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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: And what are you working on this fine fall day? We’re here to help you get that job done. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Pick up the phone. Give us a call, right now, before you pick up the tools, because we will no doubt save you some steps in getting that project done. Whether you’re a do-it-yourselfer or perhaps you’re going to hire the job out, give us a call. Let’s talk through it first, 888-666-3974.

    Is there a project that you would love to get done around your house but perhaps you don’t know where to begin? Perhaps your spouse or significant other has put it on his or her honey-do list and you just can’t get to it? Well, let us restore domestic tranquility. Pick up the phone; we’ll help you take that all-important first step, 888-666-3974.

    Hey, coming up this hour, it was just two years ago that millions of Americans thought Sandy was just a word to describe their car after a trip to a beach. But Sandy has a completely different meaning now as we approach the second anniversary of the superstorm that devastated the Jersey Shore and many other areas of the Northeast.

    LESLIE: Yeah. You know, millions of homeowners were left without power for days. But you don’t have to be left in the dark after severe weather. We have steps on how you can prepare for major storms, including my own personal story of why blackouts will not affect me anymore.

    TOM: Also ahead this hour, more and more Americans spend some time during the work week in a home office. And while working from home has its perks, a quiet place to make important calls and concentrate on your daily duties is key. So we’re going to have some tips on a type of insulation you can add to your walls that can make you far more productive by making your home much quieter.

    LESLIE: And we’ve all done it. You’ve completely forgotten about a great tool or jacket or utensil, because we cannot find it or worse: bought duplicates of stuff that you already have because you forgot that you had it in the first place. Well, stop overlooking the things that you already own. We’ve got tips for top-notch organization, in just a bit.

    TOM: And this hour, we’re giving away a signed copy of our book, My Home, My Money Pit: Your Guide to Every Home Improvement Adventure. It’s full of tips and home improvement solutions. Going out to one lucky caller drawn at random. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974. Let’s get to the phones.

    Leslie, who’s first?

    LESLIE: Kevin in Texas is dealing with a dangerous situation. You’ve got water leaking through a light in your kitchen?

    KEVIN: I actually live in an apartment but nevertheless, my concerns are obviously valid for my health and so forth. All of a sudden, water started coming through the light fixture in the kitchen. And I threw down buckets and went up and knocked on the gentleman upstairs’ door and it turned out his washing machine had gone crazy and had put a bunch of water in my ceiling that – most of which came right through the light fixture, point of least resistance.

    LESLIE: Oh, wow.

    KEVIN: However, I can tell that it got into the rest of the ceiling. There’s a place where this living room is bowed in with the stain, so I know that it got wet up inside there. And furthermore, the guy, when he was made aware of it, apparently thought that it wouldn’t act up anymore and actually turned on his washing machine again and went and stepped into the shower. And so it just leaked profusely until we could finally get his attention, between me and Maintenance.

    TOM: Oh, my God.

    KEVIN: Yeah. I mean we’re sitting there with shop vac, buckets and mops and just shaking our heads.

    TOM: Wow.

    KEVIN: So it was a one-time event, so it wasn’t an ongoing leak. And I was wondering what my risks are of black mold. Is there a test? Is there a preventative? What’s the story with that?

    TOM: Yeah, it’s a good question. But here’s the good news: a single leak like that that happened and then dried out is not going to become an ongoing mold problem. If it stays wet for a long, long time and especially if it’s in an unheated place, it’s more likely to become a mold problem. But a single leak like that is not.

    And also, one more point and that is you mentioned that your ceiling bowed. If – and I hope it doesn’t – but if that ever happens to you again, what you want to do is somewhat counterintuitive but that is to poke a hole in the ceiling wherever you see that water starting to form.

    KEVIN: Right.

    TOM: Because it’s easier to fix a hole than it is to replace the entire ceiling, which is probably what’ll end up having to be done. But when you see water coming through like that, what you should do is grab a screwdriver and just poke a couple of holes until you find the spot where the water just starts dripping out.

    KEVIN: Right.

    TOM: The quicker you can empty that ceiling of water, the better off you’re going to be.

