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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: Standing by to help you tackle your home improvement projects, solve your do-it-yourself dilemma. Or if you’re the kind of person that doesn’t want to pick up the hammer, pick up the saw and do the job yourself, we will help you select the right contractor. We just don’t want do-it-yourselfers to turn into do-it-to-yourselfers by doing the wrong things. We’re here to help make sure that doesn’t happen to you, at 888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.

    Hey, coming up on today’s program, there’s firm, pillow-top, plush, gel and foam. Now, those could be the latest lattes from Starbucks but they’re not. They’re the names of different types of mattresses. We’re going to tell you how to choose the best mattress that will give you the best rest, in just a bit.

    LESLIE: And also ahead, we’re going to have some tips on saving energy with your lighting. We’re going to tell you why dimmers can put the light and ambience you need right at your fingertips.

    TOM: Plus, if you do your part tossing your plastic water bottles and milk jugs and the like in the recycling bin, did you ever wonder what becomes of that stuff? You wouldn’t believe all the places that that recyclable plastic is turning up in home improvement products. We’re going to share that, in just a bit.

    LESLIE: And one caller we talk to this hour on the air is going to win a $200 prize pack from Red Devil, with enough of their products for patching and sealing up around the house for years to come.

    TOM: So, give us a call right now with your home improvement question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.

    Leslie, who’s first?

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

    KATHY: I have a problem – not I but my daughter has a problem with her sliding doors.


    KATHY: In winter, it’s awfully drafty. And on a previous show, you mentioned a product to put on that you can peel off in springtime very easily and that seals the doors and windows. But I did not get the name, so that’s why I’m calling back, if you remember that or if you can help me with this problem?

    LESLIE: Now, Kathy, it’s a very common product that we talk about often. DAP has one; it’s called Seal ‘N Peel Caulk. A lot of different manufacturers make one. But once she seals this door, it’s not something that you’re going to want to peel off and reapply. Is this a door that she uses often or could she call this doorway closed for the season?

    KATHY: No, she doesn’t use it in winter at all.

    TOM: OK. So then you could seal it off for the winter, as long as – and the thing that concerns me, though, in telling you this is while you can seal it off for the winter, you’re also sort of sealing it shut. So if this is an emergency exit out of the house, in the event of a fire or something like that, you might not want to do this. But the product is a weatherstripping caulk. It’s clear; it looks like silicone but it’s not. And you essentially caulk drafty windows or doors. And then in the spring, you peel it off and it doesn’t damage the underlying door.

    But like I said, because it’s a door, we don’t recommend that you seal it shut because then you won’t be able to get out.

    LESLIE: And that’s a good option if the draft is coming in from around the door, like in the operable parts, the doorway itself, for lack of a better area to describe? If you feel that the draft is coming from the glass itself, there’s also those clear sheetings that you can attach, in addition to sealing off the other part, that you sort of blow-dry in place, that sort of seals off an additional layer if the draft is coming through the glass, as well. And a combination of those two things might work.

    TOM: It’s shrink film and it would attach to the outside frame of the door. It sort of has like a double-face tape attachment and then you heat it with a hair dryer and it shrinks and pulls really tight and taut. And of course, that would stop the drafts but in the event you had to get out in an emergency, you just break through and go on out.

    Alright, Kathy? So I hope that those are some good ideas that help you and your daughter out. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Nathan in Texas on the line who’s got a concrete-stain question. What’s going on?

    NATHAN: Just wondering, we have a place on our stained concrete floors that a chair has sat at and rolled around a lot and it’s faded all the stain away. Didn’t know if you knew of any way to make it look any better or should we just leave it alone?

    LESLIE: So the floor itself is not damaged, just that the color has gone away.

    NATHAN: Right. Just from a roll-around chair being – sitting in front of a computer, moving around a lot.

    TOM: And what kind of stain color are you working with right now, Nathan?

    NATHAN: It’s a rust-type brown with a little bit of – almost a kind of slight maroon-ish tint to it.

    TOM: Alright. Well, I mean I’m glad that it’s darker rather than lighter because it seems like that might be a bit easier to match, right, Leslie?

