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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: And we are here to help you tackle your home improvement projects, solve the do-it-yourself dilemmas. Or if you don’t want to do it yourself, we can help you determine what part of that project you need to hire out and how to hire a pro to get it done. But you have to help yourself first by picking up the phone and calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.

    It’s my favorite time of the year: it’s fall fix-up season. So if you want to get your house ready for the chilly days ahead, give us a call with your home improvement question.

    Speaking of which, coming up this hour, we’re going to talk about adding attic insulation. You know, that’s probably the single most cost-effective way that you can lower heating and then, subsequently, cooling costs at home next summer. But you might think it’s a messy, unsafe and uncomfortable job. Truth is it’s changed a lot. We’ve got information on a new generation of attic insulation that is safer, cleaner and more comfortable for you to work with if you’re tackling that project.

    LESLIE: And also ahead, have you ever wondered if you remembered to close the garage door after you’re halfway to work? Well, you will never have to wonder that again. Coming up, we’re going to have a preview of a very cool, new, smart product that will monitor your garage door’s every move.

    TOM: Plus, our behind-the-scenes coverage of This Old House: Jersey Shore Rebuilds continues this week with a story about how many Sandy victims are raising the roof and the walls and the floor. And in some cases, they’re raising homes as much as 8 to 10 feet above sea level. It’s a monumental task and one that has to be done very carefully if you want to keep gravity on your side. That story is coming up, in just a bit, presented by Red Devil.

    LESLIE: And one caller we talk to this hour is going to win a $50 prize pack from Concrobium Mold Control. It’s much more effective and safer than bleach to get rid of mold and to keep it from coming back.

    TOM: So, give us a call right now. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. We would love to talk with you about your home improvement question, 888-666-3974.

    LESLIE: Julie in Colorado is on the line and has a heating question.

    JULIE: My question is regarding heat pumps and how energy-efficient they might be because we’re an all-electric house. Our electric bill is very high.

    TOM: And how is your house heated right now, Julie?

    JULIE: It’s heated with baseboard. And actually, we don’t even really heat our house. We’ll heat one room because it’s so expensive.

    TOM: Right now, you’re heating with electric-resistance heat which, as you accurately stated, is the most expensive type of heat. Now, a heat-pump system would be far less expensive but it would require a duct system to be installed throughout the house. So, you would have that upfront cost of running the heating ducts.

    If you had that system installed – the way a heat pump works is it’s kind of like an air-conditioning system that runs all winter except that in the wintertime, the refrigeration system is reversed. Now, if you’ve ever walked, say, by a window air conditioner in the summer, you know it blows hot air out the back of it, out to the outside. If you sort of took that window air conditioner out and flipped it around and stuck it inside, you’d have a heat pump; it’d be blowing the hot air in the house. That’s essentially what happens: it reverses the refrigeration cycle in the wintertime.

    Now, generally speaking, heat pumps are not always recommended for very, very cold climates because heat pumps only maintain the heat when there’s a 2-degree differentiation between what the temperature is set at – what the temperature is and what the temperature is set at, I should say. So if you set your temperature at 70, it falls to 69, the heat goes on. If it falls inside to 68, the heat pump stays on. If it falls to 67, the heat pump says to its electric-resistance backup system, which is always part of a heat pump, “Hey, I can’t keep up with this. I need some help. Turn on the heating coils.” And then you’re not saving any money.

    So, will it save – will it be less expensive than baseboard electric? Yes. But it has a significant upfront cost in terms of the installation because you’d need a duct system, as well as the heat-pump equipment. Does that make sense?

    JULIE: OK. Sounds good. Thank you.

    TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Joseph on the line with an electrical question. What’s going on at your money pit?

    JOSEPH: I’ve got an older house. It was built in the 1940s and my daughter’s nursery, the overhead fan and lights work but none of the sockets in the room function. And I have no breakers that have tripped.

    TOM: So somewhere, those sockets are disconnected. Now, are you sure the sockets are not connected to a light switch?

