- Home Maintenance: When the American dream is a DIY disaster: homeowners get failing grades for home maintenance skills.
- Dormant Lawn Care: Brown grass may be dormant, not doomed, with proper lawn care.
- Concrete Repair: Old, worn-out concrete comes back stronger than ever with a DIY concrete resurfacing product.
Plus, answers to your home improvement questions about:
- Kitchen Range: Cindy must protect her wood cabinets next to a large six-burner gas stove. We suggest getting installation specs from the manufacturer.
- Metal Roofing: How do you install a metal roof? It’s not an easy DIY project, but Perry gets tips on installing a metal roof that will last a lifetime.
- Septic System: What is the best way to maintain a septic system? We advise Emily to have it inspected and pumped regularly, avoid chemicals, and protect the septic field.
- Roots in Plumbing Lines: Roots under Larry’s home are growing into the sewer lines and separating the pipes. He should look into relining the pipe rather than breaking up the floor inside the house.
- Deck Paint: Oops! Emily used porch paint on her new deck. It’s actually not a problem as long as the paint is adhering well.
- Heating Flooring: What kind of floor should go over a heated concrete slab? Russ needs to use a radiant heat-compliant product, such as stone-based flooring.
- Wood Paneling: Ashley has wood paneling with no drywall underneath. We tell her how to remove it, replace the insulation, and install moisture-proof drywall.
- House Flies: Yuck! Mike’s got fly poop all over his siding that won’t come off. We suggest a cleaning product to use and getting a pest control professional to control the problem with flies.
- Wet Basement: Beverly needs help with her wet basement and finds out how to improve the outside drainage with better grading, gutters, and downspouts.
- Cracked Brick Wall: There’s a long, wide crack in the brick wall behind Jim’s garage. He needs a structural engineer to find out if it’s an active crack.
- Smoke Odors: After the previous homeowner left smoke odors behind, Lois should use an oil-based primer on the walls, subfloors, and ceiling to seal in the smell before painting the rooms.
|0:00:31||TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles. This is the Money Pit Home Improvement show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.|
|0:00:37||LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.|
|0:00:38||TOM: And we are so glad to be here with you this weekend and helping you take on the projects that you want to get done around your house. If you’ve got one in mind, you’re in the right place because we’re here to lend a hand. Help yourself first, though, by reaching out to us with your questions. And you can do that by going to moneypit.com/ask.|
|0:01:15||LESLIE: And now that we are officially in the dog days of summer, you might find that you’re having a hard time maintaining a lush green lawn. But the good news is it’s actually okay to let your lawn go a little brown for this month if you know how to protect it. We’re going to tell you what you need to know to make it past the brown and back to the green. Just ahead.|
|0:01:35||TOM: And have you guys ever tried to repair an old, worn out concrete surface by covering it with new concrete, only to find that it did not last? Well, we’re going to share a solution that’s actually stronger than the concrete it covers.|
|0:01:47||LESLIE: But first, we want to know what you are working on in these last few weekends of summer. You got a little bit of time before Labor Day, and then everything goes to the fall, leaves things all kinds of projects. So whatever you’ve got working on now, let us give you a hand so you can get it done and actually relax next weekend. What are you working on? Give us a call.|
|0:02:06||TOM: Reach out to us with your questions at 1-888-Money-Pit or for the fastest possible response, go to moneypit.com/ask. So let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s first.|
|0:02:16||LESLIE: Heading out to California? Cindy, what is going on? How can we help you?|
|0:02:20||CALLER: We have downgraded to a smaller home and we bought this cute little house that has got this beautiful six burner gas stove. And the people that have put the stove right next to a wooden cabinet and I can’t use somebody turn one burner on against the wall and it got the cabinet on fire. So I need to find out what I can put against that wall that will either allow me to use the burners on the stove or not be able to use them at all and just have it look pretty.|
