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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. 888-666-3974. Give us a call right now with your home improvement question. Give us a call with your do-it-yourself dilemma. Let us hold the nail for you. (Leslie chuckles) Well, figuratively speaking because we’ve seen you swing a hammer. But call us right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. We’ll get as close to that as we safely and possibly can. (Leslie chuckles)

    Hey, coming up this hour, an easy project that will give you more storage and a sense of accomplishment. Learn some tips for building a better bookcase.

    LESLIE: Plus, are you shocked at the sight of your electric bill? I know I am. Well, would you be surprised to learn that lighting your home can account for 20 percent of the average electric bill? That’s huge. There are so many ways to cut those lighting costs and it’s as easy as changing a light bulb. We’re going to tell you all about that later.

    TOM: And this hour, we’re giving away a whopper prize that will get you through those cold winter months in cozy comfort. It’s the new ECO Model Reiker room conditioner worth $359. ‘What is that?’ you ask. Well, it’s a ceiling fan that actually works like a heater. It has a heater built right into it so it cools you in the summer and warms you in the winter. For a chance to win, pick up the phone right now and give us a call at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. You must be willing to come on the air and ask your home improvement question.

    Leslie, who’s first?

    LESLIE: Jack in Connecticut’s got some sidewalk issues. What’s happening? How can we help you?

    JACK: Well, I’ve used the wrong kind of salt on my sidewalks and it’s caused the sidewalks to pit up and chip away and I was wondering what kind of process or product you recommend that I could use to level or maybe even put some slate, some concrete above the chipped concrete to make a smooth surface.

    TOM: Yeah Jack, if you use, as you learned, rock salt on the concrete it will damage it. So what you really want to do is use something called calcium chloride …

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.

    TOM: … sometimes sold under – one of the brand names is Safe-T-Salt. That is not damaging to the concrete surface. Having already damaged the surface though your solution is an epoxy patching compound …

    JACK: OK.

    TOM: … available at home centers. You can resurface those sidewalks with the epoxy patch. It gives you good adhesion, which is the key. If you try to just put more cement on top of it it’s going to crack and spawl and chip right off. But if you …

    LESLIE: It’s never going to stick one another.

    TOM: If you use a good patching compound with an epoxy base it’ll last indefinitely.

    JACK: Now, would I have to chip the – I tried to use epoxy, just like you said, a while ago last year and what happened was it kind of chipped and fell away.

    TOM: It shouldn’t. If it’s a good, clean surface you should have good binding. That’s the beauty of the patching material. It’s supposed to adhere very, very well. Now, if you’ve had a problem with that, I mean it might be that the sidewalk underneath was dirty or had something that acted as an insulator between …

    LESLIE: Could have even been moist …

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: … and as the season changed it just sort of froze and popped it right off.

    JACK: Yeah, I think that’s what happened, actually. Yeah.

    TOM: Are you …

    LESLIE: You gotta make sure it’s clean and dry.

    JACK: Clean and dry. OK.

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

    JACK: Alright, thank you.

    LESLIE: You know, Tom, when you find that calcium chloride …

    TOM: Right.

    LESLIE: … you really have to make sure you stock up on it because I find it’s hard to just buy …

    TOM: Hard to get. Yeah, yeah.

    LESLIE: … unless you order it on the internet and then it’s expensive because you’re buying, you know, a lot of it.

    TOM: And it weighs a lot. Yeah.

    LESLIE: So when you see it, get it. Get a ton of it and store it away.

    TOM: Before the snow hits.

    LESLIE: Exactly.

    TOM: Before the snow hits. I know it’s a pain to store but it’s better to have it than not. What I like to do is mix it up into – I have an old trash can. We mix it up and keep it on the porch where it’s like half salt, half sand.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.

    TOM: And we have a little, you know, scoop in there and it’s easy just to dig in and throw it out there when it gets icy out.

    LESLIE: Yeah. It’s so smart and then you won’t be looking for it and forced to use something that’s just going to damage your whole property.

    TOM: Leslie, who’s next?

    LESLIE: Alright, now we’ve got Paula in Illinois who’s got something going on with the sump pump. What’s happening?

    PAULA: Well, I just – I need to replace it. So I was wondering what you would recommend.

    TOM: Well, is the sump pump running quite a bit?

    PAULA: Yes. Yes, it does.

