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  • Transcript

    Hosts: Tom Kraeutler & Leslie Segrete
    (NOTE: Timestamps below correspond to the running time of the downloadable audio file of this show. Text represents a professional transcriptionist’s understanding of what was said. No guarantee of accuracy is expressed or implied. ‘Ph’ in parentheses indicates the phonetic or best guess of the actual spoken word.)
    TOM: Hi, I’m Tom Kraeutler.
    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
    TOM: And you are tuned to the Money Pit podcast. We are so glad that you are.
    Now all this month on the podcast we’re going to be talking about staycation tips throughout our show and these are some ideas to make your home a little more comfortable, a little more pleasant, a little more fun if you’re not going to take a vacation this year; you’re just going to sort of stay at home and enjoy the place you have.
    Now if you head on over to MoneyPit.com, we’re also making available a free chapter of our book, My Home, My Money Pit. It’s the outdoor living chapter available for free download at MoneyPit.com; chock full with lots of staycation tips to make your summer a lot of fun if you’re staying at home.
    LESLIE: Mm-hmm, and you know what? All of this great information and all these great ideas are brought to you by our friends over at Fiberon Decking and also the WORX GT Trimmer/Edger.
    Alright, folks. Let’s get started.

    TOM: Now, on with the show.
    (promo/theme song)

    TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show where home solutions live. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
    TOM: We’re here to help you with your home improvement questions, your do-it-yourself dilemmas, any solutions that you need for your home. Pick up the phone and call us right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.
    We’ve got a great hour planned for you. Coming up, getting back to basics in this economy. It’s something the entire country is doing. If you’ve got no budget for the big vacation, you can invest in a staycation instead and we’re going to teach you how to take a vacation in your own backyard. We’ll tell you how to get that grill ready, for starters, so that you can prepare your own sort of five-star hotel meal on some sunny weekend.
    LESLIE: (chuckling) And we’re also going to tell you how to keep those uninvited guests away; and we’re not talking about your friends or your great aunt Gracie. We’re going to tell you how to keep those carpenter bees from ruining your backyard fun.
    TOM: Also ahead, an investment that can add value to your home and add to your comfort; replacement windows. There’s never been a better time to think about replacing windows in your house because you could get a $1,500 tax credit right now for doing that project. We’re going to have all the tips that you need to get them done right the first time, coming up.
    LESLIE: And this hour we are giving away a priceless prize. We have got for you a copy of our book to one lucky caller that we talk to on the air this hour. We’ve got My Home, My Money Pit: Your Guide to Every Home Improvement Adventure and you guys know this is a great how-to guide for any do-it-yourselfer from the novice to the expert.
    TOM: And that book is available for purchase at MoneyPit.com but you can win one for free this hour if we choose your call, so pick up the phone; give us a call right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. We will throw all of the callers from today’s show into the Money Pit hardhat and send out that book to one lucky home improver.
    Let’s get right to those phones. Leslie, who’s first?
    LESLIE: Maureen in New York is remodeling a bathroom and needs a helping hand. What can we do for you?
    MAUREEN: Hi. Can’t decide which way to go. We have a second bathroom that had a tub in it. We ripped the tub out and now we can’t decide whether to go with a shower or another tub. This is a second bathroom so that we already have a bathroom that has this whole tub in it.
    TOM: OK.
    MAUREEN: And we’re thinking also along the lines of resale value.
    TOM: Mm-hmm. Well, if you already have one bath with a full tub and this bathroom you want to pick up some more room or, for whatever reason, you want to go with just a shower, I think that’s fine. I actually have a situation that’s very similar in my house. We have a bathroom on the first floor that happened to be a full bath but we didn’t really ever use it as for the bathtub; so we replaced that with just a shower and picked up a lot more room in the bathroom – and, in this case, we needed a bigger storage closet – and never was concerned about its impact on the house value.
    MAUREEN: Oh, OK. And the drain. Would you move the drain to the center or leave it where it was – where the old tub was?
    TOM: Really depends on the layout. You’re absolutely going to end up moving it somewhere and there’s not much difference between moving it two inches and moving it two feet. You know, if it doesn’t fit it doesn’t fit; unless the house is built on a slab. Is it on a slab?
    MAUREEN: No, no.
    TOM: Alright, so then it’s very easy to move it once you get underneath and that decision is going to be made by your plumber based on where the drain for the new shower ends up needing to be. OK, Maureen?
    MAUREEN: OK, great. Thank you very much.
    TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
    LESLIE: Earl in Texas has some unwanted visitors buzzing around. Tell us what’s going on.
    EARL: Well, I’ve got some honey bees that don’t seem to like me very well. (Leslie chuckles)
    TOM: Alright.
    EARL: And I was just wondering some way I could get them to leave.
    TOM: Well, I wouldn’t do it yourself, Earl.
    EARL: No, I’m not going to; not after over 150 stings and I wasn’t bothering them.
    TOM: Oh, boy. Yeah, I would be very, very careful here. I think it’s really a job for a pro. Now it is possible that they can take down the nest and actually transfer it or sort of repurpose it.
    EARL: Mm-hmm.
    TOM: But I definitely would tell you to call a pro for this. Don’t want to give you any advice because this is definitely not a DIY job.
    LESLIE: Uh-uh.
    TOM: Got to have the right equipment and you’ve got to make sure the bees are in a good mood.
    EARL: OK.
    TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
    LESLIE: You are tuned to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Pick up the phone and give us a call because the big summer opening weekend is just around the corner. That’s right, Memorial Day. And maybe you’re having a big party and that deck is looking a little worse for the wear. We can help you get everything in tiptop shape 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
    TOM: 888-666-3974.
    Up next, we’re going to have tips, if you’re considering replacing windows this season, that will add value to your home and comfort to your environment. That’s coming up after this.