    JOSEPH: I am 99-percent positive, sir.

    TOM: There’s a seed of a doubt there that perhaps they could be. You know, sometimes the light – the outlets are operated by a light switch. But I would say that it’s not normal for that to happen in a 1940s house.

    But what you need to do is this – and when I say “you need to do,” more accurately an electrician needs to do. You’ve got to get into the wiring that’s supplying those outlets and try to figure out why it’s disconnected. I can’t imagine a reason it would have been physically disconnected, which means it’s most likely some failure in the wiring of the outlets themselves. But if you open up the outlets, you can see if you have hot wires there and try to figure out at what point they became de-energized. Because they are probably wired in series, so the wiring goes from one to the next to the next. And you need to do a little bit more investigation to figure out why that is.

    But it’s really not a do-it-yourself project. I don’t want you to make a mistake and I don’t want you to get electrocuted.

    JOSEPH: Yes, sir. Then I will definitely look at calling an electrician.

    LESLIE: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com.

    We are getting closer to the witching hour; it’s almost Halloween. So if you need some help protecting your house from potential ghosts and ghouls out there this time of year or making your house super-festive and safe at the same time, we’re here to give you a hand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Up next, spend a little, save a lot. Easy improvements to help seal your home against heated air escaping and cold air making its way in.

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

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

    TOM: We would love for you to give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT because if you do, we’ll give you the answer to your home improvement question.

    And one caller this hour is going to win a $50 prize package from Concrobium, to help you win the battle against mold.

    LESLIE: Now, this package includes Concrobium Mold Stain Eraser, House & Deck Wash and Mold Control, which eliminates mold and prevents it from coming back, all with no harmful chemicals.

    TOM: Learn more at CureMyMold.com or give us a call right now with your home improvement question at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Andrew in Texas has had something very unfortunate happen to a pool: the steps broke? What happened?

    ANDREW: Well, we were just chilling out in the pool one night and it’s got a brand-new liner in it. In East Texas, they use salt-water pools, so you have to line them. And my buddy was getting out of the pool. He stepped on the fiberglass steps, which were not brand-new. And unfortunately, his foot went through the steps.

    LESLIE: Now, the fiberglass steps are underneath your liner or these sort of sit on top as like an attachment?

    ANDREW: It’s an attachment to the liner. They’re two separate entities that are underwater.

    TOM: OK. Can the fiberglass steps be removed from the pool for repair purposes?

    ANDREW: I believe so. I have not tried it. In all honesty, looking at the degradation of the steps, the shape that they’re in, I think it’d be easier to just do a quick patch right now, if that’s possible, or just entirely remove the steps. But can I do that without sacrificing the liner?

    TOM: Yeah, if you can get the steps out of the pool, like disconnecting them out of the pool, the easy way to do that patch is with more fiberglass. You can go to an auto-repair store – like a Pep Boys or a place like that that sells, perhaps, auto-body supplies – and you can buy fiberglass.

    You could buy the fiberglass resin and you can buy fiberglass material itself. And you apply the resin to the step, you press the material in place, you let it dry and then you would add more resin on top of that and then more – and then gelcoat to finish it off.

    Now, it’s not going to match, color-wise, but it could be very strong and perhaps, next time, your friend won’t step right through them.

    ANDREW: An easy fix is an easy fix, right?

    TOM: Yeah. But the easiest thing is to get it out of the water so that you don’t have to drain the water. And you could do that repair on your – maybe in your garage, on a workbench or something like that, and then just put the whole assembly back in after it’s nice and dry and strong again.

    Andrew, does that help you out?

    ANDREW: Very much so. I sure do appreciate the help. You all have a wonderful evening and God bless, alright?

    LESLIE: Alright. Next up, we’re going to talk about cracks in driveways with Todd in North Dakota. What can we do for you today?

    TODD: Yes. I was wondering if there’s something that I could put on my concrete driveway, because I have hairline cracks all over in the driveway. And it’s not that old.