    TOM: Is it running more after a rainstorm?

    PAULA: Actually, this thing runs all the time.

    TOM: OK. So then you probably have a high water table. If it runs more after a rainstorm there could be some drainage improvements we would suggest.

    PAULA: Who do I call for this?

    TOM: If your basement floods or your pump runs more after a rainstorm …

    PAULA: Mm-hmm.

    TOM: … then the source of that water is always drainage issues on the outside of the house. These would be things like the gutters becoming blocked and overflowing, water dumping against the foundation perimeter then it runs against the foundation wall and it soaks through the walls and gets in the basement. Or it’s simply the slope of the soil around the foundation perimeter.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.

    TOM: If the soil is flat or if it’s pitched in or if it’s very mulchy or if you have like …

    LESLIE: Yeah, or the material.

    TOM: Or if you have like railroad ties that are between, you know, three feet out because it’s a landscape border that’s holding water in. All those sorts of things that hold water against your house or even heavy landscaping, lots of bushes; those all contribute towards drainage problems which lead to sump pumps running all the time and basements flooding.

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Or water in your basement, yeah.

    TOM: So it’s always a good idea, even if you do have a high water table, to make sure your drainage is sloping away and your gutters are clean. So those are jobs that you can do yourself or you can have a landscaper do.

    If you want to replace your sump pump, again it’s a pretty simple plumbing job but if you can’t do it yourself you can call a plumber to do it for you.

    PAULA: Do you recommend a certain brand or type, rather?

    TOM: Not necessarily; although I will say that some years ago I had experience with one called – Wayne was the pump manufacturer. They had something called a SmartPump which I thought was pretty cool because it knew when it was getting clogged and it actually was able to reverse on its own and unclog itself. So if you have pumps that tend to clog a lot then that might be an option for you.

    PAULA: Now this – it doesn’t clog but (dog barks) let me ask you this. You know like the bottom of the foundation of the house …

    TOM: Yes.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.

    PAULA: … is all concrete and then you see, you know, your siding starts?

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.

    PAULA: Can I fill the concrete with all dirt on the side of the house?

    TOM: You mean the space between the sidewalk and the house?

    PAULA: Right. But on the side of the house, which is dirt, there’s concrete where the basement is …

    TOM: Uh-huh.

    PAULA: … and then there’s the siding.

    TOM: Right, you don’t want to …

    LESLIE: No, she’s talking about the foundation wall; the base itself.

    TOM: Yeah, I don’t think – if you’re saying can I put more dirt in and go up to the siding, no, that’s a bad idea. You don’t want to put soil in contact with siding because then termites are going to come in there. So what you want to do is add soil to get that slope and the slope that you want, if you have a water problem you want to drop off about six inches over four feet. The single, most important thing that you can do on the outside to improve drainage is take a look at your gutters.

    PAULA: I will.

    TOM: Because the gutters are the most – do the most damage. If they’re clogged; if there’s not enough downspouts, the soil will wash out in that area. The water will get into the foundation. So take a look at the gutter system and make sure it’s clean; it’s free-flowing and it’s extending away from the house.

    PAULA: OK.

    TOM: That’s the single, most important thing that you can do.

    PAULA: Alright.

    TOM: Alright, Paula?

    PAULA: Thank you.

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

    LESLIE: You are listening to The Money Pit.

    Hey, are you getting a jumpstart on your holiday shopping? Well, we’ve got great gift ideas for that home improver in your life so call us right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. You can ask all sorts of home improvement questions here. We’ve got answers for them all.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Up next, a storage solution for all of those books. We’ll show you how to build a better bookcase, next.

    (promo/theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: This portion of The Money Pit is brought to you by Aprilaire, makers of professionally-installed, high-efficiency air cleaners. For more information, go to Aprilaire.com. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.

    TOM: Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show where a tool belt is always in style and a hardhat is always recommended. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    You know, speaking of hard hats …

    TOM: Yes.

    LESLIE: … our friends over at MSA, they nicely sent me a giant box of protective eyewear and what not for my new show, The Ugliest House on the Block, so the neighbors and everybody would be safe. And at the bottom of the box there is a pink hardhat and it says Leslie Segrete on the back. (laughs)

    TOM: Aw, that’s nice. So are you going to wear it?

    LESLIE: I totally did. (Tom laughs) I was like the peacock; prancing all around the house.

