Mosquitoes can really suck the fun out of your summer activities, that’s why we are sharing some tips on how to get rid of mosquitoes for good.
Stone countertops are a great addition to any kitchen, but we’ll give you some important factors to consider before installing them.
Tip over accidents are an overlooked danger to your children. We have some preventative tips to make sure your kids aren’t put in danger.
Plus, answers to your home improvement questions about:
- What to look for in window replacements?
- How to deal with vandalism to your property?
- How do fix bathtub cracks?
- Easy solutions to patio cracks.
- Why a fresh painted wall might be peeling?
- When is the best time to seal your tile?
- What to do know about comfort height toilets?
- How to kill and prevent bathroom mold?
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 we are here to help you create your best home ever. So, as you look around your house, inside or out, is there a project you’d like to get done? Well, we’d love to help. Couple of the ways to get in touch with us: you can call your questions in to 1-888-MONEY-PIT or post your questions at MoneyPit.com.
Coming up on today’s show, if you love your outdoor spaces – except because of those very, very annoying mosquitoes – we’ve got tips on the most effective way to stop them from putting you on their diet and taking a bite out of that backyard barbecue fun.
LESLIE: And natural-stone countertops have been a popular choice for kitchens but they’re also very high-maintenance. So, is the beauty and durability of stone tops worth the hassle? We highlight the pros and cons, in today’s Smart Spending Tip presented by the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card.
TOM: Plus, over the last year, more than 11,300 kids have been treated for tip-over injuries and almost 500 have died. We’re going to share important safety tips to keep your kids safe.
LESLIE: But first, we’re here to help you create your best home ever. So whether that’s a quick fix or a big project, we can help you save time, money, and hassles.
TOM: So let’s get started. Give us a call, right now, with your questions at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Plus, if you do, we’ve got some tools to give away. We’ve got an Arrow T50, plus a supply of staples. That is the most popular staple gun in America because it works for dozens of projects around the house. It’s going to go out to one listener drawn at random.
So let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s first?
LESLIE: Chris in Ohio is taking on some remodeling projects and needs some help figuring out a way to finance. What can we do for you?
CHRIS: So I’ve got a – it’s like a Cape Cod house and I was thinking about putting some new windows in.
CHRIS: And I was wondering about the cost that would be involved and I was thinking either Andersen or Pella windows.
TOM: Have you talked to any window companies yet?
CHRIS: I have not. I figured I’d have a couple of reps come out and give me some estimates.
TOM: Right. Right. OK.
CHRIS: I was kind of hoping you guys might be able to ballpark it for me.
TOM: Well, it’s hard to say. I mean it really depends on the size of the window and the style of the window but probably at least a few hundred dollars a window for an Andersen or a Pella. You know, they’re sort of high-end.
TOM: You also could look at some of the baseline windows that are sold. You could order replacement windows at Home Depot, for example. I’ve ordered many over the years that are vinyl-clad and stand up very, very well and have an ENERGY STAR-rated glass in it. So, you have many options on the windows.
How do you want to pay for this? Are you thinking about paying cash or are you going to get a loan or what?
CHRIS: I was thinking about paying cash. Would I get a discount for – by paying cash?
TOM: Possibly. If you’re dealing with an independent window contractor, maybe.
TOM: But I wouldn’t focus on that as much as just finding the right pro.
TOM: You could reach out to – through HomeAdvisor.com, you could submit a request for window companies and determine on their website which are the best-rated. That’s one way to find some pros in your area.
But I will tell you this: make sure you purchase an ENERGY STAR-rated window. And there’s going to be a certification on the window. Each window’s going to have a National Fenestration Rating Council code on it and it’s going to talk about how efficient the glass is. And it’s kind of a standard that you can use to compare different types of windows.
