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  • Transcript

    (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.)

    BEGIN HOUR 1 TEXT:

    (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: Pick up the phone and give us a call. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. We are here to help you with your summer home improvement project. Is it a beautiful weekend in your neck of the woods? Well, that makes it great home improvement weather. If it’s not, hey, tackle a project inside your money pit and let us help. Call us right now with your home improvement questions.

    You’ve got a question about what materials to use; got a question about what steps to take; wondering if maybe you can do the project yourself or do you have to hire somebody to get it done, we can help you with all that if you pick up the phone and help yourself first by calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    Summer is now officially underway and it’s a great time of year to enjoy those outdoors. And this hour, we’ve got some ideas to help you do that. First up, we’ve got a quick and easy and inexpensive way to give your driveway a whole new look without ripping it out and starting from scratch.

    LESLIE: And also ahead, avoiding poison ivy. We’ve got tips on removing it safely from your yard from our friend Roger Cook who’s the landscaping expert at This Old House.

    TOM: And now is the prime time for homeowners who are building an addition or doing a major renovation to think about how that space will be insulated. Don’t make insulation an afterthought. We’ve got details this hour on a complete insulation system that will keep your house very, very cozy and also keep your energy costs very, very low.

    LESLIE: And this hour, one caller gets a set of locks from Bolt. Now these are really cool because you can program your car or your truck key to open these; no extra keys to carry, no combination to remember. These are like padlocks, right Tom?

    TOM: Yep, they’re like padlocks except, again, you can use your car key to open them.

    LESLIE: That’s awesome.

    TOM: Isn’t that cool?

    LESLIE: Yeah, it’s super-cool. I can’t tell you how it works because then everybody is going to figure it out (Tom chuckles), but it’s really great and we’re giving away a gift certificate worth nearly 70 bucks which is enough for a padlock and a trailer hitch lock. That’s really great.

    TOM: So give us a call right now. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974. Let’s get right to the phones.

    Leslie, who’s first?

    LESLIE: Catherine in Virginia, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

    CATHERINE: Yes. Well, I have a historic, brick home that was built in the 1820s and I’m trying to figure out how to vent the attic without compromising the historic – the integrity, I guess, of the house.

    TOM: OK, so you are talking about an attic. Is this an unfinished attic that you need to vent?

    CATHERINE: Yes, it’s an unfinished, third floor attic.

    TOM: Alright. So why not add a ridge vent down the peak of the roof and – I mean it’s going to be expensive but if you want to preserve the historic character, you could make that a copper ridge vent …

    CATHERINE: OK.

    TOM: … and that would be very attractive and that would let plenty of warm air out.

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Mm-hmm. Patina really nicely, too.

    TOM: Exactly.

    CATHERINE: OK. Would that suffice to take care of the whole issue in the attic or do you need an inflow and an outflow or …?

    TOM: Yeah, you should match that with soffit vents. Do you have an overhang on this roof?

    CATHERINE: Yes. You mean like – are you thinking along the lines of a soffit?

    TOM: Yes, a soffit. Do you have a soffit?

    CATHERINE: Yeah, we do but it’s decorative and it’s brick, so it’s curved and …

    TOM: A brick soffit that’s curved?

    LESLIE: Interesting.

    CATHERINE: Yeah.

    TOM: Hmm.

    CATHERINE: Yeah, it’s a real funny, old house, so it’s – yeah.

    TOM: OK. Well, let’s assume that you don’t have a soffit that you can do anything to, so then what you do in that situation is you use something called a drip-edge vent. Now a drip-edge vent goes at the edge of the roof and it essentially extends the edge of the roof about two inches and creates a mini-soffit. And it would be invisible from the street when you look up but it would let air into the underside of the roof sheathing; it would ride up under the sheathing and then exit at the ridge.

    CATHERINE: Wonderful. I knew you people were the right people to call.

    TOM: (chuckles) OK. Well, you’re very welcome. It sounds like a lovely home. Good luck with that project.

    LESLIE: Mark in Georgia could possibly be dealing with a flooring issue. What happened? There was a flood?

    MARK: There was a flood. Ended up with about 1/4-inch baptizing my condominium. (Tom and Leslie chuckle) But the issue is that the adjuster from the insurance company – the first adjuster came out and was adamant that all the floors were going to have to be replaced.

    TOM: OK. Now this was a private adjuster or the adjuster for the insurance company?

    MARK: This was actually a company adjuster.

    TOM: Really? OK.

    MARK: Yeah. Then, one of the private firms that they contract through came out and said that the floors could be saved.

    TOM: OK.

    MARK: And I just – how do you know? They are very expensive. They’re the real, genuine McCoy; the old, parquet floors.

    TOM: Right.

    MARK: And I had them done when I moved into the unit about nine years ago and …

    TOM: OK. And these are parquet floors; not strip hardwood floors?

    MARK: Correct.

    TOM: Well, because they’re parquet floors, I’m a little more concerned about water damage.

    LESLIE: Because there are so many small nooks and crannies and the boards themselves are so little, right?

    TOM: And also, there’s some degree of adhesive at play here. You know, the adhesive glues each little piece of hardwood down to a subfloor in a parquet design; so if the adhesive was disturbed by the water, it could look fine and a year later you start getting all these little pieces or chunks that are going to come up and you’d have a devil of a time convincing the insurance company it was related to the flood. So I would think that if they’re offering to replace it, I might take them up on that. Or at least take the money so that you can do it at your own accord later.

    MARK: Alright. Thank you. That I needed to hear. Nobody else has said that.

    TOM: Alright, great, Mark. Glad to help you out. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: You are tuned to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. Now you can be part of The Money Pit by picking up the phone and giving us a call with your home improvement, your home repair, your design, your décor question. Heck, if you even want some barbecue tips because you’re getting ready for the big 4th of July weekend (Tom chuckles), we are all about having a great time at our Money Pit. So give us a call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Up next, give your driveway a makeover. It’s not hard and it’s much less expensive than ripping it all out and starting from scratch. We’ll tell you exactly how to get that job done, after this.

    (theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Therma-Tru Doors, the nation’s leading manufacturer of fiberglass entry and patio door systems. Therma-Tru Doors are Energy Star-qualified and provide up to five times the insulation of a wood door. To learn more, visit Therma-Tru.com. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.

    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: The number here is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. One caller who gives us a call at that number will get the answer to their home improvement question plus an opportunity to win a set of locks from Bolt. These are padlocks that look great and actually make locking super, super easy because Bolt locks have a patented, automotive-style cylinder that allows you to insert your car or truck key, turn once, program the lock to the key and that’s it. You won’t have to worry about those extra little, tiny keys that always come with the locks …

    LESLIE: Which you always lose.

    TOM: … or having to remember the combination. Not another set of numbers in my house, in my head. (Leslie chuckles) There’s just not enough room for more numbers in this head. I feel like my head is like a hard drive; it’s like spilling over. There’s just not enough room. So, if you call us right now, we’ll give you the answer to your question and a chance of winning this set of locks from Bolt. Actually, it’s a gift certificate worth 70 bucks; enough for you to pick up a couple of these from the good folks at Bolt.

    The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: That’s right. I only have two passwords that I use for everything, so if anybody ever figures it out, I’m in deep trouble because I can’t remember.

    TOM: (overlapping voices) That’s it. Crack the code; that’s it, you’ve got it.

    LESLIE: It’s like I get – even when I log into things, I have to flip-flop between the two like, “Oh, which one did I use this time?” (Tom chuckles) So forget about another key or another combination. That’s really a great prize.

    Well, if you’ve got a concrete driveway, then you’ve got a permanent, low-maintenance addition to your home that can improve its appearance and actually give kids a safe place to ride their bikes and their scooters. Now concrete, it’s a super-tough material but it’s not entirely indestructible. Over the years, weather and normal wear and tear can actually leave your concrete driveway with cracks and chips. So if your driveway is in otherwise good condition, you can actually resurface it to make it look brand, spanking new again.

    TOM: That’s right. Now many folks might think that to resurface a concrete driveway you simply add more concrete to it. Well, that’s not exactly correct because if you put regular concrete on it, what will happen is it will very quickly separate from the original concrete and you’ll end up with big chunks now of the new stuff.

    What you really need to use is a product called a concrete resurfacer and QUIKRETE makes one that’s very, very good. This is actually a very doable DIY project. You just wash the surface; you mix the resurfacer into sort of a flowable consistency; then you spread it on with a squeegee, so you don’t even need a trowel. And to finish it off, you simply use a broom. By brushing with a broom, you’ll get an instant, nonslip finish. The total cost: about 30 cents a square foot. So it’s a great, moneysaving alternative to tearing out and replacing your entire driveway; not to mention the cost of the chiropractic visit that you’ll be saving as well; handling all that heavy concrete.

    LESLIE: (chuckles) You know, Tom, you bring up a good point because QUIKRETE concrete resurfacer can actually also be used on pool decks, concrete floors, patios and even sidewalks. So you’ve got a lot of great opportunities to repair and resurface a lot of what probably is driving you crazy about the outside of your house.

    TOM: Absolutely.

    LESLIE: If you want some more ideas for great summertime projects, head on over to QUIKRETE.com. Lot of information there and a lot of great products that’ll certainly help you get the job done.

    TOM: And an exhaustive set of projects and project instructions.

    LESLIE: (chuckling) Yeah, it’s true.

    TOM: They did a really good job with that website at QUIKRETE.com.

    888-666-3974 is also the number you can call for the answer to your home improvement project, so let’s get right back to those phones.

    And Leslie, who’s next?

    LESLIE: Alright, now we’re going to head over to Tennessee where Patricia is dealing with some – I guess they’re cracking up bathroom sinks. What’s happening?

    PATRICIA: Hi. I’ve got these ugly cracks in my – I guess they’re like a resin sink; the counter and the sink is one piece.
     
    TOM: (overlapping voices) Yes.
     
    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) OK, gotcha. It’s like molded.
     
    TOM: Yep.
     
    PATRICIA: Yeah, it’s molded. And even if I clean them, they quickly fill back up with mildew.
     
    TOM: Yeah.
     
    PATRICIA: And they’re very ugly.
     
    TOM: Yeah, that’s like a composite kind of molded sink and they – the glaze on them does crack and it’s really not something that you can fix. It’s just kind of, Patricia, the way they wear, unfortunately.
     
    LESLIE: There’s no like patching compound?
     
    TOM: No, no. I’ll tell you what works good to clean it is Bar Keepers Friend.
     
    PATRICIA: OK.
     
    TOM: Alright? It’s like a scouring powder but it does a really good job of getting that mildew out of the cracks and places like that.
     
    PATRICIA: OK.
     
    TOM: (overlapping voices) Also good for solid surfacing materials like Corian sinks and that sort of thing; makes it really white and bright.
     
    PATRICIA: OK. Well, thank you.
     
    TOM: You’re welcome, Patricia. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Rob in Illinois, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

    ROB: Thank you very much. I purchased a rental property in Illinois here and I noticed that I didn’t have any water coming into the sump pump from either one of the tile around the perimeter of the dwelling or underneath the dwelling. But upon further exploration, I found out that there was a hole in the bottom of the pit and water was either percolating or, because of the water table, entering the pit from the bottom rather than the tiles and, as a result, the sump pump is running all the time.

    TOM: Right.

    ROB: And was just wondering if that’s a problem that I should be concerned about.

    TOM: Well, when you describe the water percolating up, I mean generally what happens is water will collect around the foundation perimeter and it’ll push down and then kind of come up into the floor.

    ROB: (overlapping voices) OK.

    TOM: It usually doesn’t go in the walls and then fall down. It goes under the soil and it pushes up. And so what you’re describing is pretty typical.

    What I would do, Rob, is look to the outside of this area and make sure that the grading is sloping away from the wall. Make sure that you have gutters and the downspouts are extended away from the wall and do everything possible to keep that area right around the foundation perimeter as dry as possible.

    ROB: OK. Now, I understand that we’ve got a drainage problem where we’re collecting water off of other lots and that the water table is high. I’m thinking about getting a city engineer to come in and look at the development. But I don’t think it’s coming from downspouts. I think it’s coming from the water elsewhere in the area; the drainage to this property.

    TOM: Right. I think what you need to do is think about something called a curtain drain. A curtain drain could be installed around the grading, the bottom of the grading around your house where the water sort of collects, and it’ll absorb that water and run it through a pipe and discharge it to basically wherever you point it to.

