Today’s Homeowner Radio Podcast | July 16, 2022

In this week’s radio show, learn how to unclog a sink and install a window on a door. (Split image credit Igal Vaisman, TriggerPhoto from Getty Images and Getty Images Signature)

Hour 1

In Hour 1 of the Today’s Homeowner Radio Podcast, should you put new shingles over old ones? Plus, how to unclog a stubborn sink once and for all. 

Listen to Hour 2 to learn how to remove tile from drywall and insert a window into a door.

Should You Put New Shingles Over Old Ones?

fixing a roof shingle
Placing new shingles over existing ones might seem like an easy fix, but in the long run, it’s better to replace your roof. (Adobe Stock)

Sometimes, we here at Today’s Homeowner can act as a mediator for married couples when home problems arise.

Couples who disagree about the solution to fixing a long-standing issue come to us for a definitive answer. 

Such is the case with Kimberly Bell. She and her husband have differing opinions on how to fix their leaky roof.

Her husband already has installed new asphalt shingles over the old shingles, but Kimberly thinks that’s a bad idea. She wants him to take off the old shingles to see if the plywood is damaged and, if so, replace it. 

She also asks about the load of the new shingles laying on top of the old ones. “Doesn’t it put more weight on the roof?” she says.

Here’s our verdict: Kimberly is right. Putting new asphalt shingles over existing ones adds a lot more weight — and it might be too much for the roof’s structure to handle. 

Also, adding new shingles over existing ones usually voids the roofing manufacturer’s warranty. 

Like Kimberly suspects, there could be some damaged decking that you can’t see unless you remove the shingles.

Now, let’s be clear. Many people install new shingles over old ones and have no issue, but in the long run, you’re better off removing the shingles to see if there’s any damage. 

And here’s a pro tip: When replacing a roof, have it built to FORTIFIED Roof standards — beyond-code construction designed to strengthen roofs to withstand hurricanes, high winds, hail and severe thunderstorms.

Also, a FORTIFIED designation may qualify you for financial incentives, like insurance discounts, tax credits or lower deductibles.


Unclogging a Sink For Good

Clogged kitchen sink on a granite countertop
Chemicals won’t unclog this sink — you need to clear the pipe with a snake. (Igal Vaisman, Getty Images)

June Thomas is at her wit’s end over her kitchen sink.

Her two-bowl kitchen sink drains very slowly. On the side with the garbage disposal, a half-full sink of water takes over a minute to drain! Worse yet, she says the other side of the sink takes nearly as long. 

She’s tried everything — pumping out the septic tank, using a septic tank cleaner every month, and treating the sink drain with salt, baking soda, vinegar, and hot water.

But none of these remedies has made a difference! 

Now, June’s asking what else can she can do before calling a plumber.

We can feel her frustration! The solution to this involves spending some time under your sink. 

Whenever you have a slow-draining sink, it’s typically due to a clog somewhere down the line — not enough to stop the flow of water entirely; just enough to slow it down.

The problem isn’t in the septic tank. If the septic tank is full, you’ll have water coming up from all water sources in the house, not just one sink.  

So, get under the sink, remove the U-shaped trap, and run a drain snake into the straight drain pipe going into the wall. 

Whatever you do, don’t pour a lot of caustic chemicals down the drain! Even some that require a licensed plumber to buy don’t work, and the smell is awful. 

Worst of all, these harsh chemicals can eat through plastic pipes. And, if you plunge after pouring these chemicals, they could splash up and harm your eyes and skin. 

As a preventive measure, make sure everyone in your household knows how to use a garbage disposal.

Feed any food particles into your disposal a little at a time, and only use cold water. The cold water helps fats and oils solidify, so they’re easier for the garbage disposal to grind and will move through the drain faster. 


Hour 2

In Hour 2 of the Today’s Homeowner Radio Podcast, learn how to remove tile from drywall and insert a window into a door. 


Removing Tile From Drywall

White tile fireplace against cream colored drywall
There’s no easy way to remove tiles from drywall — but that’s a good thing. (cloudyaz, Getty Images)

Need help removing tiles around a fireplace? So does a homeowner who called into the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show!

The homeowner says when he applies enough pressure on the tile to remove it, the drywall comes off with it — which, of course, is not the goal for this project.

“Can I remove the drywall and put the fiberboard on top of the studs?” he asks. “I just don’t want to ruin anything.” 

Unfortunately, there’s no way to remove tile from drywall without removing the drywall.

But here’s the good news: taking all of the drywall off is actually much easier than trying to chisel away at the tile. 

