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: And we are here to help you without the hype. Pick up the phone and give us a call; the number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. We are all about giving you the tips, the advice, the guidance to get the job done around your house, around your apartment. Whatever is going on, we’re here to give you a hand. 888-666-3974 is the telephone number.
And coming up on today’s program, have you taken a look at the outside of your house lately? Perhaps there’s a bit of winter grime still hanging about? Well, don’t drag out the pressure washer. There is a hot, new product on the market that will do the work for you at a fraction of the cost. We’ll tell you about it, in just a bit.
LESLIE: And here is something that sounds so exciting. Imagine this, you guys: three full days of nothing. I’m talking nothing but woodworking, auto repair and do-it-yourself lessons from some of the best. It’s called a MAKEcation and we’ve got details on how you can go.
TOM: And if you’re looking for a touch that’ll turn heads and turn a profit, we’ve got it. The best addition you can make to the outside of your home that will deliver ROI, coming up.
LESLIE: And one caller we talk to on the air this hour is going to win a new, light shell jacket from Dickies. It’s water-repellant, so it’s going to keep you dry on those rainy days.
TOM: It’s worth 67 bucks. Going to go out to one caller drawn at random from those that reach us for today’s show. So pick up the phone and make that you at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Tara in Pennsylvania is on the line with an insect question. How can we help you?
TARA: Hi. I was just wondering, we have a bunch of earwigs that’s up underneath our siding. And it seems like they’re always there and we were just wondering, what can we do to get rid of them? Is there anything that’s attracting them there?
TOM: Well, look, they’re probably looking for food, so something is landing on that siding and attracting them. Generally, when they’re not up high like that, it’s advisable to trap them. A trapping program will reduce their population. But if they’re up on the side and crawling on the building, that probably goes straight to a pesticide-management program, some sort of chemical control.
The University of California recommends a pesticide called Spinosad – S-p-i-n-o-s-a-d. And there’s a number of commercial products that are available that have that in it. And that should be probably the best way to control them and stop them from coming back and encourage them to go to somebody else’s house to infest.
TARA: It would be helpful. Oh, along those lines, as far as insects go, we get crickets down in or basement every …
LESLIE: Spider crickets.
TARA: I guess they’re spider crickets, I’m not sure. Little, black crickets. But every year, they drive me crazy because my bedroom is downstairs.
TOM: Why don’t you call a pest-control operator, like Orkin, and have them just do a general spraying for insects? So you can probably put just the right pesticide in and around your home in a safe and effective way that will reduce both problems – stop the earwigs and stop the crickets – and just get you a lot more comfortable.
TARA: Oh, that would be great.
LESLIE: And you know what, Tara? With the cave crickets, we get them where I live on Long Island, in the basement. And I always feel bad when my sister and brother-in-law sleep over because they’ll sleep on an air mattress in my basement and I’m like, “The spider crickets are going to leap on you.” Because they totally gross me out. But if you take some double-stick tape and just put it around the perimeter of the room, in the interim while you’re waiting to treat, they do tend to congregate there. And they’ll get stuck and then you can just pick it up and toss it in the morning.
TARA: Oh, that’s a good idea. I was just using some indoor spray every year when they come around and then I’m sucking up the crickets constantly. Dead crickets everywhere. And along with them and stink bugs it hasn’t been fun.
TOM: Yeah, I bet. You know, Tara, when it comes to making a decision as to whether or not you should go with a professional or use the sort of the do-it-yourself approach, I always feel that if you go with a pro, they’re actually going to use less pesticide than you’re applying yourself. And it’ll be done in exactly the right manner, with just the right amount to take care of the problem. I think people rend to overspray when it comes to the over-the-counter pesticides and actually put themselves in greater danger. Does that make sense?
TARA: OK. Well, thank you very much.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Ben in Illinois on the line with a popcorn-ceiling question. How can we help you today?
BEN: Got a probably 70s ranch-style home.
TOM: 1970 was a very good year for popcorn.
