- Every summer deck collapses are tragically common. We’ll share the top 5 reasons decks fall down along with tips on how to do a safety check your own deck.
- If your last electric bill a real shocker you’ll be happy to hear that utility companies are required to offer programs to help you save money and use LESS of their product! We’ll have advice on how to best take advantage of that savings.
- For family pets, the backyard is a place to relax, burn off some energy, and play with friends, human and furry. We’ll share 4 tips to help improve your outdoor space to keep pets safe in summer and their humans happy.
- Laundry is always a chore but it’s even worse when your washer and dryer are located a floor below or above the place where those dirty clothes are first dropped! We share how to effectively move your laundry from a floor below and place it right where it needs to go.
Plus, answers to your home improvement questions about:
- Value of adding a whole house fan.
- How to fix peeling Vinyl flooring?
- Are perma-boots the best way to fix roof leaks caused by flashing?
- Who should you call for drain cleaning?
- How to prevent your septic tank from causing a sinkhole?
- Can trees have an impact on your foundation and what should you look out for?
- Why does your fridge keep tripping your circuits?
- Best way to clean your oven-door glass?
TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: And we’re here to help you take on your home improvement projects. Happy Fourth of July Weekend, everybody. Nice to be with you to celebrate Independence Day. Maybe you’re taking a little bit of independence away from working on your house. Well, we’re not because we’re here and we’re working.
And if you’ve got a project you’d like to get done – maybe one that will give you a bit more independence, a little more leisure time when you fix up that outdoor room or do the kitchen over or take care of a repair that’s been bugging you – whatever’s on that list, give us a call because we are here to help. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. You can also post your questions to MoneyPit.com. Whether it’s a décor dilemma, you need help solving a problem, you’ve got a project you’d like to get done, you’ve got a project you started but now you can’t get it done because you’re stuck, all great questions for us to pitch in on.
Coming up on today’s show, you know, every summer we hear about decks that collapse. And frequently, this happens during – you guessed it – holiday weekends. There are only five reasons that deck disasters happen and we’re going to share the most common causes, along with how you can do a safety check to make sure your deck is good to go.
LESLIE: And also coming up, have you gotten an electric bill that’s just been a real shocker? Well, believe it or not, utility companies are required to offer programs to help you use less of their product. It’s true, guys, So we’re going to have some advice on how to best take advantage of those savings, in a bit.
TOM: Plus, we’re not the only ones who enjoy spending time outside in the warm weather. For family pets, the backyard is definitely a place to relax and burn off some energy and play with friends, human and furry. So we’re going to share four tips to help you improve that outdoor space to keep pets safe and their humans happy.
LESLIE: But first, if you love your home but you sometimes feel like it’s an endless pit that you’re throwing your money into for those home improvements and repairs, we get it. I mean believe me, guys, there’s always something else that you could do. We’re going to help you find, we’re going to help you fix it, we’re going to help you figure out ways to save money creating the best home ever. So give us a call.
TOM: The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. You can also post your home improvement questions to MoneyPit.com.
Let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s first?
LESLIE: Heading up to Michigan where we’ve got Phil on the line. What is going on at your money pit?
PHIL: My wife and I recently had our home spray-foamed: the rim joints, exterior walls and the attic. And the change in living quality has been fantastic.
PHIL: We no longer hear all the outside noise of the world. Our home stays a moderate temperature at all times now and the energy savings has been fantastic.
We have a 2,500-square-foot Cape Cod-style house. We’ve been here for 4½ years. And, with a spray-foamed attic, we no longer get to use the whole-house fan. And we’ve come to rely on the whole-house fan because our kitchen, when we cook indoors, it makes a lot of smoke and our vent hood can’t exactly keep up. And it’s also really nice on very hot days to just pull in some of that cold air that comes off the river and just run that through the house. Do I have any options for this whole-house fan or should I just remove it and patch my ceiling up?
TOM: That’s a really interesting question. I’ve never received that question before but I totally understand it because I, too, am a big fan of whole-house fans. Because, as you say, they serve a multitude of purposes.
We put one in our very first house, which was a condominium garden apartment and it was on the second floor and it was always very warm. And it just did an amazing job of making that place comfortable. We would open up the door – the sliding-glass door – open up a couple of windows and set it on low. It was on a timer. It would cool the house off as we were going to sleep at night. We saved a lot of money on air conditioning.
