- Mold Removal: Even the cleanest of homes can have hidden mold. Here’s what to do if you find it.
- Building a Deck: Is building a deck a DIY project or should you hire a pro? Find out how to decide.
- Circuit Breakers: How do circuit breakers keep you safe and what should you do if they keep tripping? We’ll explain how they work.
Plus, answers to your home improvement questions about:
- Radon Mitigation System: There’s water outside Benjamin’s radon system pipe. It’s probably pulling up moisture along with the gases, so he needs to improve the drainage outside his house.
- Plumbing: Jackie has questions about diverting the plumbing when replacing an old tub with a tile shower. She should install a pressure-balanced shower valve to reroute the pipes.
- Cleaning Grout: What’s the best product to clean the grout in a ceramic tile floor? We suggest that Joe use a stripper instead of a cleaner and then apply a grout sealer.
- Laminate Flooring: Robin wants to install laminate flooring without having to remove the cabinets and appliances. We remind her to raise the feet on the appliances to avoid locking them in place and give suggestions on transitioning between spaces.
- Water Heater: Rust from an old oil-fired water heater is making the hot water discolored. It’s time for Kim to consider a new heat pump water heater that will be more efficient.
- Cedar Planking Walls: When Brian moves pictures that hang on his cedar planking walls, he sees how faded the wall is around them. He can either sand and stain the cedar or stop moving the pictures to hide the color.
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: What are you guys working on now? The weather is warming up. If you’ve got a house project to tackle inside or out, you’re in the right place because that’s what we do. Well, not every weekend, but most weekends. There’s something going on around our homes, whether it is a painting project or a planting project. We’ve got stuff that we’re doing.
We know you are doing the same and we would love to help. So reach out to us with your questions. You can do that by going to moneypit.com/ask click the blue microphone button and leave us your question. We will get that audio sent right to us and get back to you the next time we do the show.
Hey, coming up on today’s episode, is mold making its way onto your otherwise very tidy house? Well, the truth is that even the cleanest poems can have mold. And we’re not just talking about the kind of mold you find the back of your fridge. We’re going to share some of these surprising places. Mold can hide and tell you what to do when you find it.
LESLIE: And adding a backyard deck is one surefire way to increase your home’s living space. But is building a backyard deck a DIY project? We’re going to share some guidelines coming up.
TOM: And also ahead, losing power is always a hassle, but circuit breakers tripped for a reason. So we’re going to tell you why these devices keep you safe and what to do if they keep tripping because most people get it wrong.
LESLIE: Well, it is officially springtime and everybody is getting outdoors and hopefully everybody on the West Coast is digging out of all of that massive amount of snow that they’ve seen in the past two whole winter season. My goodness. So what are you guys working on? I’m sure out there there’s going to be a lot of repairs that need to be made.
But on the sunnier side of the country, maybe you’re working outside. Whatever you’ve got going on at your Money Pit, let us give you a hand. So give us a call so we can figure out what you guys are working on.
TOM: The studio number is 888-MONEY-PIT. It’s 80 886663974. Or you can go to moneypit.com/ask and leave us your question right there. So let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s first?
LESLIE: All right. Heading to the Hudson Valley, New York area, where we’ve got Benjamin on the line who’s got some leaking in a radon system. What’s going.
CALLER: On? Yeah, we have a radon system. I’m not sure when it was installed, but we bought the house back in September of last year. So we’re fairly new here, but have had no problems thus far except for this. The radon pipe, it’s about three three inch wide PVC pipe. It makes like a 45 degree angle turn right before it reaches the floor of the basement in which it goes below the floor right at the top of that 45 degree turn.
So not anywhere in the turn, but at the top of it, where it connects to the rest of the straight pipe. Sometimes when it’s a drastic temperature change or when it snows or rains really hard, that connection right there, build that water on the outside. It seems like it’s leaking a little bit. I initially first thought the problem was because of rainwater, because when I went out and looked outside the top of it was just straight up pipe with no cap on it or anything.
You know, it’s a lot the fumes out. And so I put a double elbow on it so that to have the fumes go down so that there wasn’t an opening piece in the sky didn’t solve the problem. So now I’m kind of like perplexed as to a why it’s happening and B, like how to fix it without like taking apart the whole PVC pipe because I obviously don’t want to do that.