    TOM: Yes. There is a product that’s available from QUIKRETE. It’s simply called Concrete Repair and it’s a sanded, acrylic latex formula. So it’s called “sanded” because it has this sort of texture to it, like …

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. So it looks concrete-y.

    TOM: Yeah, concrete-y, yeah. Hey, there’s another word you made up, Leslie: concrete-y.

    LESLIE: I know. It’s my Money Pit-isms.

    TOM: Exactly. So it’s very easy to apply because it comes in a caulking tube. There’s either a …

    LESLIE: It also comes in a squeezy tube. So whichever way you feel more comfortable.

    TOM: Yeah, squeezy tube, too. Yep. And you could go through and seal all those cracks.

    And that’s a good thing to do because if you leave them exposed, water tends to soak into them and then it can freeze and expand those cracks even further. So, I would look for the Concrete Repair product that comes in the caulk tube. It’s available from QUIKRETE. Very easy to do.

    TODD: And if there’s – they’re pretty small hairline cracks. Would they – would you get that stuff – that into the cracks or …?

    TOM: Yeah, it’s a caulk tube and so what you want to do is you cut a very small opening at the end of the tube and then you could press it right up against the crack and squeeze it in.

    TODD: How about if I – could you take – you see advertised sometimes these – you can paint your floors and stuff. Would that seal them up, too, or …?

    TOM: It’s not designed for that. Why don’t you use the product that’s specifically designed to fill cracks with?

    LESLIE: And also, do you want to paint your driveway?

    TODD: No, no, I don’t.

    TOM and LESLIE: Yeah.

    TODD: OK. Well, thank you.

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

    LESLIE: Well, this is the time of year you should go up to your attic and check out the insulation and add more if you need it. The Department of Energy recommends R-30 in the attic and that’s at least 11 inches of batt insulation and at least 9 inches of cellulose insulation.

    So, here’s an easy way to tell: if you can see the floor joists in your attic, you don’t have enough.

    TOM: Now, if just the thought of working with insulation is making you itch all over, don’t stress. There’s a brand-new generation of insulation from Owens Corning called EcoTouch. And what makes this insulation really special is what it’s made from.

    LESLIE: Now, unlike traditional fiberglass insulation, EcoTouch contains more than 99-percent natural ingredients. We’re talking minerals and plant-based compounds. And 58 percent of it is made from recycled materials, so it’s a sustainable product. It’s also soft to the touch and formaldehyde-free.

    TOM: Now, the other option for your attic is to go with blown-in insulation. And there’s a new version of this out from Owens Corning. It’s called the AttiCat Blown-In Insulation System. And the way it works is you purchase the insulation from The Home Depot and you also rent the AttiCat machine. And in fact, they give you the machine for free if you buy 10 bags of the insulation.

    And what’s cool about this is that in less than four hours, you can do a 1,000-square-foot attic at R-30, so that’s a lot of insulation. And it’s all available at The Home Depot. You can visit HomeDepot.OwensCorning.com to learn more or you can call with your questions to 800-GET-PINK.

    LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Deb in Missouri on the line who needs help with a flooring question. How can we help you?

    DEB: Yes. Well, we replaced our flooring but we destroyed most of the molding trying to get it off along the mopboard.

    TOM: OK.

    DEB: And we were wondering, what’s the best way to put new on? What would be the best to use? The walls are all plaster. It looked like the nails had been set before the plaster was dry, because we had to cut them off.

    TOM: And so how high up the walls did the molding go? Because usually with plaster walls, the molding is a lot taller than a standard 3½-inch base molding.

    DEB: It’s 3½ inches.

    TOM: It is 3½ inches?

    DEB: Yes. But we could go a wee bit higher and it still look nice.

    TOM: Right. OK. Do you want the molding to be painted or natural?

    DEB: Well, I don’t think we’ll ever match the doors. It’s all wood and I don’t think we’d ever match that.

    TOM: OK. So do you want the molding to be painted, then?

