Chris Mancuso from Accurate Basement Repair was on The Fix-It Show With Tom Feiza on 620 WTMJ on Saturday March 12, 2016.

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Chris Mancuso on the radio

(Begin Transcript) Announcer: Need help around the house? Even the handiest do-it-yourselfer needs an extra hand sometimes. Let Mr. Fixit, Tom Feiza, help you out. You fix it during the Fixit Show on 620 WTMJ.

Danny: Fixit Show brought to you by Plumbing Parts Plus, Rupena’s Fine Foods, Allparts, Siding Unlimited and J&B Construction. Good morning everybody. 8:08 at 620 WTMJ. I’m Danny Clayton right along with Mr. Fixit. Good morning, Tom Feiza.

Tom: Hey Danny, it’s a great fixit day. And now it’s going to be a great basement fixit day.

Danny: Oh, we better start taking calls now, because we always get basement calls. Chris Mancuso of Accurate Basement Repair is here. Hey, Chris. What’s going on? How are you doing man?

Chris: Good, I’m fantastic. I’m fantastic.

Danny: I see from your bio, you are nationally certified. Tell me about that.

Chris: Nationally certified. There’s only about 30 people in the country that have two certifications that we have here at Accurate Basement Repair. Actually, I’m a nationally certified foundation repair specialist and I’m a nationally certified waterproofing specialist. So it does make a big difference. We’re not all the same out there. And we’re going to talk about the differences in us and some of the other folks out there. But we spend a lot of time on education in doing what we do. And so everyone out there gets the best repair out there and we can answer questions that are related to both commercial and residential.

Tom: Yeah, and Chris has been a guy that’s helped out the local home inspector group year after year. The local home inspectors, you know something about everything so you know something about basement. But Chris and his company have been very helpful with the group in setting up examples of homes with problems and then doing tours and having us come out and look at the repairs in process. And that’s been a great thing that you’ve been involved in.

Chris: Absolutely. Tom brings up a good point and everyone has had some sort of dealings with a home inspector, you know, be that in the buying or selling end of it. And we help, Accurate helps teach the home inspectors what to look for. So don’t get mad at them if they call something out. Generally, what they’ll do, and like Tom mentioned, Dan, is that they’re not absolute experts in it. But we try to teach them the obvious things to look out for and then call in an expert to have it fully evaluated. And we do quite a bit of that. We set up some guest houses for the home inspectors state-wide to go through. And that would be through WAHI, the Wisconsin Association of Home Inspectors. So if you’re looking for a home inspector out there, that’s a good place to look. So anyone out there that’s getting ready to buy a home, you know, those are the kind of things that you’re going to want to do.

Danny: WAHI, Wisconsin Association of Home Inspectors.

Tom: I’m a member of that group. I was the president of it for many, many years.

Danny: Are they called Wahoos if you’re in WAHI? No?

Tom: Maybe, you know. Maybe.

Chris: Yahoos.

Danny: You flip it around. So let’s talk basements. If you’ve got any questions, give us a buzz today. We’ve got an expert in studio. 414-799-1620 and AccuNet Mortgage’s toll-free talk line is 800-877-1620 at 620 WTMJ.

Tom: Yeah, definitely give us a call with any kind of basement, basement leak cracks, or movement. I get those calls all the time. A lot of times it’s not a big issue. A lot of times it’s maintenance, grating, gutters, and downspouts.

Chris: Absolutely. And that’s something we talk about all the time. So make yourself a little checklist today as you’re sitting at your kitchen table, or a mental note while you’re driving today, is when you get home, it’s going to be a beautiful day today. Take a little walk around the perimeter of the house and definitely, check the grating, downspouts, and gutters.

Danny: So I live up in Fox Point which we’re in clay. We’re just in a lot of clay and I know that the previous homeowner had had some real issues with it. And do you see different regions of the Milwaukee area that have…I mean clay poses different problems for basement than if you’re more rocky or sandy soil. Is that right?

Chris: Sure, absolutely. And you bring up a good point. There is a lot of areas in case people are wondering why my house or why my area. But you’re right. In Fox Point and North Shore is a big, big area that we do a lot of work in. And mainly it’s anywhere from Kenosha to Port, but as you go west, and Tom will verify as you go west, the soils change so dramatically Danny, that we don’t do as much once you get on the other side of Oconomowoc, there’s not…the soil’s much different.

