Chris Mancuso from Accurate Basement Repair was on The Redefined Realty Show on AM1130 WISN on Saturday June 13, 2015.

My company handles wall efflorescence

Chris Mancuso on WISN radio

(Begin Transcript) Paul: Good morning and welcome. This is the Redefined Realty Show on WISN with your host Craig Schmitz and Paul Kronforst. We’ve got a good show ahead of us. But first . . .


Craig: I can’t talk over that. Never get tired of that.

Chris: No. I would agree, Craig. Good to see you. Good morning.

Craig: Good morning.

Paul: How are things out there? We’ve got a full studio of guests.
It’s a crappy morning weather-wise. It’s a good day to call in.

Craig: It’s not terrible. But it’s not. . .

Chris: I think it’s raining. That’s we love the rain.

Craig: Is it raining still?

Chris: Yes.

Craig: Yes.

Paul: You just came in.

Chris: Little dumpy spots.

Paul: Little misty.

Craig: For inspections when it’s raining and wet . . .

Paul: Yes.

Chris: Absolutely.

Paul: You can see what’s going on around the foundation. That voice you hear in the background besides Craig Schmitz, that’s Chris Mancuso. And he’s with Accurate Basement Repair joining us today on the program. So good morning to you, Chris.

Chris: Good morning. Good morning Milwaukee listeners and around.

Craig: Good to see you back here.

Chris: Take a look at those basements for the next couple of days. Well, it’s going to rain pretty good.

Paul: About an inch in the last 24 hours is what I was told.

Chris: Good stuff.

Paul: And, in addition, Scott Lamar, he is inspector gadget from Honest Home Inspections. Scott Lamar, good morning and welcome back.

Scott: Good morning. Always happy to be here.

Paul: Look, Craig said it’s true, isn’t it? When it rains, that’s a good time to . . .

Scott: It’s a great time to do an inspection. I love for it to rain all night, the night before and then, not rain falling on the roof.

Paul: A little slippery up there?

Scott: It can be. Yes.

Paul: And how do you go up the roof, a ladder? They’re slippery . . .

Scott: Yeah. Yeah. Nice aluminum ladder.

Paul: Boy, when you’re on the show, along with Chris, we’re going to open up phone lines. People can call in Honest Home Inspections, but Scott is also a board-certified master inspector at a Master Indoor Environmental specialist. So we talk a lot about mold and radon. In fact, the last show, we really went into radon in depth. And Craig, part of selling a house, you might have to go through one of those testing kits to find out if your home, indeed, has radon.

Craig: Most often. I would say it’s, probably, that’s 9 out of 10 inspections will have a radon test done and it’s pretty high in this area. So just, in general, it’s a good thing to have that test and we always talk about having the pre-inspections for properties. It may not be a bad idea for you to have that radon test done before you even put it on the market to know where you’re at.

Chris: Since you’re going to have to do it anyway.

Scott: Right.

Chris: Might as well get it done if . . . Boy, there are so many commercials on TV. I hear the lung cancer connection to radon. Scott, mold is another issue that is, obviously, affects our health.

Scott: Yes. Yeah. And it is, certainly, a show stopper when it comes to the home buying situation.

Paul: Yeah.

Scott: Almost everything comes to a screeching halt until we can get things taken care of.

Chris: I know what Craig is looking at his computer when I walked in, but some pictures of a house that had . . .

Craig: It’s a property I might be showing this week.

Paul: Okay. We won’t talk about it. But it was all the flooring was lifted off, the carpet was exposed, it was mold everywhere. And how do you know that unless you have it inspected, right?

Scott: Well, that one was pretty obvious, but yeah.

Paul: Even I knew that.

Scott: It’s surprising sometimes because I know exactly where to look for now and I did a mold inspection yesterday and she noticed that I went to the very specific areas first. And she says, “You really know where to look for it.” Of course, it was in every area that I looked at.

Chris: It was.

Scott: And she was suspecting it was there, but she couldn’t really see everything. And it was, unfortunately, a tenant-landlord situation, where the landlord is saying it’s not mold, and it was.

Chris: Yeah. Well, they don’t want it to be mold, of course.

Scott: Right.

Chris: But there’s no way around it.

Paul: Once it’s out there, you’ve got to take care of the problem. The same with radon. And there’s a little background on Scott’s company. Chris, before we open up phone lines and take calls, I just want to talk about Accurate Basement Repair. And you guys do all sorts of basement and foundation repairs.

Chris: Correct. We do everything to do with the basement. We don’t do any remodeling stuff. Anything to do with the water management, structural repair, even, house lifting. So it’s a good time, especially lately with this rain to take a look downstairs because the other things that we’re talking about today earlier like the mold and so forth, it’s usually has to do with poor water management or air filtration in the basement. A lot of people can move forward by doing some things on their own, like, taking a look at their own foundations.

