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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: And we are here to help you with your home improvement projects. From claw hammers to clawfoot tubs, whatever you want to talk about when it comes to your house, your home, your castle, call us right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT and we will help you get the job done. You know, we have just started the 2007 hurricane season. It runs from June 1st through November. And there are about 3,700 miles of coast line that are vulnerable from Maine to Florida plus the entire Gulf Coast region.

    LESLIE: Yeah, but even if you’re not on the coast, wicked weather could strike wherever you live and you really do want to make sure that your home is being protected. That’s why this hour we’ve got some great advice to help you address your home’s weak spots and get them ready to take on whatever Mother Nature can dish out.

    TOM: Call us right now with your home improvements questions at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Another great reason to call is that one caller we talk to this hour is going to win a pretty cool tool. It’s from Husky. It’s an air compressor. It’s worth 199 bucks. How about that? It’s great for nails; staple guns; you know, inflating tires; toys.

    LESLIE: Pretty much everything.

    TOM: Yeah, everything you need to lend some hot air to. Call us right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    Leslie, who’s first?

    LESLIE: Carol in Missouri, welcome to The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?

    CAROL: Hi. I need to have a question answered about caulking around your tub.

    LESLIE: Sure. Well, how can we help?

    CAROL: Well, I had my bathroom remodeled and they put tile around the tub. But it doesn’t seem to go all the way down to the tub itself; the tile. Of course there’s grout in there. Well, that has since eroded away and every time I caulk it it just doesn’t stay.

    TOM: Ah, because you don’t the secret way to caulk your tub.

    LESLIE: Yeah, there’s a secret trick.

    TOM: Yeah, a good tip.

    CAROL: Oh, good. I was hoping somebody would help me.

    TOM: No problem. First of all, when they put tile in they just always grout down to the tub lid. But the tub is always moving, Carol. It’s always expanding and contracting and especially as it gets filled up with water or you step inside of it for a shower. It kind of pulls down and stretches down.

    CAROL: I thought that was my imagination.

    TOM: No, it is absolutely not. It is absolutely not. So what you can do is sort of fake it out. Here’s what you do. First of all, get rid of all of the old grout, the old caulk. Make sure it’s really clean.

    CAROL: OK.

    TOM: Then fill the tub up with water. Fill it up as much as you possibly can. Water is very heavy.

    CAROL: Ah.

    TOM: It weighs eight pounds per gallon.

    LESLIE: Yeah, and make sure that that area where you pulled that grout or the existing caulk out of, make sure it’s really dry in there before you go and refill it. Because you don’t want that extra moisture back there for when you do recaulk it.

    CAROL: What if there’s not enough of that greenboard all the way – going down all the way behind the tub. See, that’s what I think is the problem, too.

    TOM: Then what you want to do is caulk that gap and you do it with the tub filled with water because this way, after the caulk dries, you can let the water out and the tub will sort of go back up and compress. And when you step in the tub to take a shower it’s not going to pull down again. It’s not going to pull out. So, clean it really good; fill the tub up with water; caulk it, Carol and then let the water out and you will be good to go and you’ll have a caulk joint there that’s really going to last a long time.

    CAROL: Wonderful. There had to been – see but I thought, ‘Why are they – why is it doing this all the time?’

    TOM: There was a solution.

    CAROL: Martin in New Jersey listening in on WABC. Welcome to The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?

    MARTIN: Hi, I have r-34 insulation in my roof.

    TOM: OK.

    MARTIN: An energy conservation pamphlet I received said I should have r-42. And I was wondering does it pay to do it, economically.

    TOM: When you say, Martin, it’s in your roof, do you mean in your attic space? Or is it up against your roof sheathing?

    MARTIN: It’s lying flat down on my attic ceiling.

    TOM: OK. Alright. And also, Martin, how old is your house?

    MARTIN: It’s about 10 months old.

    TOM: Oh, it’s fairly new then. Then it’s …

    MARTIN: Yes.

    TOM: I’m going to assume that it’s properly ventilated. And so, that’s actually pretty good. I mean maybe it’s not letter perfect, but I wouldn’t necessarily tell you to spend a lot of money putting more insulation in right now. If you’ve got a fairly new house and you’ve got r – more than r-30 in the ceiling and you’ve good ventilation I think you’re doing a pretty good job of keeping the heat in.