Danny: Menomonee Falls, there’s a whole stretch up and down Menomonee Avenue, right?

Chris: Menomonee Falls, yep. If you live in Menomonee Falls you’ve either had your basement fixed or you’re going to get your basement fixed, but it’s, you maybe on your third round. maybe.

Danny: 107th, Highway 100-ish and Silver Spring areas is another area.

Chris: And the little tip of Wauwatosa there.

Tom: Yeah, It’s a tough area. So yeah, Danny, there’s specific areas. But when you hit that gravelly soil, it’s like, “Oh, things work pretty good in the gravel.”

Danny: Must be nice. That’s not me. Let’s go to South Milwaukee. Hey Lyle, good morning you’re on WTMJ.

Lyle: Hi Chris, question for you. My gutter broke, I think because of the ice. I had some ice damming in the fence and gutter. I didn’t notice it until just recently and water was pouring over it and I’d noticed right in the basement where my gutter is aligned, I’ve got a big crack in it. Is that due to the water, or what do you think?

Chris: Well, some cracking is normal and it’s mainly related to where your gutter came off. Depending on the amount of displacement, you should try to get a better look at the rest of the wall. Did you get a look at the rest of the wall there? Can you see the rest of it?

Lyle: Yeah, it kind of bulged. It bulges…it used to…I mean it’s bulged in a little bit. It was always pretty flat.

Chris: Well, that’s probably part of that maintenance kind of thing. Yeah, if you have some cracking with some bulging, then you definitely going to want us to come on out and you can give us a call at 414-744-6900, or you can visit us on the web at And there is an info line there where you can make an appointment right online. But you should have somebody come and look at it. And those are the type of things that if you don’t look at your downspout, it can happen as quickly as one season of, you know, winter. And you can have some issues pretty quickly.

Tom: I kind of like on your website, you’ve got that education station, so you’ve got different topics that people can learn more about as well. They’re pretty slick.

Chris: Yeah, and that education station, and caller, you should take a look at our website if you haven’t, because that can walk you through some other things that are going on. But one of our estimators will come out and take a look for you too and…but you should visit the website. It really gives a lot of information about home maintenance. Because a lot of these things, like this gentleman here, if you would have…you know, would have, could have, should have. But if you would have looked at it a little earlier, sometimes you can avoid a lot of these problems.

Danny: Chris Mancuso is a partner at Accurate Basement Repair and he’s our guest until nine o’clock. So got some questions about basements? We’d love to talk to you at 414-799-1620 and Kenneth Morgan’s toll-free talk line, 800-877-1620. Chris, when it comes to cracks, some are better than others. Am I right? If you see like the stair step crack, kind of through the mortar of your basement foundation, it’s better than a vertical right through a brick. Is that right, yeah? Please tell me.

Chris: Yeah. Some cracking is normal. Some cracking’s normal. I mean a lot of people go in their basement. Some cracking is normal. What you’re looking for is cracking along with some displacement. So as you go down, it’s very difficult with the human eye to kind of look at it, because some of the displacement is relatively minor but still needs to be repaired. And a lot of times when you look at the wall, the best places to look is off the corners of the windows, like you had mentioned, the step cracking off the edges of the windows. And then also around the frost line, which is usually three to four courses down from the top. If you start seeing those type of cracking, you should have it evaluated because if you address these things sooner than later, you can avoid the really expensive repair, which is excavation.

Tom: And the thing you’ve got to be careful with is, you want a technical person to take a look who you can trust. And I know Chris is one of those guys. His company is one of those people. But there’s other people that are out there, they’ll just sell you a whole bunch of stuff, you know. A crack doesn’t necessarily mean your basement is going to fall down. And you’ve got to compare your corners to the crack to how it was built originally, the size and shape, the horizontal versus vertical. There’s a whole lot to…you know, it’s easy to say a crack. But there’s a lot to analyze there.

Danny: Okay, we got a siding question. Going to Phyllis in Franklin. Hey, Phyllis, good morning on WTMJ.

[8:50]Phyllis: Good morning. I have a question. We’re going to be replacing the siding on our home. It’s a 1955 ranch.

Danny: Okay, we like to call that mid-century.

Chris: Mid-century, okay.

