Show Notes: Flooding, Drainage and More – On the House

Show Notes: Flooding, Drainage and More

By on September 10, 2016
flooded basement

As summer comes to a close it’s time to start preparing for wet weather. Is your yard draining properly or it it time to give it a tune up? Are ready to store your garden furniture and sumer gear? Don’t forget to protect all those items so you won’t be shopping for replacements next summer.

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Sabrina Freed with Puppy Love

Christina Salway, author of:

Home Improvement Projects For The Busy & Broke: How To Get Your $H!T Together And Live Like An Adult



Do your friends, family and/or significant other make fun of you when you’re freaked out by odd sounds in the night?

Brad Sapp thought he heard a mysterious voice whisper, “Get out of here,” in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

“I honestly thought I was going crazy,” Sapp told The Huffington Post, explaining that he looked all over for the source of the voice.

His wife, Carrie, teased him that the voice must have been a ghost. But nine hours later, around 10 a.m., she received a scare of her own when she heard a man yelling for help inside the center’s chimney. 

The man, later identified as 29-year-old Jordan Kajewski, called out, “I’m in the chimney,” while the couple was trying to figure out what Sapp had heard earlier. He said his wife thought the voice was his at first, but she realized what was really going on when Kajewski said again, “I’m in the chimney!”

Kajewski told them he fell in while playing hide and seek, but Sapp didn’t quite buy it. The couple called 911, and rescue workers were able to get Kajewski out. He was then arrested on trespassing charges, according to the Times Herald.

Sapp said he has no clue why Kajewski was naked, though the man did have some clothes with him. The chimney doesn’t seem wide enough for someone to undress inside, which means that Kajewski likely took off his clothes before entering.


Lawn Drainage Problems

Does water sit on your yard for hours, if not days, after a rainfall? Poor lawn drainage is a problem that can be fixed.

The first step to fixing your problem is to understand it. Start by observing how water gets on your yard, and how it flows or sits. Then, you need to think about what you want to do with your landscaping and to consider possible options.

Let’s start at the beginning:

Drainage is never instantaneous. In other words, rain water is never completely absorbed immediately by the soil. On lawns especially, roots can create a thick barrier that can greatly reduce soil permeability. Soil compaction may also be an issue.

Water always follows gravity and therefore ends up in the lowest point. When water falls on the ground, if it can’t penetrate the soil, it runs down to wherever gravity may pull it. And then it may get trapped if the place to which it runs happens to drain poorly.

So the two most important issues pertaining to lawn drainage are soil permeability and yard topography. Consider where the water is coming from and how it travels on your yard.

  • If a fair percentage of the water actually trickles down from elsewhere (your roof, your driveway, for instance) and ends up on your yard, then you need to find a way to divert the excess water, possibly using drains.
  • If the rain falls directly on your yard and just sits there, then there are a few options.

You could hire Foundation Drain Design Services to have a professional assess the nature of your soil and the topography of your yard, after which he can design the appropriate drainage system for your yard.

If the problem is not too major, you could simply get wet plants or create a rain garden.


10 Must Have Items In Your Junk-Drawer

  1. Flashlight* – This one is pretty obvious. Power goes out? Boom – Flashlight right there. Hear something outside? Boom – Flashlight.
  1. Matches/Lighter – Same scenario as above with the power going out, light a candle. Or the just incase of those moments you need a lighter for…grill
  1. Hammer – How many times have you just wanted to hang a new piece of art or bump in a loose spindle on a chair…but the hammer is all the way in the garage? If you’re like me…ALL the time….
  1. Flathead and Phillips head screwdriver*..bonus if its a changeable tip! Scenarios: changing batteries in kids toys, fixing a loose handle on the cabinet.
  1. Pen/pencil/Sharpie – Always great to have handy.
  1. Pad of paper – Grocery list, phone numbers, reminder notes, lunch box notes.
  1. Tape/Gorilla Glue – You never know when something will break, or you need to hang one of those reminder notes from above.
  1. Spare Keys – Lost your key? Don’t lose your spares!
  1. WD-40 pen*- These things are at the best. So many times I have shut a door thinking I should really put some WD- 40 on that but always forget to go to the garage and grab it until I shut that door again. Having the no-mess pen readily available is such a convenience.
  1. Scissors/boxcutter – You stumble across a coupon in the paper, cut open the package that just got delivered to your front steps or cut off the annoying tag in your shirt that has been bothering you all day.


How To Clean Up Basement Flooding

You Can Cope With The Soppy Mess And Here’s How

Rain, rain, go away

Every homeowner with a basement imagines that horror. If it should happen to you, don’t retreat into a fetal position on your couch and hope for a miracle, no matter how much you want to. You can deal with the soggy disaster. Here’s how 

4 Things to Do Right Away

Don’t wait until you’ve reached the fifth stage of grief before addressing a flood. Fast action can minimize a rising, rank situation — and the money it’ll cost to repair.

