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Home Improvement Tips & Advice

  • Transcript

    Hosts: Tom Kraeutler & Leslie Segrete

    (NOTE: Timestamps below correspond to the running time of the downloadable audio file of this show. Text represents a professional transcriptionist’s understanding of what was said. No guarantee of accuracy is expressed or implied. ‘Ph’ in parentheses indicates the phonetic or best guess of the actual spoken word.)


    (promo/theme song)

    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: The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. You got a home improvement question? We’re here to help you solve it. Call us right now. 888-666-3974.

    Hey, coming up this hour, does your roof leak? Have you ever had to replace a roof? Well, what if there was a roof that you could install that might never need replacement? There is and it’s called a metal roof. You might be surprised because metal roofing is often called investment grade roofing because it can last a really, really long time. It can save you a bundle and it can add value to your home.

    LESLIE: Plus, they’re almost maintenance free and they’re fully worry free, which is fantastic. And metal roofing is also very attractive, comes in lots of styles and colors. It can even look like things you wouldn’t even expect it to; like slate or asphalt shingles or standing ridges. Whatever you want, it can be for you.

    And coming up later, we’re going to talk to an expert on metal roofing. And he’s from the Metal Roofing Alliance.

    TOM: I was surprised to learn that there are special paints, now, that are used on metal roofs that actually reflect the heat of the sun right back off so that they don’t even get into your house and they don’t contribute to the air conditioning cost in your house.

    LESLIE: Well, and what I thought was most interesting was that if you want a metal roof, you can put it right over the roof that’s already on your roof because they’re so lightweight. So it really …

    TOM: So you don’t have to tear off the old one.

    LESLIE: It sounds like a great thing. And it’s worth looking into.

    TOM: (overlapping voices) Yeah, pretty cool.

    Also coming up this hour, we’ve got a great prize to give away that will make vacuuming your house a breeze. It’s a bagless Vax X5 with a HEPA filter. It’s worth almost 300 bucks! How did this get into the prize package, Leslie? I thought all of the valuable prizes were supposed to go to our houses.

    LESLIE: Yes, they’re supposed to go directly to my house (laughing), where I test them all out and then give them my Money Pit seal of approval …

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: … and then I keep them. I mean, and then I give them away.

    TOM: Yeah, you give them away. About a year later. (laughing) Sounds kind of cool.

    LESLIE: They’re mildly used or slightly loved, as I like to call them.

    TOM: Worth 300 bucks. You want to win it? We will send it to you brand spanking new, guaranteed. A Vax – V-a-x – X5 vacuum with a HEPA filter. We’re going to give it away on this hour of the program. Here’s how it works. You have to call us right now. 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974. One caller to this … to today’s program is going to get a chance at winning that product from Vax. 888-6 …

    LESLIE: Am I allowed to ask a question?

    TOM: Well, you can’t … you can’t like throw your voice.

    LESLIE: Darn. (laughing) I have a question about a roof. No? Not good enough?

    TOM: 888-666-3974. Leslie, who’s first?

    LESLIE: Rene in Ohio has an interesting question about getting out odor. How can we help?

    RENE: Hi, Leslie. Hi, Tom. Thanks so much for taking my call.

    LESLIE: You’re so welcome. What can we do for you?

    RENE: My husband is a cigar smoker and I’m trying to clean the air in my house and keep it fresh. And I’m going through all these little disposable air fresheners (laughing) and wondering (beeping sound) if there might be a better way to keep the air in my …

    LESLIE: Rene, are you backing up? What’s going on?

    TOM: (laughing) Rene, can you get your husband to move out?

    RENE: Well, that’s an option, I suppose. (laughing) Maybe as a last resort.

    TOM: Let’s work on that husband, first. Let’s get him to smoke those nasty cigars in the garage …

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Outside.

    TOM: … or outside somewhere.

    RENE: (overlapping voices) He does do that now ….

    TOM: Yeah.

    RENE: … more so.

    TOM: Well, it probably wicks its way in nonetheless. Well, you know there … there’s a lot of ways to attack this. The odor is usually because it settles into the furnishings and that sort of thing.

    LESLIE: Even onto the paint and fabrics.

    TOM: Right, so …

    LESLIE: It builds up in there.

    TOM: There are really two things to do. There’s the physical cleaning of the carpets and the upholstery and the walls. And then, secondly, there’s the cleaning of the air. Now, masking it with fresheners and things like that is probably not the way to go. Portable air cleaners may have an impact, if you do them in a limited way. But, probably, the best thing for you to do is to have a whole house air cleaner installed.

    LESLIE: Do you have a forced air system?

    RENE: I’m not sure what that means.

    LESLIE: Do you have central air conditioning or heating or cooling?

