM: You’re welcome, Wanda. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.

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

    LOIS: Yes. My husband has been up on the roof twice now and he can’t find where the leak is leaking in our kitchen. And he can’t find out where it’s coming from.

    TOM: Is there a vent pipe right above that area, like where the kitchen sink is?

    LOIS: I’m not sure but …

    TOM: Typically, there is because all plumbing fixtures have a vent pipe. And where that pipe goes through the roof, that’s where I’d start.

    Now, roofs typically leak wherever there’s an intersection or a pipe comes through like that. And so I would take a look right above that. Now, keep in mind that roofs can leak farther up above where they’re actually showing up. And the water can sort of go down the roof rafter, sort of hang against gravity, then drip when it gets down towards the end. So, anywhere above that is where it’s going to – you’re going to find that leak.

    Now, if you look and you can’t figure it out, why not get up there with a hose and wash down the roof; see if you can make it leak.

    LOIS: OK.

    TOM: And between those two things, you ought to be able to find it.

    LOIS: Alright. OK.

    TOM: Alright? Be careful on that roof.

    LOIS: Yeah, that’s for him.

    TOM: Alright. 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. Say, are your energy dollars literally flying out the window? Well, installing storm windows is easier and cheaper than you might think. This Old Houses Tom Silva will tell you about it, next.

    TOM: And today’s This Old House segment is presented by new Trex Enhance Decking, now in stock at The Home Depot.

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    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by LIQUID NAILS. For tough jobs, demand the extraordinary strength of LIQUID NAILS Brand Heavy-Duty Construction Adhesive. It bonds a wide range of materials, indoors and out, for a job done once, done right. Learn more about LIQUID NAILS Brand Heavy-Duty Construction Adhesive at LIQUIDNAILS.com.

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Hey, new on MoneyPit.com, we’ve got video tool reviews. You can check out lawn-and-garden tools, like a string trimmer and mowers. You get some up-close and personal help to assist you in your buying decision. That’s online at MoneyPit.com/Videos.

    LESLIE: Rob in Iowa is on the line with a bug/creepy-crawly question. Tell us what’s going on.

    ROB: My wife and I picked up some bed bugs from a hotel we were in.

    TOM: Oh, no.

    ROB: Even though it was – oh, gosh, it’s been a mess. And we’ve had a professional come in. We’ve done – we’ve moved everything out of the room. We’ve bagged up all of our clothing and run it through the dryer. And we still – they’ve sprayed and we’ve still got residual bed bugs. Is there anything else we can do?

    TOM: You know, there is a system out there where a professional can pretty much super-heat your house; they kind of turn the house into a bit of an oven inside. It’s a pretty big deal, because you have to take out your plants and all that kind of stuff. But they pump in hot air and basically, what they do is they drive up with this, essentially, like a furnace on a truck. And they put these big supply ducts into the house and they overheat the house. And I forget what the temperature is they have to get it up to. It’s not a dangerous temperature but it basically …

    LESLIE: No. I want to say it’s like 120 degrees or something.

    TOM: It’s something like that but it heats everything up in the house for some number of hours and that completely wipes out the bed bugs, no matter where they are. So you don’t have to find them with the spray to catch them; you just overheat the house.

    So if you can find an exterminator in your area that does heat treatments like that, that’s proven very effective at wiping bed-bug populations out for good.

    ROB: Very good. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

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

    LESLIE: Well, if you have an older house with beautiful but drafty windows, then adding a storm window might be a smart move.

    TOM: That’s right. But is this a job you can take on yourself? With the step-by-step on this project, we turn now to how-to expert, Tom Silva, the general contractor from TV’s This Old House.

    And Tom, if you love your old windows, do storm windows still make sense as a way to save on those energy costs?

    TOM SILVA: Absolutely. Storm windows are a great way to save energy, both air conditioning-wise and heating-wise.

    TOM: Now, that’s a good point, because a lot of folks don’t realize that what leaks in in the winter leaks in in the summer.

    LESLIE: You just can’t feel it.

    TOM: And closing those storm windows, even in the summer, helps save on air-conditioning costs.

    TOM SILVA: Absolutely. Heat always wants to go to cold. So when those summer – in the summertime, the outside heat wants to get into the house. In wintertime, that heated air wants to get to the outside.

    TOM: So, do storm windows all have to be sort of custom-ordered these days? Is that the norm for them?

    TOM SILVA: Not always. There are standard-size windows. There are a lot of standard-size windows and you can get them but there’s a couple of different things that you have to remember. If you’re having a window that you want to get a storm window, too, you ought to think about a few different things about how it’s going to fit onto that window.

