Show Notes: Keeping Busy While Sheltered In Place! – On the House

Show Notes: Keeping Busy While Sheltered In Place!

By on March 28, 2020

Sheltered in place? And are you looking for stuff to do around the home?

Have you considered some of your honey-do list?

For instance, are you and your home ready for the spring home maintenance checklist??

 Missed our live show? Don’t worry! Because we have a podcast of the show. It’s the same thing we aired on the radio, but ready for you whenever and wherever you are! Check it out here. 


Things to do to Keep You Busy While You Are Sheltered In Place!  

  • Clean gutters and downspouts.

After the last frost has passed, it’s important to have your gutters and downspouts cleaned and repaired. ‘Clogged gutters and downspouts can cause the wood trim at the eaves to rot, and that can invite all kinds of critters into your attic space. 

  • Having your gutters and downspouts cleaned early in the season can also help prevent damage from spring rains.

Gutters and downspouts should be clean and running free. If your downspouts are installed properly, water is diverted away from the house so that no water collects around your foundation. 

  • Reseal exterior woodwork.

Wood decks, fences, railings, trellises, pergolas and other outdoor structures will last longer and stay in better condition if they’re stained or resealed every year or two. Take this opportunity to make any needed repairs to woodwork as well. 

  • Check for signs of termites.

Beginning in March and going through May or June, be on the lookout for these winged insects. Termites swarm in the spring, If there’s a bunch of winged insects flying out of a hole in the woodwork, that’s probably termites. Call a licensed professional pest control company. You’ll save money and trouble in the long run.’ 

  • Inspect roof.

Winter storms can take quite a toll on the roof. When spring arrives, start by making a simple visual inspection of your roof. It doesn’t require a ladder, and you certainly don’t have to get on a roof to look. Use binoculars or a camera or smartphone with a telephoto feature if you need to. Look for missing shingles, metal pipes that are damaged or missing or anything that simply doesn’t look right. If you notice anything that needs closer inspection or repair, call a roofer. 

  • Paint exterior.

If you’re planning to repaint your home’s exterior this year, spring is a good time to set it up. Want to paint but can’t decide on a color? Explore your town and snap pictures of house colors you like, browse photos on Houzz or work with a color consultant to get that just-right hue. 

  • Inspect driveways and paths.

Freezing and thawing is rough on concrete, asphalt and other hardscaping materials. Take a walk around your property to look for damage to walkways, paths and driveways, and schedule repairs as needed. Asphalt can often be patched, but damaged concrete may need to be replaced entirely. 

  • Check sprinkler and irrigation systems.

Checking your sprinklers or irrigation systems in the spring can save water – and save your plants. Sedinger shares these tips for checking your watering system: 

  • Run the system through all the zones manually and walk the property. 
  • Make sure none of the heads are broken or damaged. 
  • Adjust any heads that are spraying the house, especially windows, as this can cause moisture problems. 
  • Adjust heads that are spraying the street, sidewalk or porches to avoid wasting water. 
  • If you don’t know how to maintain your sprinkler system, call a professional to do it. You’ll save money on your water bill and protect one of our most valuable natural resources. 
  • Prevent mosquitoes.

In recent years, we’ve become more aware of the potential danger mosquitos can pose to our health. West Nile virus and Zika virus are just the latest diseases caused by these winged pests. The best way to prevent mosquitos around your home is simply by getting rid of any standing water. Walk around your property [and peek at your neighbors]. If you see anything or any area where water stands, fix it, tip it, get rid of it or maintain it regularly. 

  • Check screen doors and windows.

Screens are designed to let the breeze flow in and keep bugs out – but they can only do their job if they’re free from holes and tears. Before setting up your screens for the warm months ahead, be sure to carefully check each one and repair any holes or tears, no matter how small. You can find screen repair kits at most hardware and home improvement stores. 

  • Schedule air-conditioning service.