    LESLIE: Yeah. I think you’re going to have to try to mix up some new stain. And I say “mix up” only because if you’ve got any of the original color left, you might need to add a little bit of a darker stain to it just to sort of get it to match the current color situation for the rest of your floor? And you should be able to sort of blend that in to make those bald spots, for lack of a better word, go away, that faded area to sort of come back to life.

    Now, as far as repairing it or making it more robust or sturdy, I should say, for that future rolling-around on it, have you done any sort of clear coat or protective coat to the top of the stain? Or is it really just like a dry, matte surface finish?

    NATHAN: It is dry. We did have a clear coat initially when we built the house. But what happened with that is any type of – if a dog walked on it, the paw prints showed and you couldn’t get them off, so we had to buff it all out.

    TOM: So it never really – it sounds like it remained tacky.

    LESLIE: It never cured.

    TOM: Yeah, that can happen if there’s moisture under the slab.

    NATHAN: And that’s probably what happened. We had a little bit of a problem with our contractor and never really got it right.

    TOM: Well, look, you could always try this in an inconspicuous area but I think if you were to get the color right and then clear-coat it again with satin, it would stand up a little bit better. But I guess the good news is that this is obviously under a desk or an area where a chair is, so it’s not going to be terribly noticeable. But why not just put some sort of protective mat under that chair this time, after you get it right?

    NATHAN: Yeah, I agree.

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

    LESLIE: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. Now you can call in your home repair or your home improvement question 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, whenever you’re working on it or whenever the mood might strike you. We’re here to give a hand at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Up next, if you’ve ever had problems getting a good night’s rest, it might be the mattress that’s the issue. There are lots of new options. We’ll help you choose which is the right one for you, next.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Stanley Tools, celebrating their 170-year anniversary. At Stanley, making history is our future. To learn more, visit StanleyTools.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.

    TOM: Pick up the phone, give us a call at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. If you do, you could win a $200 prize pack from Red Devil this hour. Now, the prize pack has putty knives, utility knives, a caulk gun, acrylic sealant and a very cool product called ONETIME Patch & Prime. It’s lightweight spackling.

    LESLIE: Yeah. You know, it’s great for painting prep. There’s no sanding or priming required and it dries fast and is ready to paint in minutes.

    TOM: That number, again, is 888-MONEY-PIT. You can also visit SaveOnRedDevil.com for more money-saving offers. Now, let’s get back to those phones.

    Leslie, who’s next?

    LESLIE: Nora in Texas is on the line with a textured-wall question. Tell us what you’re working on.

    NORA: We are remodeling our house and we have a room that has a wall that has some flaws in the wall: some bumps and things that I know I won’t get out. But we were going to – we were texturing it with a lightweight joint compound and a paint roller. But when I put it on, I kind of went above my head and came down and then I dipped again, went across the wall and then went across the top about a foot from the ceiling to the – where I’d started. Then went across the bottom from the foot – from the – right ended to the floor. Is it going to show line – how do you keep from showing line marks and …?

    TOM: Well, you know, Nora, there’s paints that are designed to do that; you don’t have to use spackling. But I can respect the fact that you probably had some spackle and maybe you just tried to make that work. How do you avoid paint lines or how do you avoid trowel lines with that? You only get one shot to do it and that’s when you work it when it’s wet.

    NORA: OK.

    TOM: It’s OK to cut-in like that but before it dries. What you have to do is go across the wall and sort of break into those sort of bands so that you have a pattern there.

    NORA: OK.

    TOM: I probably would not have used spackle for that, if it was me. I would have used a good-quality textured paint, which would have given you the same effect. But it sounds like that ship has sailed and now you’re working with the spackle. Is that correct?

    NORA: Well, yes. What kind of paint has texture in it?

    TOM: Oh, there’s lots of different paints. I know, for example, I think it’s Valspar has got about a dozen different ones. And I’m sure every major paint manufacturer has a textured paint.

    NORA: So you just roll it on like paint and it …?

    TOM: That’s right. It has less coverage. So while regular paint covers about 400 square feet per gallon, textured paint will cover between 150 and 200 square feet per gallon.