    TOM: Alright.

    LESLIE: I was like, ‘That’s right. Mine has my name on it.’ (Tom chuckles)

    Alright, well let’s get serious, folks, because we love …

    TOM: She only did that because I was going to steal it otherwise.

    LESLIE: Well, it was pink and I didn’t think you would look so hot in it. (laughter) But we love to give things away here at The Money Pit and we have got a great prize for you. All you have to do is give us a call at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, ask your question on the air. We’re going to tell you exactly what you need to know to fix your dilemma and one caller that we talk to this hour is going to win a Reiker room conditioner. It’s a ceiling fan and an energy-efficient room heater all in one and it’s going to work for you whatever your weather condition is where you live all year round. It’s the perfect solution for a room that’s always too cold or even one of those three-season rooms that you could extend the use of it all year long with this prize. It’s worth $359 and you can learn more about this at BuyReiker.com. Or you can give us a call right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    OK, here’s a tip for you on a storage solution. Bookcases are not only a great way to display your personal library but they’re also a great storage option. But books can be very heavy, so if you’re going to build your own here’s a couple of things to keep in mind. First, keep the shelf length under three feet and for the best support and a clean look use dadoes – that’s a very fancy word for notches (Leslie chuckles) – as the joints for the interior shelves and attach the top shelf with a rabet joint and don’t worry (Leslie chuckles), all you animal lovers out there, no rabbits are harmed in the construction of rabet joints. It’s a fancy word for grooves.

    LESLIE: I was going to say PETA’s on the line, Tom.

    TOM: Finally, glue all the joints together and that’s going to help your bookcase and your books stand the test of time.

    Give us a call right now with your home improvement question. We’ll give you some tips to help all your improvements stand the test of time. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    Let’s get back to the phones.

    LESLIE: Joe in Delaware, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you?

    JOE: Hello. Yes, I have – about 14 years ago I installed some white vinyl siding on a gable above my attached garage to my ranch house and it faces north and it supposed to be white but it’s developed this grayish cast over the years and it’s more gray down near the bottom where rain splashes up from the asbestos shingles against it.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.

    JOE: It could be mold but it’s not green. It’s just this gray – it’s all gray, the whole siding, but it gets a little brighter as you move towards the top where the sun touches a little bit of it. Since it’s facing north it doesn’t get much sun. How can I clean that?

    LESLIE: There’s actually a product from the Flood Company and it’s called DEKSWOOD – D-E-K-S-W-O-O-D and it’s a cleanser that’s made to remove that sort of graying that happens with wood as it weathers and it also has the same effect on vinyl siding and composite decking material. So it’s worth a shot. I mean it’s not going to harm it. You might see that it brings that white vinyl color right back to the surface.

    TOM: And Clorox has a new line of siding cleaners as well …

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.

    TOM: …. that some of them have sort of a built-in nozzle where you can just attach the hose to it. Any of those cleaners, those siding cleaners, would be a good thing to use on the house. It just sounds like it’s built up some dirt and it just needs to washed.

    JOE: So there’s something I can get that just attaches to a hose? That would be great.

    LESLIE: Yeah.

    TOM: Yes, correct. Yep.

    LESLIE: Clorox – it’s a brand new product. It just came out last month, actually, and I think it’s called the Clorox Outdoor Pro Sprayer and it’s basically a bottle that hooks up to your garden hose.

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

    LESLIE: Deirdre in Maryland, welcome to The Money Pit.

    DEIRDRE: Hi. I have a question. We have a house built in 1955.

    TOM: OK.

    DEIRDRE: And it has cracks in the walls and in the ceiling. But I was wondering could I use the drywall tape to fix the crack in the ceiling?

    LESLIE: Well, where is it?

    DEIRDRE: It’s a long, straight line, but it looks like something separating.

    LESLIE: So it seems like almost like a – mm-hmm, like a seam between two pieces of drywall. It’s not like a water crack or some sort of interesting leak thing happening?

    DEIRDRE: Yeah, it’s not a leak because there’s no markings.

    TOM: Well, in 1955 the house may, in fact, be plaster lath which means you had what was sort of the precursor to drywall which were smaller pieces of drywall that were about two feet by four feet covered with plaster, which gives you a really hard surface but it does crack because there’s really no way for it to expand and contract.

    DEIRDRE: Right.

