- Every summer, the #1 danger for children is drowning! Tom & Leslie share a pool safety system you can put in place to help makes sure that tragedy never strikes close to home.
- It’s National Garage Sales Day and that time of year when millions of folks transform their garages and yards into a storefront to get rid of the junk they no longer want! whether you need to clear garage clutter or maybe make a few bucks, or both, we’ll have tips to help your garage sale go smoothly, including how to protect your privacy and how to price your treasures!
- If you’ve ever tried to repair cracked, deteriorated concrete like on a sidewalk, driveway or garage floor – you might have found that those repairs have to be made to the same spots over and over again. We’ll share a way to do these once and have them stick.
Plus, answers to your home improvement questions.
- Justin from VA needs to know the best options for a laundry room floor.
- Margie in OH needs deep cleaning advice for kitchen cabinets.
- Judy in Missouri needs help figuring out the source of a roof leak.
- Courtney in Texas asks how to totally remove the smelly cigarette stink left by a previous homeowner.
- Taylor In North Dakota wants to know how to seal a leaking duct system that’s driving up her air conditioning costs.
- Lin in Missouri is needs to know how to stop a pear tree that is breaking through her foundation.
- Peg from RI wants to redecorate her bathroom but is stuck with an ugly shower insert. We share some designer tricks to work around it.
TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: And we are here to help you take on the projects you want to get done around your house. We want to turn your house from money pit to castle. We’re here to do just that. If you want some advice on how to make a repair or plan an improvement, we can help you with that, too. Whatever is on your to-do list, you are welcome to slide it over to ours by reaching out with your home improvement questions. Couple of ways to do that. You can post your questions to us at MoneyPit.com or you can call them in to us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
We’re going to start off today’s show with an important safety tip about the number-one danger for young children. Every summer, we hear this. It’s the number-one thing: it’s drowning. And we hate reading this and we hate hearing about it. It doesn’t seem to change but we’re not going to give up. We’re going to keep pressing with information on how to keep kids safe, especially from pool drownings. And today we’re going to give you some tips on a system that you can put in place to help make sure that tragedy never strikes close to your home.
LESLIE: And we’re just about halfway through this summer season, which means it’s that time of year when millions of folks transform their garages and yards into a storefront. You know, you’ve got to get rid of all that junk you don’t want any longer somehow, right?
TOM: Yeah. It’s actually even a national garage-sale day every year. I think it’s the second Saturday of August. So it’s a celebrated holiday, for sure.
LESLIE: I’ll send you a card, Tom.
Well, whether you need to clear clutter or maybe you want to make a few bucks or both, we’re going to have some tips to help your garage sale go smoothly.
TOM: And if you’ve ever tried to repair a cracked or deteriorated concrete sidewalk or a driveway or a garage floor, you might have found that those repairs have to be made in the same spots over and over again. We’re going to share a way to do those once and have them stick around for a while.
LESLIE: But first, The Money Pit is about you. So whether you live in a house or an apartment, you’re dealing with a repair or you’re dreaming about a renovation, we’re going to help you tackle your to-dos with confidence and have a little fun along the way.
TOM: So give us a call with your home improvement questions. The number, again, is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s first?
LESLIE: Justin from Alexandria, Virginia is on the line and he’s a repeat caller to The Money Pit. So what’s going on now?
TOM: Did we get it right last time, Justin?
JUSTIN: Yeah, the last project turned out great. We abated all the asbestos. We put the flooring down in the basement and now, it leads up to the laundry room, which leads to our new problem.
TOM: OK. What’s next?
JUSTIN: So, after that asbestos was abated, there is no asbestos in our laundry room because they never put those 1970s tiles down. But they did decide to paint it 25 times. So there’s a whole bunch of paint in this room. Different layers of paint. It’s not lead or anything. But because it’s in the basement and it’s in the laundry room and it flooded often or whatever, it’s chipped everywhere. It looks terrible. And we’ve been trying to figure out something to do with the flooring in here to make it look nice.