BEN: Yes, it was. They had this popcorn ceiling all the way in the TV room, uninterrupted, that goes through the kitchen.
BEN: And uninterrupted flow goes all the way down the hallway.
TOM: OK. So what happened? Did you have a leak or something?
BEN: Had some wind damage to some shingles and it came down through the attic. And it stained some of the popcorn ceiling in the TV room. I since put a new roof on but it – yeah, it stained it and some of the popcorn stuff came off.
TOM: So, is the popcorn physically damaged except for losing a few kernels, so to speak?
BEN: Well, there’s still a little bit of staining on the stuff that didn’t fall. But there’s some sections that did.
TOM: You’re going to have to repaint the popcorn ceiling. And it’s kind of a pain-in-the-neck job but it can be done. The key here is this: you want to use a very, very thick roller and one that’s slit. The rollers are about ¾-inch or even an inch thick and they have a slice, kind of, in them every inch or so. And so it uses a lot of paint.
And the key thing is you’re going to want to use a primer first. Don’t just do this with topcoat, because that leak stain will come right through. So you prime the popcorn ceiling first and then you paint it.
Now, if you’re missing a bunch of area of popcorn and you want to touch that up, there are a number of companies that make popcorn-repair products. One of it’s called Homax – H-o-m-a-x. And they have a spray where it’s as easy as using an aerosol spray can that you basically shoot up there and it will replace the texture. So you can kind of fill in the area where some of that material has come off. And then, since you’re painting, you paint the whole thing over again.
Now, whether you go from end to end in the house is up to you or whether you just kind of decide where you’re going to stop painting, that’s your call. Maybe there’s a natural place for that, maybe there’s not. But you have to paint it; that’s the only way you’re going to be able to get this to look normal again.
And by the way, one final thing, when you do paint it with the topcoat, make sure you use flat ceiling paint.
BEN: Gotcha. And I guess a two-prong question here, if I still have time. To fill in those spots where the popcorn ceiling came off, how do I avoid this major overlap if I use this aerosol spray that’s supposed to fill in?
TOM: Well, you’re just going to kind of thin it out in the areas where it already exists and then go a little bit heavier. You have some control over it. It’s not going to look like a patch. It will be whiter than everything else but you’re going to paint this whole thing, anyway, when you’re done. So, what we want to do is really just replace the texture and then you’re going to paint everything. And so it’ll all blend in nicely when it’s done.
BEN: OK. And I would plan on doing a transition: maybe a fancy wood deal that goes over to block that TV-room ceiling off from where it goes into the kitchen. And I could connect it to the kitchen counters that extend out a little bit. That way, I wouldn’t have to do the non-damaged sections and repaint them, as well.
TOM: Why don’t you do that after you paint the section that’s damaged and see how you like it? Because you’re going to – you’ll be surprised with how dirty and dingy that ceiling has gotten when it has some new paint against it. It’s going to look pretty fresh and clean and might inspire you to do the whole thing.
BEN: And that just might. That’s a very good point. I appreciate that very much, Tom.
TOM: Three most expensive words in home improvement, my friend: might as well.
BEN: You got it right, brother. OK. Well, you got me motivated.
TOM: Sounds good. Thank you 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 lend you a hand with whatever you are working on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Up next, a quick look around any neighborhood proves it: cleaning your roof is a chore that most of us like to put off. Well, no more excuses needed. There’s a new product that can make roof-cleaning a breeze and we’ll tell you what it is, next.
TOM: Where home solutions live, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
Give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT. We are giving away home improvement advice, of course, but we’ve also got up for grabs a Dickies new, light shell jacket and it’s worth 66.99.
TOM: It’s water-resistant, so it keeps you dry when everything around you is soaked from those pop-up summer storms. You can learn more about the products at Dickies.com. But give us a call, right now, for the answer to your home improvement question and your chance to win.
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Cheryl in Texas on the line who’s looking to redo a bathroom and make it more modern with just a shower. How can we help you?
