Use a kiln-glazed brick for that wet look
Dear Glenn: Is there anything we can use on our brick pavers to give them a "wet" look? We have tried the Defy system, but every spring it's the same old chalky look.
Crystal, Grand Rapids
Dear Crystal: That's right. The wet look is a temporary sealer. To really have the wet look, you would need a kiln-glazed brick that self-destructs during our winter freeze-and-thaw cycles.
Get a Hydro-jetting quote to eliminate root blockages in your drain
Dear Glenn: I've contacted Mr. Rooter for a clogged drain and we discussed roots being the problem. Removing the cleanout trap cover in the yard found the pipe full and draining very slowly. This has become gradually worse during the past few months. It was explained that the problem was between the cleanout and the street about 50 feet away. I have a good size maple there and had one removed last summer. A hydro-jetter procedure and root-killer treatment was suggested for $1,018 total.
Jerry, St. Clair Shores
Dear Jerry: Hydro-jetting usually is the way to go. Get two quotes. Start with Rooter MD (800-ROOTER-MD, www.root ermd.com).
H R Window Repair can fix your internal window condensation
Dear Glenn: I have a garden window that's about 25 years old and there is condensation inside the large insulated glass panel. I cannot find a company to replace the panel. Can you help?
Dear Jack: Sure! H & R Window Repair (248-544-8282, www.hrwindowrepair.com) in Hazel Park has been repairing windows since 1954.
Use Polyseamseal Tub and Tile caulk to avoid mildew in the shower
Dear Glenn: Can you recommend a mold-proof caulk for my stand-up shower? I have tried a variety of mold-resistant caulks, but the mold keeps coming back. I understand mold-resistant is not as good as mold-proof since the resistant caulk has chemicals that only last temporarily
Mike, Garden City
Dear Mike: Polyseamseal Tub & Tile caulk guarantees to be mildew-proof. Wash the area regularly with Concrobium Mold Control (866-811-4148, www.concrobium.com)
Contact Masonry contractors for those tough cement porches and basement waterproofing
Dear Glenn: I have a ranch home built in 1976 from reclaimed brick. I have tuckpointed the porch slab twice in the six years we've owned the house. The last time was two years ago. The gap between the slab and top row of bricks has grown, ranging from 2 millimeters to almost 5 millimeters in some places. The slab cracked along an expansion joint for the first time. What companies do this work? What are the typical options (e.g., mudjacking, digging-out the porch and re-doing it)? The house is in a wet area with the foundation having been resealed and a basement waterproofing system (EverDry) installed. Also, should I be concerned about mudjacking materials getting in the internal drain tiles?
Dear Rob: Contact masonry contractors who do a lot of porches, SAS Basement Waterproofing (800-894-5115, www.sasbasementwaterproofing.com) and KC Masonry (877-MASONRY, www.kcmason ry.com). No need to worry about mudjacking material getting into the internal drain.
Inspection will help determine if basement's cinder block wall is stable
Dear Glenn: We are hoping you can give us your opinion on a cinder block basement wall (the house was built circa 1953). In 1997, and before my son purchased this house, the basement was waterproofed by the previous owner. My understanding is the wall was dug out, new drain tile was laid, then waterproofed, etc. In the past year or so, one of the horizontal mortar joints separated, and the wall has a slight buckle at the separation. Note: there is no leaking when it rains or after winter thaw. Last year, we brought in several yards of fill to help support the foundation. Ironically enough, in the fall of 2007, the wall seam closed. We thought the problem was resolved, but this winter it separated again. My son also had a very large maple tree removed from the backyard that was very close to that side of the basement. Our question is this: Do you think this needs attention, being there is no water leaking from it, or could this situation become worse and compromise the integrity of the wall? If so (I'm assuming your answer will be yes), can you recommend a reputable waterproofing company to come out and assess the problem?
Dear Dennis: Have the wall inspected by a foundation repair companies such as Foundations Systems of Michigan (877-379-6424, www.drymich.com) or Elliott Leveling/A-1 Concrete (800-538-3514, www.elliottlevel ing.com).
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