JUSTIN: So, one idea was strip down all the paint and then try to do a new layer of maybe an epoxy or something. Another idea was to put down another – like a thinner luxury vinyl plank so that it can – it’s more bendy. Because there is, in the center of the space, a drain that is meant to capture any overflow that ever might occur from the catastrophic event from either the sump pump or from the – it’s an old-style laundry machine out where there’s no 3-inch – it’s like they just have some pantyhose leading to the sink and they call it a day.
TOM: Right. Mm-hmm. Yeah. I think you’re on the right track. I think I’d go with Option B there, because I was thinking luxury vinyl plank when you said that because it’s 100-percent waterproof.
Now, around this drain, I think what I would do there – luxury vinyl plank can float on top of the old floor, right? And you can use some sort of a molding to trim the edge. What I would do where the drain is is I would very carefully cut that drain circle out and cut that hole out and I would caulk underneath that with an adhesive sealant. Something like Total Tech, which is made by Super Glue. I would seal around that drain so that only – so that that piece is held down tight around that drain. And I think from there, you’ll just be good to go.
I don’t think it’s worth you trying to strip off all that old paint, Leslie. I think, for a laundry room, luxury vinyl plank is a good choice. What do you think?
LESLIE: It’s definitely a great choice for a laundry room. It’s super durable. Should you have any issues with water or leaking situations, that’s going to stand up very well. And you’ve got so many choices, so you can really make it look as stylish or designed or as simple as you want.
TOM: Yeah. And it’s inexpensive, so you can change it in a few years and it’ll be super easy to do.
JUSTIN: Yeah. We were thinking about doing that – the vinyl plank – because I didn’t really want to deal with the stripping, especially since we’re going to have kids in the house soon. And just in general, using the stripping stuff even if you’re using the CITRA one or Smart Strip or whatever those ones are called, they’re less toxic but you probably don’t want them in an unventilated space for too long, especially since you’d have to power-wash it or something at the end to get it out.
TOM: Right, right. Yeah, that’s (inaudible). I don’t think it’s necessary, Justin. I think that’s a great option for you.
JUSTIN: Alright. I’ll keep that in mind then.
TOM: Alright. Well, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. And given that you’re at the – literally on the ground floor of your next home improvement project and you’re expecting to fill the house up with kids, I think that you’ll be calling us time and time again as the years go on. And we’ll be glad to help.
JUSTIN: Yeah. I look forward to it.
LESLIE: Put us on speed dial.
JUSTIN: Will do. Thanks so much.
LESLIE: Margie in Ohio needs some help cleaning some kitchen cabinets. Tell us about it.
MARGIE: I have maple kitchen cabinets and above the hood area, it is very dirty from the fan and from cooking. And there’s a residue on the cabinets. And I was wondering what type of product I could use to take off the grit that is on the cabinet without damaging the maple cabinet.
LESLIE: So Margie, the area that you describe over the cooking area, above the hood, that’s generally a very greasy spot in the kitchen under the best of circumstances. So I think your first step is to try to just clean it with some sort of grease remover, like an orange cleaner or – I always call it “Goof Off” but I don’t think that’s the right name.
TOM: Yeah, no. I think that is one of the products. Or Murphy’s Oil Soap.
LESLIE: Yeah. I mean something that has a citrus in it that’s going to help you break down all of that grease buildup would probably be your best place to start and see how you do. Outside of that, if you’re going to start messing with the sheen or the finish of that specific cabinet on its own, you’re going to then have to work with the rest of the cabinets to sort of match up to that. So my first attempt would be really to scrub it, clean it, give it some good, old elbow grease and see where you go.
TOM: You might want to take the doors off the hinges to do this work, because it might be easier to work on them when they’re on a flat surface like that. And then you can go back and do the frame around the door after you’ve sort of perfected your cleaning on the door first and put it all back together. And if that works, this might be a situation where you just keep going, right? Because even though the rest of the cabinets aren’t terribly dirty …
LESLIE: They’re more dirty than you think, I bet.