    MARTIN: Mm-hmm. OK.

    TOM: You might want to – you might want to concentrate on some of the other areas of the house. When you buy a new house I’m sure there’s a lot of decorating projects and things like that you might want to tackle. I think that you’re going to find that that’s a pretty efficient structure as it is right now.

    MARTIN: OK, thank you. Can I ask you one other question about the new house?

    TOM: Sure, sure.

    MARTIN: We have a year warranty here in New Jersey.

    TOM: OK.

    MARTIN: And I was wondering if it pays to hire an engineer to check it out before the warranty expires.

    TOM: Absolutely. Great suggestion, great idea. Because I will tell you that the year warranty that’s offered by the home builders doesn’t carry – doesn’t cover an awful lot to begin with. And after a year, that coverage that they started with really drops off. So it’s an excellent idea, before the year is up, to have an independent professional home inspection done to make sure you compile a list and get it to the builder.

    And I will tell you, Martin, that with these warranty programs – I actually used to be an arbitrator for some of them years ago – you have to give notice to the builder and to the warranty company if there are any issues that come up before that year is up. If you just call your builder, which many consumers may be accustomed to doing, that does not count as notice to the warranty company. So have the inspection done and send a letter asking for repairs on anything that comes up that’s covered by the warranty to both the builder and the home warranty company so that you can get it properly addressed.

    MARTIN: OK. Thank you very much for your help.

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

    LESLIE: I mean it’s worth the couple hundred dollars to take care of those things.

    TOM: Absolutely. Because you know, a home inspector’s going to find more than you could possibly find in years of living in that place by having that inspection done early on.

    LESLIE: Well, Doreen in Rhode Island is having a hard time keeping that shower on the second floor warm. What’s going on, Doreen?

    DOREEN: Well, we’re having a little problem. We own a cape; a seven-year-old cape. And just in the past month or so we started having a problem keeping the water hot out of the shower.

    TOM: OK. Does it – does it go cold or something, like when somebody else is like using the water?

    DOREEN: No, there’s no one else using the water and …

    LESLIE: Nobody’s flushing the toilet and playing a prank on you.

    DOREEN: No, not at all. It’s just my husband and I. (chuckling) And we’ve checked it and it’s about from three to five minutes it starts getting cooler.

    TOM: OK …

    DOREEN: And we can actually put the whole faucet on hot and it’ll just be warm. And when we get out of the shower, we check the sink to make sure that the water’s hot and it’s steaming hot. So …

    TOM: That’s weird. So in other words it’s only cold in the shower …

    LESLIE: In the shower.

    TOM: … but not in the sink.

    DOREEN: Exactly.

    TOM: That’s really weird.

    DOREEN: Yep. (chuckling)

    TOM: Huh. Hmm.

    DOREEN: And I know my …

    TOM: Do you have a pressure balance valve in that shower? Do you ever have problems with the water turning hot or cold while somebody else is using it?

    DOREEN: To be honest with you, it’s – like I said it’s just my husband and I. It’s usually not …

    TOM: Hmm.

    DOREEN: We’re not using it at the same time. So, you know, anything downstairs …

    TOM: Well, the weirdest thing is that you’re just running out of hot water in just that one faucet itself; that shower faucet. If you were running out of hot water in the whole house it would be easy to figure out what’s going on. But if you’re telling me that you’re only running it out of that one faucet, that’s kind of weird. I’m thinking that if you have a valve there that maybe as the valve heats up it’s expanding and shutting off or if you have a pressure balance valve that something is going wrong.

    A pressure balance valve, by the way, that’s the valve that prevents you from getting scalded or …

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.

    TOM: … juiced with ice water, you know, when somebody else runs something else in the house. It’s a valve that maintains the mix of hot and cold water no matter what’s happening with the pressure in the rest of the house. And if you have that kind of valve and it goes bad, that could be what’s occurring there.

    DOREEN: Where do I find that valve?

    TOM: Well, I mean that’s what’s built in to the bathtub itself. What kind of water heater do you have in this house? Gas or oil? I mean gas or electric?

    DOREEN: It’s oil.

    TOM: It’s oil?

    DOREEN: Mm-hmm.