    DEB: Yes. We’ll probably go painted, yes. But adhering it to the walls is going to be a real pain because of that plaster.

    TOM: Hmm. Yeah. Well, you’re going to do it with a combination of trim screws and LIQUID NAILS. So you’re not going to nail it, OK?

    What you’re going to do is – probably the least expensive thing to buy is something called finger-joint Colonial baseboard molding. It’s a very straightforward molding with a little bit of a fluted edge on top. It looks nice; it looks finished.

    Is it – does the thickness matter? Does it have to be a certain thickness to cover a gap between the wall and the floor?

    DEB: At least a ¼-inch, yes.

    TOM: Quarter-inch? OK. So all you’re going to need is the molding then. Because you could put the molding and then shoe molding over that, which would extend it out to almost an inch. But no, you’re going to buy finger-joint baseboard molding. Finger-joint means it’s ready for paint.

    Now, before you apply it to the walls, I would prime it. So, it’s a lot easier to paint this molding. In fact, I would prime it and I’d put one finish coat of paint on it because it’s a lot easier to paint it when it’s up on some sawhorses than when it’s attached to your house.

    And then when it comes to installation, you’re going to – and you know what? You might want to get a carpenter that knows how to do this because, frankly, it’s just a lot easier if you know how to make a corner joint, which is called a “coped joint.” And you do it with a coping saw.

    But the way you attach it is with – after it’s all cut to fit, you apply some LIQUID NAILS to the back of the molding and then you put in only as many trim screws – and trim screws are kind of like drywall screws except they have a really tiny head, like a finish nail. But you only put enough of those in to hold it while it’s drying. So you’re not going to have nearly as many trim screws as you will nails. And it’ll be really solid.

    And the last thing you do is fill those holes. And you put one finish coat of paint on when – and then you’re completely done. So by putting the paint on ahead of time, you’re halfway there. All you do is touch it up, fill the holes, one more coat of paint, you’re good to go. OK?

    DEB: Awesome. Thank you so very much.

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

    LESLIE: Now we’re going to North Carolina where Reba is dealing with a spider problem. Blah. What’s going on?

    REBA: I have moved into a brand-new set of apartments and there are just spiders everywhere. But they have a lot of mulch around our apartments and – where they’ve planted new flowers and such. But there are some tiny spiders that are little black spiders and then there’s brown spiders that are as big as quarters. They’re the fastest spiders I’ve ever seen in my life.

    TOM: Oh, boy. And the brown spiders that are as big as quarters, they sound like brown recluse spiders, which can bite. So those we don’t like at all.

    REBA: Right. But I have tried – I have bought stuff from Lowe’s. I’ve sprayed all kinds of stuff all inside my house and all around the outside but they’re impossible to get rid of.

    TOM: So, I hate to say this but have you considered hiring a professional? I know you’re probably saving some money. But whenever I hear somebody is buying lots and lots of pesticide and spraying it inside the house and spraying it outside the house, I’m kind of of the opinion that by the time you do all that, you’ve exposed yourself to so much excess pesticide that you would have been better off just having a pro come in, because they can buy stuff that you can’t buy. Plus, they’re specifically trained on where to put the insecticide, how much to put. And also, the insecticides today are very specific and they remove only the insects that they’re supposed to remove. And they don’t remove the beneficial insects that you want to leave behind.

    So if you’re having that much of an infestation, I would stop shopping for my own pesticide and call a pro and have them treat the house. And once you get the populations down to where they’re manageable, kind of more normal, then you could try to use some of those other products just on a maintenance basis. Does that make sense?

    REBA: It sure does. But here’s the only question: when everybody else is having the same problem and the mulch is all around the whole entire neighborhood, is just me spraying going to help? Is it going to stop it?

    TOM: Well, yeah, it’ll create sort of a barrier around your place. But let me ask you, is this an apartment you rent or is this a townhouse? What’s the form?

    REBA: This is like – they just built this whole neighborhood of new apartments. There’s like 43 apartments.

    TOM: So they’re rental apartments?