Now, you have a conflict of interests here because the spray-foam insulation, of course, that’s designed to seal in every nook and cranny, right? And it takes that attic and makes it a non-vented attic space, so you no longer have to worry about having any temperature differential in there, any moisture venting in there because no moisture’s going to form. But the problem is that you also have to close up the gable vents.
Now, the one idea that I have for you would be if you were to construct a duct – and it wouldn’t be a large duct – that went from the whole-house fan to the old gable vent then, essentially, you would be bypassing that attic space as part of the journey. So that when you turned on the whole-house fan, it would essentially draw the air directly from the exterior and not from the attic as it used to. Does that make sense?
PHIL: Yes, it does.
TOM: I don’t see any other way of accomplishing this unless – I don’t know what the second floor looks like but of course, the other thing that you could do is perhaps there’s a passive vent that could be installed in the finished wall. But I’m concerned about that because that might just be super cold in the winter. So I think ducting the whole-house fan right to an appropriately-sized gable vent on the end of the building might be the best way to go if, in fact, you want to continue to enjoy that whole-house fan.
PHIL: OK. Thanks for the option.
TOM: Alright. Well, good luck with that project. I think you made the right choice, though, going to spray foam. It’s definitely going to save you a whole bunch of money in heating and cooling.
PHIL: Thanks a lot. And thank you for the show.
LESLIE: Anne in Louisiana, what is going on at your money pit? Tell us about it.
ANNE: In the hall, I have a section of the vinyl flooring that has peeled up.
ANNE: You know, it’s that rolled vinyl. And it’s not on a seam. It’s just, in the middle of the floor, the length of it has started peeling. And I’ve tried several different glues and put the hair dryer on it to try to get it warm and then put the glue on it and then put a piece of – I read on some place to put a piece of wax paper and then put a board on it and let it sit and – to no avail. It just keeps peeling back up.
TOM: Yeah. I’ve got to tell you, it’s a really difficult problem to solve at this point because you have so many different adhesive products on there. It’s just not worked well for you.
If it was me, what I would do is I would replace the floor, not with the vinyl sheet but there’s a product called LVP. It’s luxury vinyl plank. First of all, it’s absolutely gorgeous stuff and secondly, it’s really, really affordable. For maybe as much as a $1.50, $2.00 a square foot, you can buy these planks. They’re so easy to install – they snap together – and you could replace that floor and have a beautiful, new floor as a result for a fraction of the aggravation that you are going through right now trying to fix this loose seam.
TOM: So I wouldn’t put any more effort into it. You could go to LLFlooring.com. They’re one of our sponsors. They make this. You can go check out their stores or anywhere else you’d like to and look at the LVP products: the luxury vinyl-plank floorings. You’re going to really be surprised at the variety of patterns and options you have. And I think the stuff is just gorgeous. I’ve seen some of these installations where you can almost not tell that it’s vinyl.
LESLIE: It really is beautifully done with the way that the graphic is made to sort of emulate that wood grain. And it really looks fantastic.
ANNE: Well, I appreciate it.
TOM: Well, thank you very much. Good luck with that project.
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LESLIE: Alright. Now we’re going to talk roofs with John from Massachusetts. What is going on over there?
JOHN: I have a slight drip from my roof and I think it’s coming from the flashing – the boot. I think they call it a “boot flashing.”
TOM: Yep. Yep.
JOHN: And I’ve heard of an item called a Perma-Boot that covers that whole area.
TOM: Right. Yep.
JOHN: And I’m wondering if you’ve heard of it, if you would think it’s worth getting it.
TOM: I’ve actually never installed one myself. I’ve seen these and read about them. They seem like a good product.
But just to kind of back up – so we’re talking about an area where you have a pipe that comes through the roof and the traditional flashing for that type of pipe is usually an aluminum piece that has a rubber gasket. And the rubber gasket slides over the pipe, stays tight to the pipe and then you shingle around that. Problem is that that rubber eventually dries out and it cracks and opens up with a sort of a gap there. And then people go up and they seal it with tar and all of that but eventually it has to be removed. So this is just another design for that boot flashing, where it’s a one-piece unit that doesn’t have that kind of rubber, weak end of it.
So, I don’t see any reason I wouldn’t try it. I don’t think this necessarily has to be done.