CHERYL: Well, I am the mother of four sons and as they get bigger, they no longer like to get in the bathtub.
CHERYL: And we find that they are always in my room, in my shower. We’re wanting to take out the tub that’s in their bathroom and turn it into a shower. My issue is I don’t have a lot of space. It’s a Hollywood bath and then the tub and toilet are in a separate, little room that you can close off. And the door facing – of that little room sits right next to the tub itself.
So, my question is – when I pull that tub out, the plan was to put a shower pan down and tile the area and then put a glass door – either a sliding door on there. Will that be a wide-enough space if it’s only the width of a standard tub?
TOM: Cheryl, I think you definitely can find a shower pan that can fit the width of that tub, sort of elbow to elbow if you’re standing in it. Think about it: if you’re in the tub, you’re taking a shower, right? You’ve got room on – to the right and to the left of you. So we want a shower pan, essentially, that’s the same size.
Now, when it comes to residential, prefabricated shower pans, they start at around 24×24, so that’s 2-foot-square. That would be probably the smallest that you would need but you might be able to go up even bigger.
But a little trick of the trade: if you were to find, for example, that for whatever reason, the way this room is configured a 24×24 would not work, then you should shop for a smaller shower pan, which you will find sold for RVs – recreational vehicles. Because they have tiny showers in them, right? And there’s a whole host of RV shower pans that are smaller than 24×24. I don’t think you’re going to need it. I think you’ll be fine starting there, maybe even going up.
But the size of the shower pan is what you want to figure out first. Then you can basically build around that, OK? Does that make sense?
CHERYL: Sure, sure. That’s what I want to do. OK.
TOM: Alright, Cheryl. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Mike in Minnesota is dealing with “tumble-lint,” if you’d like to call it that. Lint blowing out a dryer vent.
MIKE: So I’ve got a dryer vent that directly vents through the exterior wall that it sits against, so there’s not much ductwork involved. My problem is that the vent sits 12 inches up from our deck surface, right in the middle, and it just makes an awful mess. So I’d really like to put in some type of maybe secondary capture system or maybe even reroute it on the exterior of the house.
I should also let you know that I have three teenage daughters and a wife, so doing less laundry doesn’t – isn’t really a popular solution at my house.
TOM: One solution could be just a clothesline, you know? Did you ever think of that?
MIKE: I’ll offer that one up to my wife, too, and see how that goes.
TOM: There you go. See how far that gets us.
Well, look, the good news is that having a dryer vent that’s so close to an exterior wall like that means that your clothes dry as efficiently as possible. Because if you try to route this anywhere else but directly out, it’s going to take a lot longer for those clothes to dry. Plus, you have the added hassle of needing to maintain the dryer exhaust duct, because it will continually build up with lint and have to be cleaned. So it’s clearly a trade-off.
I don’t think that anything that traps lint is going to be a good thing. It can cause a fire, actually. I mean the fact that it’s venting out is what it’s supposed to do.
Does the dryer lint vent work well inside the machine? Because it would seem to me that if the lint trap is working well inside the machine, you shouldn’t be getting as much lint in the dryer exhaust duct.
MIKE: Well, that’s what I expected, too, and it’s a new dryer. And certainly, it’s capturing a lot, too.
TOM: Well, if you did rerun it, where would you go?
MIKE: Well, I thought about putting it just below the deck, which is about 12 inches down. But I have a basement window there and it would just make a mess of the window. The only other option I’d have is to run it along, basically, the floor of the deck. Maybe it would probably take about 8 feet or so before I got away from the deck. But that would be a sharp right turn.
TOM: Well, here’s what I would think about. I would think about how many turns you need to make, starting at the machine, to get that to happen. So if you take – if you come off the machine and you take one elbow down and then you go into the floor, you take another elbow out, you’re essentially making a U-turn. And then that warm, moist air has to travel all that distance to get out. So, is it possible? Yeah. It’s not going to be as efficient, so that’s your trade-off.