TOM: Absolutely. So here’s what I think is going on. So you’re right on pipe. It basically goes below the slab and it pulls gas out from underneath the slab of the basement floor. And it goes into a fan. And then that fan pushes it above the fan to that vent you were talking about near the roof. So think of it as like a big shot back right where you’re sticking the suction line into the floor and then you turn the vacuum on and it’s pulling up whatever is below it.
Now you’re trying to have it pull up just air. But since you said that this happens consistent with with moisture and with snowfall and rainfall, I think what’s happening is that you’re getting water in that area under the floor and the radon is a pretty strong fan. So I think it was a pretty strong vacuum and it’s pulling up some of that water with the air and that’s what you’re seeing leak out that section, that joint, the pipe that you described.
So what I would do is I would look outside that area and I would examine the gutter first to make sure that it’s absolutely clean. And then I would look at the downspouts to make sure that they are solidly piped away from the house by at least six feet. And thirdly, I would look at the angle of the soil right around that area, and you want to make sure it’s sloping away by about six inches, over four feet, because whenever you have any sort of leak and this includes the condition that you’re describing, that’s consistent with heavy rainfall, it is always, always, always water that is sourcing underneath and around that foundation.
And the good news is it’s easy to fix. You just got to figure out why you’re collecting so much water there and take the steps to correct that. And then your problem will magically disappear.
CALLER: All right. Yeah, I definitely you know, I listen to you guys a lot and I hear all your comments about grading and all that. So I’m, like, conscious about that. I would I would agree that maybe the grade could be like from the the radon is on the north side of the house. The kit and the house pitches from the north to the south.
And so they’re really like, I don’t see there being much water that like sit in that specific spot. And when it comes to just like the pitch of the land, but I could see raising the grade like right going like east to west, right in front of where the mitigation system is.
TOM: You really only have to raise it along the wall. Not a big project here, just the first 4 to 6 feet around the house. That’s where it’s got a slope away. But I would do everything else first. I can I can almost guarantee you there’s another source of water besides that grading, because it’s almost always the grade is always sort of secondary to something that’s wrong with the gutter system.
TOM: It may be getting over overwhelmed. If you have one long gutter and you have only one down spout in a heavy rain, well, guess what? That water is not going down the gutter is probably splash an up and over. In fact, you want to prove it to yourself next time you have a a really heavy rainfall, grab your umbrella and head outside and see what’s happening with that water.
I got to tell you, it’s quite an education because you just don’t think about the stuff or see it when you’re inside the house. But if you watch from the outside, you can feel like, wow, I didn’t know the gutter was clogged. Or maybe you got some other sort of erosion. But that’s really the solution here.
You’ve got to get the moisture under control. Okay.
CALLER: Okay. Thank you very much.
TOM: Yeah, you’re welcome.
LESLIE: Bathroom projects are always great, but a lot of work. Jack in Michigan’s working on run right now. How can we help?
CALLER: Well, I have a question. I. I have done some plumbing and I am going to be taking out an old tub and putting in a tile shower in place of that. So the diverter and the showerhead are fine. I’m going to be removing the tub faucet because I no longer have a tub. Can I just cap off that pipe coming to the tub faucet or do I have to put a whole new diverter in?
TOM: No, you have to put a shower valve in because you’re going to you’re going to have to disconnect the whole spout. I mean, the way you get water off the shower now is run it through the tub spout, then pull up the diverter and then it starts coming out the spout. So you’re going to need to put in a shower valve.
And I would also suggest that you’re doing that, putting what’s called a pressure balanced shower valve. This will make sure that if somebody is running water somewhere else in the house, you don’t get either scalded or just chilled because it will make sure that the water temperature mix always stays the same. So that’s an opportunity to do that.
Let me ask you this question. The wall behind where the bathroom is right now, is that accessible? It hasn’t been opened up in the past to to work on the plumbing.
CALLER: No. They left the little access panel. The tub that’s in there now is actually like a jetted tub, right?
TOM: Oh, okay.
CALLER: And so they left an access panel to get to the maybe the motor and the jet, right or whatever on the tub. But there’s nothing to even I figured I could. When I was clearing out some of the tile up, pulling out the spout, I could just remove the spout. I thought maybe I could just cap it off.
But then I thought, no, because it just like you said, you pull up on the spout to send the water, right?
TOM: Yeah, exactly.
CALLER: Yeah. So I need a whole new diverter.