    (theme song)
    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show where home solutions live. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete and the number here is 1-888-MONEY-PIT and one caller that we talk to on the air today is going to win a copy of our book, My Home, My Money Pit: Your Guide to Every Home Improvement Adventure. Now it is full of great tips, tricks of the trade and all of this very important information is presented with a little bit of humor; just like Tom and I like to bring you every week here on The Money Pit. All you have to do is call in with your home improvement question, be ready, get on the air because one caller that we talk to is going to win this great prize. Our number, it’s 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
    TOM: 888-666-3974.
    And speaking of our book, every person can get a copy of our brand new bonus chapter we wrote about replacement windows because this is a great time to replace your windows and, if you choose the right type, you can claim up to a $1,500 tax credit for next year. Now the experts at Simonton Windows helped us put it all together. It’s everything that you need to know. It’s the ultimate replacement window guide and it’s available for free right now at MoneyPit.com as a bonus chapter to our book. Step by step, the guide basically walks you through everything that you need to know before you even think about shopping for windows. It talks about the types of windows, the window hardware, how do you choose the contractor. Soup to nuts, floorboards to shingles, that info is in this guide and it is all there ready for you for free download off the homepage at MoneyPit.com.
    LESLIE: That’s right. And again, the guide was sponsored by Simonton Windows who have been a great resource for Tom and I and everyone here at The Money Pit. They helped us out with tips and giving us all the information that you’re going to need to know to make sure that the windows that you purchase will qualify for all of those federal energy tax credits that are available out there. All you need to do to get your free copy of our free replacement window guide is head on over to MoneyPit.com right now.
    TOM: 888-666-3974.
    You know there are lots of improvements that qualify for federal tax credits; new doors, new heating systems, air conditioning, windows, all sorts of things. If you have a question on doing one of those projects in your house, pick up the phone and give us a call; the number 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
    LESLIE: Bob in New York needs some help with a tiling project. What can we do for you today?
    BOB: I have a small bathroom on the lower level that’s covered with vinyl wallpaper.
    TOM: OK.
    BOB: And I’m thinking about tiling the walls and I was wondering if I must remove that sheetrock or that wallpaper prior to doing the job.
    TOM: Oh, I would definitely remove the vinyl wallpaper.
    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Yeah.
    TOM: That would be, you know, like having an insulator in between that’s not going to stick.
    BOB: Got you. OK.
    LESLIE: It’s like putting a ton of weight on a piece of paper.
    TOM: Yeah, exactly. If that paste dries out and pulls off, you’re in trouble. So I would definitely pull off the vinyl paper – and actually it shouldn’t be that big of a deal to do that – and then I would use a good-quality adhesive and affix the tile right to the wall.
    BOB: Right to the wall? Now, if there’s any paper backing left when I remove the wallpaper, must that all be stripped clean from the sheetrock?
    TOM: I don’t think you’re going to find a paper backing. You may find some sizing. I would sand it lightly and make sure that we’re getting anything that’s loose and dusty off of there.
    BOB: Got you.
    TOM: But then, at that point, if you put the tile adhesive on it should stick very, very well.
    BOB: Appreciate it. Thank you.
    TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
    LESLIE: Janet in Rhode Island needs some help with her laundromat business. What can we do for you?
    JANET: I wanted to know if you can please educate me on a water recycle system. Do you think it would work and how much do you think it would cost?
    TOM: You mean you want to recycle the dirty wash water?
    JANET: I do because I was told that a lot of laundromats had that.
    TOM: Huh.
    JANET: I haven’t talked to anybody but …
    TOM: Well, you know, it’s – (chuckles) I imagine it exists; I don’t know if I would want to wash my clothes at your laundromat, knowing that it’s there. (Leslie laughs) But I do imagine that it probably does exist. It’s nothing that we’ve ever run into but, look, you know we know that they can recycle all sorts of waste water on the space shuttle so why not in the laundromat, right?
    LESLIE: Hey, we’ve all seen Waterworld. (all chuckle)
    TOM: Yeah, that’s right.
    JANET: OK, maybe I’ll forget about that one. (Leslie and Janet chuckle) OK, I thank you.
    TOM: You’re welcome, Janet. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
    LESLIE: Chris in North Carolina has a plumbing question. Now I’m not sure if this is because he did the plumbing work himself or he’s got a general plumbing question. Chris, welcome to The Money Pit.
    CHRIS: Well, I tried to do the plumbing work myself.
    TOM: OK, didn’t work out so well, huh? (chuckles)
    CHRIS: Well, it worked out about halfway. (Leslie chuckles) I was ready to replace a gooseneck and – it’s in a 40-year-old house, roughly – and there was a crack just beyond the p trap. And when you ran the water, the water would drip down onto the wood below.
