- Have you ever noticed that over the winter, garages always seem to get smaller as stuff piles up? That’s why now is a great time to make the garage your first big Spring-cleaning project! We’ll show you how to get it done in 4 steps!
- Building a backyard deck is one sure-fire way to increase your home’s living space for the warmer months as well as add to your home’s value. But can it be a DIY project, or one that always needs a pro. We walk you through the pros and cons of a DIY deck build just ahead.
- Have you ever had a wall or ceiling crack that you’ve fixed, once or twice but just seems to crack all over again? We’ll share an easy DIY tip that will let you repair it once and for all just ahead.
Plus, answers to your home improvement questions, about getting rid of washer/dryer vibrations, installing a closet rod, cleaning bathroom mold, repairing basement floor cracks and how to repair plumbing roof 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: So glad to be here talking to you about your home projects. If you’ve got a project on your to-do list, we would love for you to slide it over to ours by calling us with your questions at 888-MONEY-PIT or posting them online at MoneyPit.com. Because that’s what we do: we help you create your best home ever. And we’ve got a lot to cover on today’s show.
Coming up first, have you ever noticed that over the winter, garages always seem to shrink? I mean they do at my house, because the stuff piles up. And that’s why we think that now is a good time to make the garage your first big spring-cleaning project. We’re going to show you how to get that done in four steps.
LESLIE: And building a backyard deck is one surefire way to increase your home’s living space for the warmer months, as well as to add to your home’s value. But can it be a do-it-yourself project or one that always needs a pro? We’re going to walk you through the pros and cons of a DIY deck build, just ahead.
TOM: And have you ever had a wall or ceiling crack that you fixed once, twice, maybe three times because it always seems to come back and crack over and over again? Well, we’re going to share an easy DIY trick that will let you repair it once and for all, in just a bit.
LESLIE: But first, let us help you create your best home ever. Give us a call. Let us know what you are working on so we can help you get everything around your money pit in tip-top shape.
TOM: 888-666-3974. Let’s get to it.
Leslie, who’s first?
LESLIE: Heading over to Rhode Island with Linda who wants to build a patio. Tell us about your project.
LINDA: What I would like to do, actually, is make it a combination of a patio, so I could use it during the summer, and also use it as a carport during the winter. And I was wondering, as far as a base, what would be the best? I have a form and he used that and he made all the patio blocks.
TOM: Oh, so he basically made his own paver stones, it sounds like, by pouring them inside this form. OK.
LINDA: Right. But I was afraid if I poured cement into the form, then it would – yeah, how do I get it out?
TOM: How do you get it out? Yeah.
OK. Let me back up for a second. So, when you say carport, you intend then for this patio to have a roof on it. Is that correct?
LINDA: Yes, I would like it to, where I could still have the sides all open but be able – because I have a collectible car that I wanted to put in.
TOM: OK. Mm-hmm. OK. OK. What kind of car is it?
LINDA: It’s a 1966 Ford LTD.
TOM: Oh, wow. Well, that’s kind of cool. Alright. Well, let’s see what we can do to help you out.
So, first of all, aside from these forms and this and that, we really need to talk about how you’re going to do this base. Now, if you do concrete, that’s the most permanent and durable surface. I would recommend, since you’re planning on parking the car there, of doing a slab there that is at least 6 inches thick or maybe 4 to 6 inches thick. Nothing any thinner than that. And make it a reinforced slab.
And it’s not a DIY project if you’ve not poured concrete before. It’s not a hard project but you have to properly prepare the surface. And then what’ll happen is a mason will sort of dig out the top layer of dirt. They’ll put stone in. They’ll tamp it down, pack it really well. They’ll form the outside perimeter and then pour the concrete and finish it. That’s going to be a solid, permanent surface.
If you were to do something that was like paver bricks or even if you did the sections – and by the way, there’s forms available to do just that now if your grandfather’s old form doesn’t work. But the problem with that is you’ve got to, again, prepare the base in the same way. It’s got to be solidly tamped. It’s more work than the concrete to do. And the problem is that you might get some weeds and stuff that grow through it over time. And if you don’t do a good job preparing it, it’s going to get all uneven and look wobbly and look terrible in just a few short years. So getting that slab right or getting that base right is really the most important part of this.