TOM: Yeah. You only know, sometimes, when you start cleaning it up, right? Because that’s when you see it get lifted off and you’re like, “Oh, there’s a whole new color under there.”
LESLIE: Reach out to Team Money Pit, let us know what you are working on. We’re standing by, 24/7.
And we’re also standing by to give away a great set of products today that are going to help you with dozens of repairs around the house. We’ve got, up for grabs, The Original Super Glue’s Total Tech.
Now, Total Tech really is the perfect mix of a heavy-duty construction adhesive but also an all-purpose sealant. It’s going to grab instantly, it’s going to dry really fast and it’s 100-percent watertight. So, it’s perfect if you’ve got a pool, a repair in a sink or a tub. Plus, you can paint it.
Now, it’s available at Amazon or even at your local hardware store but you can learn more, right now, at SuperGlueCorp.com/TotalTech.
TOM: And we’re giving away a package of 8 different Total Tech products worth 64 bucks, going out to one listener drawn at random. Make that you. Reach out to us with your home improvement questions. We’ll toss your name in The Money Pit hard hat and might be sending that package off to your house.
LESLIE: Judy in Missouri is on the line with a roofing question. How can we help you today?
JUDY: Yes, I was wondering if you had ever heard of – had a roof repair a few years ago and it’s been leaking ever since. They used what they called Tam-Shield. It’s a synthetic underlayment.
TOM: Yeah, mm-hmm.
JUDY: And it’s plastic and they used that instead of felt paper.
TOM: Yeah, right. It’s synthetic. And it’s actually an upgrade to standard, 15-pound felt paper. And it’s actually better than using standard felt paper under a roof.
The reason that your roof is leaking now is probably not because of the Tam-Shield; it’s probably because of something that went wrong with the repair. But I don’t think it would have been the underlayment, because that’s actually pretty good stuff.
How is it leaking, Judy? Tell me about the leak.
JUDY: Well, we really don’t know. It comes through in our bathroom and we get up in the attic and we can see drips. But they can’t seem to pinpoint it. They worked on it several times and they just can’t get it to go away.
TOM: Alright. Usually, if your roof is leaking above your bathroom – there’s a pipe that goes through the ceiling right there and up through the roof and it’s the plumbing-vent pipe. And right around that vent pipe, there’s a rubber boot that seals that pipe between the pipe and the roof itself. And then there’s flashing that goes around that. That’s the most common place for a roof leak when you have it leak right above a bathroom.
Now, a lot of times, contractors will try to sort of tar that in place but that’s a bad idea. What I would recommend is to take out the plumbing-vent flashing. And you can do that easily by removing a few shingles in that area.
Roof shingles are actually pretty easy to disassemble if you know kind of a trick of the trade. I like to do it with a flat bar that you can slip up under the roof shingle, find the nail and sort of pry it from side to side and it’ll pop right out. And then you replace that plumbing-vent flashing and put it back together again and make sure you put everything in the right order so it – the roofing lays on top of the flashing. That usually stops that leak.
JUDY: But you – but leave the vent pipes there?
TOM: Oh, yeah. The vent pipe is there for an important reason. You’re going to start having problems flushing your toilet and all your sinks are going to start to gurgle if you take that out. But replace the plumbing-vent flashing there, OK?
JUDY: OK. Well, thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Judy. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, did you know that drowning is the number-one cause of death for young children? Summertime means lots of time spent in and around a swimming pool, which can be dangerous if you don’t have properly-designed pool fencing.
TOM: Yeah. And one thing that’s important to know about pool fences is that they’re actually quite different than non-pool fences. A pool fence needs to be at least 4 feet high and it has to be designed to be non-climbable. Now, with chain-link fencing, for example, the mesh opening should be 1¼-inches or less, which is too small for a toddler to get a toe-hold on.
