Want to update your kitchen this summer?Updating the layout at the same time can deliver updated functionality and flow. Tom & Leslie share tips for kitchen layouts that bring in some new feng-shui and make the space more functional.
Are you bracing for you next big cooling bill of the summer? We’ll highlight new technology that can keep you cool and cut your costs at the same time.
A great looking fence can improve your home’s curb appeal and add to your home’s value. But if the fence hasn’t been well maintained, it can have the opposite effect! We walk you through how to stain a fence and make it last!
If you enjoy watching hummingbirds in summer, the best way to attract them to your yard is to feed them. Leslie shares the do’s and don’ts of making your own delicious sugar water homemade hummingbird food!
Plus, answers to your home improvement questions about:
- How to brighten up a dirty and stained garage floor.
- Options for adding slip resistant paint surfaces.
- How to choose the best low-maintenance replacement window.
- How to adjust a door that swells and sticks.
- Is your roof full of green moss or algae? We share a cool trick to clear the algae using just a single strip of copper flashing!
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’re so glad you guys are here with us. And we are here to help you take on projects around your house that you need to do to create your best home ever. Whether it’s inside or out, we can handle any questions. So, throw them at us by contacting us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT or posting your questions at MoneyPit.com.
Coming up on today’s show, are you guys thinking about updating your kitchen this summer? Well, if you’re going to do that, it’s very tempting to use the existing layout but the real kitchen of your dreams probably includes an updated functionality and flow. So that means you’ve got to move stuff around: you’ve got to move the sink or move the range or move something that is plumbed or wired. But when you do, it actually becomes the perfect kitchen. We’re going to share tips on layouts that will make it easier on you and the family to get that done.
LESLIE: And also ahead, in the next week or two, most of us are going to be receiving a bill for electricity that’s going to reflect how much we have been using the A/C at the start of the summer season. And once your shock wears off, you might be wondering, “What can I do to improve this whole system and lower those costs?” Well, we’re going to highlight some new technology that can help keep you cool and your cut your costs at the same time.
TOM: And also, a great fence can improve your home’s curb appeal and it can also add to your home’s value. But if the fence hasn’t been well-maintained, it can definitely have the opposite effect. So we’re going to walk you through how to spruce up your fence to make it last.
LESLIE: But first, we want to know what you are working on this first week of summer. Maybe you’re just thinking of what projects you’re going to start. Whatever it is, we are here for you, so give us a call so we can help you create your best home ever.
TOM: The number here is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. If you give us a call with your questions, we might even be able to help you step up your tool collection, because today we’re giving away a HART 20-Volt 4-Tool Combo Kit to one lucky listener. It’s worth 178 bucks.
HART Tools are well made, they’re versatile and they’re available exclusively at Walmart. You must have a home improvement question to be entered, so call us, right now, at 888-MONEY-PIT or post your questions to MoneyPit.com.
LESLIE: Debbie in North Carolina, welcome to The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
DEBBIE: My husband and I have a townhome and it was owned by several other people. From what I understand, the previous owners used to fix cars in the garage, so – it’s a two-car garage. There are no cracks in the floor but it does have a very gritty surface to it and it looks horrible. I don’t really know what I can do. At first I thought, “Well, maybe I can just” – is there some kind of paint I can paint over it or maybe – or is it something where I have to do another epoxy on top of epoxy? Is it something a typical homeowner can work on?
TOM: The floor that’s there now, is it well adhered to the concrete? Is it peeling off in any way or does it look like it’s pretty down there and pretty durable?
DEBBIE: It looks like it’s on there pretty good.
TOM: OK. So what I think you should do is clean it and then put another coat of epoxy on top of that – one or two coats over that. And I think that can brighten it up. So many choices and colors today and you’ve got manufacturers, like QUIKRETE, that make good products that can go there. There’s different types of texturing material you can add or color flakes you can add to give it some personality.
But trying to take that off wouldn’t make any sense. I don’t think it’s really buying you anything. Even though it’s got a texture to it, I would paint over it after it was cleaned and properly prepped.
DEBBIE: Can I ask how hard it is to handle the epoxy paint?