    REBA: Yes.

    TOM: OK. So, if you get the exterminator out there and they tell you that you’ve got something like a brown recluse spider there and you bring that to the attention of the rental agent, I think you’d give them plenty of reason to treat the whole apartment complex and not ignore them to the point where people and kids start getting bitten.

    REBA: OK. I thank you for your information.

    TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Up next, as the Jersey Shore recovers from Hurricane Sandy, homeowners are finding that they need to go up to both avoid Mother Nature and hefty flood insurance. We’ll hear more about that, as our exclusive, behind-the-scenes coverage of This Old House: Jersey Shore Rebuilds continues, presented by Red Devil.

    TOM: Red Devil’s ONETIME Patch & Prime is great for painting prep. There’s no sanding or priming required. It dries fast and is ready to paint in minutes.

    For special offers and the latest in Red Devil innovative products, visit SaveOnRedDevil.com.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is presented by Owens Corning and The Home Depot. Insulate right, from the start, for a lifetime of comfort and savings. What’s your insulation project? Learn more. Visit HomeDepot.OwensCorning.com today.

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    When Hurricane Sandy slammed into the Jersey Shore, the damage to homes was devastating.

    TOM: Now, almost a year later, This Old House is documenting the renovation of three badly-damaged homes, in three iconic Jersey Shore towns, as they’re rebuilt to protect them from future flooding.

    The Money Pit has been given exclusive, behind-the-scenes access to bring the stories of these renovations and the victims behind them, presented by Red Devil.

    LESLIE: In the next episode, This Old House highlights a monumental task that is happening all over the Shore: raising houses up off of their foundations to prevent future flooding. You can watch This Old House: Jersey Shore Rebuilds on your local PBS station. This Old House is brought to you by Lumber Liquidators. Lumber Liquidators, hardwood floors for less.

    Here’s our report.

    TOM: All over the Jersey Shore, they are raising the roof and the walls and the floors to make homes compliant with the new Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood-zone requirement. But lifting a house to a height as much as 13 feet in the air takes a lot of planning, careful maneuvering and many nail-biting moments. Such was the case for Jed and Christine Laird’s 1800s beach cottage in Bay Head.

    When Sandy wiped out their first floor, they decided to save the second floor, raising it 9 feet and making room for a brand-new first floor underneath. From day one, the Lairds knew they didn’t want to tear down the historic house. And as This Old House Master Carpenter Norm Abram reported firsthand, lifting this home was a remarkable undertaking.

    NORM: We lifted the house from the second floor rather than the first floor. So what they did is they cut some holes through the old floor, built these towers – or cribs, as they’re known – slid in some steel beams front to back, side to side.

    And these guys, I mean they’re geniuses. You watch these lifting crews. It’s not – they don’t figure it out ahead of time. The guy who ran the operation, he walked in the house and I was amazed. He said, “Take that window out, take that window out. We’re going to slide a beam in there. We’re going to slide a beam in here.” And he walked down, front to back, and he said, “One beam here, one beam here, one beam here, one beam here.”

    In a matter of – I think it was less than 8 hours, we were lifting that house with four jacks. It’s fun to watch. And as it went up, as we expected, the floor stayed where it was.

    TOM: So, essentially, the Lairds saved half of their house. The second floor remains almost exactly the same but with some fresh paint and a small bump-out to add more space to the master bath.

    Jacked-up houses are now a familiar sight all along the Jersey Shore, as new FEMA maps guide which homes are considered to be in the vulnerable A and V zones. Now, these are coastal areas determined to have just a 1-percent annual flooding risk but come with hefty flood-insurance premiums if the homes are not adequately raised.

    All across the country, some may wonder why Jersey Shore homeowners would even want to rebuild and allow themselves to be put in another vulnerable situation. But like so many things in life, it often comes down to an emotional decision. These residents want their homes to not only be rebuilt but rebuilt exactly as they were before the storm.

