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20
votes
9answers
130k views

I have a basement floor with lots of moisture, can I paint or seal it to make it waterproof?

My basement has a slight dampness issue, where if I leave things on the floor they will get wet. There are no leaks and no standing water, the moisture seems to be wicking up through the concrete. I ...
16
votes
2answers
966 views

Is it better to waterproof a basement from the outside or the inside?

Is it better to waterproof a basement from the outside or the inside? I've heard different things about this. We have a home built in the 40's on a cinder-block foundation. One side of the house is ...
9
votes
4answers
45k views

Can I create a water proof barrier to keep my garage & home from flooding?

Every couple of years, the area where I live gets a huge storm. The result being that the flood of water that collects in the streets overpowers my driveway and runs down to my garage. I put in a ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I correctly install ceramic floor tile?

How do I correctly install ceramic floor tile? There's lots of talk about using backerboard and waterproofing membranes, what an acceptable floor deflection is, different grout and thinset additives, ...
7
votes
4answers
12k views

Can I erect a barrier to keep water out of my garage?

Within the last year, I have purchased an 80+ year-old house. The house has a sealed blacktop driveway that runs parallel to the house. The house has an integrated garage with swing-open (horizontally ...
7
votes
4answers
705 views

How best can I seal up an old coal door?

Alongside my house is an old coal door that was never properly sealed. Some caulk was added around the metal exterior door, and a piece of plywood nailed over the interior opening (more to keep out ...
7
votes
1answer
468 views

Cladding removed from sides of dormer, should it be covered if not being replaced for a week?

I'm having all of the soffits, fascias & guttering replaced along with cladding to the sides of upstairs dormer windows. The upstairs windows look like this picture: The guy doing the work ...
7
votes
2answers
759 views

What are these vents in the foundation mortar for?

Throughout the interior side of my 1925 brick foundation are little metal vents embedded in the mortar at irregular intervals. Neither our home inspector nor our real estate agent knew exactly what ...
7
votes
1answer
243 views

Is it normal for the concrete covering my interior perimeter drain to be damp?

I inherited an interior perimeter drain with a sump-pump as part of a basement waterproofing system when I purchased my new home two years ago. Since then I have noticed that along the seam of the ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

Buying a House On Underground Spring. What to do?

My fiancé and I are under contract on a new home which we are concerned it might be built on an underground spring. There are two sump pumps in the house, on opposite corners of the house. Both times ...
6
votes
2answers
10k views

How do I seal a large gap between slabs to avoid freeze/thaw heaving?

I have a very large slab patio on the back of my home in Southern MN that has pulled away from the house about 6-8" due to freeze/thaw heaving. The previous owners have filled the gap with river rocks,...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

What to do if my sump is bone-dry?

My wife has been suffering the past two years with severe asthma symptoms (never had asthma before this). She's been advised that it's probably mold. We asked a company to look for moisture ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

How can I remove wax from a wooden counter so I can resurface it with Danish oil?

A wooden (beech) kitchen counter has been treated with cheap wax in the past, and is now discolouring because of food preparation and constant splashing. I've decided to make a better job using Danish ...
6
votes
1answer
172 views

What do I need to know before selecting and installing a cat/pet door in a door?

We want to (finally) install a pet door for our cat. It will most likely be a model that will install in the laundry room door, the optimal location for it in our house. This brings me to my first ...
5
votes
3answers
8k views

How can I fuse galvanized sheet metal together so that it is water tight?

Is it possible to fuse sheets of the galvanized sheet metal that they sell at the hardware store for roofing together so that it is water tight? I was thinking that this may be able to be ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

How do I install electrical through existing stucco (e.g. “old work”)

Is there such a thing as an "old work" stucco junction box? Rather than cutting and flashing a 4" hole for a new junction box, can I cut a 1/2 hole for the non-metallic cable, and attach some sort of ...
5
votes
3answers
43k views

When should a waterproof membrane be installed for shower tiling?

For what kinds of wall structure - tile type combinations a waterproof membrane should be used between walls and tiles?
5
votes
2answers
5k views

What should I use as backing for mosaic accent tiles that are a different thickness than the main field tiles?

I noticed, too late (during install), that the mosaic tile my wife chose for accent in our shower is a different depth than the regular tile we're using. The mosaic tiles are about 1/8-3/16" thinner ...
5
votes
3answers
745 views

Should I install external basement insulation that does not extend above ground?

Question : Is there a way to calculate energy savings for external, 2inch insulation on basement walls that does not extend above the soil surface, leaving the top couple feet of foundation wall ...
5
votes
1answer
7k views

How do I seal a leaky roof and repair the minor ceiling damage it caused?

We recently had some very heavy rains and during the worst of it we had some leaks. When I noticed the problem, I went into my attic and found out that the leak was coming from around a vent in the ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

What type of subflooring should I use for a basement?

My basement has wall-to-wall carpet in the two bedrooms and living area. The carpet was probably from the 70's when the house was built and we decided to remove it. After removing the carpet from ...
5
votes
1answer
569 views

How do I prepare my new bathtub alcove?

I will be expanding my bathroom and moving the bathtub, meaning I need to prepare a new bathtub alcove. I know how to frame and plumb - but preparing for tile is new to me. I know that there are ...
5
votes
1answer
251 views

Should I use water-resistant lumber for siding?

Our house has a frame exterior, and rests on a pier-and-beam foundation with a brick chainwall around the sides. We recently had the house leveled, and that resulted in a gap of several inches ...
5
votes
3answers
244 views

How can I stop my windows from leaking when mild winter weather occurs?

We have an 11 year old bungalow and this problem only occurs on the middle section of a bay window. We think that frost happens inside the insulation somewhere and when the temperature outside is mild ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I waterproof my mail box (post catcher)?