TOM: It’s not difficult. The way it works is it’s chemical-cured. So when you buy epoxy paint, you actually get two cans.
TOM: So you’ll get one that’s a gallon can but when you open it up, it’s only going to be filled three-quarters of the way. And then you’ll get a second can that’s a quart can and that’s the hardener. So the first thing you do when you open up the gallon can and the quart can is you mix them together. And that becomes the paint that you’re working with.
Now, remember, though, once you start mixing them, the clock starts ticking. And you’re only going to have probably, I guess, maybe 2, 3 hours to use it up. But it won’t take that long, because you’re going to be applying it with a brush first on the outside perimeter and then a roller. And then you kind of work your way out of the garage. And as you apply it wet and they usually – they’ll give you these color flakes that you kind of shake over it to give it that personality and they stick in there and you just keep moving.
TOM: And I would do a 4-foot strip – wide strip – all the way down, then I would put my color flakes in. Then I would do another 4 foot and another 4 foot and pretty soon you’ll be right out the door. They’re really not that hard to do. The key is just to be organized and to prep it properly so that once you actually mix up the paint, you’re good to go.
LESLIE: And then don’t paint yourself in a corner.
DEBBIE: Would I need more than one can for a two-car garage, as far as you know?
TOM: I would check the coverage on the can to see how many square feet that it covers.
LESLIE: Yeah. A gallon usually does 400 square feet, so …
DEBBIE: So, realistically, it’s something I can do in a couple of hours or …?
TOM: Oh, absolutely.
LESLIE: Oh, yeah. For sure.
TOM: Yeah. Yeah. Mm-hmm.
DEBBIE: OK. Alright. Well, that sounds great. I really was afraid it was going to be a lot harder than that.
TOM: Dive in, Debbie. The water’s fine.
DEBBIE: OK. Alright. Thank you.
TOM: Alright? Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
DEBBIE: Thank you. Bye-bye.
TOM: And once Debbie tackles that, who knows where she’ll go, right? I mean this takes one project to kind of get your confidence up and away you go.
LESLIE: Howard in Tennessee is on the line and needs some help making things around the pool not so slippy. What’s going on?
HOWARD: We have a concrete deck around our pool and it has been painted before, years ago. And I was going to pressure-wash it and I wondered what kind of paint surface to put on there that would not be slick where people would fall.
TOM: Mm-hmm. Yeah. So I think what you want, Howard, is a paint with an anti-slip coating. There are paints out there that have some abrasion to them. And so they are specifically designed for stairs and wet locations like just what you’re suggesting.
I know there’s one at Home Depot that’s called Sure Step – S-u-r-e S-t-e-p. It’s made by INSL-X and it has some pretty good ratings. Folks seem to be very happy with it. And it’s designed as an exterior coating that does just that. It can go on concrete.
And what I would caution you, though, is if you are going to pressure-wash, you want to make sure that that surface gets really dry and that you’re lifting off any loose paint. Because as good as the topcoat of paint is, if it’s not sticking, it’s not going to do you any good. So, you want to make sure you – if you’re going to pressure-wash it, that’s great. But make sure that loose paint’s gone and then give it a good couple of days in the sun to dry before you put the next layer of paint on it.
But take a look at that Sure Step product and I think that’s exactly what you need.
HOWARD: Well, thank you so much. And I’d just like to say I love your show. It’s very informative and here in Tennessee, we like it.
TOM: Well, we thank you so much for listening there in Tennessee, Howard, and have a great day.
HOWARD: Thank you, sir.
TOM: Hey, how’d you guys like to win a very cool cordless combo kit? You can if you pick up the phone and call us with your questions, because we’ve got from HART the 20-Volt 4-Tool Combo. It includes the Drill Driver, the Impact Driver, the Recip Saw, the light, 2 batteries and a 16-inch tool bag. Going out to one caller drawn at random.
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LESLIE: Heading to Nebraska now where Ellie is on the line with a window question. What can we do for you today?
ELLIE: I’m replacing a window in the lower level of our home and I was wondering if you had an opinion as to what would be the best material for the window. Vinyl? Wood? Composite?
TOM: What kind of a window do you have there now? Is it a standard sort of double-hung window?
