Laundry Room Remodels

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: And what are you working on this beautiful, sort of almost fall weekend? Whatever is on your to-do list, slide it over to ours. We’re happy to help you pick up the hammer and pick up the saw and get some jobs done around your house. Or we’re happy to help you figure out if it’s a job you need a pro to do and how to find the best pro to get that job done. But it’s up to you to help yourself first by picking up the phone and calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    Coming up on today’s program, adding a new, well-designed and super-organized laundry room is a very popular project that can definitely make laundry a lot easier. But because laundry-room remodels involve plumbing and electrical work and carpentry, it needs a lot of really careful planning. So we’re going to have some of those smart planning tips to help you get started, just ahead.

    LESLIE: And now that we’re getting close to heating season, it’s a good time to talk about carbon monoxide, which can build up in your home when fuel-burning appliances aren’t working right. We’re going to get expert advice to keep you safe – from Richard Trethewey, the plumbing-and-heating contractor from TV’s This Old House – just ahead.

    TOM: And we’re going to tell you about the absolutely easiest way to clean up your outdoor furniture, to strip away what may be a season’s worth of dirt and mildew, mold and general grime that might have covered it.

    LESLIE: Plus, this hour, we’ve got a very fun tool to give away. It’s the iconic, American-made Prize Package, which includes an Arrow T50 Electric Staple Gun and Nailer, plus the Arrow G12 ODT Glue Gun, staples and glue sticks.

    I love this glue gun, Tom. I’ve got to tell you it’s my go-to one. It never jams. It really heats up fast. And you know how much I love glue guns.

    TOM: And the flow of that glue comes out – is smooth and even, because I always kind of gob it up if I don’t use my Arrow gun.

    That package of Arrow products is worth 60 bucks. Going out to one caller drawn at random. Make that you. You’ve got to have a home improvement question to win. So call us, right now, with that question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.

    Let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s first?

    LESLIE: Doug in Rhode Island is on the line with a question about a plumbing product called the SharkBite.

    Tell us what you’re working on, Doug.

    DOUG: Yeah, I’m in the processes where I’m planning to change my two outside faucets to the type that – where the actual shutoff is a foot within the house, inside the house, to avoid having to shut down everything in the winter, because it’ll drain from a foot inside the house. I’m not sure what they call that mechanism but I’m thinking rather than have to deal with soldering any pipes in tight quarters, I’m thinking of using the SharkBite product that eliminates any soldering. And so I basically want your opinion on that.

    TOM: Yeah, that’s a push-to-connect fastener and basically, you press it onto one end of the pipe and you press the pipe into the other end and it makes a permanent, watertight seal. It’s a very popular product for that reason because you don’t have to solder. And if you think about it, a lot of times when you do install hose-bib valves – that’s basically what you’re talking about here: you want a hose disconnect inside, say, the floor structure of your basement, for example, or a crawlspace – that’s a tough spot to have to crawl into or reach up into and solder. You’re right near the wood floor joists. It’s potentially unsafe. So I think the SharkBite is a perfect tool for that – a perfect product for that.

    And by the way, if you mess up, you can take them apart. There’s a special tool that you need. It’s called a “tong” and it’s shaped so that it slips into the SharkBite connection and releases the mechanism that holds the pipe. And then you can take it apart. And it’s only a few dollars. And I’m sure that if you did enough of this, you’d want to pick one up because nobody’s perfect every day.

    DOUG: Does it just work forever or does it wear out somehow?

    TOM: Not that I’ve heard of. It’s kind of like the Chinese finger puzzle but it’s stronger.

    DOUG: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

    TOM: Once you press the pipes together, you can’t really get them apart.

    DOUG: Yeah, yeah. I just think it’s a – I know they were maybe a little more pricey than using solder and fittings but it seems like a more practical application. And as you mentioned, being in a tight spot.

    TOM: Yeah. And a lot less expensive than a house fire.

    DOUG: Yeah. Right. OK. I appreciate your time.

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

    LESLIE: Ella in Arkansas is on the line with a roofing question. How can we help you?

    ELLA: I’ve got a roof job coming on this in a couple of weeks and they’re doing my roof and they’re doing up my siding.