    LESLIE: And it also depends – the application depends on the type of texture that you choose. Some of them have certain rollers that are required – certain applicators, I should say – that will achieve that look for you.

    NORA: OK. Well, thank you very much.

    LESLIE: Well, it’s time now for The Money Pit’s Pinterest Tip of the Week, presented by Citrus Magic Air Freshener. And today on The Money Pit’s Pinterest page, we have tips on choosing a new mattress.

    TOM: You spend a third of your life in bed, so you want to make sure you choose your mattress carefully. First off, you want to know the difference in comfort levels. There is a firm level, plush and pillow-top. Firm is pretty much self-explanatory, plush has support but allows more pressure points to sink into the mattress and pillow-top is the softest. Now, you want to ignore terms like ultra-firm and super-plush because, basically, there’s no regulation on these descriptions and it’s really hard to determine what they actually mean.

    LESLIE: Now, keep in mind that if your mattress is old and not giving you much, if any, support, you’re probably waking up achy and sore. Now, you might mistakenly believe that you need a firm mattress but what you really may need is just more support. So, try the mattresses in the showroom. Also, keep in mind that higher spring count may sound impressive but studies have actually shown that the number of springs doesn’t really affect how comfortable the mattress is.

    TOM: And that’s your Pinterest Tip of the Week, presented by Citrus Magic Air Freshener. There’s magic in the air.

    You can visit The Money Pit’s Pinterest page and check out our Tip of the Week Board for more on this and other great ideas.

    LESLIE: Tom in Florida is dealing with some tree roots in a drain system. Never a fun task. Tell us what’s going on at your money pit.

    TOM IN FLORIDA: Our house was built in ’55 and we have a lot of oak trees in the area. In fact, it’s called Shady Oaks Drive. And I have these roots into my drain field, into the pipes, and it’s clogging my system.

    TOM: So it’s getting into the drain field itself? So it’s getting into the pipes that have the openings where the water leaches out into the drain field?

    TOM IN FLORIDA: Yeah. Yes.

    TOM: Yeah, that’s a difficult situation because, of course, that’s a perfect source of food for the trees, right?

    LESLIE: So it probably really likes it there.


    TOM: Yeah, they do. Yeah. Now, is it possible to cut back trees from this area?

    TOM IN FLORIDA: No, they’re – these trees are about 6- or 7-foot around. They’re huge.

    TOM: So, here’s one thing that you can do: if you can map out where the drain field is and be sure where that drain field is, you could trench. And you may have to rent a device to do this but you could trench, even if it was a narrow trench.

    Have you ever seen one of these cutters that are like a 2- or 3-inch-wide blade that kind of digs straight into the ground?


    TOM: You could trench around the drain field. And in doing so, what you would be doing is slicing those roots on their way over to the drains.


    TOM: And that would isolate – at least slow down the growth of some of those roots into the drain field. They’re going to come back eventually but it might take quite a while; it might be something you only have to do every two or three years. But if you could slice that area around the drain field so that the roots don’t go through that and into the pipes, what’ll happen is the roots that are there will die off because they won’t be fed from the tree anymore.

    TOM IN FLORIDA: Right.

    TOM: And then, hopefully, they won’t come back for a while. Does that make sense?


    TOM: Well, give that a shot and good luck with that project. Tom, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Marcia in Illinois needs some help getting a window unstuck. Tell us about it.

    MARCIA: I have a window over my sink in my kitchen, so I have to lean over the sink to raise this window. And it’s always been extremely hard to get up or down and I just don’t know what to do with it. I think I’ve tried WD-40.

    TOM: Is this a wood window, Marcia?

    MARCIA: Yes, it’s a wood window.

    TOM: So, probably over the years, it’s gotten bigger, swollen in its place. And it’s gotten tighter in the jambs. And I’ll presume with paint, too, over the years that that didn’t make it any better. So, why don’t you think about a replacement window? I mean look, we can talk to you about taking this whole window apart and sanding down the jambs and sanding down the sashes and making it easier to use and replacing the cords and the balance and all that work, but I think this would be a good time to treat yourself to a replacement window.