And with iron fencing, the spacing between those vertical bars should be no more than 4 inches. And the horizontal supports have to be mounted facing the pool so that you can’t get, again, a foot in there and swing over the top, because the supports have to be at least 45 inches apart.
So they’re definitely designed a lot different than regular fencing.
LESLIE: Yeah. And you know what? The fencing is only as good as the gate, which tends to be the weakest link in all of that pool fencing. So, the gate has got to be self-closing and self-latching. So they’ve got to slam shut if you accidentally leave them open. And the gate latches should be mounted at least 54 inches off the ground and have childproof relief mechanisms. I mean they’ve got to be tall enough where the littlest kids can’t reach them.
And I’m telling you, some of these gate latches are so complicated to open, I stand there, as an adult person, struggling. So I think it’s good …
TOM: Need help?
LESLIE: You’ve got to make sure it’s hard to get in.
TOM: Absolutely. You know, baby fencing, which can be a secondary fence installed closer to the pools, is also an option for homes where the fence encloses the yard but not necessarily the pool. Just keep in mind that baby fencing may keep young children out of harm’s way but it does not work for toddlers that can climb. And if you’ve ever raised a toddler, you know that they learn these skills so fast. They couldn’t climb one day and all of a sudden, they’re rappelling down sides of buildings the next. It’s crazy. They’re so quick at this stuff how they change.
So, you really need to keep an eye on stuff and just add another layer of protection to your scheme around the pool. And this is going to really help keep everybody safe.
LESLIE: Courtney in Texas is on the line with a very stinky question at her money pit. What is going on?
COURTNEY: It’s not an old house. We’ve just lived here just under a year and the previous owner was a cigarette smoker. And so pretty much everything smelled like cigarettes.
TOM: Yeah, it’s disgusting.
COURTNEY: So we’ve replaced and painted and we’ve done a lot of work on it but I’m wondering if I need to just replace or clean out the ventilation system. That’s one thing I haven’t done yet.
TOM: Well, let’s talk about this. So, are we talking about every room in the house here or are you focused on one particular room?
COURTNEY: It was every room in the house.
TOM: And do you have carpet in the house?
COURTNEY: It’s been replaced.
TOM: Carpet’s been replaced. When you replaced the carpet, you had, what, hardwood floors or you had plywood floors underneath?
COURTNEY: It was plywood.
TOM: Did you paint them? Did you paint them with a sealer?
TOM: So one of the things that we generally recommend is – because cigarette smoke is so pervasive and it gets into everything. If you do have to replace the carpet, which you did, unfortunately, you didn’t seal the floors at the same time, which would have been obviously the easy time to do that.
TOM: And the reason we say that is because, sometimes, those floors will basically absorb all that odor and then it can just let it go back up through the carpet. The carpet isn’t going to stop it. So we always recommend sealing that with primer – good-quality priming paint – which seals it in.
It’s kind of the same thing that happens if you use a restoration company after a fire and you get smoke damage, because the smoke gets into everything.
TOM: What they do is they clean it and then they seal it with the proper type of smoke-sealing paint. And then that helps to control it.
The other thing is any other soft material. So, furnishings, blinds, drapes, anything of that nature that’s still around, you need to clean or replace.
COURTNEY: We’ve done that. We’ve done all the light fixtures. All the outlets, all the cabinets have been redone.
TOM: And what about the walls? Have they been – has the house been repainted on the interior?
TOM: Did you prime it first or did you just paint over it?
COURTNEY: I did prime the walls. Yeah.
TOM: What do you think is left, Leslie? It sounds like she did most of this here.
LESLIE: It really does sound like it. The only thing I can think of – is there a drop-tile ceiling that’s like a soft, more porous material?
COURTNEY: Is cleaning out the HVAC system something that would help?