ELLIE: No. It’s actually five windows in one. It’s 9 foot by 3 foot.
TOM: Oh, that’s a big job. Yeah. My first point would be that you need to make sure you’re buying an energy-efficient window. Because with a space that big, you want to make sure that you’re using well-insulated glass. So I would only buy one that was ENERGY STAR-rated.
TOM: And you want to make sure that the glass is going to have a low-emissivity coating or a low-E coating, because what that does is that reflects the sunlight back out so that it doesn’t overheat your house. Otherwise, you’re going to heat that space up like a big, old greenhouse with a 9-foot window.
In terms of the material itself, I think outside the house, you want something that’s very, very weatherproof, like vinyl. And inside the house, depending on the window you buy, it can be wood or it could be vinyl. So if you look at a window like an Andersen window, they have beautiful windows that are wood on the inside and vinyl on the outside. It kind of gives you the best of both worlds. But again, there are many different types of manufacturers out there. The most important thing is not as much the material but the certification, to make sure that it’s an efficient window that’s going to perform well for you and last a long, long time.
ELLIE: We will look for those energy ratings then.
TOM: Alright. Good luck. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, if you’ve been frustrated by the layout of your kitchen, summer is a great time to take on a renovation project. Now, the hardest part, though, can be just figuring out where you start. So we’ve got some tips to help, in today’s Pro Project presented by Angi.
TOM: First, it’s very easy to stick with the same old, current design. But if you think outside those old kitchen cabinets, you can bring on some inspiration with a brand-new and perhaps even more efficient kitchen layout. So, think about change to the location of the sink, the functionality of the countertop. You could add or even remove an island to free up space. If you get strategic with lighting, you can also make sure you’ve got both task and accent lights.
These are all things that a pro designer can help you achieve, because that’s what they do. They do this every day, so they’re going to think about this stuff way before you ever get frustrated with the project thinking, “Why didn’t I put more light in that spot? I can never see what I’m cutting.”
LESLIE: Yeah, that’s very true. So, you need to find an experienced design pro. And you can do that through the National Kitchen and Bath Association or NKBA. Now, they offer a certification program. And to become an NKBA-certified kitchen-and-bath designer, these pros must have at least 5 years of design experience and they must complete at least 60 hours of continuing education. So they’re always on top of the latest trends, the latest ways to achieve the best effects and desired needs for your kitchen space. So they’re definitely someone you want to trust.
TOM: I think the nicest thing about working with a pro designer is that you get to pretty much wipe the slate clean and kind of start from scratch. So, the sky is the limit. If you’re seeing beautiful kitchen designs in showrooms or websites, that can be fun but it can also be overwhelming. If you hire a design pro, that can definitely make the difference to help you achieve all that is possible for your individual space, all while saving you money and time and the hassle of figuring it all out on your own.
LESLIE: And that’s today’s Pro Project presented by Angi. Find expert pros available for hundreds of projects, upfront pricing, plus the ability to book and pay right from your phone.
TOM: To get started, download the Angi app today.
LESLIE: Alright. Next up, we’ve got Ward from Utica on the line. What’s going on at your money pit?
WARD: Well, I’ve got a roof I’m replacing. The current roof has two layers of shingles on it and I want to rip those shingles off and put on a metal roof.
WARD: However, I got thinking about the underlayment, which I had spray-foamed in the attic about 3 years ago. And I’m concerned that if I have to repair or pull up the underlayment, I’m going to ruin all my insulation.
TOM: OK. So you have – you did a spray-foam insulation treatment 3 years ago.
TOM: And the spray foam was sprayed to the underside of the roof sheathing. Is that correct?
WARD: That’s right.
TOM: OK. And at that time, did you happen to notice any deteriorated roof sheathing? Because you would see it from the inside of the attic before you’d see it from the outside of the attic. Did you notice anything that was black, moldy, delaminated, hanging down some shreds? Anything like that?
WARD: No, no, not really. And I didn’t look closely myself but the guys who did the job did not report anything like that.
TOM: I’d think that the chances of you having delaminated sheathing at this stage is probably pretty small. I do understand your concern that if you pull the shingles off and you find out you have bad sheathing and you have to take it off, you would ruin the insulation that’s now sprayed and is stuck to the underside of that.