    There are different windows that – called either an Eastern or a Western. Eastern is also known as a tip-to-tip measurement: the outside or the widest or the highest measurement of that storm window.

    TOM: OK.

    TOM SILVA: And you have to figure out what part of your existing window you want that storm window to sit: either on the outside of the trim or inside the trim.

    TOM: That’s a good point. And so you have to really know what storm window you’re going to order, obviously, first. And I’m sure the manufacturer is going to give you very specific measuring instructions, because that’s really the critical part here.

    TOM SILVA: Absolutely. You always want to measure a window in three different locations: the bottom, the middle and the top. Take the smallest measurement and that’s the measurement that you’re going to give them. They will allow for the opening if you tell them it’s an Eastern, for example. That means it’s going to sit in between something.

    You can give them a tip-to-tip measurement that sits in between something and that means that they’re not going to allow for that window to get into that space.

    LESLIE: Tommy, does it make sense at this point, where measurements are so critical – I know when I’m measuring for a window treatment, if I have the company come out and take the measurements and there is any mistake, it’s their fault; they’ll remake it. If I measure it and there’s …

    TOM SILVA: Guess who owns it?

    LESLIE: That’s it. Too bad.

    TOM SILVA: Right, right. Oh, well, listen, everybody makes a mistake. I’ve measured quite a few storm windows over the years and once in a while, you get a measurement wrong and you eat the window.

    TOM: So if we have them measure them and we get the windows in, is this something that we can install ourselves?

    TOM SILVA: Sure. They’re pretty easy to install. You’ve got to make sure that it – first thing, before you do anything, is you want to take the window and dry-fit it. Make sure it fits, OK? Now that it – you know that it’s going to fit, you can run a bead of caulking up the sides and across the top. Never on the bottom.

    TOM: Because that’s got to drain, right?

    TOM SILVA: You want it to drain. I can’t tell you how many windows – storm windows – I see where people go and caulk along the inside of their window sill.

    TOM: They’re trying to do a really good job on those drafts.

    TOM SILVA: They don’t want those drafts to come in. That is so important that that stays open. And you …

    TOM: Yeah. Because how many rotted sills have you seen as a result of that, right? The water gets in and it sits.

    TOM SILVA: A ton of them, a ton of them. It keeps me in business, so I think they should still keep caulking those sills. But it’s crazy. But you want to also make sure you use the right kind of caulking. You don’t want to use a silicone caulking; you should use a butyl caulking because the butyl will stay flexible forever. And a nice, thin bead is all you need; you don’t need a lot.

    LESLIE: Now, does it ever make sense, depending on the type of window that you’ve got in your home, to also install interior storm windows? Or is that really in a historical, drafty window case?

    TOM SILVA: Well, interesting enough, there are different types of storm windows: there’s an interior, an exterior. And on the exterior, there’s multiple choices: you can get metal, you can get a combination of metal and wood or you can get wood. All of them have glass in there, too. I don’t want to forget that.

    But they all benefit just about the same. An interior storm window is fantastic if you like the look of an old window and you don’t want to cover it up with a storm window. The problem with an interior storm window is you now have to deal with a screen that you won’t have, because that storm window usually is one flexible pane of glass that sits – it’s actually not even glass. It sits into that opening with compression or sometimes there’s even a little flipper that you can use to take the window out. And now they actually make a storm window – interior storm window – that does have a screen on it but I don’t like the look of that on the inside of the house.

    TOM: So you kind of have to pick your poison here. I mean you – it’d be nice if you could just live with the beautiful, old window that the home was originally constructed with. But let’s face it: that’s going to be prohibitively expensive because they’re just not as energy-efficient as we need them to be today.

    TOM SILVA: Exactly, exactly.

    TOM: So beyond that, it’s really outside or inside. You’re going to see it; it just depends on where you want to see it. And then, of course, as you mentioned, the functionality really plays into this, too.

    TOM SILVA: Right, right. Now, the storm window – the exterior storm window – will protect the window itself, because it’s – the wind and the driving rain is not getting to the glazing. So if you have an old window and you want to keep it looking good, with less maintenance, the storm window will protect it.

    If you want to increase the efficiency of a storm window, you can actually add a coating to the glass. It’s a low-emissivity coating, also known as low-E. And what that does is it reflects the radiant heat from the inside of the building. When it tries to get to the cold, it bounces it back into the house.