  1. The first thing to do is really a “don’t”. Don’t ever, ever step into standing basement water. You could be shocked or electrocuted. Who wants to venture into that murky mess, anyway? Turn the power off or call an electrician to be safe. 
  1. Then stop the flow of water. How you do that depends on what the source is: 

Groundwater: You can’t turn off Mother Nature. The good news: Groundwater flooding might not stink as badly as sewage. Get references for a waterproofing pro, Commercial Flood Damage Restoration, or a structural engineer because you could have a foundation problem.

Broken or malfunctioning pipes: Turn off your water’s shut-off valve. If you don’t know where that is, scope it out now — before the worst happens. Some valves are buried in the ground and require special tools to turn off.

Sewage backup: Stop flushing toilets and running faucets. Your local sewage authority may offer septic tanks systems cleaning and pumping services or let you submit a reimbursement claim. If you have a septic system, though, it’s on you. Call the septic company to have your tank pumped ASAP as well as conduct a residential sewer repair.

  1. Find a plumber with a high-capacity pump. This is not a job for a DIYer. It needs to get done fast. You need a professional-grade pump. “The longer that water sits, and the longer your drywall spends under water, the more long-term damage,” Gallas says. The more damage, the more it costs to clean up.
  1. Make your smartphone earn its keep. Take photos and video, then back them up in the cloud, so you’ll have them for insurance purposes.


DIY Some of the Cleanup to Save Money

Once the water is pumped out, the rest can be a DIY job. Just make sure to protect yourself with:

  • Gloves
  • Rubber boots
  • Eye protection
  • A mask (especially if you’re dealing with a sewage backup)
  • A nose plug if the smell is really bad

Then suck up the remaining muck with a wet-dry vac. You’ll also need an army’s worth of paper towels and plastic bags to dispose of the mess.

Unfortunately, you’ll have to say goodbye to all rugs, carpets, and upholstery, which will soak up floodwater contaminants and bacteria, regardless of the flood source. (Seriously sentimental items might be restorable by a professional, but don’t get your hopes too high.) That’s what happened to Friedman. “The first thing we had to do was pull up the carpet.”

Other restoration steps:

  • Open all windows and doors, and run large fans and dehumidifiers.

Scrub water-contaminated walls, floors, cabinetry, or hardware with a soapy solution. Ventilate again. 

Make a bactericide by adding 1.5 cups of and a few drops of liquid soap to a gallon of water. Spray on the walls; let air dry.


How To Protect Your Summer Gear Over The Winter

When you find yourself spending less time outside on the patio or deck, and start transitioning from warm nights to cool temperatures, it’s time to start putting away your summer gear and storing it safely for the winter.

BBQs and Outdoor Grills

Leftover food and grease can attract animals and pests over the winter, so you’ll want to thoroughly scrub and clean this appliance, inside and out. Remove the grill grates and clean them according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Clean the exterior surfaces as well and give moving parts some lubrication – this will help with rusting if your winters are wet. Disconnect the fuel source or clean out the coal ashes (never throw hot or even warm coals away). When you’re done cleaning and scrubbing, cover the grill or move it to a protected undercover area.

Outdoor Furniture

Outdoor furniture is designed to withstand the elements however all furniture (wood, plastic, metal or other) will look better and last longer if you cover it for the winter.

Before covering, give all surfaces a dry cloth rubdown or washing to remove dust, dirt, pollen and any stuck on foods or sunblock. If unpainted wood furniture looks weathered from the summer sun, consider giving it a coating of protective oil for the winter. Covering up furniture, or moving it under the eaves, will help keep falling branches, leaves or weather from damaging surfaces. If you can, it’s also a good idea to elevate wood legs off of wet ground; simply place each leg on a brick to keep standing pools of water from ruining the feet.

Outdoor Cushions, Umbrellas and Fabric

Although outdoor fabrics are protected against UV exposure, fading or mold, it’s always a good idea to store them out of the elements for the winter. Before storing them in a dry space like a container or in the garage or attic, take the time to brush off pollen or dirt and spot clean them to remove foods, sunblock or tree sap. Organic spills, like food, can eventually weaken the material and over time, can lead to permanent stains or marks. Not all outdoor fabrics should be washed in a machine so read the manufacturer’s instructions before laundering. Outdoor umbrellas can also be brushed clean, taking care to remove bird droppings or tree sap before folding it up for the winter. If possible use an umbrella cover when storing as this will help keep pests like spiders or moths from making their homes inside the folds.

 Website Mentions:

Aquarium repair:Hecht Rubber Corp.:




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