DIY Foundation Repairs! What can you fix and what needs a Pro! - Around the House® Home Improvement

Episode 1265

Can you actually repair your foundation? Our DIY tips

Foundations are scary as a homeowner and there are some companies out there that do the repairs that love to take advantage of that. We dive into foundations and what can be fixed and what needs a professional.

It used to be that you would have to jack that house up off the foundation but with new technolgy that doesnt happen unless you are moving the house or moving the house up.

This and so much more on this weeks hour 1 of Around the House!

We talk about carbon fiber repair solutions. That source is https://www.rhinocarbonfiber.com

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Transcript
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[00:00:12] Caroline Blazovsky: and I'm going to throw something in as an environmental consultant. I don't care which part of the country you live in. You will have moisture affecting that foundation, slab, concrete, whatever. So you may be different times of year. If you live in Arizona, you may say, oh, you know, we're relatively dried, but you get that monsoon season where you get tremendous amounts of rain.

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[00:00:45] Intro: live in, in the us, when it comes to remodeling

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[00:00:53] Intro: This

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[00:01:05] Caroline Blazovsky: today? Oh, hi guys. How is everyone in radio land?

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[00:01:15] Eric Goranson: Welcome to our new stations out there. When on. Thanks for tuning in today, we have two hours of home improvement ahead for you. Well, at least one hour and some funny times in the next hour, but, uh, I wanted to talk to you and I were talking foundations in DIY foundation, repairs and stuff are such a big topic right now.

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[00:01:44] Eric Goranson: You know, there's a lot of surprises, literally my brother last night. Texted me these pictures of a guide friend of his doing a kitchen remodel. And they had done an addition out the back of this craftsman home, the [00:02:00] previous owners who should not have had power tools.

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[00:02:42] Eric Goranson: And redone just in a kitchen remodel. That's

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[00:03:02] Caroline Blazovsky: So, you know, their sewage line backed up into the kitchen and as they started to have to remodel and do the same thing that you were talking about. Guess what they found this foundation crack and some other cracks in the foundation and deterioration that happens because of water infiltration, yada yada, but surprise.

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[00:03:42] Eric Goranson: So there's no crawl space here. It's literally just concrete under the pad and it's first floor. So this isn't. Condo unit where there's a second floor per year, post tension, concrete slab. This is just concrete on the ground. So nothing too complex here, but there was [00:04:00] this long crack, all the way across the floor that you could almost probably put a pencil in.

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[00:04:07] Caroline Blazovsky: They measured one photographs got so they actually, so this is good for DIY put a measure. Ruler right on it. And you'll see, this one was, I'm looking at it like me be, and what'd you say? 16? Yeah,

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[00:04:35] Eric Goranson: And let's talk about the rest of the situation over by the door. The patio door that goes out there, there was obvious water infiltration because you could see that the, the tax strip was blackened from moisture. And there was, you know, obviously some things going around and, um, and the concrete general homeowner,

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[00:05:01] Caroline Blazovsky: So it was all starting to crumble around where the. You know, the water was coming in somehow from the exterior crumbling, the Cron Crete, and then somehow the crack crack came out of that. I don't know if it came as a settling crack or if it just

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[00:05:29] Eric Goranson: So there was only just a, you know, half of an inch of concrete on the top of that

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[00:05:36] Eric Goranson: Yeah. So what happens is, is when the ground, you know, the ground moves, even though you've dug this down, when they built it and put it onto soil, it's not down into stone or rock, it's still laying in dirt. And as the, the ground dries, because almost all ground has some.

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[00:06:21] Eric Goranson: 'cause it's like it's bashing up against it at a slow moving matter. So there's no strength that, you know, half inch, quarter, inch of concrete, really. So it busts up and makes it look horrible. But now you've got an area that water can come in and with all the floods and stuff that you've had in your area, pretty common to see that.