    The way you build a curtain drain is you dig a trench and it’s about 12 inches wide and 12 inches deep with stone in the bottom of it and stone surrounding the pipe and then some filter cloth and then more dirt. And the water comes, say, from an adjoining yard; hits this trench; falls down to it; comes up into the pipe and then runs off. So that’s the type of thing that would correct this problem.

    Go to MoneyPit.com and search on curtain drains and you’ll find the solution to it.

    ROB: What about a swale? Somebody mentioned a swale might work.

    TOM: Well, a swale is basically a grading term and that’s the low point in the grade around your house. In other words, if you have soil that’s sort of humped up around the foundation perimeter and then there’s a low point where it tilts away, the swale is that bottom low point. Swale is sort of a term that determines – that explains how the water is supposed to run around your house and the low point is the swale. And that’s where, frankly, the curtain drain would go, too.

    ROB: Very good. Thank you very much.

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

    LESLIE: Sherm in Missouri needs help with a painting and wallpapering project. What can we do for you?

    SHERM: Hey, I’ve got a bedroom that came with multiple layers of wallpaper and paint.

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Lucky you.

    TOM: (overlapping voices) Multiple layers at no additional charge. (all chuckle)

    SHERM: And we just tried to seal it with KILZ and treat it like a new wall, which seemed to work great for a few years but now it’s splitting at multiple seams.

    TOM: Yeah.

    SHERM: And our worry is, if we tried to get in and strip it, we’d get into a big disaster. Is there a way to reseal it or is it better to just go ahead and try to strip it?

    LESLIE: Hmm.

    TOM: Is the cracking that you’re seeing at the seams of the wallpaper?

    SHERM: Yes.

    TOM: Yeah. No, you can’t – there’s no way to fix this at this point.

    LESLIE: Probably too much weight of paint on that wallpaper, too.

    TOM: Yeah. It’s just not going to behave right. What I would do is I would rent a wallpaper steamer and a tool called a paper tiger, which allows you to sort of perforate the wallpaper – it’s a pretty inexpensive tool and a wallpaper steamer doesn’t cost that much to rent – and try to work an area and see how difficult it’ll be. You may find that with all the years that have passed, that that wallpaper …

    LESLIE: It might just fall off the wall. (chuckles)

    TOM: Yeah, it may come off a lot easier than you think.

    SHERM: Even with the paint and sealer over it?

    TOM: Yeah, actually, that would probably make it come off even quicker, I would think, Leslie.

    LESLIE: I mean it’s anybody’s guess. You’ve got a lot of stuff on there, so eventually what’s going to happen is nothing is going to stick to it anymore. You need a new surface to sort of work with. I mean if it really becomes such a giant mess, you could always get that 1/2-inch drywall and go right over it and call it a new surface.

    SHERM: Well, that’s – we’re trying to stop short of doing that, so …

    LESLIE: (chuckling) Yeah.

    TOM: Yeah, I think at this point – when you get so many layers of paint, especially on top of wallpaper – wallpaper has never really been designed to be painted over …

    LESLIE: But everybody does it.

    TOM: … so at this point, I think you’ve reached – you’ve reached saturation, Sherm; let’s put it that way. OK?

    SHERM: (chuckles) OK.

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

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

    Well, it’s summertime and if you’ve been out and about in the yard, you might be noticing that unmistakable and unbearable itch which can only mean that you have encountered poison ivy. Hurray! Coming up, we’re going to tell you what to do if you’ve come in contact with it and how to safely get rid of that poison ivy around your home so you never have that darn, scratchy elbow again.

    (theme song)

    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, do you have an ugly door? If it’s the ugliest door around, your front entry could actually be entered into the ugly door contest being put on by the folks at Therma-Tru. The My Ugly Door contest runs now through July 2nd. If you submit a photo or a video of your ugly door and tell them why you think it’s ugly, you may just win the grand prize, which is a makeover worth I think up to about 5,000 bucks. They’re going to send a team to your house; they’ll tear out that ugly door and replace it with a beautiful, brand new Therma-Tru door.

    It’s also a fun website to look at because they’ve got the photos there of all the entries from the past year. (Leslie chuckles) And especially the winner photo. I mean when you see this guy’s photo, you’re like, “OK, yeah you’re right. You deserved it.” Take a look at it at MyUglyDoor.com. And remember, you can now enter through July 2nd, so hop on it and you might find yourself enjoying a brand new, beautiful, Therma-Tru door before the fall.

    LESLIE: Cathy in Maryland has got some beat-up floors she needs help with. What can we do for you?

    CATHY: I have hardwood floors in my kitchen and they’re 3/4-inch oak that are prefinished with a diamond finish. And it was supposed to last for 25 years, the finish, but with just kitchen use and dogs running through it and everything, it’s pretty beat-up looking. And I was wondering if that could be refinished.

    TOM: Potentially. What’s the thickness of the floor? Is it 3/4 or is it 3/8?

    CATHY: It’s 3/4-inch hardwood, oak.

    TOM: (overlapping voices) Yeah. Yeah, I mean I don’t see why you couldn’t. There is one other thing that you could try, though, which is short of total refinishing, and that is you could try just taking off the upper surface of the finish. You could rent a floor buffer with a sanding screen and that procedure actually takes off a little of the upper finish, smoothes out the scratches and then you could refinish from there.

    Now is this one stained or is it natural?

    CATHY: It’s stained light. The wood – it’s light oak.

    TOM: Yeah, well if it’s stained, then you may have to sand it down to raw wood.

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Go all the way down.

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: Otherwise you’re going to get a mismatch.

    TOM: If it’s a natural finish, you’d just be basically roughing up the surface but not really going down through it completely. You might still be able to go with a floor buffer; might be worth a shot. It’s a very inexpensive thing to rent and all it does is lightly sands the upper surface of the finish and gets it ready to accept a new coat. But short of that, you would have to sand it down.

    But if it’s 3/4-inch, then I don’t see why you couldn’t refinish it the same way you’d refinish any hardwood floor.

    LESLIE: Well, working in the yard and summer, they really do go hand in hand. But sometimes, so does poison ivy.

    Tom, I swear you get it like twice a summer. (chuckles)

    TOM: I got it twice this summer and I’ve never gotten it before, ever.

    LESLIE: (laughing) Maybe that’s why it’s so fresh in my mind. (Tom laughs)

    Well, it’s super-important to learn how to protect yourself from this common plant which, believe me, you can happen upon it before you even know that it’s there. So we want to help you to avoid being super-miserable, like Tom already has been twice and I probably will be once or twice this summer.

    TOM: That’s right. Right now that’s why we’re going to welcome This Old House host Kevin O’Connor and landscaping expert Roger Cook. They’ve got tried-and-true advice on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to keeping you safe from poison ivy.

    And Kevin, this is one itch you definitely don’t want.

    KEVIN: You got that right.

    If you have the itch to work in the garden or backyard, you’ve got a green thumb. But if you have an itch because you worked in the garden or backyard, you’ve probably got poison ivy.

    ROGER: (chuckling) Yes. Poison ivy is an invasive perennial vine; it spreads quickly. Now there are herbicides out there that you can spray on it but not only will it kill the poison ivy, but it’ll kill all the other plants that it comes in contact with. So I like to pull it out by hand but, before I do that, I’ll put on a long-sleeve shirt, pants, socks and then I’ll tape the sleeves and tape the pants so there’s no way that that oil, called urushiol, can get onto my skin.

    KEVIN: Alright, but what if the oil does get on your skin? If you think you’ve been exposed to poison ivy, what do you recommend?

    ROGER: One of the simplest things is a cleanup with soap and water but you have to use the brown Naptha soap. But I’m out in the field and I don’t get a lot of chance to get to soap and water, to be honest with you, so I use a special cleanser that cuts the oil, the urushiol oil. I put it on before I start pulling the ivy and then I put it on again when I’m done. No itch.

    If you want to see me go into a patch of poison ivy, there’s video online at ThisOldHouse.com.

    TOM: I want to see the video of what you look like about two days later. (Tom and Kevin laugh)

    ROGER: No problem from me. No problem at all.

    TOM: Roger Cook, Kevin O’Connor, thanks for stopping by The Money Pit.

    KEVIN: Our pleasure.

    LESLIE: Well, those are great tips, Roger. You know what? And remember guys, leaves of three – leaves of three – leave them be. It rhymes, you will never forget it. Make sure you put it into your brain when you’re out on those trails.

    TOM: Now I know that rule “leaves of three, let them be” and I still got it. (Leslie laughs) I swear there’s a version of poison ivy out there – I call it the stealth ivy; you know, it sort of hides among everything else and you just don’t see it until it grows on your skin a couple of days later. But I am now going to be super-super cautious and make sure that I scrub with the Naptha soap to make sure it never happens to me again because it’s not fun.

    LESLIE: No way.

    TOM: Hey, but I’ll tell you something that is fun – watching Kevin and Roger on This Old House television. You can tune in and watch the entire team and This Old House is brought to you by Lumber Liquidators. Lumber Liquidators – hardwood floors for less.

    Up next, we’ve got the coolest, the fastest, the easiest ways to cut down on those cooling costs by adding the right insulation. We’ll tell you exactly what to do, next.

    (theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Generac and the Generac automatic standby generator. Be protected and never worry about power outages again. Visit your favorite home improvement center or call 888-GENERAC or visit Generac.com. Your home will stay on the next time the power goes out. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete and you should give us a call right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT because this hour we give away great prizes and this hour is certainly no exception. We’ve actually got a really kind of cool prize this hour.

    One caller that we talk to on the air is going to win the Bolt lock system. It’s worth nearly 70 bucks. Now it’s kind of like a padlock-type thing that you put your own key in; whatever key you want – your house key, your car key, anything – and it programs the lock to that key. That’s super-cool. I mean Tom and I have so many things going around in our brains that we can’t remember where we’re putting the padlock key (Tom chuckles), so this is awesome. If I’ve got my car key on me, I’ve already got the key to that lock. It’s super-great.

    We’re giving you a $70 gift certificate which you can use to buy whatever you like – maybe a hitch for your car, maybe a padlock; totally up to you. They’re nearly impossible to pick or break. They’re super-awesome locks, so give us a call at 1-888-MONEY-PIT with your home improvement question and for your chance to win.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Well, it’s prime home improvement season and if one of your current projects involves an addition to your home or a major renovation, make sure you are thinking about insulation. You may not know it but a major cause of energy loss in a house is air leakage. This can lead to higher heating and cooling costs. Now you don’t think about this in the summer but air infiltration, it costs you just as much in cooling dollars as it does in heating dollars in the winter.

    So to maximize energy saving and reduce air infiltration, Owens Corning now has developed the EnergyComplete system. It’s a total home insulation system for air sealing and it’s very affordable and it’ll cut your heating and cooling bills by up to 1/3.

    LESLIE: Yeah, you know that’s right. And if you want to see exactly where in your home you might have those air leaks and if you want to learn some more about Owens Corning’s EnergyComplete system, head on over to their website; it’s OCEnergyComplete.com/Homeowners. And don’t forget that this and any other energy-efficient home improvements that you make this year will still qualify for those federal tax credits that are available.

    TOM: That’s absolutely right. The rush is on to get those energy-saving home improvements done before the end of the year because that’s when the tax credits run out. So again, that website is OCEnergyComplete.com/Homeowners.

    888-666-3974 is our telephone number and your answers to your home improvement question are just a phone call away. Let’s get back to it.

    LESLIE: Gary in North Carolina has run out of space at his money pit and needs help looking for more. What can we do for you?

    GARY: I was wondering about the ability – about putting a basement in on an existing home.

    TOM: OK. So the house right now, is it on a crawlspace?

    GARY: Yes, sort of.

    TOM: You’re down in North Carolina. The first question I would have is what’s your water table; can you build a basement in the part of the country you are. But I will tell you this, Gary, straight off: gravity being what it is, it would have been a lot easier to build the basement and the house on top of it. Adding a basement now when the house is already built is a pretty major, major project.

    LESLIE: That’s a big project.

    GARY: Yes.

    TOM: I mean there’s two ways to do it: you can replace the entire foundation with one that has a basement; or you could do what we call in the north here a Yankee basement, which basically means you move in a couple of feet from the edge of the crawlspace and dig down there and pick up some space that way. So the crawlspace sits on a retaining wall and then the basement is below that. Those are the two ways to do it. Either way, major, major, major job. It frankly may be easier to go buy a house with a basement (Leslie chuckles) and sell the one you have than try to build one. It’s a big project.

