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Online Home Repair help for SD members

1,233 March 18, 2010 at 04:27 PM
This is a direct spin off of the highly received "Online Appliance and HVACR help for SD members" thread by BikerEric.

In his first post, BikerEric's 11th commandment is: "Ye shall keep this tread "chit-chat" free and on topic" and since that was happening this thread seemed like a good thing to do.

So ask away. Seems there's enough experts to help with about anything here.

Actually, I'll go first. Balloon framed 1860's house on a stone foundation, the side sill plates are spreading apart in the center and the first floor has sagged. Main beam was replaced some time ago with a steel I beam and lally columns (replacing tree trunks with flat rocks as footings) to stabilize the structure. Spreading sills continue. Thought of putting tie rods consisting of heavy threaded rods through the sill plate on one side and across the house to the other sill plate to stop the spread. Will that work and what might go wrong?

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Last Edited by dollarbill August 23, 2010 at 02:43 AM
Just a few notes for users of tech support.
1. It would be greatly appreciated if you'd post SOLVED when your problem is solved. Just go to advanced and type it in title.
2. Stay with your thread till its been resolved. the quicker you answer questions, the quicker you'll get helped.
3. Be respectful and patient with those of us that are taking time to help you for free.Our time is free to you but still valuable to us.
4. Try not to start multiple threads for one issue.

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#3
Can't help OP but I got a question.
I have a tiny little hole in my basement wall, about the size of an unsharpen #2 pencil lead. When the flooding occurred last week, water came through--puddle around wall--maybe a cup of water all told. I discussed it with one handyman who told me that it wasn't worth fixing--in fact I might make it worse. It is a 1959 cement basement with water sealer on the walls--no french drains, etc. What do y'all think??
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#4
Quote from SueM
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Can't help OP but I got a question.
I have a tiny little hole in my basement wall, about the size of an unsharpen #2 pencil lead. When the flooding occurred last week, water came through--puddle around wall--maybe a cup of water all told. I discussed it with one handyman who told me that it wasn't worth fixing--in fact I might make it worse. It is a 1959 cement basement with water sealer on the walls--no french drains, etc. What do y'all think??
I think that when the cement was poured that it wasn't vibrated enough to clear all the air, thus your pencil size hole and subsequent leak. You should fix it. But admittedly, I don't know the difference in size between a sharpened #2 pencil lead and one that's not sharpened.... and it's graphite now.

Hydraulic cement, sold at the big box stores will do you well. It expands as it sets, and is commonly used for waterproofing and has tremendous strength and grip. Force it into the hole any way you can. If that's not feasible, put a sealant caulk nozzle to the hole and pump away. But before you do any of this give it a chance to dry out. Plug it from the outside too, if you can find the source.

Quite a rainstorm, wasn't it? 10" fell in my neighborhood.
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#5
Quote from batterycharger
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This is a direct spin off of the highly received "Online Appliance and HVACR help for SD members" thread by BikerEric.

In his first post, BikerEric's 11th commandment is: "Ye shall keep this tread "chit-chat" free and on topic" and since that was happening this thread seemed like a good thing to do.

So ask away. Seems there's enough experts to help with about anything here.

Actually, I'll go first. Balloon framed 1860's house on a stone foundation, the side sill plates are spreading apart in the center and the first floor has sagged. Main beam was replaced some time ago with a steel I beam and lally columns (replacing tree trunks with flat rocks as footings) to stabilize the structure. Spreading sills continue. Thought of putting tie rods consisting of heavy threaded rods through the sill plate on one side and across the house to the other sill plate to stop the spread. Will that work and what might go wrong?
I'd seriously consider finding a Structural Engineer to look at that kind of problem.
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Quote from .DC.
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I'd seriously consider finding a Structural Engineer to look at that kind of problem.
Stated we should replace the foundation and gut the house so it can be pulled back together again with stronger floor joists and modifications to the balloon frame design bringing it to current code. Of course that also means new baths and kitchen, HVAC system, plumbing and wiring and more. Further suggested we might as well just demolish the place. FWIW, it has extraordinary mahogany Victorian detail throughout and an ornamental slate roof with cupolas and it's worth saving.