Just because it gets cool doesn’t mean it’s working efficiently. To get the longest life out of your cooling system and keep it running as efficiently as possible, change the filters at least once each season, and hire a licensed professional to service the equipment before the start of summer. 


Recall: American Honda Recall of Portable Generators Due to Fire and Burn Hazards

The Honda EB2200i, EU2200i, EU2200i Companion and EU2200i Camo Portable Generators have been recalled because the portable generator’s inverter assembly can short circuit with the presence of saltwater. This causes the unit to smoke or catch fire, posing fire and burn hazards to consumers. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled generators and contact a local authorized Honda Power Equipment service dealer to schedule a free repair. Honda is contacting all known purchasers directly. Consumers who took part in the previous recall for these generators should also take part in this recall. About 340,000 were sold and about 200,000 were previously recalled in 2019. 


Choosing Between MDF & FJ Pine Mouldings 

No matter what you are looking to buy on the market these days, we all have so many choices! Even something as simple as a carton of milk can make us stop and think which one is best – lite, skim, A2, unpasteurised, full cream, 2% fat and the list goes on! The same is true for timber mouldings and skirting boards, there is no ‘one size fits all’ choice, so it is important to understand the different properties between your timber choices, and how each one may benefit (or fall short on) your project requirements. 

What exactly are they? 

MDF (medium-density fibreboard) is an engineered composite of sawdust, wood shavings, small wood chips and resin that is compressed together to form lengths suitable for manufacturing into skirting boards, architraves and other timber mouldings. 

Finger-joined Pine is a solid pine timber where the length is created using small, individual pieces which are joined together with glue and small interlocking ‘fingers’, which create a neat zig zag effect at the join site. All knots are eliminated in this process. 

What are the benefits? 


  • Cheaper option 
  • High face strength gives it more strength against surface damage 
  • MDF has a smooth surface finish giving a flawless look once sanded and painted and less change of visible voids or splinters 


  • Less expensive than solid wood, but has all the benefits and characteristics of ‘real’ timber 
  • Less prone to twisting and warping 
  • Light and rigid enough for one person to install 
  • Holds nails well 
  • The product has greater longevity than MDF 
  • Greater longevity and significantly reduced requirement for replacement 
  • It is natural wood and the beautiful grain is visible 
  • Easier to install 
  • Less abrasive on cutters and tools therefore less maintenance to keep blades and cutters sharp 
  • No splitting when fixing through edge grain like MDF 

What are the disadvantages? 


  • Its high strength can make it difficult to nail by hand 
  • Edge strength is lower, so outside miter cuts must be handled with care both during installation and when installed as tends to split if fixing through edge 
  • As MDF is a manmade product with no natural timber grain, nails can find it difficult to ‘grab’ and screws can easily strip, making it easier to remove from a wall surface. For best installation results, it is important to use an MDF adhesive. 
  • Heavy and ‘floppy’, making large lengths difficult for one person to handle during installation. 
  • Long lengths are more prone to braking than finger-jointed pieces due to the larger ‘flex’ in the material 
  • Will swell creating warping and bubbling if it absorbs moisture, which is likely to happen over time. It is important to have the entire moulding pre primed (including the back face) and to ensure it is not used in wet areas, or those which may be exposed to moisture through floor mopping or steam cleaning. It is also not recommended for use in tropical and high humidity climates for this reason. 
  • If you’re looking for a natural timber look, it cannot be stained 
  • Although MDF is stronger, if dents or marks are made, it is more difficult to repair 


  • Is slightly more expensive than MDF 
  • As it is a natural timber, it is softer than MDF and can be more susceptible to marks 

MDF Moisture Test  

How does moisture affect MDF: When MDF is absorbing water in a home over time, it swells which affects the paint and causes bubbling. 

Without a doubt, finger-jointed pine is a superior material for timber mouldings profiles. It is typically the tradesman’s choice. 