    TOM: Mm-hmm.
    CHRIS: And I managed to get it unattached from the sink but there was a long crack and, in trying to get it out, I got the p trap part off and then I still have part of the – I guess the cheap metal that goes into what appears to be the galvanized iron pipe which starts at the back of the sink.
    TOM: (overlapping voices) OK.
    CHRIS: And what I can’t figure out is someone – it appears there was some sort of ring that somebody tapped in there to make it a seal and I can’t figure out how to get that thing out of there.
    TOM: (overlapping voices) OK. Alright, well there is a magical plumbing part here called a Fernco and it’s a rubber boot with two like radiator hose clamps on either side and you can buy these things to fit any different size pipe. And when all else fails, go buy a Fernco and use it to strap the two different sizes that are not lining up together. It works really well. I’ve used them on big pipes; I’ve used them on small pipes; I used one when I replaced my garbage disposer not too long ago because I had a situation where the plumbing …
    LESLIE: Mismatched plumbing?
    TOM: Yeah, it was a mismatch. Well, we Ferncoed our way right out of that. (Leslie chuckles) It’s like a rubber boot that has two sides to it and you insert both sides of the pipe into opposite ends of the Fernco, you tighten up the metal clamps with a screwdriver and you are done and good to go.
    CHRIS: Alright, thank you very much.
    TOM: You’re welcome, Chris. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. And a
    Fernco can make a pro plumber out of any DIYer.
    LESLIE: It’s like the secret weapon.
    TOM: Exactly. (chuckles)
    LESLIE: Alright, now we’ve got Ann in New York on the line. Welcome to The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
    ANN: Yes, in the morning I see, in my kitchen sink, little earthworms; like very skinny ones …
    TOM: Hmm.
    ANN: … and I’m wondering what that’s all about; if you would know anything about that.
    TOM: Generally, those are worms that come from drain flies and the reason that they’re there is probably because you need to clean the drains. What I would do is I would get like a bottle brush – and you may even have to take apart your trap under the sink to do this – but you get like a biofilm that sticks to the inside of the pipes and that’s what gives them the food that they sort of like to hang out in. And if you clean that drain really, really well, then they should go away and they probably will not come back. But they’re basically part of the lifecycle of the drain fly and that’s why you get those little worms.
    ANN: How about if I pour in bleach?
    TOM: Well, I mean you can do that but really what you need to do is to scrub it clean and get that trap really clean and clean up the film that’s inside. If you just do bleach by itself you might get rid of them temporarily but you’re going to need to use a little bit of abrasion to get them to stay away once and for all.
    Ann, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
    LESLIE: James in Texas is calling in with a roofing question. What can we do for you?
    JAMES: Hello, I’ve got two houses I’m planning on putting a – thinking about putting a new roof on. The first house is a 600-square-foot with a gable roof and it has no vent in the overhang but on the north and the south sides there are louvered vents; it measures 12×18 inches. I was wanting to know is this sufficient for ventilation in the attic?
    TOM: OK, James, you say that you have soffits; you have the overhang but there’s no vents in them?
    JAMES: Right.
    TOM: OK, the best type of ventilation system, James, is one where you have continuous soffit vents and a continuous ridge vent. The vents in the gable are not that efficient; although certainly roofs were vented that way for many, many years. But we know now that the best ventilation system is when you have vents in the soffit and vents in the ridge and here’s why: because as air blows over that roof, it tends to depressurize the ridge vent that draws out the hot air in the summer, the moist air in the winter and the wind also blows against the soffits and pushes it in. So, basically, you have a positive pressure at the soffit that pushes air under the roof sheathing, goes up under the sheathing and exits at the ridge; so, basically, it’s a 24/7 system that does a really good job of efficiently taking the heat and the moisture out of your attic. Gable vents by themselves, not so much.
    JAMES: OK. I’ve got another house that is 1,000 square feet with a hip roof and has a – oh, I guess about a 10-foot ridge vent with vents in the overhang and there’s also a motorized power vent. You know power vents don’t have a tendency to last very long.
    TOM: No, they don’t and what happens – especially if that attic fan, is what I think you’re talking about, if that is near the ridge vent, what’s going to happen is it’ll actually depressurize the ridge vent so it’ll suck in outside air, take it through the attic and push it right back out again. It’s kind of like a dog chasing its tail.
    JAMES: Oh, OK then.
    TOM: Alright, James. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
    LESLIE: Pam in North Carolina, welcome to The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
    PAM: I have a house that was built in 1972 and it’s built on slab. The entire center of the house is an atrium and it has a slate floor.

