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: We are on air and online at MoneyPit.com and we are here for you. “Why?” you might be saying? “What possible assistance can you lend to me, Tom and Leslie?” Well, if you are in the zone and ready to fix up your home sweet home, we’re here to do just that. We’ve got the tips, the tricks, the techniques, the ideas to save you money and help you get that job done right the first time. Because let’s face it: that’s the least expensive way to tackle any home improvement project – is getting it done once, getting it done right and you won’t have to do it again.
LESLIE: It’s like the Boy Scout motto: always be prepared.
TOM: Well, that’s right. Always be prepared with your home improvement advice, too.
LESLIE: Yeah. You’ve got to be ready. You’ve got to know what you’re doing, you’ve got to know what you need to get. Always be prepared.
TOM: Coming up on this hour, we’ve got some tips to help you stop putting off those painting projects, by using a new product that makes it less of a chore and gets you better results. We’ll tell you all about that, in just a bit.
LESLIE: And if your home has a porch, lucky you because we’ve got some good news for you and your neighborhood. We’re going to tell you why the great American porch is making a comeback in a big way.
TOM: And adding curb appeal not only fetches compliments, it could also get you a higher home appraisal, as well. We’ll have tips on which improvements will deliver the most bang for your buck.
LESLIE: And it’s going to be hot, hot, hot in just a few short weeks. I tried not to go with Buster Poindexter in my head, even though I wanted to do it – say “hot, hot” – but I didn’t.
But guys, I’m serious. Couple of weeks, it’s going to be crazy-hot outside. So, why not have a hot car to go with the temperatures outside? We can help you get your car in tip-top shape with this hour’s prize. We’ve got a 3M Auto Prize Pack up for grabs and that’s worth more than 100 bucks.
TOM: 888-666-3974. Let’s get right to those calls.
Leslie, who’s first?
LESLIE: Bill in Tennessee, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
BILL: I’m trying to clean some pressure-treated deck. This is on the second floor of my house and also on the ground is stone. What we have here in Tennessee is Crab Orchard stone; it’s a soft stone. And it’s turned black. The stone has turned black over time and it’s about 15 years old. And the pressure-treated wood has turned black, also, and I wanted to see what the best thing to clean both of them – I’ve tried cleaner on the end of a garden hose and it don’t – and I followed the instructions but it didn’t do much at all.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. I mean it sounds like a combination of the wood aging and also mold or algae.
Now, you know, a pressure washer set to an aggressive but gentle setting, if that makes any sense, will probably do the best to kind of attack this growth on it. If you could use some bleach and water or Wet & Forget, a product like that that will do a good job of – I’m not going to say “attacking” but you know what I mean: really aggressively going at this growth. That will probably do a good job of getting to the base of it and removing it from it.
If you can get more sunlight on the area to sort of beat this shady mold growth that’s happening, that will help tremendously. There’s some things that you can do there.
BILL: OK. That’s good. Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Brenda in Illinois who’s got an HVAC question. What’s going on?
BRENDA: I have an excessive amount of dust and lint that comes out of my vents when the furnace is running?
TOM: OK. Yep.
BRENDA: It’s the heat pump that we have. The heat pump is two years old. So I’d like to know, is there anything that you would suggest that we might need to look into?
TOM: Yeah, I think the reason that this is happening is because you don’t have an adequate filtration system on your heating-and-cooling system. What kinds of filters do you have on this, Brenda? Do you know?
BRENDA: The name of it is Air Bear Supreme Media. We change these about every four to six months.
TOM: What’s happening here is the dust and the dirt that’s circulating in your house is forming in your house. And what happens is it’s not getting collected by the filter. The filters could be improperly installed, there could be gaps where the air is getting around them.
What you really should think about doing is installing an electronic air cleaner. This is an appliance that fits into the return-duct side of the HVAC system. It’s an appliance; it’s not just a fiber filter or a mesh filter. It’s an actual appliance and it is very effective at taking out 99-percent plus of the airborne contaminants. These things are so good today, they can come out – they can take out virus-size particles.
You could take a look at two brands that we can recommend. One is Aprilaire.