But if you make sure the windows are ENERGY STAR-rated, that’s a really good place to be. Because there’s a lot of confusion out there, because a lot of the window companies are going – may use a substandard manufacturer. And somebody called not too long ago and boy, the tall tales that these guys were making up about how the other guys’ windows were bad was really crazy. But the thing is people just don’t know. So, if you stick with a reliable brand and you’re getting an ENERGY STAR-rated window, I don’t think you can go wrong.
LESLIE: Bonnie in Maryland is on the line and is having an issue in her home. What’s going on?
BONNIE: My husband has a rental property and one of the tenants decided to destroy the property on the way out and poured wet cement into the drains. And so, I just want to know what can be done and the cost of it and things like that in terms of the repairs. Because maybe it’s just not even worth trying to find another tenant after doing a bunch of work that costs a bunch of money.
TOM: Wow, that’s awful. Boy, what a jerk to do something like that. It’s just terrible. It seems to me, though, that that’s a crime. That’s basically vandalism. And as such, not only can you first, of course, press criminal charges. But secondly, it seems like that should be something that is covered by your homeowners insurance. Have you tried speaking with your insurance company about this?
BONNIE: It was just something that my husband had talked to me about. It’s not really anything that’s really my business. I’m not sure …
TOM: Well, you should call your insurance agent and you should talk with them about that because this is not – we’re not talking about wear and tear like, oh, you’ve got to paint the walls because it’s somebody living there.
TOM: This is damage. This is like having an arsonist burn your house down. Those kinds of crimes are covered by the insurance. That’s one of the reasons you have insurance. So, gosh, we pay so much money for that.
BONNIE: Mm-hmm. Yeah.
TOM: So I would definitely make that claim.
Now, in terms of how much work this is to fix, I guess it kind of depends. I’m guessing since you’re in Maryland, is this house – the bathroom is on the first floor, second floor? What’s underneath the plumbing? Does it go into a slab?
BONNIE: It’s a trailer.
BONNIE: It’s a trailer. So, yeah, like I said …
TOM: Alright. So then – alright. Yeah, so then you have full access above and below. So you’re probably going to have to just cut out those pipes. It’s all going to sort of hang down the bottom of the pipe, so you’re just going to have to find out where it ends and cut it out.
But again, I would not hesitate to file a criminal complaint and also to file a claim with my insurance company or at least speak to my agent about that part.
BONNIE: Awesome. Thank you.
TOM: Hey, guys, we’ve got a handy tool to give away today to one lucky listener. It’s the Arrow T50 Heavy Duty Staple Gun and a supply of T50 staples.
Now, this is America’s best-selling staple gun. It’s jam-resistant, it’s got all chrome-steel housing and it is made in the USA. Going out to one listener drawn at random. Make that you. Give us a call, right now, with your questions at 1-888-MONEY-PIT or post your questions to MoneyPit.com.
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’re going to talk to Bill from Illinois who’s got some questions about what’s going on with a bathtub. How can we help you?
BILL: Yeah. I have a – it’s a 28-year-old shower/tub and I’m not sure if it’s ceramic or fiberglass. And I have a couple of cracks in it.
TOM: Yeah. I don’t think there’s an easy fix for a crack in a tub that’s physically cracked. I mean we’ve repaired shower pans, for example, by using fiberglass repair – a fiberglass-repair kit – where, basically, you’re applying a rosin and then you’re impressing fiberglass sort of into the mix and then putting multiple layers of additional rosin on top of that. But it’s not a very attractive finish.
And I’ve done this in an emergency basis where I had a cracked shower pan. I had a rental apartment, for example, and I wanted to just make it stop leaking so we weren’t bothering the lady below. And we did it and it worked but eventually had to take it out and replace it anyway.
So, for a tub that’s physically cracked like that, I don’t have a good solution for you.
BILL: Figured it would be a tough one.
BILL: I’ve heard of these overlap coverings.