    You don’t have to do all the windows in the house. You can buy a double-hung replacement window at a home center today for a couple hundred bucks and it’s a pretty good-quality window. So, you may want to think about replacing just this one window or in the alternative, you can pull the trim off, you can take the sashes apart and you could sand them and sand them well. And that will make them a little bit smaller all the way around and make them easier to operate. And of course, also make sure that the balances are working.

    Now, if it’s an old, wood window, you may have cords or chains that go up and you want to make sure that they’re still attached because that gives you a little bit of assistance as you open and close the window.

    MARCIA: OK. Well, I appreciate your advice. I guess I’ll have to invest in a new window.

    TOM: I think it’s going to be easier than all the work it would take to get the old window working. And I’m all for easy and that’s why I suggest that. OK, Marcia? Good luck. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    And look, if you’ve got these old windows, you can work on them and put 8, 10 hours into a window and sure, it’ll be just as good as new. But why? It’s still going to be an old, drafty, wood window when you can go buy a double-pane, vinyl-clad window – a replacement window – that slips inside the existing opening and just have better energy efficiency and a window that really works, tilts in to clean, the works. Just doesn’t make any sense.

    LESLIE: You’re still going to have to reach over that sink. It’s just going to be easier to work.

    TOM: Exactly.

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Corey in Michigan who is dealing with an addition that’s having a hard time maintaining its heat. Tell us what’s going on at your money pit.

    COREY: I purchased a foreclosure a couple years ago and they put an addition on the back of the house. And the house has a basement but there’s a crawlspace under the addition. And I’ve noticed the past couple years that I’ve been here – the addition in the back, it’s just one room. It’s like a great room; it’s about 18×20 feet. And it’s always colder; it’s around 10 to 15 degrees colder than the rest of the house.

    LESLIE: And what type of heating do you have in that space?

    COREY: We have forced-air heating throughout the house and they put an additional duct going to that room. And we also have a gas fireplace in the back. But unfortunately, I’m always finding myself having to put the fireplace on to try and even out the …

    TOM: So, did they try to extend the heating system from the main house into the addition?

    COREY: They did. And that was part of my concern when I was looking at it because they ran a duct right off of the main duct off the furnace.

    TOM: Yeah.

    COREY: So, I was thinking maybe kind of like how air would take the path of least resistance, it’s just continuing through the large duct and not really being forced into the smaller duct that goes right into that room. Because the furnace is actually very close to that room.

    TOM: So it sounds like what they tried to do is take the inexpensive way out, which is to extend the existing heating system into that room, which may or may not have been properly done. So, have you had an HVAC contractor look at this and look at the duct runs?

    COREY: No, I haven’t, no.

    TOM: Yeah, so I would do this: I would look at the duct runs first and see if the duct system can be adjusted or additional ducts can be installed to get more air into that room. You need more heat in that room. That would be the least expensive way to go. If you’re running this gas fireplace to try to balance off the chilliness in that room, you might want to think about – because we’re just sort of working with – I guess the coldest days is when you need this, I would imagine? You might want to think about adding electric baseboard heat.

    Now, we almost never recommend that because it’s the most expensive but in a situation where you’re trying to add supplemental heat to a room, that’s not a bad way to go because it’s inexpensive to install and you’re only going to run it when you really need it.

    COREY: OK. OK. What do you think about maybe putting like – I know they have those fans that you can stick inside ducts to maybe help pull the air into the duct?

    TOM: I wouldn’t go that route until I had a good HVAC installer – not a service guy, not a guy who just tunes up furnaces but somebody that really knows how to lay out a duct system for a house – look at it. That’s called a duct booster. It might be an alternative; it might not. It depends on how the duct was put together, how much supply air and return air is getting back.

    Because remember, you can’t just throw the air in there. You’ve got to pull the cold air out of there and send it back to the heating system. So if they’ve just got supplies and no return, that could also be an issue.

    COREY: OK. Yeah, there is a return but yeah, it’s – I don’t know. I’m not sure exactly how many corners they cut because I know in the crawlspace there, they didn’t put no Visqueen down or anything like that, also.