TOM: Yeah, maybe. I mean we’re not big fans of duct cleaning unless you’re doing a lot of remodeling and you get a lot of dust and stuff in it.
TOM: I don’t think it would hurt but I don’t think that’s going to be the cause of your problem here.
TOM: The filter system, though, in the HVAC system may be also a place to start. If you had a better-quality filter system, that could help, as well.
So you have a forced-air system, obviously. Do you have an electronic air cleaner or is it a fiberglass cleaner? What kind of air cleaner do you have there or filter?
COURTNEY: Yeah, I don’t know what that means.
TOM: You need to find out what kind of filter you have. If it’s a disposable filter, you should be changing it every 1 to 3 months, depending on the quality of the filter.
COURTNEY: I do change that but I don’t know what type. I don’t know what type of material it is.
TOM: OK. Well, if you’re changing it, it’s not an electronic air cleaner. So there are better air cleaners on the market that do a much better job of scrubbing the air. They’re called “electronic air cleaners.” You could look at one called the Trane – T-R-A-N-E – CleanEffects. And there’s also one from Aprilaire that’s very effective. But these types of electronic air cleaners will scrub even virus-sized particles out of the air. And that might help. Because I don’t think – if you have just the standard fiberglass filters, that’s doing absolutely nothing to capture any of this residual odor that you’re talking about.
So, I hope these couple of ideas help you. It sounds like you’re kind of on your way. The only thing that you didn’t do, that I would’ve recommended, would’ve been to paint those subfloors when you had the carpet up.
COURTNEY: Alright. Well, I appreciate your time.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project.
COURTNEY: Thank you.
LESLIE: Taylor in North Dakota, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
TAYLOR: I have a two-story house. I live in North Dakota. And I have a two-story house that has a forced-air system. And it’s just not getting the cooling up to the second floor and the heating up to the second floor like I feel it should. I had a contractor come in and they recommended a product to me that I was wondering if you guys had any knowledge on it. It’s a product called Aeroseal, where they actually seal the ductwork from the inside. And they claim that it’ll seal up the ductwork and get me more airflow.
TOM: Is this guy an Aeroseal dealer?
TOM: OK. So my only concern here is the reason that you’re not having adequate heating and cooling on the second floor is due to a core error in the sizing of the system. And while duct systems can certainly be leaky, I doubt that that’s your entire problem, Taylor. I think that there’s an issue with the design here that’s at the core of this. And while that’s kind of a nice thing to do and yeah, it’d probably help a little bit, I don’t necessarily think that’s the first thing I would do at all.
I think you ought to talk to some other HVAC contractors and really, what they need to do is look at a heat-loss calculation here and figure out how much air you’re moving up there, making sure you have enough supply air going up there, making sure you have adequate return ducts, that nothing is blocked or disconnected.
TAYLOR: This is the second company that came in. The first company actually recommended for me to talk to this company because he felt the same way, actually.
TOM: Well, why did they think that your duct system is so leaky that it’s causing this problem? Certainly, leaking ducts can contribute to it but I don’t think – I really, really don’t think it’s the main cause here. I can’t imagine it’s so inefficient, that your ducts are so poorly put together that simply sealing them is going to solve this problem. You have a very significant issue with inadequate heating and cooling getting to the second floor of the house. So, I think this is an issue of airflow, it’s an issue of design and I would explore ways that that can be improved.
And if you can’t easily improve it, then what you might want to think about is adding supplemental heating and cooling to the second floor vis-à-vis, for example, a split-ductless system, which would – could supply both warm air and cool air, depending on the design of the model that you get. But I don’t think this is all about duct defects in terms of leaky ducts. I think this is a design defect that you have to – just haven’t nailed it yet. OK, Taylor? Does that make sense?
TAYLOR: Alright. Sounds good.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, with the last blast of garage-sale season ahead, it’s a good time to clean out and clean up by selling what you don’t need. Now, National Garage Sale Day – yes, there is such a thing and it’s the second Saturday in August. And it’s a great time to dig into those cramped storage spaces, get organized and make a profit in the process.
