April 16, 2014 AsktheBuilder Newsletter & Tips
Spring is here, but you wouldn't know it today if you're here at my house. It was 79 F on Monday and 60 F yesterday during an all-day rain.
Last night a big cold front blew through and by dawn today it was 24 F with a dusting of snow! Brrrrrrrrrrrr. Old Man Winter, you've overstayed your welcome.
Yesterday the entries closed for my Snow Be Gone contest. I taped a video about an hour ago to show you what remains. It's the second video on the page. I'll keep you updated as the snow continues to melt.
I hope you entered this fun game (entries are now CLOSED). More fun games are just around the corner in the newsletter.
If you have questions about your home, go here to start the process to get an answer!
Tip of the Week - Caulk Removal
A very good friend of mine, Mike D., who now hails from Minnesota, asked me about how to remove caulk that was mistakenly installed on top of a few window flashings at his house.
Once he sent me a photograph of the situation, I advised him he could carefully trim out much of the caulk with a sharp razor knife and then follow the directions in my Caulk Removal column to get rid of the rest. You might have a bottle of a secret handy caulk-removal chemical already at your house and not realize it!
I suggested to Mike that he use a Sharpie, or similar, permanent marker to make a line on the tip of his razor blade. The line represents the thickness of the fiber cement siding on his home.
He could measure that easily by holding the razor knife blade under the bottom of a piece of siding where it overlaps another piece. Use the marker to make a line across the blade while holding it under the siding.
I told Mike when he cuts into the caulk, to make sure he always could see the line and maybe a little more of the blade. This way he wouldn't cut the metal flashing behind the siding.
The task is to remove as much of the caulk as possible with the knife, then use the magic household chemical to get rid of the rest of the caulk.
I hope this helps you too!
Treasure Hunt Prize Update
I got way behind in sending out the prizes for the Treasure Hunt. By Friday of this week, they'll all be at the Post Office or at the local UPS center on their way to you if you were a winner!
Thanks for your patience! I'll publish the list of winners and what they got next week.
Upcoming Game - Bosch Power Tools
As you might imagine, quite a few marketing managers from different companies get this newsletter like you do. Bosch Power Tools is one such company.
They saw how successful the Treasure Hunt was six weeks ago, and they decided they want you to see some of their great stuff. You told me you wanted to know about new power tools, and I'm about to deliver.
I don't want to spoil the surprise, but wait until you see the three prize packages Bosch is donating so you play this fun contest. WOW!
This new simple and fun game will start in just 13 days so be SURE to open the newsletter that day!
While you're playing that game, I'll be on the road driving to Lynn's house. She was the Grand Prize winner in the Treasure Hunt!
Replacing an Asphalt Shingle
Do you have one, two or three shingles that need to be replaced? Have you wondered how to do it?
Can you get up on your roof safely? Do you want to save some money?
Klein Tools Factory Tour
Last week I was in Texas, a guest of Klein Tools. I was one of a small handful of media that was invited to tour two of their plants.
It was an eye-opening experience to say the least. I've only worked one day of my life in a factory - a chicken slaughterhouse.
A client of mine owned it and his sons who worked there challenged me to work a day in the plant if they'd work a day being hod carriers while I laid concrete block for their dad's new barn. Suffice it to say, I gained a vast amount of respect for anyone who works in a factory.
You may never be able to see inside a working factory, but Klein permitted me to shoot video so you can see what I saw. I hope this very short video gives you an idea of what it takes to make great tools here in the USA!
Thank you Klein Tools for the invitation and for allowing me to show the world what Made in the USA means.
Keep Your Basement DRY AS A BONE
Just a few minutes ago, from when I typed this, I finished taping a video showing water pouring from one of my Linear French Drains. You simply can't believe how effective these underground systems are at keeping a basement or crawlspace bone dry.
My college degree was in geology and I really loved both geomorphology and the study of groundwater. Both contributed to my success as a builder. My clients all had dry basements because of what I knew about groundwater and soils!
Watch this video (it's the SECOND IMAGE on the page) showing water pouring from the drainpipe. This is water that WOULD have seeped into a basement or crawlspace had it not been intercepted and redirected.
You can have A DRY BASEMENT AND CRAWLSPACE.
CLICK HERE if you want one.
More tips next week.