    TOM: The water heater’s oil?

    DOREEN: Yes.

    TOM: You’re sure it’s an oil water heater?

    DOREEN: It’s a tankless water heater.

    TOM: Oh, it’s a tankless water heater. It’s attached to the boiler.

    DOREEN: Attached to the boiler.

    TOM: Well then you shouldn’t be running out of hot water, that’s for sure. Those things can pump out lots and lots and lots of hot water.

    DOREEN: And it never happened …

    TOM: I think this is a problem with your valve itself.


    TOM: Either that or there could be air in the line that’s blocking it. You need to have a plumber look at this. For some reason you’re not getting the flow to that one faucet. Shouldn’t be that big of a deal to figure this out.

    DOREEN: Really?

    TOM: Worse case scenario, you’ll need a new valve.

    DOREEN: Oh, that’s great.

    TOM: Alright?

    DOREEN: And one other really quick question. Is it a big job to replace the mechanism for the shower itself; the hot and cold …

    TOM: No. Not necessarily.

    DOREEN: It’s kind of old-fashioned. It’s only seven years old but it’s ugly, I think. (Leslie chuckles)

    TOM: Oh, now we’re talking about a cosmetic improvement. (chuckling)

    DOREEN: Yeah, exactly.

    TOM: Yeah. No, it’s not that big of a deal to do. I mean a plumber can do it, you know, in an hour or two; depending on what’s behind it and how much work they have to do.

    Do the valves for this wall happen to back up like to a closet on the other side, by any chance?

    DOREEN: Yes, exactly. Exactly, yes.

    TOM: Well, that’s perfect, see, because that’s the …

    LESLIE: Is there an access panel already?

    DOREEN: No, there’s not an access panel but the – right in back of it is the bathroom; the linen closet.

    TOM: Yeah, that’s the way to do it. So you’ll cut a hole in the back of the closet so you won’t even see it and they’ll do the work from behind there and they can panel that back up and you’ll be good to go.

    I was just writing a story today for a magazine about a new kind of faucet that’s made by Moen. It has this new Immersion technology which makes the shower only – it delivers only 2.5 gallons worth of water, which is not a lot, but it like pressurizes it so it gives you a really aggressive shower.

    LESLIE: So it makes it feel like it’s a lot of pressure.

    TOM: Yeah. So you can do a lot of things by changing your faucets these days.

    DOREEN: Is there a particular name to that or is that …

    TOM: It’s called Immersion and it – Immersion technology. It’s available in a bunch of their faucets.

    DOREEN: OK, great. That’s (inaudible).

    TOM: Alright?

    DOREEN: Thank you so much for your help.

    TOM: You’re welcome.

    DOREEN: Really appreciate it. Thanks.

    TOM: Good luck, Doreen. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Are you remodeling your kitchen or bath this summer? Well, we can help make it easier. Call in your home repair or home improvement question 24 hours a day whenever you feel like it at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Up next, did you know that most fatal fires happen when victims are asleep?

    LESLIE: That’s a scary thought.

    TOM: A working smoke detector will wake you up and give you enough time to get out of the house. Tips on using one the right way, next.

    (promo/theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: This portion of The Money Pit is brought to you by Behr’s lineup of premium solid and semi-transparent weatherproofing wood stains, with advanced NanoGuard technology, which offer ultimate durability and wood protection. For more information, visit Behr.com. That’s Behr.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. And hey, stop whatever home improvement project you are tackling right now.

    TOM: Put the hammer down. Step away from the project.

    LESLIE: Pick up the phone and call 1-888-MONEY-PIT. If we talk to you on the air today you could wind up winning a Husky air compressor. It’s worth $199. It’s from the Quiet Series line so you can actually do your work and run your compressor and still think and hear yourself think. You could use it for finish nailers, staplers, air brushes, caulk and grease guns and to inflate tires and all those kids’ toys. And you could probably be using one right now, I imagine. You’ll find something to do with it. The number again is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    TOM: 888-666-3974. You must have a home improvement question and be willing to come on the air and ask that question to qualify for this great compressor worth almost 200 bucks.

    OK, before the break we were talking about smoke detectors. It is a fact, of course, smoke detectors do save lives. Put one smoke detector on each floor of your house. It’s a good idea to put a smoke detector outside each bedroom area because, as we’ve learned, most deaths occur at night when people are sleeping.