Phyllis: So, on our house, it’s Lannon stone on the bottom and then siding on the top. We have a breezeway and attached garage that’s all siding. My question is, we’re looking to use either Hardiplank or LP Smartside. And the more research I do on this, the more I see most companies are kind of in one camp or the other. But it looks like the products themselves are actually fairly similar in how they’re installed and how they hold up. And so I was just wondering if you can help me decide which is the best product for us?

Tom: Okay. Hardiplank is a totally different…it’s a cement board siding, fiber cement siding. And the Smartside is a totally different product, okay? The three very high-quality siding and window contractors that I know are all shifting to the Smartside. And they have had no problems with the Smartside. It’s been around for ten years or so. The cement board siding sometimes has a shrinkage problem, in the past, if you’ve done a lot of research. A lot of that has to do with storage and application and how it’s put in. So I guess I’d lean towards the Smartside today. It seems like everyone’s going that way and it’s a very high-quality product. Get it pre-painted, and like Siding Unlimited is a great company with that, J&B Construction is a good company with that product. And I know that’s what they would recommend.

Phyllis: Okay, thank you very much.

Danny: Phyllis, may I compliment you on your research skills, you sound very prepared.

Phyllis: Oh thank you.

Danny: A lot of computer time, right?

Phyllis: Yeah…

Danny: Good luck with that. 8:18 at 620 WTMJ. Chris Mancuso is here from Accurate Basement Repair. And we’re going to be talking with him, so if you have questions, give us a buzz. 414-799-1620 and AccuNet Mortgage’s toll-free talk line is 800-877-1620. Back in a bit at 620 WTMJ.

Announcer: Get home advice from a guy who does it right. Back to The Fixit Show with Mr. Fixit Tom Feiza on 620 WTMJ.

Danny: Yeah, yeah. 43 degrees at 8:24 at 620 WTMJ. 57 for the high today. It’s going to be what, 48 tomorrow, 55 on Monday, 58 on Tuesday and back to 42 on Wednesday. But, things are getting better. So Accurate Basement Repair’s Chris Mancuso is here. He’s going to be here between now and nine o’clock. He does your local…I’m looking over your bios. You’re a South Division boy, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. And your other partner, we’re seeing a case guy, you’ve got a Dominican guy there. So it’s not like you’ve flown into town and you’ve set up a tent and you’re going to make some money and get out of here.

Chris: Oh, we’re here. You can find us.

Danny: You’re here. By the way, Phyllis, if you’re still listening, who just called about the siding thing, my mistake. I should have given you tickets. We’ve got a four-pack of tickets to the 2016 Home & Garden Show which happens next weekend. Starts next weekend, and I’ve got a four-pack of tickets. So Phyllis, if you want to give us a call back and we’ve got a set of tickets that we want to give out to some folks who are interested in going to that show. That’s a good one. You guys are going to be there?

Chris: Yeah, absolutely. And we have a booth set up there and it’s a good place to come on in and we have some tickets to give away today, to some callers. And so we’re going to be there, and if you’re coming to the show, definitely stop by the booth and bring your questions along because we have a ton of video and pictures and myself. And we can really get some questions answered, especially for those folks who are looking at buying or selling your homes.

Danny: There we go.

Tom: Sure and if folks have real questions, take some pictures. Take some pictures of the inside, outside, take a picture of the crack, take a picture of the leak. Makes it a lot easier to analyze it.

Chris: Absolutely. Take the pictures or take a video is great too. Take a picture or a video on your phone, it’s fantastic.

Danny: You might have the wall stand real still for the video.

Chris: Have the kids dance around.

Danny: Right. Hey, Tom, New Berlin. Good morning, you’re on WTMJ.

[12:58]Tom 1 – Caller: Good morning. My question is we’ve had a couple estimates for our basement to put the beams up. And one wanted to put them at 32 inches apart and the other said they could do it at 4 feet apart because our basement was below 6’10”. Is that okay or…that’s what we were wondering. What would be better?