    TOM: OK.

    ELLA: Now, I had a big oak tree in my backyard. I had it cut down. But in the meantime, since it was there so many years, it left mold – the green stuff – growing on my shingles, right?

    TOM: Yep. Mm-hmm.

    ELLA: The guy that’s going to do my roof said that – “Oh, that’s OK. Well, you can get up to three layers of shingles before you have to take the old shingles off.” And I said, “Well, mold strikes a negative vibe in me because my husband and I have allergies. Would that affect us?” They said they’re going to put the new roof over the old roof and the mold. I told them, “No, that’s not going to happen.” He said, “Well, what we’ll do, we’ll pour – spray it with bleach – the mold – and we’ll rake it and then we’ll just cover it with the new roofing.” And my question is: since it is so much money, is that wise?

    TOM: Well, here’s the thing. Yeah, you can put three layers of shingles on but it’s a really bad idea to do that, aside from the fact that you’ve got some sort of growth on this roof. Whenever you put a second layer of shingles on, the first two layers, in your case, tend to retain a lot of heat and especially in an environment like Arkansas where you have really hot summers.

    ELLA: Oh, yeah.

    TOM: As that heat is retained, it accelerates the deterioration of the top layer. So in my experience, if you had a roof that typically would last 20 years, you put a shingle – a layer or two of shingles underneath, you’re going to have it last more like 13 to 15 years. I’ve seen it cut a quarter to a third of the life off by doing that.

    So it’s always smart to remove old layers. They’re probably trying to avoid it because it’s expensive to remove old layers. They’ve got to pull it off and they’ve got to get rid of it but it absolutely is the best way to do a roof replacement. And if you’re planning on being in that house for most of the life of the roof, it’s well worth it.

    ELLA: Yeah.

    TOM: Now, in terms of the moss or the mold or the mildew or whatever is on there, there are many, many things that can grow on a roof, depending on the environmental conditions.

    ELLA: Yeah.

    TOM: And it’s not always mold, although people tend to call it that. There’s a product called Spray & Forget that we have a lot of experience with.

    ELLA: Yeah. Mm-hmm.

    TOM: And you spray it on the roofing surface. And it tends to smother all of those biological growths and stops them from coming back. It will kill what’s there, it will naturally just die off and go away and then there’s a bit of a residual effect to it that stays on there. And if you apply that about every two years, you’re not going to ever see any mold or moss or mildew or algae or lichen or anything else grow on that roof shingle.

    It’s SprayAndForget.com. OK?

    ELLA: OK. I appreciate it.

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

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

    Up next, adding a new, well-designed and organized – let me say organized – laundry room is a really popular project these days that can make laundry a lot easier and a lot less stressful to do. But because laundry-room remodels involve plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, sometimes it’s a job best left to a pro. We’re going to have tips on how you can get that job done, in today’s Pro Project presented by HomeAdvisor, next.

    TOM: Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: We’d love to talk with you about your how-to project. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor, the fast and easy way to find the right pro for any kind of home project, whether it’s a small repair or a major remodel.

    LESLIE: So give us a call or post your question online. Because in addition to lending a hand, we’re going to hand you some tools to get those jobs done.

    We’ve got up for grabs, this hour, the iconic, American-made Arrow T50 Heavy-Duty Staple Gun and a supply of staples, along with the Arrow G12 ODT Glue Gun and glue sticks.

    Now, you guys, all of this stuff is made right here in America. And let me tell you, if you need a glue gun for any projects, this is the glue gun you want. It heats up fast. Nice and easy, steady stream of glue. It doesn’t go through a ton of glue unnecessary. And I just – I love it because other ones just jam up. And of course, we all love the Arrow T50 Staple Gun.

    So give us a call and this entire prize package, worth 60 bucks, could be yours today.

    TOM: That Arrow T50 Heavy-Duty Staple Gun and the staples and the glue gun and the glue sticks are all going out to one listener drawn at random. Make that you. The number, again, is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

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

    RICHARD: Oh, my question is – well, what happened is I had an under-the-sink water filter burst. Flooded my house. And I’ve had two people say that – one person said that I need to replace all the drywall that got wet. Another person says that it’s fine – the drywall is fine. My question is: what do I need to do? What is the proper thing to do?