Use a reciprocating saw to cut the tile from the wall. Cut the blade so that when it’s fully extended, it’s only about an inch long. This prevents the saw from puncturing the other side of the wall. 

Cut along the grout and remove manageable sections one at a time. Then install a new cement backer board

Now you have a blank slate to install ceramic, porcelain tile, marble, and really, just about anything that will make a statement on what’s usually the room’s focal point! 


Inserting a Window on a Door

Front door with glass window on top
A door glass insert makes it easy to add a window to a door. (TriggerPhoto, Getty Images Signature)

Marie Juneau in California wants to add more form and function to her existing entry door — specifically, by adding some glass.  

She wants to know if she can install a window in the door herself, or should she just buy a door that already has one.

You can buy a door glass insert and install it yourself. The double-paned glass window is already assembled and the frame is insulated. 

Pease Doors has many shapes and sizes to choose from. Their frames fit most door brands and they’re sold in kits with everything you need to install it yourself. 

There’s just one problem, however.

These glass inserts don’t open up for ventilation, so if you’re wanting to let the fresh air in, install a screen door outside.

If you don’t want to add an extra door, consider a retractable screen. These screens roll up and tuck away into a housing unit on the side of the frame.  


In the Aisles of Home Depot

the EcoSmart Flame LED Light Bulb in  an outside sconce
The EcoSmart Flame LED Light Bulb has a warm glow that mimics a flickering flame. (Image via The Home Depot)

Set up your backyard for summer entertaining with outdoor lighting options from EcoSmart. Whether your summer plans include hosting backyard barbecues or refreshing your outdoor oasis, here are fun and easy ways to light up your space: 

  • Play your favorite tunes for you and your guests with a Bluetooth Speaker LED Light Bulb that combines color-selectable lighting with Bluetooth technology. Simply connect to your favorite Bluetooth device without the need for extra wiring or a hub. 
  • Illuminate the night and decorate with the warm glow of the EcoSmart Flame LED Light Bulb. This LED light bulb creates an alluring ambiance that simulates a warm and realistic flickering flame effect without emitting any heat and eliminating the risk of a real flame. 
  • The Outdoor Bug LED Light Bulb is a summertime essential. Yellow LED light bulbs repel insects and can be used as an alternative to bug sprays, keeping bugs out of your outdoor spaces. 
  • Upgrade your entertainment space with a Color Changing Party LED Light Bulb to set a fun and festive mood. It makes any occasion more decorative with red, green, blue, and yellow light and gives five light effect options to choose from. Easily switch between colors using the toggle on each bulb or conveniently cycle between colors with a simple flip of a standard wall switch. 

Enhanced EcoSmart LED light bulbs use up to 90 percent less energy than standard incandescent light bulbs and operate with a longer lifespan – saving homeowners on household energy costs over the course of the bulb’s 25,000-hour lifetime.

Available exclusively online and in-store at The Home Depot, the new EcoSmart light bulb product line features the latest in lighting innovation and technology.

This section is sponsored by The Home Depot and contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product from these links, we will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.


Best New Products

EcoSmart’s LED Tape Light makes it easy to get under-cabinet lighting right where you need it. Learn more >>

Simple Solutions

paint brush scraping paint along a cut lid on a paint can
Eliminate paint drip by cutting the can’s lid in half. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Half-Lid Painting Tip — Over the years, I’ve shared more than 500 Simple Solutions and many of them have to do with painting specifically painting neatly. Here’s a tip that came in from John a listener from Clancy, Montana, on how to paint neatly from a can when using a paintbrush.

Start by taking a lid from an old discarded can of paint and cutting the lid in half using a pair of aviation snips.

Then, tap the half lid onto the paint can.

Now, when you dip your brush into the paint, you can very easily and neatly strike off the excess paint by running the bristles against the edge of the half lid. 

Watch: Eliminate Paint Drip With This Lid Hack

Easily remove scuff marks from hardwood floors with a tennis ball. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

How to Remove Scuffs with a Tennis Ball — All you need to remove scuff marks from floors is a fuzzy new tennis ball.

Simply take the tennis ball and rub the scuff mark. The fuzzy exterior of the ball will easily erase any black marks made by the heels of shoes and boots.

And for extra convenience, use a utility knife to cut an X into the ball, then stick the ball onto the end of your broom handle. Then, it’ll be there whenever you need it.

By the way, this trick can be used on all hard-surface floors, including wood, tile, laminate, and even vinyl.

Watch: How to Remove Scuffs with a Tennis Ball


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