Chris: Yeah, there is some opportunity to space these steel reinforcements. And for those of you who don’t know what he’s talking of, the way we reinforce basements, for the most part, is we use vertical steel columns. They look like two by fours. And we put them up against the face of the wall and it holds the wall in place. And everything is very site-specific. Everything is engineered. You just can’t kind of willy nilly things, things are engineered specifically. So in your case, there is an opportunity to go 48 on center. But the norm is to go 32. The reason that a 48 inch on center would be used is usually to get around an obstruction. So if you had, for example, a stationary tub in the way, or if your window spacing was a little different, then we would go at 48 on center to try to accommodate the spacing for some of the obstructions. But the norm is 32 on center every other floor joist. What happens when you space them out a little bit wider to 48, you can get some differential cracking because the walls will still flex, even though you have these steel beams. It’ll still flex and you could see a little bit more cracking in the walls, even though you wouldn’t have a failure. It can affect some of the aesthetics of the wall itself. So 32 is the norm, 48 if you’re going to work around obstructions.

Danny: Okay. Heading to Brookfield. Hey, Connor, you’re on WTMJ. Good morning.

[14:41]Connor: Good morning, I’m happy the Accurate Basement guy is on here. I know a couple of guys that have used him and they say he’s the best. So I want to ask a question about my basement. It appears as if it’s sinking, slowly but surely, year after year. Is this something that I can fix or do I need to be concerned? It’s not a drastic sink. Just what I can tell, it is dipping.

Chris: Well, if you can tell it’s dipping then that’s definitely a problem. What makes you think it’s dipping? Do you have some cracks that extend upstairs into the living quarters?

Connor: On the outside of the house, I’ve got a step up to the front door and I noticed that that’s sunk a little bit and I can tell…you get the line marked on the brick where the ground meets the brick. And it’s going down. Usually, I can notice it every other year. So I would say, probably a half inch in the past three years.

Chris: Yeah, if…it’s very difficult to determine the actual settlement, that’s what we call it. We don’t call it sinking, we call it settlement. And that’s something that can be very difficult to analyze. You definitely need me to come on in as an expert to take a look at that. Because if it’s sinking it can be a pretty extensive repair, but it may just be some inward displacement. Or you may have some settlement with some issues on the outside of the house with some of the concrete that may be around your house. And then I have to look upstairs to see if there’s cracking in the upper floors and so forth. So you definitely should give us a call for that. And that’s a big part of what we do with settlement.

Tom: Hey Connor, hang on the line, we’re going to set you up. Chris brought a bunch of tickets in for the 2016 Home & Garden Show, which is presented by Unilock and that’s going to be at the Expo Center, starts next weekend. So thank you for that Chris and Connor, hang on the line, we’re going to fix you up with that. We’re going to do a bunch of these between now and nine o’clock.

Announcer: You don’t have to do it yourself. But now you can, thanks to more of the Fixit Show, with Tom Feiza on 620 WTMJ.

Danny: 8:34. Mr. Fixit is here. I’m Danny Clayton right along and Chris Mancuso of Accurate Basement Repair is here. I love that you guys are local. I love that you’ve been here a long time. I love that a guy like Tom Feiza says, “Oh no, no. We use these guys all the time. We’ve learned a lot about basements.” And that’s important. You’re licensed, you’re bonded, you’re insured. Angie’s List appears to love you.

Chris: Angie’s List, this is our sixth year in a row for a Super Service Award from Angie’s List, which is almost unheard of. Angie’s List actually contacted us. They’re going to do a little expose on us, which is kind of neat.

Tom: Actually I don’t know if expose is the right word. It’s usually when something’s bad, you do an expose on…

Danny: Yeah, the expose…That’s what “60 Minutes” does, is the expose. “We’re going to expose something.”

Chris: No, no, they’re exposing our excellence.

Tom: Yeah, that’s it, that’s it.

Danny: Chris is here until nine o’clock so if you want to give us a buzz, let’s talk basements. 414-799-1620, or home repair stuff, and AccuNet Mortgage’s toll-free talk line is 800-877-1620 at 620 WTMJ. We’re going to Hale’s Corner, Susan. Hey, Susan.

[17:59]Susan: Oh, hi.

Danny: Yeah, you’re on WTMJ. Good morning.

Susan: Thank you. I have a situation in my basement in the back corner. There’s effervescence and I’ve done the Zinsser Watertite on the inside, twice with muriatic acid first, before I painted that on. And it keeps chipping off. So there’s moisture in there.

Chris: There is, there is moisture.

Susan: But it doesn’t come through to the basement. But if you touch the wall, it’s damp.

Chris: Well, what’s happening Susan is your blocks are hollow and there’s water penetrating into the hollows of the block.

Susan: Could it be siphoning up from someplace in the soil because the soil’s not wet, the basement’s not wet. I just don’t know where that water would be coming from.