|0:02:55||TOM: You know, Leslie, so many folks love to have those very large commercial style stoves today, but there’s a lot more to them than you think because you have all of this additional power in terms of the burners. And also you need better venting, right? A typical vent. And in Cindy’s case here, she’s got a serious fire risk. So my thought is this tell me if you think this makes sense. First of all, I would get in touch with the manufacturer of the stove because there will be a specification or installation that will give you step by step exactly what has to be done to make sure the surfaces around this, this range are fire resistant. You know, there are things that that we could suggest, but they may or may not work. You know, putting stainless steel, for example, on the side of the cabinet could help. But then again, it might just heat up and you could burn yourself on it. So I don’t want to be I don’t want to give you any specific advice about how to make the rest of the area that surrounds this fireproof, because I know it does exist. The manufacturers of these types of commercial ranges will have them. You really need to kind of take a step back and see how it should have been installed and then decide how you can modify your existing kitchen to make it work.|
|0:04:06||LESLIE: Perry needs some help with a roofing project. Perry, What’s going on?|
|0:04:09||CALLER: I like to know the proper way to put a metal roof on a house.|
|0:04:12||TOM: All right. That’s a straightforward question there, Perry. So, first of all, when it comes to metal roofing, some contractors will try to put it over an old asphalt roof. I generally think that’s bad practice. So the first thing would be to strip off the old roof right down to the sheathing, and then assembling the roof would go probably on top of a vapor barrier. So you would probably use ice and water shield at the bottom, and then you would use a heavy tar paper, probably like a 30 pound felt. And then the metal roofing is attached on top of that. The wake it’s attached is going to vary based on the roofing manufacturer. Usually there are different types of either clipping systems or there are fasteners that have like a rubber grommet built into it. This is a pretty physically difficult job because the sheets are big, they’re not terribly heavy, but they can act as sails, the wind catches it, they can, you know, push you right off the roof. So you’ve got to be super careful as a do it yourself project. You might be better off just hiring a pro that does this all the time because it also gets tricky around the chimneys and around the wall intersections, because all that stuff has to be properly flashed. Now the good news is when you get it done, you’re going to have a roof that lasts a lifetime because these roofs literally never wear out. So good luck with that project. And we definitely think metal roofs are a good choice.|
|0:05:25||LESLIE: We’ve got Emily on the line was a new homeowner and has some questions about a septic system. Listen, Emily, they are confusing. So what can we answer? My husband and I just bought our first home in March of this year, and it has a septic tank. I’ve read many things on the Internet for advice to keep our septic systems from being clogged. Is there anything that you recommend?|
|0:05:48||CALLER: That’s just solid advice.|
|0:05:50||LESLIE: To maintain our septic tank and to prevent any clogs.|
|0:05:56||TOM: Henley, congratulations to you and your husband on that brand new house now. Septic system is an all of that complicated in terms of maintenance. It’s really what you want to avoid doing that keeps it doing its job. It operates because of the bacteria that generates there. The bacteria is what breaks down the waste. And as long as you sort of protect that bacteriological field, you’re not going to have any issues with its performance. In terms of maintenance. Generally, you want to pump it about every 3 to 5 years. That’s something that should be done by a professional. Secondly, if there’s any switches or pumps, sometimes depending on the layout of your property, you may be lifting that waste from a lower point in the property to a higher point in the property. Those sorts of mechanical systems also need to be inspected. You want to avoid using any types of cleaners or dumping cleaners or bleaches and that sort of things down there because that can kind of wreck that natural bacteria field that’s doing the job for you. And lastly, make sure you sort of protect that septic field in terms of don’t build stuff on it, don’t put playgrounds on it, patios on decks on it, that sort of thing, because you really want to leave it as it was designed, which basically is to collect that waste and let it seep naturally back into the soil. But other than that, it’s a pretty straightforward system to use as long as you don’t abuse it or record by doing any of those things that I caution you against, you should be good to go for a very long time. So again, good luck with that house and thanks for calling the Money Pit.|