    And we had a problem like that not too long ago because of a piece of flashing that blew off our roof. And the first thing I did was took a Phillips screwdriver and poked three or four holes until I found the right spot. All that water drained right out and all I had to do was fix those holes. And it didn’t even have a stain on the ceiling when we were done.

    KEVIN: Wow, yeah. That’s good advice there. I guess I should have thought of that but when you’re renting, you’re a little bit (inaudible at 0:05:28) do that.

    TOM: Yeah, you don’t know. And that’s why I always take the opportunity to mention it, because it’s – first of all, you don’t have the experience because, thankfully, people don’t get these kinds of leaks. But secondly, it’s very counterintuitive because you don’t want to damage your ceiling. Well, it’s already damaged once that water is behind it and it’s going to get a lot worse really fast unless you poke a hole in it.

    KEVIN: Good point, though. Good point. Alright. Thank you, guys.

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

    LESLIE: Coreen in Alaska is on the line and has a question about real estate value. Tell us about it.

    COREEN: I live in an older condo with a wood fireplace.

    TOM: OK.

    COREEN: Would a wood fireplace be more – have more resale value or would a freestanding stove?

    TOM: I think a fireplace probably would have more value. It certainly might make the place more attractive to most buyers who make more emotional decisions than practical decisions.

    LESLIE: And I think from a decorating standpoint, I know that freestanding wood stoves, to me – while, yes, they create a cozy, little seating area, sometimes they pose a ginormous decorating dilemma.

    TOM: Well, true, because they just have to be out there in the middle of everything, so how do you work around that?

    LESLIE: Right. And they’re usually a certain color. It’s not the easiest thing to paint or change the look of.

    TOM: Yeah, so I would stay with the fireplace. Wood stoves are more efficient but I wouldn’t replace it if you’re getting ready to sell the house. I would keep the fireplace. I think if you did something to dress up the fireplace, if you needed it – with a new mantle, that kind of thing, cleaning up brick, whatever, just make it look good – I would just stop right there. I don’t think putting the wood stove in is going to be something that you’ll get a return on that investment from, Coreen.

    COREEN: OK, great. Thank you.

    LESLIE: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. We are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So give us a call. We want to hear what you’re working on, we want to give you a hand, anything: home repair, home improvement. You name it, we’ll help you, 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Still ahead, we are at the tail end of hurricane season but that doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods. Remember, Sandy struck just a couple of days before the end of the season, just two years ago, and knocked out power to millions of us for days. Learn how to protect yourself from the danger and inconvenience of power outages, after this.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Lutron’s new Maestro Occupancy-Sensing Switch. Never ask “Who left the lights on?” again. Starting at around $20, this motion-sensing light switch turns the lights on automatically when you walk into a room and off when you leave and works with all types of light bulbs. Learn more at LutronSensors.com.

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete. Give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    One caller that we talk to this hour is going to get a signed copy of our book, My Home, My Money Pit: Your Guide to Every Home Improvement Adventure.

    TOM: And if you’re trying to be more DIY-savvy, this is the book for you. It’s full of great ideas, tips and advice for every nook and cranny of your home, most of which will save you a few bucks. The number, again, is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Mike in Illinois is on the line. How can we help you today?

    MIKE: I have a – the drywall through the center of my house is separating at the seams.

    TOM: OK.

    MIKE: And it’s straight through the center of the house, down the hallway through the center of the house. And I’m not sure if it’s due to moisture in the attic, drying out and expanding or if it’s the floor in the house moving.

    TOM: Mike, how old is your house?

    MIKE: I’d say 20 years old.

    TOM: OK. And is this relatively new or has it been around for a while?

    MIKE: It’s been there shortly after I moved in.

    TOM: Oh, so it’s been there like 20 years.

    MIKE: Yeah.

    TOM: Yeah, I think it’s probably shrinkage. When a house is first built, the lumber is very wet and over the first couple of heating seasons, it tends to shrink a lot and you’ll get a lot of movement. Now, over the years, you may have tried to patch it and then you just find that it opens up again. That’s very typical.

    MIKE: Right.