And saying, “Hey, there’s my gutter,” or, “My gutter is hooked up,” or, “My downspouts are appropriately extended,” those kind of things. And that will help keep some of the moisture from getting underneath the foundation and then causing some of those other issues. But yeah, we can fix anything that comes up along with house lifting. A lot of things we’re seeing lately as people having additions put on their house without full basements. And some of the soils are drying or getting too moist and they’re actually heaving and settling lately. So we’ve been doing a lot more of that.

Craig: So that addition is shifting around, but not the original house, you’re saying?

Chris: Correct. We do a lot more addition repairs for what’s called underpinning. And that’s where if you go in your house, you go, “Wow. Does it feel like the floor is little sloped here, and your peas are rolling off to the other side of your plate?” That’s probably . . .

Paul: That’s either you’re on a cruise ship in a bad storm.

Chris: Yeah.

Craig: Or my first radio station, I should mention, WBKV in West Bend. I started there before they tore down the building. It’s long gone. They rebuilt, the floors literally, went downhill. It was hilarious. I mean, severely like you could . . .

Scott: You can feel that sometimes when you . . .

Paul: Really?

Scott: Yeah. When you’re looking at houses and showing houses . . .

Paul: Put a ball or a marble? Here it goes.

Scott: One over the other.

Paul: Oh, my gosh.

Chris: If you’re looking at buying a house like that don’t. I mean, if you like the house, buy the house.

Paul: Well, things can be fixed. Things can be addressed.

Chris: Yep. Anything can be fixed. And just because there are issues with the foundation, I know a lot of listeners will just think, “I want to walk away from that.” But there’s houses that you could buy that could go bad in a year, two years, the time that you’re owning it, so why not find these things on upfront by getting a home inspection.

Paul: And that used to be sentiment, it’s when people saw beams or they saw there could be a potential foundation problem, 10, 15 years ago, they just ran away from that.

Craig: Ran away. Went away.

Paul: And it’s not much of the cases as much as the case anymore. I don’t want to see it expect it, but you see it so much more that’s it has become more common place. And then once those things get done, once Accurate and you get those basement repairs done, basically . . .

Scott: Sure. It’s like the roof . . .

Paul: . . . the foundation is really even stronger than it was.

Scott: Absolutely. It was stronger than it was in the first place. Absolutely.

Paul: Yes.

Craig: Yes.

Paul: Just like my hernia surgery.

Craig: Are you stronger now?

Paul: Yeah. My surgeon said, “You are now stronger down there than you’ll ever be in your or have it.” That’s wonderful. I said, “Thank you for that information.” Yeah. That’s enough of my hernia talk.

Craig: Yeah. You don’t want to see the faces.

Paul: Hey, I’ve got good news. We’ve got some Summerfest tickets to give away.

Craig: That’s a way of changing subject.

Paul: Let’s talk Summerfest. I know it’s 55 and raining today. But Summerfest, for some reason, whenever Summerfest is here, it warms up and it’s a beautiful time of the year in Milwaukee. What I have is a four-pack. So that’s four tickets to one lucky caller. Everybody qualifies. If you call in with the question or throwing your name in a hat, real simple. We pick out one lucky winner at 10:00, at the end of this hour. Start calling in right now.

We’ve got Accurate Basement Repair in studio. We’ve got Scott Lamar with Honest Home Inspections. That means, everywhere in your house. Any mechanical question from the roof down to the foundation, those questions are welcome. Also, Craig Schmitz from Redefine Realty, we should mention your questions, a buyer, a seller, you’re 3.99% commission, the market is really good right now.

Craig: The inventory is still low. We’ve got buyers out there and looking, waiting for new listings. It’s a very interesting dynamic we have right now. And, I think, part of the issue is sellers are reluctant to put their house on the market because they’re afraid they’re going to get an offer right away, but then, they don’t have somewhere to go. So there’s . . .

Paul: Where do I live?

Craig: Exactly.

Paul: Well, with the in-laws.

Craig: So at the end, they’re not putting the house on the market. That’s less inventory for other people. So it’s just this conundrum we have with not getting enough new listings out there.

Paul: And that you hate to turn a buyer away if you’re a seller. I know have anywhere to go right now.

Craig: You’re not turning buyers away. That’s for sure.

Paul: You’re not saying no.

Craig: Basically, what you’re doing as a seller is just trying to put that closing date out as far as possible to give you time to find something else. And, ultimately if you don’t, that’s the issue too is that if you don’t find something, now, you got to move twice. And if you have a family and trying to make all that work, the timing doesn’t always work out the best. But in the end, getting that offer and having something done on yours, you’re going to have a stronger buyer when you go to the next property.

Chris: Absolutely. Put yourself out there.

Paul: So we’re taking your calls between now and 10:00 a.m. I want to give out websites, so you can check out our guests and their businesses. That’s Chris Mancuso’s business and his website, So you can call in with any questions. It might even be an egress window, a crawl space repair, rebuilds, waterproofing, drain tile. And then, with Scott Lamar from Honest Home Inspections, certainly, air quality, mold and radon, but other facets of your home. Scott, you cover every square inch, so it might be a furnace question.