    Keep in mind, also, that smoke rises. You need to mount the smoke detector on the upper part of the wall or on the ceiling. And change batteries at least twice a year. Get in the habit of doing this when you change your clocks each fall and each spring. Then you’ll never forget.

    Also, vacuum each smoke detector once a year to keep it working properly. And do not – do not paint your smoke detector. And if you have an old one, replace it. If it’s more than five years old, get a new one.

    LESLIE: Yeah, and you should also make sure that once you’ve got these detectors installed that they’re actually working. Really give them a test from time to time. Most detectors are going to have a test button that you can push. But the button can actually be kind of hard to push if your detector is on the ceiling. So you might want to look for a smoke detector that can actually be tested by waving a flashlight beam back and forth across the sensor. This way you can test that smoke detector without getting up on a ladder and risking a fall.

    You know, this is a great tip for this time of year being that June is National Home Safety Month. And if you want some more information on smoke detector safety, you should really visit AARP.org/HomeDesign. The website again is AARP.org/HomeDesign.

    TOM: Or call us right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    Let’s get back to the phones.

    LESLIE: Cheryl in Michigan listens in to The Money Pit on WHAM. I just like to say it, Cheryl. (Tom laughs) Welcome. What can we do for you?

    CHERYL: Last year we had some brick work done and the fellow did a little patio and some steps up into our yard. And this year – you know, after going through the winter – we discovered that four bricks in the center of one of the steps were loose. So we got some liquid nails and, you know, tried to fasten them down. And one of them didn’t fasten down. But then I started to wonder if he maybe left them loose for a reason.

    TOM: The steps or the bricks are loose on the steps?

    CHERYL: The brick like in the center of the step. Not at any of the edges.

    TOM: The only reason to leave loose bricks on a step is to assure that someone is going to break their neck. (Leslie and Cheryl chuckle) I don’t think that there was a reason for that.

    CHERYL: Well, I wondered if, you know, maybe the freeze and thaw thing; you know, that maybe if some of them would move a little bit that it would keep the whole step from ending up breaking.

    TOM: No. No reason for that. And I’ve got to tell you that using a glue adhesive like that is probably not the best material. QUIKRETE has a product called bonding adhesive that’s specifically designed to repair loose steps and things like that. But Liquid Nails is a product that, to the best of my knowledge, is only effective for gluing, you know, paneling and drywall and things of this nature …

    CHERYL: Sure.

    TOM: … pretty much inside the house. I wouldn’t use it on concrete myself.

    CHERYL: Oh, OK.

    TOM: I would use one of the QUIKRETE products like the bonding adhesive …

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.

    TOM: … and mix that up properly. Follow the label directions and then seal down those bricks. And now is a perfect time to do it. You don’t want to wait until it’s too cold because it’s not going to set nearly as well.

    CHERYL: Right. Right. Well, it should be getting warmer. (chuckles)

    TOM: Yeah, it’s the season. So get to it, Cheryl.

    CHERYL: Yeah.

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

    LESLIE: We’re talking to Jeff in Montana here at The Money Pit. What can we do for you and your home today?

    JEFF: Well, we’ve got an old house, built in 1899. It’s got the old, original glass in it. It’s all uneven glass. And we want to try to retain all that but yet we want to bring it up to higher value of insulation.

    LESLIE: As far as energy efficiency.

    TOM: Mm-hmm.

    JEFF: Yes. We want to go with ground source heating and they’re telling us with this kind of windows and stuff we’re not going to be able to make the house airtight enough for …

    TOM: Yeah, you’ve got to have a really efficient house to be able to get efficiency out of your heating system. And so, what you want here, Jeff, is sort of the best of both worlds.

    Leslie, I think that their may be a decorator trick here where Jeff could replace the windows with a thermal pane window but perhaps create another window that hangs inside of that that has some of the original glass. I’ve seen this done with stained glass. I’ve seen it done with seeded glass; with a blown glass. And it looks pretty cool.