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[00:06:40] Caroline Blazovsky: and talk about too with the crack. So how do you know it's not a significant crack if you're looking at something in your foundation and that's with, but then also height to either side of the

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[00:06:53] Eric Goranson: Yeah. So this car crack that goes across the concrete floor, if you think about concrete, [00:07:00] concrete is going to crack in a big slab like that, no matter what, the only way to stop that is to control the cracks where they come in and actually.

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[00:07:32] Eric Goranson: So that's the first thing. Second of all, when you look at this crack, there's two things that happen. One, I look forward to. Like, is there a big lip, you know, is one side sunken down. So the crack has opened up at the top as one sized raised up. So the crack has tighter, but it's open towards the bottom of that.

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[00:08:24] Eric Goranson: So how about this one? The more Jagen and sharp. Usually

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[00:08:39] Eric Goranson: It's definitely a newer crack. And so that in the floor, like that is not something that I get too concerned about.

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[00:09:06] Eric Goranson: If you were concerned about it, if you went, you know, I want to tie these two pieces of concrete back together and make them strong. Almost like it was when it started

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[00:09:20] Eric Goranson: Well you're, anytime you do a crack repair like that, you're going to see the repair. But if you're putting flooring over, it doesn't matter.

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[00:10:05] Eric Goranson: welcome back to around the house with Eric G and Carolina and be, Hey, if you want more information about this show, head over to around the house, online.com. And of course you can get the podcast. If you're a radio listener anywhere you catch podcasts. Well, Caroline and I you've been talking, we've been talking about your project.

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[00:10:43] Eric Goranson: us, you could hit me up on Twitter, send me a direct message over there.

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[00:11:10] Eric Goranson: And there's that big crack going across the concrete in the living room floor. So since this was just sitting on the ground, so. And it's not, you know, a second or third floor apartment or condo or our high rise. Those are a different story that you have to take a little bit differently. You can actually fix this with a poxy in carbon fiber, and this can actually be a DIY solution.

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[00:11:42] Intro: want

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[00:11:48] Eric Goranson: doing it just to Portland? No, that won't work. It'll pop right off. So you have to use something stronger than that. You just can't come in with a cement patch.

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[00:12:23] Eric Goranson: And then what I do is I go through, you gotta wet the concrete down because if you'd put any kind of. Repair on it. What we're going to do is we're going to smooth this out, let it dry. And then we're going to put in these staples and I'll tell you about this. She had cleaned out that crack as best you can.

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[00:13:04] Eric Goranson: We'll make sure that you know where that crack line is going. Because after that dries, you're going to come back in there in drill into that concrete and grind out space for these little barbells. And these are concrete staples. And what they are is they're a carbon fiber kind of rectangular rod with two little dumbbells at the end.

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[00:13:50] Eric Goranson: You're stitching it back up again. And that will not break right there. Again, you will, if it's gonna break, it's gonna break another spot that will tie that back together and [00:14:00] you'll be great. And that's a great place to get that and you can get all these parts online. Simpson strong time makes them a rhino carbon fiber makes them, uh, both companies that you can get these products from online.

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[00:14:24] Caroline Blazovsky: You have to put the staples back in. If you don't do staples, then what happens? It'll just come

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[00:14:31] Eric Goranson: That's the good one now outside. You've got another issue out there at this residence, because you've got a patio out there, out this sliding glass door that is now sunk. And usually what that is is they didn't compact the soil up against the house where it was dug out for the foundation. Well, enough and that side.

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[00:14:56] Caroline Blazovsky: so there's a slider, a slider that you're [00:15:00] coming out to, to a patio entrance, right in that corner where the concrete had degraded, like right. Probably at the corner of the slider. And it looks like from a picture inspection picture that that slab is slightly tilted now towards. The inside of the home, you know what I mean?

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[00:15:21] Eric Goranson: So there's an easy fix to that. If that slab has all kind of one piece and there's no big breaks in it, you can actually do what they call slab, Jack, that, so what they do is they come in and they bore a hole in certain areas through the concrete, and they will pump in either a foam product or a.

