Straight from the Pros
Ryan Larsen, aka “Dr. Drainage,” is a civil engineer at NDS, Inc. He answered a question from James in Louisiana about French drains: “We recently added onto our house and now have drainage issues with water runoff. I’m quite handy with most things, but this is one thing that’s not in my wheelhouse. I’ve heard of French drains but not sure how and where to place them for the most effectiveness. I need drains in my driveway (due to water pooling by my front porch) and in the back yard (pooling on the left side of my yard up to 6 inches during a heavy rain).”
Hear Dr. Drainage’s advice for James in hour 2 of the show. For more tips on common water problems for homeowners, check out his blog post on Medium, “French Drains 101: How to Eliminate Standing Water in Your Yard.”
Tip of the Week
Air conditioners remove water from the air in your house as they cool, and the last thing you want on a hot August day is for the condensation drain line to become clogged with algae and back the water up into your AC unit or house.
To check the drain line for clogs, pour a cup of water down the access line while someone else watches where the pipe exits outside. If the water drains slowly or not at all, it’s clogged and needs to be cleared.
To remove a clog from the line, attach a wet-dry vac to the end of the pipe, and use it to suck the clog out of the drain line. Watch our AC Drain Clean Out video to find out how. To prevent future clogs in the air conditioner drain line, pour a cup of bleach down the access pipe to kill any algae.
Tracey in MD
What are the best products for re-painting external concrete steps?
Walter in MS
We have a split-level house. Whenever we get a lot of rain over a short time, we have seepage in the downstairs. The ground does slope towards the house, so we know that will have to deal with this. We also have some erosion issues. Can you tell me which profession I need to contact to evaluate and correct this problem?
Bruce in CA
How do I remove adhesive from old outdoor carpet on concrete?
Dory in D.C.
I have an older home here in D.C. I want my kitchen completely repainted, so I need an idea of what is the best paint to put in there that’s going to be durable and appropriate for a kitchen.
Craig in NE
I am residing my house tearing off the old Weyerhauser vertical siding and want to install Hardie Fiber Cement Siding. Existing siding has Celotex Tuff-R foil faced under it. Can I install an OSB over the existing foam sheathing, then install house wrap then install the new fiber cement siding? Also, does it matter that the OSB will not go up the entire wall because of the soffit?
Julie in NE
I live on the river and therefore I have quite a snake problem. I have a deck and I added a sunroom to that deck and I want to insulate the deck flooring and I don’t want to do it from underneath because it’ll just be someplace where the snakes will winter. So I’m wondering if there’s some type of rubber matting or something I can use before I lay any flooring in that room.
Ed in AL
I’ve got a leak in my roof and it’s around one of these old-style turbine roof vents. I was considering just removing it and sealing the roof back up. How effective are those turbines? Is it worthwhile to replace it, or just seal it off and forget about it?