TOM: That’s April – a-i-r-e. And the other one is Trane – it’s called the Trane CleanEffects. Those are two highly rated, very efficient electronic air cleaners that I think will make a world of difference for you in cutting down on the dust that you’re seeing. I just don’t think your filtration system is working properly.
Brenda, 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. We are here to give you a hand with all of your home improvement questions, problems, dilemmas. Heck, even if you just want to share a project done right, we like those stories, too. We are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Up next, you clean the inside of your home this time of year but there’s a good chance that the outside could use some TLC, too. We’ll have curb-appeal tricks that are good on the eyes and on your home’s value, when The Money Pit continues, after this.
ANNOUNCER: When you’re ready to search for a home, start at Realtor.com. Realtor.com is the most accurate home search site. And be sure to work with a realtor to help you through the process. Realtor.com and realtors. Together, we make home happen.
TOM: Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show where home solutions live. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Pick up the phone; call us, right now, with your home improvement question, your do-it-yourself dilemma. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. And if you do, you might just be the lucky caller that wins the 3M Auto Prize Pack we’re giving away, which is worth more than 100 bucks.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And it’s got everything in it that you will need to spruce up your car this spring season. It includes a sanding block with different grit sandpapers to even a headlight-restoration kit and Bondo spreaders so that you can work with putties and fillers to make that car look great.
TOM: Learn more at 3M.com and call now for your chance to win. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Dennis in California is on the line with The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
DENNIS: Yes. I have a house that was built in 1979 and it has T1-11 siding on it and I’m wanting to change the siding on it. I want like a cement-board lap siding but my question is: is it practical or feasible to just (inaudible at 0:07:57) over my T1-11 and then go ahead and put my new siding on top of that? Or will I be sandwiching in some problems?
TOM: Well, T1-11, for those that are unfamiliar, is essentially plywood siding and it serves two purposes: it’s the siding and it’s the sheathing. So you do not have to remove that. Now, the downside is that you’re going to have pack out, so to speak, around the windows. The trim will – the windows will be a bit deeper than perhaps you’ve seen in the past but that siding can stay just like that.
You can put Tyvek over the siding and then – over the existing T1-11 siding – and then add your HardiePlank over that. Just follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions. But there’s no reason for you to pull that plywood off because frankly, if you did, I’m afraid that you would have to replace it with just regular plywood and there’s really no point to that. The T1-11 serves a structural purpose, as well as keeping the water out of your house.
DENNIS: Oh. That makes sense. I didn’t think that it actually takes care of the shear, doesn’t it?
TOM: It does. That’s right. It protects it against the shear and the racking forces.
DENNIS: Makes sense. OK. Great. Now I have a direction to go. My concern was is that if I put the solid – if I sandwich something in, was I sandwiching in some moisture or anything like that? And I didn’t want to create problems down the road.
TOM: Yeah. Well, let’s hope not. If you use good siding on top of Tyvek, I don’t think that’s going to be an issue.
DENNIS: OK. Great. Well, thank you very much.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Sylvia in Texas on the line who’s got some bathroom things going on at her money pit. How can we help you?
SYLVIA: Whenever I flush the toilet, I can hear the water running through my sink drain – you know, the bathroom sink drain?
SYLVIA: And so I didn’t know if that was normal or not. And then the other day, we had a real windstorm and I could hear the wind under my house, through my pipes, through that same sink. And I have a concrete slab, so I didn’t know – is that normal?
TOM: Probably the wind blowing over the roof and you’re hearing it through the vent pipe. The plumbing system is all connected, obviously. And the water drains down and the air kind of replaces it from the top – from the vent on top. And so when you flush the toilet, in some cases you can hear that water run down through the pipe and it be replaced by air. So that’s entirely possible.
But if it’s behaving properly and you don’t have any odors and everything’s flowing right, I wouldn’t worry too much about that, Sylvia.
SYLVIA: Oh, OK, OK. Thank you very much. I was just worried about it, because I was just like, “What’s going on with my plumbing, right?”