Chris: You are correct, it could be siphoning up the wall. The concrete is porous and it can, if your drain tile is not working well, and there’s water sitting there, it could siphon up. But generally, what happens is, you may have some minor cracks in the wall that’s letting water get into those block hollows. And that water is actually sitting inside the block and then it will bleed out. Generally, if it’s very minor, what you did is absolutely what I would recommend. If it’s minor. “Hey, you got a little bit of effervescence.” And for those of you who are wondering what effervescence is, it’s just a mineral kind of deposit build up that you’ll see. It almost looks like a white furry kind of substance on the wall. It’s pretty much harmless but kind of a reaction from rainwater and then the minerals in the block. But if you have that continuing, even with what you did, more than likely we’re going to have to do something called “weep-holing” of the block. And what we do is, we drill holes into the foundation block itself, and let the water out of that. That’s a little bit more involved than that. We have to actually break open the floor and replace the drain-tile to do that. Even if your drain tile is good, I have to get these weep-holes, again, they’re like drainage holes will go into the block and let that water out. It’s a very fixable issue and it’s a problem that we deal with almost daily.

Tom: And Susan, I think we’re assuming this is on the lower part of the wall? Is it lower, or is it higher?

Susan: It’s…you know what, it’s mainly from, like if you look from the outside of the house, it’s from the siding on down for about, well maybe three feet. So it doesn’t go to the very lower level of the basement, but it’s in sort of that middle section. You know which is facing, which would be outside, above ground and then a little bit below the ground.

Chris: Tom brings up a good point because that does change things. It’s coming from the top down, opposed from the bottom up. If it’s coming from the top down I would think it’s usually that is a surface water issue, where you could have some surface drainage draining towards the house. Or there’s a transition point between what would be your block basement and the finishing up on top. I mean Tom has done quite a few home inspections where that grating is up too high and that water can be coming over the top. Would you think, Tom?

Tom: Yeah, or you might have a siding problem. But it’s worth it to have someone like maybe Chris to take a look, or you know, I take a look at issues like that too, from time to time. But if it’s higher then it’s probably related to the siding, the grading, the gutters, the downspout, surface water. And that’s where you need to look.

Danny: Okay, Susan, hang on the line. If we can send you to the 2016 Home & Garden Show. Chris has brought a number of four-packs of tickets in and that’s something that’s worth…

Tom: Yeah, that’s right. Meet Chris…

Danny: And bring some pictures in as well and we can do that. Let’s see if we can squeeze in Bob in Cedarberg, real quick. Hey Bob, good morning, you’re on WTMJ.

[21:50]Bob: Thanks for taking my call. I have a two-story house. I have a 50-gallon natural gas heater. The heater I just replaced is about 21 years old. During the 21 years, and especially when I replaced it, the flue vent, about seven feet from the water heater, up to my chimney chase has rusted out. This is the second time that it’s done it. It is tin tubing from the output of the…

Tom: Okay, I got you. You know what, I understand your problem a hundred percent. The issue is it’s not venting properly. So the chimney’s not carrying away products of combustion, you’re getting condensation in that horizontal run and that’s what’s rusting it out. So that should not happen. Is that pitch of that pipe, from the top of the water heater into the chimney, has it got a good slope on it? It’s supposed to be a quarter inch per foot, minimum.

Bob: It’s running back to the water heater.

Tom: I know, but from the water heater to the chimney…Oh, it’s running…It tips towards the water heater?

Bob: Yes.

Tom: Okay, so that’s wrong. It’s supposed to be high up the chimney. The chimney end should be a quarter inch per foot higher than the water heater. So it’s eight feet long it should be two inches higher at the chimney. So the problem is the chimney’s not drawing the products of combustion away. The water heater’s too high. And so you’ve got to raise that connection. And then if it’s a masonry chimney, it may need a small metal liner. So that’s something a chimney person could take care of for you.

Danny: Okay, good enough. Let’s take a break. It’s 8:40 at 620 WTMJ. And our guest between now and nine o’clock, from Accurate Basement Repair, is Chris Mancuso. He is the nationally certified basement guy. He’s the guy you want to know. Their company’s somebody you want to know. All local guys, been here a long, long time. 414-744-6900. Back in a bit at 620 WTMJ.

