Category Archives: cracked foundation

What to Inspect Before Purchasing a New Home

Filed under Andy Lindus, basement waterproofing, ceilings, Construction, cracked foundation, Home Construction, Home Maintenance, Home Safety, LeafGuard, Lindus Construction, Midwest LeafGuard, Remodeling, WCCO, WCCO Home Improvement Show
Tagged as , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Some new homeowners have had to learn the hard way that there are some very important things to check before signing papers on a new home. Avoiding costly repairs upon first moving in is essential. Don’t assume that you are buying a newer home and there will not be any problems.  You could spend several hundred to thousands of dollars if you are negligent, but if you educate yourself as to what to look for you, could put that money back in your pockets. We are going to discuss crucial things to check to determine your potential home’s quality before you commit to signing the papers.

The Structure

The structure of your potential home will tell you a lot about the quality in which it was built. Check the floors by walking around in your stocking feet to feel for sags and slopes. You don’t want to feel excessive sag or notice that the floor slopes towards a wall. Check the ceiling for any cracks. This can indicate movement from the floor above or wall where the ceiling intersects. Even a small crack can grow causing structural problems. Door frames should be square and should not have cracks running diagonally to the ceiling. When inspecting the exterior walls be sure that none of the walls are out of plumb and any cracks on the interior are not showing up on the outside of the wall.

Water Control

When looking at a new home, pay special attention to the grade of the lot. The home should be at the highest point on the lot with the ground sloping away from it. Do the gutters, downspouts and drainage pipes carry excess water away from the home? Check for water stains along the wall and the floors. If you smell a musty or damp smell, there is most likely and issue with water drainage. If there is flaking or peeling on any concrete, brick or stone in the home that indicates water getting into the surface and you should be alarmed. If the yard has sprinklers, are they working properly or are there broken heads or a possible leak?

The Roof

Having to repair your entire roof after buying a new home can be very costly. Your roof protects your home from so many weather elements that you want to make sure it is performing to the best of its ability. Leaking in the attic after rain or an ice dam forming could mean it has inadequate shingle underlayment and deteriorating flashing. If any shingles are missing, curled or cracked your roof could be near the end of its life cycle. If the shingles are inconsistent in color and have dark or dirty looking areas it is caused by the loss of granules due to the roofs age.


The plumbing of your potential home should never be overlooked. Find out if there are any lead pipes in the home. If the home was built before 1986, it may have lead or galvanized plumbing. If you have children, you may not want to live in a home that has lead pipes. Your water pressure is determined by the size of the water pipes. If you prefer adequate water pressure, like most of us, you want the lines to be ¾ of an inch to one inch from the main water source and the diameter should be at least a ½ an inch. Make sure that the water heater is big enough to accommodate your needs depending on your family size. If you have a family of 4 you should have at least a 40 gallon tank. If the water heater has signs of corrosion or the buildup of mineral deposits it could mean the tank has a short life to live. Check all of the kitchen and bathroom faucets for leaks and drips. Don’t forget to check underneath the sinks as well for leaking pipes. Flush every toilet in the home to ensure they refill correctly. Lastly, turn on the shower in the room farthest from the home’s water source and evaluate the temperature and water pressure. Ask questions about the sewer system and whether it is connected to a municipal sewer system or a septic tank. Look for signs of seepage and odors if there is a septic tank. Septic tanks can be very expensive to repair so having this fixed prior to closing will say your potentially thousands of dollars.

Electrical Systems

The wiring of your home should be grounded and in good working order before purchasing a home.  Outlets should be inspected to make sure that they have a ground and don’t have any cracks or other defects. They should have proper tension to hold cords that are plugged in and that they are the proper type for that area of the home. Any areas that could get wet or damp such as bathrooms, kitchens, basements, garages or outdoor outlets are required to have ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) installed.