So, if that was the case, I would tell you to resheathe that part of the roof, so whatever half or section or plateau of that roof it is. And you could use ½-inch sheathing or maybe even 3/8 depending on the condition. But I suspect it’s going to be fine.
And also, once you sprayed that spray-foam insulation at the underside of the attic, if they did it right they would have blocked all your vents, because it’s no longer necessary to vent an attic that has been sealed with spray-foam insulation. Because that attic now becomes a conditioned space. And therefore, you get a lot less moisture up there.
WARD: Ah, now that’s interesting because I did not know that.
TOM: Yeah. You’re not supposed to have any openings in an attic that has been spray-foamed because that whole area is now, essentially, part of the interior space of your house.
WARD: Right, right.
TOM: So if you had roof vents or you had ridge vents or gable vents, they should have been closed up and foamed over.
WARD: I will double-check that but that actually makes the whole thing easier then.
TOM: Yeah, I don’t think you have anything to worry about with the sheathing. And it’s a smart improvement to take off both layers and to put on metal roofing, because you’re in Upstate New York. I’m sure you get a ton of snow. And it’s really going to stand up much better.
Make sure they put the snow guards, though, at the roof edge because that snow is very heavy when it falls off. And you don’t want it to hurt anybody down below.
WARD: Absolutely. I’m planning on doing that.
TOM: Alright, Ward. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Taylor in Michigan is having issues with a door. What’s going on?
TAYLOR: We were having some swelling around our door and so it sticks when you shut it. And we were wondering if, besides sanding it, if there’s anything that you can do to help fix that issue.
LESLIE: Well, you’ve got to really figure out where it’s sticking, because that’s going to determine how you fix it. So have you kind of figured out – is the door leaning and maybe one part is rubbing? Is it at the lock point? Where are you noticing the stick?
TAYLOR: Yeah. On both of our doors that have that issue, we’ve noticed it towards the top of the door. So that part might be leaning a little bit, I think.
LESLIE: And have you tightened the screws in the hinges just to see, maybe, it’s sort of loosened in its fitting in the jamb itself?
TAYLOR: Yeah, we have tried that.
TOM: Typically, if the door is not closing properly, it’s not adjusted properly.
TOM: And the door can only move so many ways. And what we typically find is that if you pay attention to the reveal as the door closes and you look for unevenness there, it’s going to signal to you what has to happen. So, for example, if the door is rubbing on the top, then typically that hinge – the opposite hinge – has to be set deeper into the jamb so it opens up.
Look, you can sand this, you can cut this. But you’re better off adjusting the door because, invariably, it did close properly once and it’s just moved a little bit.
LESLIE: Right. And that’s expected over time.
TOM: Yeah, exactly. Sometimes, you can pull a screw out that’s going into the jamb and replace it with a longer one that reaches through the stud. And just by doing that one thing and driving it in with an impact wrench or a drill driver, it will suck that whole jamb over and fix the door with one screw.
TOM: OK? But that’s what you need to pay attention to.
Taylor, we did a video for Yale, to teach folks how to align the door for smart locks. And the same advice, actually, applies. It’s called “DIY Door Alignment for Smart Locks.” It’s on YouTube and it’s also on MoneyPit.com. So just search for the door-alignment video and we will walk you through, step by step, all the different ways you can adjust a door, OK?
TAYLOR: Awesome. Great. Thank you so much.
TOM: Well, if you’re ready for an upgrade to both your air conditioning and heating system that can deliver long-term comfort and savings, LG now has an inverter-technology solution that does just that and more. With us to talk about how it all works is Phillip Kriegbaum with LG Air Conditioning Technologies.
PHILLIP: Hey, guys. Thanks for having me on the show.
TOM: Hey, it’s our pleasure. So, one of the reasons that I think our A/C systems are so inefficient is that many times, they’re kind of a one-size-fits-all application in the sense that all floors and individual rooms are going to be on one thermostat and tend to heat unevenly.