TOM: And the other thing about plumbing is it’s – it really carries the sound. Anyone that’s ever had a second-floor bathroom and flushed it to the horror of everyone that’s sitting in the dining room enjoying dinner time knows exactly what I’m talking about.
SYLVIA: Oh, thank God I don’t have a second floor.
TOM: Well, this might not be what you want to hear but spring cleaning doesn’t stop at your home’s four walls. There’s plenty to be done on the outside of your house, too.
LESLIE: But this should actually make you feel better, guys. If you plan to put your house on the market this season or you just want to add value, some basic, outdoor spring cleaning can pay off big time.
TOM: So, start on your exterior, as well as your outdoor playsets or sheds, a good cleaning, making sure to remove any moss, mold, mildew, algae, debris. It is going to leave those spaces looking great. And from there, you want to clean all windows inside and out. Removing the screens will also show off the windows and allow the light to flow through into your home. Especially important if you’re putting your home on the market.
LESLIE: Yeah. And I think another thing people forget about is items like garden tools, your stray hoses, your kids’ toys, even sporting equipment. You probably don’t notice them that much anymore but that doesn’t mean that other people aren’t going to notice that.
TOM: Isn’t it amazing how invisible that kind of junk becomes to us after a while? We just don’t see it but other people will see it. Yeah, you definitely want to clean that up.
And if you want to see more green and I mean more green dollars, of course, start by adding more green. Good, lush landscaping and greenery can increase your home’s value by a whopping 28 percent, according to the experts at HouseLogic.com.
LESLIE: Steven in Texas, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
STEVEN: I have two bathrooms, side by side. They’re divided by one wall. I’m thinking of taking the wall out and combining the two bathrooms.
TOM: You should approach this project very carefully, Steven, and here’s why: because the number of bathrooms in a house is – has a direct relationship with the value of a house. There’s a difference between a house with two bathrooms and a house with one bathroom and a house with one full bath and one half-bath. So if you’re going to eliminate an entire full bathroom from the house, that will reduce your home value.
Now, that might be OK if you’re not concerned about that or you just want a bigger bathroom and you’re just kind of willing to deal with that. But unfortunately, the way homes are valued – and you can check with a local realtor and ask this very same question. I think you’re going to get a similar answer. Will your home be worth less if you combine two bathrooms into a single bathroom? And I think the answer is going to be yes.
LESLIE: Yeah. But Steven, I’m all for quality of life. If you want that big bathroom, you should have a big bathroom.
STEVEN: It’s something I’ve been kind of dreaming/thinking about for quite some time and …
TOM: Well, then, maybe you should do it. We just don’t want you to do it without having all the facts.
STEVEN: Would I have to bust the slab out in order to relocate drainage pipes?
TOM: Yes. If you’re not going to put the fixtures back in the same place, you will have to break the slab out to get the pipes where you want them. You’re going to probably end up extending the drain line to where the old location used to be. So, yes, there is going to be some demolition involved in that project, as well.
STEVEN: OK. Now, what is that going to do to the structural integrity of the slab?
TOM: Oh, it won’t – well, it’s obviously going to destroy the slab in that area but the slab is not load-bearing in the areas where you’re going to be breaking it apart. It’s not – it won’t have an effect on the foundation because you won’t be impacting the exterior walls. You’re going to be breaking apart the slab in the thinner sections where it’s 4 or 5 inches thick.
STEVEN: OK. Alright. I appreciate it.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Next up, we’ve got Pat in Georgia who needs some help with a cleaning project. What’s going on?
PAT: I have granite countertops. And I am wondering if there is an advantage to using the store-bought cleaners versus a homemade cleaner. And what would the homemade cleaner be?
TOM: So I guess you don’t have a recipe for a homemade cleaner. Is that what you’re saying?
PAT: No, I don’t.
TOM: If you happen to run across one that you like, tell us about it because I have not found one. But I will say that the commercial cleaners are usually very well-developed and are designed to give you a longer-term protection than you can probably get out of anything that you could mix up on your own countertop.
There’s a website called StoneCare.com that specializes in these types of products. And our listeners have always had good success with them, so I would take a look at that website.