    TOM: Yeah, well, I would talk to an HVAC contractor about the duct layout, see if you can get some additional feedback on that and then just look at all the alternatives. What’s it going to cost to get the duct system working right? Can it work right? Is the existing furnace big enough to supply the amount of heat that that room is going to need, given its location, given how much glass is there and so on? And remember, keep that as a fallback position that you could always add electric baseboard to supplement what you have.

    COREY: Oh, OK.

    LESLIE: Thanks so much for calling The Money Pit.

    Coming up, have you ever grabbed a tool to fix something in your house, only to find that it’s the wrong tool? Well, then you end up going back over and over again until you get it right. So we’ve got some tips on a new product that can solve that issue once and for all, when The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show continues.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is presented by Leviton, the brand most preferred by builders for wiring devices and lighting controls. With a focus on safety, Leviton products are the smart solution for all your electrical needs.

    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: Well, the avid DIYers out there probably have just about every hand tool known to man, including a set of ratchet wrenches. They’re great but they do take up a lot of room in the tool box and it’s sometimes a guessing game to figure out what size head you need.

    LESLIE: Stanley Tools has created a wrench that completely solves both of those issues. And here to tell us about it is Mike Allison, Product Manager for Stanley’s Mechanics Tools. And he’s here to talk about a brand-new innovation: the TwinTec Ratcheting Socket Wrench.

    Welcome, Mike.

    MIKE: Tom and Leslie, how are you doing? Good to be here.

    TOM: We’re doing well.

    And all of us have struggled with ratchet sets where we end up with so many different sockets, so many different ratchets and just a lot of complication in order to figure out what you need, especially if you don’t do it every day. How does the TwinTec solve that problem?

    MIKE: Well, the TwinTec takes all the guesswork out of it. So, with the TwinTec, you’re going to get 27 hex, SAE and metric sizes, along with a ratchet, in one wrench. So with this, you won’t have to carry a socket set to your job site or to where you need to perform the job. You won’t have to open up and have the sockets go everywhere. You won’t have to guess what size. You simply take out the TwinTec, use the quick-adjust dial and there’s no guesswork.

    TOM: So, essentially, are we talking about one socket that you sort of dial up or dial down to fit any fastener?

    MIKE: Correct. So there’s a larger-size head and a smaller-size head. So, obviously, for the larger size, you have half the sizes, which fits 13. And then the lower half will fit the other 13. And then where we get the 27 pieces in 1 is we count the ratchet as a piece that you won’t have to lug around with you.

    LESLIE: And I have to tell you, Mike, the tool itself is very innovative and kind of cool-looking. It almost looks like something that could be part of a bicycle. It’s got these yellow dials. I mean it’s really very interesting. It seems like a lot of thought goes into the process of what should this look like, what should this be made of. You know, how long does the entire design process kind of take? Take us through that.

    MIKE: Of course. This was ultra-important for us, as well, because this is kind of one of the first products that’s coming out with our new brand guidelines that we’re so proud about to launch this September.

    So, with the new logo and new ID on this product, we definitely took the time to develop everything and do the end-user feedback, see what they liked about it, what they didn’t like about it, how would end users respond to this. So, we took about, I’d say, close to a year to develop this and do our research, do our homework and make sure the end users really would like this and understand it. And of course, the research came back tremendous, so that’s why we’re proud to launch this this Q4.

    TOM: We’re talking to Mike Allison. He’s a product manager with Stanley Mechanics Tools. And the new product is called the Stanley TwinTec Ratcheting Socket Wrench. It retails for 29.99 which, to me, makes it very giftable, I would imagine, huh, Mike?

    MIKE: Correct. That’s part of the research that came back is – when we do our research, we research from DIY all the way up to professional. Professional understood it; they said it could be useful. DIYers thought, “Wow. This would be a great gift around Father’s Day or around the holiday timeframe.” So, look to see it around the – this holiday season, in a few local stores that you can purchase it at.

    TOM: Mike Allison from Stanley’s Mechanics Tools, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    MIKE: Of course, Tom and Leslie. I appreciate it.

    TOM: Learn more about Stanley Tools at StanleyTools.com.