TOM: Oh, the inserts. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I think one of the companies is Bath Fitter that does it. It’s not a bad idea except that what we’ve found is that, economically, the cost of a complete bathroom renovation and the cost of doing an insert are not so far apart. It is less expensive than a complete reno but you are restricted to the tub you have now, obviously, and the size of that tub which gets smaller when you put an insert into it. And if you do the renovation, you might have some opportunities to improve the place, improve that space a little bit more than you could by just doing an insert. So it definitely is an option.
And with the tub that you have now, though, I would suspect if it did physically crack, it’s probably a fiberglass tub that was not properly supported. Because what you’re supposed to do when you put them in is to put a loose mortar mix underneath the tub and then press the tub down into that, which gives it complete and total support across the whole floor. Sometimes, if contractors skip that step, it ends up being a little flexible. And over the years, just getting in and out of the tub, it eventually wears and cracks.
BILL: Well, actually, I took a fall.
TOM: Oh, you did? And that’s how it happened?
BILL: Yeah, that’s how it happened. And I’m OK but just the crack was there and it’s on the upper slope of the tub. So it’s not at the bottom. And I have not had any leakage problem.
TOM: Well, the proof’s in the pudding. I’d say your options are to tear out and replace or to do an insert. But in terms of patching it, I couldn’t really tell you anything that’s going to be very attractive other than the fiberglass trick.
TOM: Alright, Bill?
BILL: Alright. I appreciate that.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, this summer, you’re likely to have some unwanted visitors at your barbecues, pool parties and other backyard gatherings: you know, the kind that likes to take bites out of you and your guests. But mosquitoes are not only a major hassle, they’re also among the world’s most dangerous insects due to their ability to transmit viruses to humans.
TOM: That’s right. And that’s why now, the best way to protect yourself from mosquito bites is not to give mosquitoes a chance to make themselves at home near your home.
Now, the first step is to eliminate all sources of standing water because that’s where mosquitoes lay their eggs. Here’s a crazy stat: a female mosquito can lay over a hundred eggs at a time, which can grow full-size, ready to bite in as little as 8 to 10 days. So just imagine that. Inside of 2 weeks.
LESLIE: All of that sounds terrible.
TOM: Yeah, exactly.
LESLIE: It really sounds not so great, Tom.
So, we’re not taking about looking for leaks around your property, guys. We’re going to look for things like standing water in areas that are so much smaller. Think about an empty flowerpot, a bucket, a jar, a wheelbarrow, any other container that can hold water after rain. Even if it’s just a tiny, little amount, it’s going to be the perfect spot for mosquitoes to breed in.
So, go ahead and drill holes in the bottom of trash cans and recycling buckets. That’s going to allow the water to drain out. And then check your kids’ toys, like wading pools, sandboxes and buckets. Turn them over if you’ve got to. Just put them away. Whatever you have to do, avoid that standing water.
TOM: And listen. Don’t be fooled by some of the mosquito remedies that are out there, like bug zappers. They just don’t work. They make a very satisfying zap and they look cool. But less than one percent of the bugs killed in the zappers are biting insects.
For years I tried to find a mosquito product that would work and I landed on one called DynaTrap, which I love because we set it up in the spring, it runs straight through to the fall and it’s not a zapper. It has a technology that is designed to reduce the mosquito population and it really does prevent us from getting bites. In fact, once I hooked this thing up, I waited about 2 weeks and they’re gone. All summer long, they’re totally gone. I put it in from March until September and it works really, really well. So, there’s an option for you.
We’ve got more advice at MoneyPit.com on how you can cut down the mosquito populations around your house, so check it out.
LESLIE: Alicia in North Carolina is on the line with The Money Pit. Has a question about a patio and deck. What’s going on?
ALICIA: We have a patio cement slab in the back of our house. It runs the length of our house. On half of that slab sits our deck.
ALICIA: We live in a split-level, so the deck goes up rather high and has posts that sit on this cement-slab patio. And there’s a crack going down the middle of it. We bought the house about 3 years ago. We didn’t notice the crack. It was there but we really didn’t notice it. And then I’d say about last year, we were sitting down and noticed that the crack is now splitting open.