Did you know that the cost of a new furnace, including ductwork, can run $5,000 to $7,000? I bet you would pay special attention to it when considering purchasing a new home. Whether it is blistering hot out our extremely cold, it is imperative to test each heating and cooling system on your potential new home. The ducts of your HVAC system are like the veins running throughout your body. They carry heated and cooled air to different rooms of the home. If you ductwork is shoddy at best, your energy costs will rise and the system will also not operate efficiently. Inadequate ventilation in your home can lead to allergies, moisture and other problems.


If you home has a fire place or wood burning stove, be sure to inspect it. You want to examine the masonry on the chimney and check the mortar between the bricks and stone to make sure it is intact. Shine a flashlight down the chimney to look for mortar crumbling. Look for dented or rusted metal or missing screw at any joints. If you notice an accumulation of creosote it can cause dangerous chimney fires and must be removed immediately.

Tune into AM 830 WCCO on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am hosted by Denny Long and Andy Lindus to ask questions regarding your home improvement projects. Call us now at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at to schedule a free in-home estimate.



Perk Up the Outside of Your Home with Paint

Filed under Andy Lindus, Construction, cracked foundation, Home Construction, Home Maintenance, Lindus Construction, Midwest LeafGuard, Remodeling, WCCO, WCCO Home Improvement Show
Tagged as , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Does your home need a new look? In this economy, homeowners are finding out that there’s nothing quite like painting to refresh your home, at a fraction of the cost of a remodel, produces immediate results. Painting is a major job, but if you are up to the challenge it will be worth your while because painting will provide an update for pennies on the dollar. Whether your motivation is curb appeal or resale value you will not be disappointed on your ROI when it comes to sprucing up the exterior of your home.

You are going to need some specific tools for this DIY job that you can either rent or purchase. If you don’t believe that you will use these tools again in the foreseeable future, make sure to rent them. Here is a list of tools needed to paint the exterior of your home.

Prepping & Painting Tools

  • Paint Scraper – will save you a lot of agony when trying to get off that old paint.
  • Putty Knife – will come in handy when you need to scrape down areas.
  • Wire Brush – works well in hard to scrape areas to loosen up the old paint.
  • Plastic Sheeting – will save you a lot of clean up when it comes to scraped off paint chips.
  • Pole Sander – this will help you sand in those hard to reach places that are higher up.
  • Sandpaper – have plenty of this on hand to access those smaller crevices.
  • Painting Tape – you will want ample amounts especially if you are spraying.
  • Caulk & Caulk Gun – use this to fill any holes or gaps after you are done scraping and sanding before you start the painting process.
  • Pressure Washer – this will save a lot of manual labor when removing the old paint.
  • Extension Ladders or Scaffolding – is a personal preference whether you are going to use ladders or scaffolding. Both of these come in all sizes so make sure to choose the best height for your home.
  • Paint Sprayer, Brushes and Rollers – using a paint sprayer will save you a lot of time and will produce a more consistent look. Brushes and rollers still do the trick and it really depends on how much time you have to complete this project and what method you are most comfortable with.
  • Paint – keep in mind the elements that your new paint will endure such as lots of rain or cold winters. Be sure to spend the extra dollars on the quality of your paint because the last thing you want to do is put in all of this work to only have to re-do the job in a short amount of time.

Now that you have decided to take on this project, you need to have realistic expectations of how long this job will take to complete. Altogether, it can take anywhere from a few days to a week. One of the most important factors after you are done prepping the exterior of your home for painting is paying attention to the temperature. For the best results, paint on days with low humidity and winds. Temperatures between 70 and 85 degrees are ideal for paint to dry in the manner it is supposed to. Follow the shade around your home so that your fresh paint is not exposed to direct sunlight which can cause heat blisters. The second most important part of painting the exterior of your home is what factors and qualities to look for in the type of paint you choose. There are four different terms when it comes to the power of paint you are using and those are hiding power, color retention, chalking resistance and blister resistance. Here is what each of these terms mean when it

Hiding Power –many people believe that dark colors have greater hiding power than lighter colors. The truth is darker colors don’t cover as well as whites and pastels. The reason is the way paints are tinted. Tint bases for darker colors are usually clear and for lighter colors they are usually white that is why lighter colors will cover better.