Now, once you do that, then in terms of the carport roof, you could attach the roof to the side of the house. You’re going to need columns. They’ll have to be properly secured to the base of the concrete. You’re going to need sway bracings so it doesn’t sway back and forth from side to side. You know, there’s a fair amount of work. It sounds simple but this is a big project.
And if you don’t get it right – I’ll tell you, I have a neighbor here near where we live. And her husband, who is a great guy, built a real solid carport next to their garage and it came down in the last storm. You’ve got to get it right. It was open on the sides and it just – it was just time for it to go, according to Mother Nature.
So, I encourage you to get a really good, solid base. Concrete is best. And you can finish the concrete, by the way. You don’t have to look at just concrete. There’s a company called Daich Coatings that have some beautiful finishes, including terrazzo, that you can cover that concrete surface with. So it could look great as a patio but you’ve got to get it right. If it’s not solid, you’re not going to be happy.
LINDA: I think I need someone that’s in that type of business. I think it’s beyond my DIY.
TOM: Yeah, I think you do.
LINDA: I really appreciate it, because I probably would have started and had a major disaster with it, so …
TOM: Well, you can download the Angi app and find a contractor using Angi. It works really well. You can sort through contractors that are you in your area, read reviews from other folks that have had projects done with them. And maybe use that as a start to identify the best contractor for this project that you’re tackling in Rhode Island, OK?
LINDA: Oh, thank you ever so much for all your help. You certainly have solved my problem.
TOM: Good luck with that project.
LESLIE: Dan in Pennsylvania is on the line with a plumbing question. What can we help you with?
DAN: Yes, my son has an older house with cast-iron or steel drainpipes and they go – the main line goes straight down from the toilet and then under the basement floor. And he’s continually getting clogs because of the – the cast iron gets rough over time and tends to catch things.
So I’m wondering – I realize normal drain lines, you drop them an inch a foot so you don’t get too fast a drain and siphon out the traps. But can you – with the main line, can you do pretty much whatever you want with that? Like, say, two 45s and then straight down to get it to the edge of the property? And then that way I’d only have to tear up a little bit to get to – out of the house with the plastic pipe.
TOM: Well, you may not have to tear anything up. There’s a pipe-lining technology that you can consider where, essentially, they reline the cast-iron pipes with a fiberglass sleeve that’s smooth and doesn’t have those types of obstructions. It also helps stop root growth that can sometimes get into the seams of cast-iron piping.
TOM: And that can be done with the pipes in place. You wouldn’t have to tear anything up.
DAN: I would have to cut the pipe though, I’m guessing, because if it goes down and then underneath the portion of the basement at some sort of a – probably a 90. And there may be a trap in – under the basement floor, as well.
TOM: But all of this can be done without you having to access it. Because the way the pipe lining works is – first of all, they put a camera down there to figure out which way the drains are going and they can do that with a pipe camera. And then they run what looks kind of like a fiberglass sock through the pipe.
And it’s kind of like – if you can imagine turning a sock inside out, they do that with water pressure. And it turns inside out and sort of forms against the inner walls of the cast-iron pipe and then sort of dries and hardens to this sort of very strong, smooth surface that won’t obstruct the flow.
DAN: OK. Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Dan. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, have you ever noticed that, over the winter months, garages seem to get smaller as the stuff is piling up? Well, that’s why now is a great time to dive right in and make that garage your first big – and I mean big – spring-cleaning project. Here’s how you can get it done in four steps.
TOM: So, first up, clean it out and be brutal. We’re talking about everything. Let’s face it: there’s a lot of stuff in that garage that you’re never going to use again. So, your first step is to take three big bins – one to fill with items to donate or sell, one to fill with items to toss and one to fill with items you intend to keep – and move everything out of the garage, putting it in one of those three bins or on the curb if it doesn’t fit. If you don’t get this stuff out of your house now, we’re going to be having this very same conversation next year, because it’s going to sit on those shelves for another year or so.
Plus, the only way you really know – I mean you really, really know – what you have in the first place is to empty that space completely. This advice applies to garages, as well as closets. If you really want to do a thorough job, empty the whole darn thing out first.
LESLIE: Yeah. It’s a daunting project. Because once you empty everything out, the only way to go is to put the things back in. So you really have to do the project.