    TOM: OK.

    PAM: And under the atrium part, the – well all the ductwork is galvanized and …

    TOM: Does it go through the slab; through the cement floor?

    PAM: Yes. Yes, it is.

    TOM: OK.

    PAM: And in the atrium part – we have narrowed it down to the atrium – there are pretty large holes in the galvanized ductwork and when we have rain the rain seeps in and sometimes it’s almost to the level of the cement and we have to pump it out.

    TOM: OK.

    PAM: And I was wondering if there’s anything you can recommend to seal these galvanized ductwork areas.

    TOM: Pam, unfortunately this is a fairly common problem that a lot of people complain about and there’s really not a lot that you can do but I’m going to give you two tips that could help.

    PAM: OK.

    TOM: First of all, we want to try to see if we can reduce the amount of water that’s finding it’s way up into those ducts and the solution here is the same advice that we would give you if you were calling about a flooded crawlspace or a flooded basement. If you get a lot of water that collects in those areas when the rain is heavy, you want to try to take the steps to get the water away from the foundation perimeter.
    So, for example, the gutter system; you want to take a look at the gutter system that’s closest to this atrium area and make sure that they’re clean and free-flowing and the downspouts are extending way away from the foundation. Also you want to look at the grade, the angle of the soil, as it slopes away from the outside walls. Those two things will help manage a lot of the storm water and keep it away from the duct space.