TOM: I think this is just a normal roof maintenance thing that happens when those boot flashings dry out and they just have to be replaced. If you want to give it a shot, I don’t see that it’s going to cause you a problem, John. But just know that’s it’s not unusual, what you’ve described, and it’s not really a result of the product. It’s just the end of a normal life expectancy.
JOHN: Right. Yeah, I had the roof replaced about 6 years ago, the shingles. And it stopped that drip and now it’s just started up again. It’s very slight, so I want to try to stop it before it causes any damage.
TOM: No, that’s smart. Yeah. So give it a shot. I mean 6 years is a pretty short time for that first piece of flashing to have lasted, so I wonder if there’s something else going on with the installation there.
JOHN: OK. Yeah, I can check that out. I’ll have it checked out. And I’ve seen these boots applied in videos. Sometimes they just rest the boot right on top of the shingle and use something like Henry’s Wet Patch to seal around it and under it. And in other times, they trim the shingle away so that the Perma-Boot rests right on the flashing. Do you think either one of those is preferred?
TOM: I would check the manufacturer, see what their advice is for it.
TOM: If I recall correctly, these fit over top of the old flashing; they don’t replace it. Is that correct?
JOHN: Yeah, they fit over everything.
TOM: I think if it’s on top of it – it’s probably better if it’s on top of it because if water gets into that gap, it just gives you a little more protection there. Because remember, that old aluminum flashing is going to go under the shingle probably a good 3 or 4 inches. I don’t see any reason to trim it back. I don’t think that buys you anything.
LESLIE: Well, every summer, we hear about deck collapses where people are seriously injured. Now, decks are only as strong as their fasteners and their foundations. And when you get a large group of people gathering on them like, say, for a Fourth of July weekend party – that’s why now is an excellent time for you to do a safety check.
TOM: Yep. That’s right. And there are only really about five common defects to look for that can lead to serious deck problems, including the potential of a complete collapse. First, loose connections. For example, you notice that a railing is not secure, it’s wobbly. You’ve got a tread that is not resting firmly on the stair stringers. It’s wobbly. You’ve got to tighten those up.
Next, missing connections. If you inspect your deck and you see that it is not secured to the house or just nailed to the house, rather than bolted or screwed, that is a huge problem and a very, very common reason that decks collapse. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the after-photos of decks that have collapsed and that’s exactly why. They are broken in their connection between the house and the deck and that part just drops right down. And everybody that’s on the deck slides back in towards the house and they can get really, seriously injured. So, that connection between the deck and the house is critical.
And next, check for corrosion. If you guys see rusty fasteners or fasteners that have become sort of deteriorated – they’re kind of fallen apart or fallen away – that’s a big red flag. They need to be taken out and replaced.
Now, rot is also very possible and this frequently happens when the deck is not pressure-treated or when it’s not flashed properly. So you get a lot of water that gets onto the structural members of the deck. It weakens the wood because the fungus digests parts of the wood which give the wood strength and stiffness. So, if you’ve got rot, those parts of the structural members – the beams, the joist, that sort of thing – they’ve got to be replaced.
And lastly, look for cracks in the lumber. I mean cracks are normal to some extent. The wood’s always going to shrink and crack. But if you get big cracks in structural members – again, the floor joists, the beams, that sort of thing – that could be a big issue and those beams need to be replaced.
LESLIE: Alright. So you’ve done your check on your deck but you see that you actually have a problem. What are you supposed to do next?
TOM: If you spot a big problem – let’s say the deck is not connected to the house – it could be a DIY fix but probably not. Unless you’re really experienced, I would not do that because that is so important to make sure that that connection is done properly.
So, if it’s within the scope of your skill set, go ahead and make the repairs. If not, definitely get an expert to help you do that, because these decks typically fail on these holiday weekends, which is why it’s so important for us to focus on them right now. When you have a big crew on that deck, that’s a lot of weight, that’s a lot of movement, lots of stuff happening. And that’s when these tragedies happen. So make sure that deck is good to go before you load it up with all your family and friends.
LESLIE: Mary in Texas is on the line and has an issue with a tub. Tell us what’s going on.
MARY: We have a bathtub that we’ve had plumbers out and they can’t even seem to get it unstopped. They think that it – would slowly – if you took a shower in there, it would slowly go out. Then it was going so slowly.