    GARY: OK. Well, that sounds like a good plan. I will take that into consideration.

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

    LESLIE: Melinda needs some help painting a floor, which is an unusual concept. What can we help you with?

    MELINDA: Hi. I have a white, tile floor in my kitchen and I want to paint it.

    LESLIE: Like a ceramic tile?

    MELINDA: Yes, ceramic tile.

    TOM: Yeah, you can’t do that.

    LESLIE: Errrrrrr.

    TOM: What was your second idea, Melinda?

    MELINDA: I don’t know. (Tom chuckles) I don’t have a second idea. I’ve already bought the stuff. I thought I was just going to do this.

    LESLIE: What?

    TOM: You can’t paint a tile floor. Not going to stick.

    LESLIE: I mean you can try. It’s not going to stay.

    MELINDA: It won’t?

    TOM: (overlapping voices) No, it’ll be miserable.

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) No.

    MELINDA: Even with polyurethane over it to seal it on?

    LESLIE: No.

    TOM: No, no.

    MELINDA: No.

    TOM: Melinda, put the paint brush down and step away from the floor, OK? (chuckles)

    MELINDA: Away; step back. OK.

    TOM: That’s not the way to solve it.

    MELINDA: Well …

    LESLIE: I mean it …

    TOM: Let’s talk about some other options though, OK? Now, what don’t you like about the floor?

    MELINDA: It’s white.

    LESLIE: OK.

    TOM: It’s white. OK? And how about the grout?

    MELINDA: The grout is black. (chuckles)

    TOM: Black, OK.

    MELINDA: And it’s supposed to be, I’m sure, you know – I bought my money pit with a white tile floor, black grout.

    TOM: Right. OK. And what color were you hoping to make it?

    MELINDA: I was just going to go with tan; you know a light off-white, creamy color.

    TOM: Why don’t you think about this? Why don’t you pick up a laminate floor?

    MELINDA: Yeah.

    TOM: A laminate floor is an easy floor to install, it’s not terribly expensive.

    LESLIE: It goes right on top.

    TOM: It could look like stone, it could look like tile, it could look like hardwood. It could look like anything you want. There are thousands of different patterns now.

    MELINDA: Now I can lay that right on top of there?

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.

    TOM: Yep, no attachment. The weight of the product holds it in place. You may have to do a little bit of trimming against the wall, just with a little bit of quarter-round molding or something like that, a little shoe molding. But other than that, it’s a piece of cake to put in and it looks great.

    MELINDA: Well, that sounds like a plan.

    TOM: Alright. Good.

    MELINDA: Thank you so much.

    TOM: Save your paint brush for another project.

    LESLIE: Yeah.

    MELINDA: I will. I’ll find something to do with it.

    TOM: (chuckles) Alright, Melinda. Good luck with that. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Man, that never would have stayed.

    TOM: She wanted to paint the tile floor and then, because it might not stick, put polyurethane on top.

    LESLIE: You know what? Desperate times call for desperate measures. (Tom laughs) You really can get so sick of something that you’re like, “That is an amazing idea.” We worked on a house in Seattle for $100 Makeover where they kept running out of space to store all their clothes.

    TOM: Right.

    LESLIE: And their solution was “I’ll just buy another shelf and attach it in random open space.” (Tom chuckles) So they just kept adding shelves. And then when they would get tired of colors, they would just paint around the shelving and the other space; so there was this mishmosh of everything. You get to a point where you’re like, “I’ll just try it.”

    TOM: You just don’t care.

    LESLIE: But don’t try it. (chuckles)

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: Take a moment …

    TOM: Well, hopefully we gave Melinda a better solution.

    LESLIE: Yeah, I would think so.

    TOM: (chuckles) Well, here’s one appliance that’s really getting a workout this time of year – your icemaker. When it doesn’t work, makes life just a little bit less pleasant. We’re going to get to the bottom of some icemaker issues; the common things that go wrong with icemakers that make them stop, well, making ice. We’ll have that advice after this.

    (theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: This portion of The Money Pit is brought to you by Behr Premium Exterior weatherproofing wood stains and finishes with an advanced, 100-percent acrylic resin to protect decks, siding and fences from sun, rain, snow and ice. The line offers longlasting beauty and excellent durability. For more information, visit Behr.com. That’s B-e-h-r.com. Behr products are available exclusively at The Home Depot.

    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: Hey, we know you love The Money Pit, so why not get a ton more of The Money Pit. If you want to, you should follow us on Facebook. All you need to do is flip out your cell phone, get out your texting device – whatever you’re using right now – and fan The Money Pit. That’s all you need to do is text “Fan TheMoneyPit” to FBOOK at 32665 and instantaneously you will be added as a fan to The Money Pit. And right there on your little device, you can get all the information: articles that Tom is posting; little fun bits of what’s going on in our lives, what we’re working on in the home; and you get to see what everybody else is doing, all the other fans of The Money Pit. So it’s really a great opportunity to learn more.

    And while you’re online, you can e-mail Tom and I your home improvement questions and we love to answer them. And I’ve got one here from Richard in Texas who writes: “The ice in my icemaker clings together in clumps, especially at the top of the container. The temperature is ten degrees at the icemaker. Can you tell me what’s going on?”

    TOM: Ah. Well, the fridge is probably not cold enough. Ten degrees is actually quite warm …

    LESLIE: For a freezer?

    TOM: … for a freezer. Yes. You probably want that to be at least eight but more close to zero or just below zero. Because if it’s not cold enough, that ice actually will not form properly. The colder it is, the dryer the ice is and the easier it is to mold it and break it off and send it down to the ice tray and make more. If it gets a little bit warmish, it will tend to clump together; it gets much stickier. So take a look at that fridge temperature and try to drop it so you get it down to close to zero. OK?

    LESLIE: Hmm.

    Alright, next up I’ve got one from Alfred in New Jersey who writes: “Recently, we had a leak which required us to remove the vinyl soffit material around my house. This revealed only insulation and no sheeting. I believe some type of wood should have been there. If this is correct, how can I install wood and maintain the vinyl corner of my siding?”

    TOM: Actually, no, you don’t want to have that old-fashioned wood soffit material. You must have a newer house …

    LESLIE: Well, because then you wouldn’t have airflow, right?

    TOM: Well, that’s right. That vinyl soffit material is probably perforated, Alfred, and the idea here is that you want to let a lot of air get up into the soffits and then rise up underneath the roof sheathing. Because as it does that, in the summertime it takes away heat – which basically means your air conditioner doesn’t have to work quite as hard – and in the wintertime it takes away moisture, which keeps the insulation dryer and therefore more effectively. So no, you don’t want to see any type of wood covering the soffit. You want it to be as ventilated as possible.

    In fact, Leslie, in the 20 years I spent as a home inspector, very often I’d find homes that originally had wood soffits and then they got vinyl soffits and the vinyl soffits were perforated. But I would take my flashlight and sort of push into the soft vinyl and I’d hear, immediately, clunk-clunk because there was solid wood underneath. So people would put …

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm, so they weren’t doing anything at all.

    TOM: Yeah, it wouldn’t be vented at all. They’d put perforated vinyl soffits on top of solid plywood, which is always a no-no. So, the vinyl soffit is exactly what you need; just put it back together the same way you took it apart.

    LESLIE: Alright, next up we’ve got one from Sharon in Arkansas who writes: “We have a metal roof with large bolts and it’s leaking over the porch area. We have no attic. How can we tell if it’s leaking anywhere else?”

    TOM: Well, I mean the best thing to do is, if you can’t get into the attic, is just to watch the ceiling itself. I mean if it’s leaking significantly, you’re going to get some sort of stain. But what I would recommend is to get up on the metal roof when the weather is appropriate for that and use a silicone caulk to seal around every bolt that you have there. Because if it’s leaking in one place, chances are it could be developing a leak somewhere else.

    LESLIE: It’s leaking in other places.

    TOM: And as they wear, that’s really the easiest way to fix it. Don’t use tar because that will trap water underneath it and that will cause the metal roof to potentially rust out.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. I hope that helps you. And make sure feel comfortable up there on that ladder and get a buddy to help you while you’re up there on that roof. And if this doesn’t seem like something you’re comfortable with, get a friend who certainly doesn’t mind those heights to get up there and tackle this job for you.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. Thank you so much for spending this hour with us. The show continues on MoneyPit.com right now.

    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)

    END HOUR 1 TEXT

    (Copyright 2010 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.)

    BEGIN HOUR 1 TEXT:

    (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: Pick up the phone and give us a call. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. We are here to help you with your summer home improvement project. Is it a beautiful weekend in your neck of the woods? Well, that makes it great home improvement weather. If it’s not, hey, tackle a project inside your money pit and let us help. Call us right now with your home improvement questions.

    You’ve got a question about what materials to use; got a question about what steps to take; wondering if maybe you can do the project yourself or do you have to hire somebody to get it done, we can help you with all that if you pick up the phone and help yourself first by calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    Summer is now officially underway and it’s a great time of year to enjoy those outdoors. And this hour, we’ve got some ideas to help you do that. First up, we’ve got a quick and easy and inexpensive way to give your driveway a whole new look without ripping it out and starting from scratch.

    LESLIE: And also ahead, avoiding poison ivy. We’ve got tips on removing it safely from your yard from our friend Roger Cook who’s the landscaping expert at This Old House.

    TOM: And now is the prime time for homeowners who are building an addition or doing a major renovation to think about how that space will be insulated. Don’t make insulation an afterthought. We’ve got details this hour on a complete insulation system that will keep your house very, very cozy and also keep your energy costs very, very low.

    LESLIE: And this hour, one caller gets a set of locks from Bolt. Now these are really cool because you can program your car or your truck key to open these; no extra keys to carry, no combination to remember. These are like padlocks, right Tom?

    TOM: Yep, they’re like padlocks except, again, you can use your car key to open them.

    LESLIE: That’s awesome.

    TOM: Isn’t that cool?

    LESLIE: Yeah, it’s super-cool. I can’t tell you how it works because then everybody is going to figure it out (Tom chuckles), but it’s really great and we’re giving away a gift certificate worth nearly 70 bucks which is enough for a padlock and a trailer hitch lock. That’s really great.

    TOM: So give us a call right now. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974. Let’s get right to the phones.

    Leslie, who’s first?

    LESLIE: Catherine in Virginia, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

    CATHERINE: Yes. Well, I have a historic, brick home that was built in the 1820s and I’m trying to figure out how to vent the attic without compromising the historic – the integrity, I guess, of the house.

    TOM: OK, so you are talking about an attic. Is this an unfinished attic that you need to vent?

    CATHERINE: Yes, it’s an unfinished, third floor attic.

    TOM: Alright. So why not add a ridge vent down the peak of the roof and – I mean it’s going to be expensive but if you want to preserve the historic character, you could make that a copper ridge vent …

    CATHERINE: OK.

    TOM: … and that would be very attractive and that would let plenty of warm air out.

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Mm-hmm. Patina really nicely, too.

    TOM: Exactly.

    CATHERINE: OK. Would that suffice to take care of the whole issue in the attic or do you need an inflow and an outflow or …?

    TOM: Yeah, you should match that with soffit vents. Do you have an overhang on this roof?

    CATHERINE: Yes. You mean like – are you thinking along the lines of a soffit?

    TOM: Yes, a soffit. Do you have a soffit?

    CATHERINE: Yeah, we do but it’s decorative and it’s brick, so it’s curved and …

    TOM: A brick soffit that’s curved?

    LESLIE: Interesting.

    CATHERINE: Yeah.

    TOM: Hmm.

    CATHERINE: Yeah, it’s a real funny, old house, so it’s – yeah.

    TOM: OK. Well, let’s assume that you don’t have a soffit that you can do anything to, so then what you do in that situation is you use something called a drip-edge vent. Now a drip-edge vent goes at the edge of the roof and it essentially extends the edge of the roof about two inches and creates a mini-soffit. And it would be invisible from the street when you look up but it would let air into the underside of the roof sheathing; it would ride up under the sheathing and then exit at the ridge.

    CATHERINE: Wonderful. I knew you people were the right people to call.

    TOM: (chuckles) OK. Well, you’re very welcome. It sounds like a lovely home. Good luck with that project.

    LESLIE: Mark in Georgia could possibly be dealing with a flooring issue. What happened? There was a flood?

    MARK: There was a flood. Ended up with about 1/4-inch baptizing my condominium. (Tom and Leslie chuckle) But the issue is that the adjuster from the insurance company – the first adjuster came out and was adamant that all the floors were going to have to be replaced.