Now, next, you want to think about vertical storage. Garages have a very small footprint and that’s why the best place to find available storage is to look up.
Now, smartly-designed shelves, overhead storage, all of that will help you find ample space for a surprisingly vast amount of storage that you would otherwise be tripping over. For rakes, shovels, ladders, brooms and anything else that’s kind of shaped like that, garage organizing racks are a great option.
TOM: And so much safer when you get stuff up off the floor.
Now, if you can’t figure out what to do with the rest of the stuff that’s left, use hooks. Hooks are great. The big – and I’m talking about the kind that have the lag bolt attached to them. You can use these for chainsaws, for bikes, for extension cords. You know, these hooks really do it all.
We’ve got several of them in our garage and we really like them. I’ve got all my extension cords hanging on them. Just make sure that you’re always screwing them into a stud or a ceiling joist so that gravity doesn’t get the best of you.
LESLIE: Yeah. And lastly, guys, you’ve got to label everything. Have you ever ended up buying another item that you know you’ve got floating around in the garage but you just can’t find it, so you’re like, “I’ll just get it.” And then, of course, you find it immediately after you buy it.
So, instead of getting bogged down in the hunt, you want to make sure that you clearly label storage containers. And you might find it useful to use a color-coding system, like maybe red and green bins for your holiday décor; blue for, say, clothing you’re going to donate if the kids have outgrown it; black for seasonal sports items, anything like that. Keep a chart of what bin’s what so you know exactly what you’re looking for.
TOM: Yep. Good advice.
Garage organization doesn’t have to be the biggest headache of your spring-cleaning projects. But if you approach it logically, you’re going to discover that you can make that garage space much more functional again and you might actually be able to fit in your car. Just think about it. What a concept: a car in a garage.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Bea in North Carolina on the line. What’s going on at your money pit?
BEA: Well, I have this closet that is fairly long, maybe about 6 feet long.
BEA: And it is a rental property of mine.
BEA: And the tenant, who has more clothes than anybody I’ve ever met, had a whole bunch of suits on there, literally.
LESLIE: Oh, those are heavy.
BEA: And a whole bunch of – yes, suits on there. And it bowed the rod and it pulled the supporting boards from the wall.
BEA: And it’s hard to keep getting these contractors to do small jobs. They charge too much.
TOM: Yeah. Yep.
BEA: So I wanted to find out from you, how could I, myself, who’s a novice at DIY projects, tackle this kind of a job?
TOM: OK. So let me ask you this: can you describe how that closet rod is supported? You mentioned it pulled the board out of the wall. A lot of times, we’ll see boards that have holes drilled in the middle of them. And then the board itself is attached to the wall and then the rod kind of sits on that, inside that hole. Is that what you’re looking it?
BEA: There is – on either end of the rod, that is the situation. But then what we also have are these supporting racks, if you will, that are placed every so often through the length of the closet.
TOM: Yep. Yep.
BEA: So, he literally – not only did that wood rod bow but those supporting racks that are then nailed to a board that is nailed into the drywall, that literally pulled away from the wall. Everything pulled from the wall.
TOM: Mm-hmm. OK. So, here’s what you need to do.
First of all, you need to completely empty the closet and take out the shelf, which was probably loose on top of that assembly, as you’ve described it.
Now, what I’m going to call is the “cleating,” which is the wood strips that are attached to the drywall on the long wall and also on the short walls – the first step is to make sure that those are solidly attached. And to do that, you need to locate where the studs are in the wall. Those are the wood-framing members that are behind the drywall.
Now, an easy way to do this, even though you’re kind of putting some tiny holes in the wall – but you know what? It’s kind of worth it. I’m going to tell you how to do this and hide it at the same time. If you were to take a small finish nail – these are the thin nails: one that’s about 3 inches long without a big head on it. And if you were to tap that nail or drive that nail into the wall where you think the studs are – and they’re probably going to be close to where those brackets were. But you – sometimes you can knock on the wall with your hand, like you’re knocking on a door, and you’ll hear that it’s a little sort of different sound where the stud is.
