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.)
BEGIN HOUR 2 TEXT:
TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles. This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.
I’m a guy that finds that on a very warm, hot day you actually can enjoy the cool, peaceful surroundings of a damp crawlspace, Leslie. (laughing) You know, and that’s something that only someone who spent 20 years in the home inspection business would understand.
LESLIE: You’re like, ‘Ah, it’s 100 degree day. I’m going to get in that crawlspace.’
TOM: (overlapping) Ah. I’m tired of inspecting houses. I’m going to go lay in the crawlspace. And you know, while I was laying there, I actually learned a lot about houses in all of those years through crawlspaces and basements and attics and electrical boxes and heating systems and plumbing systems and toilets and sinks and tubs and shower pans and everything, pretty much, that can go wrong with your house. You, on the other hand, had a much more charmed existence.
LESLIE: Well, I had my experience in a bit more of a glamorous way, if you will. (chuckling)
TOM: (inaudible) laying in a crawlspace on a hot summer day? (laughing)
LESLIE: (overlapping) Although many … many people think it’s glamorous. You know, the job of being a T.V. home improvement person is that while you get to be on television – and most people think that that’s fantastic – you really do the grunt and gritty work. You know, you get in there, you clear the rooms, you get dirty, you build stuff, you cut your hands. You’re always in the thick of it. So even though it may appear glamorous because you’re watching us on that small or large box in your home, it’s still tough out there. So I might not have been in a crawlspace but I could probably take you.
TOM: You really don’t have like this big, grunty guy that just kind of steps in, does all the work and you come back when they say, ‘Miss Segrete, it’s time for your close up’? (laughing)
LESLIE: Oh, but first they have to put on my lipstick. No, it’s like people think that. And you know, the first thing – when the homeowners actually start working with us on -whether it’s While You Were Out or Trading Spaces – they are amazed that there’s not a team of people who come in and actually do this. They’re like, ‘Wait, you really empty out all the furniture?’ I’m like, ‘Yes, that’s right. And I’m going to see what all the gross things are you have hidden under your bed and I’m going to learn everything about you.’ (laughing)
TOM: And then I’m going to talk about it on T.V. (laughing)
LESLIE: And then I’m going to talk about it in front of millions of people and then on the radio, too!
TOM: Exactly. Point being we actually do know what the heck we’re talking about (laughing) and we learn it the hard way. And we’re here to help you with what we know. So call us, right now, at 888-MONEY-PIT.
You know, with the housing market cooling, more of us are fixing up home-sweet-home instead of moving. And we’re actually on track to spend over $300 billion on home improvement products and services this year.
LESLIE: (overlapping) (whistling) That’s huge.
TOM: It’s a huge market.
LESLIE: Well, and part of that huge market is where building areas hit hard by last year’s hurricanes and there was a lot of damage in a lot of areas hit hardest. But most of home improvement spending is fix up and remodeling by people who’ve decided to stay put. So if that’s you, call us, right now, with your home improvement or repair question. 1-888-MONEY-PIT. And if you ask us your question on air, you’re going to be entered into our random drawing to win a wonderful new faucet.
TOM: That’s right. It’s from Peerless. It’s a Peerless Lavatory Faucet. It comes in …
LESLIE: (overlapping) You and that lavatory.
TOM: I love that word; lavatory. (laughing) It’s a Peeress (laughing) …
LESLIE: That’s right, Tom.
TOM: It’s a Peerless lavatory faucet in chrome. You know, I’m pretty lucky that it’s not a Peerless lavender lavatory faucet.
LESLIE: (laughing) Well, you know what? I’ve actually thought of one place where they do use the word lavatory; and that’s on airplanes.
TOM: That’s true. That’s true. (inaudible)
LESLIE: So I guess when you’re above 10,000 feet …
TOM: It’s okay to use the word lavatory.
LESLIE: … all bathrooms become lavatories. (laughing) You develop a different vocabulary. So it’s a … we can use it.
TOM: Let’s try it right now. If you’d like to win a lavatory faucet (chuckling), from Peerless, worth 65 bucks, we’re going to give one away, this hour, on the program. 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.
Leslie, who’s first?
LESLIE: Alright. John in Savannah, Georgia. I think you called just in time. Tell us about your problem.