Scott: We can talk about all of it. Absolutely.

Chris: Are some pumps working?

Scott: That’s important right now.

Paul: Yeah. That’s a big one. I mean, the lawns are green. We’re getting a lot of rain. But is your house up to it? And it better be working, right?

Scott: Absolutely, yeah.

Chris: I have a question for you too.

Scott: Okay.

Chris: About a window. How do I . . .

Paul: You just won Summerfest tickets.

Scott: Yeah.

Paul: Actually, a call doesn’t work that way. Does a call from my cellphone is?

Craig: I was thinking. You’re not eligible.

Chris: But I noticed one of my windows is fogging up. Is there a way to find out who the manufacturer is? Because I couldn’t find the stamp on it. Is there, like, a spot where I could look normally?

Scott: Yeah. Sometimes, you can. Sometimes, you can’t. So if Chris’ question is when you get a window go bad, how do you tell who made the window? Well, unfortunately Pella and Anderson, really, are the only ones that actually stamp the glass. The rest of them if you have . . .

Chris: So it’s neither one of those.

Scott: If you have what’s called a double-hung window or a casement window which cranks out, pull the top window down and look up. And there may be some numbers there. That’s really about the only place and, typically it’s just a sticker. So when they get old, that sticker is long gone.

Chris: The sticker wears off.

Scott: I can’t tell you that there are several glass places in our area that will replace just the glass. You don’t have to replace the whole thing. So they can come in and do just the glass replacement.

Paul: That’s a good question. You got the tickets. Just kidding. Just kidding. All right. Let’s get to our callers. In fact, many of the callers are about rain and sump pumps and things like that. We will take any question, and of course, Craig Schmitz from Redefined Realty can talk about the market. Trying to sell a house, trying to buy a house, questions about rates, sometimes, today we got to get rates because, Craig, they are bulked up.

Craig: Well, it does and our market is starting to move up.

Paul: They’re a little bit above four. Last week, Landmark was in, so we’ll check the current 30-year fixed rates and get that information. But right now, we go to Mark. Our first caller is from Milwaukee. Good morning, Mark.

[11:14] Mark: Good morning.

Paul: What’s your question?

Mark: Yeah. I’m going to put a sump pump in and I want to know how high the exit pipe has to be off the ground? Is there any . . .

Chris: Is there any requirement? Is that what you’re wondering?

Mark: Yeah.

Chris: You want to keep it as high off the ground as you can without looking obtrusive. But most municipalities have a requirement that it should be 12 inches up, but it’s almost impossible in some of the older homes.

Paul: From grade?

Chris: From grade, 12 inches off grade, but it’s almost impossible in a lot of houses, Mark, to get that high up. The reason you want to keep it high up is so you can have some accessibility to it too.

Paul: Gravity too. It’s going to come out of that pipe and go somewhere.

Chris: Yeah. But what I will tell you is the best thing to do is if you’re putting a new discharge in there, Mark, is make sure in the summer, you can use a smaller diameter tube. And I know Scott runs across this, what happens on the winter if you keep the small diameter extension tube on, Mark, it will freeze in the winter. And all of a sudden, you’ll hear your some pump buzzing, or worst cases, it will blow off one of the seals in basement. You’ll hear a waterfall. So in the winter, put a larger foreign sleeve on. It doesn’t look well, but it will definitely serve a better purpose by doing that.

Paul: So the answer to the question, most are 12 inches, is what you’re saying?

Chris: Uh-hmm.

Paul: Does he have to check before installing with his municipality? Is that a good idea? Do you need a permit for a sump pump installation?

Craig: Technically, you do when you’re changing them. Technically you do, but most municipalities, I mean, they’re really don’t enforce it, and especially if it’s owner-occupied.

Chris: And you’re just changing it out?

Craig: Yep. And if it’s owner-occupied, you’re usually okay.

Paul: So Mark, don’t give out your address on the air. All right?

Mark: Right.

Scott: And buy a good quality sump pump. Don’t buy the $30 sump pumps. Spend some money on those, especially, if you’re basement is finished. That’s just an insurance policy.

Chris: Absolutely. And the reason that Scott brings that up is if the end point, most of the calls I get for warranty calls are leakage problems after the fact our end point are related to that sump pump, either it’s not functioning out at capacity that it needs to, or it’s blockage at the other end. Mark, so . . .

Paul: That’s a good question. And we thank you for calling in, Mark. We’re heating up on the phones, so we’re going to move along. We’re until 10:00 a.m. on the Redefined Realty Show and this Cris in Hales Corners. Good morning.

[13:51] Cris: Hey. How’s it going, guys?

Craig: Good. How can we help you with?

Cris: So I have a rental property out in Waukesha and it’s on a septic system, one thousand gallon tank to a distribution box to a leach field. Now, they’re complaining about a smell, a sewer smell, coming out of their upstairs shower. I had the tank pumped yesterday and they’re still complaining about it. Do you have any ideas on how I can fix that or what it might be?