|0:07:22||LESLIE: Hey, are you a fan of our podcast? Well, leave us a five star review on Apple Podcasts and we’ll be doing a happy dance. Plus, it helps us keep the show going and growing. Just go to Money Pit dot com slash review. We’ve got Larry on the line dealing with an invasive species to the sewer lines. We’re talking about tree roots. What is going on over there?|
|0:07:42||CALLER: This is not roots growing from outside the house underneath. What? Okay. Let me is when they when they graded the land. Right, some roots were left underneath. And the roots continue to grow into the sewer line, feeding on the waste.|
|0:07:59||TOM: Yeah, that happens. You know, I’ve had that happen to me. It really depends on the type of waste pipe. Some waste pipes are more susceptible for roots getting in them. Like, for example, if you have a really old house like I do, we have some of our lines that went underground before they were replaced were clay pipes. And the clay pipes, the roots could kind of like get right into the joints. But today, if you have like, you know, PVC pipe, it’s all glued together. It doesn’t really get in there as much. But is that what you’re dealing with? Are you getting backups from this?|
|0:08:25||CALLER: Yeah. And what they tell me is I send a camera down there and you can actually see the pipe separated. It’s like the gone got to glue the last piece.|
|0:08:35||TOM: Okay, then that makes sense. That’s how that’s getting in there. Yeah.|
|0:08:38||CALLER: So I got them coming out. They’re going to jackhammer the floor, and it’s in the middle of the frigging house. And, you know, you know.|
|0:08:43||TOM: There’s another way to do that where you don’t have to break up the floor. It’s you can certain companies can do this. It’s a liner system, basically. It’s kind of like a long sock if you think about it. And it’s made of fiberglass. And they basically string it through the entire pipe and then they charge it was worn. They pressurize it with water while it hardens, and then it lines the inside of that pipe. You might want to find out if that system is available in your area from your contractors and get a price and compare that to the price of sort of the disruptive operation of having to actually tear it all out. But there’s two ways to do that. And very often when you’re going through, when you’re going under finished spaces or patios or other sorts of things like that, use a liner instead of replacing a cracked pipe.|
|0:09:31||CALLER: I’m 76 and I’ve been in the construction business my whole life, and sometimes you have answers to stuff I’ve never even heard of.|
|0:09:37||TOM: Well, I appreciate that. You know, I spent 20 years as a home inspector, and when you’re a home inspector, you get like an intense exposure to everything that goes wrong with the house. I always say we know how they are. Put together, but more importantly, we know how they fall apart. And so it’s just a pleasure to be able to share that. So thank you, Fred, for that kind word. And good luck with this project. I would look into the options before you decide to tear open the floor.|
|0:10:01||CALLER: Okay. Thank you.|
|0:10:02||LESLIE: We’ve got Emily standing by who may have used the wrong paint on a deck. I know. Porch paint. Deck. Paint. Maybe it’ll work. What’s going on?|
|0:10:20||CALLER: New deck was installed last year. Had painted this year with porch paint. We realized it was a wrong paint. How long will that hold on the new deck?|
|0:10:21||TOM: Hey, Pat. You know, there’s really not much difference between what you would call a porch paint and something you might use on a deck. And as long as that paint is adhering, well, those deck boards, it should last typically three, four or five or even more years, depending on, you know, the conditions on and around your house and whether or not you have a lot of sun and that sort of thing. So I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having done that. It’s just that instead of staining a deck where you would see some green come through, you’ve painted it. Now, if it starts to peel off at that point, you’re going to have to remove all that paint and then start again. But for now, I think you’re perfectly fine leaving it exactly like it is.|
|0:11:00||LESLIE: Well, owning a home is often considered part of the American dream. But despite that aspiration, and it turns out that many Americans lack the knowledge of basic skills that are needed to take care of that home. Well, according to a new survey by Lombardo home where they asked 25 multiple choice questions related to being a homeowner and scored them on an A through academic scale. Now, while most respondents did okay on the questions about buying a home when it came to taking care of their property, they failed miserably.|