TOM: Yeah, that’s right. Yeah, I see. It’s always it’s always a bigger project. And plumbing is one of those things that if you don’t do it every day, it can you know, it can be confusing and it can be very time consuming. So you might want to plan this where you’re doing the demolition and then and the tiling work, but you have a plumber come in at the appropriate time and just reroute those pipes of properly, install that diverter valve.
And then you won’t have to worry about get it wrong because if you do, it’s a heck of a mess to fix it. And by the way, the other thing to think about doing is to open up the wall from the back side. And a lot of times what if you have a wall behind a tub, maybe the adjoining room sometimes like in my house, there’s one, there’s a closet behind the bathroom and the back closet wall.
We have a panel in it and we lift that panel out. We can get to all the plumbing that’s in that actually bath that actually serves that bathtub in the shower. So if you have the option to create an access panel like that, that could be valuable going forward as well. Jackie, thanks so much for calling us at 18888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Joe, you’ve got the Money Pit. Tell us what you need help with.
CALLER: Well, I need help with an idea of how to clean the grouting in my kitchen. It’s a ceramic tile, and the grout has gotten discolored and dark over the years. And I was wondering if there was a product or some kind of solution you could give me that would help us clean it.
TOM: So you have two types of products out there. You have grout cleaners and grout strippers. The grout stripper is usually one that is a lot stronger in terms of being able to lighten up that that grout. The key is that you have to put it on and let it sit for a little bit. So if it’s in your kitchen, is your kitchen floors or kitchen counters or backsplash, what is it?
CALLER: It’s the floor.
TOM: Okay. So, yeah, you’ve got to put it on there and let it sit for a bit and then go ahead and rinse it off. And it does a pretty good job of brightening these things out. There’s a lot of different manufacturers of it. I can’t I don’t have one that I’m particularly fond of over another, but I do encourage you to look for a grout stripper as opposed to a grout cleaner.
And once you do get it clean, then what you should also do is apply a grout sealer, which is a silicone product that goes over the grout, and that will stop a lot of the dirt from getting back in there and keep it brighter for a lot longer.
CALLER: Okay, that sounds really good. What type of store might I find that are like a Home Depot or Lowe’s type store?
TOM: Yeah. Home center, Home Depot. Lowe’s, a hardware store.
CALLER: Okay. Well, thank you very much. I appreciate your input. And I’m going to definitely get right on that.
LESLIE: Well, even the cleanest of homes can have mold. And we’re not just talking about the mold that covers last week’s leftovers. Besides being unsightly, it can actually cause some serious health problems. So what do you do when you find mold and is removal a DIY project? We’re going to walk you through it now.
TOM: First, the extent of the type of mold is going to determine whether you can handle this mold cleanup project on your own or you need the assistance of a mold removal pro. Now, if it’s a small mold cleanup job and that’s generally defined as ten square feet or less, it can definitely be a DIY project as long as there’s no one in the household who’s like super sensitive to mold because people have varying sensitivities to it.
So if you’re like sort of the average person, you could do it yourself. Now, if the cleanup is bigger than ten square feet, then it’s time to turn to a pro for the project because that mold the spores can escape with bigger cleanup projects like that that can go throughout the house and we just don’t want to do that.
LESLIE: Yeah. And you know, like hiring any pro selecting a qualified mold removal pro is going to require that you qualify them carefully, especially because your health is at stake here. You want to ask for references from pest clients and seek information from professional training and certification organizations such as the American Indoor Air Quality Council and the Indoor Air Quality Association.
Now, you should also check for insurance coverage, for mold removal, and carefully review your policy and ask your insurance agent. You have to be aware that mold remediation can be very expensive, and more and more insurance companies are instituting coverage limits or even charging extra for mold writers.
TOM: Now, finally, what do you do to prevent the return of mold? You got all cleaned up. You’re all proud of yourself. It’s a great job. But here’s the deal mold grow back and it can grow back fast, usually within 24 to 48 hours. Whenever you have air moisture, like from leaks or spills or high humidity and condensation and food sources.
So what is mold like to eat? Well, around the house? Probably the most common thing is your walls because they’re made of paper. You know, drywall has a paper surface and that’s often where we see mold form. And then if it’s a damp area like a crawl space, you could have mold growing in the lumber and places like that.
So it actually appears a lot more places than just your fridge, guys. So if you want to stop that from coming back, you’ve got to dry it up because it’s really a formula, right? You’ve got to have air, you’ve got to have food and you got to have moisture. If take one of those away, then you’re not going have the problem.