You know, our backyard slopes down. It’s North Carolina with lots of that red clay. It’s most of what our ground is made up of. And it’s like the ground is pulling away from that cement slab because of rain and flooding in our backyard which, unfortunately, floods, as well. So it’s making it worse. I don’t know whether the footings are what they really should be.
We’ve had a couple people come out and estimate the situation. I just don’t know what to do.
TOM: First of all, are you convinced, Alicia, that this crack is active, that it’s opening up? Or is it just that you’re paying attention to it now every time you walk out in the backyard? So maybe you’re imagining it’s getting bigger.
ALICIA: No, it’s different looking than it was when we first bought it.
TOM: How big is the crack?
ALICIA: It’s not huge. It’s not like it’s – yeah. No, it’s not like it’s 3 inches big now. It’s small. Still, it’s opening up. The caulking isn’t covering the crack anymore.
ALICIA: So I’d say about ¼-inch.
TOM: Alright. It’s not bad.
So, there’s a couple of things you can do here. First of all, you do need to clean out that old caulk and reseal this one way or the other. QUIKRETE has a product that’s made specifically for concrete slabs that you can use, that will give you a textured finish. And it dries in about an hour, so you do want to reseal it.
Now, in terms of not having to look at it, maybe doing something that would be a little more attractive, maybe slowing it down, I think you’re right. The reason it’s moving – if it is, in fact, moving – is it’s exacerbated by water. Cement slabs don’t have footings, so there’s nothing holding it back from doing this. And I just wonder if this deck was properly built, because it’s sitting on top of half of it. It really just shouldn’t be sitting on the 4-inch concrete slab; it should be sitting on the footing below it.
Be that what it may, another idea that you might want to consider is Pavestone makes a paver brick that is about half the thickness of a full paver brick. And it’s designed for taking a cement slab that maybe doesn’t look so hot and creating a beautiful paver patio with it. The way it works is you lay down the perimeter and then you sort of put your whole pattern in. And then you take up the perimeter and you basically glue in the outside perimeter row. And then that holds all the bricks inside of it and then you add this typical paver stone and it looks fantastic. So, that’s available from Pavestone.
ALICIA: My big concern is 5 years down the line, if we want to put the house on the market kind of thing – and I didn’t want to – I wanted to do something – if it was – if I was already seeing an increase in the crack now, what would it look like 5 years?
TOM: A cement slab is not a structural part of your backyard or your patio, OK? It’s just – it’s basically there as a surface that you can work with.
TOM: And if you put the pavers over it and it goes from ¼-inch to 3/8-inch, no one’s ever going to see that. And pavers are just going to shift.
The product is made by Pavestone. It’s actually called Pavestone Milano. That’s the brand. That’s the particular product that is the thinner version of the full Pavestone paver.
TOM: And again, it can go down right on top of that slab. Goes down really quick and it’ll look fantastic.
ALICIA: Oh, thank you so much. I appreciate it. And I love your show.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
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LESLIE: Ray in Florida, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
RAY: I have a little problem. I had painted my bath – the walls and the ceiling – a few years ago and also put on a border. Well, the ceiling paint is peeling in big spots. And when I painted it, I used KILZ. And I don’t know why it’s peeling.
TOM: So there must be moisture behind it or – how old is this house?
RAY: Well, the house was built in ‘78.
TOM: Because the other thing that can happen is if you have multiple layers of paint, sometimes you’ll get delamination of an older surface of that paint. So what might be peeling off might not be the paint from the KILZ or the KILZ from the prior paint. It could be a layer several layers back. And when you have such a severe adhesion problem, the best thing to do is to strip the old paint off of the ceiling, then apply an oil-based primer like KILZ or really any other brand that’s a name brand. And then apply a flat ceiling paint on top of that.