    RENE: (overlapping voices) Yes, yes. Yes.

    TOM: Alright, so you’re going to have a ducted system that goes through the house. A whole house air cleaner gets mounted into the ducted system and it’s a far more efficient way of scrubbing the air in your house. Probably the best quality one out there is Aprilaire. They have a product that’s an electronic air cleaner. I think it’s their model 5000. And Consumer Reports had ranked this particular electronic air cleaner number one for the last three years. So a good air cleaner and a good cleaning is really the best thing here. I say, get the husband to smoke outside. But if he’s going to insist upon smoking in the house, make him do the cleaning and pay for the new electronic air cleaner.

    RENE: Sounds wonderful.

    TOM: Okay, Rene?

    RENE: Thank you.

    TOM: You’re very welcome. 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.

    LESLIE: Officer Shawn in Virginia, who listens to The Money Pit on WFHG, has a tiling question. However, it says you’re on duty. So what are you doing calling us?

    SHAWN: I called you, probably, three weeks ago when I was not on duty. (laughing) I just received a return phone call. (laughing)

    TOM: Well, it must be an emergency now. (laughing) So, lights and sirens are on. We’re going to race to a solution. Tell us what’s going on with the tile.

    SHAWN: I bought the house and it was built in 2000 and I purchased it in about 2003.

    TOM: Okay.

    SHAWN: They had intended to stay there and they were willing to live with the corners that they cut. They put the tiles down in a large area to cover a dining room and a kitchen area and did not use any concrete board. A lot of the tiles are breaking and, in addition to that, he had his wife put the grout down and she left the spacers in place when she did so and …

    TOM: Oh, no.

    SHAWN: … covered (inaudible) grout.

    LESLIE: Oh. That’s just a huge mess.

    SHAWN: (overlapping voices) But now the grout is falling out in a lot of places.

    TOM: Shawn, this is a big, stinking mess. You can’t fix it.

    SHAWN: I don’t think so.

    TOM: No. You’ve got to start again, man. First of all, let’s address the many problems that you have recited in this short 20 seconds. First of all, the reason the tile’s breaking up and is cracking and loose is because the floor underneath it is not stable enough. When you …

    LESLIE: And when there’s movement, it’s causing everything to crack and move around it. So the tile’s cracking, the grout is crowding because it’s not sturdy underneath.

    TOM: Tiles don’t bend, you know? And that’s … and that’s the good thing because they’re really strong. But they won’t bend. If there’s any flex in that floor, they’re going to loosen up and they’re going to crack. So you are going to have to remove this tile. You possibly could go over it, but I would recommend removing it and putting down a mud floor and starting again. And, of course, when you do put the new tile down, if you’re going to use spacers (laughing), never, ever leave the spacers in place …

    SHAWN: I know.

    TOM: … and grout over them. Well, you know, do-it-yourself …

    LESLIE: But they made a pretty cross pattern …

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: … where everything met.

    TOM: And every time she took them out, the tiles moved. (chuckling) So she didn’t know that she wasn’t supposed to glue those spacers in place. But that’s what’s happening here. You know, there’s a couple of things that might make this a little bit easier, Shawn. If you want … do you want to replace it with tile? I mean, do you like the tile?

    SHAWN: Believe we may … if … that was what I was afraid I’d hear and we’re probably going to do hardwood throughout.

    TOM: Well, that’s a good … that’s a good thing. There are, actually, easy ways to do hardwood today. First of all, there’s engineered hardwood, which stands up really well to dampness or moisture, if you’re going to have that as a concern. Engineered hardwood is basically like a fancy plywood, but with a solid hardwood surface. And what’s cool about is that they lock together and they kind of float on the surface. And actually … you know, frankly, it’s possible that you could lay an engineered hardwood even on top of the tile even though the tile’s a bit messed up. As long as it’s fairly flat.

    LESLIE: As long as you don’t mind losing that thickness in your …

    TOM: (overlapping voices) Yeah, that height.

    LESLIE: … in your height of the room.

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: You know, make sure you’re not going to …

    SHAWN: But we would probably … it’s an … it’s a Cape Cod style house and it’s very open, from the front door all the way to the back. It incorporates the kitchen, the living room, the dining room. It’s a large square footage area. And what we’ll probably do is – there’s a staircase involved and it’s carpeted to match … one section’s carpeted, one section’s tiled – is hardwood the entire area and then put in a different, more ornate staircase. That’s what we were leaning toward.

    LESLIE: Yeah, but you know what? By doing that, you’re improving the resale value of your house. Because it makes it more beautiful and if you put in an engineered hardwood it’s very durable. And if you go with a flooring product by, say, somebody like Armstrong, it comes with a 30-year residential warranty. So it stands up and it makes great pedigree for if you ever go to sell the house.

