Archive for November, 2012

  • 26 November 2012

    Weekend Room Makeovers

               

     

     
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  • 22 November 2012

    Getting Ready for Winter

    Autumn is in full swing … but in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and the Dakotas the time between Fall and Winter can be breathtakingly short.

    While most people check the roof first when winterizing their home, followed by the electrical and the foundation, key elements like the sump pump and back-up valve can be overlooked causing trouble down the road.

    For the intrepid do-it-yourselfer, winterizing your sump pump can be done on your own. In the event you’re uncomfortable handling the ins and outs of basement waterproofing all by yourself, call in the winterizing experts.

    Nevertheless, here are the basics regarding the winterization of your sump pump:

    To help remove the possibility of freezing, first remove the discharge extension as close to your home as possible. Install the diffuser cap from the end of the pipe in its place.

    Open your sump basin by removing all 4 bolts. Check every clamp connection to make sure they are tight and then test the pump by adding water into it until it cycles. Keep in mind the water might need to be 6-8” above the pump before it will cycle.

    Replace the batteries in your high water alarm.

    If you have a battery backup system, check the water level in the battery. Add distilled water if necessary.

    If you have a free flow discharge with a heat cable, plug it in after the first snow falls.

    There you go, some very simple tips to help you winterize your sump pump and avoid costly and damaging accidents over the Winter!

    If all this is too complicated, contact the experts at Standard Water Control today to handle all your sump pump and back up valve jobs and projects!

               

     
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  • “Homeowners policies don’t cover flooding or any kind of water damage from water that enters the house at or below ground level. Fortunately, the federal government offers flood insurance. The question is: Do you need flood insurance if you don’t live along a body of water like a lake or river? The answer is: maybe.” More>>>

                 

     
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  • 16 November 2012

    Consumer’s Checkbook

    I read with interest an article published in the most recent issue of Consumer’s Checkbook magazine discussing basement waterproofing issues. The writer helps readers understand basement waterproofing problems and the most common and effective solutions. 

    He also cautions consumers, helping them detect when a contractor may not be working in the homeowners best interest. This arms the customer with knowledge and the power that comes with it. Frankly, we were quite happy to see consumers forewarned and, therefore, forearmed.

    A lot of us remember a company that promised to provide dry basements and did anything but. The President of that company spent a long time in jail and basement waterproofing contractors have been working under that shadow since about 1985. I’m sad to say some companies still employ manipulative tactics and may even try to scare people into having work done that they don’t need. 

    This is why, since 1977, Standard Water has done things differently.  When making our initial visits we have found between 25% to 30% of the people who call us simply don’t need our services (I imagine the people who don’t call us have already figured out they don’t need a drain tile system). As a plus, many people recommend us because we didn’t try to force them into a costly and needless repair. There’s a lot of good will that comes your way when you deal honestly with people.

    Our website has 156 pages. It’s huge and full of all the information anyone could want. We want you to know as much about the process as we do so you can make an informed and comfortable decision. You can watch videos of our crews actually doing jobs in customers homes. 

    Our blogs detail case studies of jobs we have done and how the homeowners felt about the job we did. We provide a list of references a homeowner can call to check us out; oftentimes it’s people in the same neighborhood. 

    We also stand behind our work, stamping our name into the concrete of every job we do. We want you to know we did the work. We want you to call if you have a problem so we can fix it promptly. We want a good reputation because … try as you might … you can’t buy a good reputation, you have to earn it. That’s what we try to do every day.

    I encourage you to read the article linked above and, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d love to talk with you.

    Thanks for your time,

    -mike
                        

     
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  • Every now and again we run across an unusual case, like this one. Here you see the only access to this home’s crawlspace. Actually, that’s not entirely true; there is access from inside the home but you have to move a toilet to get at it … so, for all practical purposes this is the only way in. The size of the opening not only made it difficult to get in and out but also limited the kinds of things you could store in the space. Plus, the utility room, located adjacent to the crawl space, had a water problem that caused the homeowner, Dick, to put his utilities on 8 inch blocks and keep a submersible pump out on the floor since there was no drainage available. Due to height restrictions, it was decided we would install the larger access door like we would an egress window. The job required us to hammer up the concrete slab in front of the opening. The crew then dug the hole and, using a special diamond-bladed ring saw, enlarged the opening. A bit of foundation repair was necessary to ensure a perfect installation. The opening was framed and the door installed; followed by the window well, which has stepped sides to make access easier. 

    Our crew then installed our superior sump system in the floor of the utility room. This installation was a bit different; we didn’t use drain tile to direct water to the sump basket in this small utility room. Instead we drilled holes in the cover to allow water to fill the basket and then be pumped away from the house. At the end of the day we had completed an unusual project and the homeowner was pleased. In fact he said we were the best company and crew he’s had on the property. When asked to grade our crew’s performance Good, Fair or Poor he gave us a “Good” and suggested we create a space for Excellent; we get that a lot. For Quality, Responsiveness, Punctuality and Professionalism Dick gave our guys 5’s across the board. And, in his closing comments stated that “it is a pleasure to have the work done by people who can and want to do it right.” If you have a problem that requires a creative solution, give us a call, we’d love to talk with you.

       

     
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  • This blog post isn’t an endorsement of this particular retailer but it does contain some good advice when you’re looking to buy a new cordless drill. -mike

                   

     
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