And by the way, keep in mind that with most dryers, you can actually move the dryer vent. For example, I have a dryer that I’m reconfiguring right now that has a dryer exhaust duct out the back. But I noticed that the side of the dryer has had punch-outs – holes – for it. And so I just looked up online and the installation instructors – instructions – showed me how to rerun the duct coming out the side of the machine so that I could vent it quicker to an exterior wall than having to go down through a floor.
MIKE: Oh, OK. That might be an option, too.
TOM: So consider that you may be able to come out of the dryer in a different direction.
TOM: Well, hey, this might sound familiar: you grab a cold beverage and head outdoors to relax and enjoy the warm weather only to end up stressed out by the sight of all that grime and algae growing on your roof, your deck or your patio.
LESLIE: Yeah. De-griming? It’s a tough, time-intensive job that really is so easy to just keep putting off but not anymore. We’ve got a game-changer. We’ve got Spray & Forget and it’s a new cleaner that’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s going to let you clean the outside of your home without dragging out a pressure washer or even a hose.
TOM: And unlike most outdoor cleaners, it’s free of bleach that can damage not only your home’s surfaces but the trees and plants around it.
LESLIE: And Spray & Forget, it’s going to work on your roof, your deck, siding and fencing to remove all of those stains that have been left behind by mildew and algae. And not only is it going to save you time, it’s totally going to save you cash, as well. It’s three times more concentrated than any other cleaning product, so you can keep more green in your wallet while getting rid of all that green on your roof.
TOM: Check it out online at SprayAndForget.com. That’s SprayAndForget.com.
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Ed in West Virginia on the line who’s doing some exterior cleanup. What are you working on?
ED: Well, my deck. I’ve got a covered deck with treated wood and it needs cleaning to get the dirt and grime off of it because since it’s covered, the rain won’t come in and wash it off. And I can’t use a lot of water because I’ve got things underneath it that the water would leak down to. And I also have exterior steps and they’re getting mossy. So what kind of a cleaning product can I use to clean this wood with?
LESLIE: Now, first of all, what’s underneath that you don’t want to get wet? Is it furniture? Are you storing stuff there?
ED: Well, I’ve got, basically, a workshop. I’ve got two workshops: one inside not the house and one outside, under the deck.
TOM: You’re going to probably have to cover those with tarps or something because you are going to need to use some amount of water. But what we would recommend is a wood cleaner.
Now, a cleaner is – what they do is they’ll – they’re very good at removing dirt, removing grime and sort of removing that oxidized, grayish sort of appearance that gets on top of pressure-treated lumber.
And Flood makes a good one. Right, Leslie?
LESLIE: Yep. Flood actually has a product called Flood Wood Cleaner and you can mix it with water. I think 1 gallon container makes up to 5 gallons of cleaning solution. And it can actually remove a grayed appearance on lumber and give it a like-new appearance.
Now, here’s the thing. I know a lot of people think that when it comes to cleaning a deck, oh, it’s just dirt, it’s pollen, whatever’s on it. And they think just using some water on it is going to get rid of it. But you get the same things on your car and you don’t wash your car with just water; you actually need a cleaner or a soap product. But you don’t want to use soap on wood.
So, it’s always good to use a product like a wood cleaner that really will help you get rid of all of the weathering, the dirt, the grime, just the usual stuff that a winter will put on a surface. So if you go with the Flood Wood Cleaner, you can use it on exterior, interior, all kinds of woods. I’m saying interior because I’m meaning that yours is covered; I wouldn’t use it in the house. But that’s what I mean there.
And it’ll do a good job. You’ll get about 1,000 square feet total from a gallon, so you’ll get a really good coverage. You want to let it dry. But again, like Tom mentioned, you want to cover anything that’s underneath because it is a cleanser and you don’t want to get it on your tools.
TOM: Yeah. And you have to wet the deck surface first. And then once it’s wet, then you apply the wood cleaner using kind of like a pump-up garden sprayer or you can even roll it on with a brush roller, like you would as if you were painting.
TOM: You let it sit on the surface for a while and then you rinse it off.
