Q&A / 

Tom Grote, who lives in Ivoryton, CT, has an unpleasant experience when he starts a fire in his fireplace. It's not a smoking issue, it's a sewer smell. Read what he sent me: "I live in a two-story colonial with a bathroom and fireplace on the first floor. Every time I have a fire in the […]

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David Roll lives in a very new home inBattle Ground, WA that had a water line MELT and caused a flood. You'll not believe Dave's story. Here it is unedited: "Hi Tim.  I am in a brand new home for 1.25 yrs.  House flooded this past weekend, significant damage. Plumber cut open wall to find issue.  […]

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Rafael, who lives in Fort Myers  FL, is wondering about firewalls. Here's what he sent me. "A house built in 1970 has no fire wall. In what year were firewalls installed in the new homes?" Well, Rafael, I find it hard to believe that a 1970's house has no firewall. I say that because typical construction of both exterior and interior […]

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Gary Ennis Jr. lives in what appears to be suburban Woodhaven, Michigan. But when it rains, he's got water in his garage. Here's his story: "I have a two-car detached garage that has water come in at the floor when it rains. I have installed a drain system around the outside but still have water coming […]

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Belinda Morgan is building a new cabin somewhere near Saginaw, Texas and wants to reuse some glass block she installed a few years ago. Let her give you the details: "I have a glass block shower with 50 glass blocks that are held together with mortar that I built. I want to use again in […]

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Rachael Maloney, who has a nice home in Cedar City, UT, has a perplexing problem with a downspout drain pipe. Let her tell you about it: "We have a downspout  drain pipe that runs across our front sidewalk. The problem I have is that the sidewalk is right up against the foundation of our garage.  The […]

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Gina Zuk, is trying to make her house look better. But she's not getting good advice from her siding contractor. "I have a contractor that says I don't need the house wrap if I am putting on the solid core vinyl siding made by Crane. I think it should have the house wrap as even if […]

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Chad Ewald, who lives in Stillwater, MN - a place mentioned in  Roger Stelljes' Deadly Stillwater book, has paint pigment stains on his brick. Great read by the way! Here's what Chad sent me: "How do I remove paint from brick?  The white medallion elements on my home appear to have bled white paint onto the brick […]

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Quick Column Summary: Tar paper or 6 mil plastic vapor barrier Leave an air gap to avoid mold Video link Charles Gregoire is perplexed up in Ottawa, the capital of Canada. "Confusion on whether to use tar paper or 6 mil plastic. In repairing a 64" section of an existing basement interior wood framed dry […]

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Quick Column Summary: Garage sided with no sheathing material How to stop water from entering No easy fixes Remove siding and add sheathing, tar paper or house wrap Judy Saulle, who lives in a cedar-sided house in Earlysville, VA, has an interesting problem with her house.  "Our garage does not have any sheathing just cedar […]

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