    SHAWN: I was afraid you were going to tell me what you did, but I appreciate your time.

    TOM: (chuckling) Alright, Shawn. (laughing) Well, Shawn, sometimes you have to give bad news to the criminals that you arrest, right?

    SHAWN: (laughing) If I’m arresting them, it’s definitely bad news.

    TOM: (laughing) Well, sometimes the calls we get we have to give some bad news out, too. So (laughing) …

    SHAWN: Well, I was afraid that’s what I was going to hear. But thank you very much.

    TOM: Alright, Shawn. I think that what you should do is investigate the original tile installer and arrest them, okay?

    SHAWN: (chuckling) He was a good man. They were just cutting corners. (laughing) I’ll give them a break on this one.

    TOM: Alright, Shawn.

    LESLIE: Gonna let him off with a warning.

    TOM: We’ll let you get back on duty. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Officer Shawn, checking in there from WFHG in Virginia. See there’s never a bad time to make a home improvement call.

    LESLIE: (laughing) Do you have a wet basement? Well, if you have one, you’re not alone. The American Society of Home Inspectors estimates 60 percent of homes have soggy basements. That’s a scary number.

    TOM: So how do you keep those rooms below grade dry? We will tell you the answer, next.

    (promo/theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: This portion of The Money Pit is being brought to you by Ryobi, manufacturer of professional feature power tools and accessories with an affordable price for the do-it-yourselfer. Ryobi power tools. Pro features, affordable prices. Available exclusively at The Home Depot. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.

    TOM: Welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    Well, according to the American Society of Home Inspectors, nearly two-thirds of America’s basements are wet. And more than a third of them are at risk for mold. Roof drainage is by far the number one cause of basement leakage. So make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear of all of that nasty debris so that they will function properly and carry that water away from your basement.

    LESLIE: Yeah, cleaning those gutters is not the funnest of chores. You’re always amazed at some of the weird things you find in there. (chuckling) And another big reason for wet basements is the angle of the soil around the foundation. The soil should slope away from the house so water does not collect around your foundation walls. And the soil should not be too mulchy. Remember, clean fill dirt works the best; so use it.

    TOM: Now, coming up in our next e-newsletter, the three most common mistakes that people make when trying to fix a wet basement. And if you’re not a subscriber, you can go to moneypit.com right now and sign up.

    LESLIE: Yeah, what are you waiting for?

    TOM: It’s free. It’s full of information that will save you big bucks on all of your home improvement projects.

    LESLIE: Yeah, and speaking of saving you big bucks, we’ve got a prize that’s going to save you about 300 bucks because it could be yours free if we answer your question on air. This hour, we’re giving away a great prize. It’s from Vax. It’s the X5 vacuum and it’s designed to actually make cleaning fun. It’s got an easy-reach wand that extends 11 feet, eliminating any need to stretch, bend or even fuss with those weird attachments that might get in the way. It has a 27-foot cord that retracts with an easy to use foot control. And the best thing, Tom?

    TOM: Is …

    LESLIE: No bags!

    TOM: No bags!

    LESLIE: Yeah, no bags. All you have to do is press a button and the dirt comes out of the bottom so …

    TOM: Wow.

    LESLIE: … you’re never switching a bag or changing anything. And it also has a HEPA filter. So it’s a great prize. It’s worth about 300 bucks and it’s free for one caller.

    TOM: So it’s a prize that sucks (laughing), but that’s a good thing. 888-666-3974.

    Who’s next?

    LESLIE: Steven in California finds The Money Pit on the Quake. And you have a door problem. What’s happening over there?

    STEVEN: I got new carpet put in the bedroom and the solid wood doors rub against the carpet …

    TOM: Okay.

    STEVEN: … and I need to take about a quarter inch off.

    TOM: Okay. So what’s your question? How do you do that?

    STEVEN: Yes, how do you do it? I need to take just a … and I’ve got a skillsaw but I … you know, I don’t want to freehand cut it because I’d …

    TOM: Okay.

    STEVEN: I’d make a mess.

    TOM: (clearing throat) Alright. Well, there’s a couple of ways to do this. First of all, get yourself a wipe-off marker and put a little X on the bottom of the door that you want to cut. And the reason you’re doing that is because you’re going to need to take this door off the hinges. And believe me, when it’s off the hinges and laying on those sawhorses, the top looks a lot like the bottom. (laughing) And you could easily cut the wrong side.

    STEVEN: Okay.

    TOM: Don’t ask me how I know that. (laughing)

    LESLIE: Sounds like Tom’s had experience with this.

    TOM: But you want to mark the …

    STEVEN: (overlapping voices) But that wouldn’t be any fun.