ED: OK. Well, rinsing it off is a problem.
TOM: Ed, you’re not going to be able to dry-clean your wood deck.
LESLIE: Yeah. I don’t know any cleaner that’s going to take that.
TOM: It’s just not going to happen. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Hey, are you already shopping for that perfect Father’s Day gift? Well, consider one that says thank you to the U.S. veterans, as well. We’ll tell you all about it when The Money Pit continues.
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, we know from the headlines that service members returning from multiple tours of duty in the Middle East are struggling to get back into civilian life. Now, Craftsman is hoping to help, in at least one way, by providing Iraq and Afghanistan vets the tools they need to be successful when they come home. Here to tell us more is Ryan Ostrom. He’s the chief marketing officer for Craftsman.
RYAN: Hey. How are you doing today?
TOM: Good. This sounds like a really neat partnership. So the organization is called the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. How is Craftsman helping out?
RYAN: We think this is a great partnership. I mean one thing about Craftsman that’s unique is we’re considered one of the most patriotic brands. And it just makes sense to really start partnering with charities that can give back to our veterans.
And the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, they do that in all aspects for the veterans when they’ve come back from war. So, they help empower the veterans to just get back on their feet. And so, in talking to them, we thought it was a perfect fit to help them out by donating a portion of our proceeds, upwards of 10 percent of our tool purchases for Father’s Day.
TOM: Yeah, that’s a pretty significant number. So can you give me kind of a profile of sort of the average recipient of some of these services? What are these guys looking for when they come back?
RYAN: This is a lot of veterans who have just come back and trying to find out where their place is in the world. They’re coming back. They’ve either been injured or not injured. They’re training on – they might be unemployed, they might need some help. And this is what IAVA does. They come in and really help through emotional needs, some through support – through financial support get the veterans back on their feet. And they’ve done so much for our country that it’s great to see them get the help that they might need when they come back.
TOM: Sounds great. And how cool that 10 percent of the proceeds is going to go to the IAVA – 10 percent of the Father’s Day sales proceeds.
So let’s talk about Father’s Day gifts. This is the time of year when you guys always bring out a lot of neat, new products and I’m always amazed. You know, I think I have everything and then I see what you’re coming up with and I go, “Hey I could use a new tool or two,” and suggest that to the family. So coming out this year, you’ve got the MACH Series platform, also the all-new Craftsman Extreme Grip 5-Piece. And then you have a wrench set and a resin storage system. So tell me about it.
RYAN: Yep. So we have a – we’ll start with the MACH Series. The MACH Series is a line that’s doing really well for us. The whole premise of the MACH Series platform is to get the mechanic in and out of the project fast. They’re well-designed tools, they’re great to perform. The greatest thing of all is they also have our lifetime warranty on them. So if they don’t work, you can always get them – take it back and get another one.
And then we also have the Extreme Grip. And the Extreme Grip platform is designed to go after those tough nuts and bolts and fasteners when they’re stripped or they’re round or they’re different sizes. So what the Extreme Grip does is it allows you to get extra torque on that bolt. And so you’re able to really loosen those tight fasteners. It’s great.
And then finally, one of the things I’m most excited about is we’ve introduced a resin storage system. And this storage system is a hard plastic storage but it’s very durable. It’s as durable as our metal boxes but it’s very portable. So not only does it – can it wheel around in the garage, it can go into the house and go in the back of your truck. It has multiple uses but it’s also adjustimazable (ph), customizable so you can really kind of provide the solution that you need in that assortment.
TOM: So, Ryan, to that storage system point, I think that’s really important because so many of us purchase tools and also tools that come with their own storage systems. It’s nice when you guys develop these modular systems that can really expand to take whatever we have currently in our shops, as well as the new products that we’re bringing in.
RYAN: That’s what we like about it. I think the flexibility of this system is going to be amazing. It’s already on my brother-in-law’s Father’s Day or – and holiday list. So if they’re listening, then I just ruined the surprise but this is definitely something I’ll be getting for my family members.