The easiest thing to take away is the moisture just by good grading and drainage and not letting things sort of build up around your house, the humidity down, and you’ll have a lot better chance of not having mold come back.
LESLIE: We’ve got Rob in Maryland on the line who’s looking to do a flooring project? How can we.
CALLER: Help? So I have the whole house. It’s a condo in Ocean City. So from the front door to the back door, all needs to be done. But the kitchen area has issues with getting the appliances out. So I wanted to put the laminate from the front wall to the back wall without trying to take out that little blue.
One thing that they have for like the backing for what was linoleum floor, I think a quarter inch going in and then it has an opening that leads into the living room dining room area that I wanted to know if I could put one of those red things there and make the transition look good or is it good?
I looked not together. It looked funny. I didn’t want to take up the Luann in the kitchen that goes underneath it. All the cabinets, right?
TOM: Yeah, I know. I hear you. I hear you. Yeah. The only thing is, if you if you put landed on top of that, just make sure that you’re not sort of blocking your dishwasher in, because if you have a floor that’s higher than the dishwasher and it’s okay if you have like the screw legs in the dishwasher and you still got like an inch or so of room there where you can adjust it up and down.
But I’ve seen people actually lock in the dishwasher by putting flooring right up against that. And they now they can’t get it out without raising the countertop, for example. But in terms of your question about the sill, yes, you can put a transition piece across that it is probably a good idea because there’s going to be so much traffic there that will help you make that make sure that that area of the floor doesn’t sort of buckle or twist or wear through quicker than the rest.
I would just probably choose something that matches the color. I don’t know if you going to find the exact product that you’re using made in the sill version, but you could probably find something close. What do you think, Leslie?
LESLIE: Generally, you can get them from the manufacturer to match the flooring, but if you’ve got two completely different things, go with something that sort of matches whatever else in the room. I think Tom’s onto something with like a metal finish or something that gives you that same transition from space to space, but coordinates with everything else.
CALLER: Should I have it be.
LESLIE: Wide like the four.
CALLER: Inches of the wall opening, or should it be thin?
TOM: You at least want it to be four inches wide. I’ve got to transition in my house. That’s about eight inches wide because I have at the salt the whole depth of the of the door. It just happened to work well for that. But you definitely want it to be at least four inches wide because otherwise it’s going to be hard for you to attach it.
And if you just have a really thin piece of trim in there, it’s going to wiggle free, believe me, with all the foot traffic on top of that.
CALLER: Okay, that’s very helpful. So lift the feet on the appliances before I install the floor and why this transition path?
TOM: Yeah, exactly. And obviously take the refrigerator out too. You know, you don’t want to block in those appliances. You’ll be very sad because chances are you get this beautiful floor down and then a month or two later, your dishwasher dies and you can’t get it out, okay? Yes.
CALLER: Yeah. You help me very much. Thank you.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project.
LESLIE: Kim in New York is on the line. How can I help you?
CALLER: I have a water heater. Heater? It’s a oil fired, I guess what you would say. And two years ago, we just aren’t at that. So the water lines at my home the rest of the years, the house is 56 years old. It’s been well, water and I’m getting a staining or discolored water from the hot water only.
TOM: Not just the hot water side.
CALLER: Yeah. Huh. I put a paper towel in the sink and I took the water and it’s all discolored.
TOM: So. Well, you got some rust in there somehow. I’m not quite sure if that’s coming from the water heater that’s coming from your plumbing line, but that’s probably what’s happening now. If you let it run for a long time, as opposed to just dripping as it’s still discolored.
CALLER: Yeah, I let the water in, in the bathroom sink just run as streamlined and yeah. For quite a while. And I noticed that when you fill the tobacco in my top, fill it, soak it, will drain it. And there’s a film.
TOM: You know, interesting colored film. How how old is your water here?
CALLER: Well, I don’t know where to look for the age of it, but what would you do? Here’s a thing on there. You know, it’s a probably oh six when I hear that first service have even thicker.
TOM: Yeah. So it’s older than that. It’s pretty it’s pretty old then your act. Yeah. So you’re at the end of a normal lifecycle for that, for that water heater. So you may be replaced sooner rather than later. Hey, you said it was oil fired. Is that you don’t have gas in the house?
CALLER: No, there’s no gas lines out here. Okay.
TOM: And so your option was either electric or oil, that right?