TOM: Yeah. So, to get started, lightening your load is much easier when you have a system. So, here’s our system. As you go through belongings, you want to sort them into piles of things to keep, things to trash and things to sell. Remember, if you don’t use it or you don’t wear it often or you forgot it even existed, it probably needs to go. So, I think you have to get over your separation anxiety here a little bit, with all your stuff, and let it go.
LESLIE: Yeah. Now, here’s a for-real tip, you guys: serious shoppers are going to come early. So be prepared with your best wares a few minutes before the start time that’s listed in your ad. And you want to be careful about selling things that may have updated safety features, like baby furniture or car seats. And furniture and housewares and kids’ sporting equipment, those are going to sell fantastically. I even found that music instruments sold very well.
Now, when it comes to pricing, don’t be sentimental about your stuff and overprice it in the process. If you’re unsure, go ahead, do a quick online research there. You know, check out the current value on a different bunch of reselling sites. But keep things realistic; price things a quarter or a third of what you would expect they would cost brand-new. And I’m telling you, you are going to see things go flying.
And I am serious about the early-bird stuff. We had an estate sale when my grandma passed away and holy moly, people slept outside, overnight, in their cars waiting.
TOM: Man. Wow. Yeah, I guess those estate sales, that is the coup de grâce for those shoppers, right? Because they figure there’s going to be all kinds of great stuff there at estate sales.
LESLIE: We kind of teased some of the things and they were like, “I heard there’s a beaded lamp?” And you’re like, “Yeah?” And they’re like, “I want it.” And you’re like, “Oh, should I not sell it? Geez, Louise.”
TOM: Yeah, wow. I didn’t know it was so valuable.
LESLIE: It gets exciting.
TOM: This is junk. I’ve had it all these years.
Well, listen, I think there’s a lot of space to be made and money to be made at the same time if you take advantage of the garage-sale season. So start thinking about it now.
LESLIE: Well, whether you need a quick fix or a bigger repair, it’s always helpful to have the right sealant on hand. And we’re giving one away that works on dozens of repairs around the house. I’m talking about The Original Super Glue’s Total Tech.
Now, you can use it to repair any type of material, indoors or out, and it works in all weather conditions, even underwater. It’s going to grab instantly and create a 100-percent watertight seal. So it’s great if you’ve got a repair around the pool or in a sink or in a tub. I mean this is going to work everywhere.
TOM: You’ll find it at Amazon or your local hardware store or you can learn more at SuperGlueCorp.com/TotalTech. We’ve got a package of 8 different Total Tech products going out to one listener worth 64 bucks. So make that you. Call us with your home improvement questions at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Lynn in Mississippi is on the line and is having an issue with a pear tree. What is going on that doesn’t involve a partridge?
LYNN: Hey. Yes, ma’am. I have a Bradford pear tree but I think I made a mistake. I’m not sure. But I let it grow up right next to my house.
LYNN: My foundation is concrete. And the tree has now gotten probably, I’m guesstimating, maybe 15 feet tall and it’s got to like three trunks. It’s very, very pretty and it looks good but now I’ve gotten concerned. My concrete foundation is pretty thick but do Bradford pear trees have a tendency to try to grow up through concrete foundation?
TOM: Pear trees don’t get that big to a point where they typically impact foundations. And if they did, you would probably see some evidence of that. So, while it sounds big to you, pear trees – standard pear trees – get to be 18 to 20 feet tall or so. And that’s just not big enough to really do much foundation damage. So I think you can live with that for a while and just keep an eye on it. I wouldn’t tear that out.
LYNN: That is wonderful news. OK. What should I look for? Can I go on the outside, where it’s right there close to the house? Is there something that I can look for that will kind of tell me it could be a problem before it actually starts buckling my concrete?