    LESLIE: Alright. And still to come, we’re following the plastic trail. We’re going to tell you what becomes of your plastic recyclables after you put them out to the curb. You’ll be surprised. Stick around.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is presented by Diamond Crystal Salt. The benefits are bigger than you expected. After all, you’re worth your salt. Diamond Crystal Salt. A brilliant choice since 1886.

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

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete. Pick up the phone and give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    We’re giving away a $200 prize pack from Red Devil this hour, which includes putty knives, utility knives and a caulking gun, acrylic sealant and ONETIME Patch & Prime Lightweight Spackling.

    TOM: It’s great for painting prep because there’s no sanding or priming required. It dries fast and it’s ready to paint in minutes.

    The number, again, is 888-MONEY-PIT. And you can also visit SaveOnRedDevil.com for more money-saving offers.

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

    PATRICK: We’ve got probably a 20 or – nah, 15,000- or 20,000-gallon pool above ground, OK?

    TOM: OK.

    PATRICK: So that’s a lot of weight. Since, I have put in three shallow wells and with a 1-horsepower pump that draws for my sprinkler system.

    TOM: OK.

    PATRICK: We have a standard lot. It’s probably 80×125. And I’m getting some sagging or – not some sagging. I’m getting a decent amount of sagging on the pool fence. So am I sucking too much water out and then the weight is pushing it down or what do you think?

    TOM: The water shouldn’t impact the fence. If the fence is settling, I don’t think it’s because you’re pulling water out from under it. Usually, if you get a lot of settlement, it’s because of the grade of the land. If there’s a lot of water sitting in there, like from rainfall, and then you have weight on top of that, then that will disturb the soil, it makes the soil weaker and then things shift.


    TOM: So I don’t know if you can connect the well with the movement of the fence. Just the fence that’s moving?

    PATRICK: Yeah, it’s pulling away from the main post. It …

    TOM: Yeah, it’s probably just a little bit of settlement in that area. Pulling away from a post like that is not that terribly unusual and so I wouldn’t attribute that to some shifting of ground underneath.

    PATRICK: OK. OK. So you don’t think I’m sucking too much water out of the water table and then now it needs to go somewhere?

    TOM: I don’t know what you’re taking out of the water table, Patrick, but I know it’s not likely to cause the fence to move.

    PATRICK: Oh, got it. OK.

    TOM: Well, every November, we celebrate America Recycles Day. It’s a day dedicated, across the country, to encouraging sustainability through recycling. But did you ever wonder what happens to all that plastic? We’ve got the scoop, presented by Plastics Make it Possible.

    LESLIE: Well, as communities include more types of plastic that they collect for recycling, more and more plastics are being recycled. Now, some of those plastics may come back in building products for your next home improvement project.

    TOM: Now, you likely have all kinds of recyclable plastics in your home: everything from milk jugs to beverage bottles to detergent bottles, shampoo containers, plastic bags, you name it. When you recycle these everyday plastics, you keep valuable materials out of the landfills. And the best part is these plastics can live on and come back into your house.

    LESLIE: That’s right. For example, recycled plastics often are used to make composite lumber: a durable building material that looks like wood but the plastic is resistant to moisture and insects. And the lumber needs very little maintenance.

    Now, recycled plastics are also being used more and more to make soft, comfortable carpeting, available in a lot of colors which will complement any décor. And milk jugs and other plastic containers are being used to make attractive countertops and floor tiles.

    TOM: For more great tips on recycling and contributing to sustainability at home, visit PlasticsMakeItPossible.com.

    LESLIE: Liam in Iowa has a flooring question. What can we help you with?

    LIAM: I was wondering if I could get away with putting some snap-together flooring, like Pergo, over carpeting in the dining room. Because I don’t want to cover the carpeting up but the dining room is carpeted. And we’d like to have a hard surface underneath the dining-room table so it doesn’t get food and stains and stuff in the carpeting.

    LESLIE: So you’re talking about an area just for the table?

    LIAM: Yeah, just like underneath the dining-room table. Rather than tear up a hole in the carpeting or tear up the carpeting in the dining room, you think I could just snap together flooring over the carpet, under the dining-room table and chairs?