The MDF, is one of the best on the market due to it being the most environmentally friendly MDF material available, and if you are on a budget, is still quite a suitable product. If you do choose MDF, we recommend having it factory pre-primed to seal the entire surface to give it the best protection from moisture absorption possible. In wet areas, or areas with hard floors (which would need to be mopped or steamed to clean), we only recommend the use of finger jointed pine skirting boards. 

You may not have an immediate saving on your initial purchase when choosing finger jointed pine mouldings, but their ease of installation and longevity and durability, will reduce your risk of early replacement and save you money in the long term. 


Delights and Diversions: Fulfilling Things To Do At Home Right Now 

  • Do an art project on your walls 
  • Rearrange your furniture  
  • Deep clean your home or spring 
  • Plan your next home improvement  

Being isolated at home can be an opportunity to do additional research about home improvement options and innovations that can help increase your long-term investment. For busy homeowners, the luxury of digging deep and researching projects thoroughly isn’t always possible, and that can lead to spontaneous decisions that aren’t always for the best in the long run. Use more time online and at home to gather ideas from free sources, while also boning up on facts and details that will allow you to work with your contractor to make the best choices for your home. 

Take advantage of online tools: Many construction and contractor pros have the capabilities and are more than willing to meet via video conferencing or host online meetings without the need for face-to-face visits. Take advantage of social media resources such as Pinterest, Houzz and Instagram to collect photos or videos of ideas you like that you can share with your contractor or installer virtually. 

 Consider prioritizing exterior projects vs. interior:

Social distancing is much easier when it comes to external improvement projects. While homeowners may want to re-think an extensive kitchen remodel that would require many tradespeople and crews to be in and out of the house right now, most roofing installers and contractors require very limited access to your home, helping minimize any type of direct contact. Same goes for landscaping, new fencing and patios and exterior painting projects. 

Cut to the front of the line:

In recent years, it may have been difficult to get on certain contractors’ schedules, and in some markets, wait times can be exceedingly long. In light of the current situation and with many spring home shows canceled, limited commutes and onsite visits, those in-demand pros who previously didn’t have time to take on new projects may now be available. It’s worth checking back with that contractor or installer you had your heart set on to see if they can take on a project or move you up on their schedule. Also, this is a great time to give independent businesses your support; consider writing a review for a job well-done or offering to displaying a yard sign to show off a completed project, which can make a tremendous difference to contractors and installers as they work through these challenging times to support their businesses. 

Think long term:

Economic uncertainty makes it more important than ever to consider projects that offer stronger long-term value and can even help save money over time. Spending a bit more initially for longer-lasting, more energy efficient materials will pay off year in and year out, no matter what the economic situation. For example, energy efficient roofs that can greatly reduce annual energy costs will help recession-proof your home. Uncertain times also can be a motivator for homeowners to become more self-reliant and invest in improvements like a rooftop solar system with goal of becoming more energy independent—a decision that is best made prior to a roof being replaced in order to choose the right materials and installation methods. 

Look for ways to save:

In addition to choosing more energy-efficient materials, there may be other ways to save on project costs. Long lasting materials that will better protect your home in the event of severe weather or extremely climate conditions that simply don’t need to be replaced as often make sense during times of economic uncertainty or not. 

FROM OUR FRIENDS AT THE Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) 

things to do around the bay

 Stay In, Stay Well, Call A Friend, Dance and Sing REALLY Loud! 


Mentioned Links 

Thank you~ 

A very special thank you to all of our callers! We live to answer your questions, so keep them coming! 

Thank you to our Technical Support: 

  • Danny Bringer – Chief Engineer  
  • Carol “Remodeling Babe” Carey – Executive Producer  
  • Sam Reed – Associate Producer 
  • Rico Figliolini – Digital Master 

 Thank you for tuning in while you’re sheltered in place! And check in next week for more cool tips! 

“Keeping Busy While Sheltered-In-Place!” Show Notes for On The House with the Carey Brothers aired March 28, 2020. 

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