We called up a big company here – plumbing company – and the guy came out and checked it. And he couldn’t get it unstopped. He thinks it’s in the P-trap. The tub is on the back of the house. About 2 feet from that is the clean-out. And he took a picture in the clean-out, all the way to the alley and told us to get the city to come and …
TOM: So wait a minute. You’re telling me that the plumber was able to clear the drain from the house to the street but he thinks that the restriction is beyond that?
MARY: Yeah. He thinks just about 2 feet from the tub where he worked. And all the other lines are back farther.
TOM: I can tell you right now that he missed something in the tub, because all of those plumbing lines come together in that same general area. And if you’ve got flow from the toilet and the sinks and everything else but not the tub, it’s going to be the tub itself.
When it comes to clearing drains, my experience has been that plumbers are not the best ones to do that. Generally, you’re better off to go with a specialty plumber that does drain cleaning. They have the tools, the equipment and the knowledge to get that done. And sometimes, the day-to-day plumbers – if it’s a simple clog, they can clear it but they don’t necessarily have the tools. For example, drain cleaners have cameras that can go down those pipes and see exactly what the obstruction is.
So, my recommendation would be to call a different kind of professional: not a plumber but someone that specializes in drain cleaning and has a good reputation for being able to make that particular type of repair. I think that’s going to be the easiest way for you to get to the bottom of it. I would not recommend any type of additive to that drain to try to clear it and these liquid products that clear drains, because they can be very, very corrosive.
Mary, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Brian, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
BRIAN: I’ve got a problem with our septic system. And our septic system zigzags back and forth in the backyard. And then where the end of it is, there’s a sinkhole developing.
TOM: How old is this septic system? Has it ever been inspected or cleaned?
BRIAN: We’ve cleaned it twice. It’s just my wife and I. This thing, I noticed, started developing kind of right after we moved into the house. Our house is about 20 years old.
TOM: Because I wonder if – if you say this is towards the end of the distribution field, I wonder if the field is not absorbing water like it should – absorbing the effluent as it should. And most of it is sort of running towards the end of the pipe like it’s a long drain. And as a result, it’s causing erosion in that area.
I think that probably the first thing I would do is have a septic inspection done with an examination of the field to check the percolation of it. Because if it’s not percolating, if it’s not draining properly, you could be spilling a lot of effluent into the ground unknowingly without it having a chance to really soak properly back into the soil. I think what we’re hearing here is a potential failure of your septic field, more than a problem with a sinkhole. I suspect that this is erosion that you’re seeing.
BRIAN: OK. It’s not just a matter of dumping a bunch of dirt in there and covering that up.
TOM: No. That would fill it up again but I’m afraid it would probably wash out again. So, that’s kind of what I would lean to is having that field inspected and just getting a sense of – listen, you want to find out now. You don’t want this thing to fail at the least opportune time. And if you find out early, at least you can plan a replacement if you have to.
Brian, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Well, was your last electric bill a huge shock? At this time of the year, we’ve had one, maybe two bills that reflect our air conditioning, right? And they’re usually really high and really expensive. But believe it or not, your electric company actually wants you to save some money and most have energy-saving programs designed for you to do just that.
LESLIE: That’s right. For example, some utility companies are going to help homeowners power down through periods of high demand with pricing that’s going to reward off-peak usage. Plus, a lot of utilities offer a menu of rebates on improvements that will help you trim power or go green at home. You can ask your utility company if they’ve got that option for smart metering and that’s going to track your usage by time. And then they can adjust your rates accordingly.
TOM: Now, you also might want to consider adding your own energy monitor. These are pretty cool. They are simple to install and they give you real-time information on energy use and cost, giving you the information that you need to know on how to best trim your own energy use. Because sometimes, we don’t really realize where all the energy is going. But if you have meters set up and you can tell how much energy you’re using on air conditioning versus vacuuming, versus lights, versus refrigeration, you know, it becomes easier to make those decisions and trim stuff down to a more manageable level.
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.
LESLIE: Richard in Tennessee is on the line and has an interesting question involving an antique soda machine. Tell us about it.
RICHARD: Well, I bought an antique soda machine that actually worked. And I wanted to put the old quarter in and slide the bottle out. But I took it and put it in the garage, plugged it in. And as soon as the compressor kicked on, it tripped the GFCI breaker or the GFCI circuit on the plug. So, I reset it and it wouldn’t stay reset.