|0:11:32||TOM: Yeah. In fact, four questions about home, renovating and maintenance. They answered only three out of seven questions correctly, earning themselves a solid F, which, Leslie is the reason we have a show right.|
|0:11:46||LESLIE: Racine, Wisconsin, is on the line, has a question about what kind of floor goes over heated concrete. What’s going on? Tell us about your project.|
|0:11:53||CALLER: Is new construction with a heated concrete slab? What flooring can I put on that? And thinking about just painting it for this short term?|
|0:12:02||TOM: Russ there are definitely flaws that are designed for heated concrete surfaces, whether that’s subsidized hydraulic or whether it’s electric. Layer of heating that’s on top of that. There are floor products that are designed for that. You have to kind of check on a product by product basis to determine which one is going to be appropriate because some have more tolerance for heat than others. One that I know will work well is driven up, which is a stone hybrid product sold by L.L. Flooring that can take, you know, any amount of floor heat. And it’s an easy installation that lays down on top of the concrete. The boards are locked together and you’re pretty much totally good to go. But beyond that, you know, whether it’s engineered hardwood or whether it’s a vinyl product, you’ve got to check that the manufacturer’s specifications to determine whether or not is rated for being radiant. Heat compliant. That’s what you’re looking for, radiant heat compliant. And that will be the answer to your question.|
|0:12:58||LESLIE: All right. We’ve got Ashley from Georgia, who’s a new homeowner taking on some projects. What can we help you with?|
|0:13:03||CALLER: So we just thought our first house and graduations. Thank you. It was built in 1970, so there are three rooms that have wood paneling. One isn’t an issue, but one of the other ones apparently have very good ventilation. And it’s a messy laundry room. So moisture and ventilation are kind of an issue. And then the other one, the wood paneling, wasn’t installed particularly well. So there’s some gaps and some water damage and things like that. So we’re thinking of replacing it, but we aren’t sure exactly the best way to go about it and what the cost would generally be. But also I’m concerned with if there’s anything we need to do to prep behind where the drywall would go to prevent moisture and bugs, any other issues down the line. Okay.|
|0:14:00||TOM: So let’s talk about that longer room first. Paneling in general, you know, as a sort of a thing of the past. Now, there’s two ways. The paneling was typically installed. In both cases, it was nailed. But in in one of those operations, they would glue it as well. And if you glued it, then it becomes a lot harder to tear it out and replace it. Well, I mean, today most people need replacing. And of course, you’re just trying to restore the drywall that’s behind it. You mentioned that other room that’s got paneling, it’s got gaps and stuff. Is there any place where you could sort of loosen up that paneling and try to pull it off the wall a little bit? Does that seem to come right off or do you think it’s glued to the wall?|
|0:14:37||CALLER: Yeah, there are a couple of spots in both rooms. You can kind of pull it up and it maybe nailed, but possibly were just too far in between.|
|0:14:46||TOM: Okay. Because if you take the paneling off, you may find that the glue pulls the paper off the drywall. If it’s really bad, then you either have to replace the drywall or you can spackle over those sort of torn areas if it’s not too terribly bad and then sort of start again from there. But I think job number one is getting rid of that. You know, if you have paneling that’s really well adhered and it’s not really causing any issues, you could paint it. You know, Leslie, we used to give a lot of advice on painting, paneling. One thing you can’t do, which people think you can is to fill in the grooves with spackle, right?|
|0:15:17||LESLIE: Folks never asked us that.|
|0:15:19||TOM: Well, never, never works out well.|
|0:15:21||CALLER: Yeah. So just one clarification. There’s actually not drywall behind the paneling, so it’s a great insulation and joist and bugs and dirt and debris. So that’s why I kind of want to clean it up, because I’m just worried about moisture. Any trash back there, when we do drywall, it, that’s unusual.|
