Thursday, 29 May 2014

Sump Pump Installation Guide

Do you consistently have water in your basement? Are you constantly finding leaks? If so then you may want to consider installing a sump pump, which can be the best defense against water in your basement. Read this article to learn how to properly install a sump pump in your basement.

Preparing For Your Sump Pump

Before you install a sump pump you should find out if it’s possible on your home’s land. The majority of homes are built on a bed of gravel. However, many still aren’t so you should find out before you start digging the sump pit. Get in touch with then the contractor who built your home, or speak to your neighbors who live in similar homes to find out. Once you find out whether or not you can dig a sump pit you need to find a location to dig. It needs to be positioned 8” away from the wall in a location that will allow you to punch a hole through the rim joist. Make sure you’re also clear of the sewer line.

Removing the Concrete

The next step is to break through the concrete. The most efficient way to do this is to an electric jackhammer. Cut pieces that are 8-12” wide, then use jackhammer at an angle to pry them up and remove them in a bucket. Try not to shred the concrete. Doing this will create a much bigger clean-up for you.


When you get rid of the concrete it’s time to dig the sump pit. You need to dig it 12 inches deeper than the sump liner, then line the bottom with coarse gravel to improve drainage. Now you can put the liner into the hole and fill in the area around the liner with more gravel. Once this is done put a 6-inch layer of concrete over the gravel. Smooth out the top so it’s even with the floor and the liner before moving.


Thread a PVC male adapter into the port, then secure it with pliers until it’s tight. Glue a schedule-40 PVC riser to the adapter using PVC cement. Make a hole in the rim joist to make a path for you to feed PVC pipe through. The last step is to assemble the PVC piping so it leads to the hole you’ve created and then outside. Once your pipe is outside you can glue a 90-degree elbow to the end so points downward. Secure a hose to the end to deposit the water away from your house.

Click here for more information on sump pump installation.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

How to Paint the Exterior of Your House

Painting the exterior of your house may sound like a big job, but it can go surprisingly fast, especially if you’re using a sprayer. So, if your house needs a new paint job consider doing it yourself.
Each house is unique and there are a number of different types of surfaces you might be dealing with. Here are some things to consider for each surface.

New Wood Siding: If you’re dealing with new wood siding you’re going to want to coat it as soon as possible. You’ll need a coat of primer, plus 2-3 coats of paint or stain. If you have bare redwood and cedar consider applying an alkyd primer-sealer before apply a latex topcoat.

Rough Lumber: If you have rough lumber you’ll want to use an airless sprayer. Just be sure to brush the finish after you apply it. Also, remember to backbrush. This gets paint into areas that a sprayer or roller can’t.

New Smooth Wood: This surface generally doesn’t accept stain well. If you’re dealing with smooth wood sand off the mill glaze with 100-grit paper before staining or painting. If you don’t feel like sanding just let the siding weather for six months to a year.

Hardwood Siding:  For previously painted hardwood siding, start by cleaning and repairing the siding. Then use an alkyd primer to prime any areas where you removed the existing finish. After that, start painting!

Aluminum Siding: This surface is a lot less maintenance than wood, but the finish will eventually fade. If you’re not changing the colour you can try cleaning the siding with a wood cleaning product. You can also use a paint conditioning product. This will usually bring the paint back to its previous glory without having to repaint. If it doesn’t work the paint conditioning product will provide a great base for a new paint job.

For more tips on painting your house, click here.

Monday, 16 September 2013

How to Fix Water Heater Leaking

water heater leaking
A leaking water heater may not seem like something to be concerned about initially, but if not taken care of quickly it can transform into a much more serious problem. Even a small pool of water can create mold. If left long enough this water can also cause damage to your walls and floors. So, if your dealing with water heater leaking it's important to fix it quickly.

Before doing anything though you need to take some safety precautions.

The first step is to shut the power off to your water heater. Electric water heaters need to be shut off at the circuit breaker. Gas water heaters have an on/off dial that needs to be turned to "off".

If the water heater leak is serious, then you’ll need to shut off the cold water supply right away. However, you'll need to be careful not to come in contact with any water coming from your hot water tank. The water leaking from your water heater may be extremely hot and can cause serious injuries. The valve for the cold water supply is usually located above the water heater. If you are unable to get to it safely then you will need to find the main water shut-off valve for your house.

Now, if the leak isn’t serious then instead of turning off the water supply right away it might be a good idea to look for the source of the leak.

There are a few spots you should investigate when you’re dealing with water heater leaking:

- The inlet and outlet pipes leading from the water heater

- The temperature and pressure relief valve
- The drain valve
The bottom of the tank

When you find the source of the leak turn off the cold water supply if you haven’t already done so.

If you're water heater is leaking then it's likely you're water heater needs to be replaced, although there's a chance it can be repaired. Once these initial steps have been taken you should call a professional plumber to deal with the problem.

So, the next time you encounter water heater leaking you'll know what to do!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

How to Fix a Leaky Roof

A leaking roof may seem like a serious problem, but it can actually be an easy fix. So, don’t be so quick to call a roofer. Put on your DIY hat and let’s get to work solving that leaky roof. Take a look at your roof (binoculars will help) and looks for any water stains. Also try to find any curled, cracked or missing shingles. If you find any of this then this is likely where the leak is.

Curled-back shingles can be fixed by applying a coat of asphalt roofing cement on the bottom side of the shingle.  Use a generous amount of cement to be sure that the edges and corners are secured.  Press down firmly to put it back in place.

Cracked, missing or rotten shingles may also be another easy fix (if you have the replacement shingles available). Lift the edges of the surrounding shingles and remove the nails with a pry bar to remove the damaged shingle. Once the nails are removed, the shingle should slide out easily.  Scrape away any leftover cement from the roof and level or remove protruding nails.

Before putting a new shingles in place, round the back corners with a knife to make it easier to slide underneath other shingles. Once you have it in position, lift the corners of the overlapping shingles and fasten the top of the new replacement with roofing nails.  Make sure to secure it with nails in each corner.  Lastly, cover the heads of the nails with roof cement and smooth down the overlapping shingle edges.

One or two shingles is a relatively easy fix. However, if you find that you are have to replace a whole row of shingles it may be time to call a professional roofer.

Hopefully this helps you in your DIY efforts!

Sunday, 8 September 2013


Hi there! Ever wanted to learn more about how to take care of your home? Well, that's what this blog is for. I will be posting articles here that will help you find out about how to make some simple repairs and improvements to your house. Remember, the more work you can do yourself the more money you'll save.

Hopefully this blog will be a helpful resource for you.