Now, the way we get all around that is to sort of work that thermostat, you know – to find that happy medium by undercooling one area, overcooling another – to find that sweet spot but it does drive up the cost.
What I like about your zoned approach to heating and cooling is that it totally avoids this and really dials it in every space in the house. So tell us about how it all works.
PHILLIP: Absolutely, absolutely. That is one of the huge advantages to an LG system – is that we have the capability to have different indoor zones and different sections working independently. So if there’s, for instance, a two-story home where the top floor would traditionally be much warmer than the bottom floor and you’re trying to manage that by forcing the thermostat lower or raising it to accommodate the other area, we can put different zones – different independently-operating systems – for, say, the top story or the bottom story. Or a larger home where heating on the west side or the east side, depending on the time of the day – we have that ability to condition certain areas only.
We’ve been attempting to do that for decades with zone systems by pushing more air conditioning or more heating to a certain area. But one of the big drawbacks to that is that we’re still making our equipment – our worn, central HVAC system – operate at full capacity and we’re just trying to force more air one way or the other.
But with an LG system, we can actually only have to condition, heat or cool that area that we’re in and that we can have independent temperatures and climates in different areas of the home. That is the biggest advantage to an LG system and that’s why it’s able to save you so much money on the energy bills.
TOM: We’re talking to Phillip Kriegbaum – he is with LG Air Conditioning Technologies – about the new inverter technology that’s just out from LG.
So, Phillip, I think that both Leslie and I have been sort of of the category of sort of the strategic users of split systems over the years. We both have very old houses. In my home, I have an office/studio that’s on the south side of the house. Tends to get very warm. And it’s also at the end of the run of my central air-conditioning system, so we use a split system here to balance that out.
Now, I also have a kitchen that is what I call the “new addition” on my 130-year-old house, because it was built in 1910. So that’s the brand-new addition, by the way. And that is a one story kind of bolt onto the outside of the house. So, again, an area that was always hotter in the summers than the rest of the house. And by using this type of a system strategically, we were able to balance that out and really maximize the comfort.
So, I think that’s an important point for folks to think about, because it’s not an all-or-nothing: you can supplement your existing system, as you pointed out earlier, by using this kind of technology and improve your comfort and reduce your expenses at the same time, in terms of that electricity cost.
PHILLIP: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. You nailed it right on the head.
LESLIE: So, Phillip, I think everybody is sort of all on board with smart homes sort of automating everything and having access to the whole systems within the palm of your hand on your phone. Is there options for that with the new LG system?
PHILLIP: Oh, absolutely. We wouldn’t be LG Electronics if it wasn’t for some very high-end electronics built into our systems. An app called the LG ThinQ app – and LG has kept the platform for all of their appliances within one app, which I find really, really neat. So I don’t need four or five different apps on my phone to control all my LG appliances. So we can operate your oven and your washing machine and your television and now your HVAC system all from the same app.
And the app is very user-friendly, very powerful. So if you have four, five, six different zones and indoor units within your home, we can give them names and we can set up different parameters. So if you like certain times of day for the temperature to adjust in different areas of your home, you can set up some customized schedules to make it very easy. If you’re ever away from the home, it allows you to monitor what’s happening inside your home.
So, we do. And again, it’s called the LG ThinQ app and it’s just a great, very user-friendly app. And I’ve enjoyed using it a lot.
TOM: Phillip, one more question before we let you go. LG has a technology that you refer to as LGRED. Can you talk to us a little bit about that? Because I think folks are going to be seeing that more and more in the marketplace.
PHILLIP: Yes, yes. LGRED is definitely – it’s a sector of our technology and of our product offerings that is growing rapidly.
So RED stands for Reliable to Extreme Degrees. All of our equipment both heats and cools. We are a heat pump. And there’s a lot of markets in the United States, especially, where heat pumps have historically not been able to provide adequate heat in the northern climates, the cold climates.
Well, the Reliable to Extreme Degrees – this allows us to have a cold climate, air-sourced heat pump that can both cool and heat your home. We provide 100 percent of our rated heating capacity of 5 degrees and then continuous heating all the way down to -13 degrees.