    LESLIE: There are several options. In fact, Pella has something. It’s called the Designer Series Window. And it’s actually three panes of glass; although the third pane is really sort of like nonfunctional. It acts more as a slider or opening – it pivots into you – that you can slip in a decorative panel from something that you can have printed from an image or some of their stock photography or textures or even colorations that offer you privacy or just change the look of the glass. I’ve even seen seeded glass you can get at glass stores to manufacture things for the home, on a smaller scale. But I wouldn’t reuse what you have. It’s just not going to give you the r value or the efficiency that you want from a thermal pane glass.

    TOM: So Jeff, there’s really two options. You can buy new windows that have old styling yet give you the efficiency. Or you could take some of that old glass and use it to create an insert that sort of hangs inside the newer window that will give you some of the effect of the old but still allow you to have protection from the elements. Does that make sense?

    JEFF: Yes. Well we would like to find someone that would be able to do that; to retain our original glass and maybe put it inside an energy e-style, double-pane window or use it as one of the panes or …

    TOM: Well Jeff, let me give you one more suggestion. Have you thought about doing something that worked well for many, many years; for 50 years in this country? And that is to simply add a good quality storm window and keep the old windows.

    JEFF: That’s what we would like to do but we want to be able to show off these windows also with all that crosshatching woodwork and (inaudible).

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.

    TOM: Yeah, Jeff, I think an interior storm window is a really good option.

    LESLIE: Yeah, in fact, Allied Window, you know they make an invisible, almost custom aluminum storm window. And they’re really great for historic and even other renovation projects that you want to maintain some of the historical integrity of the building. So, check them out at their website; AlliedWindowInc.com.

    TOM: Jeff, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Call us right now with your home improvement question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Or jump onto MoneyPit.com and send us an e-mail question. Whether your question has to do with clawfoot tubs or claw hammers, we’re here to help you get the job done. We’ll be back with your answers, next.

    (theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: AARP is proud to sponsor The Money Pit. Visit www.AARP.org/HomeDesign to learn more about making your home more functional and comfortable for years to come.

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Good news. You can now have Leslie and I in your pocket.

    LESLIE: Hooray!

    TOM: But perhaps you don’t want us in your pocket. (Leslie chuckles) Well, then just put us in your iPod because The Money Pit is portable. You can help yourself to our entire library of Money Pit podcasts. You can even search them by topic. You can review the transcripts. The answer to your home improvement question is literally a click away at MoneyPit.com. And best of all, they’re free; just like our telephone number at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    Leslie, who’s next?

    LESLIE: Jill in Virginia listens to The Money Pit on WSVA. And you’ve got a question about flooring. How can we help?

    JILL: Yes, there was a leak in my bathroom and I pulled up the old linoleum. And in doing so I found that part of the floor was hardwood, part of it was particleboard. Now, there is a place where the particleboard has just kind of chipped apart. And some of the old tile adhesive is still on the floor. I need to know how do I get rid of the old tile adhesive and what’s best to patch that area of particleboard that’s all flaked away.

    LESLIE: What are you looking to put on top of this?

    JILL: Probably the peel-and-stick tiles like you get at the – Lowe’s, Home Depot, that type of place.

    TOM: Oh, the peel-and-stick?

    JILL: Yeah.

    TOM: If this is for a – this is for a bathroom?

    JILL: Yes.

    TOM: You know, a peel-and-stick tile is probably not the best solution for this. It’s not going to stay.

    JILL: OK.

    TOM: Yeah. I would recommend you think about either using sheet vinyl or laminate floor.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.

    TOM: And if you use laminate floor you can basically – you know, you’re going to need to scrape out as much of that glue as you can.

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Adhesive.

    TOM: But you don’t have to be pretty about it. I mean as long as the floor is somewhat flat. And in terms of the area that’s deteriorated, you can fill that with a floor patch compound just to get it relatively flat. But the laminate floor, when it locks together, is pretty thick and pretty sturdy. So it can actually go over a slightly uneven area. And there’s even an underlayment that you can put under that laminate floor that will take some of the deflection. And that will give you a really good looking floor and a really strong floor.

    LESLIE: Well, another option, also, is – new from Armstrong is their luxury, resilient vinyl flooring. And it comes in like a slate; it comes in a mini-tile; it comes in – it looks like wood. And it’s really inexpensive. It’s like $2.50 per square foot. That’s uninstalled but you can get something that looks really fantastic, is super inexpensive and would be great for a bathroom. And that already has an underlayment on the backside so you don’t really have to worry about that either.