Announcer: Leaky pipe? Mr. Fixit to the rescue. You’re listening to The Fixit Show with Tom Feiza, on 620 WTMJ.

Danny: With Ohio and Florida being winner take all primaries, are we about to see a Cruz/Rubio unity ticket? Charlie Sykes explores the latest from the campaign trail, Monday, 8:35. It’s a quarter to nine at 620 WTMJ. And The Fixit Show with Tom Feiza, Danny Clayton riding along. Chris Mancuso. Mancuso or Mancruso? Can’t get it wrong.

Chris: Mancuso.

Danny: I want to be accurate because it’s Accurate Basement Repair, who’s on with us until nine o’clock. And we are going to, let’s see, Tom in Oconomowoc. Hey Tom, good morning. Thanks for waiting, you’re on WTMJ.

[24:29]Tom 2 – Caller: Good morning. My question has to do with tile on concrete. And the tile is cracking at a joint between the two concrete slabs.

Chris: Is that on the inside of the basement then?

Tom 2 – Caller: Inside of the house, inside first floor. There’s no basement.

Chris: But you do have a basement at the home?

Tom 2 – Caller: No, no, no basement.

Chris: Oh, it’s on slab. And you’re asking…

Tom 2 – Caller: Yup, right between the two slabs and the tile over the crack is breaking.

Chris: Well, if it’s anything significant, you may have some settlement on your house that’s built. Slab on grade that’s called. And you can see some differential movement in that seasonally if that’s something that’s cracked, it shouldn’t be cracking. It shouldn’t be cracking unless it’s a poor tile installation. But otherwise, if it’s the tile installation…

Tom 2 – Caller: So can you re-tile, or can you use a material that might shift with it?

Chris: Tom would know more about that.

Tom: Yeah, well I’m checking my head here. How old is the house, about?

Tom 2 – Caller: Ten years.

Tom: Slab on grade, ten years old. You may want to have someone look at that. Are there other symptoms? You know, if there’s other symptoms of movement, doors don’t fit, windows don’t fit right, those kinds of things, then you’ve got an issue. If it’s just that crack, it doesn’t…it takes a tiny bit of movement to cause a crack like that. So if you can figure out how to put a control joint there in the tile, or a grout joint there, that’s the way it should have been done originally. If it’s a joint in the floor in the slab, there should have been some kind of a joint in the tile. So, yeah.

Chris: Yeah, so if you have some other accompanying joint or cracks in some other areas, then you definitely need to give us a call to come on out and take a look at it. If it’s just primarily in that floor piece itself, you maybe able to get some…they do like make some grouts, I believe, that have some flexibility, nowadays.

Danny: Yes. Okay Tom, hang on the line, we’re going to fix you up. Chris brought in a bunch of tickets for the 2016 Home & Garden Show which gets going next weekend, goes through to the 26th at the Expo Center at State Fair Park. All right, let’s go to Brian in Milwaukee. Hey Brian, good morning. You’re on WTMJ.

[26:44]Brian: [inaudible]

Tom: Hi Brian.

Danny: Oh dear, now he’s listening over the air. Denise in Milwaukee, good morning, you’re on WTMJ.

[26:53]Denise: Good morning. I have a quick question as I’m getting ready to build up in Marinette County in the northwestern area. Very sandy loam and I’m not sure what I should be looking for for building materials or what I could do with quality of build to get a basement. Do you have any recommendations or information?

Chris: Well, up in Marinette, I believe it’s a sandier soil up there.

Denise: Yes.

Chris: And really you should hire a foundation installer that has obviously done some work before. The drainage issues aren’t as critical, but there is some…before you install the floor of your home, I will give you a tip. You should leave that to settle for a little while because sometimes the slab that you pour in there can create some crevasses underneath it from the sand settling over a short period of time. But otherwise poured foundation will work really well, but block actually works fairly well up north too because of the soil conditions. So, but either one of them would be fine for you.

Danny: Okay, good enough. Hope that works. We’re going to take a break and are going to be back for our final segment, 414-799-1620 and AccuNet Mortgage’s toll-free talk line, 800-877-1620 on WTMJ.

Announcer: Getting the job done right, no matter how small. Welcome back to The Fixit Show with Tom Feiza on 620 WTMJ.