RAY: Yeah. I did use a ceiling paint. But now that you mentioned it, looking at where it’s peeling, it does kind of – it’s a – let me think here – yeah, like a grayish color underneath the paint.
TOM: Yeah. So, you see, it may not be what you painted that’s peeling. It might be a prior layer that’s peeling.
RAY: Right. I follow what you’re saying. Yeah.
TOM: Yeah. So you need to get all that old paint off and start from scratch, unfortunately.
RAY: So now, do you have to just scrape it or sand it or do you have to …?
TOM: Well, no, you’re going to need a paint stripper. You’re going to need a paint stripper because you’re not going to be able to scrape it. You’ve got to get that loose stuff off.
RAY: That’s a lot of work.
TOM: I mean look, the other thing you could do is you could put another layer of drywall right on top of that and just skin it. You wouldn’t even need to use ½-inch drywall; you could use ¼-inch drywall. You’d have a seam or two to tape and spackle but then you’d start from scratch.
RAY: Alright. Well, I appreciate the help on that.
TOM: And I think we just filled up a couple of weekends for you, too.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, natural-stone countertops have been a popular choice for kitchens but they’re also very high-maintenance. So, is the beauty and durability of stone tops worth the hassle? We highlight the pros and cons, in today’s Smart Spending Tip presented by the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card.
TOM: So first up, stone countertops are somewhat indestructible, right? Most of them can take a hot pot and they’re not going to dent, they’re not going to chip. And home buyers love them, usually because they’ve never had to maintain them before. But given the popularity, you can argue that they will definitely add to your home’s value.
And of course, the stone is beautiful. It comes in many colors and patterns and the finish is almost always clear, so all that natural beauty shines through perfectly.
LESLIE: Now, on the minus side, stone tops are costly compared to solid surface and of course, laminate. Now, prices vary based on the type of stone, with quartz and granite usually sitting at the top tier. Now, marble can sometimes be less but remember that marble surfaces are softer and therefore, they’re not going to wear as well. Plus, they darken with age.
Now, in terms of maintenance, granite tops demand the most. They’re sealed upon installation but we frequently hear from listeners who are dealing with stains from tomato sauce, coffee, vinegar, grape juice, all of those similar products that sort of soak into the granite and become very difficult to get out.
TOM: Now, if we had to choose one stone top, we’d probably go with engineered quartz. You’ll find tops from major brands, like Caesarstone and Silestone, available in a large variety of colors. And they’re called “engineered” because they’re made from a mix of natural quartz and dyes and polyester resin and other chemicals. And they’ve got the definite advantage of being easy to maintain and not requiring those sealers.
LESLIE: And that’s today’s Smart Spending Tip presented by the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card.
TOM: Apply for yours at BankOfAmerica.com/MoreRewarding.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Laurel from Louisiana on the line with help with a tiling project. How can we help you today?
LAUREL: My husband and I are building a new house right now and we’re putting ceramic tile in the living room and the kitchen. And it’s not going to be sealed, so we were wondering what was the best kind of sealant to put on that ceramic tile.
TOM: What kind of tile are you using that’s not sealed? Are you trying to say that it’s not glazed?
LAUREL: No, it was glazed but I was told that you need to put a sealant over it to make the tile last longer?
TOM: No, not true. The glazing is plenty tough enough to protect the tile. What you – the sealant usually refers to the grout. And if you seal the grout, it can help keep it cleaner and repel water. And the grout sealants are silicone-based.
So, as long as you use a good grout sealant – and the time to do this is before you move in, you know? Because once you move in and you start grinding some dirt in that tile, it becomes a lot harder to maintain. But if you seal the grout right after the tile is installed, that’s the best time to do it.
LAUREL: What would be the best kind to use?