But if you find out where that stud is and then put a little pencil mark on that wood cleat where that is – because you’re going to drive a screw in there. And so, you want to find the studs. You can use that nail to kind of – if you hold the nail close to the top of the cleat, where the shelf’s ultimately going to cover it, you can even tap it in a little bit until you feel the wood and then wiggle it out. So now you know where the stud is.
Now, when you – once you know where the stud is, what you’re going to do is use what are called “drywall screws” or “hardened screws.” In a home center, anybody can direct you to these. They’re black screws. They have a Phillips-head bit on them. You want to get one that’s long enough to go through that cleat and into the wall. So I would think about 2½-inches long will do it.
And then the way you drive them in is not with a screwdriver but with a drill. So a drill with a screwdriver tip on it, you start real slow and you can drill right through that piece of wood, right through the drywall and right into the stud. And you know what, Bea? When you hit that stud, you’re going to know it because that screw is going to be in there nice and solid. And there’s no way that wood is ever going to pull off again.
So you want to do that every place you have a stud. In the corners or the sides, there’s always going to be a stud in the corner. Sometimes you have to angle the screws a little bit to get to that. Once you have that done, then you can replace the shelf back on top. You can put the closet rod back in. And you’re going to want to attach that closet rod well to the wood cleats on the ends. And then, again, depending on how it’s designed – I don’t know if it has a hole or sometimes there’s a bracket – but you want to use screws for this, not nails. Always use these drywall screws. They are like the miracle fastener for all sorts of home improvement projects because they don’t pull out.
And then, in terms of that bracket that is attaching and is holding those intermittent sort of supports, now you – normally, the cleat behind the shelf is about 4 inches tall. You’re going to have, probably, another piece of wood that goes down the full length of the bracket. And again, that has to be screwed into the stud. And then you can attach the brackets to that wood. Now, attaching the brackets to the wood, you don’t necessarily have to use the same size screws but you have to use screws.
And if you get that all done right and lined up well, there is no way this guy and all of his suits is going to pull that shelf and that bar down again, OK? It’s really not a difficult project to do. It’s a good, basic DIY project.
BEA: Should I change the rod to a metal rod or …?
TOM: You could change it to a metal rod. And if you get a metal rod, you can find one that’s telescoping. So they’ll have a rod that’s like – works for 5 to 7 feet, for example. And if your closet’s 6 feet, you extend it. And the metal rods, at the end they have a built-in bracket that sort of hangs on top of that wood cleat. And then, again, it screws in.
So that might be a little easier for you, a little nicer for you, as well, and possibly even stronger than the wood rod.
BEA: Well, that’s great instruction.
TOM: Alright. There you go, Bea. Good luck with that project.
LESLIE: Kevin in Maryland, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
KEVIN: Hi. I’ve got a washer and a dryer on the second floor of my house. And it seems, in the last year, I’m getting a lot more vibration, a lot more sound out of those units. And I can feel it a lot more in the second floor. So I’m wondering if there’s anything I can do to kind of reinforce something in order to limit that vibration. Because I’ve got three small children now and my amount of washing and drying is not going to go down at all.
TOM: Well, two things. First of all, you want to double-check that the appliance is absolutely level. Because if it’s slightly out of level, you’ll get more vibration. Then the second thing that you could do is pick up some anti-vibration pads for the feet of the washing machine. These are like rubber blocks that are indented where the washing machine legs sort of sit inside of it. Then they sit on the floor and they help absorb some of the vibration.
I have the washer and the dryer actually stacked – full-size units – stacked on the second floor of my house. And I put the anti-vibration pads in it and whenever the machine is spinning, I can literally look at those pads and see them working, because the vibration is really being absorbed by them. And in fact, I have – also have the washer sitting inside of an overflow pan that’s made out of fiberglass. So to get that to work, I had to sort of carve the bottom of the vibration pads to fit sort of the angle of the pan that they’re sitting in. So even with that modification, they work and they work well.
So I would pick up the anti-vibration pads. They’re about 25 bucks for a set of four and you could find those online or I think I found mine at Home Depot.
KEVIN: Alright. Thank you very much.
TOM: Alright, Kevin. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Well, building a backyard deck is one surefire way to increase your home’s living space for those warmer months and also to add to your home’s value. But can it be a DIY project or is it one that always needs the help of a pro? Let’s weigh the pros and the cons of each.