    TOM: OK. Now this was a private adjuster or the adjuster for the insurance company?

    MARK: This was actually a company adjuster.

    TOM: Really? OK.

    MARK: Yeah. Then, one of the private firms that they contract through came out and said that the floors could be saved.

    TOM: OK.

    MARK: And I just – how do you know? They are very expensive. They’re the real, genuine McCoy; the old, parquet floors.

    TOM: Right.

    MARK: And I had them done when I moved into the unit about nine years ago and …

    TOM: OK. And these are parquet floors; not strip hardwood floors?

    MARK: Correct.

    TOM: Well, because they’re parquet floors, I’m a little more concerned about water damage.

    LESLIE: Because there are so many small nooks and crannies and the boards themselves are so little, right?

    TOM: And also, there’s some degree of adhesive at play here. You know, the adhesive glues each little piece of hardwood down to a subfloor in a parquet design; so if the adhesive was disturbed by the water, it could look fine and a year later you start getting all these little pieces or chunks that are going to come up and you’d have a devil of a time convincing the insurance company it was related to the flood. So I would think that if they’re offering to replace it, I might take them up on that. Or at least take the money so that you can do it at your own accord later.

    MARK: Alright. Thank you. That I needed to hear. Nobody else has said that.

    TOM: Alright, great, Mark. Glad to help you out. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: You are tuned to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. Now you can be part of The Money Pit by picking up the phone and giving us a call with your home improvement, your home repair, your design, your décor question. Heck, if you even want some barbecue tips because you’re getting ready for the big 4th of July weekend (Tom chuckles), we are all about having a great time at our Money Pit. So give us a call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Up next, give your driveway a makeover. It’s not hard and it’s much less expensive than ripping it all out and starting from scratch. We’ll tell you exactly how to get that job done, after this.

    (theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Therma-Tru Doors, the nation’s leading manufacturer of fiberglass entry and patio door systems. Therma-Tru Doors are Energy Star-qualified and provide up to five times the insulation of a wood door. To learn more, visit Therma-Tru.com. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.

    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: The number here is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. One caller who gives us a call at that number will get the answer to their home improvement question plus an opportunity to win a set of locks from Bolt. These are padlocks that look great and actually make locking super, super easy because Bolt locks have a patented, automotive-style cylinder that allows you to insert your car or truck key, turn once, program the lock to the key and that’s it. You won’t have to worry about those extra little, tiny keys that always come with the locks …

    LESLIE: Which you always lose.

    TOM: … or having to remember the combination. Not another set of numbers in my house, in my head. (Leslie chuckles) There’s just not enough room for more numbers in this head. I feel like my head is like a hard drive; it’s like spilling over. There’s just not enough room. So, if you call us right now, we’ll give you the answer to your question and a chance of winning this set of locks from Bolt. Actually, it’s a gift certificate worth 70 bucks; enough for you to pick up a couple of these from the good folks at Bolt.

    The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: That’s right. I only have two passwords that I use for everything, so if anybody ever figures it out, I’m in deep trouble because I can’t remember.

    TOM: (overlapping voices) That’s it. Crack the code; that’s it, you’ve got it.

    LESLIE: It’s like I get – even when I log into things, I have to flip-flop between the two like, “Oh, which one did I use this time?” (Tom chuckles) So forget about another key or another combination. That’s really a great prize.

    Well, if you’ve got a concrete driveway, then you’ve got a permanent, low-maintenance addition to your home that can improve its appearance and actually give kids a safe place to ride their bikes and their scooters. Now concrete, it’s a super-tough material but it’s not entirely indestructible. Over the years, weather and normal wear and tear can actually leave your concrete driveway with cracks and chips. So if your driveway is in otherwise good condition, you can actually resurface it to make it look brand, spanking new again.

    TOM: That’s right. Now many folks might think that to resurface a concrete driveway you simply add more concrete to it. Well, that’s not exactly correct because if you put regular concrete on it, what will happen is it will very quickly separate from the original concrete and you’ll end up with big chunks now of the new stuff.

    What you really need to use is a product called a concrete resurfacer and QUIKRETE makes one that’s very, very good. This is actually a very doable DIY project. You just wash the surface; you mix the resurfacer into sort of a flowable consistency; then you spread it on with a squeegee, so you don’t even need a trowel. And to finish it off, you simply use a broom. By brushing with a broom, you’ll get an instant, nonslip finish. The total cost: about 30 cents a square foot. So it’s a great, moneysaving alternative to tearing out and replacing your entire driveway; not to mention the cost of the chiropractic visit that you’ll be saving as well; handling all that heavy concrete.

    LESLIE: (chuckles) You know, Tom, you bring up a good point because QUIKRETE concrete resurfacer can actually also be used on pool decks, concrete floors, patios and even sidewalks. So you’ve got a lot of great opportunities to repair and resurface a lot of what probably is driving you crazy about the outside of your house.

    TOM: Absolutely.

    LESLIE: If you want some more ideas for great summertime projects, head on over to QUIKRETE.com. Lot of information there and a lot of great products that’ll certainly help you get the job done.

    TOM: And an exhaustive set of projects and project instructions.

    LESLIE: (chuckling) Yeah, it’s true.

    TOM: They did a really good job with that website at QUIKRETE.com.

    888-666-3974 is also the number you can call for the answer to your home improvement project, so let’s get right back to those phones.

    And Leslie, who’s next?

    LESLIE: Alright, now we’re going to head over to Tennessee where Patricia is dealing with some – I guess they’re cracking up bathroom sinks. What’s happening?

    PATRICIA: Hi. I’ve got these ugly cracks in my – I guess they’re like a resin sink; the counter and the sink is one piece.
     
    TOM: (overlapping voices) Yes.
     
    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) OK, gotcha. It’s like molded.
     
    TOM: Yep.
     
    PATRICIA: Yeah, it’s molded. And even if I clean them, they quickly fill back up with mildew.
     
    TOM: Yeah.
     
    PATRICIA: And they’re very ugly.
     
    TOM: Yeah, that’s like a composite kind of molded sink and they – the glaze on them does crack and it’s really not something that you can fix. It’s just kind of, Patricia, the way they wear, unfortunately.
     
    LESLIE: There’s no like patching compound?
     
    TOM: No, no. I’ll tell you what works good to clean it is Bar Keepers Friend.
     
    PATRICIA: OK.
     
    TOM: Alright? It’s like a scouring powder but it does a really good job of getting that mildew out of the cracks and places like that.
     
    PATRICIA: OK.
     
    TOM: (overlapping voices) Also good for solid surfacing materials like Corian sinks and that sort of thing; makes it really white and bright.
     
    PATRICIA: OK. Well, thank you.
     
    TOM: You’re welcome, Patricia. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Rob in Illinois, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

    ROB: Thank you very much. I purchased a rental property in Illinois here and I noticed that I didn’t have any water coming into the sump pump from either one of the tile around the perimeter of the dwelling or underneath the dwelling. But upon further exploration, I found out that there was a hole in the bottom of the pit and water was either percolating or, because of the water table, entering the pit from the bottom rather than the tiles and, as a result, the sump pump is running all the time.

    TOM: Right.

    ROB: And was just wondering if that’s a problem that I should be concerned about.

    TOM: Well, when you describe the water percolating up, I mean generally what happens is water will collect around the foundation perimeter and it’ll push down and then kind of come up into the floor.

    ROB: (overlapping voices) OK.

    TOM: It usually doesn’t go in the walls and then fall down. It goes under the soil and it pushes up. And so what you’re describing is pretty typical.

    What I would do, Rob, is look to the outside of this area and make sure that the grading is sloping away from the wall. Make sure that you have gutters and the downspouts are extended away from the wall and do everything possible to keep that area right around the foundation perimeter as dry as possible.

    ROB: OK. Now, I understand that we’ve got a drainage problem where we’re collecting water off of other lots and that the water table is high. I’m thinking about getting a city engineer to come in and look at the development. But I don’t think it’s coming from downspouts. I think it’s coming from the water elsewhere in the area; the drainage to this property.

    TOM: Right. I think what you need to do is think about something called a curtain drain. A curtain drain could be installed around the grading, the bottom of the grading around your house where the water sort of collects, and it’ll absorb that water and run it through a pipe and discharge it to basically wherever you point it to.

    The way you build a curtain drain is you dig a trench and it’s about 12 inches wide and 12 inches deep with stone in the bottom of it and stone surrounding the pipe and then some filter cloth and then more dirt. And the water comes, say, from an adjoining yard; hits this trench; falls down to it; comes up into the pipe and then runs off. So that’s the type of thing that would correct this problem.

    Go to MoneyPit.com and search on curtain drains and you’ll find the solution to it.

    ROB: What about a swale? Somebody mentioned a swale might work.

    TOM: Well, a swale is basically a grading term and that’s the low point in the grade around your house. In other words, if you have soil that’s sort of humped up around the foundation perimeter and then there’s a low point where it tilts away, the swale is that bottom low point. Swale is sort of a term that determines – that explains how the water is supposed to run around your house and the low point is the swale. And that’s where, frankly, the curtain drain would go, too.

    ROB: Very good. Thank you very much.

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

    LESLIE: Sherm in Missouri needs help with a painting and wallpapering project. What can we do for you?

    SHERM: Hey, I’ve got a bedroom that came with multiple layers of wallpaper and paint.

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Lucky you.

    TOM: (overlapping voices) Multiple layers at no additional charge. (all chuckle)

    SHERM: And we just tried to seal it with KILZ and treat it like a new wall, which seemed to work great for a few years but now it’s splitting at multiple seams.

    TOM: Yeah.

    SHERM: And our worry is, if we tried to get in and strip it, we’d get into a big disaster. Is there a way to reseal it or is it better to just go ahead and try to strip it?

    LESLIE: Hmm.

    TOM: Is the cracking that you’re seeing at the seams of the wallpaper?

    SHERM: Yes.

    TOM: Yeah. No, you can’t – there’s no way to fix this at this point.

    LESLIE: Probably too much weight of paint on that wallpaper, too.

    TOM: Yeah. It’s just not going to behave right. What I would do is I would rent a wallpaper steamer and a tool called a paper tiger, which allows you to sort of perforate the wallpaper – it’s a pretty inexpensive tool and a wallpaper steamer doesn’t cost that much to rent – and try to work an area and see how difficult it’ll be. You may find that with all the years that have passed, that that wallpaper …

    LESLIE: It might just fall off the wall. (chuckles)

    TOM: Yeah, it may come off a lot easier than you think.

    SHERM: Even with the paint and sealer over it?

    TOM: Yeah, actually, that would probably make it come off even quicker, I would think, Leslie.

    LESLIE: I mean it’s anybody’s guess. You’ve got a lot of stuff on there, so eventually what’s going to happen is nothing is going to stick to it anymore. You need a new surface to sort of work with. I mean if it really becomes such a giant mess, you could always get that 1/2-inch drywall and go right over it and call it a new surface.

    SHERM: Well, that’s – we’re trying to stop short of doing that, so …

    LESLIE: (chuckling) Yeah.

    TOM: Yeah, I think at this point – when you get so many layers of paint, especially on top of wallpaper – wallpaper has never really been designed to be painted over …

    LESLIE: But everybody does it.

    TOM: … so at this point, I think you’ve reached – you’ve reached saturation, Sherm; let’s put it that way. OK?

    SHERM: (chuckles) OK.

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

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

    Well, it’s summertime and if you’ve been out and about in the yard, you might be noticing that unmistakable and unbearable itch which can only mean that you have encountered poison ivy. Hurray! Coming up, we’re going to tell you what to do if you’ve come in contact with it and how to safely get rid of that poison ivy around your home so you never have that darn, scratchy elbow again.

    (theme song)

    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, do you have an ugly door? If it’s the ugliest door around, your front entry could actually be entered into the ugly door contest being put on by the folks at Therma-Tru. The My Ugly Door contest runs now through July 2nd. If you submit a photo or a video of your ugly door and tell them why you think it’s ugly, you may just win the grand prize, which is a makeover worth I think up to about 5,000 bucks. They’re going to send a team to your house; they’ll tear out that ugly door and replace it with a beautiful, brand new Therma-Tru door.

    It’s also a fun website to look at because they’ve got the photos there of all the entries from the past year. (Leslie chuckles) And especially the winner photo. I mean when you see this guy’s photo, you’re like, “OK, yeah you’re right. You deserved it.” Take a look at it at MyUglyDoor.com. And remember, you can now enter through July 2nd, so hop on it and you might find yourself enjoying a brand new, beautiful, Therma-Tru door before the fall.