TOM: A silicone one. A silicone-based grout sealant is what you’re looking for.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And you want to look for one that applies in a manner that you are comfortable with. Like if you’re doing a smaller grout line, you would look for one that almost looks like a nail-polish brush or a rolling foam wheel. With a floor tile, you could be looking at a ¼-inch to a ½-inch grout line, so that’s easier to apply. But you want to make sure you have something that you feel comfortable applying strictly to the grouted areas.
LAUREL: OK. Alright. Well, thank you.
LESLIE: Betty in California needs some help with a toilet question. What can we do for you today?
BETTY: I’m interested in the high-rise toilet and I’d like the pros and con and possibly a brand. Because our plumber is thinking of using KOHLER – the quick flush – and we’re on well water and that’s it.
TOM: Well, there’s really no cons of using – a “comfort-height toilet” is what’s that called. Not a high-rise but comfort-height. They’re a bit higher than a standard toilet. And in terms of brands, one that I can recommend is called American Champion 4. I’ve got American Champion comfort-height toilets in our house. And it really doesn’t matter what age you are, they are just easier to use. And the other benefit is that they use very little water and they don’t clog.
So I would take a look at the American Standard Champion 4 toilets and just get the accessible size and you’ll be good to go.
LESLIE: Hey, here’s an important safety note for families with kids. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is reporting a record number of tip-over injuries to kids. Now, this happens when kids try and climb up furniture, like a bookcase or a dresser. And believe it or not, I’ve seen my son climb the inside of the refrigerator to get something from the top shelf. So, they will climb anything that they deem climbable, which pretty much is everything.
Now, over the last year, 11,300, which is about 44 percent of these kids under 18, have been treated for injuries. Now, out of that group of kids, 82 percent were fatalities and those involved children between the ages of 1 month to 14 years.
Now, part of the problem is that parents and caregivers don’t suspect that the bookcase or dresser in their child’s room can be hazardous. And they really are hidden hazards and the tip-overs can happen fast.
TOM: Plus, I think there’s probably a false sense of security. According to the 2020 CPSC Survey, many parents who did not anchor furniture and TVs believed it was just not necessary as long as they were actually watching the kids. So if you want to protect your kids, you need to be aware of the problem and you need to take steps to prevent it from happening.
So, for example, you’ve got to anchor TVs and furniture, like bookcases and dresser, securely to the wall. And in your case, Leslie, the refrigerator.
LESLIE: Seriously. My goodness, they climb everything.
You also want to avoid displaying or storing items, such as toys and remotes, in places where kids might be tempted to climb up to reach for them. And be sure you store heavier items on the lower shelves or even in the lower drawers. And keep TV and cable cords out of the reach of kids. My goodness, they’re going to climb it to get to whatever, so be safe.
TOM: This is such a serious problem. The Consumer Products Safety Commission actually has a separate and distinct website for this. It’s called AnchorIt.gov. Check it out. They walk you through exactly how to secure the various types of furniture and appliances so that your kids are safe.
LESLIE: Heather in Texas is dealing with a mold situation. Tell us what’s going on.
HEATHER: Well, I have black spots in my restroom and I’m not sure if that’s mold. And I would like to know: how can he fix it?
TOM: Without seeing it, I can’t tell you but if they’re black spots, it probably is mold. And where are these spots? Is it on the wall, shower curtain, tile? Where? A ceiling?
HEATHER: In the wall.
TOM: On the wall? Do you have wallpaper on the wall?
TOM: What you might want to do is mix up a bleach-and-water solution, about 10- to 15-percent bleach and the rest water. Spray it on those spots, let it sit for a bit of time and then wipe it down with fresh water. So if there is mold there, that will kill it.
The reason we usually get mold in bathrooms is because they’re wet and damp all the time. A couple of things that you can do there is – do you have a bath exhaust fan in this room?
TOM: Well, you should have one. And this is one of the reasons you should have one, because it will draw air out of that room when it gets damp, especially if you hook it up to a humidistat so it’s only running when there’s moisture in the room. If you don’t have that, then the only thing that you could do is just get into the practice of wiping down walls or using a squeegee to wipe most of the water off the bath, the shower walls, that sort of thing every single time and leaving the door open. But if you don’t have a bath exhaust fan, you’re always going to be fighting this.