    LESLIE: Well, Richard, what does the drywall look like? Did it dry out or does it look all sponge-y and gross?

    RICHARD: It looks like it just dried out.

    TOM: Right. If it dried out, then there wasn’t enough water to form it. There’s no reason to replace it. Sometimes, when you get a bad leak and especially with a ceiling leak, water will sit above a drywall and it will cause it to kind of swell and buckle downward. And when it deforms like that, there’s no fix for it. You have to cut it out and replace it.

    But if it just got wet because of the leak and then dried out and it’s still flat, then I wouldn’t worry about it. You may have – if there’s any joints in the drywall that have to – that have separated and have to retaped or repaired, certainly, you could do all that. But otherwise, I think you’re fine just the way it is.

    Now, I would recommend that you prime it first, with a solvent-based primer or an oil-based primer, to make sure that you’ve sealed in any staining. But once you do that, I think that you’re pretty much good to go and you’re done. I don’t see a reason to replace it.

    RICHARD: Saves a lot of work.

    TOM: Alright. Well, that’s what we try to do, Rich. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Linda on the line calling in from Florida. How can we help you today?

    LINDA: I have a cement floor that was originally stained. And then it was painted over with, supposedly, a really good stuff. And now, not doing well. And we want to take care of it but we don’t want to have to remove all that’s there. We just want to know if you have something we could put over it that will – it has heavy machinery in it and there’s gas and oil and all that sort of stuff there.

    TOM: So this is where? In the garage?

    LINDA: Actually it’s in a hangar.

    TOM: Oh, it’s in a hangar? Oh, OK.

    LINDA: Mm-hmm.

    TOM: Yeah. So, usually, the best kind of floor for an industrial location like that is epoxy paint. And the way epoxy paint works is it’s a two-part paint. So when you purchase it, it probably comes in larger quantities, depending on how many square feet you want to apply. But typically, for a house, it would come in a gallon-size container. Except that when you open the gallon up, it’s only filled up about three-quarters of the way because you also get a quart of hardener. And the idea is you mix the two together. And then the chemical reaction is what gives you the durability and the drying of that epoxy surface.

    Now, because it was stained I’m not as concerned. Because it was painted, you will need to at least get off any loose paint material that’s there now. Because if you put good paint over bad paint, you’re still going to have flaking. Because the bad paint acts kind of as the Teflon there and it won’t let the new paint get into the floor itself. So you are going to have to pressure-wash that floor, you’re going to have to abrade that floor. You’ve got to get as much of that old paint off as you can so that you have a good surface.

    But I think the solution is epoxy paint. And they also have sort of a coloring fleck that can be added to that paint that gives it kind of a texture and helps sort of hide the dirt. So if you’re looking for a reasonably easy, inexpensive way to give that floor a whole new look and new life, I would recommend epoxy paint.

    LINDA: Well, thank you so much. I enjoy listening to you.

    TOM: Well, thank you, Linda. We appreciate the call, 888-666-3974.

    Well, adding a new, well-designed and very organized laundry room to your home is a pretty popular project these days because it can make laundry a lot easier and less stressful. But if you think about it, laundry rooms are tough to work in, right? They’re small but they still need major trades to get the job done. We’re talking plumbing, electrical work and carpentry. So, it is a job that’s probably best left to a pro. And you need some smart planning to get it done. So we’re going to have some tips now on how to do just that, in today’s Pro Project presented by HomeAdvisor.

    LESLIE: Yeah. First thing you’ve got to think about is the location. Now, you can build a laundry room into something as small as a closet or even as large as your utility room, a spare bedroom or somewhere in the basement. But you have to think through the location possibilities and consider the things like what’s the distance between the laundry area and the bedrooms, because that’s where you’re kind of generating all of those dirty clothes. Yes, outside of the house but you’re taking them off in your bedrooms. So, maybe you want it somewhere close to that because the greater the distance, the farther you’re going to have to travel back and forth when you’re actually doing the laundry.