JOHN: Yes, I can usually fix almost anything in the house and I have a gas dryer – clothes dryer – and it continually is burning my clothes …
TOM: Oh, no.
JOHN: … in little creases.
LESLIE: Like, to a crisp?
JOHN: No, no. Just in creases. It’s almost like … it looks like wherever the clothes are folded over, there’s a little crease and where that crease is is a burn mark on my clothes.
TOM: Does it look like a black burn mark?
JOHN: Yes. Black or dark brown.
LESLIE: Like when you burn a marshmallow.
TOM: No. Actually, I know exactly what’s wrong. I … here’s the good news. I don’t think that it’s burning it. What I think is happening is I think that there’s a rubber roller that the dryer tumbles around. And in some types of dryers, what happens is the clothes actually get tangled with those rollers …
TOM: … and it actually leaves like a rubber – it’s almost a tread mark – on the clothes. I’ve seen this before and that’s one thing that comes to mind. The other thing is if there is any kind of a burning issue, then A – you may have a problem with the thermostat that controls the amount of heat in the dryer; if it overheats.
TOM: Or B – you could have a simple venting problem. Now, is this a single-family house that you live in?
JOHN: Yes, and I did clean the vent out. So maybe it’s the thermostat.
TOM: And it is venting. Okay, so it could be the thermostat or it could be the rollers.
TOM: Either way, you’ve got to get this fixed quick; especially if it’s burning. Let me give you a resource – a web-based resource – that’s pretty good. It’s repairclinic.com. These guys maintain a database on pretty much every repair problem out there and every brand of dryer and can … have probably heard this many times – many more times than I personally have – and can tell you exactly what to do and what part you’ll need to fix it based on the brand that you have.
LESLIE: (overlapping) And get you that part in 24 hours.
TOM: Yeah, exactly. Okay?
JOHN: Alright. Well, we don’t use it anymore and it’s one of those things where as soon as I can get it fixed … it was a decision … do you buy a new one or do you try to fix the old one?
TOM: Yeah, exactly.
JOHN: Okay. I’ll go online to repairclinic.com. All one word?
TOM: Yes, all one word. Okay, John?
JOHN: Very good. Thank you and thanks for answering my question.
TOM: You’re very welcome.
JOHN: I love your show. Take care.
TOM: Thanks for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Peggy from Minnesota is looking to remove some moldy sheet rock. What happened? Did you have a leak, a flood?
PEGGY: Hello. Thank you for taking my call.
LESLIE: You’re so welcome. Tell us how the sheet rock got moldy.
PEGGY: Well, I’m not actually sure if it’s a true mold. We live in a house about 60 to 70 years old and we have a decorative sheet rock-type wall covering in our basement, which was put in about, oh, 20 plus years ago. It’s becoming discolored in spots although it doesn’t smell moldy – there’s no moldy odor.
TOM: Is the basement damp and moist?
PEGGY: It possibly could have been …
PEGGY: … you know? The … I mean, at some point, it must have been. I guess that’s my only thought.
LESLIE: Well, do you run a dehumidifier down there?
PEGGY: We do. Not full time but I do try to run one when it’s warm and hot and humid in the summer.
TOM: Okay. Well, if it is mold, you have to be very careful about how you approach it. I’m going to send you to our website at moneypit.com. We actually have an entire mold resource section there. If you click on Ideas and Tips and click on the mold resource guide, you can actually see all of the tips for cleaning up mold and there’s some links to the EPA pamphlet that’s online, also, about cleaning up mold. And there’s a lot of great information there. You have to approach it very carefully because you don’t want it to become airborne.
But essentially, you’re going to … what you’re probably going to do is spray it down with a bleach and water solution and then clean it up if it’s a small area like that. If it’s a larger area, then you really have to take some personal protective measures so that you don’t breathe that stuff in. But the quicker you get to it, the smaller the problem is going to be. Okay? So I do suggest you go to moneypit.com, click on the mold resource section right there and then read through all the tips and you’ll be good to go.
PEGGY: Great. That’s what I was hoping to find. What type of, say, face and nose protection we might need or …
TOM: Yeah, exactly. Click on there. You’re going to want to use a respirator while you do this and one with a charcoal filter works best. But again, go to the website – moneypit.com – and click on the mold resource center. Peggy, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, here at The Money Pit, we get countless calls about mold. We even get tons of emails about mold. Not the kind that’s in your fridge growing on that bleu cheese that you might want to eat or the kind from something you need to throw away. We’re talking about the stuff in your house. And some of it can actually be bad for you.