    TOM: I don’t think so because that type of flooring needs a certain level of consistent support. And there’s special underlayments that are designed to go underneath it and those underlayments have just enough cushion but it gives the flooring material the support it needs.

    LIAM: Mm-hmm. Sure.

    TOM: So putting it on top of carpet, it’s going to be too mushy and the floor joints are going to start to break apart. So, that’s just not going to work. You’re going to have to decide one or the other.

    LIAM: OK. So if I want a hard floor, I’m going to have to tear up the carpeting.

    TOM: Correct.

    LESLIE: Well, yeah, if you’re looking for a hard floor like a Pergo or a laminate type, you would take up the carpeting, which isn’t a huge project. And depending on what’s under there, you could probably use whatever plywood or base as your subfloor and make it work really well and go together quite easily.

    The other option – if you like that carpeting that’s in there, you’re just concerned about the table and the usage and dirt, you could get an inexpensive sisal or seagrass rug, which is really in style, and layer your carpeting. I’ve seen this done many times. It looks great in rooms like this and you can do a carpet – like an area rug underneath the table and chairs. And if you go with a sisal or seagrass, it’s very stylish. I don’t know what your décor is but it could work and be really awesome.

    LIAM: A friend of mine has an indoor/outdoor rug that looks like black-and-white tile, at their campsite, outside of their Airstream trailer. So maybe something like that, like an indoor/outdoor type of carpet?

    TOM: Yeah, it doesn’t have to be indoor/outdoor. If I had an Airstream trailer, I’d probably have indoor/outdoor carpet for that, too. But in your situation, it’s inside your house.

    LESLIE: Right. In my dining room, I don’t know I would do that.

    TOM: Exactly.

    LESLIE: But you can get a sisal rug or a seagrass rug for 100 or 200 bucks, depending on the size of it. And those clean really well, they’re reversible. So if one side gets super-dirty, you just flip it over and use the other side. And then when that one gets trashed, you chuck it and get a new one.

    LIAM: OK, cool. Appreciate it.

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

    LESLIE: Bob in Oregon is on the line with a roofing question. What’s going on?

    BOB: Well, I had some people saw – and add a roof over a deck on a house, making the deck into a porch. And they – when they nailed the new ledger onto the old soffit, I had told them to get up underneath the existing shingles with flashing, to go over top of the new roofing and so forth so the water continuation – the drainage. And they didn’t do that. I’ve found out since then that there’s probably a reason why they didn’t and that is because the old roofing on the house is very, very well-nailed down – about on 2-inch centers – and plying out all those nails would be a problem.

    And so they just put the new roofing up against – as close as they could over top of the new ledger. But it doesn’t – of course, it doesn’t seal. So the water comes down the old roofing and then runs down between the two and down onto the deck – down onto the porch. And I heard you talking about a product that you were giving away, whether you were going to have a joined floor or whatever. And I said, “Hey, that sounds like exactly what I might need: a liquid rubber.”

    TOM: Yeah, you’re talking about the Ames’ Blue Max, which is a great product. But it’s not designed to patch a roof installation that was just done horribly wrong to begin with.

    And so, my advice on this would be to fix it once, fix it right and not have to deal with it again, by making the proper roof repair which, in your case, is going to involve pulling some of the roof material off of the house so that you can take the roof from the overhang – the new overhang now – and work it up under those shingles properly.

    BOB: That’s what I’m trying to avoid, if I can, because, of course, the edge of the existing roof is tarred down pretty well. In fact, real well, because I did that myself a few years ago.

    TOM: Right.

    BOB: And it’s nailed down very, very well.

    TOM: I understand that. But anything else is not going to be a permanent repair. And I really feel like removing that roof is the right way to go here so that you have a properly flashed seam. And it’s going to be important to keep that dry. It’s going to prevent rot if the water leaks through there and it’s going to add to your home value because it’ll be properly done.

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

    LESLIE: Still to come, butcher-block countertops. They’re beautiful but if they’re not being cared for properly, they can actually be a germ factory. We’re going to tell you the best way to take care of them, next.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is presented by Leviton, the brand most preferred by builders for wiring devices and lighting controls. With a focus on safety, Leviton products are the smart solution for all your electrical needs.