TOM: Well, that is totally expected because refrigerators, when they kick on, have a very big draw of current. And that’s necessary to get them going and then it kind of goes down after that. But refrigerators are not supposed to be installed on ground-fault circuits. And as a result, yours is going to keep tripping as it has.
So, your proper solution would be to run a circuit just for that machine. And if it’s just for that machine, it does not have to be ground-fault protected. The reason it’s ground-fault protected – the circuit in the garage is ground-fault protected – is because it’s a wet location. But for a dedicated service to one machine, it would not have to be. You’ll have to have an electrician do that.
I would not disconnect the current ground fault, because that covers the rest of the outlets in the garage. It could even cover outside outlets or bathroom outlets. Sometimes, that circuit can wind its way through the house. But I would put it in a dedicated outlet just for that machine and then your problem should go away.
RICHARD: Thank you very much.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: I mean that sounds kind of fun to have that in the house.
TOM: It does, yeah. Well, like everything, you think, “I’ve got the machine. I’m good to go. All I’ve got to do is plug it in.” Ah, not so quick. There’s other expenses to making sure it works right. When that machine was common, you didn’t have to worry about ground faults because we didn’t have them yet.
TOM: So, never had the issue. Today we do and so, now you’ve got to …
LESLIE: They were far more dangerous then.
TOM: Yeah. Now you’ve got to add the circuit.
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Gail on the line with a question about her oven. What’s going on?
GAIL: Yes, I have a stove that – it’s electric stove. And it’s about 5 to 6 years old. But it’s a self-cleaning oven. And right after I received it, it seems as though in between the glass on the door, it doesn’t clean that when I use the automatic cleaner. And I just wondered how I clean in between the glass on the oven door.
TOM: That’s a tough space to clean and I agree. I don’t think you can. I think what you have to do is take it apart. And that can be done. The door has to be disassembled and so it depends on how comfortable you feel about taking that project on.
It’s not sealed glass in the sense of a double-pane window. It’s really two pieces of glass and sometimes, because of heat and humidity and steam, it gets in there and it discolors. But you have to disassemble that door if you really want to get it clean, so it’s obviously not the kind of thing you want to do every time you clean your oven.
GAIL: No. And I noticed that it looks like there’s Phillips-head screws at the bottom part of the door. But the top part, it doesn’t look like – it’s not a regular screw. It’s just – it’s something that, you know, it doesn’t fit a screwdriver. So I don’t know if that bottom part – I’m afraid that once I get that undone, I’m not going to be able to get it back.
TOM: Yeah, get it back together again. No, I hear you. I hear you. I know that there are some great videos online of people doing this. I’ve seen them. And so you could take a look at YouTube. But the process is going to be to disassemble that door.
Now, it’s going to come apart one way or the other. The types of fasteners you’re describing may be the type of fastener that needs a specialized – not a screwdriver but a nut driver or something of that nature or an Allen wrench or something like that. But it will eventually come apart. You’re just going to have to figure out how to do that.
But if you’re not comfortable with that process, if you’re not really mechanical and are afraid to get into that because you might be – not be able to fix it, then I think you should just kind of learn to live with it, unfortunately.
GAIL: Now, is this true of all brands? Does it matter which brand it is? Do they all have to be – does it happen to them all? Or have you heard …?
TOM: Some may be better than others. But if it’s happened to you, it doesn’t really matter if it’s happened to anybody else, because you don’t want to have to replace that oven. You really just want to make sure you can get it clean. So, that’s what you need to do.
GAIL: Yes. OK. Alright. Well, thank you very much. I appreciate your help.
TOM: You’re welcome, Gail. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Well, if you love spending time on your deck or your patio in the backyard during this warm weather, that probably goes for your pets, as well. But pets, as we know, can tear up a backyard space pretty quickly and even get into things that could hurt them if you’re not careful. So, we’ve got four ways that you can think about improving your outdoor space that will both keep your pets safe and their humans happy.
LESLIE: Yeah. First of all, you want to skip using fake grass. Artificial turf that never needs mowing really looks attractive and it can be a good idea but if you have pets, you’ve got to know that that plastic grass can get very hot during the summer and it can be challenging to clean. So if you want to have fake grass, you need to be a backyard superhero and select real turf grass for the areas where your pets are going to hang out.
TOM: Now, you need to be selective, almost picky about choosing the right plants and grasses. For grass, go for something hardy that can withstand a high volume of traffic. Buffalo and Bermuda grasses are a good choice, depending on your climate zone.