    TOM: No, it would not be any fun. The next thing that you want to do is … I presume these are like finished wood doors. You know, like stained or … or are they painted?

    STEVEN: No, they’re painted but they’re solid wood and the grain goes a different way from down the sides and across.

    TOM: Okay. Well, it’s really not hard to do. If you have a skillsaw and … do you have a guide for the skillsaw?

    STEVEN: Um …

    TOM: You know, the fence?

    STEVEN: Yeah, I have a guide for it.

    TOM: Steven, what you’re going to want to do is if you take the bottom of the door and you have it up on the sawhorses, put some masking tape across the bottom of the door where you want to cut. What that does is helps minimize the splintering …

    STEVEN: Right, okay.

    TOM: … from the blade. Then, set the guide on your saw to take off more than what you think you’re going to need. Now, you mentioned a quarter of an inch. Do you have a forced air heating and cooling system in your house? Do you have central air conditioning?

    STEVEN: Well, it doesn’t have air conditioning. Heat.

    TOM: (overlapping voices) You have central heat? Are they …?

    STEVEN: But it’s forced hot air.

    TOM: Hot air? Okay. This is important because, probably, the return duct for your system might be centrally located; which means you need to have a pretty good gap under those doors for your heating system to work right.

    LESLIE: So that air can circulate underneath the door.

    TOM: Yeah, so you don’t just want a big enough gap for it to clear the carpet. You need about three-quarters of an inch to an inch under that door so when the door is closed, the air can circulate back to the return ducts.

    STEVEN: Okay. Okay. I can do that.

    TOM: (overlapping voices) So decide how much wood you want to take off, set the fence – set the guide – on the circular saw, and then cut it off in one shot. If you want to draw a line on there to help keep you honest, you can do that. Another thing to do is you could take a strip of wood that is just slightly longer than the door is wide. And take some small finish nails and tack it on there in line with the cut line. And basically, you’re kind of tacking a fence onto it.

    STEVEN: Right, okay.

    TOM: And then you rub the saw base against that. When you pull it off, you’ll have a couple little nail holes to finish but it’s a painted door so no big deal. And then you’ll have a guaranteed straight cut and you won’t have to worry about your hand wobbling.

    STEVEN: Okay. Yeah, that’s what I … that’s what I’m worried about. That’s … I think I’ll try that.

    TOM: Alright, just nail a piece … nail a strip of wood across. You have to offset, you have to measure the distance from the blade to the edge of the table on the circular saw so you know what the offset is. And then, you can just basically run the saw right against that piece of wood. Just make sure it’s …

    LESLIE: And remember that, depending on which direction you come at it with the circular saw, you could be … one side I think is an inch and a half and the other side is like five inches. So make sure you measure the right side of the guard on the blade.

    STEVEN: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Okay, I’ll do that.

    TOM: Right. And if you’re going to use a corded circular saw, make sure you’ve got plenty of slack in that cord that you’re not going to like run out like three-quarters away through the cut.

    STEVEN: Okay.

    TOM: Because you really want to make one complete pass. And it’s really not that hard. Make sure you have a sharp blade and you’ll be good to go. Sand the bottom of that door a little bit and make sure you paint the bottom before you put it back together so you seal the underside edge that you just cut; otherwise, the door could warp if moisture gets in there.

    STEVEN: Okay. Alright, that sounds good.

    TOM: Alright, Steve?

    STEVEN: Alright.

    TOM: Good luck.

    STEVEN: Alright, thank you.

    TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.

    LESLIE: Alex in California listens to The Money Pit on KSRO. And you’ve got a painting question. What can we do for you?

    ALEX: Yes, thank you so much. I’ve been painting again (laughing) and I’m messing up again. And I’ve tried the blue tape, I have tried the guides, I’ve tried the little brushes. And so, painting around trim and crown molding … how do you get that nice, fine line?

    LESLIE: Well, here’s a trick of the trade that a lot of people don’t tend to share this advice. But it is very, very helpful; especially if you’re going to use your tape to lay out any sort of striping or detail work. What you do is, once you lay the tape – and sometimes I use a putty knife to run over the tape just to make sure it’s really flat and down and exactly as sticky as I need it. And then, I take the same color paint that I’ve either used as my base coat or if I’m using it to cover some trim work, molding, I’ll use that same color paint and run a bead of that paint over that edge of that tape. And the reason I do that is because it seals the paint to the tape so there’ll be no bleeding. And if there’s any bleeding, it’s the same color that you’ve already used so you won’t even notice it. Takes a little bit of extra work but you’ll be so much happier.

    ALEX: What if you’re … you have wood trim and you want to cover the wood trim so you don’t have any bleeding from the wall onto the wood trim?

