On the November 11th edition of The KTSA Home Improvement Show, we had a lot of great calls as always – and some rather unique problems. All the big topics are here for you to read in case you missed the show!
Jan started the show by asking why the gas logs from her fireplace were releasing an odor and why her bricks were being discolored.
It’s likely that the discoloring of the bricks is from the smoke of the gas logs in the fireplace, and the odor is the smoke coming into the house. It doesn’t smell like smoke because it is gas powered. The odor may be carbon monoxide, which is extremely dangerous. In these cases, it’s best to hire a chimney sweep to check the chimney. The flue of the chimney needs to be open. On a gas fireplace, the flue is not ever supposed to be completely closed. It may be partially closed to be able to light the fire – but never completely closed. Best advice? Hire a chimney sweep to clean the discolored bricks, and make sure the flue is opened completely after lighting.
Jennifer called next, and she was concerned about the levelling of her home. She said she bought her house about four years ago and the house has shifted several times. The house was levelled several times because of the shifting, and a drainage system was installed to help prevent any future shifting. Recently, she has had some cracks in the ceiling of her home but no shifting of her home since the drainage system was made. She was wondering when she should get the cracks fixed.
This is fairly unique problem for someone to have with their home, and the best option is to route the water away from the house – which she had already seemed to have done. So in this case, Jennifer should just wait about four months for the spring rains to pour in and see what happens before spending any more money on repairs.
Construction worker/painter Alex also called in, asking for our recommended protocol for setting new cement posts to level a house. He said a lot of posts underneath the house were leaning and he supposed there is not a cement base at the bottom.
This issue does depend on the area the house is in and the type of soil it’s built on. There are many factors, in this case. Sometimes there are areas where you can dig two feet below and hit bedrock. Other places you could dig 20 feet and still not hit bedrock. The fact that the posts underneath the home are leaning suggests something isn’t right. There probably is not a base underneath the posts. as he suggested, and this problem is crucial to fix because it is the foundation of the house.