    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, do you want to win a boatload of tools to tackle your next do-it-yourself project? Well, check out our Facebook page at Facebook.com/TheMoneyPit and get in on our Weekend Warrior Sweepstakes. All you have to do to enter is “like” our page. And if you share the sweeps, you get bonus entries to increase your chances of winning.

    TOM: We’re giving away three great prizes, including a set of power tools from PORTER-CABLE. We’ve got the 20-Volt Lithium-Ion MAX Linked System. It includes a circular saw, a reciprocating saw and a drill/driver.

    Check it out at Facebook.com/TheMoneyPit.

    LESLIE: And while you’re online, you can post your question in the Community section, just like Sue from Illinois did. And Sue writes: “One of our countertops is about 2 feet of butcher block. We put in new countertops and sanded down the butcher block to fresh wood. Should I apply anything to that wood? Somebody suggested mineral oil.”

    TOM: Yeah, that’s right, Sue. I mean mineral oil is the best thing to put on a butcher-block countertop because it’s non-toxic. You really don’t want to put anything else but that. If it starts to get roughed-up, you can sand it down again. You want to get some – probably some 50-grit sandpaper on a block of wood and then really rub it down. Because you’re kind of cutting across the end grain and you really need a strong sandpaper to do that. And then put more mineral oil on top of that.

    The other thing to do is every once in a while, it’s not a bad idea to spray it with about a 10-percent bleach solution. This is going to make sure we kill any bacteria that’s stuck to the surface.

    LESLIE: Alright. Next up, we’ve got Michael who writes: “About 15 years ago, I put rubber matting on my concrete basement floor. I started to remove it today and it’s very dirty and it smells moldy. What should I clean it with?”

    TOM: Yeah, that doesn’t surprise me, Michael, because that rubber matting just was sitting on top of that concrete surface where there’s a lot of condensation. It’s just – the water is going to condense on the back side of it, mix with some of the dirt and you’ve got perfect conditions for mold.

    So here’s what I would do – is I would take that matting out of the house. I would thoroughly scrub the whole thing down with Concrobium. Concrobium is a good product to use. It’s going to kill the mold and it adds a protective layer that stops it from coming back.

    LESLIE: Yeah. You know, it really does do the trick. And when it comes to mold growth, you’ve got to get it before it spreads too much and then you can keep it from coming back.

    TOM: Well, it’s time now for today’s Fall Energy-Saving Tip, presented by Lutron, makers of the Maestro Occupancy-Sensing Switch.

    LESLIE: Now, there are a couple of options with lighting technology that you can use to save money on your electric bill. The first is using an occupancy sensor, like the Lutron Maestro. It automatically turns lights on when you enter a room and off when you leave. It’s perfect for rooms where lights tend to get left on, like your kid’s room.

    Now, it’s also great for rooms that you tend to walk into with your hands full, like your laundry room or your pantry.

    TOM: The Maestro Occupancy Sensor’s innovative sensing technology keeps lights on when the room is occupied. Plus, it features a patented detector. It actually senses natural light in a room so it doesn’t come on during the day. And that can add up to a big energy savings right there.

    It also works with all types of light bulbs, including the newer CFLs and LEDs, without any special wiring. And the sleek design blends with any décor.

    LESLIE: Now, you can also consider using a dimmer, so you can control just how much light you’re using in a room. And this is a perfect option for a dining room or a family room where you might not need a lot of light at certain times.

    Now, not all dimmers are created equal. Lutron’s dimmers are made to work with the newer energy-efficient lighting.

    TOM: And that’s today’s Fall Energy-Saving Tip, presented by Lutron. Learn more at LutronSensors.com.

    This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Coming up next week on the program, we’ll be sharing our final installment of our exclusive, behind-the-scenes coverage of This Old House: Jersey Shore Rebuilds. We’re going to check in with all three homeowners, each of which was a Hurricane Sandy victim, as they wind down construction and get ready to move in. That’s next time on 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.


    (Copyright 2013 Squeaky Door Productions, Inc. No portion of this transcript or audio file may be reproduced in any format without the express written permission of Squeaky Door Productions, Inc.)

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