    TOM: What you want to do to patch it is you need to sand it down where it’s cracking. You need to use new drywall tape on top of that. You can use the perforated tape. It’s easier to work with, in terms of the spackle, because you don’t have to worry about air bubbles behind the paper tape. Use the perforated tape, put about three layers of spackle on there, sand in between, prime, paint. You should be good to go.

    MIKE: OK. If I have bathroom vents that are venting out into the attic, would that cause it or would that cure it if I …?

    TOM: No, I don’t think – well, first of all, I don’t think it’s caused that but that in and of itself is a problem. You shouldn’t be ducting bathroom exhaust fans into an attic; they should continue through the attic to the exterior.

    And the reason for that – you’re in the Chicago area, correct? Pretty cold there. And if you get that insulation damp, it’s not going to be very effective.

    MIKE: OK. So, with it venting in there, that’s decreasing my R-value of my insulation, too.

    LESLIE: Absolutely.

    TOM: It is. R-value is rated at 0-percent moisture. So when you add moisture to it, it goes down dramatically. So, the more moisture in the attic, the less effective the insulation becomes.

    MIKE: OK. To fix that, would it be alright to add insulation on top of that after I fix that problem?

    TOM: Yeah, you can add more insulation but you have to duct from the exhaust fan out of the attic. So, you can do that by going like sort of through the gable wall or up through a roof vent with a proper termination on the end of it so no water gets in there. And just get that warm, moist air out. Don’t leave it in the attic.

    MIKE: OK. And I’ve done some research on the internet. I’ve got two bathroom fans. To run them into the one, they said to find a wire or a vent that’ll flip one side to the other so it doesn’t backdraft into the other bathroom. I cannot find that.

    TOM: Well, I don’t think you really need that because, for example, if you run it to the gable wall and you have a typical bath-duct terminating type of a hood on it, that’s got a spring on it that stays shut. So it’s only going to open when the air is blowing out.

    There’s another way to do this and that is to have a remote bath fan where they actually have the motor part that’s up in the attic space and the ducts just connect to the ceiling of the bathrooms. But that’s a nice system – it’s a quiet system – but it’s much more expensive to do. You see that a lot in hotels.

    MIKE: OK. Well, thank you very much.

    TOM: Well, as we approach the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, it’s a good time to take stock of how prepared we are for severe weather. And one way to make sure your home’s essential functions are not interrupted is with a standby generator.

    LESLIE: Yeah. You know, now, many homeowners think that standby power is not in the cards for them, because of budget or yard size. But our sponsor, KOHLER, has addressed both of these issues with its newest line of automatic standby generators.

    TOM: Yeah, that’s right. KOHLER has three new models that offer quiet and reliable performance at a very affordable price point, with a smaller footprint. At about half the size of their counterparts, the new line of 8,000-, 10,000- and 12,000-watt units do not compromise on performance.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And KOHLER’s exclusive PowerBoost technology also gives these generators start-up power to handle heavy loads, like a central air-conditioning system. And they power essential circuits for appliances, like a sump pump, fridge or lighting.

    I just had a KOHLER automatic standby generator installed at my house and I can’t even begin to tell you just the level of confidence I feel. I mean Sandy affected me and my family very, very deeply. We had no power for 18 days. And in those 18 days, I delivered a baby, which was no fun to have a home with no power and come home from the hospital with the first day of lights on and rotted food and whatnot in the refrigerator. And luckily, our house was OK but six weeks after I delivered our son, my husband passed away.

    So, the idea of being in a situation with two small boys and a home with no power has scared the bejesus out of me since that day. So, having this KOHLER standby generator in my home – which, by the way, is as large as my backyard, because I have a very tiny house but we found a place to put it – I feel so confident that if the power were to go out, I’m not going to be scared. I’m going to be able to give my kids peace of mind. And I think that’s really what’s most important – is the confidence of knowing that we’re OK.

    TOM: That’s right. And KOHLER’s new line of standby generators are designed to power multiple circuits. These generators are hooked up directly to your home’s natural gas or propane lines and you’ll barely notice a change, because they power up in as little as 10 seconds. And the best part? You don’t have to be home for the generator to kick on.

    You can learn more at KOHLER.com. That’s KOHLER – K-O-H-L-E-R – .com.