|0:15:40||TOM: Typically panels on top of a wallboard. Okay. Well, in that case, yeah, you got to take it down. Once you expose those walls, you’re going to have 1970s insulation in there. I’d probably pull the insulation out since it’s right there, it’s easy to do. You want to put some new insulation in there? The easiest thing to do would be to pick up some pink fiberglass insulation from Lowe’s or Home Depot. There’s a new product out by Owens Corning called PINK Next Gen. It’s not itchy. It’s really soft and cottony and easy to handle and it stays nicely in between the studs of the walls. You’ll insulate that and then you put your drywall on. You’re going to want his half inch drywall. You lay the sheets horizontally, and then you have to tape and spackle the seams. So, you know, kind of advanced DIY here, Not too difficult, but it’s going to take you some time to kind of master the job in terms of insects and moisture. Look, that’s just general pest control. If you live in a warmer climate, you typically have more insects than you do in the northern climate. And you I would imagine you’d probably just get a service contract with a pest management professional who might visit you once a month or so to keep those bugs kind of under check by applying the appropriate insecticides. If you mention the laundry room and the moisture issues, if you really want to do something that’s moisture resistant, there are types of drywall panels that are basically waterproof and mold proof. Okay, you could use those are available as well. Very, very heavy compared to the regular drywall and more expensive. But, you know, it’s a long term investment. So that’s an option for you, too.|
|0:17:08||CALLER: Okay, cool. Thank you.|
|0:17:09||TOM: Well, you’re very welcome. Good luck with the project and reach out to us any time you have a question.|
|0:17:13||CALLER: All right. Perfect. Thanks so much.|
|0:17:16||LESLIE: All right. We’re heading out to Mike, who’s got a super gross problem. What’s going on with these? Is it your Money Pit? Tell us about.|
|0:17:23||CALLER: It. I have a fly problem. I have fly problem with fly poop all over my siding and power washing alone does not do the trick. Looking for the best solution to pre spray, let it so and then clean off.|
|0:17:41||TOM: You know, Mike, this reminds me of another problem that’s very similar, and that is the problem of artillery fungus where you have fungus that comes out of mulch and sticks to the siding and it seems to be virtually impossible to get off. But I think when it comes to bugs, it’s like when they stick to your car. You know, Leslie, when you go to like a Pep Boys and you want to get them off, they have special products for this because it’s designed to dissolve the whatever the fly juices that sticks to your car. I think the same thing kind of applies to the house. I know of a product called Super Clean, which you can find at. I believe it’s at Walmart. In other places like that comes at a purple bottle and it works really well. It’s sold basically as a cleaner and degreaser. But for this case, what you would do is you would apply it to the siding, let it sit for five or 10 minutes and then you would have to scrub it. Now there’s going to be a lot of elbow grease here, but I think you’ll find that it will release those bugs from the siding and you’ll be back to a clean house once again. I think the key, though, is to not let it get too bad because otherwise you’re going to find yourself doing this a lot more than you should in terms of managing this population going forward. You might want to talk to a certified pest control management professional, because I know that there are fly traps that can be set in your area that would at least minimize the population and result in fewer flies getting themselves. I guess it’s kind of like a suicide run against your house and splat. And they stay there and they stay in the siding so you have fewer bugs. You’re going to get fewer bugs on the siding.|
|0:19:12||LESLIE: Yucky. I hope we can fix that problem for you.|
|0:19:14||CALLER: It’s gross.|
|0:19:17||TOM: Well, guys, if you’ve ever watched your lawn feed from that beautiful sort of luscious green to a wheat field brown during these very hot days, you might feel a bit helpless to stop the destruction, But the brown grass does not automatically mean your lawn is dead. In fact, brown grass more likely means your lawn is simply dormant.|
|0:19:35||LESLIE: Yeah, it’s funny. And I also feel like some lawn seeds or types of grass, like just turn brown this time of year, even though you’re watering and doing everything. So you’ve got to do a couple of things, guys. You want to make sure that that summer grass survives. So just cut back on the mowing at this time. I mean, it’s really best to keep your grass a little bit longer in the height of summer anyway, because cutting it too much can cause the grass to lose more moisture from those tips that you’re cutting. Now, if your lawn is healthy, you can actually allow your grass to go into a semi dormant state simply by cutting back on watering and then not worrying so much that it won’t come back to a greener color in the cooler weather.|