But the thing about granite tops is a lot of folks buy them and think, “Well, it’s stone. I’m not going to have to do much work to the top.” But the truth is it’s a lot of work, isn’t it, Pat?
PAT: It very certainly is.
TOM: It really is. And if you don’t stay on top of it, it gets pretty nasty-looking. So, you are going to have to invest in some regular cleaning and I would just buy a good-quality product from a good brand manufacturer and just accept it as reality, OK?
PAT: Thank you so very much.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Tim in Virginia is dealing with some stuck windows. Tell us what’s going on.
TIM: Hi. Run into an issue a lot of times, with some of the older homes that I have, with the windows. For some reason, they are painted shut or nailed shut. But I’d like to know how I can resolve that, as well as some of these windows being dual-pane windows with condensation already in them. Next to replacing them, what can I do to resolve that problem?
TOM: Alright. Two separate issues. First of all, I presume we’re talking about old, wood windows being painted shut? Is that correct?
TIM: That is correct.
TOM: You’re going to need three things. You’re going to need a putty knife, a wood block and a hammer.
Here’s what you do. First of all, you take the putty knife and you run it in between the wood window sash and the frame, all the way around, as many places as you can. Wherever you can get that in there, wiggle it in there, that will free it up.
And you take the block of wood and from the inside, you put it on top of the sash and you take the hammer and you take a – make a quick rap. We’re actually driving the window down, as if you’re trying to close it more. Do that on both sides, on both ends. And what that quick rap does is it tends to break the paint seam that’s sticking it to the sides. So if you run the putty knife around and you take the block of wood, give it a quick rap downward, that should free up the bottom sash.
A lot of people try to get their hands under the window and push up. That tends to pull the wood frame of the window apart. But if you give it a shot down, which is somewhat counterintuitive, that works very well.
Now, as far as the windows that you’re dealing with that are thermal-pane and the seals are failed, can’t do anything about that. When they’re failed, they’re failed. And those windows would have to be replaced if you want them to be clear again.
TIM: OK, OK. Alright. I will certainly put that to use probably within the next week or so with the new unit Pella just purchased. Thank you so very much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Tim. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Amy in Iowa is on the line with a question about a dirt basement. Tell us what’s going on.
AMY: Hi. I recently have purchased an old farmhouse and in the basement, it has a dirt floor. And I was wondering if I should lay concrete on it or if I can lay that thick plastic and put gravel on top to help with the radon and try to keep some of the heat in there.
TOM: Do you know that you have a radon problem?
AMY: Well, I don’t. They talk about it in Iowa being an issue. And with it being a dirt floor, I didn’t know if that was something I should have tested first or go ahead and just leave the plastic and the rock and be …
TOM: I would definitely test because you don’t know what you’re dealing with. You may have to put stone down and then put a concrete floor and then do a ventilation system where you draw the gas up off from underneath the concrete. So, the first thing you have to do is test.
So, do it yourself or hire somebody. And do it right. The testing has to be done under closed building conditions with all the windows and doors closed, except for normal exit and entry. And find out what you’re dealing with and then you can take the appropriate steps after that. But don’t just put it down thinking that if you have a radon problem, it’s going to solve it. Because frankly, it may not.
AMY: OK. Alright. Well, thank you so much for your help.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, we all know that a fresh coat of paint really does look great. But applying it isn’t nearly as much fun. Well, that is until now. We’ve got a new paint that cuts down on prep and raises the bar on the results you get, coming up after the break.
ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Grayne Engineered Shake and Shingle Siding from The Tapco Group. Contractors can now offer homeowners the charm of natural cedar with none of the maintenance. Visit Grayne.com or ask your pro today.
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: Well, nothing can bring new life to an old item faster than a coat of paint, especially if it’s spray paint. And now that’s getting even easier.
LESLIE: Yeah. And you guys know that that is like my favorite project. I love to put spray paint on pretty much everything. So here to tell us about two new products is Shelley Hoffman from Krylon.
SHELLEY: Thank you. Hi. How are you?
TOM: We’re well. So you’ve got two brand-new firsts and they’re called Krylon SUPERMAXX and Krylon Covermax. So briefly, what’s the difference between the two?