    Also – and this one’s a biggie, guys – you have to think about the distance to the utilities in your home. You know, does this laundry area have access to plumbing and electrical connections? If not, how far do you have to run them? Is there a way to run an exhaust for the dryer vent? And for gas dryers, what about that gas line? That is not an easy project if you’re going from somewhere completely on the other side of the house. Doable but not often as easy as you would think.

    Now, those utility connections can be costly, so you want to think about a location that’s going to positively impact those costs, not be a huge surprise.

    TOM: Absolutely. Now, let’s also think about space. Is there going to be enough space for everything that you’re going to do in that laundry room? We’re talking about folding and storing and even ironing laundry. And what about space for detergents and bleach and dryer sheets and stain removers and all the other stuff that you need to get laundry done? You know, making a smart choice when planning a laundry project can really help bring the project in on time, and especially on budget, and set you up nicely with a space that can serve your family well for many years to come.

    LESLIE: And that’s today’s Pro Project presented by HomeAdvisor.com. With HomeAdvisor, you can get matched with top-rated home service pros in your area and compare prices, read verified reviews and book appointments online, all for free.

    TOM: No matter the type of job, HomeAdvisor makes it fast and easy to hire the best local pros.

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

    KATHY: Hi, I have an exterior basement window that I need to try to waterproof some way. The house was built in about 1924 and landscaping and surrounding drainage problems have been an issue in the past. But we need to try to somehow waterproof the exterior window for the basement so we don’t get water in there from outside.

    TOM: So does the – is this window above grade or is it below grade?

    KATHY: It’s right at grade.

    TOM: It’s right at grade? So the bottom of it is kind of level with grade? Do you have a window well around it?

    KATHY: No.

    TOM: And the water that you’re getting in there, is it leaking through the window as if the window is bad? Or is it leaking through the wall?

    KATHY: No, it’s coming in through the window.

    TOM: So, basically, you just have a leaky window. The fact that it happens to be above your basement is not really relevant here, because it could be leaking no matter where it was in the house. What kind of window is this? Is it a double-hung window or what?

    KATHY: No, it is a – just a wooden window with – I think it’s Plexiglas that was put in it. And I think it’s just probably getting old but we still need to try to keep the water away from the window because when we get heavy rains, we get a lot of water coming in there.

    TOM: Whenever someone tells me that heavy rain leads to leakage problems in that kind of a space, it’s always related to – the cause is always related to the grading and the drainage at the perimeter. And the two ways that are most common to address that is first, to get a good, careful, honest look at your gutter system. Because many folks have gutters that are undersized, they don’t have enough downspouts or most importantly, they often have the downspouts discharge right at the corner of the foundation. They don’t run that spout out 4 to 6 feet. So that’s the first thing that causes an increase in the drainage problems in the basement.

    KATHY: OK. There used to be gutters on there but because we’ve had renters in there over the past few years, the gutters are no longer there.

    TOM: Yeah. There’s your – that’s the number-one cause of your problem right now. I wouldn’t do a thing until I put gutters on that house. You’re fighting an uphill battle unless you get gutters on that house, because all that water is coming off the roof. And sure, it’s going to land in and around the window and that whole basement area. It’s going to saturate the soil at the foundation perimeter and it’s going to end up in your basement or at the least, it’s going to raise the humidity levels inside that house.

    So I wouldn’t do a thing to that window until I got gutters on. And I would make sure the downspouts are extended out 4 to 6 feet. It’s really critical and a lot of folks think it’s just to kind of keep water off your head when you’re going in and out of your house. It’s not. Gutters have a very important structural purpose and that is to keep that water away from the foundation. So, that’s what I would do, Kathy, and I think you’re going to see a big improvement after that.

    KATHY: OK. Sounds great.

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

    LESLIE: Well, heating season is getting close. So just ahead, Richard Trethewey, the plumbing-and-heating contractor from TV’s This Old House, will be here with tips on how to make sure your heating system is safe for the season.

    TOM: And today’s edition of This Old House on The Money Pit is brought to you by ADT. Introducing ADT Go, the new family mobile safety app and service. Go to ADT.com to learn more today.

    Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Give us a call, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT or post your question to The Money Pit’s Community page at MoneyPit.com.