    LESLIE: Susan is on the line with a cold-water shower that I imagine she doesn’t like very much. Tell us what’s going on.

    SUSAN: Rather shocking.

    TOM: I bet.

    LESLIE: I can imagine.

    SUSAN: The hot-water faucet in the upstairs shower is the only hot-water faucet that does this – is when I adjust the hot water and it’s right – a good mix with the cold water. Step in the shower, then (audio gap) the hot water stops flowing and the water turns cold. It’s almost like the faucet shut itself off or …

    TOM: What kind of water heater do you have, Susan? Is it gas or electric?

    SUSAN: Gas.

    TOM: And does this problem exist with any other fixture in the bathroom or the house for that matter?

    SUSAN: No. It’s the only one that works that way. The hot – the kitchen does not do that; the other bathroom sinks and faucets don’t do that.

    TOM: So this is a single-handle faucet?

    SUSAN: No. It’s a – there are two handles. They have separate handles.

    TOM: Well, I think you’ve got a bad valve in there somewhere. Because if it’s just happening in one location like that, that’s the only thing it could be. We have plenty of hot water for the rest of the house. I suspect that there’s a problem with the valve. You might just want to replace the faucet set.

    SUSAN: Oh, OK.

    TOM: That would make sense as to its …

    SUSAN: I just wondered, why would that do that?

    TOM: I’ll just speculate here. As the water heats up the pipe, the metal expands and causes the valve to squeeze shut a little bit or something like that. There are a lot of reasons it could happen but I think it’s mechanical, because it’s only happening in one location. So it has to be the valve.

    SUSAN: Oh. That’s it. Yeah.

    TOM: It’s not – there’s nothing mysterious about this. It’s got to be the valve.

    SUSAN: Alright. Well, great. Thank you for the diagnosis.

    TOM: What you might want to think about when you replace this is talk to your plumber about something called a “pressure-balancing valve.” Now, I’m not sure if he’ll be able to find this for this kind of configuration that you have.

    But what a pressure-balancing valve does is it keeps the mix ratio between hot and cold steady, regardless of what’s happening in the rest of the house. So that if you were to hop in the shower and somebody else flushes a toilet somewhere, you don’t get sort of that shock of hot or shock of cold water as one fixture sort of steals water from the other. It keeps the ratio the same. So while you may have less or more water, the temperature of the water never changes. If you’re going to spend the money on a plumber and valves, I would definitely look into getting a pressure-balanced valve set if I could.

    SUSAN: Well, I’m glad to know about that. Thank you so much.

    LESLIE: Alright. Our next caller is a Facebook fan of The Money Pit and he’s calling in from Wisconsin. We’ve got Antoine on the line who’s got a pellet-stove question. How can we help you?

    ANTOINE: My house is about 1,000 square foot and I wanted to put in a pellet stove.

    TOM: OK.

    ANTOINE: And I was wondering, what would be the best location and the best way to ventilate it?

    TOM: OK. Good question. Now, first of all, hurray for the choice of a pellet stove. A very green energy choice. Lots of options. Pellet stoves are affordable, the fuel’s affordable. They work very, very well. You fill them up and literally can walk away from them.

    Since it’s not tied into a central-heating system, you want it to be centrally located so you get the best amount of heat distribution outside of it. Very, very important that you follow the National Fire Safety Protection Organization standards for installation of that, because they do get very, very hot.

    How you install it, it depends on where you’re putting it. For example, the average wood stove needs about 3 feet of space behind it to combustibles. However, if you build a heat shield, then you can move it closer. I’ve seen them as close as 12 inches if they’re installed with heat shields, which basically create sort of a wall that’s vented that the heat can sort of pass over and the air can pass over and it can remain cool.

    Going up to the attic? Same situation. You typically use a triple-wall pipe – triple-wall vent pipe – to take that hot gas out. And again, it has to be installed correctly. So, it’s not the kind of project that I would recommend that you do if you’ve never installed one before, because of the specialty knowledge you need to make sure it’s done safely, Antoine.

    So if you want to shop it, buy it, get it in the store, get it in the house, that’s great. But I would definitely consider having a contractor that’s built these before do the actual installation for you. I would also make sure that you have the local fire marshal inspect the installation for you to make sure that it’s done correctly.