    It also will do the same in the summertime but unfortunately, people put their screens up unless they want to keep their air conditioning on. They put their windows down and that is actually a radiant barrier; it pushes the radiant heat coming off of that hot driveway or your neighbor’s house or the ground. It’s trying to get back into the house because, remember, heat is always trying to get to cold.

    So if you have your air conditioner on, that heat’s trying to get in. That low-emissivity coating pushes the heat – that radiant heat – away.

    TOM: That’s great advice.

    Now, before we actually hang the storm window, it’s also probably a really good opportunity to scrape, prime and paint and clean up any worn areas of the existing old window, because now is your chance, right?

    TOM SILVA: Now is your chance. You don’t want to have it on raw wood. You want to – also want to make sure that it’s on a nice, flat, clean surface. Because you want to make a good connection and you want to make sure it sits flat so it’ll work correctly.

    TOM: Good advice. Tom Silva from TV’s This Old House, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    TOM SILVA: My pleasure.

    LESLIE: Alright. You can catch the current season of This Old House and Ask This Old House on PBS. For your local listings and a step-by-step video on installing a storm window, you can visit ThisOldHouse.com.

    TOM: And Ask This Old House is brought to you by Stanley Tools. Stanley, make something great.

    Up next, if you’ve got a very plain or ugly garage door, that could detract from the value of your home. Adding a trellis system to that door, though, can step it back up with very little maintenance. We’ll show you how to do just that, after this.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Behr Premium Exterior Weatherproofing Wood Stains and Finishes. Formulated to restore, beautify and protect decks, fences and siding year-round. Behr is available exclusively at The Home Depot, where you can visit the new Exterior Wood Care Center, built to help you find the right products and colors for your project. For more information, visit B-e-h-r.com.

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    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Lutron Dimmers and Sensors. Tired of reminding your family to turn off the lights? Install a Lutron Maestro Occupancy Sensor and you’ll never have to remind them again. It works with all bulb types and only takes about 15 minutes to install. For easy upgrades with big impact, choose Lutron. Visit ChooseLutron.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. And are you looking for a fantastic Father’s Day gift for that father figure in your life? Well, one lucky person doesn’t have to shop anymore because they are going to get an awesome prize this hour, just by calling 888-MONEY-PIT. We are giving away a prize pack from Stanley worth 235 bucks.

    TOM: It’s got eight tools in it. One of the coolest is the FuBar. It’s a demolition tool that lets you rip through walls just like a pro. You can also get the 3-in-1 Flashlight and a 201-piece Mechanics Tool Set. So call us right now. It’s going to go out to one caller drawn at random. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: That’s right. And you can find some more great gift ideas in our Father’s Day gift guide at MoneyPit.com. And it’s sponsored by Stanley.

    TOM: Well, this is the time of year to think about maybe adding some decorative touches to the exterior of your home. And as always, it’s best to look for details that will add value, as well as style. Fypon, which is a proud sponsor of The Money Pit, has a great way to do both.

    Fypon makes a PVC trellis system that’s a decorative, low-maintenance way to accent a single or even a double garage door. And you can add it to add some style to your front door or even make a garden shed look really great.

    LESLIE: That’s right. Now, the trellis system comes complete with beams, hardware and lattice that might remind you of Italy. Because it’s PVC, it’s not going to rot, warp or even be an invitation for insects to move right on in and start eating. Now, the PVC can also be stained or painted, so you can get it to look beautiful and match your home.

    For more information on the trellis system, go online to Fypon.com. That’s F-y-p-o-n.com.

    TOM: 888-666-3974. Give us a call right now with your home improvement question.

    LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Chuck in Michigan on the line who’s trying to remove some old padding from a hardwood floor. What happened?

    CHUCK: Well, we just bought this house and when we went to remove the carpeting, we noticed that there was some padding glued down to the floor. The glue was spread with a trowel and I want to restore the hardwood floor, so I don’t want to damage it when I remove the carpeting. And I figured I’d give you guys a call and find out what your suggestion would be.

    TOM: Because you were hoping that we would give you the easy, simple, do-it-yourself solution to this problem, weren’t you, Chuck?

    CHUCK: Exactly. That’s what I was counting on.

    TOM: That’s why I hate to disappoint you, buddy.

    LESLIE: Yeah, I don’t think it’s going to be so easy.

    TOM: There’s nothing easy about removing these floor adhesives. They’re really into that floor. What you end up having to do is scrape off as much as you can and then you’re going to belt-sand this floor with a floor sander. And when I say “you,” I mean the sort of – the royal you. I would hire a guy to do this because if you make a mistake with this belt sander, you will damage the floor.