    And 888-MONEY-PIT is presented by HomeAdvisor, the fast and easy way to find the right pro for any kind of home project, whether it’s a small repair or a major remodel.

    LESLIE: Alright. Just ahead, Richard Trethewey, the plumbing-and-heating contractor for TV’s This Old House, will be here with tips on how to make sure your heating system is safe for the heating season ahead.

    TOM: And today’s edition of This Old House on The Money Pit is brought to you by Lumber Liquidators. Get the latest fall trends in hardwood, bamboo, laminate and waterproof floors for less.

    LESLIE: Brandon in California has been taking some cold showers. Well, not intentionally, anyway. How can we help you with that?

    BRANDON: My old water valve, when I – it just happens just to the cold water. If I turn on the hot water, it doesn’t have the problem. But when I turn on the cold, it does this knocking or like a bang in the wall. And the pressure is reduced significantly. And it just will – it’ll come out really low pressure unless I really turn it on. And then the pressure comes back but I don’t know what – I don’t know if that’s called “knocking” or “hammer-knocking” or something like that but …

    TOM: Yeah, it’s called “water hammer.”

    BRANDON: Water hammer. Is that what that is?

    TOM: Yeah.

    BRANDON: OK. It’s not like a continual knocking, though.

    TOM: OK. So, first of all, when you open up the faucet and all the water kind of runs forward towards it, that has a lot of force with it and that will bang the pipe sometimes. And if the pipe – especially if it’s not attached well to the floor joist or whatever it happens to go through, makes that banging sound. That’s why we call it “water hammer.” It can be lessened or completely repaired with some plumbing work. But it may or may not be worth it, because it doesn’t really damage the pipe; it’s really just more of an annoyance.

    Now, in terms of the pressure issue – so the water comes on fast and then trickles out after that? Is that what’s going on?

    BRANDON: Well, it comes out normal but then it just seems like someone’s in the wall kinking the line. And it’s just coming out – like it comes out still; it’s not like trickling out, like drips.

    TOM: Is it one faucet in the shower? What about the sink that’s right next to it?

    BRANDON: No, there’s the three. One on the left is the hot, the center transitions it from the bathtub to the showerhead and the one on the right is the cold water.

    TOM: What about your sink? Does it do the same thing at the sink?

    BRANDON: No, it’s just in the shower.

    TOM: So, what I would do is I would install a pressure-balance valve in the shower. The pressure-balance valve, essentially – and it’s not going to address the water hammering but what it’ll do is it’ll keep the pressure even between hot and cold – keep the mix even between hot and cold so that you don’t get any sort of shell shock when you step in the shower and somebody runs a fixture somewhere else and it changes the temperature.

    LESLIE: Yeah. So no more pranksters flushing the toilet and getting a super-scalding shower.

    BRANDON: OK.

    TOM: And the fact this is only happening at the shower means it’s a problem with the valves; it’s not a problem with the plumbing lines. Otherwise, it would be happening at the sink, as well.

    BRANDON: OK. That kind of makes sense. Because sometimes it’s just – sometimes it’s hard to balance when we’re in the shower. It’s like, “Oh, man, this is just scalding hot.”

    TOM: Yeah.

    BRANDON: And we’ve really got to crank up that cold to get it kind of balanced out right.

    TOM: Yep. That’s what you need: a pressure-balance valve.

    BRANDON: Alright. Perfect. Thank you very much.

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

    LESLIE: Well, you can’t see it or smell it but it can be fatal. We’re talking about carbon monoxide, a deadly gas that can build up in your home when fuel-burning appliances aren’t working right.

    TOM: That’s right. And CO-poisoning symptoms mimic the flu, so it can be hard to figure out what’s going on, that is, without a carbon-monoxide detector. Here to tell us how to choose the best CO detector for your house is Richard Trethewey, the plumbing-and-heating contractor for TV’s This Old House.

    Welcome, Richard.

    RICHARD: Hey, guys.

    TOM: Now, this is a problem that can be really difficult to spot. In fact, there have been reports where even medical pros have been sickened because the gas not only mimics symptoms of the flu, it actually causes confusion and makes it pretty much hard to think straight. So, what’s the most common cause of a carbon-monoxide problem in the house?