|0:20:12||TOM: Now, if your lawn is brown, it is very important, however, that you avoid walking on it. This is where the trouble starts. You want to stick to the well-worn patches or sidewalks instead, because brown lawns can come back to life. But if they have been ground into a pulp, then they’re not going to come back. So try to stay off the lawns are very fragile when they’re brown. If you stay off and they will sort of regrouping themselves as soon as more moisture is available.|
|0:20:39||LESLIE: Now, if you’re not facing watering restrictions, you want to water very early in the morning. That’s going to give your lawn a chance to dry during the day. And then this is also going to discourage problems with bugs and diseases. And remember, it’s best to water heavily a couple of times a week to encourage that deeper root growth rather than light watering every single day. So definitely remember super saturate every other day.|
|0:21:01||TOM: We’ve got a tip sheet on how to make sure your lawn survives those dog days of summer. It’s called Seven Tips for Healthy Lawns and Hot Summers. You’ll find it right now on Money Pit dot com.|
|0:21:11||LESLIE: All right. Beverly in Ohio is fearful of some stuff going on with the foundation and drainage of what is happening at your Money Pit.|
|0:21:18||CALLER: You’ve addressed this many times, but this seems different. Water in the basement. I’ve already gotten the French trench discussion with a company and I know that you guys say that’s not necessarily it and I prefer not to go $10,000 anyway. There’s a lot of plantings by my home. It doesn’t seem to be grading. Everything’s pretty flat, but I’m desperate to know what to do. It’s really putting in a lot of fear in my soul.|
|0:21:45||TOM: Well, Beverly, rest assured that if you improve your outside drainage, I suspect this problem will go away. One way to know is this If you’re water problem seems to get worse with heavy rain, this is definitely some controlled by drainage. You say the outside looks good. You mentioned it’s flat. That’s not good. Soil has the slope away from the wall, shouldn’t be flat. But more importantly, most of the time the wet basements are caused by a problem with the gutter system. You either don’t have the right size gutters, they’re getting overflowing or overflowing because they’re undersized or they’re partially clogged. And something as simple as the downspouts not being directed away from the foundation far enough. You know, when the installers put it in, they usually put them out about two feet from the foundation and leave the water right there. So it kind of circles right back into that basement and that’s why the walls get so wet. But I don’t think you need a four inch drain system. That would only be done if you had a rising water table. It doesn’t sound like that is the case here. So I would extend those downspouts and if you want to prove this before you do a lot of work, just get a bunch of long liters. You know, there are a few dollars each at a home center and hook them up to the bottom of those downspouts, run them out, even though it might look a little sloppy for a while. I think you’ll find that you have almost an instant reduction in the amount of water down there. And once you’ve convinced yourself that that is the solution, you can eat them up and run them perhaps underground, bring them out somewhere daylight, and do a nice job making them a lot more tidy. But drainage, drainage, drainage, that is the cause of what? Basements. So you got to fix it. And that’s going to be your solution here. And it won’t happen again.|
|0:23:23||LESLIE: All right. Now we’re going to chat with Jim. Was dealing with a problem with a cracked wall. What’s the problem, Jim?|
|0:23:28||CALLER: Problem with that brick wall behind my garage, long back wall with a vertical crack that’s six feet long, separating a quarter to 3/8 of an inch. And I need to know how to diagnose it or find out what’s really going on behind that, whether to seal it or get a contractor.|
|0:23:49||TOM: Well, Jim, if you have a crack that’s open three seven inch, that’s a lot on a vertical crack. So we need to know, first of all, whether it’s active or not active, meaning that it’s still getting bigger or is it just something that happened and sort of settled down, why it happened? There could be lots of reasons. There could be debris in the soil that that rotted away. That often happens around garages where they leave construction debris that gets buried by soil. And when it when it when it deteriorates, the soil will sort of settle in and cause voids. And that causes movement could be a drainage problem. I don’t know. We’ve got to know whether it’s active or not. If it’s not active, then it could be sealed just