    ANTOINE: OK. Thank you.

    TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT and for liking The Money Pit page on Facebook, which is at Facebook.com/TheMoneyPit.

    And by the way, if you would head on over to Facebook.com/TheMoneyPit and like our page, you can also get priority access to the radio show as we produce it.

    LESLIE: Still ahead, you have so much more space in your house than you think. It’s just a matter of finding ways to use it. We’re going to help you tap into some hidden storage that’s hiding in plain sight. We’ll tell you how, after this.

    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, hidden home storage is gaining popularity as the new frontier in home improvement. But hidden really means useful and functional. What homeowners need are organized spaces that work well, fit well and most importantly, are easily accessible.

    LESLIE: And that’s where our next guest comes in. Alan Regala is a franchisee at ShelfGenie of the Year. In fact, he’s got the distinction of being the Franchisee of the Year.

    Welcome, Alan. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about what ShelfGenie is?

    ALAN: Sure. Thanks for having me.

    ShelfGenie retrofits existing cabinets and pantries with glide-out shelves so that you can get easier access to the items in your home and make them as organized and as efficient as possible.

    TOM: So it really doesn’t matter what kind of cabinets you have, what size cabinets you have. Essentially, ShelfGenie comes in and designs a custom solution to make all of those sort of standard shelves pull-out shelves?

    ALAN: It really doesn’t matter what kind of cabinets you have. That’s the beauty of the retrofit process is that we work with exactly what you have. And we really want to make it as efficient as possible.

    LESLIE: I mean that really is fantastic, because I feel like – I have one cabinet that has a pull-out shelf and that cabinet is far more better used, more efficient for me and my kids, rather than the other ones where I have to kind of really reach over things, figure out what’s behind something else. And I feel like those items either get used less frequently or not used at all and then thrown out because they’ve expired. So it’s really a super-functional thing to have in your home.

    ALAN: Absolutely. Most people only end up using that first, you know, 6 or 12 inches of their cabinet space. And the stuff that just builds up in the back of those cabinets that you don’t end up using – oftentimes taking up space, where you could have items that you do use but you just can never get to them. So they just end up getting pushed back further and further.

    TOM: So you pick up a lot of space but I imagine that you also would have a design that’s more accessible, as well, which could be good for seniors.

    ALAN: Absolutely, absolutely. That’s a big market of ours: making everything accessible, especially in the senior market, where you just don’t have that energy. You don’t want to bend down to get to the back of that cabinet. And with the glide-out shelves, they pull out all the way so that you can really easily get to the back without having to crawl on your hands and knees.

    LESLIE: Now, when you’re retrofitting a cabinet, are you sort of looking at what the potential customer’s specific needs are? Or is there a standardized height or depth that you have to work with? Or can you say, “I’m going to put cereal boxes here and this is how I want them to stand”?

    ALAN: Yeah, absolutely. This is a completely customized solution that we’re creating for people. And it’s based on two things: the items that the person has, as well as how they use the space. And so, it’s really all a big process that we go through in the design to really see those things. We go through a very thorough process in understanding what items – they have a lot of short items or tall items?

    For example, in a pantry – or maybe they have a lot of heavy baking dishes where maybe it makes sense to put three in a cabinet versus two in a cabinet. It’s really all dependent on those two factors.

    TOM: And how much weight can these shelves handle?

    ALAN: Our standard is 100-pound weight capacity but we can even do 200 pounds.

    TOM: So I guess this really helps you find some hidden spaces. What kinds of spaces are people able to take advantage of that maybe they didn’t think of before? Maybe some small nooks and crannies in the cabinet structure that, perhaps, really never could have possibly have had a pull-out shelf, even if it was designed by the manufacturer but you guys come in and create that?

    ALAN: Absolutely, absolutely. I’d say some of the common areas where people don’t think there’s anything that can be done are blind corner cabinets, where it kind of goes in and then it cuts over to the side.

    TOM: Right. A lot of wasted space in those.

    ALAN: Exactly, exactly. We have a wonderful solution with a series of glide-outs: one that comes out and then another one pulls over and helps utilize the entire space but at the same time provide great access to the whole cabinet.