Paul: It’s a refreshing shower, isn’t it? You’re in there shampooing up, why it smells like a sewer in here? What’s that from? Any thoughts?

Scott: I’m struggling a little bit with you. The only thing I can think of is that you got some sort of a trap problem and the odor is coming out, probably through the vent in the bathtub.

Paul: Is there rotten, eggy smelling because we’ve all smelled that.

Cris: Yeah. That’s what they’re saying.

Scott: Well, that could be the iron in the water too. Yeah.

Paul: That’s what my guess is.

Scott: That’s big. Iron will give you a rotten egg smell.

Paul: It’s awful.

Scott: Yeah.

Paul: Because you’re showering and it’s like, “Arrgh.”

Cris: Right.

Paul: I’m going to be worse often before I came in the shower.

Scott: So you’re on a septic you’re also on a well, which means that iron filter may be in place. There is another option too that you can try is that inside the water heater is a sacrificial tube, its called an anode tube. And sometimes, if you remove that remove that tube or change that tube out to a different material, like aluminum, you can get rid of some of that smell. But I’d be willing to bet that that’s probably what they’re doing. It’s going to be more prominent in the hot water than it is in the cold.

Cris: Okay.

Paul: And let’s talk about the cure. What do we do here?

Chris: Iron filter and iron . . .

Scott: Iron filter or you can pull that anode tube out of the water heater first. I will tell you that that does work, but at the same time, the idea behind that anode tube is that it’s a sacrificial tube that’s supposed to absorb the galvanic corrosion. If you pull that tube out, then the inside of the tank starts to absorb that galvanic corrosion, so your water heater doesn’t last as long . . .

Paul: The biggest words ever heard on this show. These are the longest words ever used on this show.

Chris: Which you can do as simple things go have the water tested.

Cris: Okay.

Chris: You just have it tested. You can look it up online. Take a sample, send it in.

Paul: Yeah. There’s a lot of . . .

Scott: Any of the well guys can do that too.

Paul: Yep.

Chris: Aqua’s a good company. We’ll check that stuff out for you.

Cris: Perfect.

Paul: So get the water tested.

Chris: Have it tested.

Paul: Yeah. Go from there. Thank you, Cris. That’s a good question. Yeah. Once he said that, and I remember . . .

Chris: I want Scott to say that word again.

Scott: Galvanic corrosion?

Chris: Yes.

Paul: He sounds like a doctor or something over there. Ron is calling from Grafton. Good morning, Ron.

[16:34] Ron: Hey. Good morning you guys. Thanks for taking my call. Question for you. My wife and I moved out here a few years ago and one of the first things I did was I painted the basement walls. And now, I noticed that in the corners on the outside of the house where the downspouts come down, the walls in the basement are like bubbling. I say, it’s called efflorescence. I did extend the downspouts. That’s not a problem anymore, but how do I get rid of that stuff on the wall. And then also, I’m interested in a whole house dehumidifier. What can you tell me about that?

Chris: Well, long as you’ve extended the downspouts, that’s the most important thing for that corner-type stuff.

Scott: And the grade.

Chris: Yep. And like Scott mentioned, and the grade also. Take a look at those things. Make sure that your gutters aren’t overflowing in those areas because a lot of people think, “Oh, I extended the downspout,” but in fact, the gutter is still overflowing because maybe there’s some leaf or the whirlybirds from the silver maples or something. But that’s important and after that, you want to dry out those corners. It takes a long time because that concrete, it’s porous. Those blocks are porous and they hold moisture for a long time, then that paint will peel off. Scrape the paint off, and then go to a good paint store, like at Sherwin-Williams. In fact, if you go to Sherwin-Williams and you name drop Accurate Basement Repair, they’ll give you contractor price on any materials you buy. Just mention Accurate and anyone of the stores will give you that.

Ron: Sure.

Chris: And then talk to those professionals there and they’ll steer you into a product that’s made for that. I don’t know what you used at the onset.

Paul: That is my paint of choice. So Sherwin-Williams, it’s so good.

Chris: Yeah.

Paul: And what a difference in paint quality if you buy that.

Craig: But like he said, there’s specific ones made for the moisture and for the basement walls.

Ron: I should use the primer on it?

Paul: Or Kilz, as if he Kilz that?

Chris: Yeah. I would normally, you don’t have to Kilz it, but just that efflorescence is just a mineral. It’s not harmful. It’s just . . .

Scott: It’s a salt.

Chris: Salt.

Scott: Basically, yeah. It doesn’t hurt anything. What happens is as the concrete block dries because it can’t dry to the soil, so it dries to the basement. As that concrete block dries, the water, the moisture evaporates out of the blocks and it pulls this mineral with it. Again, it doesn’t hurt anything. It’s just like a salt. Wire brush is the best thing to get that off, but one of the key things that Chris there is it does take a long time for that to dry out. An extra dehumidifier in that corner might not be a bad idea, but it will take . . .

Chris: Short term.

Scott: . . . quite a while for that to dry.