    TOM: Is that put together – is that put down with a mastic, Leslie?

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm, it is. It’s put down with a mastic. It has to be done by a professional just because it’s a sheet product and it can be unwieldy. But it really is a great looking product.

    TOM: So there’s a couple of options for you there. OK, Jill?

    JILL: Alright. Thank you.

    TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at The Money Pit.

    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. (beeping sound) (Leslie chuckles) I’m wondering if there might be a better way to keep the air in my …

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

    TOM: (chuckling) 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 or …

    LESLIE: Outside.

    TOM: … outside somewhere.

    RENE: He does do that now …

    TOM: Yeah.

    RENE: … more so.

    TOM: Yeah, well it probably wicks its way in nonetheless.

    Well, you know, there are 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. It builds up in there.

    TOM: Right. So, there’s 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: 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. (chuckling)

    TOM: OK, Rene?

    RENE: Thank you.

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

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

    KIP: Yeah, I bought a 100-year-old farmhouse out here in Montana. And we live on a little bluff with trees surrounding the back side of the house. And I had one of the branches come off and break one of my leaded 100-year-old windows.

    TOM: Aw, bummer.

    LESLIE: Ooh.

    KIP: I’ve been to a couple of the, you know, the home centers and a couple stores but everybody just shakes their hand and just says, ‘Ooh, sorry we can’t help you.’

    LESLIE: Is it leaded in the fact that it’s colored leaded glass and it looks like stained glass? Or is it the diamond pattern where even the window itself is sort of ridgy?

    KIP: Oh, it’s plate glass but when you look through it and you move your head up and down the mountains on the other side of the valley wiggle. I mean you know, it’s …

    LESLIE: Is it super cool do you think? Or it’s thicker at the bottom and thinner at the top? That’ll sometimes do that. Or do you see little sort of, almost rice kernels in there where it looks seeded?

    KIP: It’s a little bit on the seeded – it’s not thicker on the bottom than it is on the top. It’s very thin plate glass and you can just tell when you look through it and you move your head up and down you can see the world outside shake and wobble.

    LESLIE: Have you tried an architectural salvage shop?

    KIP: Well, we’re – we’ll we’re right outside the gate here at Glacier National Park in here.

    TOM: Mm-hmm.

    KIP: So we’re just kind of – I guess the nearest town is either Spokane or Missoula.


    KIP: And I have – I have tried the internet a little bit but I haven’t had any luck.

    LESLIE: There’s a website and they manufacture – it almost looks like it’s seeded. It’s got bubbles in it. It might be what you’re looking at.

    KIP: (overlapping voices) Yeah. Yeah, there are some bubbles every now and then you can see in some of them.

    LESLIE: Check out this site. And it could link you to somebody who’s got it or can supply it to your area. And they come in, you know, 39×43 pieces so you can cut them or have them cut to be installed. The website is Lamberts.de – this gets a little confusing – .de/elight.htm. I guarantee you these are going to be the folks that have what you’re looking for.

    TOM: Kip, if you didn’t catch that or if anyone else would like that web address, send us an e-mail by clicking on Ask Tom and Leslie at MoneyPit.com and we will send you the link.

    LESLIE: Well, coming up, you don’t have to live in a hurricane-prone state to worry about storm damage. Actually, wind and rain can occur anywhere so you are at risk my friends. Find out what you can do to prevent damage from any storm, next.

    (promo/theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Therma-Tru, the nation’s leading manufacturer of fiberglass entry and patio door systems. Choose the brand more building professionals prefer. And add up to $24,000 to the perceived value of your home. For more information, visit ThermaTru.com.

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Call us now with your home improvement question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. If you do and your call gets on the air this hour, you could win a $199 air compressor from Husky. It’s from the Quiet Series. So you’re not going to annoy your neighbors. (Leslie laughs) It’s only 19 gallons …

    LESLIE: Or your family members.

    TOM: That’s true. And it’s great for nail guns, staple guns, air hammers. Or, if you’re like me, I have lots of balls to fill bicycle tires to pump up; and, in the summer, inflatables. And man.

    LESLIE: Pool floaties. And they’re getting bigger and bigger and bigger.