    LESLIE: Then definitely make sure you put the paint … the tape on and use a putty knife to make sure that it’s really, really secure on there. So that you won’t have any bleeding underneath. But be very cautious as you sort of roll around there. Give it a little bit of space and then come in if you can and cut in by hand with a brush, with an angled brush.

    TOM: And make sure the paint is dried – a lot – before you try to pull the tape off.

    ALEX: Like a couple days?

    TOM: Well, you know, at least a full day.

    ALEX: Okay.

    TOM: You try to pull it off while the paint is the least bit damp …

    ALEX: Uh-huh.

    TOM: … it tends to peel.

    ALEX: Okay. Great, thank you so much.

    TOM: You’re welcome, Alex. Thanks so …

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Good luck.

    TOM: Thanks so much. Yeah, good luck with that. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    So, Leslie, do you know what the major cause of a roof redo is?

    LESLIE: Hmm.

    TOM: It’s the failure to find and fix the little leaks.

    LESLIE: Ah.

    TOM: The ones that creep up. Because little leaks … well, here’s roof math. Ready?

    LESLIE: Okay, let me have it.

    TOM: Little leak plus little leak plus little leak plus little leak equals big, honking major roof leak and flooding of your house. (chuckling) So, if you have let those roof repairs slide, you might, in fact, be in the market for a new roof right now. But have you considered a metal roof? They are virtually maintenance free.

    LESLIE: And what’s old is now new again. After the break, we’re going to learn why metal roofs are making such a huge comeback.

    (theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: This portion of The Money Pit is being sponsored by Peerless. If you’re putting in a new bathroom or kitchen faucet, Peerless can help you with every step including the hardest one – getting that old faucet out. For a complete undo-it-yourself guide, visit the Peerless faucet coach at faucetcoach.com.

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Soup to nuts and floorboards to shingles. Give us a call right now if you have a question about your home improvement project. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.

    Well, Leslie, even though we often open our segments by saying soup to nuts and floorboards to shingles, it occurs to me that there may be another way to put a roof over your house that, perhaps, does not involve shingles. It’s a metal roof. Have you ever thought of a metal roof? You know the …

    LESLIE: Well, I know there’s like a stigma of metal roofing. But it doesn’t have to be what you think it is.

    TOM: Well, what do you mean, the stigma?

    LESLIE: You know, every time I think metal roof, I think a tin roof. You know, corrugated tin.

    TOM: Right.

    LESLIE: But it doesn’t have to be that.

    TOM: Well, you know, those roofs were made of tin for a very good reason. Because they were incredibly durable. And perhaps, years ago maybe, you know, the corrugated roof wasn’t as attractive as what’s available today. But today, there are a huge amount of selections. And metal roofing is really what’s known as investment grade roofing because once you put a roof on, you really don’t have to think about it for a long, long time.

    LESLIE: Yeah, that’s great. And you know, it’s funny because the new generation of metal roofing, they’re made to last longer, they’re fire and weather resistant and they can actually look just like your neighbors’ cedar or asphalt shingles. But they actually perform much, much better.

    And so, joining us to talk about metal roofs is Bill Hippard, the president of the Metal Roofing Alliance. Welcome, Bill.

    BILL: Thank you very much for having me on your show.

    TOM: So Bill, do you find that when people … when maybe you first mention metal roof, people envision the old … the years of … the roofs of years ago where, perhaps, they were corrugated and barn roof kind of looking thing?

    BILL: Yeah, I think that old song that ends ‘tin roof rusty’ (laughing) still is in a lot of people’s minds. And we spend a lot of time and effort making sure people understand that it is a new type of product now with very modern, durable finishes on it.

    LESLIE: And what I think is really interesting, Bill, is that in reading over some of your talking points, that you’re saying that these can be installed right over an existing roof, which eliminates a lot of waste. But how does that handle performance wise?

    BILL: Well, one of the great things about metal roofing, it is substantially lighter than the asphalt shingle, clay tile, whatever may already be on your roof. And because it’s lighter, the house structure can handle that weight. It’s significantly – I say, significantly – it’s probably a third or less the weight of an asphalt shingle roof. So when you put that metal over top, it can be secured right down to the decking and, in fact, encapsulate the asphalt shingle. That way, you don’t have to tear it off; it doesn’t have to go into landfills.

    One of the things that we’ve looked at over the years – and one of the reasons why we’re so excited about metal and what it can do from an environmental standpoint – is that there are about seven million homes a year, in the United States, that have to be reroofed. This is the new construction. This is the house you’ve been living in for 10 or 15 years and you have asphalt shingles and the sun has started to take its toll …

    TOM: ((overlapping voices) Right. Mm-hmm.