When you do repaint next time, make sure you use a paint that has a mildicide built into it because that can also further reduce the chance of developing mold. OK, Heather?
HEATHER: OK. Thank you.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Nicole wrote in and she’s asking: “What’s the rule of thumb for painting over water stains? I recently fixed a leaking second-floor shower but noticed there’s a black stain around the nail hole where the leak occurred, which I’m assuming is mold.”
TOM: I think it’s natural to assume that any stain is mold but in this case, Nicole, it’s not. So, first of all, make absolutely certain that that leak is fixed before we talk about painting. You say it’s fixed; I mean make sure it really, really, really is fixed. If you’ve gone for a couple of weeks, then I think you can assume it was done correctly.
Now, in terms of the stain, it’s a reaction between the water and the drywall – the paper in the drywall and the paint – that causes that discoloration. Now, the best way to deal with it is to prime that area first, so you have to use primer. Now, primer is different than regular paint – regular ceiling paint – because it has this adhesive quality that seals in all of that stuff that’s underneath it, including the stain. So if you prime it first and then you paint over it, the stain won’t come back.
But if you don’t prime it, the stain will come right through that new paint. In fact, it’ll really frustrate the heck out of you because you’ll do this painting work and you’ll put all the paint away. And you’ll take down the masking tape, clean the brushes and all that stuff and the next day you’ll go, “Man I still see that stain. What’s going on?” It will continue to come through unless you prime it.
Now, if it’s a really big stain, then you have to maybe just prime the entire ceiling surface. But if it’s a little one, you can spot-prime it and you’ll be good to go.
LESLIE: Yeah, Nicole, you’ve got to remember: sometimes with a small spot, the finishes are going to match up just fine but as it gets a little bigger, you might find that the finishes don’t exactly match. So if it does get big, just paint the whole ceiling.
Alright, Cory just purchased a home and she says, “It was built in 1945 and has really pretty wood siding. I have a fear of termites and wondered if I could look into replacing the siding with vinyl?”
TOM: I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone that has a fear of termites. I wonder if there’s a scientific name for that, you know, like you’re afraid of heights or you’re afraid of spiders. There’s got to be a scientific name for being afraid …
LESLIE: Termitophobia (ph)?
TOM: Yeah, something like that.
Well, listen, Cory, there’s nothing to fear with termites. They’re a part of God’s plan for getting rid of the dead wood. Now, if it happens the dead wood is also your wood siding, of course, I see why you’re concerned. But siding is generally not something that they eat. Where they usually infest is the framing of your house. They’ll come up over or through the foundation and they will eat away at the 2x4s of 2x6s or however your house is framed.
The way you protect yourself is by first having a termite inspection done, sometimes once a year. It’s a good idea to do this. And if you do discover termites, then you can have them treated.
Now, the good news is that the chemicals that are treating termites today are very, very effective and the termites don’t know they’re there. So, when they pass through these chemicals – they’re usually soaking into the soil and the foundation – they carry that back to the termite nest. And that eliminates the whole nest and hence, the problem and sends whoever’s left over to your neighbor’s house for their next meal but they leave yours.
So, I think you can continue to enjoy that pretty wood siding and have no fear of termites. Just be on the lookout for them. And if you see them, take action and you’ll be good to go.
LESLIE: But be afraid. And then take action. OK.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show and we so appreciate you spending some time with us today. We hope that we have been able to give you some valuable tips to save you time, save you money, save you hassles and help you create your best home ever. If you have questions, no matter when you hear this show, you can always reach out to us by calling 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Leave your question with us – we’ll call you back the next time we record the show – or you can post your questions to MoneyPit.com.
But for now, that’s all the time we have. 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.