    TOM: And Deirdre, certainly you can use a drywall tape with that. We would recommend a perforated drywall tape. It kind of looks like netting. It’s a fiberglass material. It looks like netting. Comes on a roll. It’s easier to use because it sticks to the crack and then on top of that you’re going to put multiple layers of spackling compound to cover it and the tape will help sort of spread the – it’ll seal the spackle across the crack and not let it come through again. And the trick here is to start with a small spackle knife of about four inches and then you want to do the next one with a six-inch spackle knife and then maybe finish it with an eight-inch or more spackle knife.


    TOM: And you can buy, in the home centers today, throw-away spackle knives that are made of plastic that are very inexpensive. So it’s not like you have to buy some expensive tools to do this. But that would be the way to build it up. Sand in between each coat, then prime it, then paint it and that ought to cover the cracks up.

    DEIRDRE: Oh, OK. Great. Thank you.

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

    LESLIE: We’ve got Mike in Utah. What’s happening at your money pit?

    MIKE: Great. Hey, part of my driveway fell in. It happened since we moved into the house.

    TOM: Fell in.

    MIKE: Yes, we ended up moving the driveway and the contractors didn’t compact the soil very well.

    TOM: OK.

    MIKE: So it’s so deep we finally had to break up the concrete and right now the concrete’s in a pile in that hole. We’re going to take that away and re-pour that portion of the driveway.

    TOM: OK.

    MIKE: And I wanted to get an idea of the process as to how to pour that. I’ve read something – a little something about that on the internet. Said something about screeing it and whatever and some of the process is newer to me so I was hoping you could help me with a basic concept.

    TOM: Well, couple of things. First of all, the surface; it’s really critical that it be properly prepped. Are you planning on mechanically tamping the soil before you put the new driveway in?

    MIKE: Given the problems we’ve had in the past I thought perhaps we should. I was going to put down some road base or gravel then rent something to tamp it.

    TOM: (overlapping voices) Yeah, I think that mechanically tamping this is absolutely critical and then you need to decide if you’re going to reinforce it. We would recommend reinforcing it and that would be with a woven wire mesh that’s installed so it’s supported up into the bed of concrete.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. How do you get the two – if this is a section of concrete that sort of collapsed away from the rest of the drive, how do you get the two to sort of play nicely together so you don’t see this big seam or …?

    TOM: Well, do you have a seam between the two?

    MIKE: They didn’t put a – the contractor did not put a seam down the center of the driveway.

    TOM: OK.

    MIKE: And so we’ve broken up to the first panel.

    TOM: Yeah, if there’s a natural crack or a natural joint that would be the place to do it. And you’re going to put a piece of asphalt seaming material in between that. Looks like sort of like a thick, black tar strip that goes between. That would be placed in between the sections. That will help it move independently. But I would reinforce it before you pour it and if you do a good job packing the soil and if you reinforce it and you have a good concrete finisher then you ought to be able to match this up pretty nice and have it stay put and not settle again.

    MIKE: And is that wire mesh something that would be prepurchased at a home store?

    TOM: Oh, yeah, yeah. Yeah. Listen, if this is not something you’re real familiar with – how big is this patch?

    MIKE: About 8×10.

    LESLIE: That’s huge.

    TOM: Yeah, you know, this is not – this may not be a do-it-yourself project if you’re not familiar with this because if you make mistakes with concrete they’re hard to fix.

    LESLIE: And that’s going to require a lot of concrete.

    TOM: Yeah, it is. It’s probably – I haven’t figured it out but it’s probably a couple of yards; at least two or three yards at least for an 8×10 piece.

    LESLIE: And especially since it’s going into one section you would want to mix that all at once, correct?

    TOM: Yeah, absolutely. You know, it has to be – the forms have to be set up; the wire mesh has to be in place; the pour has to be done; the concrete has to be sort of screed. Basically what happens is that you use big floats and sort of shakes it so that the gravel – the aggregate falls to the bottom and the concrete sort of mix, the soup sort of rises to the top. And then when it’s finished you get a very smooth, nice surface but the rocks are embedded in the concrete. So it’s not really a do-it-yourself job. If you have not poured concrete before and worked with trucks I would not recommend you do this yourself. I’d have a pro do it for you. You’re going to be a lot happier at the way it comes out.