TOM: Alright. And coming up this fall, you guys are also running a very cool event. It’s called Craftsman MAKEcation Event. Really cool concept. If you would like to take a vacation where you do nothing but create new products with great tools, that’s what this is all about. And you’ve done this in the past, right?
RYAN: Yeah. This is our second year of doing MAKEcation. We did it in 2014 and we had blacksmiths and woodworkers and musicians and people who are just passionate about making, creating and doing. And we basically took over a hotel for the weekend and invited our core Craftsman Club members and makers and key influencers to get together and really just enjoy the passion of creating. And we’re at it again this year but this year, we’re going to be doing it in Brooklyn and we’re very excited.
TOM: Very cool idea. So, if you want to attend MAKEcation, I guess this is a contest? You have to enter for a chance to win?
RYAN: Yes. Yes. So, all you have to do is come visit Craftsman.com/MAKEcation and enter for a chance to win. We do invite our Craftsman Club members and so we’re going to select a few of them to come out and join us, as well. Because it’s a chance for us to see our true customers and our core people who really enjoy our tools.
And like I said, it’s a weekend of making. It’s going to take place September 24th to 27th and it’s going to be great. Once again, we’ve got some unique makers in the mix that will help teach these skills and the – just the passion that goes into making, all weekend long.
TOM: Fantastic. It’s a like a three-day shop class. Shop class of your dreams. Craftsman.com/MAKEcation – M-A-K-E-c-a-t-i-o-n. Go there now, enter for a chance to win. It’ll be trip of a lifetime.
Ryan Ostrom from Craftsman, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit.
RYAN: Thank you.
LESLIE: Alright. Hey, do you dread the day when you’ll need to replace your roof? Let me tell you, having gone through a roof replacement, it is noisy and unsettling. Well, instead of being fearful of the actual process of having the new roof put on, we’re going to share with you the latest news in roofing tiles that will have you counting down the days to the new roof instead. We’ll tell you all about it, after this.
ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is presented by Leviton, the smart solution for all your electrical needs. Learn how to help improve your home’s electrical safety at GetSafeToday.com. And be sure to enter their June Safety Products Giveaway. That’s GetSafeToday.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.
TOM: And summer is just about here and nothing ruins summer activities like rain. And that’s why we’re giving away a Dickies new, light shell jacket. Practically rain-proof. Worth 67 bucks.
LESLIE: Yeah. It can’t save your barbecue from that bad weather but it can save you from getting soaked.
TOM: Learn more at Dickies.com and give us a call for home improvement help and your chance to win at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’re going to Tennessee where Jean has a stucco question. What’s going on? How can we help you?
JEAN: Well, the house was built in 1914. And the outside exterior walls are covered with stucco that has the kind of swirly bumps where they throw the trowels on it. And it looks like it’s in good condition, so I was thinking we could probably just spray it a nice color. It’s still kind of golden, like it used to be. But wherever the branches of the shrubs went against it, it’s kind of yucky and gray-looking.
But I know that when we painted our patio slab, we had to do some treatment to it before we could paint it. Does stucco need some preconditioning besides just hosing it off with [soap and water] (ph)?
TOM: Well, the first thing you need to do is to make sure that there’s no algae attached to it. And so I would probably do a very light pressure-washing and cleaning of the outside of the house and let it dry for a good couple of days in warm weather. And then I would prime it with an oil-based primer and then I would use a good-quality, exterior topcoat paint over that.
You can’t cut any corners here. You can’t take any shortcuts. But if you do it once and you do it right, it’s going to last you a long time because that siding is not organic. You may find very well that paint can last you 10 to 12 years, as opposed to maybe 5 to 8 if it was wood.
JEAN: Alright. Well, thank you.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, of all the investments that you’re going to make in your home, your roof is one of the biggest, literally. And keeping you warm isn’t the only thing it can do.