    PAM: OK.

    TOM: Typically, what ends up happening here is people give up on the ducts and then put in some other type of heating system. You can use the ducts as chases to run PEX tubing. For example, if you wanted to, say, take this portion of the house and convert it to a hot water system or you could, you know, use some other system or run ducts above it and try to push the heat down which is, frankly, challenging to do but sometimes when you have these heating systems in the slab it’s your only option. But I hope that gives you at least some place to start with it. It’s not uncommon and unfortunately it ends up with them rotting out and filling up with water.

    PAM: Should we fill those ducts with cement?

    TOM: Well, if you can solve the heating problem then, yes, you would seal them off.

    PAM: Alright, that sounds good.
    LESLIE: Thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show but are you ready to get away from your everyday life? Well, how about a staycation; you know, a getaway in your own backyard? We are going to tell you how to get your grill ready for a summer of five-star outdoor meals, right 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. Install a new energy-efficient Therma-Tru door today and qualify for up to a $1,500 tax credit. To learn more, visit ThermaTru.com/TaxCredit.
    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show where home solutions live. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
    TOM: Call us right now with your home improvement question. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
    You know, airport security, gas prices, the tight economy; you name it, all of these things have helped us coin a new phrase: the staycation. It’s a great way to enjoy your home the way you want and there are lots of things that you can do to make your backyard a sanctuary where you can get away from it all. So let’s start with the grill. For the avid home cook, you want to make sure that grill is in good working order so it’s safe and so it does the job you need it to do. Here are the step-by-step instructions.
    If you’ve not fired up your grill yet, you want to first take off the cooking grids; you want to remove any of the lava rock. Now you can clean that lava rock with a wire brush. Then pull out the burner, check it for rust or cracks. This is really important because a lot of the burners – especially in the less expensive grills – will rust out and you won’t know it because by the time you get the lava rock back over it you can’t really see it but if you’ve got big holes in that burner it can be really dangerous. And for the most part, you can order a new burner; so it doesn’t mean you have to replace the entire grill.
    You also want to clean out the venturi under the burner – that’s that tube that goes and feeds gas to the burner itself – and a long pipe cleaner or a bottle brush is good to kind of push down there because sometimes spiders will nest in there.
    LESLIE: Mm-hmm, they love to hide in there.
    TOM: Yep, and a little spider nest can cause that grill not to work. Then check all those hoses for cracks or leaks; put it all back together; test the connections with a little bit of soapy water when you turn the gas back on. If you see it bubble up you’ve got a leak and you’ve got to fix it. But once you do that your grill should be good to go for an entire summer of backyard barbecue cooking.
    LESLIE: Mm, mm, mm, mm, mm. My mouth is already watering when I’m thinking about all these wonderful things we are going to have on the grill all summer long; so get ready, folks.
    If you want some more great staycation ideas, head on over to our website, MoneyPit.com. We’ve got ideas for new decks, great patio ideas, inexpensive landscaping that’s really going to make your backyard an oasis that you can truly escape to and enjoy all summer long. So get out there, get cracking, get cooking and enjoy yourself.
    TOM: 888-666-3974. Leslie, who’s next?
    LESLIE: Ed in Arizona, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
