Questions About Home Maintenance

How much should a french drain system cost?

We have water in our basement -- not pools of water but moisture stains on the concrete walls. A contractor says we need a french drain system around the uphill side of the house, which is 36 feet long. He estimates that it will cost $3800. Does this sound expensive?

Maria H. - Cleveland, OH

How to refinish a wood door

The exterior wood door on my house has been exposed to sun light for so long that the door is now in bad shape. The wood actually feels rough and has sort of blackened and faded. Can you give me advice on what needs to be done to refinish my door?

How Do I Get Rid of Interior Mold?

The mold in you laundry room is there as a result of there being moisture in your laundry room. In order to remedy your mold problem for good, you will need to keep your laundry room dry. I have seen laundry rooms that have dampness issues and often it stems

Should I Have My Home Furnace Inspected?

I moved into a new home two months ago and the home inspection noted no problem with the furnace. Recently I noticed that the furnace has some black stuff around the tubing that is coming out of the side of the unit and a smell in the house. Is this normal or is it something I should be concerned about?

How Can I Restore My Damaged Concrete Driveway?

My concrete driveway is starting to have some damage. Are there ways of restoring it without completely replacing the whole thing? I was thinking I might be able to add a penetrating sealer. Can I add one even though my driveway is damaged? Would this even be beneficial?

How Can I Find the Source of a Roof Leak?

I have water coming into my closet when it rains but all the roofers so far that I had check it can't find the problem. Any suggestions on finding the source of the leak?

What Can I Do About a Rising Sidewalk Slab?

One of my sidewalk squares has risen about six inches on one side. What could be causing this, and can I fix the problem myself?

What Could Cause New Exterior Door to Fail to Lock?

My husband installed an exterior door last week and it was working great. About three days after the installation I noticed a lot of light coming through where the door was sealed and I noticed it was not locked. Any thoughts as to what could be causing this?

How Do I Prevent Roof Run Off from Getting into my Basement?

I get water in my basement when my neighbor's gutter system overflows. While, as a last resort, I think I could sue the neighbor and get them to remedy the situation, I think that my problem would go away if I had a way to channel the roof run off.

What Would Cause New Drainage Around House to Clog?

Due to some old drainage tiles collapsing our basement began to flood. We had a contractor put in a new drainage system around the house. After the repairs, the basement flooding stopped for a short period of time, but then returned. Nobody seems to know what would cause this problem.