All I want to see done is some stabilization so the spread doesn't progress. Someday, someone will gut rehab and restore it. House has been here for 140 years, it's not going anywhere soon.

Bringing a place to current code isn't doing much, really. It's a design for minimally acceptable safe building design and is not what I'd consider a standard for good construction.
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#7
Quote from batterycharger
:
This is a direct spin off of the highly received "Online Appliance and HVACR help for SD members" thread by BikerEric.

In his first post, BikerEric's 11th commandment is: "Ye shall keep this tread "chit-chat" free and on topic" and since that was happening this thread seemed like a good thing to do.

So ask away. Seems there's enough experts to help with about anything here.

Actually, I'll go first. Balloon framed 1860's house on a stone foundation, the side sill plates are spreading apart in the center and the first floor has sagged. Main beam was replaced some time ago with a steel I beam and lally columns (replacing tree trunks with flat rocks as footings) to stabilize the structure. Spreading sills continue. Thought of putting tie rods consisting of heavy threaded rods through the sill plate on one side and across the house to the other sill plate to stop the spread. Will that work and what might go wrong?
You missed one important factor by starting this thread. There needs to be an expert or a group of experts who are willing to administer it. Biker Eric is a specialist in Appliance/Heat and Air and he watches his sticky thread each day to field questions. He is a trusted and highly recommended professional in that field.

You have questions about home remodeling and that's great -- we just need someone who is an expert in home repair to be here to answer the questions. If you could get Mike Holmes to administer the thread and be the go-to person, we would be all set. As it is, we have nobody who has come forth as an expert to help out and be the go-to person on this topic.
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#8
Quote from callpocket
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You have questions about home remodeling and that's great -- we just need someone who is an expert in home repair to be here to answer the questions. If you could get Mike Holmes to administer the thread and be the go-to person, we would be all set. As it is, we have nobody who has come forth as an expert to help out and be the go-to person on this topic.
With all the home owners and the "spirit" of this board (ie BE and his thread, computer problem solvers) most questions could be answered. Personally as a single woman and owning my first home, I would rather ask my questions here than in front of construction workers snickering behind my back!
I think the idea for this thread is really good, expecially with all the new home owners--owning a house and having to fix all the little things that go wrong is daunting!
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#9
Quote from batterycharger
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Stated we should replace the foundation and gut the house so it can be pulled back together again with stronger floor joists and modifications to the balloon frame design bringing it to current code. Of course that also means new baths and kitchen, HVAC system, plumbing and wiring and more. Further suggested we might as well just demolish the place. FWIW, it has extraordinary mahogany Victorian detail throughout and an ornamental slate roof with cupolas and it's worth saving.

All I want to see done is some stabilization so the spread doesn't progress. Someday, someone will gut rehab and restore it. House has been here for 140 years, it's not going anywhere soon.

Bringing a place to current code isn't doing much, really. It's a design for minimally acceptable safe building design and is not what I'd consider a standard for good construction.
I would do some research--talk to the local historical society, they will know who to ask for questions @ classical homes. In Boston, we have specific contractors who only deal w/classical homes--some only deal with Victorians. You need someone who appreciates the historical details and understands their eccentricities of structure.
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Quote from batterycharger
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I think that when the cement was poured that it wasn't vibrated enough to clear all the air, thus your pencil size hole and subsequent leak. You should fix it. But admittedly, I don't know the difference in size between a sharpened #2 pencil lead and one that's not sharpened.... and it's graphite now.

Hydraulic cement, sold at the big box stores will do you well. It expands as it sets, and is commonly used for waterproofing and has tremendous strength and grip. Force it into the hole any way you can. If that's not feasible, put a sealant caulk nozzle to the hole and pump away. But before you do any of this give it a chance to dry out. Plug it from the outside too, if you can find the source.