    TOM: They take a lot of wind. (laughing) They take the wind out of me. So, you want to win it call us right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Well, earlier we mentioned that hurricane and summer storm season are underway and thousands of miles of U.S. coastline are at risk for hurricanes every year. But even if you’re inland, that doesn’t mean that you’re not at risk. You’ve got hurricanes that can sometimes trigger big storms and winds that head inland. Wind storms, hail, even winter snow storms. You always have to think about weatherproofing your house and stormproofing your house. They really do go hand in hand regardless of where you live. But if your home is not properly protected, even a mild storm can wind up costing you thousands of dollars in repairs. And here’s where you want to begin.

    First, inspect your homes roof and gutters. You can use binoculars if you don’t feel very comfortable getting up on the roof. You want to make sure that you repair any loose or torn shingles that you see to prevent any further damage. And also, your gutters need to be firmly attached to your house and they must be clog free so that they can do their job, which is moving water away from your home’s foundation. And all of that is really going to reduce the chance of water seeping into your home.

    TOM: And into your basement.

    Next, repair any loose shutters, siding, gutters or anything else that could become sort of airborne in a storm. Consider also installing storm shutters to become windows from flying debris. Or you could actually install impact-resistant glass, which is another way to keep your windows in good shape.

    If you realize you need to make roof repairs or decide to install storm resistant windows or doors, that’s also the time to consider extra weatherproofing protection for your home around those windows and doors. Make sure you choose premium building materials that can help you maximize your home’s resistance to those wind-driven rains or other hazards like ice dams.

    One company that really excels in this area is Grace. Grace makes a self-adhering roof underlayment called Grace Ice and Water Shield and I’ve got to tell you, that is what kept many a roof dry, especially in Florida, after all of the severe hurricanes they’ve had down there.

    LESLIE: When all the shingles were gone.

    TOM: Exactly. And that goes under roof shingles. So, be sure to include that material if you’re thinking about replacing or even repairing your roof. Grace Ice and Water Shield. It will really help keep the water out of your home.

    LESLIE: Yeah, and even if you’re not doing the work yourself and you know that this is something you want to include in the project, make sure you ask your contractor to use this premium underlayment. This way if a storm strikes, you will be ready. Take the time now to inspect and repair your roof and your gutters because if you do it now it’s going to save a lot of money that could occur if there’s costly damage. Really, be safe.

    TOM: Absolutely. Good website for more information is GraceAtHome.com. GraceAtHome.com. Or pick up the phone and call us right now with your roofing question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    Leslie, who’s next?

    LESLIE: Andy in Colorado’s got a tricky problem with your light bulbs. What’s going on?

    ANDY: I’ve got a couple of outdoor bulbs on the front of my house. They routinely go out more so than anywhere else in the house.

    LESLIE: Are they situated right next to your front door?

    ANDY: Yeah, one at the front door and one out by the garage.

    TOM: Yeah, and are these doors that you use constantly; the garage door and the front door?

    ANDY: Garage door not so routinely. We don’t park in the garage. So it doesn’t go up and down, you know, a couple of times a day or anything like that. And then the other one’s just a front door.

    TOM: Alright, there is a special type of light bulb that’s designed for these areas because sometimes light bulbs that are near anything that gives some vibration, like doors moving up and down, tend to burn out more quickly. What you want is called a rough service bulb.

    ANDY: Hmm.

    TOM: And it actually has a thicker filament.

    ANDY: Really? Rough service, huh?

    TOM: Rough service. You can find them at electrical supply stores. I don’t think you’ll find them at the average hardware store or home improvement retailer, but you will find them at an electrical supply store; the kind that electricians go to, you know, buy all their parts.

    ANDY: Huh, good deal.

    LESLIE: I mean because think about how delicate those light bulbs are. It’s so easy to break the filament. So, think about all that rattling you’re doing by shutting that door and shutting the garage door.

    ANDY: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it makes sense.

    TOM: Alright, Andy, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.

    LESLIE: Alright. Up next, are slippery floors bringing you down? We’re going to tell you how to save yourself that unnecessary trip. We’ve got safety tips when we get back.