LESLIE: Alright. If you do do it yourself, you stand to save just by virtue of the labor costs. However, building your backyard deck could eat up a number of weekends. And depending on how quickly you work, I mean it could be a lot of weekends and then you’re wasting your summer building the whole thing rather than enjoying it.
And also, the DIY option may be perfect if you’re planning on a fairly simple square or rectangular deck. But if things, you know, get more complicated or multilevel in your deck design, things could get a little dicey. And it’s especially complicated and potentially even dangerous if the deck you’re planning is anything higher than just a foot or two off the ground.
TOM: Now, hiring a pro is obviously going to result in a costlier project because you’ve got to pay for their labor. But on the plus side, the pro can get it done quicker and it’s also likely to come out a lot better and be code-compliant, because the pro is going to take care of those building permits and make sure it’s up to code. Because that’s really important, especially if you want to sell your house later. If it turns out that you did this without a permit, the code inspector could actually make you tear it down.
LESLIE: Yeah. Either way you go, guys, it’s super important that you have a plan. So before you even decide who’s going to build that deck, spend time researching deck designs, figure out the size and the shape that you want your deck to be. And one trick here, guys, is to outline the deck in your yard using a rope that’s going to represent the perimeter of the deck you’re going to have. And go ahead and take your furniture and move it around inside that shape. This way, you’re going to know that the flow is working well.
And you have to keep in mind – “Where am I putting the grill? Or am I going to keep the tables and the chairs away from here because there’s a step?” It sort of gives you a sense of how that space is going to play out, so you know if it’s right before you start the building process. Because this is the time to make changes.
TOM: Yeah. And once you have a strong idea of what you want, you can decide whether you can build it yourself or have it built, because the decision to go DIY or pro will just become a lot clearer.
We’ve got great tips on deck design, that could help you get started, at MoneyPit.com.
LESLIE: Karen in Pennsylvania is dealing with some mold in the basement. Tell us what’s going on.
KAREN: My mom has a house that the basement is – we put it up for sale and nobody noticed this. And one person came in and tore wallpaper off the wall and we noticed that it had mold from the floor to the ceiling and even in the inner walls. So I had a gentleman come and look at it and he said it would take $30,000-plus. And he would come in, remove all the interior walls – all the wood, the paneling, everything off the wall – down to the bare. He would have a chemical put on, clean it and then it would never come back.
And then the second guy came in and he said he would rip everything out, as he said. He would coat it, clean it and guarantee it that if it did come back, he’d fix it for $10,000.
TOM: Yeah, I don’t think you need either of these guys. You don’t have enough information yet and I don’t think you’re talking to the right people. I doubt either of them are professional mold mitigators. It sounds to me like they’re just trying to size you up for as much money as they can get from you.
The first thing you want to do is test the mold to figure out what kind of mold it is. And that’s done – there’s a couple of easy ways to do that. Basically, you take a sample and you send it out to a lab and they tell you what you’ve got. And then you can kind of design a mitigation plan around that.
I need to get a sense as to how much mold is there. But if it’s just a little bit of mold behind the wallpaper, you may not need to pull all this out; you might be able to treat it right in place. But it doesn’t sound right.
KAREN: Where the bathroom is has an inner wall. And that is halfway down with mold.
TOM: OK. How much mold are we talking about here, square footage-wise? Is it like a 4×4-foot by 4-foot space or …?
KAREN: We’re going to say all the outer walls. Because we’ve since went around and pulled off some wallpaper here and moved some paneling. And we also – the first guy that came in for $30,000 brought in a light and to me, it looked like a black light. But he brought the light in that was a special light and it can tell what type of mold it was and where the mold was.
TOM: That is completely wrong. Do not call that guy back. It is completely wrong, OK? That guy was not giving you accurate information if he comes in with his magic light that supposedly tells mold.
LESLIE: Yeah, they can’t actually tell you what kind of mold unless they do a chemical test on a physical sample.
TOM: Well, it’s a mold test. They send it out to a lab and they read it, so that guy’s a snake-oil salesman.
LESLIE: Right. Right. But it’s actually holding a piece of that mold and testing it with certain things. And that’s done by a lab.
