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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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We need our home insulated and sided. We trust your referral – can you help?

Delmar,

Thank you for listening to the Guys – we appreciate you!

Properly installed quality insulation is still one of the best true investments you can make in your home.

You can trust Ace and Sons Insulation – 888-500-4223 – to use a good product and perform a quality install that does not deface your home as some amateurs might.

For the siding, call Pro-Home Improvement at 888-pro-1998. They have ..read more

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Can you tell us about ductless mini-split heat pumps?

Candace,

Thank you for listening – we appreciate you!

If you have heard Pat Kelley from Kelley Brothers on our show, you have heard about the new heating and cooling technologies. Heat pumps function much as your refrigerator – using a refrigerant and a condenser to move heat from one place to another. In your home they can heat in the winter and cool in the summer using this technology.

Mini-splits references smaller units – ..read more

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Who in my area can advise me on plant selection for a landscape project?

Jan,

Thank you for listening – we appreciate you!

If you have someone to do the work, but have not yet purchased plants, contact a reputable nursery in your area. They know their plants better than anyone.

If you take your design in to them with details of how the house and yard is oriented and what your goals and objectives are with the finished project, they will offer valuable ..read more

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