TOM: Okay. Here’s another type of water heater today. That’s electric that’s more efficient than the old fashioned electric water heater. So I just want to make sure you’re aware of it’s called a heat pump. Water heater is a different type of technology. The prices on these things have come way down since they first came out. And there are a number of really interesting benefits to these heat pump water heaters today that might make them more attractive to pick up than another oil water heater, which is going to be expensive and not nearly as efficient.
So think about a heat pump, water heater.
CALLER: Oil fired ones are expensive and not as hot.
TOM: As efficient. Yes. Correct. Yep.
CALLER: Not as is this electric heat pump line. Okay. Thank you. I will look into this.
TOM: All right. Good luck. Thanks so much for calling us at eight and eight Money Pit.
CALLER: Okay. Thank you.
LESLIE: Well, adding a backyard deck is one surefire way to increase your home’s living space, at least for considerably more than half of the year. I mean, depending on what part of the country that you call home, it’s an integral part of summer barbecues, get togethers. I mean, not to mention a sweet spot for chilling out in a lounge chair or hammock and savoring those warm breezes while you’re sipping ice tea or even a cold beer and listen to the birds or some fun music.
TOM: Now, that said, adding or even replacing a backyard deck requires some planning and skill to pull off. Which begs the question, should you do the job yourself or should you hire a pro? So let’s talk about the pros and the cons of each approach. Now, if you do build yourself, you definitely need to save on labor cost. However, building a backyard deck could eat up a lot of time because as fast you think you’re going to do it, it’s not going to happen, trust me.
So you’re talking about a lot of weekends and depending on how quickly you work, maybe more, maybe less. Also, the DIY option could be perfect if you’re planning on a fairly simple deck. You know, like one that’s like eight by 12 or 12 by 16 and low to the ground. But things get very dicey if you choose a more complicated design or even worse when it’s a multi-level deck.
Because gravity is not your friend.
LESLIE: Yeah, I know. Like, I feel like everything with the deck, you’re, like, bending over backwards. Like, it’s a pretty involved project. Now, hiring a pro is obviously going to result in a pricier deck since you’re going to be paying for their labor. But on the plus side, a professional contractor, well, at least one who’s reliable is likely to finish that project faster than you will.
And a professional is also going to take care of all the permitting process. And we’ll already know what’s up to code and what isn’t. And that’s going to ensure that your new deck is going to be A-OK with your city inspector. And that’s super important.
TOM: And absolutely is. I can tell you in the years I spent as a home inspector that often find decks that people built themselves and didn’t get a building permit, and guess what? You are not going to be able to close on that house and get a certificate of occupancy from the building department if you didn’t get the proper permits.
And it gets even worse because if you so happened to have put this deck up and violated any part of the zoning law, now you’ve got to take it down, I mean, all the way to the ground. So I don’t.
LESLIE: Cut costs, not just pay a fine. No. Sometimes you got to start over. Yeah.
TOM: It’s not like. Oh, please, let’s, let’s. What can we do to fix this? Now you’re going say get, get it taken down or move it or cut it and modify it, whatever. And that happens with fences, too. So it’s really important that these laws, these local laws, so you don’t kind of get surprised by a less than friendly building inspector with some bad news.
So, Leslie, this way I see this happening. If you’re a building inspector and you go home for the evening, your wife says, Hey, how’d it go today? Hey, I got another one. It’s like a dinner table conversation right now. This guy’s going to take his whole deck down because you know what? He didn’t get a permit, and I caught him so happy.
The dinnertime conversation for a local building inspector. Get a permit before you do your project.
LESLIE: Hey, guys, do you ever feel like your home is just a money pit? Well, we get it, but come on, guys, really, it’s all about perspective. I mean, for us, a money pit isn’t a disaster. It’s a home that we love and a home that you should love.
TOM: That’s right. So whether you’re dealing with a repair, you’re dreaming about a Renault, you can consider us your coach, your helper, or if necessary, we are certified home improvement therapists, guaranteed for all things remodeling, dÃ©cor and fix up. So on the Money Pit podcast you’ll hear all those things. Download our show today at Money BET.com slash podcast.
LESLIE: Well, if the circuit breaker trips, it’s always a hassle. I mean, one area of the home that you should not attempt to do DIY repairs without any experience is definitely this electrical system. So let’s talk about why these breakers trip and what you can do about it without getting hurt. So, Tom, first of all, why does a breaker trip in the first place.