    LESLIE: That’s really fantastic. Are you limited to just doing pull-outs or, say, if I had a cabinet next to a stove, could I do just a vertical divider to put pans in and then pull-outs next to that?

    ALAN: Absolutely. Since this is all completely customized, we really do whatever makes sense for you. At ShelfGenie, we would – the designer would really hone in on, for example, those cookie sheets or cutting boards that you have. Is this the right place to put those? Does that make sense? Or maybe that would be better placed above your refrigerator or above an oven, just depending on what other spaces are available and how many things that you have. So this design – it’s a really comprehensive review that ShelfGenie does. And it’s something that’s custom-tailored to every person.

    TOM: Makes sense. Alan Regala, Franchisee of the Year with ShelfGenie. Thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit, Alan, and filling us in on this ingenious product.

    If you’d like more information, you can go to the ShelfGenie website at ShelfGenie.com.

    Thanks, Alan.

    ALAN: Thank you.

    LESLIE: Well, coming up, if you use your closet as a place to make quiet phone calls, it probably means that your home office needs some added soundproofing. We’ve got info on a product that can help keep those work calls free of household noise. The details, just ahead.

    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 you’ve got home improvement questions and we’ve got home improvement answers. You know the number here. It’s 888-MONEY-PIT.

    And speaking of answers, one caller that we talk to on the air this hour is going to win a signed copy of our book, My Home, My Money Pit: Your Guide to Every Home Improvement Adventure.

    TOM: It brings tips, advice and money-saving solutions to your fingertips. So give us a call. The number, again, is 888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974. We’d love to take your home improvement question.

    LESLIE: Steve in Kentucky is on the line with a roofing question. Tell us what’s going on.

    STEVE: Hi, Leslie. Well, I’ve got a little 1930s – early 30s – farmhouse that we’re restoring and trying to get a little environmental project going up there.

    TOM: OK.

    STEVE: And we have a couple of leaks. We’ve had a record rainfall down here in Louisville this last year and we noticed that when it’s a really hard rain out of the west, that along the seams of the old tin roof, we get – well, it’s like a wetness and then it turns into a drip in different locations.

    And I’m just wondering what’s the proper way to seal something like that up where we don’t have to, you know, pull the whole roof to get it.

    TOM: Now, what kind of tin roof do you have? Is it a flat-seam metal roof or is it a standing-seam metal roof?

    STEVE: It’s a standing-seam metal roof.

    TOM: OK. And has it ever been covered with tar or anything like that to try to seal it up?

    STEVE: No, it’s still the original tin.

    TOM: OK. So …

    STEVE: It has a little paint on it.

    TOM: Right. I mean that’s a good thing because, typically, the way you fix those is you solder them. And to do that, you have to strip the paint off, identify the sort of worn-out area. There’s probably a worn-out, cracked, rusted-out area and the repair would be to solder it. And that’s actually a good thing, Steve, because if you solder it, it’s sort of a lifetime repair.

    What happens with these – too many of these metal roofs, though – is that folks don’t want to take sort of the long approach to this repair and they will cover it with tar or caulk or something of that nature. And in doing so, eventually the water gets underneath that and then it seriously rusts it out pretty quickly.

    STEVE: Right.

    TOM: So the secret to success here is to try to find somebody who’s been around long enough that knows how to resolder a metal roof. And that will fix it permanently.

    STEVE: OK. And I’m assuming that that’s probably some specialized tools then.

    TOM: Well, just the right-size torches and solder and all of that sort of thing, yeah. But the guys that do metal roofs have those tools.

    STEVE: Great. And is that – I guess maybe I ought to go up there with them. If I can get them fix it, I’ll watch and learn a little bit.

    TOM: Yeah. Well, then, you’d be able to do it yourself next time, right?

    STEVE: Maybe so, maybe so. Well, I appreciate the advice and I’ll look along that path. And I just want to let you know that we really enjoy you all’s show down here in Louisville.