And for all the rest of the plants, there’s a great resource at the ASPCA website. They have a list of toxic and nontoxic garden plants. And you can sort of peruse that list and decide what plants are going to work best for your area of the country before you buy them. You’re going to want soft, yet sturdy foliage near the walkways. And save the delicate, decorative flowers for elevated flower beds and patio pots that the pets just can’t get into.
LESLIE: Yeah. And if you want to go all out making your yard a dream for your dog, go for it. Here are some fun ideas that you could do: a splash pool for the pup or a sandbox for your dog to get in and dig away, which is way better than digging in your flower bed. Or you can add a puppy pergola and give them the shade that they need. Just be creative. Your canine is going to thank you and it’s going to be much safer for all of your efforts.
TOM: And we’ve got great tips on building safer spaces for pets on MoneyPit.com. Just head on over and search “pet safety.”
So, Leslie, I’ve been having a battle with wildlife once again in my backyard.
LESLIE: Oh, no.
TOM: I’ve got moles now. Worse than ever before. And we put down grub control – or they probably even have taken all of our grass away. So this weekend, I had to attack the moles with TALPIRID.
LESLIE: What is that?
TOM: So TALPIRID is like a gummy worm that is designed for moles. And what you have to do is when you find a fresh mole tunnel, you break a little hole in the top of that tunnel and then, with a gloved hand – you can’t use your human hand to take one of these things because the moles will smell your scent and they won’t eat it. With a gloved hand you take one of the TALPIRID gummy worms and you drop it into the tunnel and put a little dirt over the top and you wait for the moles to find it. Then they come back, they eat the TALPIRID, they take it back, they share it with their friends and you have no more mole problems.
So, it’s something that I only do when I have to but they’ve gotten so bad I’ve got no choice. So, just a tip there. Look up “TALPIRID” – T-A-L-P-I-R-I-D. It works really, really well.
LESLIE: Yeah, in addition to moles being super destructive, they are not cute. I mean come on. Sometimes you can have an invasive creature in the yard that’s kind of adorable but not the case with the moles.
- Alright. Well, Janice reached out to us. She’s got a question about her washer and dryer and here’s what she says: “I want to move my washer and dryer from the basement to my unheated garage. Other than plumbing for the washer, do I need to do anything special beforehand?”
TOM: You know, a lot of people find having a garage washer and dryer to be convenient. I don’t, myself, like the idea of having to go out there in the middle of winter. So, that’s definitely a determinant.
I’m not quite sure where Janet lives, in terms of climate. But since heating a garage quickly becomes really expensive, even once it’s insulated, you might find yourself spending far more money than you ever anticipated on clean clothes and convenience. Because every time you open the door, you’re letting a lot of heat in there and so on or you’ve got to put on a jacket and close it quickly behind you.
But there’s something else in your question that I think is worth mentioning. You say – you’re talking about dehumidifying your basement by removing the washer and dryer. That’s not smart, nor if the dryer is properly ventilated is that causing your basement-moisture issue. If you’ve got a basement-moisture issue, including high humidity, then what you need to do is improve your exterior-drainage conditions to make that space a lot drier. If you extend your downspouts, if you make sure your gutters are clean – and if you add a basement dehumidifier, a whole-house dehumidifier would be even better. But a dehumidifier in that space down there, that actually will be the quickest way to dehumidify that basement.
You’re going to find, Janet, that even after you go through all the trouble of schlepping those heavy machines upstairs and out to the garage and doing all the plumbing work and electrical work and all that expense, your basement is going to be just as humid as it was before you did all that. So, think carefully about what’s motivating you here and what the best way is to accomplish that.
LESLIE: Now, Janice, I don’t know what your garage looks like but if it’s anything like mine, I feel like the clean clothes would come out dirtier than when I started washing them. But Janice, if that’s what you want, I think you will enjoy your new garage laundry space. And good luck with the project.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show on a beautiful Fourth of July weekend. We hope that you are enjoying your space, your Independence Day holiday weekend wherever you find yourself. Maybe seeing some good fireworks, enjoying that fresh air that we’ve been denied for so many months. So happy to be outside and enjoying it.
If you’ve got questions, you’ve got inspiration to take on projects this summer, that’s not started yet and you need some help, you can always reach out to us. We’re here, 24/7, at 888-MONEY-PIT or online at MoneyPit.com.
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.)