    LESLIE: Yeah, this is not a fun project.

    TOM: But if you put it in the hands of a professional, they can scrape off this glue, get it down to fresh hardwood and get it to a point where you can refinish these and have them look terrific.

    CHUCK: OK. Thank you very much. We’ll try that out.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Up next, grout seems to be one of the most problematic homeowner issues out there. Our community members are asking how to clean it, how to redo it and more. We’re going to answer those questions, 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.

    Hey, did you guys know that Flag Day is June 14th? It’s right around the corner and it’s the perfect time to fly Old Glory. But we want to make sure that you know the right way to display the Stars and Stripes, so head on over to MoneyPit.com and search “flying the flag.” Hey, you don’t want to offend anybody.

    TOM: And while you’re online, head on over to the Community section and post your home improvement question.

    We got a lot of bathroom, tile and grout questions today, Leslie. The first up is from Joan who says, “I am planning to re-tile the bathroom with white subway tiles. I want to use white grout so it won’t look dirty but my husband says the white grout will stain. Is this true?”

    What your husband is saying: “I don’t want anything to do with cleaning your white tile grout, Joan.”

    So, yeah, you can actually put white grout in and have it not stain, if you simply seal the grout or if you use epoxy grout, which doesn’t absorb dirt. The epoxy grout, a lot harder to put in, by the way. You’ve really got to be experienced but it won’t take the dirt as well as the sand grout does. But if you seal it, then I think you’ll have a pretty good chance of keeping the dirt away.

    Also look for a grout that’s got an antimicrobial additive, because that will help prevent the grout from growing any mold, moss, mildew or algae.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And I mean if you’re looking for an interesting look, Joan, grout does come in a ton of different colors. And you might be able to achieve something a little bit more design-y, if that’s the look you’re going for, with using a darker-color grout, which might appease your husband and give you an extra design detail that you hadn’t thought about. I’m all for white with white but just an option.

    Alright. Now I’ve got one from Dwayne who writes: “My teenage son decided to paint his bathroom while I was away. He did no prep, so as you can imagine, my question is: what’s the best way to get paint off of tiles?”

    Oh, gosh.

    TOM: Bless his heart.

    LESLIE: “Black semi-gloss paint, by the way.” Wow. Good job.

    TOM: You know what? Actually, I think the tile, it should be really easy to take the paint off of that because the tile is not absorbent; it’s glazed. So what I would use is I would get a plastic putty knife. Not a metal one – that could scratch the tile – but a plastic putty knife. And I bet you could scrape off a lot of that paint.

    Now, if he got it into the grout, that’s going to be a little trickier. And for those areas, you may have to actually use a paint thinner to get it off the grout. But for the tile surfaces, a plastic putty knife should do a really good job of cleaning that up.

    LESLIE: Oh, my gosh. I’m really curious to know what the punishment was or will we …

    TOM: How can you punish him, though? He did it for a surprise.

    LESLIE: Were we proud that he was creative?

    TOM: Yeah, it was a surprise for Mom. And it worked; she was surprised.

    LESLIE: Ugh. My goodness.

    Alright. Next up, we’ve got a post from Cheryl who writes: “I’m redoing my master bathroom. The tile on the floor is in good shape but the grout is not: it’s chipped in places. Do I need to remove the old grout or can I just add new on top?”

    TOM: Yeah, you’ve got to remove the old grout. You can’t put layers of grout on top of an old layer like that, because the grout actually takes up the space between the tile. It’s not really good at laying on top of old stuff. So what you need is a grout saw: a special saw blade that kind of more vibrates than cuts but it will make all of that old grout come out reasonably easy.

    And it’s kind of a loud job that has a lot of sort of banging noise and vibration associated with it. And you could pop up a tile and make it loose at the same time and if that happens, just re-glue it. But you’ve got to carve out all that old grout. Vacuum it out really, really good and then re-grout the whole thing. And this way, you will know that it will have a very clean finish with grout that’s really going to stick.

    And remember to seal it; seal it right away. You never get a second chance to seal it the first time. And that will keep it looking good for a long time.

    LESLIE: You know, I mean that really is the best way to do it. And if your tile is in good shape, that’s a huge money-saver right there. So you’re really doing the good step by just replacing that grout. Because you’ll save a ton of money, you’ll like your tile and you’re on your way to your brand-new look.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. That’s all the time we have for this hour of the program, which means it’s time for you to pick up the tools and get to work.

    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 2012 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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