Show Notes: FALL IS OFFICIALLY HERE! – On the House


By on September 22, 2018

Show Notes for On The House with the Carey Brothers recorded on September 22, 2018


We have some tips and tricks for dealing with the coming wet weather – including chimney leaks, termites, and general house repair! Plus a Your Dream Bathroom episode!

Did you miss the live episode? Don’t worry, you can still check it out here!

 Just in time for winter weather:

DIY Tips: How To Find & Repair Chimney Leaks

chimney repairs

What Causes Chimney Leaks?

Chimneys are a small, but very important part of the home. If you have a leak, you might notice water coming in through a wall or into a fireplace. Both are places you would not expect water to be. A damaged chimney can cause expensive repairs if not caught quickly enough. Generally, there are three areas that could be the source of the chimney leak and they are:

Cracked or loose mortar, crack in the chimney flashing, or damaged roof shingles

The first step in your repair is identifying where the leak is coming from, then you’ll be able to make the appropriate fix. If you find the problem is with the brick or mortar, the average cost for masonry repairs is $1,192. However, if it’s an issue with the flashing or shingles, you’ll want to budget $654 for roof repair costs.

1. Chimney Mud Cap

The mud cap, or the mortared area around the top of the chimney, is often a culprit. Cracked or loose mortar can allow rainwater to get into the fireplace. Symptoms are usually water in the hearth, but impediments may cause rainwater to change course and appear elsewhere in the home.

Repair Method

Replace the mortar cap and insert a flu cap. Or cover the entire chimney top with a full-sized metal chimney cap, not just a flu cap.

2. Chimney Mortar Joints

Mortar joints can deteriorate, leaving holes that admit water. In some cases, large sections of mortar in the joints may actually be missing, allowing water to enter during blowing rains. The water may enter a hole in the mortar joint, move to a hole in the bricks, then follow a zigzag course for a few inches or several feet. I have seen water enter through mortar joints, travel inside the brick holes to a point past the flashing, and then be directed onto a ceiling or continue all the way to the slab.

Repair Method

Repoint mortar joints with new mortar.

3. Chimney Flashing

Leaks around flashing can be particularly difficult to find since just one tiny hole in a corner during a hard rain can leak a sizable amount of water.

Repair Method

Don’t attempt to surface seal the metal. Have an expert sheet metal contractor or roofing contractor with specific credentials in sheet metal work redo the flashing properly. Many residential roofers lack the sheet metal expertise to handle reflashing a chimney.

4. Roof Shingles

The roof shingles around a chimney can also have problems, although shingles are one of the least common causes for a chimney leak. If the leak does show up in this area, have an expert check and repair the shingles.

Repair Method

Don’t surface seal. Replace missing, worn, or damaged shingles in the appropriate fashion.



American Standard Dream Bath

Kathy from Niagara, New York is a first-time homeowner and wants to be able solve her older homes plumbing problems when they arise. The Carey Brothers help give her clues to uncover the mysteries that an old home may have.


Check out the episode of Your Dream Bathroom here!


A DIYer’s Tool Definitions:

Tool Definitions

  • Table Saw– a large stationary power tool commonly used to launch wood projectiles for testing wall integrity.
  • Skill Saw– a portable cutting tool used to make studs too short.
  • Belt Sander– an electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor touch-up jobs into major refinishing jobs.
  • Hose Cutter– used to make hoses too short – but only usually at one end.
  • Hammer– a divining rod to locate the most expensive parts adjacent the object you are trying to hit.
  • Pliers– designed for rounding off bolt heads.
  • Pry Bar– best used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 25 cent part.



When Does The Termite Swarming Season Begin?

Termites are a reason for concern, and two of the most commonly asked questions we receive are: “When are termites active?” and “When is termite season?”.   Termites are actually active year-round.   The termites may not be as active, or active outside in the mulch when the ground turns cold but, with our heated homes, the crawl spaces stay warm enough to sustain termite activity year round.



Common Water Heater Problems

 A hot water heater is one of the most important appliances in your home but often taken for granted. Unless it’s been turned off for some reason, such as while you’re on vacation, a water heater is used every single day. Like any other appliance, problems can come up.

Fortunately, tank-type water heaters are fairly simple products. While all their components are important, there are relatively few of them when compared to other appliances. Most fixes can be made on your own without spending a fortune. Though if it’s a problem with the water tank itself, a new water heater is usually the only solution.


Water Leaking From the Top

If you believe you have a leak near the top of your electric water heater, it could be one of a few things. The cold inlet or hot outlet pipes may be loose, the T&P valve may have failed, or inlet valve may be leaking. All are easily fixed.