    LESLIE: Cathy in Maryland has got some beat-up floors she needs help with. What can we do for you?

    CATHY: I have hardwood floors in my kitchen and they’re 3/4-inch oak that are prefinished with a diamond finish. And it was supposed to last for 25 years, the finish, but with just kitchen use and dogs running through it and everything, it’s pretty beat-up looking. And I was wondering if that could be refinished.

    TOM: Potentially. What’s the thickness of the floor? Is it 3/4 or is it 3/8?

    CATHY: It’s 3/4-inch hardwood, oak.

    TOM: (overlapping voices) Yeah. Yeah, I mean I don’t see why you couldn’t. There is one other thing that you could try, though, which is short of total refinishing, and that is you could try just taking off the upper surface of the finish. You could rent a floor buffer with a sanding screen and that procedure actually takes off a little of the upper finish, smoothes out the scratches and then you could refinish from there.

    Now is this one stained or is it natural?

    CATHY: It’s stained light. The wood – it’s light oak.

    TOM: Yeah, well if it’s stained, then you may have to sand it down to raw wood.

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Go all the way down.

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: Otherwise you’re going to get a mismatch.

    TOM: If it’s a natural finish, you’d just be basically roughing up the surface but not really going down through it completely. You might still be able to go with a floor buffer; might be worth a shot. It’s a very inexpensive thing to rent and all it does is lightly sands the upper surface of the finish and gets it ready to accept a new coat. But short of that, you would have to sand it down.

    But if it’s 3/4-inch, then I don’t see why you couldn’t refinish it the same way you’d refinish any hardwood floor.

    LESLIE: Well, working in the yard and summer, they really do go hand in hand. But sometimes, so does poison ivy.

    Tom, I swear you get it like twice a summer. (chuckles)

    TOM: I got it twice this summer and I’ve never gotten it before, ever.

    LESLIE: (laughing) Maybe that’s why it’s so fresh in my mind. (Tom laughs)

    Well, it’s super-important to learn how to protect yourself from this common plant which, believe me, you can happen upon it before you even know that it’s there. So we want to help you to avoid being super-miserable, like Tom already has been twice and I probably will be once or twice this summer.

    TOM: That’s right. Right now that’s why we’re going to welcome This Old House host Kevin O’Connor and landscaping expert Roger Cook. They’ve got tried-and-true advice on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to keeping you safe from poison ivy.

    And Kevin, this is one itch you definitely don’t want.

    KEVIN: You got that right.

    If you have the itch to work in the garden or backyard, you’ve got a green thumb. But if you have an itch because you worked in the garden or backyard, you’ve probably got poison ivy.

    ROGER: (chuckling) Yes. Poison ivy is an invasive perennial vine; it spreads quickly. Now there are herbicides out there that you can spray on it but not only will it kill the poison ivy, but it’ll kill all the other plants that it comes in contact with. So I like to pull it out by hand but, before I do that, I’ll put on a long-sleeve shirt, pants, socks and then I’ll tape the sleeves and tape the pants so there’s no way that that oil, called urushiol, can get onto my skin.

    KEVIN: Alright, but what if the oil does get on your skin? If you think you’ve been exposed to poison ivy, what do you recommend?

    ROGER: One of the simplest things is a cleanup with soap and water but you have to use the brown Naptha soap. But I’m out in the field and I don’t get a lot of chance to get to soap and water, to be honest with you, so I use a special cleanser that cuts the oil, the urushiol oil. I put it on before I start pulling the ivy and then I put it on again when I’m done. No itch.

    If you want to see me go into a patch of poison ivy, there’s video online at ThisOldHouse.com.

    TOM: I want to see the video of what you look like about two days later. (Tom and Kevin laugh)

    ROGER: No problem from me. No problem at all.

    TOM: Roger Cook, Kevin O’Connor, thanks for stopping by The Money Pit.

    KEVIN: Our pleasure.

    LESLIE: Well, those are great tips, Roger. You know what? And remember guys, leaves of three – leaves of three – leave them be. It rhymes, you will never forget it. Make sure you put it into your brain when you’re out on those trails.

    TOM: Now I know that rule “leaves of three, let them be” and I still got it. (Leslie laughs) I swear there’s a version of poison ivy out there – I call it the stealth ivy; you know, it sort of hides among everything else and you just don’t see it until it grows on your skin a couple of days later. But I am now going to be super-super cautious and make sure that I scrub with the Naptha soap to make sure it never happens to me again because it’s not fun.

    LESLIE: No way.

    TOM: Hey, but I’ll tell you something that is fun – watching Kevin and Roger on This Old House television. You can tune in and watch the entire team and This Old House is brought to you by Lumber Liquidators. Lumber Liquidators – hardwood floors for less.

    Up next, we’ve got the coolest, the fastest, the easiest ways to cut down on those cooling costs by adding the right insulation. We’ll tell you exactly what to do, next.

    (theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Generac and the Generac automatic standby generator. Be protected and never worry about power outages again. Visit your favorite home improvement center or call 888-GENERAC or visit Generac.com. Your home will stay on the next time the power goes out. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete and you should give us a call right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT because this hour we give away great prizes and this hour is certainly no exception. We’ve actually got a really kind of cool prize this hour.

    One caller that we talk to on the air is going to win the Bolt lock system. It’s worth nearly 70 bucks. Now it’s kind of like a padlock-type thing that you put your own key in; whatever key you want – your house key, your car key, anything – and it programs the lock to that key. That’s super-cool. I mean Tom and I have so many things going around in our brains that we can’t remember where we’re putting the padlock key (Tom chuckles), so this is awesome. If I’ve got my car key on me, I’ve already got the key to that lock. It’s super-great.

    We’re giving you a $70 gift certificate which you can use to buy whatever you like – maybe a hitch for your car, maybe a padlock; totally up to you. They’re nearly impossible to pick or break. They’re super-awesome locks, so give us a call at 1-888-MONEY-PIT with your home improvement question and for your chance to win.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Well, it’s prime home improvement season and if one of your current projects involves an addition to your home or a major renovation, make sure you are thinking about insulation. You may not know it but a major cause of energy loss in a house is air leakage. This can lead to higher heating and cooling costs. Now you don’t think about this in the summer but air infiltration, it costs you just as much in cooling dollars as it does in heating dollars in the winter.

    So to maximize energy saving and reduce air infiltration, Owens Corning now has developed the EnergyComplete system. It’s a total home insulation system for air sealing and it’s very affordable and it’ll cut your heating and cooling bills by up to 1/3.

    LESLIE: Yeah, you know that’s right. And if you want to see exactly where in your home you might have those air leaks and if you want to learn some more about Owens Corning’s EnergyComplete system, head on over to their website; it’s OCEnergyComplete.com/Homeowners. And don’t forget that this and any other energy-efficient home improvements that you make this year will still qualify for those federal tax credits that are available.

    TOM: That’s absolutely right. The rush is on to get those energy-saving home improvements done before the end of the year because that’s when the tax credits run out. So again, that website is OCEnergyComplete.com/Homeowners.

    888-666-3974 is our telephone number and your answers to your home improvement question are just a phone call away. Let’s get back to it.

    LESLIE: Gary in North Carolina has run out of space at his money pit and needs help looking for more. What can we do for you?

    GARY: I was wondering about the ability – about putting a basement in on an existing home.

    TOM: OK. So the house right now, is it on a crawlspace?

    GARY: Yes, sort of.

    TOM: You’re down in North Carolina. The first question I would have is what’s your water table; can you build a basement in the part of the country you are. But I will tell you this, Gary, straight off: gravity being what it is, it would have been a lot easier to build the basement and the house on top of it. Adding a basement now when the house is already built is a pretty major, major project.

    LESLIE: That’s a big project.

    GARY: Yes.

    TOM: I mean there’s two ways to do it: you can replace the entire foundation with one that has a basement; or you could do what we call in the north here a Yankee basement, which basically means you move in a couple of feet from the edge of the crawlspace and dig down there and pick up some space that way. So the crawlspace sits on a retaining wall and then the basement is below that. Those are the two ways to do it. Either way, major, major, major job. It frankly may be easier to go buy a house with a basement (Leslie chuckles) and sell the one you have than try to build one. It’s a big project.

    GARY: OK. Well, that sounds like a good plan. I will take that into consideration.

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

    LESLIE: Melinda needs some help painting a floor, which is an unusual concept. What can we help you with?

    MELINDA: Hi. I have a white, tile floor in my kitchen and I want to paint it.

    LESLIE: Like a ceramic tile?

    MELINDA: Yes, ceramic tile.

    TOM: Yeah, you can’t do that.

    LESLIE: Errrrrrr.

    TOM: What was your second idea, Melinda?

    MELINDA: I don’t know. (Tom chuckles) I don’t have a second idea. I’ve already bought the stuff. I thought I was just going to do this.

    LESLIE: What?

    TOM: You can’t paint a tile floor. Not going to stick.

    LESLIE: I mean you can try. It’s not going to stay.

    MELINDA: It won’t?

    TOM: (overlapping voices) No, it’ll be miserable.

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) No.

    MELINDA: Even with polyurethane over it to seal it on?

    LESLIE: No.

    TOM: No, no.

    MELINDA: No.

    TOM: Melinda, put the paint brush down and step away from the floor, OK? (chuckles)

    MELINDA: Away; step back. OK.

    TOM: That’s not the way to solve it.

    MELINDA: Well …

    LESLIE: I mean it …

    TOM: Let’s talk about some other options though, OK? Now, what don’t you like about the floor?

    MELINDA: It’s white.

    LESLIE: OK.

    TOM: It’s white. OK? And how about the grout?

    MELINDA: The grout is black. (chuckles)

    TOM: Black, OK.

    MELINDA: And it’s supposed to be, I’m sure, you know – I bought my money pit with a white tile floor, black grout.

    TOM: Right. OK. And what color were you hoping to make it?

    MELINDA: I was just going to go with tan; you know a light off-white, creamy color.

    TOM: Why don’t you think about this? Why don’t you pick up a laminate floor?

    MELINDA: Yeah.

    TOM: A laminate floor is an easy floor to install, it’s not terribly expensive.

    LESLIE: It goes right on top.

    TOM: It could look like stone, it could look like tile, it could look like hardwood. It could look like anything you want. There are thousands of different patterns now.

    MELINDA: Now I can lay that right on top of there?

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.

    TOM: Yep, no attachment. The weight of the product holds it in place. You may have to do a little bit of trimming against the wall, just with a little bit of quarter-round molding or something like that, a little shoe molding. But other than that, it’s a piece of cake to put in and it looks great.

    MELINDA: Well, that sounds like a plan.

    TOM: Alright. Good.

    MELINDA: Thank you so much.

    TOM: Save your paint brush for another project.

    LESLIE: Yeah.

    MELINDA: I will. I’ll find something to do with it.

    TOM: (chuckles) Alright, Melinda. Good luck with that. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Man, that never would have stayed.

    TOM: She wanted to paint the tile floor and then, because it might not stick, put polyurethane on top.

    LESLIE: You know what? Desperate times call for desperate measures. (Tom laughs) You really can get so sick of something that you’re like, “That is an amazing idea.” We worked on a house in Seattle for $100 Makeover where they kept running out of space to store all their clothes.

    TOM: Right.

    LESLIE: And their solution was “I’ll just buy another shelf and attach it in random open space.” (Tom chuckles) So they just kept adding shelves. And then when they would get tired of colors, they would just paint around the shelving and the other space; so there was this mishmosh of everything. You get to a point where you’re like, “I’ll just try it.”

    TOM: You just don’t care.

    LESLIE: But don’t try it. (chuckles)

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: Take a moment …

    TOM: Well, hopefully we gave Melinda a better solution.

    LESLIE: Yeah, I would think so.

    TOM: (chuckles) Well, here’s one appliance that’s really getting a workout this time of year – your icemaker. When it doesn’t work, makes life just a little bit less pleasant. We’re going to get to the bottom of some icemaker issues; the common things that go wrong with icemakers that make them stop, well, making ice. We’ll have that advice after this.

    (theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: This portion of The Money Pit is brought to you by Behr Premium Exterior weatherproofing wood stains and finishes with an advanced, 100-percent acrylic resin to protect decks, siding and fences from sun, rain, snow and ice. The line offers longlasting beauty and excellent durability. For more information, visit Behr.com. That’s B-e-h-r.com. Behr products are available exclusively at The Home Depot.