Danny: 45 degrees at 8:53. 57 for a high today. It’s The Fixit Show with Tom Feiza with Danny Clayton riding along and Chris Mancuso of Accurate Basement Repair, licensed, bonded, insured, local. Angie’s List loves them. 414-744-6900.

Tom: Actually it’s not even Angie’s List, it’s your customers, so that’s even better.

Danny: Customers, yeah, yeah, that’s even better. All right, off to the phones. Going to Watertown. Hey Ed, good morning, you’re on WTMJ.

[28:50]Ed: Good morning gentlemen. I have a house in Watertown that predates 1890. We had some basement work done, drain tile, outside, inside, sump pump added, air-breather put in. But the main part of the walls is brick. And I want to do some repair to the mortar that’s in the brick. They mentioned that we might need a special type of mortar when working with that type of brick. I didn’t know if you had any advice on that.

Chris: There’s a couple different types of mortar and the strengths will differ. They’re rated on some PSI type stuff. You definitely want to choose one with the highest strength because it’s a little bit more money for the higher strength but the higher the number, the higher the strength. And the key to it really of anything is getting to a surface that you can adhere to, more so than the product itself. You have to get to a surface that is going to be substantial enough to tuck point in on this brick. Because if you don’t get out the joint entirely it will fall off no matter what you use. So more so than the product, it is the preparation that is the key to your success on this project.

Tom: And you’re replacing mortar cosmetically or structurally?

Ed: Mostly cosmetically. There’s areas where it’s kind of cracking or chipped out. But there are some areas where I can take a screwdriver and push all the way through, and hit dirt. So most of it’s cosmetic but there are a few areas that are not.

Chris: Prep is the key for you. Make sure you prep it properly and get rid of the loose stuff so you can…and don’t take out too much of it at one time because then you’ll have some real problems. Little bit at a time. Take your time.

Danny: Okay, let’s go to New Berlin. Andy, good morning, you’re on WTMJ.

[30:48]Andy: Morning, boys. I’ve got a property up north. My grandparents bought it back in the fifties. My dad had it, and now I’ve got it. And since my dad had it from ’89 on, we would shut the heat off in the winter, use it in the summer. And it’s developed a basement wall problem where the wall is starting to push in. It’s a typical lake lot. The roadside slopes down towards the lake. The wall that’s on the road side is the one that’s moving in so the lot is sloped towards the house. So I’m going to have the wall repaired this year but I’m wondering how much effect does shutting the heat off in the winter cause on possibly damaging the wall?

Chris: Well, it has an effect on it because if you keep the heat on, the ground outside of it has less of a tendency to freeze because you get some ambient temperature gradients through the wall itself. But, yeah, if you keep…you know, a lot of times when I look at foreclosures and the heat’s off, the walls tend to move higher because the ground will freeze more solid on the other side of it. So it’s a good idea to keep some heat in it because it keeps the frost more so away from the foundation directly. So it does have an impact. So keep that in mind. And when you’re repairing it, just make sure you repair properly. Have the reinforced vertical steel columns installed.

Danny: Andy, hang on the line. If we can hook you up with these tickets for the Home & Garden Show, we’d like to do that, because Chris has brought in a bunch of them. In fact, that show gets going on the 18th, goes through the 26th. So, Chris, we’ve actually gotten way too many calls. Joel in Brown Deer, hang on. Maybe you could take that off air but you’re here to help on basements and basement repair, that’s for sure. Accurate Basement Repair. So, local guys, I like that.

Chris: Absolutely and it does make a difference. Not all contractors are the same. It makes a huge difference. Not just for foundation repair, but anything that you’re fixing in your house, make sure you research the company because not all companies are the same. There’s a lot of experience that goes into this stuff so it makes a huge difference. And do your research, do your research. And the internet’s there for you, do your research. Google reviews, Angie’s List, NARI , those are all resources for you as consumers. And as far as foundation repair, we fix everything. I don’t do remodeling. I do foundation repair, waterproofing, reinforcements, and house-lifting. So definitely, give us a call.

Danny: You see it on, 414-744-16900 and you get the Tom Feiza seal of approval, too. He’s a decent guy. You guys have known each other a long time. Tom, have a great week.

Tom: Yes, Chris does get my seal of approval. Accurate’s a great company. So yeah, you have a great week too.

Danny: All right. Fixit Show brought to you by Plumbing Parts Plus, Rupena’s Fine Foods, Allparts, Siding Unlimited, and J&B Construction.