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19
votes
9answers
56k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
568 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
7k 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
1answer
287 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
424 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
3answers
220 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
185 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
3answers
4k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k 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
2answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
411 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
1answer
141 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
2answers
2k 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
429 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
2answers
2k 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
291 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
192 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
2answers
1k 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
3answers
3k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
379 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
1answer
2k views

How do I install electrical through stucco

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
1k 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
264 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
1answer
252 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
1answer
2k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
4k 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
1answer
2k 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
1k 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
911 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
1answer
499 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
3answers
22k 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?
3
votes
2answers
625 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
329 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
493 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
3answers
806 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
3k 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
751 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
178 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
407 views

When waterproofing my basement, should I apply 11 mil plastic in addition to the dimple board?

I'm currently interviewing contractors for exterior basement waterproofing. The difference in price is not significant, but there is one major difference. The contractors will: Trench down below ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

How do I stop water from coming under my multitrack sliding doors?

I live in a desert where seasonal hard rains occur 5-10 times per year. We have an automated door with a multitrack slide that it lets quite a bit of water in when it rains hard. The door is an ...
3
votes
2answers
258 views

Does the type of sheet rock behind a glue up tub surround matter?

Since the drywall, green board, or cement board is covered completely why does it matter. The exposed area would be exposed regardless.
3
votes
2answers
154 views

Should I paint wood in a roof that is not directly exposed to the outside?

I'm currently in the process of replacing the roof of a room. This room was originally a balcony, so has never been part of the main house. The roof that was removed had wood beams with wood ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Should I use solid concrete or cement block for an egress window well?

I am having some contractors build a window well for an egress window at my house. I have the option of doing solid concrete walls for the window well, or cement blocks (which he said he will fill ...
3
votes
1answer
406 views

Does RedGard count as a rubber sealer in a shower?

In standard poured shower pan construction there is normally a rubber layer between the bottom flat layer, and the upper sloped layer. Today I came across the following "updated" method: (credit: ...
3
votes
1answer
467 views

How to seam new stucco to old stucco when patching large areas

Our city inspector wants us to break out the edge of old stucco to expose the wire then tie that back into the new mesh. But when we did that, it became obvious to everyone (inspector included) that ...
3
votes
1answer
458 views

How do I properly install underlayment and a modified bitumen roof on a flat garage roof with concrete walls?

My project is to replace 18'x10' flat roof on my concrete garage. So far I installed 16" oc framing and 3/4" plywood over it. Now I am planning to install some fiberglass based underlayment (#30, ...
3
votes
1answer
388 views

What should I do about my rendering & damp-proof course?

I have a house that was built around 1890 and is of brick construction with a rendered band running around the base which also forms square edged columns around the front door. Until recently the ...
2
votes
2answers
7k views

How to stop a leak of water through a concrete floor

I live in an apartment building. Each house has a bathroom with a concrete floor covered in tiles. In the corner of the floor is a drain with its pipe going all the way through. However, I have ...
2
votes
1answer
435 views

Footing for a porch?

To waterproof the front of our house, we have removed the existing porch and we're debating how to build the new one. The cold room that the old porch was on top of is about 4.5 feet wide, 3.5 feet ...
2
votes
1answer
240 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 ...