Craig: Wire brush is a good idea. Go out the grill. Grab that one.

Chris: And as far as dehumidifying the basement, I mean, we’ve talked about this before, there are opportunities and Santa Fe is an example of a commercial dehumidifier.

Scott: Aprilaire has one too.

Chris: Yeah. But once you get into those, some of them, you can hook right up to your furnace. Some of them are individual units. But you can also go with a radon system put in to and we’ve talked about this before. Radon systems work really well at pulling moisture from underneath your slab. Scott and I talk about it all the time and there are people that choose to have radon systems put in, not because they have radon, but because they want to pull the moisture out because then you don’t have to listen to that fan from the dehumidifier and then that . . .

Scott: Those high-end dehumidifier are going to run you $1,000 to $2,000.

Craig: Really.

Scott: And you can have a radon system put in for about $1,000. So that’s an option for you. It’s a good option.

Paul: And that’s a good question, Ron. We thank you for the call. We’ve got to move along. I can’t believe halfway through the show. We’re right 9:30. Craig, just give us some background and both of our guests and their companies, it’s the Redefined Realty Show. We need to give out, at least, some info on your company.

Craig: Absolutely. It’s just 3.99% at closing. We’ve mentioned the market being pretty hot right now. Obviously, every location and situation is different on price range, but the market is the buyers are out there and they’re looking for new listings. They’re looking for fresh listings. We get this big push in April and May, and then, this is sort of the peak: May, June. But the listings that have been out there already the buyers have seen those. They are waiting for something different or a price changes of sellers giving higher price, they haven’t sold yet. They need to get that price down to a benchmark number that reaches a new audience.

Paul: But they’re in control. Sellers are in control.

Craig: In many, many situations. And I would say, in most situations, the sellers have more control in this market right now. It’s definitely changed.

Paul: We mentioned your commission at 3.99%. There’s more information at, but you do have an office in Delafield we can call anytime for questions.

Craig: You can give us call at (262) 732-5800.

Paul: And what we’re doing in the Redefined Realty show with our guests Scott Lamar from Honest Home Inspections and Chris Mancuso with Accurate Basement Repair, taking everybody’s name, tossing it in the hat. If you call the show with a question, at 10:00, we’re drawing one lucky winner for a four pack of Summerfest tickets. We’ll be right back. Lines are open right now 799-1130, Kessler’s Diamond Center’s toll-free line is (800) 838-9476. This is WISN.

[21:55] Welcome back and thanks for staying with us during that commercial break. At Redefined Realty, we’re more than just your average real estate company. We’ve got many experienced, hardworking agents all over Southeast Wisconsin and we have Wisconsin’s favorite flat fee, plus 3.99% commission plan. You can call our office anytime for an appointment at (262) 732-5800 or start the process online with just one click of the green List Now button at And don’t forget, our market analysis is always free.

Before we get started, just a quick message from our sponsors.

Chris: Hi. Chris Mancuso here of Accurate Basement Repair. At Accurate Basement Repair, we fix your basement issues. Take a good look at your basement. Check the walls for cracking. Look down low for any signs of seepage. Don’t risk your biggest investment. Accurate Basement Repair is your resource for a foundation restoration and waterproofing. Call Accurate Basement Repair at (414) 744-6900. That’s (414) 744-6900. Estimates are always free.

Woman 1: Landmark Credit Union is one of Wisconsin’s leading mortgage lenders with low rates and no closing costs for first time home buyers. Visit or call (262) 796-4500. Landmark Credit Union, you’re worth more here.

[23:36] Paul: All right. Is this is a Cheech & Chong song?

Scott: It kind of feels like it does.

Paul: Yeah.

Paul: I love this song. Hey, we’re back. WISN’s Redefined Realty Show, 55 right now with some rain. It’s kind of foggy, especially, along the lake. We’re in Greenfield that it’s somewhat foggy out here. A lot of good callers and questions so far as Honest Home Inspections Scott Lamar joins us, from Accurate Basement Repair, Chris Mancuso and Craig Schmitz is here from Redefined Realty. A couple of callers are going to sneak in and we got a lot of questions, so we want to answer those, of course, then we’re going to talk about garage doors, Craig.

Craig: Yes.

Paul: And garage doors safety, believe it or not. Some stories off the air, not funny, I don’t want to say, but . . .

Craig: Could be dangerous.

Paul: . . . could be dangerous, but they’re kind of funny at the same time. We’ll explain. Jeff is next from Caledonia. Good morning, Jeff.

[24:27] Jeff: Good morning.

Paul: And how can we help you?

Jeff: I got a question for Chris. My house is about five years old and I’ve been noticing that the sump pump seems to be running more often than it used to be, especially, with this recent rain we’ve been having. I’m a little concerned. I don’t want it burning out or anything, I was just wondering if that’s normal or what can be done about that?