SHELLEY: OK. So if we start with Krylon SUPERMAXX, we have the first and only aerosol product on the market that has a no-sand, no-prime promise. And that is so important. You know, as consumers – and I’m a consumer, as well – when you have a project, you have to drag out all your prep tools. But with Krylon SUPERMAXX, you don’t have to worry about that. It’s no prep and no prime and with the addition, you can apply this to any – directly to all laminates and melamine.
SHELLEY: And it also has maximum rust protection.
TOM: Well, what if you’re coating old paint and the old paint maybe is flaky? In that case, you probably have to take off the old paint, don’t you? Because otherwise, you wouldn’t have anything good to adhere to.
SHELLEY: In that case, what you would want to do with any project is just take a – make it a clean surface, make sure you get any of that flaking off. But then you can spray directly over it with Krylon SUPERMAXX.
TOM: That’s great because so many of us love to skip the priming step. It’s not the fun part of the project. But when you have it built in, then that completely goes away.
SHELLEY: Absolutely. And another advantage with our SUPERMAXX and our Covermax, actually, is we have an easy-push spray tip. And what that means is if you’re spraying a project …
LESLIE: Your finger gets tired.
SHELLEY: Yes. Your finger absolutely gets tired. But with our easy-push spray tip, it offers two times less finger fatigue than the competition. And what this equates to is a more enjoyable experience. It’s better coverage, it’s more smooth and you really feel accomplished with what you’ve created at the end.
TOM: That’s the Krylon SUPERMAXX product. And the other new product you have out is called Krylon Covermax. So how does that differ from SUPERMAXX?
SHELLEY: So Covermax, this is a really cool product. It’s our first aerosol that is fully wrapped in color. So if you can imagine an aerosol can, from the cap all the way through the label, is full of color. It would show all red or all pink or all blue, so it kind of helps the shopper at shelf. You’re not going to wonder, “What color is it?” You’re going to know by the can and by the wrapped-in label what color you’re choosing. So it’s going to make it easier for the shopper.
TOM: You know where that can be really handy? Because this happens to me. I lose the caps on the spray-paint cans and sometimes I’m looking at the tip – the spray tip – to figure out what color is in the can.
SHELLEY: Absolutely. And with Covermax, you’re not going to have any question. You’re going to look right at the label and know that it’s a hot pink or it’s a blue or a red or a green. You’re going to know immediately, just from that can that’s fully wrapped in color.
And it’s our first and only in the marketplace that has rust protection in the general-purpose category. So you can use this indoors and outdoors.
LESLIE: And I think you’re forgetting a really important feature: 10 minutes or less drying time?
SHELLEY: Absolutely. And isn’t that important? Everyone’s rushing and wanting to hurry up and create a project and then be able to showcase it or use it. And so our dry time is one of the fastest in the general-purpose category.
TOM: Now, this comes in 91 different – you have 91 different SKUs. So is that like 91 different colors?
SHELLEY: Actually, we have 95 colors in aerosol that ranges from gloss, satins, metallics, hammereds.
SHELLEY: And then we have small quarts, as well – half-pints and quarts. So you can have aerosol and brush-on, as well.
TOM: Oh, that’s great. And they’re going to match. Because again, that’s a situation that you can’t always find where you get the spray paint to actually match the quart cans, so that’s terrific.
And so I hear from your surveys that, basically, this was created in response to what consumers want. Because over 80 percent of consumers wanted both a fade-resistant finish and a long-lasting finish. And about two-thirds want a weather-resistant finish and you’ve been able to accomplish all of that with Covermax?
SHELLEY: Yeah. With Covermax and SUPERMAXX, both – now, we think our consumers’ input is very valuable. And we come out with products so it makes it easier for the consumer in what they’re looking for.
And Covermax, absolutely, it’s fade-resistant, it’s a long-lasting finish, weather-resistant. Since it is the first general-purpose paint with rust protection – the great thing is a lot of us are taking our indoors out and now you can have all the colors – you have 91-plus colors to choose from. And then you can match that to all of your outdoor furnishings and your outdoor décor, with the promise of a rust protection.