    ED: I’ve got a problem with my garbage disposall.
    TOM: Alright.
    ED: We’ve got a little cover that you can put over the inlet there when you’re not using it. When I don’t put that cover on, it’s got a very, very, very bad smell to it; very noxious, garbagey, food decay smell to it. I have put baking soda in it and washed it, run it. I’ve put distilled white vinegar; even put a little bleach in it and let it set overnight but it doesn’t seem to really have solved the problem. What do you suggest?
    TOM: Well, typically, that’s happening because of a biofilm that gets …
    LESLIE: Mm-hmm, like the organic material that sort of just builds up.
    TOM: (overlapping voices) Yeah, it adheres to the inside of the disposer, it adheres to the inside of the pipes and you really need to get that clean. You know there’s a product that’s used in pest control called Bio Drain or Bio-Gel.
    LESLIE: Mm-hmm, it’s for drain flies, usually.
    TOM: Mm-hmm. And it does a good job of breaking down that biofilm and eliminates the odors and it’s also effective on drain flies, fruit flies, things of that nature. Because they’ll often breed on that.
    ED: Uh-huh, right. Just any hardware place?
    TOM: Yeah, a hardware store or home center. You know you certainly could order it online. But that’s the trick there. You need to get rid of that biofilm that’s attaching itself to the inside of the drain pipes. I think that’s where the odor is sourcing. You know assuming it was all installed correctly and you have a proper trap and everything, that’s probably the next best reason that it’s happening.
    ED: OK, thank you very much.
    TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
    LESLIE: Trudy in Colorado has discovered a secret pit in the basement. How mysterious. Welcome, Trudy.
    TRUDY: I have – my house is about 110 years old …
    TOM: OK.
    TRUDY: … and in my basement – if you can imagine a shoebox-shaped hole that is made out of brick and it’s lined – it’s completely lined with brick masonry; you know, because they’re cemented in.
    TOM: OK. Like a 100-year-old sump.
    LESLIE: Or a fireproof box for documents. (chuckles)
    TRUDY: I don’t think so.
    TOM: In the basement? Who knows? Well, check for the treasure chest.
    TRUDY: (overlapping voices) Well anyway, it’s about 16 inches deep, about two feet wide and maybe – maybe three feet wide and maybe five feet long.
    TOM: OK.
    LESLIE: Hmm.
    TRUDY: But then it’s covered – but like the roof of the shoebox would be my basement floor and there’s a hole in the roof of the shoebox about the size of my hand; the cement there is about an inch thick. So if you shine a light down in that hole you can see the dimensions and that it’s made out of brick.
    TOM: Huh.
    TRUDY: And nobody seems to know what it was or how to fix it and the two options I was considering was maybe taking a sledge hammer and breaking the top out and then trying to backfill it with some rock and four or five inches of cement or just maybe coming in with some 2x4s and plywood and putting a second false floor on top of it; just so no one will catch their toe in there and break an ankle or something.
    TOM: Yeah, I’m going to go with answer A because … (chuckles)
    TRUDY: Yeah, breaking out the top?
    TOM: Yeah, because first of all, you know framing it – putting wood against the floor is always a bad ideas when it comes to …
    LESLIE: It’s just a mold situation.
    TOM: And insects; termites and so on. But if you have some real thin concrete there, I would definitely break that out so you get down to a solid surface; then you can fill it in with stone and finish it up from there, Trudy.
    TRUDY: Well, thank you so much.
    TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
    LESLIE: Well, now that you’re ready to get outside and enjoy your backyard, there are some unwanted visitors who want to ruin your good time and we are talking about carpenter ants. You know they can become pests, especially if a colony decides to invade your home. We’re going to tell you how to keep these uninvited guests away, so stick around.

