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Our basement flooded.

Do we have to remove all finished flooring? What about our furnace and appliances?

Maryann,

Thanks for being part of the show – we appreciate you.

A flooded basement is a BIG issue to homeowners and one no one wants to see repeated!

Must you remove all finished flooring? Not necessarily.

It depends on what you have down and whether it is stable and resistant to shrinking and supporting mold growth.

Most “Dry-out” companies will always remove “soft” floors such as carpeting and leave “hard” floors ..read more

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Is it better to seal your crawl space or not?

Michael,

Thanks for listening to the show – we appreciate you.

It is always better to “encapsulate” the crawl – which includes sealing – but keep in mind everything works as part of the system and it has to be done correctly.

The best way to deal with an existing crawl is to treat it like a short basement.

It sould have a sump and drain sub-surface water.

The “floor” should be sealed against moisture intrusion through the soil.

The exterior walls should be thermally insulated ..read more

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Tami,

 

Thanks for listening to the show – we appreciate you.

 

The poly-form steel product is an “ICF” product – Insulated Concrete Form that uses a type of foam block to create the shape of the wall while being filled with reinforced concrete.

Where the block is exposed at finished grade it should be protected – by a synthetic stucco or aluminum or treated wood.

The exterior of the wall should also be draped with a minimum 6ml reinforced vapor barrier to minimize the ..read more

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How deep should I bury a sump line?

John,

Thanks for listening and for the great comments – we appreciate both.

The deeper the better from a frost perspective.

A sump line is carrying water only – rather than solids as a sewer line might, so degree of slope is not as critical an issue.

The trick is to make certain the pipe falls at a consistent and steady rate so no water remains in the line to possibly freeze.

We like the idea of solid plastic buried in sand – it is ..read more

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Sewer Backup

Thanks you for your inquiry – we appreciate what you are going through.

A basement sewer back up is a nasty issue to deal with.

It sounds as though you have a pretty good handle on getting this cleaned properly with the professionals already hired.

Getting the carpets and floors cleaned properly is a good strategy.

As to clothing items and shoes on which you see no evidence but feel there may be contaminents, we have found a good dry cleaner can generally resolve ..read more

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What do we have to do prep a concrete floor before painting?

Bob and LeeAnn,

Thanks for being part of the show – we appreciate you!

Reading and following manufacturer’s directions really is the way to go today for most product.

Outside we would want to pressure wash at a minimum. In the basement, a good scrubbing with a TSP and a THOROUGH rinse might suffice if the concrete is not “hard troweled” or sealed – much like a garage floor would be. In ..read more

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Quality Water Heater

Can you suggest a good quality water heater?

Stephanie,

Thank you for your kind words and congratulations on the money saving repair!

What is the “best” water heater? There are many good units available and most can be had from a good plumbing company. You want a unit that is insulated and has a quick enough recovery to handle your use demands.

Also keep in that water quality has a major impact on the life of water heaters.

This is not a typical DIY project ..read more

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You mentioned a particular CO detector – what was it?

Michael,

Thanks for listening – we appreciate you!

We discussed having a detector with a loud alarm for the colorless, odorless and tasteless by-product of combustion from our furnaces – carbon monoxide.

The one I have in my home is made by Kidde. They make a lot of home security/safety products. The price point for mine is around $30. It runs off household current with a battery back-up. It is generally available at big ..read more

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Basement Window Wells

Wouldn’t outside basement window wells be a catch for water and cause leaks? 

Dianne,

Good to hear from you.

Basement window wells or area-ways have been a part of both residential and commercial construction for over a century. When people realized the value of the subterranean square footage and the need to provide natural light and ventilation, area-ways were created.

Will water naturally pool there and cause problems?

As long as A) the grade around the windows slopes away from them and does not invite ..read more

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Sprinkler Maintenance

Who do the Inside Outside Guys suggest for sprinkler maintenance and service?

Michael,

Thanks for listening – we appreciate you!!

Sprinkler systems are finicky and have been developed and sold by a lot of different firms. Many have been DIY projects that beg for problems.

We have a found a local landscape firm is typically your best bet for affordable servicing and repair. The same firm should ‘winterize” the system in the fall and “open” the system in the spring.

The Monroe County Home Builders ..read more

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