TOM: Shelley Hoffman from Krylon, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit.
SHELLEY: Thank you.
TOM: And if you’d like more information on Krylon SUPERMAXX and Krylon Covermax, you can head on over to the Krylon website at Krylon.com. That’s spelled K-R-Y-L-O-N – Krylon.com.
LESLIE: Well, they’re not just for rocking chairs and reading anymore. The great American porch is making a 21st century comeback. What having a porch means for your home and your neighborhood, when The Money Pit continues, after this.
ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is presented by Pavestone’s easy-to-stack RumbleStone Rustic Building Blocks. Create any outdoor hardscape you can imagine, to instantly add old-world charm. Available at The Home Depot. For more information and product instructions, visit Pavestone.com.
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. Pick up the phone and give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT. One lucky caller that we talk to on the air this hour is in for a real treat. Why not help your car out, as well as your home? We’ve got a 3M Auto Prize Pack worth more than 100 bucks.
TOM: It’s a great prize. For over 100 years, 3M has developed over 1,000 innovative solutions used in cars. And this hour’s winner gets to test drive a few of them, from the Bondo Rotted Wood Repair to the 3M Headlight Restoration.
You can learn more at 3M.com. And call for your chance to win at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Mark in West Virginia is on the line with a roofing question. How can we help you today?
MARK: I was just wondering if I could put a metal roof over top of a shingle roof without removing the shingled roof.
TOM: Well, you can but why do you want to do that, Mark? It’s kind of sloppy.
MARK: I just – I’ve never worked with metal and I didn’t know if you could do it that way. Because you can shingle over an old asphalt shingle; you can put another – a layer over top of it. Just getting rid of them – the hassle of getting rid of them in a landfill.
TOM: Technically, you can but I just think it’s going to be a neater, cleaner, more professional job if you take off the asphalt shingles. And they’re not that hard to remove.
LESLIE: Yeah. And you don’t know how many layers are underneath your existing roof. Plus, I don’t know, really, but I’m imagining that a metal roof is going to have some weight to it. And why put that extra stress on the structure? And it’s a lifetime roof; you know, you’re looking at 50 years on a metal roof, so …
MARK: How about cutting it? Any special tools? Do you have any idea?
TOM: Yeah, I mean it’s all done with shears.
TOM: And you can use hand shears and you can use power shears. But when you work with that stuff all the time, you have the tools that you need to do that. But that’s what you’re going to have to cut it with.
MARK: Well, hey – well, thanks – thank you for being so – and I appreciate it.
TOM: You’re very welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Dottie in Oregon, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
DOTTIE: We have a patio that had some cracks in it. It is exposed aggregate. My husband dug it out and filled in the cracks. Now, our question for you is: is there a sealer with some colorant that we could use over the whole area?
TOM: I think what you’re asking us for is a concrete stain. Sealers are always clear. So if you’ve got this crack filled in and you’ve got some color to that, then what you’re going to have to do is stain the concrete to match that and then you could seal it. But you’d have to stain it. And if you’re going to stain concrete, you would use an acid stain.
DOTTIE: OK. Is there anything you can recommend?
LESLIE: QUIKRETE makes a great one in a couple of good colors. More neutral than anything a little crazy but it’s an easy-to-apply product. You’re going to get some great coloration there. And you know what? It’s a reputable brand; they know what they’re doing. So I would start there.
DOTTIE: Oh, that sounds great. And I really love your show.
TOM: Thank you very much, Dottie. Good luck with that project.
LESLIE: Well, we all love to get good news, so why not share some good news for homeowners whose homes have porches? The great American porch is totally back in vogue. According to a recent census data, porch construction has been on the rise for the past 10 years, with more and more new homes including them as a feature.
TOM: And it’s not just good news for your home’s value, it’s also good news for your neighborhood and your health, too. Neighborhoods where porches are popular actually rank higher in walkability and interaction, which can pay off when it’s time to sell your home.