    (theme song)
    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Fiberon. Bring your vision to life with Fiberon; innovative, reliable decking that enhances your outdoor living space. For more information, go to FiberonDecking.com. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.
    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show where home solutions live. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
    TOM: And the number to reach us right now is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974. Give us a call with your home improvement, your home repair question, your do-it-yourself dilemma. The solutions you need the information you can’t get anywhere else is right here at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Speaking of which, we’re also going to give away a copy of our new book, My Home, My Money Pit: Your Guide to Every Home Improvement Adventure; going to one caller that we talk to today at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. It’s full of the same kind of information, advice and tips and tricks you learn on the show each week but it’s in the paperback form so you can read it at your leisure; you can read it wherever you are. But read it, please. Buy our book, please. (Leslie chuckles) Or call us and we’ll give you one.
    LESLIE: All I kept thinking of was that comedian: “Take my wife, please.” (chuckles)
    TOM: Take our book, please.
    LESLIE: Take our book.
    Now in our very informative and really super-fun book, we’ve got a whole section on pests; including carpenter ants. Now when you think about carpenter ants, they don’t actually eat wood but they do destroy it because they go, they find wood and then they build their nests inside of the wood. Now they like the moist wood the best but can also take over wood that’s been previously hollowed out by termites. They’re like, “Mm, this was already started. I’m going to go right on in here and do my work.”
    Now if you end up with an infestation, you’re going to need professional intervention. Then make sure that you keep those carpenter ants away by trimming all your landscaping, especially ivy or vines. Anything that can climb makes a great home for carpenter ants to find their way to.
    You also want to correct any moisture problems such as leaky roofs or plumbing issues and then go ahead and get rid of any dead stumps or rotted wood around the property and make sure that you store your firewood off the ground and away from your house. Bugs love to find their place in there and nest and even rodents, too; so do yourself a favor and get that wood off the floor.
    TOM: And you never know when you’re going to find an insect problem. I was planning on painting my kitchen couple of weeks ago and, lo and behold, I found termites …
    LESLIE: Yay!
    TOM: … ate up into a window sill; which means they ate the wall below the window sill and probably the floor joist below that. And even though we’ve had the house treated before, they decided they didn’t have enough and they were hungry and wanted to come and attack it. So they even attack the homes of home improvement experts; so they can certainly attack your house as well.
    888-666-3974.   Let’s go back to those phones.
    LESLIE: Randy in Pennsylvania has a plumbing question. What can we do for you today?
    RANDY: Well, I was going to be doing some plumbing under my sink and people been telling me about these new shark tooth plumbing devices that can be used where you just slip them on and they don’t leak and don’t come off.
    TOM: Hmm.
    RANDY: I was just curious about how good they really are.
    TOM: Hey Randy, I think you’re talking about a fitting called a Sharkbite fitting; not a shark tooth. (chuckling)
    RANDY: Alright, Sharkbite fitting; yeah. (Leslie chuckles)
    TOM: Yeah. It’s basically a push-fit connection system, so it’s an easy system to put together. They haven’t been out that long but it seems that people are having pretty good success with it. We haven’t heard of any problems, haven’t read about any problems online. It’s a system that’s used to join copper or CPVC or even PEX piping and it’s good for areas that are hard to reach because, essentially, you press it in and it fits. There’s also a disconnect tool that can be used to take these apart if you have to do any additional repairs to them. So where do you want to use this, exactly?
    RANDY: Well, it was going to be under my sink in the cabinets and that’s why I really didn’t want to have to solder in there and that’s why I curious about how well they work.
    TOM: I think it’s a really good – I think it’s a good place to use it.
    LESLIE: It’s a good solution for tight spaces.
    TOM: Exactly.
    RANDY: Right, right. So there’s no bad stuff on them (inaudible at 0:29:49.8).
    TOM: Haven’t heard anything negative about it. I think using it in the sink is probably a good place to start. I wouldn’t tell you to use it for your whole house but try it in the sink and keep an eye on it and see how it works.
    RANDY: OK. Well, I was kind of curious about them.
    TOM: Alright, Randy. Hope that helps you out. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
    You are tuned to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show.
    Up next, we’re going to dig into the e-mail bag, including giving one listener a tip on how to replace siding; especially when you have existing asbestos siding and you want to cover it with vinyl. There’s a way to do it, there’s a way not to do it; which I think is the way this guy wants to do it. We’re going to straighten him out and answer a lot more e-mails after this.