    MIKE: OK. I have worked on a concrete project before; helping a neighbor pour a driveway. Not totally intimidated. (INAUDIBLE) that. If I was foolish enough to do that by myself, can you recommend a good resource to just learn the basic concepts?

    TOM: Well, I’ll tell you what we’ll do to help you out. We’re going to give you, for calling in today, one of our Money Pit American Homeowners Association memberships. There’s a great library that’s part of this that’s online. If you go to MoneyPit.com and you click on the membership link you will get right there and this also has lots of cool services associated with it, including the ability to find prescreened concrete – prescreened concrete contractors, actually, to help you …

    LESLIE: That was a mouthful.

    TOM: … and as well as other types of contractors to help you with these sorts of services. It includes discounts on insurance and groceries and food and free shipping on internet purchases. And it’s a great sort of like – it’s a AAA kind of thing for home ownership. We’re going to give that to you for calling in today and that will help you both learn how to do these projects and also find some pros, if you choose to go that route, to make sure it’s done correctly. How’s that sound?

    MIKE: That’s awesome. Thank you very much.

    TOM: You’re welcome. Want you to stand by and we will take your name. You’re going to call the membership service center at 866-Real-Home. Give them your name and they will hook you up with that Money Pit American Homeowners Association membership and, by the way, for any of those that are listening that would like to try out the membership, it’s available for free for 30 days and it includes $50 worth of Zircon tools just for giving it a shot. Learn more at MoneyPit.com or call 866-Real-Home.

    Thanks for calling, Mike.

    MIKE: Great, thank you.

    LESLIE: You are tuned in to The Money Pit and you know, your mom, she probably always told you – I know my mom did – turn out those lights when you’re leaving the room. Well, she made a good point and, yes, my mom does sound like that. (Tom chuckles) No, I’m kidding. She’s going to kick me right now. But seriously, she did make a good point and as much as one-fifth of your energy bills – get this – comes from your home’s lighting but changing that is as easy as changing a light bulb. We’re going to tell you more, next.

    (theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Rheem tankless water heaters, which qualify for a $300 energy efficient tax credit if purchased before the end of this year. Learn more at Rheem.com. That’s R-h-e-e-m.com. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.

    TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles. This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show where we make good homes better. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Call us right now with your home improvement question. Call us now with your do-it-yourself dilemma, especially if you’d like to be enlightened with some ideas on how to save energy in your home. This is a great time to pick up the phone and call us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Ah, and speaking of enlightening topics and subjects, I bet that many of you out there are shocked at the sight of your electric bills. I mean if you are not you’re doing something right and we applaud you for it because actually a home’s lighting accounts for about 20 percent of the average electric bill, which I find mind boggling and huge. And the best thing is that there are ways to actually cut those lighting costs.

    TOM: Here to tell us about just that and a major EPA campaign this fall to help consumers cut lighting costs is Wendy Reed, the EPA’s Energy Star campaign manager.

    Hi, Wendy.

    WENDY: Hi. Thanks for having me.

    TOM: And you are right in the midst of a huge, coast-to-coast tour to teach folks how to save energy on lighting. Tell us about your project.

    WENDY: Well, we’re really excited about it. This is a national bus tour. It’s called the Energy Star Change a Light National Bus Tour and we’re going to be – we are going coast to coast. It’s a 20-day tour, 10 cities,16 consumer media events and we’re stopping in Anaheim, California at Disney; we’re going to be in an Avalanche hockey game in Denver; an Atlantic Falcons game as well as Union Square in Manhattan. So we’re covering the bases.

    TOM: And I want to mention there’s a special website for this if you’d like to find out when the tour’s coming to your area and that’s EnergyStar.gov/ChangeaLight.

    So, let’s talk about changing a light. What are you trying to get folks to do?

    WENDY: We’re really hoping to inspire people to start saving energy today simply by changing at least one light in their home with an Energy Star qualified one. That’s a high-efficiency one that’s earned the government’s Energy Star and what that means is that light bulb will use 75 percent less energy than your standard bulb and will last up to 10 times longer.

    LESLIE: But Wendy, do – I mean really, can one light bulb per household really make a big difference?

    WENDY: Well, it sure can when we all do our part and, in fact, if every home in the United States were to do just that it would save more than $600 million in energy costs; it would prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to more than 800,000 cars.

    LESLIE: Wow, and that’s just one light bulb per household. Imagine if they changed every light bulb.