Chris: Well, most of the time, when I get the questions about my sump pump is running more often, most of the time, it’s the people are noticing it’s running more often because it’s either making more noise or something like that. But I would do first is I would, again, and I always talk of this often, go on the outside of your house and make sure that your downspouts are extended because if one of those popped off, especially the one nearest to that sump crock, you’re pump will recirculate the water coming off your roof and will continuously keep on running. So that’s a big deal and that goes into saying the extension too by that sump pump, if that’s not extend the same thing, it will recycle the water back.

Scott: Right. We see that quite a bit and the showings were not going very far away from the house, so it’s dumping it right back and pouring it right back down.

Paul: I’ve seen that at my own house. It was my fault, because I took the hose off. All the water is being pumped out and going right back against the foundation.

Chris: Yeah. I would take a look at that first and if both of those things are okay. . .

Jeff: Yeah. I don’t think that’s the problem. I got about 12-foot downspouts extending.

Chris: Well, then, I would look for you. That’s unusual.

Paul: Well, if that’s not the case, what else could be going on, Chris?

Chris: Well, sometimes, you may just tear it more often. I would check a lot of those when they’re installed. If they were installed via do-it-yourself or sometimes it will be leaning against the floor joist or something. And a lot of them may have had some sort of insulation or sound deadening stuff around them and that may have fallen off and all of a sudden now, you’re just hearing it more.

Paul: Now you hear it.

Chris: So I would take a look at that. Generally if it’s running, and if it’s running more, it’s doing its job as long as your basement doesn’t get wet.

Paul: Yep. And a day like today, probably, it’s going to be running a lot. We’ve got rain now for about 24 hours straight.

Chris: Yeah.

Jeff: Okay.

Paul: So Jeff, hope that helps. Thank you for calling.

Jeff: All right. Thank you.

Paul: We’ve got some more questions to take, but I want to get into this garage door thing before we run out of time, Craig. So kind of set the stage.

Craig: Set the stage for garage door safety. Well, you can never be too safe with that and that’s one of those things that comes up in the inspection in terms of . . . and sometimes, so while it’s not a problem, I’ve never had a problem with that or whatever is the garage door, I’s or safety, cables on the garage door to make sure that it’s functioning properly or even just working properly. If it’s working too hard and the motors working too hard, well, that could burn out as well. So your garage door is the largest moving device in the home. And a lot of people don’t really think of it that way and it’s a very common . . .

Paul: Yes, it is.

Scott: It’s the largest moving device in the home. The problem with that is, let’s say, one of the examples that we check is if the springs were not adjusted properly. So what I do is take the emergency release rope, which is supposed to be six feet from the floor. And a lot of times, we’re putting these taller garages, taller . . .

Paul: So that it’s not in the way when we pull in with our big SUV’s, right?

Scott: Right. Right. But at the same time, someone who’s vertically challenged, like I am . . .

Paul: You can’t reach it.

Scott: And it’s called an emergency release rope for a reason. So I disconnect those and then I bring that door down and if that door falls down, hard, that means that that spring is not adjusted properly. Well, what you’re looking at there is that if that garage or opener would break, let’s say, the chain breaks, that door is coming down on your car, or on you, or so on your kids or animals.

Paul: Or on your kids or pets. Think of that.

Scott: Right.

Paul: Those doors are heavy. They will hurt.

Scott: They’re very heavy. And one the reasons I bring this up is because I just talked to a lady whose son, unfortunately, got trapped underneath the garage door and he’s not going to be mentally right for the rest of his life.

Paul: Oh no. It was that bad.

Scott: So it was a big issue and it was kind of interesting because she watched me do the garage door inspection.

Paul: Yeah.

Scott: And then she talked to me about this. She says, “You really did an awesome job with this because you checked all the parameters.”

Paul: Yeah.

Scott: So the safety issues here; one is the emergency release rope. One would be to make sure that those garage doors springs are adjusted properly. And I don’t know how many of those that we pull off and that thing just comes slamming down.

Paul: How many people wake up every day and think, “I need to have my garage door inspected?” I bet a lot of people let it go.

Craig: Some people don’t.

Paul: You just kind of let it go. You take it for granted.

Scott: Right. Right.

Paul: You use your garage door, you maybe change the batteries on the remote keypad outside, which I do every now and then, but you don’t think much . . .

Scott: Yeah. And that’s pretty much it.

Paul: Don’t the panels get loose too every now and then?

Scott: They do. Well, what I see and I wanted to bring that up to is really a wood garage door – I see loose hardware more than any of the rest of them, but all of them you should check. Just take a good visual look at all the hardware there and make sure that all the screws are tight. Your rollers are not jamming up, things like that.

Chris: What about greasing overall?

Paul: Yeah.

Scott: Most of them don’t need that anymore. And the roller itself on the inside is already prepacked.

Chris: This is the bearing. Isn’t it?

Scott: When you add grease to the tracks, you’re attracting dust and dirt, which will wear the rollers stuffs like that.

Chris: Not WD40 on the tracks or neither?

Scott: No. You use the WD40 on the hinges that are in between the panels. If you see those squeeking, WD40 works pretty on any water displacing and a bit like that.