    (theme song)
    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is being brought to you by Guardian Home Standby Generators, America’s choice in power outage protection. Learn more at GuardianGenerators.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: Pick up the phone, give us a call. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. If you’re a bit shy, head on over to MoneyPit.com, click on Ask Tom and Leslie and shoot us an e-mail question. You know we’ve talked a lot about replacement windows this hour. We want to make sure you know how to get the information that you need to claim the maximum tax credit and that is online at MoneyPit.com. Right now you can qualify for a free download of our replacement window guide right now at MoneyPit.com.
    LESLIE: And while you’re online, shoot us your e-mail questions. We’re going to answer some right now. We’ve got one from Thomas in New York who writes: “We want to put vinyl siding on our house. It has aluminum siding over asbestos shingles. We live on Long Island, New York – what’s up, neighbor? (Tom chuckles) – “and wanted to know if what type of – we wanted to know what type of insulation we needed.” I guess they want insulation. “Also, we need to know if the house has to be stripped to the sheathing before it should be wrapped.”
    TOM: Absolutely. Let’s think about this. He wants to put vinyl over aluminum over asbestos. (chuckles)
    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Over asbestos. Wow, that’s a lot of layers.
    TOM: Yeah, that’s a lot of layers and it’s a toxic sandwich. You know, asbestos shingles, by themselves – if you happen to have a house that’s got asbestos shingles – it’s called cement asbestos because the asbestos is inside of a cement binder. That’s actually nothing to be concerned about. It’s a very durable, solid material.
    LESLIE: Mm-hmm, it’s on my house.
    TOM: Not going to be released to the air, works great, holds paint like crazy because it’s not organic so you don’t get the absorption of moisture; you don’t get the expansion and the contraction. But if you don’t like the look and you want to replace it or you want a new siding, you can’t go on top of it because, if you do, you’re going to break the asbestos into a lot of pieces and it sounds to me like what Tom did here in New York is whoever put the aluminum siding on probably nailed through the asbestos. So Tom, yes it has to come off and, unfortunately, you have a bit of a mess here because you’re going to end up stripping off a lot of pieces of asbestos. So …
    LESLIE: Mm-hmm, do you need to have that especially removed or disposed of in a proper way, I mean now? Because if it’s got a lot of nails in it you might be breaking things apart more.
    TOM: Well, here’s the situation – and it does vary by community – but generally speaking, the removal of cement asbestos siding is not regulated but the disposal is; which means you’ve got to sort out all those asbestos chunks and have them properly bagged and tagged and then take them to a landfill that will accept them. So what I’m saying is it’s not going to be cheap but that is the right way to do it; to go right down to the sheathing and go with a new vinyl siding from there.
    LESLIE: Alright, now we’ve got one from John in Gulf Breeze, Florida who writes: “I have a prefinished wood floor in my home. There is a watermark about a foot in diameter. How can I get this problem solved?” Now, I know these solutions definitely work, even though they sound strange, but they work for you know like a cup mark or like a water ring from a glass on a wood table or a side table.
    You want to take mayonnaise – I know this sounds weird but you want to take mayonnaise and put it in on a nice, clean cotton rag and sort of rub it in a circular motion and cover up where the ring is and then cover it with a wet paper towel and let it sit – I mean with a regular paper towel and let it sit for about 15 minutes and then you want to wipe it away and then you can finish off with like a white toothpaste – same thing – on a clean rag in a circular motion and then make sure you clean everything off. It totally works for small rings. I don’t know if it will for a giant ring.
    TOM: If you’ve got a really big water spot, I don’t know how well that’s going to work; you certainly can try it because it won’t hurt. But if worse comes to worse, what you might want to do is do a very light sanding there just to abrade the upper surface and then get some polyurethane. I would use oil-based polyurethane. I would use something that has a satin or a flat finish because all the other flooring around it is probably worn – so maybe even flat is better – and put a couple of thin coats on there; it’ll blend right in with what you started with.
    LESLIE: Alright, and we hope that helps getting rid of that ring.
    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Thank you so much for spending this hour with us. The show continues online at MoneyPit.com and, while you’re there, take a look at our brand new bonus chapter available for free download right from our book, My Home, My Money Pit: Your Guide to Every Home Improvement Adventure. We’ve got all the info you need about replacing windows in your house. It’s a great time to do that project. You can qualify for up to a $1,500 tax credit. That guide available free right now at MoneyPit.com.
    I’m Tom Kraeutler.
    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
    TOM: Remember, you can do it yourself …
    LESLIE: But you don’t have to do it alone.

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