    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: Hey, we know you love The Money Pit, so why not get a ton more of The Money Pit. If you want to, you should follow us on Facebook. All you need to do is flip out your cell phone, get out your texting device – whatever you’re using right now – and fan The Money Pit. That’s all you need to do is text “Fan TheMoneyPit” to FBOOK at 32665 and instantaneously you will be added as a fan to The Money Pit. And right there on your little device, you can get all the information: articles that Tom is posting; little fun bits of what’s going on in our lives, what we’re working on in the home; and you get to see what everybody else is doing, all the other fans of The Money Pit. So it’s really a great opportunity to learn more.

    And while you’re online, you can e-mail Tom and I your home improvement questions and we love to answer them. And I’ve got one here from Richard in Texas who writes: “The ice in my icemaker clings together in clumps, especially at the top of the container. The temperature is ten degrees at the icemaker. Can you tell me what’s going on?”

    TOM: Ah. Well, the fridge is probably not cold enough. Ten degrees is actually quite warm …

    LESLIE: For a freezer?

    TOM: … for a freezer. Yes. You probably want that to be at least eight but more close to zero or just below zero. Because if it’s not cold enough, that ice actually will not form properly. The colder it is, the dryer the ice is and the easier it is to mold it and break it off and send it down to the ice tray and make more. If it gets a little bit warmish, it will tend to clump together; it gets much stickier. So take a look at that fridge temperature and try to drop it so you get it down to close to zero. OK?

    LESLIE: Hmm.

    Alright, next up I’ve got one from Alfred in New Jersey who writes: “Recently, we had a leak which required us to remove the vinyl soffit material around my house. This revealed only insulation and no sheeting. I believe some type of wood should have been there. If this is correct, how can I install wood and maintain the vinyl corner of my siding?”

    TOM: Actually, no, you don’t want to have that old-fashioned wood soffit material. You must have a newer house …

    LESLIE: Well, because then you wouldn’t have airflow, right?

    TOM: Well, that’s right. That vinyl soffit material is probably perforated, Alfred, and the idea here is that you want to let a lot of air get up into the soffits and then rise up underneath the roof sheathing. Because as it does that, in the summertime it takes away heat – which basically means your air conditioner doesn’t have to work quite as hard – and in the wintertime it takes away moisture, which keeps the insulation dryer and therefore more effectively. So no, you don’t want to see any type of wood covering the soffit. You want it to be as ventilated as possible.

    In fact, Leslie, in the 20 years I spent as a home inspector, very often I’d find homes that originally had wood soffits and then they got vinyl soffits and the vinyl soffits were perforated. But I would take my flashlight and sort of push into the soft vinyl and I’d hear, immediately, clunk-clunk because there was solid wood underneath. So people would put …

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm, so they weren’t doing anything at all.

    TOM: Yeah, it wouldn’t be vented at all. They’d put perforated vinyl soffits on top of solid plywood, which is always a no-no. So, the vinyl soffit is exactly what you need; just put it back together the same way you took it apart.

    LESLIE: Alright, next up we’ve got one from Sharon in Arkansas who writes: “We have a metal roof with large bolts and it’s leaking over the porch area. We have no attic. How can we tell if it’s leaking anywhere else?”

    TOM: Well, I mean the best thing to do is, if you can’t get into the attic, is just to watch the ceiling itself. I mean if it’s leaking significantly, you’re going to get some sort of stain. But what I would recommend is to get up on the metal roof when the weather is appropriate for that and use a silicone caulk to seal around every bolt that you have there. Because if it’s leaking in one place, chances are it could be developing a leak somewhere else.

    LESLIE: It’s leaking in other places.

    TOM: And as they wear, that’s really the easiest way to fix it. Don’t use tar because that will trap water underneath it and that will cause the metal roof to potentially rust out.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. I hope that helps you. And make sure feel comfortable up there on that ladder and get a buddy to help you while you’re up there on that roof. And if this doesn’t seem like something you’re comfortable with, get a friend who certainly doesn’t mind those heights to get up there and tackle this job for you.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. Thank you so much for spending this hour with us. The show continues on MoneyPit.com right now.

    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)

    END HOUR 1 TEXT

    (Copyright 2010 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.)

    BEGIN HOUR 1 TEXT:

    (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: Pick up the phone and give us a call. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. We are here to help you with your summer home improvement project. Is it a beautiful weekend in your neck of the woods? Well, that makes it great home improvement weather. If it’s not, hey, tackle a project inside your money pit and let us help. Call us right now with your home improvement questions.

    You’ve got a question about what materials to use; got a question about what steps to take; wondering if maybe you can do the project yourself or do you have to hire somebody to get it done, we can help you with all that if you pick up the phone and help yourself first by calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    Summer is now officially underway and it’s a great time of year to enjoy those outdoors. And this hour, we’ve got some ideas to help you do that. First up, we’ve got a quick and easy and inexpensive way to give your driveway a whole new look without ripping it out and starting from scratch.

    LESLIE: And also ahead, avoiding poison ivy. We’ve got tips on removing it safely from your yard from our friend Roger Cook who’s the landscaping expert at This Old House.

    TOM: And now is the prime time for homeowners who are building an addition or doing a major renovation to think about how that space will be insulated. Don’t make insulation an afterthought. We’ve got details this hour on a complete insulation system that will keep your house very, very cozy and also keep your energy costs very, very low.

    LESLIE: And this hour, one caller gets a set of locks from Bolt. Now these are really cool because you can program your car or your truck key to open these; no extra keys to carry, no combination to remember. These are like padlocks, right Tom?

    TOM: Yep, they’re like padlocks except, again, you can use your car key to open them.

    LESLIE: That’s awesome.

    TOM: Isn’t that cool?

    LESLIE: Yeah, it’s super-cool. I can’t tell you how it works because then everybody is going to figure it out (Tom chuckles), but it’s really great and we’re giving away a gift certificate worth nearly 70 bucks which is enough for a padlock and a trailer hitch lock. That’s really great.

    TOM: So give us a call right now. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974. Let’s get right to the phones.

    Leslie, who’s first?

    LESLIE: Catherine in Virginia, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

    CATHERINE: Yes. Well, I have a historic, brick home that was built in the 1820s and I’m trying to figure out how to vent the attic without compromising the historic – the integrity, I guess, of the house.

    TOM: OK, so you are talking about an attic. Is this an unfinished attic that you need to vent?

    CATHERINE: Yes, it’s an unfinished, third floor attic.

    TOM: Alright. So why not add a ridge vent down the peak of the roof and – I mean it’s going to be expensive but if you want to preserve the historic character, you could make that a copper ridge vent …

    CATHERINE: OK.

    TOM: … and that would be very attractive and that would let plenty of warm air out.

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Mm-hmm. Patina really nicely, too.

    TOM: Exactly.

    CATHERINE: OK. Would that suffice to take care of the whole issue in the attic or do you need an inflow and an outflow or …?

    TOM: Yeah, you should match that with soffit vents. Do you have an overhang on this roof?

    CATHERINE: Yes. You mean like – are you thinking along the lines of a soffit?

    TOM: Yes, a soffit. Do you have a soffit?

    CATHERINE: Yeah, we do but it’s decorative and it’s brick, so it’s curved and …

    TOM: A brick soffit that’s curved?

    LESLIE: Interesting.

    CATHERINE: Yeah.

    TOM: Hmm.

    CATHERINE: Yeah, it’s a real funny, old house, so it’s – yeah.

    TOM: OK. Well, let’s assume that you don’t have a soffit that you can do anything to, so then what you do in that situation is you use something called a drip-edge vent. Now a drip-edge vent goes at the edge of the roof and it essentially extends the edge of the roof about two inches and creates a mini-soffit. And it would be invisible from the street when you look up but it would let air into the underside of the roof sheathing; it would ride up under the sheathing and then exit at the ridge.

    CATHERINE: Wonderful. I knew you people were the right people to call.

    TOM: (chuckles) OK. Well, you’re very welcome. It sounds like a lovely home. Good luck with that project.

    LESLIE: Mark in Georgia could possibly be dealing with a flooring issue. What happened? There was a flood?

    MARK: There was a flood. Ended up with about 1/4-inch baptizing my condominium. (Tom and Leslie chuckle) But the issue is that the adjuster from the insurance company – the first adjuster came out and was adamant that all the floors were going to have to be replaced.

    TOM: OK. Now this was a private adjuster or the adjuster for the insurance company?

    MARK: This was actually a company adjuster.

    TOM: Really? OK.

    MARK: Yeah. Then, one of the private firms that they contract through came out and said that the floors could be saved.

    TOM: OK.

    MARK: And I just – how do you know? They are very expensive. They’re the real, genuine McCoy; the old, parquet floors.

    TOM: Right.

    MARK: And I had them done when I moved into the unit about nine years ago and …

    TOM: OK. And these are parquet floors; not strip hardwood floors?

    MARK: Correct.

    TOM: Well, because they’re parquet floors, I’m a little more concerned about water damage.

    LESLIE: Because there are so many small nooks and crannies and the boards themselves are so little, right?

    TOM: And also, there’s some degree of adhesive at play here. You know, the adhesive glues each little piece of hardwood down to a subfloor in a parquet design; so if the adhesive was disturbed by the water, it could look fine and a year later you start getting all these little pieces or chunks that are going to come up and you’d have a devil of a time convincing the insurance company it was related to the flood. So I would think that if they’re offering to replace it, I might take them up on that. Or at least take the money so that you can do it at your own accord later.

    MARK: Alright. Thank you. That I needed to hear. Nobody else has said that.

    TOM: Alright, great, Mark. Glad to help you out. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: You are tuned to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. Now you can be part of The Money Pit by picking up the phone and giving us a call with your home improvement, your home repair, your design, your décor question. Heck, if you even want some barbecue tips because you’re getting ready for the big 4th of July weekend (Tom chuckles), we are all about having a great time at our Money Pit. So give us a call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Up next, give your driveway a makeover. It’s not hard and it’s much less expensive than ripping it all out and starting from scratch. We’ll tell you exactly how to get that job done, after this.

    (theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Therma-Tru Doors, the nation’s leading manufacturer of fiberglass entry and patio door systems. Therma-Tru Doors are Energy Star-qualified and provide up to five times the insulation of a wood door. To learn more, visit Therma-Tru.com. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.

    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: The number here is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. One caller who gives us a call at that number will get the answer to their home improvement question plus an opportunity to win a set of locks from Bolt. These are padlocks that look great and actually make locking super, super easy because Bolt locks have a patented, automotive-style cylinder that allows you to insert your car or truck key, turn once, program the lock to the key and that’s it. You won’t have to worry about those extra little, tiny keys that always come with the locks …

    LESLIE: Which you always lose.

    TOM: … or having to remember the combination. Not another set of numbers in my house, in my head. (Leslie chuckles) There’s just not enough room for more numbers in this head. I feel like my head is like a hard drive; it’s like spilling over. There’s just not enough room. So, if you call us right now, we’ll give you the answer to your question and a chance of winning this set of locks from Bolt. Actually, it’s a gift certificate worth 70 bucks; enough for you to pick up a couple of these from the good folks at Bolt.

    The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: That’s right. I only have two passwords that I use for everything, so if anybody ever figures it out, I’m in deep trouble because I can’t remember.

    TOM: (overlapping voices) That’s it. Crack the code; that’s it, you’ve got it.

    LESLIE: It’s like I get – even when I log into things, I have to flip-flop between the two like, “Oh, which one did I use this time?” (Tom chuckles) So forget about another key or another combination. That’s really a great prize.

    Well, if you’ve got a concrete driveway, then you’ve got a permanent, low-maintenance addition to your home that can improve its appearance and actually give kids a safe place to ride their bikes and their scooters. Now concrete, it’s a super-tough material but it’s not entirely indestructible. Over the years, weather and normal wear and tear can actually leave your concrete driveway with cracks and chips. So if your driveway is in otherwise good condition, you can actually resurface it to make it look brand, spanking new again.

    TOM: That’s right. Now many folks might think that to resurface a concrete driveway you simply add more concrete to it. Well, that’s not exactly correct because if you put regular concrete on it, what will happen is it will very quickly separate from the original concrete and you’ll end up with big chunks now of the new stuff.