    BILL: … or hail or whatever. And …

    LESLIE: But that’s just general wear and tear and that’s standard for those types of shingles.

    BILL: That’s seven million homes generate about 20 billion pounds of waste that goes into landfill every year.

    TOM: That’s a great point because, generally, we tell people that are replacing their roof to remove old layers because, this way, the asphalt shingle lasts longer. When you have a second layer, you have all that much more heat that’s retained by the first layer and it evaporates the asphalt that much quicker. But when you’re talking about a non-asphalt product, like metal, it really … there’s really no reason to remove the old roof; as you said, weight is not an issue. And it is an environmentally friendly way to do it. It’s a very green way to reroof your home.

    BILL: That’s right. All the metal products that are used in roofing will outlast any warranties that the manufacturer may give. And the one good thing if you ever do decide … or do want … do want a new roof, when you tear that metal roof off, you can … it’s 100 percent recyclable.

    LESLIE: That’s fantastic. And are they actually made from recycled materials as well?

    BILL: Anywhere from … it depends on the style of roof and the part of the country, but 40 to 60 percent of all the metal that’s used in residential metal roofing is from recycled materials; either automobiles, refrigerators … for that … aluminum beer and beverage cans; they get melted back down again; could end up being on a metal roof someday.

    TOM: We’re talking to Bill Hippard – he’s the president of the Metal Roofing Alliance – about another way to put a roof on your home using metal. Bill, I took a look at your website and it really is very, very attractive; all the different ways that you can use metal to roof a home. It really is an architectural element, more so than just about any asphalt shingle I can imagine.

    BILL: Yes, it is. And it’s … one of the things that’s exciting for me, when I talk to people about it, are the different types of product that not only simulate what all the natural products that are out there being used – whether it’s clay tile, cedar shakes, slate, vertical … other types of panels. But there’s even variations because of the great difference in color that you can use on the metal roofs, where in a … on a cedar shake simulation, you can have cedar shakes that look like they’re brand new; like they were just wooden shakes just put up today. Or you could have it aged like it’s been there for 20 years. So you can actually model the roof that you want to fit the neighborhood that you’re in. So there’s a lot of latitude that you can have when you pick the products from the metal roofing manufacturers.

    TOM: How do you maintain a metal roof? If you’re using some sort of a finish, it would occur to me that preserving that finish becomes an issue. Is it an issue?

    BILL: Not really, no. The technology and chemistry that goes into those is very long lasting. There’s a lot of testing done in Florida on test fences, so it gets the maximum amount of ultraviolet exposure and the very humid conditions. And the finishes will last. Like I say, the warranties, in some cases, go up to 50 years but the product itself will outlast those warranties. It’s a very, very long lived product. A lot of ceramic type products are used in the pigments.

    TOM: Ah. That’s the secret, right there.

    LESLIE: Bill, I’ve got a question for you. How does the roof stand up to any sort of mold or mildew growth?

    BILL: Actually, it’s resistant to all those types of problems because it doesn’t hold moisture and there’s no way that any of those type of organic materials can grow into the … into the surface itself. So they are very resistant to those types of problems that you might have in more humid environments.

    TOM: And Bill, you also say that a metal roof can be energy efficient. Now, it would occur to me that … I think a lot of people think that with a metal roof that it holds the heat of the sun, it holds the cold of the outside. What is it about a metal roof that makes it act the opposite of that? That makes it more efficient for you?

    BILL: It’s actually the pigments that are used in the paint systems. They are very reflective.

    TOM: Oh, interesting.

    BILL: And they reflect a large portion of the light spectrum – that gives you the heat on your roof – back up into the atmosphere. We’ve done a lot of testing at Oakridge National Laboratories in Knoxville, Tennessee and their tests show that we can reduce the amount of temperature in the attic by 25 to 50 degrees, depending upon what the environment … where you live geographically. And that cooler attic, because of reflecting that heat back up into the atmosphere away from the building, creates a lot less heating – cooling – costs in the summertime.

    TOM: Well, Leslie, it sounds like the technology of metal roofing has changed a lot from the tin roofs of years ago.

    LESLIE: And the website is gorgeous. I mean the ones that look the terracotta tile are fantastic. It’s really worth checking out – Metalroofing.com. It’s beautiful.

    TOM: Bill Hippard, president of the Metal Roofing Alliance. Thanks for stopping by The Money Pit.

    LESLIE: Alright, this is a scary thought for you, Tom.

    TOM: Okay.

    LESLIE: It’s the fastest growing crime in America. Can you guess what it is?

    TOM: Home repair rip off?

    LESLIE: (laughing) Close. It’s identity theft. Just last year, in fact, 10 million Americans had their identities stolen.