LESLIE: And porches are also kind of fun to decorate, guys. Instead of filling your roof with cast-off furniture from other rooms, why not check out the countless weather-resistant furnishings and décor that are available on the market today? From all-weather wicker to even those quick-drying outdoor rugs – and some of those rugs can be so vibrant and colorful with great patterns. You really can create this as an extra room.
TOM: And if you really want to pack some punch into your porch, you want to consider bringing the indoors out with a hammock swing or even a lounging bed. And you can screen-in the porch, too, for a bug-free relaxation, except if you’re like Leslie who likes to have squirrels attack her in the porch. In that case, you want to probably have no screening so you can easily jump out and out of the way of the neighborhood squirrels.
LESLIE: And you know what? Once I kicked them out of my porch, they ate through the garbage cans. They ate the tops.
TOM: They showed you.
LESLIE: Yeah, they really showed me.
TOM: 888-666-3974. Let us show you the solution to your home improvement project.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Dean in Pennsylvania on the line who’s got an insulation question. What can we do for you today?
DEAN: I have an older home. It has a brick exterior and then the stud walls on the inside. And between there is the air space. And that air space, it dumps down in the basement. And in the wintertime, I’m feeling the cold air sinking and I want to try and get my kids to use the basement a little bit more but it’s a little on the chilly side. And I don’t know if I’m – if that’s like a vent of some sort, if I’m allowed to insulate that or will I cause problems if I close it off or what?
TOM: You can actually see where this gap opens up to the basement?
DEAN: Yep, mm-hmm.
TOM: There’s no reason that you can’t insulate that. That would be along what we call the “box beam” or the “box insulation.” And that’s actually a standard place to add insulation.
The other thing that you could consider doing is you could use an expandable foam in that area to kind of seal the gap, if it’s not too wide, or simply add some fiberglass-batt insulation there. I think that’s the easiest thing to do. That will stop some of that draft from getting through to the basement and make being down there a lot more comfortable.
DEAN: Yeah, right. I didn’t know if that was how you have insulated windows now: two panes of glass with the air space in between. I didn’t know if it was something like that.
TOM: No, there’s not quite that much thought put into it. It’s just kind of the way those old homes were built. So you can certainly insulate that space.
DEAN: Awesome. That’ll do.
TOM: Alright. Well, we’re glad we could help. 888-666-3974.
LESLIE: Michelle in Alabama, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
MICHELLE: OK. Well, we live in a home that was built in the early 70s. And in two of the bedrooms, we are having a mold issue and it’s just above the baseboards. And I’ve actually cut into the sheetrock, thinking that maybe it’s the moisture from the outside coming through but it’s not. There’s no mold inside; it’s just in the room. And I don’t know what’s causing it or how to even fix it.
LESLIE: And are you certain that it’s mold? Have you had it tested?
MICHELLE: Well, yeah, it’s like a – we had a piece of furniture there – a dresser there – and we moved it and we were totally shocked that there – like it was black and fuzzy. It was no – it was mold.
TOM: So if you had this furniture against the wall, you probably created sort of a chilly, damp area there. Moving the furniture out probably helps because you get a little more ventilation behind it. But what I would do is I would spray that mold down with a bleach-and-water solution so that would kill anything that’s there. Protect the carpet because, obviously, you don’t want to bleach out your carpet. But spray it down, let the bleach-and-water sit for a while – maybe 10,15 minutes – and then clean it. And that will stop any further mold from growing.
And just try to keep that area dry. If it’s very damp and it’s – and if the furniture was pressed up against it, that might be why it’s happening.
What kind of furniture was against it?
MICHELLE: It was really like a child’s dresser.
TOM: OK. So it was wood. It wasn’t a couch or something like that?
MICHELLE: No, it was wood, yeah.
TOM: Yeah, so take a look at the back of that, too, and make sure if there’s any mold spores on that, that they’re cleaned, as well.
MICHELLE: Alright. Thanks for your help.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: So, this time of year, are you unpacking your outdoor furniture and are you thinking that that’s a really fun way to mark the beginning of spring? Or maybe not so much fun because you get lots of dirt and grime and mess and all of that that hauling out this furniture brings with it. We’re going to tell you how to clean those chairs and tables without making a bigger mess, when The Money Pit continues.
ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is presented by QUIKRETE Concrete & Cement products. QUIKRETE, what America is made of. Like us on Facebook and visit online at www.QUIKRETE.com for product information and easy, step-by-step project videos.
TOM: Where home solutions live, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Are you a weekend warrior and darn proud of it? Well, why not enter the Be a Weekend Warrior Sweepstakes? You and your tool collection could win big because the grand prize is an Arrow Fastener Pack worth 395 bucks. And in it you’ll find everything you need to reupholster your favorite furniture with new fabric. Just head on over to MoneyPit.com for all the details.
LESLIE: Alright. And post your question in the Community section, just like Brandon from Florida did who writes: “The tag on my light fixture says to use no more than a 75-watt light bulb in it. But the fixture is probably 10 years old and was made before LED bulbs were available. Is it safe to use an LED bulb rated equivalent to 100 watts?”
TOM: Well, the amperage draw and heat generated with an LED – a 100-watt LED – is far less than a 75-watt incandescent bulb would draw. So it’s a pretty common scenario that the manufacturers are going to have these fixtures labeled this way because, of course, remember 10 years ago we didn’t have LEDs to kind of figure this out.
So I would think it’s probably safe to use an LED bulb that’s rated to 100 watts. But to be absolutely sure, you want to check with the bulb’s manufacturer. Because some of the LED bulbs also generate more heat than others.
LESLIE: Yeah. But good on you, Brandon, for switching over to a more efficient and less expensive-in-the-long-run light bulb. It’s going to look great in your room, it’s going to save you some energy dollars and of course, help Mother Nature.
TOM: Well, bringing out the outdoor furniture is a fun way to mark the start of warmer weather. But that furniture usually brings some gross stuff with it, which is why Leslie has got tips, right now, on how to get those tables and chairs back in shape, in this week’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.
LESLIE: Yeah. I mean it’s kind of amazing that even if you’ve been storing your furniture in, say, your shed or your basement all winter long, that outdoor furnishing, once you haul it out, it could actually use a good cleaning. So, you have to think about what type of furniture because each different material is going to have a different cleaning method.
So let’s start with plastic furniture. You want to mix a little dish soap, some Borax and a ½-cup of peroxide into 1 gallon of water. Then let it sit for about 10-15 minutes and then use a nylon brush to kind of scrub it onto the plastic pieces. Rinse it well when you’re finished and it’ll really brighten up all of that plastic furnishing and really make it look new.
If you’ve got metal furniture, you want to use soapy water and our favorite cleaning agent: you know, good old elbow grease. Seriously, it’s the best helper in a lot of situations. But if the metal furniture does have some rust on it, you want to remove that with sandpaper and then just go ahead and repaint the entire piece of furniture with a rust-prohibiting paint or metal varnish, like Krylon Covermax, which is launching at the National Hardware Show. Because that’s going to give you rust protection, it’s going to go on super-easy and it’s going to dry really fast.
If you’ve got wood furniture, you’re going to need to oil the surfaces with a sealant or a preservative that’s appropriate to the material, the type of wood that your furniture is made out of. You can clean the furniture a couple of times a month with an oil soap, too. That really does help.
Now, you want to make sure you let all your furniture, whatever type of material it is, dry super-well before you go ahead and add the cushions back to it. And speaking of your cushions, they’re probably going to need a pick-me-up, too. You can mix 1 teaspoon each of dishwashing detergent and Borax into a quart of warm water. You can use a spray bottle to douse the cushions generously. And once it sits for about 15 minutes, make sure you hit them with a hose to rinse and then stand the cushions on their side so that they dry very, very thoroughly.
And that’s going to brighten everything up and help you enjoy the season without walking off in your white pants with a dirty butt, which is bound to happen if you don’t clean the furniture.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Coming up next time on the program, do you have a noisy backyard? Does it sound like it’s breaking the sound barrier? Well, it might not be but it can sure sound that way, which is why we’ll have tips on how you can cut down on all that racket with a natural solution: trees. That’s what’s coming up, on the next edition of The 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.
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(Copyright 2015 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.)