Water Leaking From the Bottom

An electric water heater that’s leaking from the bottom is typically because of normal condensation, a leaking electric heating element gasket, or a small amount of water being expelled through the overflow pipe because the T&P valve is opening to release excess pressure in the tank.

In some cases, the actual tank is leaking and the only fix is to replace the water heater.


No Hot Water

Water in an electric water heater is heated by two heating elements (in most cases). The most common reason for absolutely no hot water is that the circuit breaker has tripped and you should first check the breaker box.

If that’s not the cause then the heating elements may have failed and need replacement. It may also be an issue with the limit/reset switch on the thermostat. It may have tripped due to the water being way too hot or simply failed and needs replacement.


Not Enough Hot Water

Not having enough hot water is most likely due to an issue with the thermostat. It may be as simple as adjusting the desired water temperature on the thermostat for the particular heating element.

On electric models, the thermostat is usually hidden behind an access panel on the side of the tank and a layer of insulation. Unlike gas models, an electric thermostat is set at the factory and not intended to be changed but is sometimes necessary to do so.

During the cold winter months, you may need to slightly raise the thermostat temperature since the hot water gets cooled quicker through colder pipes as it travels through your home’s plumbing.

Other possible reasons for not having enough hot water include a faulty thermostat, faulty element, loose wiring, or simply a water heater tank that’s too small for your needs.


Water is Too Hot

Again, this is likely related to the thermostat(s) where the temperature is set too high. Simply gain access to the thermostat and adjust as needed. This may also be needed when transitioning from cold to warm seasons.



Elevate Your Garage Door For Fall

Turn heads in your neighborhood with these quick garage door color upgrades.


Great Doors Think Alike

Your garage door and front door share similar responsibilities, they welcome you home. Why not give them a matching look by painting them the same color?  It’s a great way to bring unity to your exterior color scheme while adding curb appeal to your home. A garage door project is the perfect opportunity to repaint your front door so you can welcome your guests to your home in style.


Frame It With Contrast

Your garage door doesn’t always have to blend in. Instead, why not let it stand out! Framing a dark colored garage door with white trim adds visual interest to your exterior, creating a very clean and inviting look.


Stand Out With Monochromatic Colors

Add some intrigue to your garage door by using two different shades of the same color. A lighter or darker shade of your base color creates a monochromatic look that adds dimension to your garage door, while creating a soft contrast


Light It Up

Every home has a unique look. Create cohesion between your home and garage by choosing a light fixture that matches that style. Modern homes look best with straight-lined and simple light fixtures to accentuate the natural material and texture of the home. Traditional styles look best with larger fixtures that have lots of curves and angles to match the classic architecture. Whatever your style, light fixtures offer the opportunity to spotlight your exterior décor.


Accessorize Your Project

Sometimes the finishing touches to your painting project create the most impact. Add some extra character to your garage door by giving it a faux carriage look. Decorative garage door hardware is popular because it is inexpensive and creates added cohesion between your garage and the architecture of your home. Find hardware that suits your style and finish your project on a high note.





Now Is The Time To:

fall time

 Protect Wood From Moisture

Insects and other small pests need to draw life-sustaining moisture from their surroundings, so they avoid dry places and are attracted to moist ones. If the soil around your house, the foundation and the walls is dry, it’ll be less attractive to insects, spiders and centipedes. Rake moisture-wicking soil and mulch away from the window frames and low wood. Turn your mulch periodically to help keep dampness down, and keep bushes trimmed back as well.


Guard Your Chimney

Install a chimney cap and screen to keep out pests like rodents and birds. Not only can they do damage, but they often bring in smaller bugs that will take up residence in your home.


Trim Plants Against Your House

Once you kill the ants in your house and yard, take steps to ensure they don’t come back. Trim back bushes, shrubs and trees that brush against your siding or roof and provide a bridge for ants to reach your house. Keep a 3-in. to 6-in. clearance space between the soil around the foundation and the bottom row of siding to prevent ants from nesting in the siding (and make sure the soil slopes away from the house).

Avoid stacking firewood next to the house. Firewood makes a perfect retreat for ants.

Ants like bare spots in the yard and they like to build nests under layers of thatch. Maintaining a healthy lawn is one way to discourage ants. If anthills pop up in bare areas, spray the mound with insecticide and plant grass in the bare spots. Rake the lawn or bag the grass when you mow to eliminate thatch.


Don’t Let Pests in Through the Dryer Vent

Examine dryer vents to ensure the damper isn’t stuck open or broken off completely. Also check that the seal between the vent and the wall is tight.



That’s it for this week’s show. Catch up with us next week, and thanks for listening!

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