We have a basket to catch mail which comes through an outdoor security door, like this: There is an area behind the door which is open to the elements so the mail often gets wet. Does anyone know ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

Is mortar waterproof?

I was advised by a professional that mortar is waterproof, however sources online are telling me that it's not. So is mortar waterproof or not? Does waterproofness vary by mortar classification (e.g. ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I add a piece of timber to my metal shed wall without creating a leak?

I have a garden shed with steel (powder coated) walls. I'd like to attach a piece of timber to the inside of the wall. I'll use the timber to attach hooks for hanging tools. I don't want the holes I ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

can i paint my bathtub wall?

One of our bath walls is green Sheetrock with a white semi gloss paint finish. As you can see on the pictures attached, the paint has started to bubble and strip. What can we do now? shall/can ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

How high must a shower pan curb be?

Releated to: Building on top of 3/4'' plywood subfloor (link for impatient: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/12/21/how-to-make-a-relatively-sweet-shower-cheap/) I would like to know how ...
4
votes
2answers
644 views

How can I join vinyl decking to metal door frame?

Shoddy workmanship by a lousy contractor has left me with a vinyl deck that allows water to leak into the garage below. I identified the location of the leak - where the vinyl meets the metal frame ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Does a device exist that can help find the source of a leak in a flat roof?

My Dad has a flat roof over his garage. It's covered with tar and felt. We had an unusually hard and cold winter last year (Republic of Ireland) and since then the roof has developed a leak. We've ...
4
votes
2answers
113 views

How can/should I repair this roof damage caused by a fallen tree limb?

A recent rainstorm caused a heavy cypress tree branch to fall on my outdoor office/shed. Thankfully, the interior and underlying structure appears to have not sustained any damage however the asphalt ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How to fix drainage from gutters?

I have two drains on the side of my house that have been filled in and no longer properly drain. I know they dont go anywhere because I just finished trying to unclog them with a rented drainage snake ...
4
votes
2answers
20k views

Should light bulbs above showers be “steam proof”?

In replacing the lighting in my apartment with LED bulbs, I noticed that the recessed can lighting above the shower (to be fair, the light is centered on the shower curtain) does not appear to be ...
4
votes
2answers
220 views

Basement shower tiled floor not sealed by builder what now

So I have recently had a tenant move out and have found water damage around the basement shower floor. Looks like black mold so I started ripping it out. Now I am at the point where I have found ...
4
votes
1answer
9k views

Attaching a pergola (or deck) to vinyl siding

Building a structure which is attached to a house usually involves a plate which is bolted to the existing building, typically a 2x8, or 2x10. I understand how to structurally attach this, my concern ...
4
votes
2answers
265 views

What's the proper way to address a moisture issue in a concrete slab?

About 4 years ago my wife & I purchased a home. It was approximately 10 years old at that time. The foundation is a concrete slab. Approximately 2-3 years before we purchased the house, the ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Does a deck band board go over or replace wall sheathing?

I can't find an existing question that completely addresses my question, so here goes. My outside deck was recently rebuilt by contractors selected by my HOA. The deck is effectively on the second ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

What material should be used behind a sink and range in the kitchen?

I am getting ready to demo my kitchen to the studs in a couple weeks. I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions for alternate materials to use other than "green" board (moisture resistant drywall) ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How to leak proof roof?

I'm working on converting an external garage into an office. I've removed the original flat roof and replaced with a pitched roof. I designed and built the roof trusses myself. I then put ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Is it a good idea to have an Infrared scan and/or air quality test done during a home inspection?

I'm looking to purchase a home that is only 10 years old, but has a finished basement. There's various home inspection "packages" that are offered with the companies I've looked into. The mid-line ...
3
votes
2answers
941 views

Which flat roofing system requires the least maintenance?

I am a board member of my townhouse homeowners association and our townhomes are unfortunately very tall (need a lift or 60 ft ladder to access the roofs) and also the builder made the roof one single ...
3
votes
2answers
45 views

Improvising a temporary skylight?

I have a skylight that is essentially a flashed plywood curb with a late 50's era glass paver that "cups" over top. No tar or caulk, just gravity holding it there. Now, because I'm an idiot, I decided ...
3
votes
4answers
17k views

What is the method to seal a concrete roof?

We are staying in a home which has a concrete roof. Now we are facing leakage in the roof during rainy seasons. What do we have to do? How do we protect the roof from leaks?
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I fix/polish a slate tile imperfection after it has been laid down and grouted?

Our contractor laid down a tile on our renovated bathroom and somehow did not realized that it was defective (see picture). The defect is some sort of metal mineral (kind of rough) the kind that ...
3
votes
1answer
382 views

Are alternative roofing types, such as rubber roll, usable for a typical residential sloped roof?

I'm wondering specifically, if rubber-roll roofing, such as this can be used on a sloped roof. Or maybe if there is something akin to the stretch-and-seal tape but in large sheets that would be ...
3
votes
1answer
323 views

How can I protect a house foundation from weather conditions?

I started building a house and had to divert my money into another situation which was urgent. It might take some time to retrieve the money so the building is on hold. Only the house foundation is ...
3
votes
3answers
121 views

Cabling for outdoor wireless access point

I'm investigating different options for mounting a wireless access point outdoors to cover my back yard better. One of the options I'm considering is running a cable through the wall and along the ...
3
votes
3answers
299 views

Should I be worried about tears in my foundation wrap?

I recently moved into a newly built house in an area still in construction. My house was completed before my immediate neighbours. While they were excavating, they took large chunks of our foundation ...
3
votes
1answer
8k views

How to stop concrete slab floor from absorbing water

This weekend my wife decided to clean up my office. When she pulled the old filing cabinet away from the way, she noticed the baseboards and carpet carpet were showing signs of water damage. It's a ...