    RICHARD: Well, any fossil fuel-burning appliance – gas or oil – anything you’re going to have combustion products that should go up the chimney, one of those byproducts when you burn a fossil fuel is CO – carbon monoxide. There’s also CO2 and a little bit of H2O – water. Now, those are all supposed to go up the chimney together. But if a little of this carbon monoxide comes back into the building, it is odorless, it is colorless and it can be absolutely deadly.

    TOM: And why does it make you so crazy? Why does it make it hard to think straight?

    RICHARD: Well, it’s robbing the oxygen out of your body and you’re slowly depriving your brain of any oxygen to be able to process what’s going on.

    LESLIE: So, really, the best plan of attack to make sure that you and your family are safe is to have a carbon-monoxide detector, correct?

    RICHARD: Right. In so many jurisdictions, it’s now code and law. Every time you exchange a house or pass papers, you have to be sure you have CO. And it’s really a good thing to have, because houses in the winter are tighter, you’ve got this fuel-burning appliance, people are going to go to sleep and we want them to wake up every single morning. And that’s when the CO detectors are really important.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Do you want to have one on every floor or just by these fossil fuel-burning appliances?

    RICHARD: Well, it’s every floor at least and it really should be near every bedroom. And you really can’t have too many, I tell you. The nice thing about this, if there is a nice thing, is smoke, you have to put the sensors up high to be able to – because smoke rises. CO is insidious; it will fill the entire room. So as long as you have one in the room, it doesn’t have to be high at the ceiling; it just has to be in the space and you’ll be able to pick it up.

    LESLIE: Is it even better to keep it lower to the floor, since it doesn’t rise as quickly?

    RICHARD: Not really. It’ll fill all the air molecules at the same pace, so it just wants to be in the space.

    TOM: So, we know it’s a serious problem, we know detectors can help us but how do we choose the best detector for our own personal needs?

    RICHARD: Well, there’s a lot to choose from. The simplest one is the most affordable: you just plug it into an electrical outlet. They’re better than nothing but they’re not going to work in a power outage. And if you’ve got a backup generator, that, too, is a fossil-burning appliance, so you might want to be careful there.

    There’s battery-powered/plug-in models that will continue to operate after the power goes out, so that’s a good one. But you’ve got to make sure those batteries are working, just like smoke detectors; they’re only as good as their backup battery.

    And then they make these combination units that you see nowadays in most renovations and new construction that detect both smoke and carbon monoxide. They’re hardwired into the home’s electrical systems and they’re usually ceiling-mounted, because smoke rises for the smoke detector.

    TOM: Now, that’s a good point because carbon-monoxide detectors, by themselves, can really be anywhere on the wall, right?

    RICHARD: That’s right. CO will really fill all the air molecules in the room, so the location of the CO detector is much less important where it is in the building, as long as it’s in the right place. And in that case, you want to be sure there’s one on every floor and you’d like to have one in each bedroom.

    LESLIE: Now, Richard, what do you do if one actually goes off? I mean I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard of people saying, “Oh, my carbon-monoxide detector went off but I didn’t believe it, so I just turned it off.”

    RICHARD: Get out. Get out, get out, get out, get out of the building. Trust your data. Get out and call the fire department immediately and just be safe.

    TOM: And that’s a good point. You say trust your data, trust the information that’s coming to you, because many folks compare carbon-monoxide detectors to smoke detectors. Difference is when a smoke detector goes off, you smell the smoke, you see the smoke.

    LESLIE: There are symptoms of it.

    RICHARD: That’s right.

    TOM: When a carbon-monoxide detector goes off, you’ve got to trust it.

    RICHARD: That’s right. You only hope that the detector goes off. Because every winter, we hear tragic stories about families that didn’t wake up in the morning because they didn’t have one or the battery wasn’t maintained. And it is this silent, odorless killer.

    TOM: Very important advice. Richard Trethewey, the plumbing and heating contractor from TV’s This Old House, thanks for stopping by The Money Pit with that important safety tip.

    RICHARD: Great to be here.

    LESLIE: Alright. You can catch the current season of This Old House and Ask This Old House on PBS. For your local listings and a step-by-step video on how you can choose a carbon-monoxide detector and other projects, visit ThisOldHouse.com.