In areas of the country where they’re moving away from fossil fuel, oil-burning, natural gas, propane and they’re moving away from those sources of heat and they’re looking for a reliable and an economical and a clean source of heating, we’re moving towards these cold-climate heat pumps. And LG is leading the way with our RED series there in those markets.
TOM: Fantastic. Phillip Kriegbaum is the account manager with LG Air Conditioning Technologies.
Thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit, Phillip, and really bringing us up to speed on this inverter technology. It’s really impressive what you can do today and the increase in comfort is absolutely amazing. And most important, I think if you get into this technology now, the next time you open up a summer air-conditioning bill, it won’t be quite as shocking to see. Thanks, again.
PHILLIP: Thanks, guys, for having me. I’ve enjoyed it.
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TOM: You know, I love that Deep Sentinel can actually prevent a crime before it occurs. I mean stuff like burglaries or package thefts, think about it: whenever you see that video that you always see on the news or shared on social media that shows somebody trying to do something they shouldn’t be doing to your house, it’s always after it happened, right? Well, these Deep Sentinel guards are watching the cameras live. They’re watching the feeds live. And they can interrupt that crime while it’s in progress.
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LESLIE: Alright. And here’s the best part, you guys. You can enter once a day at MoneyPit.com. And if you share the sweepstakes with your friends, you can earn bonus entries. That’s the Safe at Home Sweepstakes presented by Deep Sentinel on MoneyPit.com.
Thanks so much for joining us this hour at The Money Pit. A great-looking fence can improve your home’s curb appeal, it can add to your home’s value and provide a stylish definition of your yard and garden. But if that fence hasn’t been well-maintained, it can actually have the opposite effect.
Now, sprucing up your spruce fence or cedaring up your cedar – nope, that doesn’t make sense. But sprucing up your wood fences, guys, it really is an easy DIY project. We’re going to walk you through that project, presented by Wagner Control Pro High-Efficiency Airless Paint Sprayers.
TOM: OK. First, you want to check your fence for any needed repairs, because this is the time to take of it. If you find loose fence slats, you want to fix any sections that might be leaning. Make sure the gates are working well, make sure they latch easily.
And also, take note of the condition of the bottom of the fence, because if the sections have sagged – or sometimes just by virtue of their weight, they’ll settle – they’ll get closer to the ground. If you find that they’re touching the ground or anything closer than about 4 to 6 inches above grade, it is really smart to trim the bottom of those boards. Because if you keep a good air space underneath it, you can prevent moisture from wicking up into those boards and causing them to rot.
LESLIE: Next, clean the fence to remove any dirt, moss or algae. Now, a pressure washer is going to work really well for this but you have to be careful to not use too much pressure, because you can actually damage the fence.
Once you’re done, it’s time for a fresh coat of stain. When you’re choosing the stain, you’ve got to keep in mind that there are generally two types of exterior stains out there: there’s a solid-color stain and a semi-transparent. Now, a solid color is best because it’s got more pigment and it’s going to last much longer.
You can brush the stain on, you can roll it on. But applying it with a good-quality paint sprayer really is the best way to go, because not only does it save a ton of time but it’s just easier to get into all the nooks and crannies on a fence when you spray it. Plus, if you use a paint sprayer, like the Wagner Control Pro, you’re going to find that you get great coverage. And it’s really easy to clean when the job is done, so you’ll be good to go for the next project.
Now, the job is going to get done super quick. Plus, it’s easier to get into all of those nooks and crannies on a fence when you spray it as opposed to when you’re trying to brush it.
TOM: I’ve got to tell you, it is so much work to brush and roll a fence because you spend so much time – it takes up as much time to do the sort of rolled sections as it does the brush sections, because there’s no other way to get into all those tight spaces. That’s why a paint sprayer is perfect for that.
And by the way, here’s a tip for those that are installing new fences: you want to have the sections delivered before the installers show up, because it’s a lot easier to stain the fence before it’s all put together. Plus, you can do a much better job because you can get every little edge, including the bottom which is just so important, as we mentioned earlier, to stop the water from wicking up into the fence boards. And this way, the stain is going to make the fence last a lot longer.