    NORM: Well, as you can imagine, these are summer homes, for the most part, that we’re working on. There are some full-time residents. And these places are special. I know what that’s like. My family had a cottage. These are very special places where the family has had a lot of interaction and a lot of family time. So, they’re very tied to these houses. And when they get destroyed or damaged severely, like these have been, it’s very heartbreaking for them.

    And I have found, talking to them as we start to rebuild their homes – is that they want to bring that back. They want that feeling. They want the same thing that they had before. For instance, on the Bay Head house, there’s this wraparound porch. And in the first tour through the house, the homeowners said, “This is important space to us.” Seemed like it was almost more important than the rest of the house because they entertain out there. It’s screened in. The girls sell shells out front, people walking by on the street. And you could tell right away that’s what they wanted.

    They want this – they don’t want this house to be different. They didn’t want it to be different; they wanted it to be the same so that it feels the same when they come back into it.

    TOM: But not all houses are able to be raised. Some were so badly damaged or so poorly built to begin with, lifting the house just wasn’t possible. And in fact, one of the three homeowners featured this season on This Old House will see her home come down.

    Rita Gurry’s house in Manasquan is being replaced with a prefabricated home, factory-built and shipped to the existing lot in two large sections. It’s something that she’s waited more than six months to see happen. And today, as she watches a giant crane swing her new house into place, on a brand-new set of pilings set high in the air, she knows she’s one big step closer to returning to her own home.

    RITA: This is just – it’s behind my expectations. It’s awesome. It’s just – it’s so unbelievable. I knew that it would be wonderful but this is – to actually stand here in my – I’m in my kitchen. I can’t wait to move in here. I can’t wait to live here. It’s perfect. I mean I love everything. I love my windows, the fireplace, my kitchen cabinets.

    Everything that I see here, that I chose from a book or samples in the showroom, it’s like it’s animated; it’s all come to life. And this morning, there was nothing here but the pilings. And now, my life is – this is my life. I’ve got my life back.

    TOM: Contractors all over New Jersey are busier than ever. But finding the right one can be tricky. In at least one case, a house that was raised later collapsed. And another collapsed during the house-lifting process.

    Choosing a contractor with the right skills, experience and reputation is key. Builder Anthony Zarrilli leads an expert group of pros at Zarrilli Homes. And he took on Rita Gurry’s job.

    ANTHONY: We demo’d the house a few months ago and then we had to go through the process with the township for the permit. And they were very good here in Manasquan. And after we got the permit, we got the pilings set. We had to bring a different kind of crane in to set the – a different kind of machine in, I should say, to set the pilings and get the [ban board] (ph) on, ready for the house to come in.

    Everything we built here is – either meets or exceeds the new FEMA regulations and the 120-mile wind zone for our area. Modular homes are built much stronger than a traditional stick-built home. Typically, there’s 20 percent more lumber involved in building a modular. This area calls for stronger-built homes and I just felt a modular would be more appropriate for – in these conditions.

    TOM: As a lifelong resident of the Jersey Shore, I can tell you that for the families that live here, there’s just nothing like it, even if it comes at a price. And with all of the heartache Sandy caused, there were so many lessons learned, lessons that will help Jersey Shore communities come back stronger and better than ever before.

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

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete. And the number here is 888-MONEY-PIT. Pick up the phone, give us a call and get the answers to your home improvement or repair question and we’ll get your name throw into the hat to win a great prize this hour.

    We’re giving away $50 worth of Concrobium products. Now, Concrobium makes a line of mold-removal products that are more effective and less harmful than bleach.

    TOM: And the winner gets three products: Mold Control, Mold Stain Eraser and House & Deck Wash, a non-toxic solution that removes dirt and grime from exterior surfaces. You could visit CureMyMold.com to learn more about these great Concrobium products. And give us a call right now for the answer to your home improvement question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Sylvester on the line from Louisiana who’s dealing with some hurricane damage, possibly, with a leaky attic. Tell us what’s going on.

