EP139: Prevent Frozen Pipes, Decorating for Christmas, The Great Christmas Contest 2

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Segment 1: Prevent Frozen Pipes

Ahhh, Winter. There’s a lot of fun that come with a Michigan Winter. And then . . . there are the other things. One of those other things is the worry about frozen pipes during cold spells. A frozen and burst pipe in the home is one of the most catastrophic issues that can happen in a home. But, the good news is that there are things we can do to prevent this from happening to you!

INSULATE EXPOSED SUPPLY PIPES ALONG EXTERIOR WALLS

One step is to insulate the supply pipes that run along exterior walls or in cabinets along exterior walls. Pipe insulation is inexpensive and can help, but it’s important to understand that it’s not a silver bullet! Also, consider the fact that insulated pipes will be harder to thaw should the pipe still freeze. But, overall, it can still be an important step given your situation.

If you have unheated areas or spots that are especially concerning, you might want to consider heat tape. Check with a plumber to make sure you get the right kind for your situation and install it correctly.

MAINTAIN A CONSISTENT TEMPERATURE IN THE HOME

We tend to want to shut doors, close vents, and turn down the heat in the winter to save on energy expenses. However, that can be counterproductive when it comes to protecting your pipes. It’s recommended instead that you open the interior doors, keep the heat set at a more consistent level, and keep those vents open. Shutting doors and closing vents can actually be harmful to your HVAC system (if you close enough of them), and the lack of consistent heat could be just enough to allow pipes along an exterior wall to freeze.

OPEN CABINET DOORS

Building on the concept above, open the cabinet doors that house pipes during the coldest weather. The cabinet doors can actually block off those pipes from the heat in the house and if there’s cold enough temps, or a bit of an air leak from outside, pipes can easily freeze. We ran across a story out of Chicago where a pipe in a home froze in a heated space. After cleaning up the mess, the investigation into the cause of the problem determined that a drafty window coupled with high winds and low wind chill caused a single area of the pipe to freeze. So, open those doors when it’s super cold! Just watch your knees when you walk by!

RUN THE TAPS AT A SLOW TRICKLE

It’s an age-old solution, but it works. Running the water at an extremely slow trickle reduces the pressure in the system. It doesn’t have to be much, but it might save you a mess.

LOCATE AND SEAL CRACKS, HOLES, ETC. WHERE COLD GETS IN

Take a look in your basement for areas where the cold gets in. Even a small hole or a drafty window can cause a problem. And, on top of that, it’s a huge energy waste! A great trick to finding trouble spots is to light a stick of incense and let it smoke. Then walk around the perimeter of the room, holding it up to the sill plate and around windows. Watch the smoke and see what it does. When you find a drafty spot or a trouble area, the smoke will demonstrate it! Seal those spots up with spray foam, caulk, or, if it turns out to be a bigger project than you can tackle, contact an expert. We’d recommend WMGB Home Improvements!

DISCONNECT GARDEN HOSES FROM OUTSIDE FAUCETS

If you leave the hoses on the faucets all winter, you could end up with damage from freezing, but you generally won’t find out about it until next Spring! An easy fix is to remove the hoses! Also, if possible, you could shut off the water to the outside faucets and drain them to make sure there’s no issues come April!

FIND YOUR SHUT OFF TODAY!

One last word of advice is to locate the main shut off valve today. Know where it is in the house and figure out how it works. It’s certainly not a complicated mechanism, but there are definitely stories of people who run into a problem and in the panic of the situation, can’t find the valve. A lot of damage can be prevented if you can act quickly and get the water shut 0ff! And, if you’ve got kids who are home during the day while parents work, it certainly would be beneficial to make them aware of the location of the valve and how it works as well!

Segments 2-3: Christmas Decorating with Jennifer Butler and Andy Yates

Jennifer Butler and Andy Yates from Jennifer Butler Design in Grand Rapids stop by to talk Christmas Decorating. Some Do’s and Don’ts. And somehow, we end up talking about pomegranates and live squirrels incorporated into festive table centerpieces….

Segment 4: Wooster Sherlock Roller Frame and Our Christmas Contest!

You have to be paint people to have a “favorite” roller frame. And yet, as “nerdy” as it may be to say so, this roller frame rocks! Sure, it’s about 3.5 times as expensive as a cheap one . . . but that still puts it under $12! And when you think how long you keep a roller frame? Buying this premium tool is a no-brainer!

Here’s a quick video:

And now . . . for the contest! RepcoLite has teamed up with Wooster Brush Company to make some family’s Christmas pretty amazing! We’ll be giving away a prize package of Wooster Paint Tools, RepcoLite Paint, and Games from Out of the Box Games in Zeeland and Kentwood! You can get all the information about how to enter on RepcoLite’s Facebook Page.

EP120: The Perfect Front Door Color, Plumbing Questions: Answered!

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Segments 1 & 2: Paint For Front Doors

Painting your front door is one of the best “bang for your buck” paint projects you can tackle! You’ll dramatically improve the curb appeal of your home and, best of all, you’ll do it in just a few hours and often for no more than a quart of paint! We mentioned a method for painting your front door on the show today. Here’s a simple graphic of the order to follow:

Segments 3 & 4: Plumbing Questions: Answered!