Color Retention – is premature and/or excessive lightening of the paint color, which often occurs on surfaces with sunny southern exposure. Fading or poor color retention can also be a result of chalking of the coating. Possible causes of color retention are making the mistake of using interior grade paint for an outdoor application, lower quality paint, paint that is vulnerable to UV radiation or you had a type of paint tinted that is not intended for tinting.

Chalking – is the formation of fine powder on the surface of the paint film during weathering, which can cause color fading. Some degree of chalking is normal, but a cause of why this is happening is lower quality paint and using interior paint again for an outdoor application.

Heat Blistering – is the formation of bubbles resulting from localized loss of adhesion and lifting of the paint film from the underlying surface. Painting in direct sunlight or on a surface that is too warm, especially when applying a darker color, is usually the culprit of this.

There are two types of exterior paint and they are solvent-based (oil or alkyd) or water-based (latex). Oil based paints have mineral spirits for the liquid solvent and dry more slowly than latex, taking about 24 hours to cure. You are able to clean up this type of paint with turpentine or paint thinner. Water-based (latex) paint has water for the liquid. It dries relatively fast, which might not be desirable in hot weather or direct sunlight. You are able to clean up this paint with soap and water.

After you have decided on your paint type you need to choose which type of finish you would like gloss, semi-gloss, flat or satin. Your finish depends on what type of material you are painting.

Gloss – is the toughest. It cleans easily and resists scuffs better. Therefore, it’s a good choice for areas of high traffic or constant use, like door jambs and window casings. For shutters and other trim work, gloss paint provides a sleek, eye-catching look. Gloss paint will, however, show imperfections in the surface more than other sheens.

Semi-gloss – paints are also durable and easy to clean, but have less shine than gloss. They are just as suitable for trim work and casings.

Semi-gloss Satinoffers a good combination of easy-clean and moderate sheen. It’s a good choice for siding that is in good condition. This type of finish is also referred to as eggshell or low luster.

Flat paint – is the best choice for vinyl and aluminum siding that is scratched or dented because it hides imperfections well and spatters less when applied. It’s also easier to touch up.

Caulking is a very important step when it comes to painting the exterior of your home. We would recommend that you use OSI QUAD Color Match formula. It has the widest array of colors, at 3,500 and counting, in the industry because they work directly with the product manufacturers to ensure a perfect color match. OSI QUAD Color Match is an advanced formula sealant designed for superior performance on exterior windows, doors, siding and trim applications. It can be applied to wet or dry surfaces, even at freezing temperatures. Unlike other sealants, it resists dirt & dust collection, yellowing and water washout. OSI QUAD is self-tooling and once cured, it is paintable. Check out their website at www.

You are finally ready to start painting the exterior of your home. You will want to start at the top left corner and work your way left to right top to bottom. This is because you read left to right and therefore are more likely to spot any places you may have missed. This is how your minds have been taught to see things and it has been proven to speed up painting. Painters work top to bottom because you will have times when paint will drip down and you’ll need to smooth it out. Once the main part of your home is painted you can start working on the detailed areas such as the trim and shutters. After you have painted the exterior of your home you will know if you would ever DIY again. If you answer is no, call your local contractor and leave it up to the professionals!

Tune into AM 830 WCCO on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am hosted by Denny Long and Andy Lindus to ask questions regarding your home improvement projects. Call us now at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at to schedule a free in-home estimate for your home improvement needs today!


Basement Waterproofing 101

Filed under Andy Lindus, basement waterproofing, Construction, cracked foundation, Home Construction, Home Maintenance, Home Safety, Inc., Jesse Trebil, Lindus Construction, Remodeling, Safe Basements, Wall anchoring, WCCO, WCCO Home Improvement Show, Wet basements
Tagged as , , , , , , , , , ,

Basement Waterproofing

Have you had a water problem for a long time in your basement or has one just started? There are many reasons as to why and how water gets in your basement. Below are some of the most common culprits.