    What you really need to use is a product called a concrete resurfacer and QUIKRETE makes one that’s very, very good. This is actually a very doable DIY project. You just wash the surface; you mix the resurfacer into sort of a flowable consistency; then you spread it on with a squeegee, so you don’t even need a trowel. And to finish it off, you simply use a broom. By brushing with a broom, you’ll get an instant, nonslip finish. The total cost: about 30 cents a square foot. So it’s a great, moneysaving alternative to tearing out and replacing your entire driveway; not to mention the cost of the chiropractic visit that you’ll be saving as well; handling all that heavy concrete.

    LESLIE: (chuckles) You know, Tom, you bring up a good point because QUIKRETE concrete resurfacer can actually also be used on pool decks, concrete floors, patios and even sidewalks. So you’ve got a lot of great opportunities to repair and resurface a lot of what probably is driving you crazy about the outside of your house.

    TOM: Absolutely.

    LESLIE: If you want some more ideas for great summertime projects, head on over to QUIKRETE.com. Lot of information there and a lot of great products that’ll certainly help you get the job done.

    TOM: And an exhaustive set of projects and project instructions.

    LESLIE: (chuckling) Yeah, it’s true.

    TOM: They did a really good job with that website at QUIKRETE.com.

    888-666-3974 is also the number you can call for the answer to your home improvement project, so let’s get right back to those phones.

    And Leslie, who’s next?

    LESLIE: Alright, now we’re going to head over to Tennessee where Patricia is dealing with some – I guess they’re cracking up bathroom sinks. What’s happening?

    PATRICIA: Hi. I’ve got these ugly cracks in my – I guess they’re like a resin sink; the counter and the sink is one piece.
     
    TOM: (overlapping voices) Yes.
     
    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) OK, gotcha. It’s like molded.
     
    TOM: Yep.
     
    PATRICIA: Yeah, it’s molded. And even if I clean them, they quickly fill back up with mildew.
     
    TOM: Yeah.
     
    PATRICIA: And they’re very ugly.
     
    TOM: Yeah, that’s like a composite kind of molded sink and they – the glaze on them does crack and it’s really not something that you can fix. It’s just kind of, Patricia, the way they wear, unfortunately.
     
    LESLIE: There’s no like patching compound?
     
    TOM: No, no. I’ll tell you what works good to clean it is Bar Keepers Friend.
     
    PATRICIA: OK.
     
    TOM: Alright? It’s like a scouring powder but it does a really good job of getting that mildew out of the cracks and places like that.
     
    PATRICIA: OK.
     
    TOM: (overlapping voices) Also good for solid surfacing materials like Corian sinks and that sort of thing; makes it really white and bright.
     
    PATRICIA: OK. Well, thank you.
     
    TOM: You’re welcome, Patricia. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Rob in Illinois, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

    ROB: Thank you very much. I purchased a rental property in Illinois here and I noticed that I didn’t have any water coming into the sump pump from either one of the tile around the perimeter of the dwelling or underneath the dwelling. But upon further exploration, I found out that there was a hole in the bottom of the pit and water was either percolating or, because of the water table, entering the pit from the bottom rather than the tiles and, as a result, the sump pump is running all the time.

    TOM: Right.

    ROB: And was just wondering if that’s a problem that I should be concerned about.

    TOM: Well, when you describe the water percolating up, I mean generally what happens is water will collect around the foundation perimeter and it’ll push down and then kind of come up into the floor.

    ROB: (overlapping voices) OK.

    TOM: It usually doesn’t go in the walls and then fall down. It goes under the soil and it pushes up. And so what you’re describing is pretty typical.

    What I would do, Rob, is look to the outside of this area and make sure that the grading is sloping away from the wall. Make sure that you have gutters and the downspouts are extended away from the wall and do everything possible to keep that area right around the foundation perimeter as dry as possible.

    ROB: OK. Now, I understand that we’ve got a drainage problem where we’re collecting water off of other lots and that the water table is high. I’m thinking about getting a city engineer to come in and look at the development. But I don’t think it’s coming from downspouts. I think it’s coming from the water elsewhere in the area; the drainage to this property.

    TOM: Right. I think what you need to do is think about something called a curtain drain. A curtain drain could be installed around the grading, the bottom of the grading around your house where the water sort of collects, and it’ll absorb that water and run it through a pipe and discharge it to basically wherever you point it to.

    The way you build a curtain drain is you dig a trench and it’s about 12 inches wide and 12 inches deep with stone in the bottom of it and stone surrounding the pipe and then some filter cloth and then more dirt. And the water comes, say, from an adjoining yard; hits this trench; falls down to it; comes up into the pipe and then runs off. So that’s the type of thing that would correct this problem.

    Go to MoneyPit.com and search on curtain drains and you’ll find the solution to it.

    ROB: What about a swale? Somebody mentioned a swale might work.

    TOM: Well, a swale is basically a grading term and that’s the low point in the grade around your house. In other words, if you have soil that’s sort of humped up around the foundation perimeter and then there’s a low point where it tilts away, the swale is that bottom low point. Swale is sort of a term that determines – that explains how the water is supposed to run around your house and the low point is the swale. And that’s where, frankly, the curtain drain would go, too.

    ROB: Very good. Thank you very much.

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

    LESLIE: Sherm in Missouri needs help with a painting and wallpapering project. What can we do for you?

    SHERM: Hey, I’ve got a bedroom that came with multiple layers of wallpaper and paint.

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Lucky you.

    TOM: (overlapping voices) Multiple layers at no additional charge. (all chuckle)

    SHERM: And we just tried to seal it with KILZ and treat it like a new wall, which seemed to work great for a few years but now it’s splitting at multiple seams.

    TOM: Yeah.

    SHERM: And our worry is, if we tried to get in and strip it, we’d get into a big disaster. Is there a way to reseal it or is it better to just go ahead and try to strip it?

    LESLIE: Hmm.

    TOM: Is the cracking that you’re seeing at the seams of the wallpaper?

    SHERM: Yes.

    TOM: Yeah. No, you can’t – there’s no way to fix this at this point.

    LESLIE: Probably too much weight of paint on that wallpaper, too.

    TOM: Yeah. It’s just not going to behave right. What I would do is I would rent a wallpaper steamer and a tool called a paper tiger, which allows you to sort of perforate the wallpaper – it’s a pretty inexpensive tool and a wallpaper steamer doesn’t cost that much to rent – and try to work an area and see how difficult it’ll be. You may find that with all the years that have passed, that that wallpaper …

    LESLIE: It might just fall off the wall. (chuckles)

    TOM: Yeah, it may come off a lot easier than you think.

    SHERM: Even with the paint and sealer over it?

    TOM: Yeah, actually, that would probably make it come off even quicker, I would think, Leslie.

    LESLIE: I mean it’s anybody’s guess. You’ve got a lot of stuff on there, so eventually what’s going to happen is nothing is going to stick to it anymore. You need a new surface to sort of work with. I mean if it really becomes such a giant mess, you could always get that 1/2-inch drywall and go right over it and call it a new surface.

    SHERM: Well, that’s – we’re trying to stop short of doing that, so …

    LESLIE: (chuckling) Yeah.

    TOM: Yeah, I think at this point – when you get so many layers of paint, especially on top of wallpaper – wallpaper has never really been designed to be painted over …

    LESLIE: But everybody does it.

    TOM: … so at this point, I think you’ve reached – you’ve reached saturation, Sherm; let’s put it that way. OK?

    SHERM: (chuckles) OK.

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

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

    Well, it’s summertime and if you’ve been out and about in the yard, you might be noticing that unmistakable and unbearable itch which can only mean that you have encountered poison ivy. Hurray! Coming up, we’re going to tell you what to do if you’ve come in contact with it and how to safely get rid of that poison ivy around your home so you never have that darn, scratchy elbow again.

    (theme song)

    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, do you have an ugly door? If it’s the ugliest door around, your front entry could actually be entered into the ugly door contest being put on by the folks at Therma-Tru. The My Ugly Door contest runs now through July 2nd. If you submit a photo or a video of your ugly door and tell them why you think it’s ugly, you may just win the grand prize, which is a makeover worth I think up to about 5,000 bucks. They’re going to send a team to your house; they’ll tear out that ugly door and replace it with a beautiful, brand new Therma-Tru door.

    It’s also a fun website to look at because they’ve got the photos there of all the entries from the past year. (Leslie chuckles) And especially the winner photo. I mean when you see this guy’s photo, you’re like, “OK, yeah you’re right. You deserved it.” Take a look at it at MyUglyDoor.com. And remember, you can now enter through July 2nd, so hop on it and you might find yourself enjoying a brand new, beautiful, Therma-Tru door before the fall.

    LESLIE: Cathy in Maryland has got some beat-up floors she needs help with. What can we do for you?

    CATHY: I have hardwood floors in my kitchen and they’re 3/4-inch oak that are prefinished with a diamond finish. And it was supposed to last for 25 years, the finish, but with just kitchen use and dogs running through it and everything, it’s pretty beat-up looking. And I was wondering if that could be refinished.

    TOM: Potentially. What’s the thickness of the floor? Is it 3/4 or is it 3/8?

    CATHY: It’s 3/4-inch hardwood, oak.

    TOM: (overlapping voices) Yeah. Yeah, I mean I don’t see why you couldn’t. There is one other thing that you could try, though, which is short of total refinishing, and that is you could try just taking off the upper surface of the finish. You could rent a floor buffer with a sanding screen and that procedure actually takes off a little of the upper finish, smoothes out the scratches and then you could refinish from there.

    Now is this one stained or is it natural?

    CATHY: It’s stained light. The wood – it’s light oak.

    TOM: Yeah, well if it’s stained, then you may have to sand it down to raw wood.

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Go all the way down.

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: Otherwise you’re going to get a mismatch.

    TOM: If it’s a natural finish, you’d just be basically roughing up the surface but not really going down through it completely. You might still be able to go with a floor buffer; might be worth a shot. It’s a very inexpensive thing to rent and all it does is lightly sands the upper surface of the finish and gets it ready to accept a new coat. But short of that, you would have to sand it down.

    But if it’s 3/4-inch, then I don’t see why you couldn’t refinish it the same way you’d refinish any hardwood floor.

    LESLIE: Well, working in the yard and summer, they really do go hand in hand. But sometimes, so does poison ivy.

    Tom, I swear you get it like twice a summer. (chuckles)

    TOM: I got it twice this summer and I’ve never gotten it before, ever.

    LESLIE: (laughing) Maybe that’s why it’s so fresh in my mind. (Tom laughs)

    Well, it’s super-important to learn how to protect yourself from this common plant which, believe me, you can happen upon it before you even know that it’s there. So we want to help you to avoid being super-miserable, like Tom already has been twice and I probably will be once or twice this summer.

    TOM: That’s right. Right now that’s why we’re going to welcome This Old House host Kevin O’Connor and landscaping expert Roger Cook. They’ve got tried-and-true advice on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to keeping you safe from poison ivy.

    And Kevin, this is one itch you definitely don’t want.

    KEVIN: You got that right.

    If you have the itch to work in the garden or backyard, you’ve got a green thumb. But if you have an itch because you worked in the garden or backyard, you’ve probably got poison ivy.

    ROGER: (chuckling) Yes. Poison ivy is an invasive perennial vine; it spreads quickly. Now there are herbicides out there that you can spray on it but not only will it kill the poison ivy, but it’ll kill all the other plants that it comes in contact with. So I like to pull it out by hand but, before I do that, I’ll put on a long-sleeve shirt, pants, socks and then I’ll tape the sleeves and tape the pants so there’s no way that that oil, called urushiol, can get onto my skin.

    KEVIN: Alright, but what if the oil does get on your skin? If you think you’ve been exposed to poison ivy, what do you recommend?

    ROGER: One of the simplest things is a cleanup with soap and water but you have to use the brown Naptha soap. But I’m out in the field and I don’t get a lot of chance to get to soap and water, to be honest with you, so I use a special cleanser that cuts the oil, the urushiol oil. I put it on before I start pulling the ivy and then I put it on again when I’m done. No itch.

    If you want to see me go into a patch of poison ivy, there’s video online at ThisOldHouse.com.

    TOM: I want to see the video of what you look like about two days later. (Tom and Kevin laugh)

    ROGER: No problem from me. No problem at all.

    TOM: Roger Cook, Kevin O’Connor, thanks for stopping by The Money Pit.

    KEVIN: Our pleasure.

    LESLIE: Well, those are great tips, Roger. You know what? And remember guys, leaves of three – leaves of three – leave them be. It rhymes, you will never forget it. Make sure you put it into your brain when you’re out on those trails.