For everyone who wants the “Betsy Bathroom”, here’s a video of the tub shroom she’s recommending. Also a link so you can buy your own!

EP63: Wool Carpet, Solid Color Stain Explained, A Crafty Flower Pot Project, and Sewer Backups No More!

Today’s show covers a wide variety of topics. We start by discussing the long-term benefits of wool carpet (as well as the sheep that make it possible). From there, we discuss a confusing topic among homeowners: solid color stain. What is it? Why use it? How is it different from paint? We dig into all of that and then, Betsy goes all “crafty” and has a great project using solid color stain. Finally, we wrap up with an interview with Service Professor in Grand Rapids about sewer backups and all the different solutions that are available to you!

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Show notes for episode 063:

Wool carpet is expensive, right? Overpriced? Not worth it? Absolutely not! We sit down with Nick Sargent from Johnson Carpet One in Grandville to talk about the charm, durability, and incredibly functionality of wool carpet.

Solid Color Stain is typically a confusing product. People think of stain as something you can see through and which has a brown tone! They don't realize that solid color stains actually look pretty much like paint!

But that brings up the next question: when do I use paint and when should I use stain? We answer all of that and more!

Finally, we mentioned an EPA Guide to Lead Safe Repair, Renovation, and Painting. Here it is if you'd like to check it out!

Betsy gets all "crafty" and talks about a perfect Saturday project for you, your kids, your grandkids . . . pretty much everyone!

Sewer backups are tremendously . . . inconvenient. Horrible. Life-Altering. You name it. But did you know there are alternatives to simply "rootering" your line every few months? Alternatives that don't require you to dig up your yard?

We're in the studio with Paul Gerbaisi from Service Professor in Grand Rapids to highlight all the options available to you!

EP41 – January 13, 2018: Painting Over Lead Paint, Whole House Audio, Intro to Roller Covers, Bidets for America!

 

Some episode are a lot of fun. Others are packed with information. This one is both! On episode 41 of the RepcoLite Home Improvement Show, we cover everything from important lead safe paint information to the hilarious (and informative) discussion about the benefits of bidets. It’s definitely an episode with something for everyone!

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Show notes for Episode 041:

We received a question from a customer who was concerned about the right way to paint over oil-based paint that's been on her for over 40 years. Sounds straightforward and easy, right? Well, except for the fact that anything painted before 1978 has the potential to contain lead!

Based on that, we walk through the proper steps to safely and effectively encapsulate that potential lead paint and update the trim!

In the course of the conversation, we also discussed a number of Lead Paint programs designed to monetarily aid you in the process of making your home lead-safe. Here are the links we spoke about on the show:

We interview John Higgs from Classic Stereo in Grand Rapids to discuss the benefits and accessibility of whole house audio! If you're interested, you can contact John here!

While clearly not the flashiest or most exciting of topics, roller covers are essential to getting great results on your next paint job. And choosing the right one is critical! But with so many options out there, how do you know which one's right? Today we keep it light and still break down the most common sizes and where and when you would use each one!

Well, this segment has been 41 weeks in the making! When we started this Home Improvement Show, we interviewed Mark DeVisser from the Plumber is Here about another topic. After that interview, and off the record, Mark, launched into one of the most hilariously frank discussions about bidets we've ever encountered. We knew we wanted to re-do that discussion on the radio . . . but we also knew we needed to establish ourselves a bit before we launched into a bidet talk!

Well, that moment has now arrived. And today we aired our favorite segment to date! It's funny AND informative. Check it out!

EP40 – January 6, 2018: 15-Minute Regimen, Gel Stain Cabinet Fix, Winter Pet Safety, and Dan’s Bathroom Re-do

 

This week we cover a number of interesting topics. One of which is a concept that Dan thinks is brilliant: a 15-minute home improvement regimen! Yes, it sounds a little goofy, but you will be amazed at the amount of work you can accomplish by just spending 15 minutes a night working on it. It’s painless, quick, almost fun. And if you do it a few nights in a row, you’ll be blown away by how much work you crank out! On top of that, we spend some time talking about what we need to do as pet owners to keep our furry friends safe during these cold winter days!

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Show notes for episode 040:

Things pile up over time when we don't stay on top of them. Weight is a perfect example. Let it go for a little while and before you know it, some unwanted pounds have found a new home around our middle!

Well, the same thing happens in our home. Little projects add up and before you know it, we've got tons of jobs to do and no idea where to begin!

Rather than jump into a crash-course of home improvement projects, why not instead create a manageable schedule that will help you easily and relatively painlessly take off those "extra pounds"? That's what we talk about today!

Looking to refresh your kitchen cabinets without completely stripping them down and starting over? If you're dealing with a few scratches or some worn areas, we might have a fix for you that will save you tons of time!

Here are a few photos submitted by a customer who gave the project a try!

The weather has been frigidly cold and while we all bundle up with layers and layers, we don't always think about our pets! Sure, they're covered in fur, but they can still get hypothermia and they can still suffer in weather like this. But just moving them into the garage may not be the answer. In this segment we talk about a number of different precautions we should all be talking to keep our furry friends safe and warm!

In this segment, we break down a bathroom re-do Dan just recently undertook. We talk about the materials used and the lessons learned! And hopefully provide everyone listening with the information and encouragement to step outside of their comfort zone and jump into a project!