    WENDY: I’d love to see it happen.

    TOM: Yeah, let’s talk about those greenhouse gas emissions because I think that there’s somewhat of a disconnect between how does a light bulb impact greenhouse gas and I think we really have to explain to folks how that greenhouse gas is formed. Can you talk a bit about the impact of using less electricity and the generation of greenhouse gas?

    WENDY: You bet. Any time you turn on a light; run your refrigerator; run, you know, your air conditioner or your furnace, somewhere there’s a power plant that’s generating that electricity. It’s bringing it to your home and poor smaller homes don’t have a tailpipe attached to them like our cars do so it’s not quite so evident …

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.

    WENDY: … but the results are the same. When we generate electricity – and in this country that’s primarily by burning coal and oil – that releases greenhouse gas emissions into our atmosphere which begin collecting and have begun collecting at pretty alarming rates and that leads to global warming.

    LESLIE: Now, is there a way – and I know the accumulation of the greenhouse gases that every person emits sort of becomes known as their carbon footprint. How is there a way to figure out what your own individual carbon footprint is and maybe get some ideas how to offset that to help balance everything out?

    WENDY: Well, you can do that online. You can actually go through EPA.gov’s website. We actually have a climate change website. EPA.gov/Climate Change. You can go on from there and you can actually do a calculation of that. But basically the way that you can calculate it in your own mind is how much energy do you use at home. If you can reduce your energy bills you’re making an impact. Buying green power is another wonderful way that you can reduce your impact. If you’re getting clean energy brought to your home that helps. Making some smart transportation choices: driving your car just a little bit less; fueling up less.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.

    WENDY: Having a more fuel-efficient; getting your tires inflated so that they’re – you’re not actually using more fuel than you need to. Those are some simple ways that people can reduce their carbon footprint. I’m sure everybody else is also familiar with buying locally. That’s another way. If products that you purchase have been shipped from a long way away, well, that adds to your carbon footprint.

    TOM: You know what I love about these tips, Wendy, is that sometimes when you think of saving energy you think everything has to be expensive. I have to buy new windows for my house. I have to reinsulate. I have to replace the siding. You know, fill in the blank. But what you’re saying is that there are so many very small things; very simple, lifestyle-changing things that you can do that are as simple as changing a light bulb that truly could have a big impact on reducing the impact of global warming.

    WENDY: That’s true and I think most people don’t understand that personal connection to our climate. So I really appreciate that you’re bringing that up on the show.

    TOM: Wendy Reed is the Energy Star campaign manager. They are smack dab in the middle of a huge coast-to-coast bus tour called the National Energy Star Change a Light Bus Tour. And Wendy, I see that on your website at EnergyStar.gov/ChangeaLight you have a community there where you can join up and take the pledge to change out your lights and also to renew a pledge from a past year and that’s available in English and Spanish. Very nice job on that website. Simple and easy-to-follow instructions on how you can save energy in your house and help win the fight against global warming.

    Wendy Reed, EPA Energy Star campaign manager, thanks for stopping by The Money Pit.

    WENDY: Thank you.

    LESLIE: Wow, that’s some really good advice and I’m sure a lot of people are going to make those changes and start seeing those energy dollars come rolling back toward them.

    And you know what else we get asked a lot here at The Money Pit? Questions about roofing. And really, the most common one we hear is how do we build a roof that’s not going to leak. Well, we’re going to tell you. There’s not a big secret involved. Next.

    (promo/theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: This portion of The Money Pit is 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 price. Available exclusively at The Home Depot. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show where we make good homes better. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT and if we talk to you this hour you’re automatically entered into our random prize drawing because up for grabs is the new ECO Model Reiker room conditioner. It works like a space heater and a ceiling fan all in one. It’s worth 359 bucks so it’s a great prize. There’s no cords to trip over. There’s no fire hazards. There’s no burn risk for kids. And you know, the last time I checked I think this cost about a nickel an hour to operate so it’s very, very energy efficient. One person to the Money Pit hotline this hour is going to get that prize so call us right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT and you must have a home improvement question and be willing to come on the air and talk to us. And we’re not scary. Really. Talk to us. Try it.

    LESLIE: Well, Tom is. (chuckling)

    Alright, well earlier we started talking about roofs; specifically how to keep one dry or, well, at least how to keep the inside of your home dry vis-

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