TOM: Actually, you would see it on the inside. If you saw any cracks forming in the concrete opposite where the pear tree is, that would be a good indicator of it. But boy, it takes an awful lot of force to do that. And trees are going – the roots are going to try to find the path of least resistance. So I just don’t think it’s very likely that you’re going to see that. But I’d see it – you’d see it on the inside first. OK?
LYNN: Thank you so very much. I’m going to leave it alone.
TOM: Well, repairing concrete that’s become chipped or broken or deteriorated, like on steps or on your foundation or your driveway and sidewalks, is a pretty common home repair project. But unfortunately, it’s also one that a lot of homeowners and even pros get wrong and end up doing over and over again.
And here’s why. It’s really simple: they use the wrong repair material. You can’t repair concrete with more concrete. You can’t repair concrete with mortar mix because it just won’t stick to the old surface. So, as a result, 6 months or a year later, that patch falls out and there you go. You’ve got to do it all over again.
LESLIE: Yeah, if you really want to do this once and have that repair last, it’s important that you choose a product that’s designed specifically for structural repairs and one that’s designed to stick to those old surfaces. Now, QUIKRETE, they’re really good at this and they make a product called Polymer Modified Structural Repair. And of all the QUIKRETE repair products, this is one that’s the most versatile because it’s strong, it’s going to set fast and most importantly, it has a high bond strength, which means it’s going to stick like crazy to that old concrete surface that you’re trying to fix.
Yeah, now, here’s the deal. You can use this for horizontal, vertical or even overhead concrete repairs. And it can be easily shaped to match the surface that you’re repairing. And it sets in about 20 to 40 minutes.
TOM: But most importantly, when you make this repair once, it’s totally done. Now, if you want to learn more about repairing concrete and the Polymer Modified Structural Repair product, go to QUIKRETE.com. And be sure to check out the how-to vides.
QUIKRETE, what America is made of.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Peg from Rhode Island on the line with a question about a fiberglass shower insert. Let me guess, the tiles are pink or green or something really dated.
PEG: Definitely. Green. Yes, lime green. So, right now, I have a whole under-the-sea thing going on in there to try to accommodate that.
LESLIE: Holy moly. Well, generally, you’re doing the right thing there when you try to decorate around the color scheme or make something of it.
LESLIE: But I get it. That color can become tiresome rather quickly. So, short of retiling your bath, there are a couple things you can do. You do have the option to paint tile which – it never lasts, in my opinion. It’s something that’s sort of just a temporary placeholder until you can actually redo that bath. But there are shower inserts that sort of surround the existing tile and can create a whole new bath and shower surround in a day.
PEG: Right. Actually, it’s a fiberglass insert. It’s not tile. It’s a fiberglass insert that would need to be cut out. We actually did have one of those companies come out to put an insert. But because it’s a fiberglass all one piece from, probably, ‘72 or ‘73, the entire thing would have to be cut out.
PEG: So, mainly, I want to find – is that refinishing spray worth the effort? Or cut it out and get rid of it?
TOM: So, you’re asking can you reglaze, so to speak, the fiberglass shower stall that you have right now or does it …?
PEG: Right. You see these companies for these resurfacing sprays.
TOM: Right, right.
PEG: Whether or not it’s something it’s even worth doing, doing ourselves or hiring a professional or get the saw and go to town.
TOM: Yeah, I hear you. I think that you’re probably not going to be totally happy with that. Because once that fiberglass surface starts to wear, unless it’s made in a factory like it was the first time, it’s never going to be as nice as it used to be.
PEG: OK, OK.
TOM: It’s a pretty labor-intensive project, as well. So, I think if you do want to tear it out and do something else, you’d probably be better off doing that.
TOM: I know it’s a big job; it’s a complete restoration. But there’s just no shortcuts when you want to do something that’s going to last you for the next 20, 30, 40 years.