TOM: It sounds like you could use a basement renovation but I wouldn’t get too crazy over it. If it’s done by the right kind of company that can take that apart very carefully and dispose of all of that material – and maybe you don’t even want to put the walls back. Maybe you just want to leave it unfinished.
KAREN: Oh, good.
TOM: Alright. Well, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Tom in Ohio, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
TOM IN OHIO: Hi. Yeah, I had a question about cracks in the basement. I’ve got a home that’s about 15 years old and we’re thinking about selling in a year. And we’ve got some cracks in our basement. It’s a full basement. And it’s probably – I don’t know – it’s mostly around an eighth. In some places, they’re kind of chipped up a little bigger than an eighth and they kind of – couple of them start out from the drain and kind of spider out. And I’m just kind of wondering at what – to what point they become a concern, especially if we’re going to try to resell and what we need to do – need to address the problem.
TOM: OK, Tom. I would not be too concerned about basement-floor cracks. Here’s why: that basement floor is not structural. Even though it’s made of concrete, it’s not holding anything up, so it’s really just supporting itself. And it cracks for a number of reasons and may – the soil underneath may not have been prepped properly when it was first installed or the floor could be too thin or it wasn’t reinforced.
So what I would do is I would definitely fill them and there’s a number of ways to do that. If it’s just an 1/8-inch, QUIKRETE makes a concrete patching compound that comes in a caulk tube. It’s really easy to apply. So you can squeeze this patching compound into those cracks, let it solidify.
And then what I would do is I would paint the entire floor. I would use an epoxy basement floor-painting system. It’s a two-part epoxy. It’s a chemical cure, so you mix the two parts together, you apply the epoxy. There’s usually some sort of a colorant chip that you can put in to give it some density to the surface. And you probably won’t even see those cracks when it’s done.
And I don’t think it’s structural, so it’s not like you’re hiding anything. I think it’ll just make the whole thing look really nice when it’s finished.
TOM IN OHIO: OK. Great. Thank you.
LESLIE: Well, have you ever tried to repair a stubborn crack using traditional spackle, tape or even fiberglass, only to find it just opens up all over again? Well, there’s a better way to tackle this repair using a product called KRACK KOTE. And that’s made by Abatron.
Now, KRACK KOTE, it’s a specially-formulated acrylic emulsion that uses a polyester mesh to bridge over the cracks. It doesn’t shrink, it has no odor and it stays flexible as it dries. Now, this is going to allow the repair to move as the wall expands and contracts. And that’s going to leave a seamless repair that’s not going to reopen like other fillers or putties.
TOM: Yeah. This is an amazing product. I have been using it exclusively since we discovered it. And it works for really thin cracks, as well as wide cracks. And it’s really easy to apply.
Here’s the steps. You just clean the area where the crack is first and then you use a small paintbrush. And you brush on this acrylic emulsion and then you cover that area – you cover the crack over – with a polyester mesh, which is about the same size as drywall tape but it presses in and soaks in really nicely. Then, once that dries, you put a second coat of the emulsion on top and you’re done. You’ve got a seamless, durable repair. It’s not going to open up again. And because of the flexibility of this KRACK KOTE system, it’s really key because it allows for a slight movement even after the product is totally dry. And that prevents the cracks from reappearing.
Now, the plaster-and-drywall crack-repair kit includes the KRACK KOTE emulsion and the polyester crack-bridge fabric for making those flexible repairs to cracked walls and ceilings.
LESLIE: And once it’s dry, you can paint that repaired area with latex or oil-based paint. And you’re going to have a totally seamless, durable repair. So if you’ve got cracks that you’d like to make disappear once and for all, you can find Abatron’s KRACK KOTE at Amazon and at retailers nationwide or at Abatron.com. That’s A-b-a-t-r-o-n.com.
Deborah in Pennsylvania, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
DEBORAH: OK. I’m purchasing a home that has a couple of stains on the ceiling. And it turns out the stains are located directly under the vents. I don’t know any other way to explain it but they’re like these tubes on the outside where the roof is. So, I was told by the inspection that those rubber-stopper things that go around them need to be replaced.
TOM: OK. Yeah. So, the plumbing-vent flashing is what is leaking here. And the plumbing-vent flashing consists of an aluminum piece of flash material that goes underneath the roof shingles and a rubber boot that is designed to fit over the plumbing pipe. And they very often – that rubber boot will very often crack and deteriorate and does have to be replaced.