    TOM: Coming up next, how to protect yourself from identity theft.

    (promo/theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: This portion of The Money Pit is brought to you by Pella Windows and Doors. The Pella Windows Your Way Sale is going on now. Visit us at www.pella.com. Or call 1-800-TBD-PELLA today for a free consultation. Pella. Viewed to be the best.

    TOM: Welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Leslie Segrete.

    LESLIE: And I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    TOM: Well, not really, but (laughing) if we stole each other’s identity, that’s what could happen.

    LESLIE: Exactly. Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America. And the worst thing about it is you’ll never even know you’ve been a victim of it until it’s too darn late. So you want to cut down on your chances of someone stealing your identity, leave your checkbook and most of your credit cards at home when you travel.

    TOM: Also, be very wary of strange ATMs; the automatic teller machines. Only use those located or owned by banks. You know why? I didn’t know this, Leslie. But a cash machine can be rigged to record your personal info and your PIN number …

    LESLIE: Really?

    TOM: … as soon as you use it. Yeah. So you’re basically handing your PIN number to the crooks.

    LESLIE: And then somebody can just walk away with that print-out and have everybody who’s ever used that ATM’s everything? Every bit of information about them?

    TOM: Pretty much. That’s why I don’t like to use those ATM machines that are kind of like in the back corner of the dark and dusty, (chuckling) you know, convenient stores (inaudible).

    LESLIE: Those are my favorite.

    TOM: Oh, yeah?

    LESLIE: Huh, huh, oh no. (laughing)

    TOM: Have you checked your bank account lately?

    LESLIE: You know, one time I made a deposit at the bank. And without giving too much information to my account, the woman mis-wrote the balance. She flipped the first two numbers so all of a sudden like a huge chunk of money was missing.

    TOM: Oh, no.

    LESLIE: And as she handed me the paper I was thinking, ‘Oh, how do I even track this out? Oh, my God.’ (laughing) And she was like, ‘Well, that’s what the computer said.’ And I’m like, ‘You go back and check that.’ And she was like, ‘Oh, I wrote it down backwards.’ (laughing) And I was like … I had like these three minutes of like sweating at the counter. Like, ‘Oh, how do I even start?’

    TOM: Well, those are honest mistakes. But the problem is that there are a lot of dishonest ATMs out there. So you can’t be too careful.

    LESLIE: Yeah. We’ve got a prize. It’s not going to suck your money away. It’s going to suck all the dirt out of your house away. So this is a good thing. It’s the Vax X5. It’s a fantastic vacuum. It’s worth about 300 bucks. It’s going to be free for one person, this hour, whose question we answer on air. It’s got a cleaning wand that extends 11 feet so you don’t have to stretch or bend or climb up on a chair to clean something. It’s got everything you need without those funny attachments. It’s got a 27-foot cord that retracts with an easy-to-use foot control button.

    TOM: And it’s got no bags. You press a button and the dirt comes out through the bottom.

    LESLIE: Awesome.

    TOM: It’s also got a HEPA filter. It’s a great prize and it’s worth 300 bucks. Going to go to one caller, this hour, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974. You must come on the air and ask a home improvement question to qualify for prizes on this program.

    Leslie, who’s next?

    LESLIE: Carl in Virginia has a countertop question. What can we do for you?

    CARL: I would like to know the type of material that might be a good substitute between a Formica on the low end and a Corian on the high end, as far as price goes. What alternatives are there in between?

    LESLIE: In between, a great choice is tile. It can be any price that you want per square foot, depending on the size and what the tiles made out of. You can go with a ceramic tile or you can even go with a 12×12 granite tile, that when you butt them together you almost get no joints; you can barely even see them. So it really depends on what your price point is.

    TOM: There’s also solid surfacing material, Carl, that’s like Corian but it’s thinner. And it goes on … it’s a little bit thicker than Formica, but it allows you to repair scratches because the color goes all the way through.

    CARL: Because what I was concerned about was any type of leakage. Just like with Formica, eventually the water gets around the seams and gets underneath and I know with the newer materials that won’t happen. And it also seems to me that those newer materials are extremely high priced.

    TOM: Well, if the Formica or the laminate countertop is built properly, if you’re using good quality medium-density fiberboard, it can take a lot more moisture than the old particleboard substrate used to. And I think that’s what you’re talking about. When the water gets around the fixtures – like around the valves and the faucet around the sink – then the old particleboard substrate that the laminates used to be glued to would swell up. But the new stuff doesn’t do that. It’s really much more durable, today, than it ever used to be before.

    CARL: Okay. I wasn’t aware of that. I just assumed it was still glued to a particle type board.

    TOM: No. There’s a different – there are different types of substrate that could be used now, that are specifically designed for laminate, that doesn’t swell when it gets wet. Okay, Carl?