    TOM: Now I know that rule “leaves of three, let them be” and I still got it. (Leslie laughs) I swear there’s a version of poison ivy out there – I call it the stealth ivy; you know, it sort of hides among everything else and you just don’t see it until it grows on your skin a couple of days later. But I am now going to be super-super cautious and make sure that I scrub with the Naptha soap to make sure it never happens to me again because it’s not fun.

    LESLIE: No way.

    TOM: Hey, but I’ll tell you something that is fun – watching Kevin and Roger on This Old House television. You can tune in and watch the entire team and This Old House is brought to you by Lumber Liquidators. Lumber Liquidators – hardwood floors for less.

    Up next, we’ve got the coolest, the fastest, the easiest ways to cut down on those cooling costs by adding the right insulation. We’ll tell you exactly what to do, next.

    (theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Generac and the Generac automatic standby generator. Be protected and never worry about power outages again. Visit your favorite home improvement center or call 888-GENERAC or visit Generac.com. Your home will stay on the next time the power goes out. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete and you should give us a call right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT because this hour we give away great prizes and this hour is certainly no exception. We’ve actually got a really kind of cool prize this hour.

    One caller that we talk to on the air is going to win the Bolt lock system. It’s worth nearly 70 bucks. Now it’s kind of like a padlock-type thing that you put your own key in; whatever key you want – your house key, your car key, anything – and it programs the lock to that key. That’s super-cool. I mean Tom and I have so many things going around in our brains that we can’t remember where we’re putting the padlock key (Tom chuckles), so this is awesome. If I’ve got my car key on me, I’ve already got the key to that lock. It’s super-great.

    We’re giving you a $70 gift certificate which you can use to buy whatever you like – maybe a hitch for your car, maybe a padlock; totally up to you. They’re nearly impossible to pick or break. They’re super-awesome locks, so give us a call at 1-888-MONEY-PIT with your home improvement question and for your chance to win.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Well, it’s prime home improvement season and if one of your current projects involves an addition to your home or a major renovation, make sure you are thinking about insulation. You may not know it but a major cause of energy loss in a house is air leakage. This can lead to higher heating and cooling costs. Now you don’t think about this in the summer but air infiltration, it costs you just as much in cooling dollars as it does in heating dollars in the winter.

    So to maximize energy saving and reduce air infiltration, Owens Corning now has developed the EnergyComplete system. It’s a total home insulation system for air sealing and it’s very affordable and it’ll cut your heating and cooling bills by up to 1/3.

    LESLIE: Yeah, you know that’s right. And if you want to see exactly where in your home you might have those air leaks and if you want to learn some more about Owens Corning’s EnergyComplete system, head on over to their website; it’s OCEnergyComplete.com/Homeowners. And don’t forget that this and any other energy-efficient home improvements that you make this year will still qualify for those federal tax credits that are available.

    TOM: That’s absolutely right. The rush is on to get those energy-saving home improvements done before the end of the year because that’s when the tax credits run out. So again, that website is OCEnergyComplete.com/Homeowners.

    888-666-3974 is our telephone number and your answers to your home improvement question are just a phone call away. Let’s get back to it.

    LESLIE: Gary in North Carolina has run out of space at his money pit and needs help looking for more. What can we do for you?

    GARY: I was wondering about the ability – about putting a basement in on an existing home.

    TOM: OK. So the house right now, is it on a crawlspace?

    GARY: Yes, sort of.

    TOM: You’re down in North Carolina. The first question I would have is what’s your water table; can you build a basement in the part of the country you are. But I will tell you this, Gary, straight off: gravity being what it is, it would have been a lot easier to build the basement and the house on top of it. Adding a basement now when the house is already built is a pretty major, major project.

    LESLIE: That’s a big project.

    GARY: Yes.

    TOM: I mean there’s two ways to do it: you can replace the entire foundation with one that has a basement; or you could do what we call in the north here a Yankee basement, which basically means you move in a couple of feet from the edge of the crawlspace and dig down there and pick up some space that way. So the crawlspace sits on a retaining wall and then the basement is below that. Those are the two ways to do it. Either way, major, major, major job. It frankly may be easier to go buy a house with a basement (Leslie chuckles) and sell the one you have than try to build one. It’s a big project.

    GARY: OK. Well, that sounds like a good plan. I will take that into consideration.

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

    LESLIE: Melinda needs some help painting a floor, which is an unusual concept. What can we help you with?

    MELINDA: Hi. I have a white, tile floor in my kitchen and I want to paint it.

    LESLIE: Like a ceramic tile?

    MELINDA: Yes, ceramic tile.

    TOM: Yeah, you can’t do that.

    LESLIE: Errrrrrr.

    TOM: What was your second idea, Melinda?

    MELINDA: I don’t know. (Tom chuckles) I don’t have a second idea. I’ve already bought the stuff. I thought I was just going to do this.

    LESLIE: What?

    TOM: You can’t paint a tile floor. Not going to stick.

    LESLIE: I mean you can try. It’s not going to stay.

    MELINDA: It won’t?

    TOM: (overlapping voices) No, it’ll be miserable.

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) No.

    MELINDA: Even with polyurethane over it to seal it on?

    LESLIE: No.

    TOM: No, no.

    MELINDA: No.

    TOM: Melinda, put the paint brush down and step away from the floor, OK? (chuckles)

    MELINDA: Away; step back. OK.

    TOM: That’s not the way to solve it.

    MELINDA: Well …

    LESLIE: I mean it …

    TOM: Let’s talk about some other options though, OK? Now, what don’t you like about the floor?

    MELINDA: It’s white.

    LESLIE: OK.

    TOM: It’s white. OK? And how about the grout?

    MELINDA: The grout is black. (chuckles)

    TOM: Black, OK.

    MELINDA: And it’s supposed to be, I’m sure, you know – I bought my money pit with a white tile floor, black grout.

    TOM: Right. OK. And what color were you hoping to make it?

    MELINDA: I was just going to go with tan; you know a light off-white, creamy color.

    TOM: Why don’t you think about this? Why don’t you pick up a laminate floor?

    MELINDA: Yeah.

    TOM: A laminate floor is an easy floor to install, it’s not terribly expensive.

    LESLIE: It goes right on top.

    TOM: It could look like stone, it could look like tile, it could look like hardwood. It could look like anything you want. There are thousands of different patterns now.

    MELINDA: Now I can lay that right on top of there?

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.

    TOM: Yep, no attachment. The weight of the product holds it in place. You may have to do a little bit of trimming against the wall, just with a little bit of quarter-round molding or something like that, a little shoe molding. But other than that, it’s a piece of cake to put in and it looks great.

    MELINDA: Well, that sounds like a plan.

    TOM: Alright. Good.

    MELINDA: Thank you so much.

    TOM: Save your paint brush for another project.

    LESLIE: Yeah.

    MELINDA: I will. I’ll find something to do with it.

    TOM: (chuckles) Alright, Melinda. Good luck with that. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Man, that never would have stayed.

    TOM: She wanted to paint the tile floor and then, because it might not stick, put polyurethane on top.

    LESLIE: You know what? Desperate times call for desperate measures. (Tom laughs) You really can get so sick of something that you’re like, “That is an amazing idea.” We worked on a house in Seattle for $100 Makeover where they kept running out of space to store all their clothes.

    TOM: Right.

    LESLIE: And their solution was “I’ll just buy another shelf and attach it in random open space.” (Tom chuckles) So they just kept adding shelves. And then when they would get tired of colors, they would just paint around the shelving and the other space; so there was this mishmosh of everything. You get to a point where you’re like, “I’ll just try it.”

    TOM: You just don’t care.

    LESLIE: But don’t try it. (chuckles)

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: Take a moment …

    TOM: Well, hopefully we gave Melinda a better solution.

    LESLIE: Yeah, I would think so.

    TOM: (chuckles) Well, here’s one appliance that’s really getting a workout this time of year – your icemaker. When it doesn’t work, makes life just a little bit less pleasant. We’re going to get to the bottom of some icemaker issues; the common things that go wrong with icemakers that make them stop, well, making ice. We’ll have that advice after this.

    (theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: This portion of The Money Pit is brought to you by Behr Premium Exterior weatherproofing wood stains and finishes with an advanced, 100-percent acrylic resin to protect decks, siding and fences from sun, rain, snow and ice. The line offers longlasting beauty and excellent durability. For more information, visit Behr.com. That’s B-e-h-r.com. Behr products are available exclusively at The Home Depot.

    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: Hey, we know you love The Money Pit, so why not get a ton more of The Money Pit. If you want to, you should follow us on Facebook. All you need to do is flip out your cell phone, get out your texting device – whatever you’re using right now – and fan The Money Pit. That’s all you need to do is text “Fan TheMoneyPit” to FBOOK at 32665 and instantaneously you will be added as a fan to The Money Pit. And right there on your little device, you can get all the information: articles that Tom is posting; little fun bits of what’s going on in our lives, what we’re working on in the home; and you get to see what everybody else is doing, all the other fans of The Money Pit. So it’s really a great opportunity to learn more.

    And while you’re online, you can e-mail Tom and I your home improvement questions and we love to answer them. And I’ve got one here from Richard in Texas who writes: “The ice in my icemaker clings together in clumps, especially at the top of the container. The temperature is ten degrees at the icemaker. Can you tell me what’s going on?”

    TOM: Ah. Well, the fridge is probably not cold enough. Ten degrees is actually quite warm …

    LESLIE: For a freezer?

    TOM: … for a freezer. Yes. You probably want that to be at least eight but more close to zero or just below zero. Because if it’s not cold enough, that ice actually will not form properly. The colder it is, the dryer the ice is and the easier it is to mold it and break it off and send it down to the ice tray and make more. If it gets a little bit warmish, it will tend to clump together; it gets much stickier. So take a look at that fridge temperature and try to drop it so you get it down to close to zero. OK?

    LESLIE: Hmm.

    Alright, next up I’ve got one from Alfred in New Jersey who writes: “Recently, we had a leak which required us to remove the vinyl soffit material around my house. This revealed only insulation and no sheeting. I believe some type of wood should have been there. If this is correct, how can I install wood and maintain the vinyl corner of my siding?”

    TOM: Actually, no, you don’t want to have that old-fashioned wood soffit material. You must have a newer house …

    LESLIE: Well, because then you wouldn’t have airflow, right?

    TOM: Well, that’s right. That vinyl soffit material is probably perforated, Alfred, and the idea here is that you want to let a lot of air get up into the soffits and then rise up underneath the roof sheathing. Because as it does that, in the summertime it takes away heat – which basically means your air conditioner doesn’t have to work quite as hard – and in the wintertime it takes away moisture, which keeps the insulation dryer and therefore more effectively. So no, you don’t want to see any type of wood covering the soffit. You want it to be as ventilated as possible.

    In fact, Leslie, in the 20 years I spent as a home inspector, very often I’d find homes that originally had wood soffits and then they got vinyl soffits and the vinyl soffits were perforated. But I would take my flashlight and sort of push into the soft vinyl and I’d hear, immediately, clunk-clunk because there was solid wood underneath. So people would put …

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm, so they weren’t doing anything at all.

    TOM: Yeah, it wouldn’t be vented at all. They’d put perforated vinyl soffits on top of solid plywood, which is always a no-no. So, the vinyl soffit is exactly what you need; just put it back together the same way you took it apart.

    LESLIE: Alright, next up we’ve got one from Sharon in Arkansas who writes: “We have a metal roof with large bolts and it’s leaking over the porch area. We have no attic. How can we tell if it’s leaking anywhere else?”

    TOM: Well, I mean the best thing to do is, if you can’t get into the attic, is just to watch the ceiling itself. I mean if it’s leaking significantly, you’re going to get some sort of stain. But what I would recommend is to get up on the metal roof when the weather is appropriate for that and use a silicone caulk to seal around every bolt that you have there. Because if it’s leaking in one place, chances are it could be developing a leak somewhere else.

    LESLIE: It’s leaking in other places.

    TOM: And as they wear, that’s really the easiest way to fix it. Don’t use tar because that will trap water underneath it and that will cause the metal roof to potentially rust out.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. I hope that helps you. And make sure feel comfortable up there on that ladder and get a buddy to help you while you’re up there on that roof. And if this doesn’t seem like something you’re comfortable with, get a friend who certainly doesn’t mind those heights to get up there and tackle this job for you.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. Thank you so much for spending this hour with us. The show continues on MoneyPit.com right now.

    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)

    END HOUR 1 TEXT

    (Copyright 2010 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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