PEG: Right. I don’t mind the green shower myself. My husband minds it more than I do. With my beautiful, tropical shower curtain, it looks great. White sink, white toilet. We’re good but you know …
LESLIE: I bet it’s cute.
TOM: Yeah. Well, like Leslie said, you can decorate around it, too. There’s always an option.
PEG: That’s what we’ve done. That’s definitely what we’ve done. Alright. So that was the main thing: was it worth it to refinish it? And probably not.
TOM: Yeah. No, I don’t think it is.
LESLIE: Stacy reached out to Team Money Pit and she writes: “I’ve been told recently, by three roofing contractors, that spray-foam insulation on the bottom side of the roof will void a warranty on a number of shingle brands. I recently heard you recommend doing the foam for insulation. Which is correct?”
TOM: We’ve heard this, too. And it’s kind of silly on a number of levels. I feel like a lot of the roofing manufacturers have not updated their warranty language to reflect what a spray-foamed attic is like. Because when you put spray foam on the underside of a roof sheathing, usually you’re spray-foaming the entire attic. And what that’s doing is turning the attic into a conditioned space, which is – ends up being a heck of a lot cooler than it ever was before. So in my view, it would probably make them last longer.
The warranties talk about the need for ventilation and evacuation of moisture in attics but that just doesn’t happen with spray foam. And the second thing is that as – you may have heard me say before, I think a lot of roofing warranties – shingle warranties are garbage because they only cover the material itself. They don’t cover labor and they’re only going to give you replacement cost. So, if the roof’s a 20-year roof and it fails at 10, they’re going to give you half the cost of shingles for a new roof but not the labor to tear the old ones off and put it back on. So I don’t find that those warranties have a lot of value in them.
If you’re going to choose a roofing shingle, I would stick with a name-brand manufacturer. And I think that that’s probably your best assurance of getting a good-quality product.
LESLIE: And Stacy, I would really just focus on finding the right roofing pro for your project, because somebody who’s going to want their name to be held in good regard across the neighborhood is going to really work hard for you and do the right thing. So do your research, ask around, check references and find the right pro for your job.
TOM: Well, we all know better than to leave medicine within reach of kids. But what about basic household cleaners? Well, it turns out they can be just as toxic. Leslie has tips on how to keep little ones clear of harmful cleaning products, including one that looks like candy and is causing way more harm than good.
LESLIE: Yeah, you know those liquid laundry packets? They are a very convenient way to get the detergent into the washing machine but they can also be super dangerous. Now, young kids, they are attracted by that bright, colorful, squishy appearance and they’re going to look at that and think this is candy. So, you’ve got to consider this.
There’s about 1 call every 42 minutes to the U.S. Poison Control Center about a young child under 6 who has been exposed to the chemicals in laundry-detergent packets. And a child under 6 is hospitalized every 42 hours after swallowing or otherwise coming into contact with a laundry-detergent packet. And that’s about four kids every week. And children who are younger than three, they account for the most laundry-detergent packet exposures.
Now, staying safe is not just a matter of keeping laundry packets out of kids’ mouths. They shouldn’t even be handled by the little ones. Those laundry packets, they’re meant to dissolve quickly, especially when they come into moisture. You know, you throw them in the washer and they are dissolved instantly, almost.
So if a child’s hand is warm and clammy, they’re going to grab that packet and it’s going to dissolve very quickly. And that’s going to release those toxic chemicals onto their hands and that can linger there. Whether or not the child puts that anywhere near their face at that moment, just holding it in their hand keeps those chemicals there. And then, eventually, the child’s going to put their hand on their face, in their eye, in their mouth. And I mean that can cause trouble even hours later.
So because of these risks, it’s really important that you’re very careful and you store these packets up and away from the kids.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Coming up next time on the program, we all need as much storage as we can possibly get, right? But if you feel like you’ve exhausted all the storage space in your home, we guarantee you there are places you hadn’t thought of. We’re going to share tips on all the nooks and crannies in a house where you can pick up additional storage, 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.)