    SYLVESTER: Top of the roof is about – at a vertex, is probably 46, 49 feet. Well, there’s a – where the attic breathes, sometimes they’re square, some rectangular, some round, where it ends, the …

    TOM: Yeah, the vents. Uh-huh. The attic vents.

    SYLVESTER: I’m getting blowing rainwater that’s coming in there, running down the wall, coming in to a bedroom window below on the second.

    TOM: Mm-hmm. Oh, boy. OK.

    SYLVESTER: How is that – and it has happened before but it’s only when it’s a strong, blowing wind blowing the rain …

    TOM: Is it always in the same spot?


    TOM: So it’s probably not all of the vents. It’s just one or two of the vents?

    SYLVESTER: I would think so. I don’t know. I haven’t actually gone into the attic yet to see which – where most of it’s coming from.

    TOM: So I would do that as my next step, because I would go up in the attic and I would look for the leaks.

    Now, it might be that maybe it’s not blowing in the vents; it might be blowing around the vents. The vents could be leaking. Because every one of those vents has to be cut through the roof, so this may not really be what you think it is. But I would get up in the attic with a high-powered flashlight and take a look in the area of the problem. Remember that water will run downhill, so it might start up high, run down a rafter and then drip off down below into – and show up in your bedroom or wherever.

    But I would take a careful look to try to find those leak stains. That would tell me exactly where it’s leaking. And if I can identify the vent that’s leaking, I would just simply reseal it or replace it.

    SYLVESTER: Thank you much.

    TOM: OK. So, here’s a scenario: you’re at work, you realize you left your garage door open or your teenager calls and is locked out of the house. What do you do? Well, if you’re like most of us, you drop what you’re doing, you drive home and you let them in. But if you’ve got a new product from Chamberlain, you won’t have to do that.

    They have got a device called the Chamberlain MyQ Garage. And what’s cool about this is it connects via Wi-Fi and allows you to open and close your garage door from anywhere you are, including work.

    LESLIE: Yeah. How cool is that? You know, it’s compatible with most garage-door openers that were manufactured after ’93.

    Now, there’s no new wiring required. The door sensor mounts to your garage door and can monitor the door’s activity. So you can make sure that you didn’t leave it open, even after you’re well away from home. And it will also alert you, for example, if, say, the door opens while you’re away or tell you that the kids have gotten home OK. So it’s kind of like Big Brother for your garage. I love it.

    TOM: Yeah. And it installs in just minutes. It works with both iPhones and Android devices. And you’re among the very first to hear about it. It’s available at the end of this month at select Best Buys, The Home Depot, Apple stores and Amazon.

    You can visit Chamberlain.com to learn more.

    LESLIE: Carl in South Carolina is dealing with some tricky doors. Tell us what’s going on.

    CARL: I put the tile floor in my laundry room and I took the door down. And when I put it back, it won’t stay open; it’ll swing back to close. And the one in my bedroom does the same thing. I have to prop them open with something.

    TOM: So they used to stay open before and now they just want to stay closed all the time?

    CARL: Right, uh-huh.

    TOM: So there’s two ways to fix that, Carl. One way is to rip out the door and rehang it, properly shim it, because it’s out of level somehow. And that’s a pretty big job. And the other way to do it is to pull the hinge pins out, put them on a hard, concrete surface and give them a sharp rap so you bend them slightly.

    CARL: OK.

    TOM: Then tap them back into the hinges and you will have added some friction to that connection.

    CARL: Mm-hmm. Right.

    TOM: You follow me?

    CARL: Yes.

    TOM: The slight bend on the hinge pin – a little trick of the trade. That will give you a little more tension on that door. Just take one out and give it a rap so it has a little bit of slight bend to it. You might not even see it. Just a slight bend. Tap it back in, try the door, see how it works. If it kind of stays where you want, that’s fine. If not, maybe do the top one and then do the bottom one. Give that another rap. You can keep adding a little pressure to it by doing that until you get it just right. OK?

    CARL: Alright. Well, thank you very much.

    TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Still ahead, hardwood floors are a great look in any home but only if they’re in good shape. We’re going to tell you the easy way that you can refinish hardwood floors, after this.

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

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: And hey, are you looking for ideas to help you extend that outdoor living season? Well, visit MoneyPit.com. We’ve got easy tips that will help you use your outdoor spaces for just a little while longer. It’s all on the home page, right now, at MoneyPit.com.

    LESLIE: And while you’re checking out the website, you can visit the Community section and you can post a question there, just like Emily from Minnesota did. And she writes: “I would like to either have my hardwood floors refinished or refinish them myself. They’re faded near the windows from the sun and scratched and worn in other places. What is the best way to tackle this project?”

    If you’re asking me, Emily, hire a pro. What a pain in the …

    TOM: Well, if you don’t want to hire a pro, you can do this project yourself. The key is to not sand it down all the way to the raw wood.

    What I want you to do is to clean the furniture out of the room, then go out and rent a floor buffer with a sanding screen. The sanding screen is kind of like a window screen-like material but it’s abrasive. And it sort of saws off only the top surface. So if the floor is just worn and scratched, that’s all you need to do. Perhaps a little bit of hand-sanding around the edge and you’ll be good to go.

    Then when it comes time to apply the new finish, use solvent-based or oil-based polyurethane. Apply it with a lambswool applicator. It kind of looks like a floor mop. And you want to mop that stuff on. Start at the far end, work towards the door. And whatever it says for drying time, don’t believe it. It’ll take at least twice as long for it to dry. Don’t ask me how I know. And when it does dry, though, you’ll be good to go.

    The thing is with polyurethane, it actually – it dries to the surface in like maybe – if it’s a quick-dry, it should be two hours. I’d figure six. But then even when you start to use it, you want to be ginger about not running furniture over it, or that kind of thing, for at least a week or two. So just be very gentle with the furniture. Maybe put some paper under the legs of the furniture. Just treat it gingerly because I think it takes a couple of weeks to get really, really hard.

    LESLIE: Oh, I would definitely agree with that.

    And you – really, when it’s done, it’s going to be gorgeous. So, really, take the time and do a good job.

    Next up, Richard in New Mexico writes: “I have a Southwest-style home with a clay-tile roof. Can I replace this roof with another material that will still look authentic to this type of architecture?”

    TOM: Well, absolutely. And there are a number of synthetic roofing products that are out there. I know, for example, DaVinci has one and there are other manufacturers, as well.

    And the interesting thing about replacing the real tile with the synthetic is that the synthetic weighs, maybe, 10 percent of what the old roof used to weigh. So it’s actually a little bit better for your structure, as well.

    Just be careful with the fastening. Make sure you’re following the instructions and the specifications laid out by the manufacturer because you want to make sure that they’re locked down correctly. Very often, the synthetic shingles are going to have a different attachment system than the original, say, clay tiles, which rely a lot on gravity to kind of keep them in place, along with a few nails.

    LESLIE: Yeah, Richard. Another brand that makes a really nice, synthetic Spanish tile is Brava Tiles. And they come in a bunch of different color collections, as well, from your traditional-looking, natural colors to some color blends.

    And I think what’s important is that when you’re working with a synthetic material, whether it’s one that is a Spanish-tile look or one that looks like a slate roof or one that looks like a cedar shingle, is that you don’t skimp on the details. Make sure that, you know, your valleys have the correct type of flashing, things are finished in the correct way, so that it actually looks authentic and you’re not drawing attention to the fact that you’ve used a synthetic product.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Thank you so much for spending this hour with us. It’s a great weekend to get out and get projects done, inside or outside your house.

    If you’ve got questions as you take on these jobs – because we all know you get halfway into it and something pops up – remember, we can pop up, too. Just pick up the phone and call us at 888-MONEY-PIT 24-7, 365. We are standing by to take your home improvement questions and we’ll call you back the next time we’re in the studio.

    I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Remember, you can do it yourself …

    LESLIE: But you don’t have to do it alone.

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

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