Q&A / 

August 23, 2011 AsktheBuilder Tips And Newsletter

What's in This Newsletter?

Latest News
Atlas Roofing Giveaway
Patching a Hole in a Concrete Foundation
Preventing Blacktop Defects
Facebook Fun

This is my third day back from vacation. I had a splendid time with my youngest daughter. It's a long story, but it's nearly impossible to do family vacations with everyone, so I end up going with one or two of my kids to different places. Kelly and I went to the Cayman Islands and had a marvelous time. It's been on my bucket list for over 40 years. I never thought I was going to make it to the Caribbean. We got a room upgrade that exceeded my expectations.

I urge you to read about our stay at the Grand Cayman Beach Suites. I hope you had a great vacation this year.

The Atlas Roofing Grime Pays $15,000 Free Roof Giveaway

Atlas Roofing Grime PaysTimes are tough right now and every penny counts. How would you like to win a NEW asphalt shingle roof installation worth $15,000? That's a lot of sweet moola, and right now it could make a difference in your life, that of a neighbor, friend, relative or co-worker.

Entering is easy. You have to take a photo of your dirty roof. I think the concept is cool. It's the Anti-Beauty Contest. You know how regular beauty contests work, right? Usually the most beautiful and talented woman wins. Well, Atlas Roofing is looking for the GRIMIEST, algae-stained roof. It could be yours! You never know. You absolutely want to enter. It's free and you just may win!

Atlas Roofing is sponsoring this very cool contest that runs from August 19, 2011 to October 15, 2011. But this contest is pretty unique. The winner is not who gets the most votes overall, but who gets the most votes on any given day. So it's sort of like voting in a regular election in some parts of the country where one gets to vote early and often! Any roof on a detached single-family home is eligible to enter - regardless of the condition of the roof.

This means you need to ENTER NOW and then start getting the word out to everyone you know using your email list, your Facebook account, your Twitter feed, etc. Your friends can vote each day, so as the contest runs and you gather more to vote for you, your totals for each day should climb. Or, you could be stealthy and assemble all your votes for one day right at the end of the contest and come in from nowhere to WIN the new roof. Tell me that wouldn't be cool. I wish I could enter, but I'm disqualified because I'm not eligible.

If you want to help your friends, relatives and co-workers to enter as well, just FORWARD this email to them. Tell them to read all you're reading here and to click the link below to read all the rules for the contest and to see how easy it is to win this great roof.

Remember, here's what you may win:

Atlas Signature Select Roof System Featuring the new line of Pristine Shingles with Scotchgard Protector and Lifetime Limited Warranty against Algae Streaks and Stains

Okay, get out your camera, be sure you take the best photo when the sun highlights how dirty and grimy your roof is.

Go here to enter the contest:

www.AtlasRoofing.com/Vote (This contest has ended.)

Remember, if you want others to Enter FORWARD this email. Don't copy and paste the link above.

P.S. Atlas Roofing paid a small fee to have me tell you about this great contest. I wish you the best of luck!

Patching a Hole in a Concrete Foundation

Ben from Cedar Rapids, IA wrote to me:

"I have a hole through my concrete foundation below grade and it needs to be filled in so it doesn't leak. The concrete guys left the void in the wrong spot. It should've been about 10 feet further to stay above grade. I have an 8-inch diameter hole that needs to be filled in. Any suggestions?"

Ben, this is pretty easy, but it's going to have to happen in stages. The first thing to do is to clean out the hole and remove all dust. Use water and some rags to do this.

Then I would get some concrete brick and put two in the hole lengthwise laying them with sanded hydraulic cement. Slightly dampen the hole first and spritz the concrete brick with water before laying them. Try to keep the brick recessed in from the face of the foundation about one-quarter inch on both sides.

Hydraulic cement is a special cement that expands as it cures. You MUST use this.

Fill any voids with the hydraulic cement mortar. You may have to chip some brick up to fill any large voids. Be sure to surround all the brick with the hydraulic cement mortar.

The next day, I would then mix up more of the hydraulic cement and use it to plaster over the brick making sure the mixture is flush with the foundation. Be sure to spritz the area slightly with water before applying the cement.

Use a damp sponge to blend the patching material in with the foundation. Tape a sheet of plastic over both sides immediately to help slowly cure the patch. Let the plastic set for at least two days. You want the patch to remain moist for a few days.

Remove the plastic and let the patch dry for a few days. I would then get a piece of Grace Ice and Water Shield roofing underlayment. You want a piece that's 2 feet square. This will go on the exterior of the foundation over the patch. Be sure the concrete is dry and dust free before applying it. Carefully backfill against it so the membrane is not damaged.

Preventing Blacktop Defects

Kelly was part of another saga before we left. She hit a large pothole at the edge of the pavement and blew two tires and bent both rims. I was able to document and prove that our town had neglected the road, so they paid for the lion's share of the repair bill.

I'm telling you about this for two reasons. First, it may save you personal injury and damage to your cars. Second, it can help you make sure you don't have pavement issues with your driveway. You'll see how when you view the photos I took. See below for that link.

Many don't know there are laws in almost every state that make the government responsible for the repairs to cars and people AFTER they've been notified. It's up to us to report defects. That's sad but true. I understand how some potholes appear in bad weather overnight. But some defects are there for months with no repairs happening.

My town didn't have to pay, because there was no official notification given that the road was a danger.

The lesson here is that you need to notify your local town or city if you see a road defect. Don't assume they know about it. Use the Contact Form on their website or call the police department so a recording of your voice is made telling them of the problem.

You can also take photos and load them to the Internet. Then contact the town or city giving them the URL of the photos. Doing this got me a check for $800. That was well worth the 15 minutes it took to upload the photos to Picasa!

Facebook Fun

AsktheBuilder on FacebookIf you're not a fan of AsktheBuilder on Facebook, you're missing out on some fun. At least twice a week, I try to stump you with photos that I upload.

What's more, you may be a fan with a question about your home. I try to answer EVERY question submitted on the fan page. I can't always do that promptly at my AsktheBuilder.com site. That's a benefit of being a FAN!

Become an AsktheBuilder Facebook Fan!


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