Q: What are the best practices for a vented crawlspace? I bought a townhome last Nov. that has a vented crawlspace with a sump pump. There is a vapor barrier on the ground. There is a truss floor system that has faced batts that hang below the subfloor (the facing does not touch the subfloor), the rim joist was sealed with spray foam at the top and bottom and filled with … [Read more...] about Vented Vs. Unvented Crawlspaces
Q: We recently purchased a property that has an old detached garage on it. Water is leaking into the garage all around the perimeter at the bottom of the wall (first photo). The garage is slab-on-grade construction with a 12-in.-high concrete stem wall placed on top of the slab. The problem is that the slab extends 6 in. beyond the stem wall, forming a horizontal skirt around … [Read more...] about How To Stop Leak Onto Garage Floor?
Q: Hi. We are having a home built and there is a 4-ft.-high, 8 in. poured concrete wall for a crawl space foundation. When the forms were removed there was a serious crack in the wall (see pic). I'd like to better understand the cause of the cracking and any recommendations for repair before any further work progresses. Thank you , Mike A: Diagonal cracks in a foundation … [Read more...] about How Serious Is Diagonal Crack in Basement Wall?
Q: I have a damp spot in the corner of the bedroom. It is and outside wall corner. It is a bungalow so no bathroom over it. The damp spot seems to dry at times but there are tiny mold spots on it. Could it be that there is not enough circulation in the room? Window becomes full of condensation when blind is down in winter so thought that may be part of problem. Could it be … [Read more...] about Preventing Mold On Bedroom Walls & Ceilings
Q: We are in the process of purchasing a home and during the inspection received a copy of the latest septic system inspection report. The home has passed the Title V inspection because it was previously compliant under older zoning setback laws and clearance from the well to septic. But the report states that “When the current septic system is eventually replaced, it will have … [Read more...] about What Is Minimum Lot Size For Septic System?
Q: A plumber disconnected service from our old well and connected the house to city water. The well was never capped. Could that be the source of our leak under the slab on grade? -- Thomas A: Capping of an old well keeps debris and surface contaminants out of the well in case you want to use it in the future. But a cap would not affect underground leakage. Unless you have … [Read more...] about How To Find An Underground Water Leak
Q: Hi. We received an estimate from a roofing contractor for $10,500. When the job was done, he gave us a bill for over $11,000. He said that the roof took an additional square of shingles and required some repairs to the sheathing. It was our belief that the original “estimate” was the full cost of the job, not just a best guess at the cost. Who is right here? - Alex A: … [Read more...] about When Is An “Estimate” a Binding Contract?
Q: I’m currently dealing with insulating a cathedral ceiling, which has become a major issue. I’ve been researching solutions but feel stuck in figuring out what’s the best way to go about dealing with the problem. I have a shed roof with 2:12 pitch, built with 2x8 roof joists. It’s a mobile home that’s 14x76, so the roof is just one continuous slope. I live in northern … [Read more...] about How to Prevent Condensation in Cathedral Ceiling?