to keep water out. But if it is active, then you might need a structural repair. Unfortunately. Well, a lot of contractors will claim to have the expertise to do this. Only the structural engineer can really give you the accurate advice that you need, especially when it’s something severe of a severe nature like this now. So I would suggest that you hire a structural engineer to evaluate it and based on that advice, make the repair, have a contractor, make the repair. So you know it’s done right now. Here’s a project that many people have tried and many people have failed at, and that is to try to repair old worn out concrete by covering it with new concrete. Now, if you tried that, you might have found that that new concrete simply doesn’t stick. And that’s because regular concrete or stucco mix is simply not designed to adhere to old concrete surfaces.|
|0:25:11||LESLIE: Yeah, and that’s why Quikrete created Re-Cap concrete resurfacer. Now, with quick recap, you can renew old worn concrete patios, sidewalks, even driveways with a permanent wear resistant surface at a fraction of the cost to replace them.|
|0:25:26||TOM: Yeah, this stuff has a bond to concrete that’s actually four times stronger than the concrete itself. And that means that the old concrete will fracture or crack before the bond with quick recap separates. And as a result, that new concrete patio sidewalk or driveway is going to last a very, very long time.|
|0:25:44||LESLIE: Yeah. And it’s also a really DIY friendly project. You mix your pour and you spread that concrete resurfacer over your surface. As long as that surface has been cleaned with a 3500 PSI pressure washer, you can then easily apply it with a squeegee, a trowel or brush, and one 40 pound bag is going to cover approximately 20 square feet. So do the math to figure out exactly how much you need.|
|0:26:05||TOM: Yep, you’ll find Quikrete Re-Cap concrete resurfacer at home improvement retailers for about $28 per 40 pound bag. I actually use this for another purpose. Leslie. When I did, my basement floor had poured it in four foot by four foot sections because I couldn’t get a concrete shoot down there from a truck. So I hand poured it. But what I did when I was all done is like cover the entire floor with recap, and it stuck to the 4×4 sections and now it looks like one continuous slab. So it’s got a lot of options. This adherence thing is really critical though. Once you get it to part of the concrete, that’s really the challenge. And when you get stick like that, there’s lots of options for this to be used for repair or for even resurfacing new concrete. That isn’t quite what you’re looking for.|
|0:26:43||LESLIE: Heading to Texas, we’ve got Lois on the line who’s dealing with some previous owners gift, you know, a smoke filled home. How can we help you?|
|0:26:52||CALLER: We just purchased a house and the previous owners that we that had it before us, of course, they evidently smoked. And my husband says it’s nicotine.|
|0:27:05||TOM: Yeah, it’s a rather disgusting habit. And it leaves behind some really disgusting, hard to get rid of stains and odors. Yes. So, first of all, you need to make sure that that’s that nicotine is going to soak into carpets by the way, in padding we’ve done taking out. Let’s see. All right. So what you’re going to need to do is you’re going to need to use an oil based primer on those walls and even on the even on the subfloor. If you’ve got like plywood sub floors that may have been under carpet, I would use an oil based primer seal, all that. And this is kind of like when you have smoke damage to a house and they use those, you know, very durable sealers to kind of seal in all the odors, You’re going to have to do that because you’re not going to be able to clean this out of it because all those building surfaces are very absorbent. Yes. So you need to prime the walls and prime the floors before you put the finished paint on. Now, you can use latex on does the top coat. But to start, you’ve got to prime everything If you want to have a chance of eliminating as much of that odor as possible.|
|0:28:03||CALLER: Okay. And you said an oil based paint.|
|0:28:06||TOM: I would prefer to use an oil base because it works a lot better. Okay. Much better sealer.|
|0:28:11||CALLER: The ceiling is textured. What about that?|
|0:28:14||TOM: Do the same thing with the ceiling. Especially the ceiling is rather impossible to clean now because it’s textured. You’re going to use a very thick roller. And they have rollers also that are designed for textured ceilings that have slits in them. They’re like sliced so that the roller can actually get around all of the popcorn and other types of texture surfaces that you have. But you definitely have to prime this. You know, this is really a big project and you might want to hire a pro to do this because it’s a lot of work.|