  • Cracks in your masonry
  • Leaking pipes
  • Inadequate sump pump
  • Improper positioning of downspouts that allows water to congregate near your foundation instead of away from it
  • Poor grading around your foundation
  • Seepage from window wells

Waterproofing your basement is one of the best ways you can increase your property value of your home. It will also improve your living
experience and prevent damaging moisture from entering your home. By waterproofing your home, you are taking the steps to be proactive instead of reactive and reduce your chances of a serious repair in your future. By waterproofing your home you are protecting it from access moisture which can destroy your foundation, basements walls and let’s not forget your belongings. There are a few different ways that you can waterproof your basement which are below.

  • Interior Waterproofing – A cutting-edge device being used for interior waterproofing today is an interior drain tile system. It lowers the water table far below the basement floor. It is designed to collect and redirect water away from your home.
  • Exterior Waterproofing – Captures the water before it enters your home. The drain tile is now on the outside of your foundation which acts as a piping system to collect and redirect subsurface water that moves down through the soil. This would not be the ideal option for you if you have an existing home because it can be very costly and an interior waterproofing system would fit your needs a lot better.
  • New Construction Waterproofing – Consider using both interior and exterior drain tile systems when building your new home. This can sometimes be an area that is overlooked and you could end up having a water issue in your brand new home.
  • Crack Injection – Cracks appear in your foundation when there is sufficient hydrostatic pressure surrounding the foundation of your home. Crack injection is a permanent affordable solution for many homeowners when your poured concrete walls crack and develop a slow leak. Common products used to seal the cracks are injection epoxies, polyurethane foams and grouts.
  • Yard and Downspout Drains – The whole idea of this approach is to keep the water away from your home to avoid a water problem in the first place. A down spout drain is one of the single most important rainwater drainage systems.

Wall Anchoring

There are many reasons that can cause your foundation to start failing. Excessive hydrostatic pressure, soil shifting and even seasonal changes can cause it to deteriorate. Here are some of the signs that you can look for to see if you might be experiencing foundational problems.

  • Tilting and leaning chimneys
  • Floors that are not level and uneven
  • Cracks in drywall and plaster walls
  • Cracks in exterior brick or concrete
  • Windows and doors not closing properly
  • Bowing and leaning basement walls
  • Stair step cracks in basement and crawlspace walls
  • Nail heads popping through drywall and plaster

No need to worry because you can fix these problems with wall anchors. Wall anchors are plates and steel rods used to stabilize your walls and counteract hydrostatic pressure that is being exerted against your foundation wall.  Wall anchors can be used in various places and rod extenders can help to preserve your deck, concrete, flower beds and landscaping. When hydrostatic pressure builds up around your basement walls, or the soil expands with water saturation, it can push against your wall and cause bowing. The anchors will hold the wall in its current condition and have the ability to be tightened down further when the soil outside the wall shrinks.

Jesse Trebil Foundation Systems, Inc. of MN specializes in all types of basement and foundation repair, waterproofing and basement drain systems for Central Minnesota and the Twin Cities area. They offer guaranteed solutions for faulty basements and bad foundations. They are equipped to solve all of these problems, no matter how big or small.
They are a licensed and insured general contractor, radon mitigating and official dealer of the Safe Basements® product line. All of their crews have gone through extensive training and have been certified as foundation repair specialists by Jesse Trebil himself.

Whether it’s basement waterproofing, cracked or bowing walls, settling foundation or new construction, they offer guaranteed permanent solutions to fill your needs. Visit them online to learn more about how they can make your basement a safe area to enjoy at

Tune into AM 830 WCCO on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am hosted by Denny Long and Andy Lindus to ask questions regarding your home improvement projects. Call us now at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at to schedule a free in-home estimate.