    CARL: Thanks.

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

    LESLIE: Up next, hurricane season is right around the corner. I know it’s scary but you’ve got to get ready for it. We’re going to have tips for one Money Pit e-mailer who’s looking to keep her property in place, next.

    (theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: This portion of The Money Pit is being brought to you by Aprilaire, makers of professionally-installed, high-efficiency air cleaners. Study after study shows that as homes become tighter and more energy efficient, more contaminants become trapped inside. Aprilaire’s technologically-advanced electronic and media air cleaners are the best choice for maintaining healthy indoor air. For more information, go to Aprilaire.com.

    TOM: Welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974. You can call us 24/7 at that telephone number. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by live call screeners. We never, ever let them sleep. You can always ask your home improvement question. But let’s say you don’t want to call, you want to email; you can do that too. Just log onto moneypit.com, click on Ask Tom and Leslie.

    So let’s take a look at that email bag right now.

    LESLIE: Alright, here’s a good one from Frances in Pensacola, Florida, who writes: ‘I’m building a home and want to have deck anchors embedded into the pool concrete that will allow me to screw in large, strong eyehooks that I can use to cover and/or tie down grill, lawn furniture and other possible blow-abouts when hurricanes threaten. I’ll have a lee wall (ph) to use as a buffer. Do such anchors exist? I’m thinking they are female with flat top screw heads, plastic inserts that I would remove and replace with the eyehooks should a storm come about.’

    TOM: Well, absolutely there are concrete anchors that, basically, are female threads that slip into a pre-drilled hole. And they lay flush with the slab once they’re done. And then, you could simply install an eyelet into that. Four of those, say, just to strap down a tarp at four corners.

    Source of supply for that, Leslie. Have some ideas?

    LESLIE: Yeah, there’s actually a great website called Confast – C-o-n-f-a-s-t. And there are so many concrete fasteners available, it will kind of blow your mind. But there’s a great one that’s called the concrete drop-in anchor. And their website is Confast.com. And that’s the one I think that you’re talking about. It seems most like it. Sits flush with the surrounding area and then it has a female end in there, once it’s installed, that you can screw things right into. And they even have an excellent piece here that’s called the Hanger Mate, which seems like you can tie your pieces already to this. It’s a little screw end with sort of an eyehook but it’s really heavy, instead of just an eyehook at the end. So you can have everything pre-tied and ready to go and then just run out there and screw these in.

    TOM: Exactly. And that ought to make you solid for the storm which, apparently, is going to be pretty bad this year. We’re hearing that there are predictions of the worst hurricane season yet. If you can believe that.

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Everything’s all screwy, Tom.

    TOM: 888-666-3974. I think we’ve got time for one more. Jim from Washington writes he is looking for the best way to fix bowed or warped hardwood floors.

    Man, I’ll tell you, Jim. It is tough to make a warped piece of hardwood go back in place. Once it bends – because it gets very wet – it’s difficult to make it go back in place. What you probably are going to have to do is to cut out the damaged piece and replace it. That’s probably the only way you’re going to get to fix this. Now, if you happen to be putting hardwood floors down in an area that is damp, don’t use solid, use engineered because that stuff won’t warp.

    LESLIE: Yeah, it’s excellent. The way they build it is almost like a plywood, which makes it structurally stable so you can actually use it in a more humid or moist environment. So that’s a good choice. So think about that.

    TOM: Well, she’s a big reader and a great radio host. She’s going to combine those two talents in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word. You have tips on building bookcases. There’s a popular home improvement project.

    LESLIE: Well, you know you buy all these books. You know, I tend to not go to the library. I like to read them, I like to keep them, I want to hold onto them. So it’s like I’m kind of selfish; I want to keep them. And then I end up with a big stack of books and nowhere to put them. And I’m sure many of you out there have that same exact problem. But you might actually be surprised by how easy it is to build your very own bookcase. In fact, bookcases are not only a great way to display your personal library, they’re also a terrific storage option.

    So when building your own, just remember to keep the shelf length at 32 to 36 inches. And for the best support and a clean look, use dadoes as the joinery for the interior shelves and attach the top shelf with rabet joints. Finally, gluing all joints will help both your bookcase and your books stand the test of time. So happy reading and happy building, everyone.

    TOM: And if you have an old bookcase and you pull a book out and notice that the end of it is partially eaten by termites …

    LESLIE: (chuckling) Oh, gross.

    TOM: … you’re going to want to tune in to next week’s show because it is termite swarm season again and your home could be vulnerable. Next week, we’ll tell you how to determine if these destructive termites are making a meal of your home. 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.

    (theme song)


    (Copyright 2006 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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