|0:28:40||LESLIE: Janice wrote in and wants to know why she smells exhaust fumes in the air from her vented basement fireplace. She says, I had the basement finished and a beautiful basement fireplace installed. The fireplace is vented to the outside under the composite deck with composite ladders surrounding that lower portion, but the fireplace emits unhealthy exhaust fumes into the basement. Now, Janice goes on to say Two contractors are blaming each other for the problem, and they’re both wanting to charge her a boatload of money to fix the problem. So what’s going on?|
|0:29:10||TOM: Oh, I love this kind of spirit. You know, first of all, you have a very dangerous situation here, Janice. You need to stop using the fireplace immediately. And second, I suspect, Leslie, it’s not vented properly. And here’s why. You know, most gas appliances that are direct vented, that’s when the vent goes sort of right outside the exterior wall. They have very strict rules about how close they can be to a window, like a basement window. Plus, they have very strict rules that they cannot be closed in and cover it up. Now, remember, Janice says that this was vented underneath her deck and then there’s composite ladders surrounding it. So this entire thing is sort of like sealed in without having access to the proper level of ventilation. In that circumstance, it’s very easy for some of those gases to leak back in. So what you need to do is this you need to get your hands on the venting specifications provided by the fireplace manufacturer. They’re going to be very, very specific and see exactly what those specifications say. I suspect they’re going to tell you where this can be vented, how it can be vented, how many twists and turns, how many feet you can run with these venting pipes, whether it can be near a deck, how many feet away from things it needs to be. I suspect it just wasn’t done correctly and I would get another contractor to make these corrections. These guys that are blaming each other have no clue what they’re doing. I know you provided me a lot more detail about this, but what I’m reading into this is they do not have your best interest in mind. If you worked with a fireplace company on this, they should be responsive both for the expenses associated with it. But no matter what, do not do not do not use this fireplace until it’s fixed because it is very, very dangerous.|
|0:30:51||LESLIE: All right. Hope that helps you out, Janice, because we want you to enjoy your beautiful new basement and, of course, keep your family safe. All right. Rachel writes in saying, We’re remodeling our laundry room, which is also our guest half bath. Is laminate wood flooring safe under a washing machine or is a ceramic tile better? Expense is an issue.|
|0:31:10||TOM: You know, laminate flooring was a very popular flooring. And I say was because right now we’ve got much better floorings that are more durable and more tolerant of moist environments like bathrooms and laundry rooms. So I don’t think I would use laminate floor in a laundry room or bathroom certainly anymore. I would use luxury vinyl plank or I would use the stone hybrid products that are 100% waterproof. And the other thing that you might want to do here, Rachel, is on top of that floor underneath the feet of the washing machine add anti-vibration blocks. These are like rubber like blocks that help take the vibration out of the laundry as it operates. It makes it much, much quieter when you operate, helps to even out situations like where you have an uneven load as well, or if you have a washing machine that tends to run or walk, it straightens all that out. So I would use luxury vinyl plank or I would use hybrid stone plank and I would use the anti-vibration blocks on this floor.|
|0:32:03||LESLIE: All right. Hope that helps you out. Enjoy this new bathroom slash laundry room. I love this addition to the house.|
|0:32:09||TOM: This is the Money Pit Home Improvement Show on air and online on a warm summer weekend. If you guys have questions and you couldn’t get through to us today, please remember you can reach out 24/7 at 888-Money-Pit or by going to moneypit.com/ask for now that’s all the time we have. I’m Tom Kraeutler.|
|0:32:27||LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.|
|0:32:28||TOM: Remember you can do it yourself.|
|0:32:30||LESLIE: But you don’t have to do it alone.|
|(Note: The above referenced transcript is AI-Generated, Unedited and Unproofed and as such may not accurately reflect the recorded audio. Copyright 2023 Squeaky Door Productions, Inc. No portion of this transcript or audio file may be reproduced in any format without the express written permission of Squeaky Door Productions, Inc.)|