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Dishonest Waterproofing Company

I'm selling my house. The buyer had a mold remediation specialist in to check for mold. They are also a waterproofing company. We subsequently got slapped with a report that stated we had an ongoing water problem in basement, and that a full french drain system is needed (we already have a french drain leading to a sump pump - no mold found btw, and the original inspection said the basement was dry). I will be speaking with the waterproofing company soon. What questions can I ask to make sure the company clearly articulates the issue and reason for suggested remediation?

Our Answer

This scenario has conflict of interest written all over it!  First off, you are dealing with one of the most disreputable groups of contractors in the remodeling industry. Waterproofing company contractors ALWAYS recommend expensive solutions to wet basement problems that are almost always easily fixed with simple improvements to grading and gutter drainage.   And they do so by panic peddling an expensive solution, that is almost never needed.  They'll tell you your home will essentially collapse underfoot unless your get out your checkbook -- and fast.   

More recently, this slippery sub-section of the home improvement industry have also declared themselves "mold experts" which is rarely the case.  If pressed, I'd be shocked if they could produce any credible example of a certification, license, or degree that would truly qualify them as mold remediation experts.

In your case, it's even worse since it sounds very much like they are declaring a problem where none may exist. Plus, the solution they suggest is already installed!

My recommendation is to push back - hard - with the buyer. Let them know sending a contractor with a clear conflict-of-interest to proclaim a problem that will enrich their pockets isn't going to fly, especially when the very solution they recommend is already installed and where their own home inspector reported the basement as dry.  Tell them if they want to send in a State licensed structural engineer to do a proper inspection and submit a report signed and sealed by that engineer, you'll consider your options.  But otherwise, I'd refuse to do anything and find another buyer. 

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Best Way to Install a Dryer Vent

Hey guys,   I having a hard time installing the dryer vent tube. The inlet/outlet wont't line up and I end squishing the vent tube up against the wall.  I know this is restricting airflow. There has to be a better way. What products/methods can you recommend? Thanks in advanced. I love the show!

Our Answer

You're right Mike.  Getting the dryer vent connection right is far more important than most people know, and for several reasons. First off, its important for safety.  Dirty dryer ducts are a leading cause of house fires.  Plus, the longer the dryer has to work to vent that moisture, the more energy it burns up in the process, not to mention the increased wear and tear on the clothes as they tumble around a lot longer than they need to.  

It sound's like you've tried the straight forward approach of snaking the vent behind the machine, but the key here is (and as you've observed) to do this without crushing the vent. In fact, you want to do this with as few bends and turns as possible.  Every 90 degree turn, provide the same resistance as 20 additional feet of duct run, so the fewer twists and turns the better.  Here's a couple ideas that might help.

  1. Take a look at the layout of the dryer exhaust inside your house. What happens when that duct gets into the wall?  Can it be changed for easier access?  There are a number of prefabricated ducted dryer exhaust configurations that can help. In some cases, it may be smart to cut open the wall to adjust the position or re-run the duct completely.
  2. Look at the dryer.  Many can be easily modified so that the exhaust ducts out the side, instead of the back. When I remodeled my laundry room a couple years ago, I did just that. Now, instead of the duct taking two turns and then running 20 feet under my son's bedroom, it goes all of 18 inches out the side of the dryer and through the exterior wall. Our clothes have never dried faster!
  3. Once you have the ducting set, be sure to keep it clean. Cleaning a dryer vent is easy if you have a right tool. Now that I have a short exhaust duct run, its not as critical but before that, I used an inexpensive dryer duct cleaning tool called the Gardus Lint Eater. It is a series of flexible piping that link together and has a big brush on the end.  It snakes its way through your dryer venting system and will get rid of all of those dangerous lint bunnies lurking in the dryer vent.  

Lastly, it is also important to replace plastic or vinyl dryer ducts with metal duct material, which is sturdy, making it easier to clean your dryer vents.

Hope this helps!

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EVP, floor, bathroom, laminate

What’s the Best Bathroom Flooring?

What is the best kind of laminate flooring to use in a bathroom?

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Hey Karen, that's a great question. There have been many changes in laminate flooring over the last few years with one being that more and more laminate is now designed for wet locations like bathrooms.  That said, even water-resistant laminate is not capable of taking a prolonged soaking. The good news is that there are several other new and equally affordable options to consider.  

Engineered Vinyl Plank: Waterproof, kid-proof, pet-proof! Engineered vinyl plank (EVP) has a vinyl veneer with a rigid PVC core which makes it even easier to install. Plus the designs it is available in look as much like wood as the real thing.

Click Ceramic Plank: Whether your master bathroom is ready for a remodel or your kitchen needs a makeover, NEW Click Ceramic Plank (CCP) is ideal for any room in your home! These quick-locking ceramic based planks are easy to install – no grout or mortar needed. CCP is great for DIYers and the easy maintenance is a bonus.

These new vinyl and ceramic products look so much like the real thing, I'd skip laminate for a bathroom space and consider them instead.

Tom Kraeutler

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