    TOM: Well, thank you so very much and good luck with that project. Remember, when you’re working with that heat up in that roof, too, that there’s a fire hazard associated with this repair, too. So just make sure that you’re super-super-careful, OK, Steve? We don’t want you to call us back and ask us how to rebuild the building as the next call, OK?

    STEVE: Nope. I think I’ll put somebody with a fire extinguisher in the attic and we’ll do it on a little spring day.

    TOM: Well, if your home is a bit noisy and you’re looking for some added Zen, look no further than your insulation. Yes, we said “insulation.” That will help bring peace of mind and quiet to your space if you use a product called ROXUL.

    Now, ROXUL is one of our sponsors and has a product called SAFE’n’SOUND Insulation. It features a high-density, stone-wool batt that absorbs acoustic waves while also keeping you warm.

    In fact, we use ROXUL in our radio studio. That’s how quiet this product makes the space.

    LESLIE: Yeah. So you’re not going to have to hide in your closet anymore or head outside to keep your household noise from seeping into your important work phone calls. Now, if only I could wrap my children in it. But that is not a recommended use of ROXUL. Just saying.

    It really has some amazing soundproofing qualities, which is ideal for keeping TV and video-game noise from flooding nearby rooms or also for isolating a room that needs silence, like a baby’s nursery or even a yoga studio.

    TOM: And when installed in exterior-facing walls, it can help buffer outside noise from traffic or neighbors. Plus, an added benefit is that ROXUL has excellent fire ratings, it doesn’t burn and it can add valuable time for escape during a fire if that should occur. The batts are easy to cut and easy to fit around pipes and wiring.

    ROXUL, it’s the better insulation. Visit ROXUL.com to learn more and ROXUL is spelled R-O-X-U-L. That’s ROXUL.com.

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Sue on the line who needs some help removing wallpaper. Tell us what’s going on.

    SUE: Well, I live in an older house that has every single wall in the house is wallpapered.

    TOM and LESLIE: OK.

    SUE: And I’m really sick of wallpaper.

    TOM: Yeah. Going to be a lot of years of wallpaper, too, huh, Sue?

    SUE: Yes, it is.

    LESLIE: Well, as a decorator, wallpaper is coming back in a big way. And big, bold patterns sometimes work really well in interesting spaces. But they might not always be what everybody wants.

    Now, Sue, tell me, is it paper or is it vinyl?

    SUE: I think it might be a vinyl. Don’t want it.

    LESLIE: OK. Now, with vinyl, you’re going to need to score that wall covering first, only because the vinyl is going to stop any of your efforts from actually getting to where the paste is.

    Now, I’ve done this before and it depends on how you’ve actually put up the paper and how long it’s been there and what it is adhered to. Was the drywall behind it prepared first? That’s all going to depend on your success rate in removing the wallpaper. But believe it or not – and it’s definitely worth trying; it doesn’t always work but it has been successful many times for me – you can actually remove wallpaper with fabric softener.

    SUE: Really?

    LESLIE: I know it sounds crazy.

    TOM: Works great.

    LESLIE: But you can mix about a 1/3-cup fabric softener with 2/3-cup hot water. Or you can even do it with – what is it – laundry starch: equal amounts of laundry starch and hot water.

    And the laundry starch, the benefit I find with that is that it ends up being like a thicker consistency, so it holds the moisture on the wallpaper where you want it, whereas the fabric softener and water is a little bit wetter.

    But you – if you’re using the fabric softener, you want to put it in a spray bottle, spritz that wallpaper, get it super-wet, let it sit there for 10 to 15 minutes. That wallpaper, you’re going to feel it start to loosen and then you’re going to peel it away. Start at the bottom, work your way to the top. You may need a scraper to sort of get underneath it and give it a lot of elbow grease. But with the laundry starch and hot water, you can put that on with a paint roller or a sponge. Super-wet the walls again, let it stand until you can peel away.

    And I would start there before I start renting steamers and getting crazy chemicals. Just start and see your success rate.

    SUE: OK. That sounds easier than I thought it would be.

    TOM: Well, that’s what we’re here for. Thanks so much, Sue, for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT and good luck with that wallpaper project.

    SUE: Well, thank you. I’m going to be starting it probably in the next couple of weeks.

    TOM: Good. And then we’ll talk to you next year when you’re finished, OK?