Paul: That was my next question. Some of the garage doors are quiet.

Scott: Yes.

Paul: And some of them are just loud.

Scott: And usually the loud ones are those little hinges in the middle.

Chris: Okay.

Scott: Other ones sort of screaming and a little oil in there will do those just fine.

Paul: Okay. And that’s what I’m doing then this weekend, I think. My garage door is loudly lately. I was wondering, “What’s going on with that?” Mike is in Menomonee Falls. He’s got a question on resale value. It’s the Redefined Realty Show on WISN. Good morning, Mike.

[30:07] Mike: Good morning, guys. Actually, I’ve kind of a two part question. And I think it incorporates both for all of your guests. First, I got about 20-year old house and the landscaping is in need of a touch up. So actually, there’s been a lot of the grading has settled. We’ve noticed that the dirt has dropped pretty significantly at this level and a bunch of the plants that were originally put in were dead. So we’re in the process of doing this right now. We’re pulling out all the dead stuff. We’re pulling out some other stuff that we don’t want. We’re going to regrade to make sure that we don’t have any . . . we haven’t had any serious water issues in the basement. Are there any pointers or tips in terms of regrading around the whole house that we need to be aware of because we’re kind of doing this ourselves and I guess, I know enough to be dangerous?

Scott: Okay. There are couple of things. One, you need to maintain . . . what kind of siding do you have on the house?

Mike: It’s cedar siding and we just actually had that resealed as well.

Scott: Okay. You need to maintain 6 to 8 inches from soil to siding. That’s actually a Wisconsin code and a lot of people don’t realize that.

Paul: So your concrete, your foundation should be exposed.

Scott: Well your soil, typically, you want about one to two inches from concrete for any wood siding like that.

Paul: Yep.

Scott: Particularly your hardy plank or that type of siding that’s huge on that, but any wood siding needs to maintain one to two inches from concrete, six to eight inches from soil to siding. And there’s several reasons for that, but one of them is what’s called splash back. So if the water hits that soil, it splashes back onto the wood siding, and then, that lower piece tends to rot more than the others.

Paul: And it’s unsightly. You’ll see that will stain on some homes.

Scott: Yeah. Yeah. So the other thing you want to do is you’re pitched away from the house. We want to use the . . . we call it the one inch by one foot rule. So if you have a yardstick, you put that yardstick on there, you should be three inches higher at the yardstick towards the foundation than you are away from the house.

Paul: So every foot away, one inch in going down away from it.

Scott: Ideally to get out six feet or more with that situation. And then, lastly when you’re going to add soil, you want to add brown dirt. If you bring in topsoil, topsoil tends to absorb the moisture. Brown dirt is a mixture of dirt and clay. And that well, you can still grow pretty much whatever you want in it. And then, as another option, you can put on, I’m a big fan of decorative gravel over the top of that . . .

Paul: Versus mulch.

Scott: . . . versus mulch.

Paul: I know there’s a lot of reasons behind that.

Chris: It’s just longevity.

Paul: Yep.

Mike: Yeah. Our plan is to put in some decorative stone over it. We have a lava stone and we’re pulling that out. We’re going to put in a little more heavy stone.

Paul: Hey, Mike. I don’t want to move this on too fast, but we are way behind on the break. Let’s get to your final question before we’re out of time.

Mike: Yes. Last good question is that in replacing the landscaping, the original landscaper put in way too many plants and stuff thats ridiculously overgrown. So we’re pulling a lot of that. Is it okay for us to cut back and make it more simple from a resale value perspective?

Paul: Craig, what are your thoughts on that?

Craig: Sure. I mean, there’s going to be some people that maybe want a lot of that stuff, but, I think, in general, the less maintenance, the more there is to do.

Paul: Yep. Those arbor vitaes that people put in years ago, that literally hid windows, the picture windows.

Craig: And grew against the house.

Paul: they grew against the house.

Scott: We had one the other day that the roots are actually pushing against the wall. It was so big. It looked like a maple tree.

Paul: So they just let them go. I think, Mike, you’re best off just the cleaner, the better.

Scott: Simple.

Craig: And it sounds like you’re doing the right thing and that’s just well maintain is going to go a long way.

Mike: Yep. And that’s what we’re looking for. Low maintenance . . .

Paul: And that’s what the resale value, Craig, that’s what the next owner is going to look for too.

Craig: Sure. Definitely.

Mike: Okay.

Chris: That maintenance factor. Thank you, Mike.

Mike: Thanks, Chris.

Paul: Didn’t want to rush you, but we got two breaks and 12 minutes. So, Spencer, it’s break time. And we’ll start at 1130 WISN. If you want to call in the final 12 minutes, that’s plenty of time to get questions answered, you might win a four pack of Summerfest tickets. One caller is then we’ll pick that winner out at 10. for Chris Mancuso’s company. and, of course, this is the Redefined Realty Show with Craig Schmitz on WISN. We’ll be right back.

