Show Notes: Drainage, Garage Doors and More – On the House

Show Notes: Drainage, Garage Doors and More

By on March 14, 2015
creative drainage solutions

The great spring thaw is coming! Will the drainage in your yard stand up to the test? Today’s show is all about improving drainage to avoid costly repairs to your home. And, if the winter has taken it’s toll on an already shabby garage door, we have some tips on what to look for when selecting a new door, trends and the value it will add to your home and wallet.


Thank you to our guest Dave Smith with Roxul for sharing sound insulation information. To learn more visit:


A Spring Cleaning Question – What Are Dust Bunnies?

 There’s actually an answer for that, according to Robin Wilson, an eco-friendly interior designer and author of the forthcoming book, Clean Design (Greenleaf, 2015). Here’s what we learned when asked her to tell us what’s the deal with dust bunnies.

Dust bunnies are made up of many things, Including dead skin, hair, particles of fiber, paper and feathers, and lint from textiles.

Dust bunnies are held together with static electricity. And in homes with many pets or lots of people with shedding hair, they can get large as they collect under furniture such as beds and sofas.

 They can be harmful to those with allergy or respiratory issues.

According the Wilson, the danger lies in dust bunnies’ ability to harbor dust mites, which can trigger an asthmatic or allergic reaction. 

To ward off these potential allergy triggers, Wilson recommends moving your furniture once or twice a year as though you are moving out and cleaning underneath to ensure that the surfaces do not build up debris. As an extra measure of cleanliness, use a HEPA filtered vacuum so the dust does not blow back into the room, she says.


Do You Have A Drainage Problem?

Got puddles? Seeing water where it shouldn’t be? Is your yard looking like a swamp? You may have drainage problems! If you spot potential trouble, it is simpler and less costly to repair. If you ignore the problem, it will not go away, and it will get worse and more costly to repair.

Do you have puddles that last more than a day? If puddles in your yard last longer than a few hours, it could be signs of a bigger problem. Puddles are the normal byproduct of heavy rain. But puddles usually dry up or drain in a few hours, if they stay wet look for the problem.

Poor watershed and drainage will cause soil to swell. The wet earth can force the foundation to heave causing cracks in the walls over windows and doors. This same house movement can cause doors to stick and jamb. Besides causing the house to shift, water ponding in the crawl space or basement can cause framing members to rot. And water soaked siding will soon need a new coat of paint.

Do you have water or water stains in your basement? It may be that your property slopes in the wrong direction, which means the water seeps into your basement. Make sure that soil/concrete surrounding the home is sloped away from the foundation to further minimize water damage.

If you’re noticing mud or mulch flowing onto your driveways and walkways during a rainstorm the water is flowing in the wrong direction and needs to be properly drained or retained.

To minimize premature repairs and painting begin by “water-proofing” your home. Install rain gutters and downspouts. But don’t stop there. Make sure that downspouts discharge into drainage pipes that carry water away from the house.


Family Handyman: How to Achieve Better Yard Drainage

 Drain water away from your home and dry out your soggy yard with this in-ground system.

 Stop dealing with water problems in your home and yard by installing this in-ground drainage system. This is a permanent, long-term solution to your wet yard. These step-by-step instructions and how-to photos walk you through the DIY installation. This project requires a lot of digging, but you won’t have to deal with drainage issues ever again.

Read more:


Very Cool Tool Review

 Rockwell Drills Compact & Powerful

On the morning of a recent radio broadcast, within the hallowed walls of the On The House studio and work shop, laying atop the microphone adorned On The House work bench, laid two gold boxes each decorated with pictures of two handsomely designed, little green tools.

Like kids on Christmas morning, we ripped through the cellophane wrappers and flipped open our boxes to reveal some pretty cool tools. There was a Rockwell 20V MaxLithium Brushless Drill & Driver and a Rockwell 20V MaxLithium Brushless Impact Driver. There were also two 20v lithium batteries, a charger and a canvas-carrying bag. The instructions in the box mentioned a lifetime battery replacement guarantee if we simply registered the tools.

The race was on. Which of us could unwrap his kit the fastest? Moments later we were bragging to each other about the comfort of the grip, the quiet motor, the balance of the tool and the power of our new found workhorses.

As you might guess, we love good tools and couldn’t stop talking about them during the program. That was then and this is now. We have since put the drills through their paces in the field, and we have given them our A+ seal of approval. Here’s why: First, the motors are brushless – more power and longer battery life. The driver drill has a half-inch chuck – big enough for all of your bits. Both tools are compact and the batteries are among the smallest in the industry – this means easy storage. The light on the drill cannot be accidentally left on in the toolbox as long as the trigger is locked. There are tools that sport a secondary light trigger and the only way to prevent the light from coming on in the toolbox is to remove the battery. Rockwell’s drills are small, compact tools with small, compact batteries and anything but small power.

Like kids in a candy store, we love it when a company sends us a tool to test that turns out to be a “top end” product. The brushless drill driver sells for $179.99 and the brushless impact driver sells for $199.99. You simply won’t believe the balance, the feel, and the wrist twisting power.


What Haven’t You Cleaned In The Bathroom?

Cleaning the bath exhaust fan is something most of us don’t even think about. Removing built up dust and dirt from the exhaust fan will allow the unit to work more efficiently by improving the air flow through the bathroom, while eliminating moisture and odors. You bathroom may even smell better!

Turn off all power to the bathroom at your electrical panel.

Remove the exhaust fan cover and light bulb if it has one.

Wash the vent cover with dish soap and water, dry and set aside to re-install.

Vacuum the exhaust fan housing and blades. This may be a little tricky, so get help.

Use a mild kitchen cleaner in a spray bottle. Do not spray cleaner directly into the fan, spray the cleaner onto a cloth and wipe the blades to remove and dust, dirt and debris from the fan blades. Clean both sides of the fan blades.

If your fan has a light, this is a good time to change the bulb.

Replace the clean vent cover and don’t forget to turn the power back on to the bathroom.


Rats in the attic tip: Mix un-cooked oatmeal with plaster of paris and some grated cheese. Place a pan of this mixture in the attic, set a bowl of water near buy. The rat will eat the oatmeal mixture, drink the water, the plaster will set…. rat is a goner.


Website Mentions:

 Bar Keepers Friend:

Rat Zapper:

Wax Remover: Dutch Glow Amish Wood Milk:

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