    SUE: No, no. It’s going to be (inaudible at 0:32:53). Thank you so much.

    TOM: You’re welcome.

    LESLIE: Still ahead on the program, don’t let your patio fall into a moldy, algae-layered mess just because it’s collecting rainwater. We’ve got plenty of options for fixing and cleaning those uneven outdoor spaces, after this.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Lutron’s new Maestro Occupancy-Sensing Switch. Never ask “Who left the lights on?” again. Starting at around $20, this motion-sensing light switch turns the lights on automatically when you walk into a room and off when you leave and works with all types of light bulbs. Learn more at LutronSensors.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: Check us out on Facebook right now. We’re running our Healthy Home Sweepstakes. Three winners will receive a Get Clean Kit from Shaklee with everything you need to get your house clean and healthy. Because they’re natural products, they work great and they’re very, very safe. The Get Clean Kit includes laundry and household cleaners, along with the tools needed to get the job done.

    LESLIE: Yeah. And it replaces thousands of dollars in cleaning products. And each concentrated solution is going to last months. Check out Healthy Home at Facebook.com/TheMoneyPit.

    And while you’re online, you can post a question in our Community section, like Catherine did who writes: “We have a concrete patio and it holds water when it rains and then turns green in the middle. How can I fix this and keep it clean?”

    TOM: So, obviously, Catherine, you have a drainage issue here. So, a couple of things come to mind.

    First of all, you potentially could put a drain in that patio, although that’s a lot of work to get that done. You have to, at that point, decide whether it’s worth saving the patio before you do all that work.

    You could conceivably consider putting an additional layer of concrete patch on top of that or epoxy patching compound on top of that. It depends on how deep it is. To do that, you’ve got to, of course, remove all the algae and the mildew and the mold first. Clean it really, really well and then mix up an epoxy patching compound, which you could reslope to pitch the water away from the patio. But remember, it’s really, really important that you get that pitch right. Because if you don’t, this problem will repeat over and over and over again.

    LESLIE: Yeah. And you don’t want that to happen again.

    TOM: Well, with school underway and fall activities in full swing, there’s a good chance your kids are spending a lot of time in the car. We want to make sure they’re as safe on the road as they are at home. Leslie has some surprising news about car-seat safety, in this week’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.

    LESLIE: Yeah, tell me about it. Constantly getting in and out of the car with your kids? It can be a real drag. And you might be tempted to boot the booster seat once your child is a little older but you can’t. There are some serious laws about it. You’ve got to find out what the national code is so that you know what age your children have to be in the proper seating.

    I know for Charlie, it’s two years old; they’re supposed to be rear-facing until they’re two. Henry is supposed to be in a booster seat until he’s eight. What eight-year-old sits in a booster seat? But they have to. So don’t let that hassle of straps and seat belts get the best of your judgment for your little one’s safety.

    Now, a new study is showing that many parents are just getting rid of the booster seat long before their child is big enough to ride safely with just a seat belt. And that’s the real issue here. Parents are also bending safety rules by letting their kids ride in the front seat or even without any seat belt at all.

    So keep this in mind: your child needs to be at least 57 inches tall – that’s 4 feet, 9 inches – and weigh 80 to 100 pounds to ride with just a seat belt. Yes, that means many kids are going to be in a booster seat well into elementary school. You have to encourage other families to follow these guidelines, too, and your child is then less likely to resist the seat.

    The issue is the placement of where that shoulder strap will sit on the child. If it doesn’t fall into the right zone and you do get into an accident, they could actually be far more seriously injured. So you have to make sure you’re following the guideline. And a booster seat is no good if it’s not buckled in properly, so you have to check on a regular basis to make sure those seats are strapped in.

    And finally, set a good example for your kids: click your own seat belt before putting your car into drive.

    TOM: Good advice.

    This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Coming up next time on the program, have you ever approached a sink with dirty hands or hands that are full or otherwise indisposed? Well, you don’t have to be a circus juggler to get the tap turned on if you have a hands-free faucet. They can make life easier and more functional. We’ll have tips on how to choose the best one for your home, 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.


    (Copyright 2014 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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