[34:10] We’re back for segment three of the Redefined Realty Show. So have you seen the latest photo and video technology related to aerial drones? At Redefined Realty, we have that technology right in house and you won’t want to be left out. High-end lake properties, golf course estates and many other really cool homes can set themselves apart from the competition by utilizing this awesome video technology. Get a higher price for your home and impress the heck out of your competition by using Redefined Realty and our aerial drone services. We’ll even tape that video, put it right into the MLS for you and edit to the Redefined Realty YouTube page. In fact, you can check out all of our drone videos online at Thanks again for listening. The team is coming back right now.

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[35:40] Paul: Okay. We have one break to slide in here and not much time left, but we are back with Redefined Realty. One thing, Craig, we tend to do every week as you hear Inspector Gadget music in the background, that’s for you, Scott Lamar. Let’s talk about interest rates. Now, we’ve heard some talk about rates going up ever so slightly.

Craig: Just sliding up a little bit. I’m on the Landmark Credit Union site and we’re looking at 4.125 no points on the 30 fixed, the 15 at 3.25, so they were just under three before and just under four for those two rates. So just sliding up a little bit.

Paul: It’s more of a mental thing saying now they’re over four.

Craig: Right.

Paul: 3.99 to 4, one notch.

Craig: 3.99% commission.

Paul: It’s just like that. It’s why do they say 1.99? Right?

Craig: Here you go.

Paul: Why do you price a home at 299, instead, of 300? So you’re in that under the . . .

Craig: Very much a psychology in that.

Paul: Yeah.

Craig: It’s also though, you mentioned that about the pricing, it’s not just a psychology of it though, in that regard, that’s search engine lies. So a buyer searching to 300,000 and stopping there, absolutely, happens. So if you’re at 304 . . .

Paul: So if you’re at 301, you miss out.

Craig: . . . 309, you’re missing those buyers and this is where getting towards that part of the market. Now, the sellers are hearing, “Oh, that’s a great market and things are selling,” and that’s absolutely, true in many locations and price ranges. But it’s not everybody. And if you’re priced higher than what the market is willing to bear and you’re not reaching the right audience, getting under those thresholds, those $25,000 increments about those $100,000 ones are so important to reach a new audience.

Paul: Yeah. Your thoughts on where we’re headed, Craig? I know you don’t have a crystal ball. Do you think those inch up a little bit after summer?

Craig: Yeah. It seems like Rob Nelson from Landmark Credit Union was on last week or the week . . .

Paul: Last week he was.

Craig: Last week. And mentioned he’s been . . . and they’ve been talking about it. Well they’ve been talking about it all last year, so who knows for sure and, like you said, you don’t have a crystal ball and they may end up going back down a little bit. But signs point to them going up and so that’s kind of pushed the market a little bit too as far as if you’re thinking about getting into something. Taking advantage of those lower rates.

Paul: You’d be taking yourself, if suddenly, they are in mid fives, to six.

Craig: Right. Right.

Paul: Remember they were just at 3.7, that’s a lot of money.

Craig: That’s a big savings. They make a significant difference in what you’re able to afford or what you’re willing to pay for something.

Paul: We have to if we can.

Craig: So that does change the market.

Paul: Craig, your website is You’ve got all the pictures of all the homes in the MLS right on your site.

Craig: The right place to search for properties on the buying side. If you’re thinking about selling and that this is the market now, where the buyers are waiting for new listings. If you’re thinking about it, you’re not sure, you want to just, “You know what? Let’s get it out there and see what happens,” we’re willing to work with you and get it out there for a couple of months. If it’s not working, you’re not getting the price you want or it’s not where you want it to be necessarily, then take it off the market and put it back on in the spring. But I think, now, is the time to take advantage of low inventory where the buyers are thirsting and waiting for something new. If you’re thinking about it, get your property out there now.

Paul: Redefined Realty covers the entire state, Craig. I mentioned your office is in Delafield. And your main phone number is?

Craig: You can give us a call at (262) 732-5800.

Paul: When we come back, we’re going to announce the winner of the four packs of Summerfest tickets. Somebody is going to go to Summerfest and we’re going to give you some information on Honest Home Inspections with Scott Lamar and Chris Mancuso’s company, Accurate Basement Repair on WISN. We’ll be right back.

[39:19] All right. We are back. On Newstalk 1130 WISN, the winner of the Summerfest tickets. Congratulations to Mark in Milwaukee. You get a four pack of Summerfest tickets. Okay. One minute left in the show. Let’s go around the table. We thank Chris Mancuso, Accurate Basement Repair. Give us your location. Oh, we don’t have your mic. Hit your button, Chris. I’m sorry.

Chris: Well, that’s excellent. Accurate Basement Repair, we serve most of southeast in Wisconsin. You can call us at (414) 744-6900, and always check us out online at Always call us with your real estate transactions.

Paul: We thank you.

Questions on waterproofing and foundation restoration, wall rebuilds, full excavation, wall stains or efflorescence? Ask Chris from Accurate Basement Repair. Call us today at (414) 744-6900 for your FREE estimate!