TOM: Well, true. Considering how much space it takes up on the outside of your home, your roof is a good place to show a little style. And here’s the best part: it can show you the money, too. A roof in a well-chosen color can add generously to your home’s resale value.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. You know, if you’re looking for style and value, DaVinci Roofscapes is one-stop shopping for both. DaVinci’s durable, maintenance-free roofing options, they last 50-percent longer than traditional roofs, which will save you big in the long run. And DaVinci’s polymer slate and shake tiles come in any 1 of 50, yes, 50 color options.
TOM: And if you don’t know where to start, DaVinci’s free color-designer online tool at DaVinciRoofscapes.com will give you expert roofing advice and a home exterior’s online eBook that can help you pick a color you love for as long as your roof lasts. It’s all online and free at DaVinciRoofscapes.com. It’s D-a-V-i-n-c-i-Roofscapes.com.
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Clayton from North Carolina on the line with a question about squeaky floors. What can we do for you today?
CLAYTON: I’m fixing to put some new carpet. It’s been about 10 years we’ve lived in a townhome. But there’s a lot of squeaking in our master bedroom, the floor. Is that going to be a major repair? One place on my wife’s side, kind of the floor gives away more than just squeaking.
And then there’s an issue in the master bedroom with a bright orange spot, about the size of a nail, that’s been there about eight years. And you can’t wipe it off. And someone said it’s not a nail underneath. What could cause that? We’ve got to replace that vinyl, as well.
TOM: Where do you have vinyl? Because you said you have a carpeted floor but where’s the vinyl?
CLAYTON: Vinyl is in the bathroom.
TOM: OK. So, first of all, let me just deal with the vinyl issue. What happens is, depending on what’s underneath that floor, if it’s an orange spot – I don’t know. It might be a nail or something. But what happens is you get a reaction between the vinyl and whatever is underneath it.
Sometimes you get it because of what you put on top of the vinyl, especially if you have like a rubber-backed throw rug; sometimes you see that in kitchens, right up against the cabinet where everybody is standing. The rubber and the vinyl will react and it will discolor the vinyl. That’s usually not a stain in as much as the vinyl has actually just changed colors. And it’s not repairable. So, get a rug to cover it up.
But in terms of the squeaks, you actually have a golden opportunity now to deal with this. So what we want you to do is take the old carpet out and then go ahead and screw the subfloor down to the floor joist using case-hardened drywall screws. Those are those black screws that are really hard. You drive them in with a drill driver or with a drill with a screwdriver tip in it. And you want to put one about every 12 inches.
Because the reason the floors squeak is because either the nails are pulling in and out as the floors move or some of those subfloors are tongue-and-groove. And as the tongue-and-groove plywood moves side to side, it will squeak. So if you pull the old carpet out and then you screw the subfloor down, you’ll find that that floor will get a lot quieter. You may even eliminate it 100 percent.
CLAYTON: Right. OK. Thank you so much for the tip.
TOM: Clayton, good luck with that project.
LESLIE: Joyce in Missouri is on the line with a grout question. What can we do for you?
JOYCE: Hi. I have ceramic tile that I have had down for a few years. And I have – the grout is a charcoal color with a black-and-green tile. And the charcoal has dulled over the years and looking almost chalky. What can I do? Do I have to pull all that grout out and regrout it? Do I need to paint it or what can I do to give it new look of life?
TOM: Well, the grout is pretty easy to replace. There are special tools called “grout saws” that you can use to carve out the grout and then put new grout over sort of where the old grout was. You don’t have to get it all out but you’ve got to go down at least an 1/8-inch or so. And so, if your real concern is the grout and the condition of the grout, I think that’s the easiest way to deal with that.
JOYCE: OK. So that’d be – the best way to make it look fresh and new again is just take the top layer off at least an 1/8-inch and just regrout it?
TOM: Yeah. Make it look fresh and new by putting in fresh and new grout.
LESLIE: Yeah. And then make sure you seal it.
TOM: Right. Yeah, that’s key. You want to seal it first.
LESLIE: Otherwise, it’s not going to look fresh and new for so long.