LESLIE: And that’s today’s Outdoor Update, presented by Wagner Control Pro High-Efficiency Airless Paint Sprayers. Now, these sprayers produce up to 55-percent less overspray, which makes it easy for homeowners to transform big projects, like a home’s exterior, deck, fences and more.
TOM: The Wagner Control Pro 130 is available at all major retailers, including The Home Depot, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Menards and Amazon. Learn more at WagnerSprayTech.com.
LESLIE: Jeff wants to know: “How do we clean mildew from our asphalt-shingle roof? It’s always bad in the summer and it looks pretty disgusting. I’m also concerned it’s damaging our roof.”
TOM: Yep. Very common problem, Jeff. I suspect that your roof probably has a lot of shade. That’s usually the reason that you grow moss and algae and mildew on those shingles.
So a couple of things that you can do. There are commercially-available roof-cleaning products that you can spray on your shingles. Let it sit. They usually take a little while to work.
The other thing that you can do is if you add a strip of copper flashing at the top of that roof, right around the ridge, the rain will hit that flashing, it will release some of its metal. That acts as a mildicide and it will keep the roof clean in the long run. And also, if you can trim back some of those trees, let a little more sunlight on that, the sun will also do a good job of keeping that roof from growing any moss.
But you know what? You don’t have to worry about damage. That generally doesn’t happen. It just looks pretty disgusting. So, that’s why it’s a great reason to get rid of it.
LESLIE: Yeah, it definitely does not look so great. I mean unless you live on a shire like a hobbit, then that works? Or if you’re trying to achieve a living roof or – what do they call that, a “green roof”? One of those things.
LESLIE: But better to get rid of it.
TOM: Well, if you guys enjoy watching hummingbirds in summer, the best way to attract them to your yard is to feed them. But while you can buy hummingbird food in the store, you can also very easily make it at home. Leslie shares the dos and the don’ts of doing just that, in today’s addition of Leslie’s Last Word.
Leslie, these birds are absolutely amazing to watch, aren’t they?
LESLIE: Oh, my gosh. I mean they’re so beautiful and colorful and tiny and they don’t look real. They are just so much fun to watch and they are incredibly fast. Did you know, truly, they can fly at 50 miles per hour?
So, yeah, get them to fly directly to your yard. And to do that, you need to feed them and that’s going to keep them coming back. But before you do go and feed those hummingbirds, you have to understand the dos and don’ts of making hummingbird food.
Now, first, you’re going to need a recipe and it’s really quite simple. It’s a cup of sugar and 4 cups of water. And you want to mix the two ingredients together, bring them to a boil and then let it cool. That’s it. You can also use this in a cocktail; it’s called “simple syrup.” But that’s a whole ‘nother thing.
Birds’ digestive systems are very different from humans, so there are some tips you’ve got to keep in mind when you do make that homemade hummingbird food. You want to pay attention to shelf life. Homemade hummingbird food is really best kept in the refrigerator and it can last in there for about 2 weeks. If you don’t use it all by that time, it’s a good idea to just throw it out.
Nectar in the feeder should be tossed after about 2 to 4 days, especially depending on how warm the weather is. If it’s warmer, lean towards the 2 days’ side.
Now, your feeder should be cleaned and refilled with a fresh batch of food. And if there’s any doubt as to whether the solution has spoiled, just err on the side of caution and just discard it. Because just as eating spoiled food is going to make you feel sick, the same is true for hummingbirds. And they’re so tiny in their little bellies, so you’ve got to make sure you take good care of them.
And lastly, while it’s not absolutely necessary to boil the hummingbird food, it’s definitely a good idea. That boiled hummingbird food is going to last much longer, so you can make it in larger batches to save time. Plus, if the quality of your tap water is kind of mediocre, boiling that water is a very easy step to make sure that your solution is of the highest quality.
And hopefully, you’ve got a chance to see a lot of beautiful hummingbirds this summer. And if you can catch a photo of one, do send it along, because I love to see it and they are hard to get a photo of.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Coming up next time on the program, you know, every summer about this time, we hear about deck collapses where people are seriously injured. But did you know there are only really five reasons that deck disasters happen? We’re going to share the most common causes, along with how to do your very own safety check on your deck, on the very next addition 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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