Quite a rainstorm, wasn't it? 10" fell in my neighborhood.
Had a lake in the backyard, neighbor's basement was flooded--I feel damn lucky to only have a tiny little hole. Thanks for the solution--I was afraid that HD was going tell me that I would have to call in a company because the hole would be like the dutch boy and the leak in the canal!
BTW, when a pencil is sharpened, the point is very small; after its been used--its about twice as big in circumference:-)
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#11
Quote from batterycharger
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...Hydraulic cement, sold at the big box stores will do you well. It expands as it sets, and is commonly used for waterproofing and has tremendous strength and grip. Force it into the hole any way you can. If that's not feasible, put a sealant caulk nozzle to the hole and pump away. But before you do any of this give it a chance to dry out. Plug it from the outside too, if you can find the source...
We use Hydraulic cement as sealant in conduits that let water in to the building they serve...these are communication conduits from a manhole into the building. Rain, Sprinklers, etc...all generate a lot of water and it finds the lowest source...the manhole...and then the conduits feeding buildings...and thus it floods the building.

So some Hydraulic Cement at both ends of the conduits does the trick!

Quote from batterycharger
:
Stated we should replace the foundation and gut the house so it can be pulled back together again with stronger floor joists and modifications to the balloon frame design bringing it to current code. Of course that also means new baths and kitchen, HVAC system, plumbing and wiring and more. Further suggested we might as well just demolish the place. FWIW, it has extraordinary mahogany Victorian detail throughout and an ornamental slate roof with cupolas and it's worth saving.

All I want to see done is some stabilization so the spread doesn't progress. Someday, someone will gut rehab and restore it. House has been here for 140 years, it's not going anywhere soon.

Bringing a place to current code isn't doing much, really. It's a design for minimally acceptable safe building design and is not what I'd consider a standard for good construction.
Perhaps you could petition Norm, Tommy, Richard, Roger and Kevin to come and help you save your "Old House" bulb

Live near Boston by any chance?? Big Grin
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Last edited by DC March 18, 2010 at 09:57 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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#12
About having an expert advising in this thread, that may not happen but there are many SD members who have posted excellent home repair advice in BikerEric's thread. Having this thread will allow his to be more on topic and provide an opportunity such as SueM appreciated.

I have reasonable qualifications that I won't post, and would be happy to help some out when I can. I'm sure others will offer the same.

Time will tell.
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#13
It rained a lot and a lot of places, including mine, got damaged.

I had about an inch of water in a corner of the basement it and soaked the wall to wall carpet around there. A neighbor used a special vacuum and got most of the water but the carpet is still damp. He said I should have a fan blowing across the carpet, but it doesn't really do much.

How can I really dry the carpet and the cushioning under it?
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Quote from TBurr
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It rained a lot and a lot of places, including mine, got damaged.

I had about an inch of water in a corner of the basement it and soaked the wall to wall carpet around there. A neighbor used a special vacuum and got most of the water but the carpet is still damp. He said I should have a fan blowing across the carpet, but it doesn't really do much.

How can I really dry the carpet and the cushioning under it?
Get a good wet/dry vac (shop vac) [acehardwareoutlet.com]with decent power and capacity. Like 5HP/12 Gal. Whatever you can afford.

Vacuum up as much water as you can and use a couple of 20" box fans [homedepot.com] to finish drying.

PLEASE be very careful with extension cords in the wet area if using them to power the vacuum or fans. DO NOT allow the power cords to come into contact with the wet floor. String them in the air somehow.

If you can plug directly into an outlet, do that. The vac covers plenty of square footage from it's own power cord.

You really want to get that carpet dry as fast as you can or it's going to stink up the house and eventually start producing mold.
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Last edited by G37 March 19, 2010 at 11:40 PM.
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#15
most people in my area are just tossing their carpet. Today was garbage day and I saw a lot of carpet rolls along the street.
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