    TOM: And Ask This Old House is brought to you by Gorilla Glue.

    Up next, after the long summer, is your outside furniture looking a bit dirty or moldy? We’ll have tips for the easiest way to clean away the dirt and grime, after this.

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Give us a call, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor, where it’s easy to find top-rated, local home improvement pros for any home project. Go to HomeAdvisor.com.

    So, I sent my son off to college, once again, for his sophomore year. And this time, he’s living in an apartment. So, he asked me to put together a toolbox for him. And as I’m doing this, Leslie, I spotted, in the bottom of a drawer in our garage, a tool that I thought that he should have with him.

    LESLIE: What is it?

    TOM: It was an Arrow T50 Staple Gun. And not only – it wasn’t any Arrow T50, it was my dad’s T50. So I kind of felt like it’s going full circle now in his grandson’s hand, going back to college for projects that he would like to do with that T50 Staple Gun. And I think it just shows you that, really, that’s a tool that stays around for multiple generations, right?

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And it stays in great shape so that you can use it generation after generation. And I bet you today’s staples still fit.

    TOM: Well, I’ll tell you what, if you want to start your own Arrow legacy, we’ve got one to give away because we’ve got the American-made Arrow T50 Heavy-Duty Staple Gun, plus the Arrow G12 Glue Gun, along with a supply of staple and glue and everything you need to take on projects like upholstering a bench. That’s the fun project they’ve got on the Arrow Fastener website right now. You’ve got all the step-by-step photos and details and instructions to take on that project yourself.

    That package is worth 60 bucks. You get both the glue gun and the staple gun. Going out to one caller drawn at random. Make that you. Pick up the phone, right now, and call us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT or post your question to the media page at MoneyPit.com.

    LESLIE: Dale in Wisconsin is on the line with a leaky roof. Tell us what’s going on.

    DALE: Well, we’ve got a metal roof. It’s a Pro-Rib system? Think of it as a pole barn but the basic structure is made out of metal trusses and then roof purlins and side girts.

    TOM: OK.

    DALE: And I’m assuming that they’re coming in from around – the leaks are coming right – because it’s not a lot of water. If I put a measuring cup underneath one of the drips, it probably wouldn’t fill up unless it was a really, really torrential rain. And then it also depends on which direction the wind is blowing.

    TOM: OK. So what’s your question, Dale?

    DALE: I’m looking for a hint on how to repair this, because I was hoping this was going to be my last house.

    TOM: Alright. Well, first of all, you need to figure out where it’s coming from exactly. Is it possible to get on the roof?

    DALE: Yeah. But I’m not as young as I used to be and I don’t bounce quite as well.

    TOM: Yeah, I hear you.

    Because one way to kind of track it down is to wet down different sections of the roof with a garden hose to try to figure out where the breakdown is. And then from there, if you can track it down to just one or two panels, I mean I would silicone-caulk it just to see if it stops it or slows it down.

    And if that’s the case and it works, great. If it works for a while but then doesn’t work any further, then probably you’re going to have to have a roofing contractor take apart those sections where the leaks are and then seal them that way.

    DALE: OK. Sounds like a good plan. Thank you very much.

    LESLIE: Well, after the long summer, you guys, are you finding that all of your outdoor furniture is looking kind of dirty, maybe even moldy? Well, there’s a great product to spruce up all that furniture so you can put it away clean for the season so that next year it’s ready and less work. And that product is Spray & Forget’s Outdoor Furniture Cleaner.

    TOM: Yeah. You know what? And it’s very easy to use. There is a no-rinse formula so it means just that: you don’t have to rinse it off. And it’s going to take away the dirt and the grime and the bird droppings and all of that gooey, leaf tannin that gets on fabrics and hard surfaces. It also takes out biological stains, so we’re talking about algae and mold and mildew. It really kind of does it all and it works very, very well.

    LESLIE: Yeah. And in addition to working just fantastically on your patio furniture, think about using it on your furniture covers, the barbecue cover, awnings, hammocks, flags, your pool cover, so many outdoor surfaces. If it looks gross, spray it on.