    (theme song)

    TOM: Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show, available 24/7/365 by calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. We never sleep. There is always someone from team Money Pit to answer your home improvement question because we know that sometimes having those questions doesn’t happen …

    LESLIE: Sometimes you’re doing that work at 3:00 in the morning.

    TOM: Yeah, exactly. You’re pulling an all-nighter; putting on a new roof; building a deck; trying to get it done. Call us …

    LESLIE: That’s why those home centers are open 24 hours.

    TOM: That’s right. They are. (Leslie chuckles) That’s right. So if you’re in the home center aisle at 4:00 in the morning and trying to decide what product you need, you can pick up the phone and call us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Now, we may not be in the studio at that time but we’ll call you back, you know, the next morning when we wake up. (Leslie chuckles) After we have our coffee we’ll get back on the phone and give you a ring. And maybe you don’t want to call us. You could also e-mail us by going to MoneyPit.com and clicking on Ask Tom and Leslie.

    We’ve got some e-mails here to get to. Let’s start with Michael in Pennsylvania.

    LESLIE: Alright. Michael writes: ‘I recently built a home in the northeast. When they poured the concrete floor for the garage they smoothed the surface so flat that now, when it’s wet or if snow is present, it’s almost impossible to walk on due to slipperiness.’ If that’s a word. Slipperiness. ‘Is their a coating or a treatment to texture this floor? I would prefer not to use paint but would consider a clear coat. Thanks for any suggestions.’

    TOM: Hmm. Well, certainly – I don’t know why you don’t want to use paint but I would – we’d probably recommend, I would think, Leslie, an epoxy paint. Right?

    LESLIE: Well, depending on how you want to finish it. You can use an epoxy compound which comes in a kit. It’s a paint. It’s very durable. It goes on. Or you can use a latex or oil-based paint and you can add something from Rust-Oleum called Epoxy Shield, which is an antiskid additive. And it’s actually made from aluminum oxide.

    TOM: And that’s the same stuff that sandpaper is made out of. So it will definitely not be slippery. So I guess it’s a good thing that they did just a great job finishing your floor from the – with the concrete. But the slipperiness is an issue and that’s a way to deal with it; with an antiskid additive. You simply mix it in with the Epoxy Shield before you apply it. And these epoxy products are two parts. So they have a hardener and then they have a base coat and you mix them together. Usually get a working time of a good couple of hours; enough time to get it down. And it really, really looks terrific. And I like the textured finish.

    LESLIE: You know, I like the textured finish. I like the colors that they offer. You can just use a clear coat. And this antiskid additive meets with the ADA; the American with Disability Act’s requirements. So you know you’re not falling down.

    TOM: Well, the weather is finally warm enough to get outside and really enjoy it. And that might start with a cleaning project having to do with, perhaps, your furniture. Leslie tells you how to do exactly that in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.

    LESLIE: That’s right. Well, whether you store your outdoor furniture in a garage, in a shed or even under a tarp, there’s a good chance they need a nice freshening up and a good cleansing before you park your booty on them this summer.

    If your outdoor furniture is plastic you can freshen it up easily with a mixture of dish soap, borax, a half-a-cup of peroxide and a gallon of water. Make sure, regardless of what cleaning products you’re using – whether you make it or you buy one at the store – that you test it on a small area first. You never know what could happen. So just make sure there’s not a weird reaction with the color. And then let your mixture sit on the furniture for 10 to 15 minutes and then give it a good scrubbing with a nylon brush before you do rinse it very well.

    If you prefer wood furniture, you want to make sure that you oil the surfaces with a sealant or preservative that is made specifically for the type of wood that your furniture is made of. After sealing, you can clean those surfaces at least once every two weeks simply with a mix of soapy water and a wood cleaner. Use a damp rag and then wipe away extra moisture with a dry cloth. A little work will ensure that that furniture lasts and lasts and is good and clean every time you want to sit down and use it.

    TOM: And if you’d like some more information on how to clean that furniture, you can go to MoneyPit.com and click on the May home maintenance calendar. And in the May issue, which was last month’s issue, the recipe is actually there for cleaning your plastic furniture.

    If you need tips on cleaning metal furniture, we’re going to feature that in the next edition of the free Money Pit e-newsletter. If you’re not a subscriber you can also sign up, again, for free, on our website at MoneyPit.com.

    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 2007 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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