Well, Tom and I can sort out the ins and outs of mold and what to look for.
TOM: Exactly. We actually put together a mold resource guide that actually goes through, step by step, all of the common questions that we get, on this program, about mold. And we made it very easy for you to use it. It’s live right now at moneypit.com. Simply click on Ideas and Tips and then click on the Mold Resource Guide. You see some of that icky black stuff growing on the walls of your house? If you’re having trouble breathing in your house and it clears up when you go away, go to our website at moneypit.com and click on the Mold Resource Guide.
So maybe your major home improvement project doesn’t involve – I hope it doesn’t – a mold cleanup. But it could involve some other part of your structure. If you’re going to do that, you might need the services of an expert to help you get through figuring out what you can take out and what you can knock down and what you better not knock down or your house could fall down with it. We will tell you the ins and outs of taking your house apart, next.
ANNOUNCER: This portion of The Money Pit is being sponsored by Metal Roofing Alliance. We call metal roofing investment-grade roofing. Because in your lifetime, a metal roof will save you money and add value to your home. To find a Metal Roofing Alliance contractor or to learn more about investment-grade roofing, visit www.metalroofing.com.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. 1-888-MONEY-PIT. And if you’re like me and hate trying to hunt and peck on the phone and figure out what’s the M, what’s the O, what’s the N – it’s 888-666-3974. 888-666-3974.
LESLIE: But Tom, you’re a whiz on your little personal communication device.
TOM: I know, it’s amazing, right?
LESLIE: (overlapping) I can’t believe you don’t know the phone numbers – letters – yet.
TOM: (laughing) Yeah, I can do the … I can do the two thumb typing on the Blackberry but forget the phone thing. I hate trying to figure out to spell those words. (chuckling)
LESLIE: You know, the worse part is that I always forget that the seven has the Q in it …
LESLIE: … so I’ll be like spelling things out and for every time I thought there was an S I’ve put in an R.
LESLIE: I’m like, ‘Darn the Q.’
TOM: Now we know why. (laughing) That’s hard, too, since your last name is Segrete.
TOM: (laughing) Well, you know what? If you’re tackling a major home improvement project that includes changing your home’s floor plan, you need to understand which walls in that house you can move and which you’d better leave alone. Or if you do move them, you want to …
LESLIE: So don’t just start knocking down walls willy-nilly.
TOM: Yeah, don’t just go taking stuff apart. Put the chainsaw away (laughing) and step away from the wall. Put it down, step away from the wall and think about what you’re doing.
The one way that you can get some information on that is to hire a structural engineer or an architect to actually help you design that remodel. In some cases, that makes a lot of sense. Let’s say you’re going to put in a sliding glass door on a two story house where you have the entire weight of the wall above it. Let’s say you want to … like one time somebody called me and said, ‘Can I cut that pipe out of the … that plumbing pipe out of the middle of my basement?’ (laughing) I said, ‘You mean that plumbing pipe that’s holding up the big, fat wood beam that’s like holding up your floor system?’ They go, ‘Yeah, that one.’ I’m like …
LESLIE: Mmm, no.
TOM: ‘Well, no. You can’t take that plumbing out because it’s not a plumbing pipe; it’s a lolly column and it’s holding your house up.
LESLIE: Ooh, I like that.
TOM: It’s going to make it really hard to shoot pool when your house is like crushed. The pool table, you see.
LESLIE: A lolly column?
TOM: So you don’t want to do that. That’s why it’s a good idea, once in a while, to hire a pro to help you get through those spots. So don’t just start cutting stuff away. If you’re going to take apart bearing walls, get the advice of a structural engineer or an architect before you do that.
LESLIE: Alright. Well, here’s something you don’t need the advice of a structural engineer to do – or a structural engineer, as I stumble on my own words. But we have a great prize for you and it’s something that can freshen up the look of your bathroom. And this hour, we’re giving away the Peerless two-handle chrome lavatory faucet – or bathroom faucet. It’s worth about $65 and it features a charming teapot-inspired design. And the lever handles also come with a set of porcelain inserts that can coordinate with any d