    TOM: Yeah. And it’s got UV protection built into it, too, so it’s going to rejuvenate and prevent kind of a color-fade situation. It’s also very planet-friendly.

    It’s the Spray & Forget Outdoor Furniture Cleaner. Spray & Forget. It is that easy. Just look for it in the yellow label or check it out at SprayAndForget.com. And it retails for 29.90.

    LESLIE: Well, few plumbing problems are more frustrating than water-pressure issues and those, especially, caused by poor pressure. I’m sure you could complain if the shower is too strong. But when they’re not strong enough, that’s just awful. We’re going to have some tips to restore the flow, after this.

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Standing by to chat with you about your home improvement and décor projects at 1-888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor, the fast and easy way to find the right pro for any kind of home project, whether it’s a small repair or a major remodel.

    LESLIE: And speaking about major remodels, if you’re thinking about one, give us a call or post your question online at MoneyPit.com.

    And I’ve got one here from Abby who writes: “The water pressure throughout my house is intermittently high and low. Within a 1-minute period, it goes from being very low to wonderful for maybe 6 to 8 seconds and then low again. It makes laundry take forever, washing dishes a pain and showers less than enjoyable. Any advice on what that problem might be and how I can fix it?”

    TOM: Boy, that is a very frustrating problem. And if it’s happening consistently throughout the entire house, then it is very likely associated with a problem at the main.

    Now, we don’t know, Abby, if you have well water or city water. But if you have well water, then I would suspect it’s a problem with a part of the system called the “pressure tank,” and/or the pump that’s causing that. Now, if you have city water, I have fantastic news because you get to blame your water company. And I would call them and have them tell you how much water pressure they are sending to your house and to do it over a period of time, so we can determine whether they’re causing the differentiation in pressure.

    But it is possible to determine what is causing this. And if you’re in a situation where you’re not getting very strong city pressure, then you might want to put in a booster pump and a pressure tank yourself. Even though it’s city water, it will take that water, it’ll put it into a pressure tank, which will build up a certain level of pressure and help that flow be much steadier as it goes out throughout your entire house, so that you can have ease of washing dishes and taking showers and all the other things we need to do with water, that doesn’t sort of jump up and down and get hot and cold and get weak and get strong.

    LESLIE: I mean that really is a terrible, terrible thing. I always think of that Seinfeld episode when you think about water pressure.

    LESLIE: Alright. Next up, Richard writes: “The skylight in my kitchen ceiling condensates in the winter, dripping water down the drywall and wrecking the paint around the opening of the skylight. I’ve been using a plastic sheet to seal off room air from reaching the skylight. Help.”

    TOM: So it sounds like Richard is ready, this winter, to deal with this and get it fixed so it won’t happen again. I think that’s a great idea, because you’re probably going to get mold and mildew and mess if you continue to let that condensation get your drywall wet like that.

    Now, first of all, why is it happening? Well, because the skylight is not insulated. It’s cold and so the warm, moist air from your house strikes the cold glass and condenses. And then it releases all of that water vapor, which basically drips down and becomes a real mess.

    Now, putting the plastic vapor barrier there kind of helps but it’s not the solution. The solution here is to replace the skylight, because you need insulated glass in the worst way, my friend. If that glass is not insulated, this is going to happen again and again and again. And if it’s happening now, I suspect your skylight’s pretty old and not very well made, because it usually doesn’t happen.

    So, you’re going to pick up increased energy efficiency and most importantly, a waterproof-skylight situation if you replace that. So I would do it now before the winter weather really kicks in.

    LESLIE: Yeah. You know, Richard, today, skylights are made so much more advanced, so much more energy-efficient, better able to handle these temperature differences. And truly, since you already have all of the cuttings out of the roof, et cetera, you should be able to install one rather easily, without a ton of expense. It might be worth looking at a new one.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Thank you so much for spending this part of your day with us. We hope we’ve given you some tips, some advice to get you started on some projects to do around your house, your home, your apartment, your condo.

    If you’ve got questions, remember, you can reach out to us, 24/7, at MoneyPit.com. Just post it to the Community page or pick up the phone and call us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    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.

    END HOUR 1 TEXT

    (Copyright 2018 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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