Not a terribly complicated job. A roofer or a carpenter can do it in about 10 or 15 minutes. They just basically have to peel up a roof shingle or two right around there. You can do that with a flat bar. You can actually put the flat bar under the roof shingle, get it right up to where the nail is and kind of wiggle it back and forth. That nail will come right out. You can kind of disassemble the roof one shingle at a time, replace the flashing vent and put it back together.
So, pretty easy, straightforward repair project and not the least bit unusual, Deborah. OK?
DEBORAH: OK. Well, I appreciate you taking my call. Thank you.
LESLIE: Joe reached out and says, “I thought I was doing everything right by getting a sump pump with a battery backup. But I lost power for so long the battery died and the basement still flooded. Is there anything I can do to prevent that in the future?”
TOM: Yeah. First of all, deal with the source of the flooding, which is almost always a problem with your grading and your gutters. Clean those gutters and get the downspouts extended away.
And if you truly want to have backup-power protection, you need a whole-house generator, Joe. I mean it really is the best way to go. They’re less expensive now than ever before. And once you have one, you’ll wonder how you lived without it. Because, literally, when the power goes out from the street, mine comes on in 15 seconds. In fact, it comes on so quietly, I sometimes don’t even notice that it was on, except that I had to reset my Wi-Fi once. But other than that, I had no idea.
So it really works seamlessly and it’s an important thing to have today. Because let’s face it: power is not as reliable as it used to be and we’re starting to see more and more of these blackout situations.
LESLIE: And Joe, the peace of mind that you’ll get from that generator is priceless.
TOM: Well, when it gets too hot to head outside, we’ve got an idea for a project that lets you bring the outdoors in for years to come. Leslie has tips on how to install a reclaimed-wood wall, on this week’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.
Leslie? I just did this project in my house. I took a very old wood bench that had been in my basement for years and I cut it into paneling. So we had 1×6 panels and we lined the walls of the basement steps with it and it looks really cool.
LESLIE: Oh, that does look really nice on the step faces. It really does look lovely.
And it’s challenging. There’s so many paint choices out there and people get super confused. So, why not just do something completely different from paint? The hottest new trend in design has homeowners covering walls not with paint but in panels of salvaged wood, just like you did, Tom. And a reclaimed-wood accent wall is not just going to get you compliments, it’s going to really give you a warm feeling for that room all year long. And it’s Earth-friendly.
Now, this is a job that you can hire out or certainly, you can do it yourself. If you go the DIY route, you want to select planks or panels from salvage yards or specialty buyers or from manufacturers who are getting in on the trend by selling planks specifically for this purpose. Some of those are even peel-and-stick, so you want to make sure that you’re finding the right product that you’re going to feel comfortable working with and is also going to give you that look in the space that you’re going for.
So when you get to that point, you want to make sure that you carefully look at all of the planks of wood that you see. Remove any nails or any other metal that’s in there. You can sand the panels of wood if you want, if it needs. Next, you can use a saw. You want to cut those boards to size.
Now, inside your house, remove the trim from the wall that you’re planning to cover and attach the planks using a level and construction adhesive. And you want to support each plank with a few nails until you know that adhesive is dry.
Now, if you use authentic salvaged wood, you might want to consider sealing it afterward to avoid splinters. Or maybe that wood might have chemicals in it, because you don’t really know where it came from. And that’s going to help keep that whatever might be inside that wood actually in the wood.
But either way, this is a great project. It works in a ton of different spaces. And it will really give you that sort of California boho vibe if you go with the salvaged wood. Or you can get a sleeker, sort of metro look if you go with something that’s more sort of refined. But either way, it’s a great project.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Thank you so much for spending this part of your day with us.
Coming up next time on the program, we all love a lush, green lawn. But sometimes, what’s green, well, it’s not exactly grass nor is it very lush. If the weeds get out of control, they can totally and quickly destroy your lawn. So we’re going to share tips on how to make sure that doesn’t happen to you, on the very next edition of The Money Pit.
I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Remember, you can do it yourself …
LESLIE: But you don’t have to do it alone.
(Copyright 2021 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.)