TOM: So a circuit breaker or a Fuse has one job and one job only, and that is to stop the wire that carries electricity throughout your house. And there’s many of them, as you know. But to stop each individual wire from overheating and causing a fire, now every wire has a rating, for example, a number 14 copper wire, which is a common size wire for most outlets, and lights and switches and such throughout your house.
That’s rated at 15 amps. So if for some reason you’ve got three hairdryers and two vacuums when unplugging the same circuit and you start pulling more than 15 amps, you want the circuit breaker to trip because if not, the wire could heat up. And then the worst case scenario it could cause a fire. So basically what a circuit breaker does is protects the wiring.
It stops it from overheating.
LESLIE: All right. Well, that’s good. Now, in any instance here, can you repair this yourself?
TOM: Well, not really, because it’s not so much a repair. And if it is, it’s definitely not a DIY project. So if it’s an obvious cause of circuit breakers tripping by an obvious cause, I mean, you are maybe plugging in an air conditioner in a vacuum cleaner all at the same time. And when you do that it trips you know why is tripping.
Okay so the solution there is a new circuit has to be run to carry to kind of split up that load. Now, if it’s happening sort of haphazardly and you can’t really pinpoint the cause, the other reason it might happen is because something has deteriorated in your wiring. It could be shorting somewhere, and that’s definitely not a DIY project.
It’s something you have to call a pro for. Plus anything that causes you to have to open up the electrical panel and take the phone off that that’s super dangerous because even when switches are off, there’s a lot of hot wiring in there because it basically stays hot from the meter to the main panel. And then there’s two bars to go down the back of it and those are always hot as well.
So I definitely only if it’s a matter of trying to move things around and figure out what’s wrong, then you can reset the breakers, but you don’t want to have to do this if it’s happening haphazardly because further diagnostic are needed.
LESLIE: Now, what about old Fuses? I mean, you almost never see these in modern homes, so when you come across an old fuse, do these panels kind of always need to be replaced or updated at least?
TOM: Well, it’s a good question. I mean, technically, if the right fuses are installed, then there’s nothing wrong with having a Fuse panel. The problem is that over the years, people can’t find the right size fuses they don’t know what right? So what size fuse goes in, which sort of hole in the panel and it gets all kind of messed up.
I mean, I used to write on the Fuse panels with like a sharpie. What size goes in? Everything just to make a little bit easier on my client. But I would say that they’re not dangerous if they’re properly fused. But it definitely should be an upgrade because frankly, you just don’t want that inconvenience having to deal with fuses they’re more trouble at this point in their worth.
So I would think about replacing the panels.
LESLIE: All right. All good tips. Good luck, guys. Brian in Alaska is on the line and is having some issues with some discoloration on the walls. What’s going on?
CALLER: I have a couple of questions about how springtime everybody’s getting that fever here in about about two months. But anyhow, long story short, inside my house, it’s I have a lot of cedar walls, cedar planking. And I’ve had pictures on the walls in the past. And so what happens is you take the picture down and all that sunlight has faded, that cedar.
So it’s darker where the pictures are at. And so what I’m trying to do is without having the I’m hoping without having to sand the entire wall down and we see a lot of we finish it. Is there anything I can do to help with that? To get the kind of closer back to.
TOM: Wall is the only if you were to stain it, you know. Okay. Because you’re basically talking about oxidation here. Is it supposed is it exposed to the ultraviolet light from the sun? You’re getting a different coloration. And where you have the wall covered, you know it’s going to be different and where it’s not covered. And so, yeah, you can sand it down or you probably don’t even have to stand it much if you were a stain it because the stain would basically color the light and the dark places and probably blend it in nicely and would give it some protection against future oxidation.
But short of that, I don’t really have any other suggestions for you.
CALLER: Okay. Yeah, I was just thinking the sanding kind of idea is what I was going to wind up doing is just there. It’s a big it’s a big project and yeah, yeah, don’t.
LESLIE: Move the picture because.
TOM: I used to say that you could just don’t move the picture or.
LESLIE: Just don’t ever move the pictures.
TOM: Yeah. Or if you have to get a bigger one.
CALLER: Yes, exactly. To put it back in the same size. And that is also an option I may have to. Well, that’s what I’m doing right now. So I do appreciate you taking the time to take my call. So it looks like I’m on a sand. So they have a I mean, it’s very kind of sad and you get to know what that actually does.