JOYCE: Seal it after I put new grout in and let it dry? Then seal it and then we’re good to go?
TOM: Right, exactly.
JOYCE: OK. Thank you.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, you’ve heard of a tea garden right? How about a Long Island iced tea garden? What do you guys think? I’m all for this.
But seriously, I’m going to put my New York pride aside. There’s actually a hot, new trend in gardens that’s serving up all kinds of drinks, from sophisticated seltzers to high-class cocktails. I’ll tell you all about it when The Money Pit continues.
ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by QUIKRETE. It’s what America is made of. For project help from start to finish, download the new QUIKRETE mobile app.
TOM: Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: And on The Money Pit’s Community section of MoneyPit.com, you will find questions and answers from homeowners and DIYers just like you, including this post from Greg.
LESLIE: Yep, Greg writes: “I’m thinking about installing hard-wired, integrated smoke detectors. Is it worth my while and what should I know beforehand?”
TOM: Well, Greg, where there’s smoke, there’s fire, which is exactly why we would recommend a dual-sensor smoke detector.
Now, as you probably know, ionic detectors respond to flames, like the ones used when, say, a candle ignites a piece of paper or a towel. But the photoelectric smoke detectors detect those smoldering fires a lot sooner. So, considering that smoldering and flaming fires happen with similar frequency – and a dual sensor is definitely the way to go
And yes, you want to go ahead with those hard-wired detectors, too. They have backup electricity that assures they don’t go off even if your house loses power. And they’re usually interconnected, so if one goes off, the others do, too. Our advice: install a detector in every room of your house to further improve its chances of detecting a fire early so you guys can get out.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Next up, we’ve got a post from Ryan who writes: “I’ve heard they make paint specifically for asphalt shingles. Is this a mistake when thinking of resale? I don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars only to find out I’ve created a ridiculous-looking disaster.”
TOM: You know, that’s a great point. For about 20 years, I was a professional home inspector. And every few months, I’d pull up to a house in typically a retirement community, look up the roof and think, “It looks good.” And then I’d get closer to it and think, “Something’s not right.” And I get closer to it and figure out that somebody painted the roof to look good.
Painting the roof doesn’t really add any life to it and it’s usually associated with a fraudulent team of contractors that goes from house to house promising to add a lot of life to your roof. Only if you have a flat roof does it make sense to paint it. There are special paints for that. But generally speaking, you do not want to paint a sloped roof.
Hope that helps you out, Ryan, and thanks so much for writing us at MoneyPit.com.
LESLIE: Yeah. Thanks, Ryan. We love sharing all of the questions that you guys post in our Community section, so keep it coming so we can help everybody out.
TOM: Well, maybe the vegetables in your garden can be eaten but can they be shaken or stirred? Whether it’s a fine cocktail or just a flavored seltzer that you’re after, you can drink up this news on the hottest, new gardens out there, in this week’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.
LESLIE: Yeah. Move over, tomatoes. Growing fruits and herbs for drinks is a fun, new approach to backyard gardens. And spring really is the perfect time to get it going. You can add some zest to seltzer, beer or cocktails if you home-grow some limes. And they can actually dress up a plain, old glass of water or you can bring out the floral notes in the finest alcoholic drinks.
Now, limes, you can grow them in pots outside during the summer or even inside your house in bright areas when the weather does cool down.
Lavender is another great addition to traditional cocktails. It’s going to pair especially well with gin because it brings out its floral element. And lavender is also incredibly easy to grow in either a garden or containers.
Now, if cocktails are the end goal, you want to go with English lavender because that’s the sweetest variety.
And if alcoholic drinks aren’t for you – I mean they’re not for everybody – you can add fruit or herbs from your garden to ice-cube trays for flavorful, eye-catching ice cubes. And they’re the perfect touch to any garden party and will get you and your guest in the perfect summertime mood.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Coming up next time on the program, summer storms are brewing and you don’t want to be left in the dark. We’ll have tips to keep your home connected when the power goes out, on the next edition of The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show.
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.)