TOM: Yeah, I would just tell you, because you’re talking about Cedar Bryan, that can be really annoying to your lungs. It can correct and cause a respiratory reaction. So you want to make sure you’re really careful with ventilation. So the best way to vent that space is to depressurize the room you’re working in. So let’s say you got a window or door at one end and another one on the other end.
Put a regular room fan in one of those windows or doors and pointed out so that you depressurize the room. In other words, dust, it gets into the air, gets sucked out and fresh air gets sucked in that. Plus, make sure you wear a good quality dust mask while you’re doing the work so that you stop so you don’t breathe in that cedar dust.
LESLIE: Jen reached out and says, I follow the instructions on your website for homemade stains, and it came out great. I use the one that combines steel, wool and vinegar, but my question is, how long can I keep it?
TOM: You know, it’s really interesting how many people love this post about homemade stains. Sometimes these things really surprised me. But it’s cool because Tim, you do your own stain is a pretty inexpensive, like practically free thing. But the challenge is that you got to make enough product, so to speak, to do whatever you’re going to do in sort of one application because you’re sort of hand mixing this stuff.
And there’s a lot of variables. It’s really hard to get one that’s something you could store and use over and over again, especially this idea about doing one with steel wool. But basically you just take vinegar and you soak for aught that’s that’s for zero steel wool in it. And it gives you sort of a very rich reddish you.
But the longer it soaks, the darker it gets. So if you want to use this on a project, you’ve got to make enough to do the whole thing. Now there’s other ideas in our post on Money Pittcon, which is called How to Make Natural Wood Stain and More Cheese and coffee and Beans and Such. But we talk about ways that you can make it using coffee, using tea, using even steel wool, using black raspberries all come up with different colors, different finishes.
You can even make stain using pennies and then you can spend the pennies. So that’s what I mean. It’s, it’s practically free. So check that out. But remember, you got to make everything you need at once because it’s going to be really difficult to do. It two times in a row.
LESLIE: And maybe it won’t match.
TOM: Well, that’s the idea. Well, match. But I mean, if you if you do a project once and then you go ahead and put your circle on top, right. Whether it’s a barge or your train or whatever, it’ll seal it in. If you’re using that option for the steel wool, you make it now and you don’t finish and you say, come back tomorrow and put more on.
It could be a much darker color by that.
LESLIE: All right. Well, now we’ve got one here from Ronnie and he says we have a deck off of our master bedroom. It sits on top of our garage and is becoming a problem because the deck is constantly leaking into the garage. We’ve tried adding drains and covered the deck and outdoor tile, but that hasn’t helped. Should we just enclose the deck to solve that problem?
TOM: Yeah, that’d be pretty dramatic. But look, having a deck of a master is a nice feature. But the thing is, what you’re doing is not going to stop your problem because it sounds like the decking surface is not waterproof. This deck was covered. I mean, this roof was covered with a deck, but the original roof was not waterproof to begin with in terms of being able to stand up to that deck.
What you need to do, what works best is if you use fiberglass for the decking material that would replace the roof shingles and then you’re walking basically on the fiberglass. It is not inexpensive, but it’s really the only way to have a roof deck, so to speak. You’ve got to have a material underneath that is very, very durable and slip resistant.
And then, of course, you got to surround it all with a railing and just just going ahead and trying to build a wooden deck on top of an asphalt shingle roof or worse yet, over it, asphalt roll roof. That’s just going to slope of like a low slope. That’s not going to happen. It’s just going to wear right through.
LESLIE: All right. Running, I hope that gives you a hand because of that deck. Really could be very nice.
TOM: This is the Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Thank you so much for spending this part of this. What I hope is a beautiful spring weekend in your area. The country is pretty darn nice here today, so I’m kind of inspired to go grab a few tools and make some repairs that have been waiting for me, bugging me, all winter on the outside of my house.
But if you’ve got a project to tackle and you need help, remember 24 seven, you can always reach out to us. I always love it when a surprise people by responding like in the middle of the day or sometimes the evening to a question that they send us. So I’m happy to do that for you as well and to you on the next edition of the show.
So go ahead and reach out to us at any Money Pit or post your questions at money ft.com again. Ask. Until then, I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie.
TOM: So remember, you can do it yourself.
LESLIE: But you don’t have to do it alone.
(Note: The above referenced transcript is AI-Generated, Unedited and Unproofed and as such may not accurately reflect the recorded audio. Copyright 2023 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.)