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[00:16:04] Intro: And,

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[00:16:14] Eric Goranson: Ma'am I don't, I'm not a big fan of pavers right there, just because on an exposed area right there, this is a condo. So the chance of the condo association, maintaining that paver. Correct. Is slim to none. I would shoot for a well

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[00:16:36] Caroline Blazovsky: the homeowners. Well here, I mean, I don't, this is Northeast, so here that's their responsibility.

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[00:16:59] Eric Goranson: [00:17:00] Now in our area, if it's a town home and you own the townhome and the property there, then that is your responsibility. If this is a condo and the condo association takes care of all the exterior building parts, generally here, that's all part of the yard maintenance and everything. So it's depending on how that

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[00:17:20] Caroline Blazovsky: I mean, this is a townhouse, so it's a townhouse. So that would be the same. Well, then

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[00:17:30] Caroline Blazovsky: though. How you uncover a problem, Eric, and then you uncover three other problems, right? So think about this.

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[00:17:54] Caroline Blazovsky: That's crazy. Right? This is what happens. That's what makes our job so fun, you know,

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[00:18:11] Eric Goranson: Nailed it.

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[00:18:17] Eric Goranson: for you. Well, I am not an engineer. I've just worked with a lot of them and I know what I'm looking at from working with a lot of structural and. So that's the key. All right. We come back. I want to talk about basement foundation, walls.

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[00:18:38] Intro: the house return.

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[00:18:56] Eric Goranson: if you're listening to

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[00:19:09] Intro: golden.

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[00:19:48] Caroline Blazovsky: Hey, before we get into foundations, you need to tell people you're going to be at the

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[00:19:53] Eric Goranson: Yeah, absolutely. Coming up here in a month. If you are a builder [00:20:00] contractor designer. I will be in the home technology zone on stage over there. And we are going to be doing even too around the house episodes over there. So head over and check us out on the west hall over there. I will be over there giving seminars on home tech.

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[00:20:42] Eric Goranson: So coming up in the next few weeks, you're going to see a bunch of new stuff, a lot of cool new technology. What we're going to talk foundation walls on this segment, because it's such a big one, you know, out here in the west coast, we see mostly. And I say, mostly we see. [00:21:00] We see a little bit of stack stone, but mostly concrete.

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[00:21:26] Eric Goranson: And then in the north east coast, right. Different story, we'll see stone,

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[00:21:45] Eric Goranson: One of the biggest we run into in my area, like many places is moisture and. Everywhere. So that's one of the biggest issues we run into, but let's talk about kind of what some of the pluses and minuses of these different foundation [00:22:00] systems, because this is kind of, we'll talk about the weak points and what the pluses and minuses are just like, if I was going to buy another house out here in the Pacific Northwest, I want concrete.

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[00:22:15] Caroline Blazovsky: going to throw something in as an environmental consultant. I don't care which part of the country you live in. You will have moisture affecting that foundation, slab, concrete, whatever. So you may be different times of year. If you live in Arizona, you may say, oh, you know, we're relatively dry, but you get that monsoon season where you get tremendous amounts of rain that hit and that concrete isn't used to dealing with it and it can easily present.

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[00:22:50] Eric Goranson: great point. Great point. So my favorite is concrete for a number of number of different reasons, but one of my least favorites are the [00:23:00] terracotta block because that stuff has so.

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[00:23:26] Eric Goranson: On the far right-hand side, as you're looking at it, all those blocks. Oh yeah. It'll go through those capillaries inside of all those big holes, it show up 15, 16 feet away. Every

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[00:23:43] Intro: resistance

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[00:23:56] Eric Goranson: Is what this stuff's made out of. And it's not my favorite, [00:24:00] the way it's built. That's that's and you'll even run inside. I've had clients that have had insurance company issues with that foundation system, because it concerned them, uh, they couldn't get, um, earthquake insurance. They couldn't get a bunch of different stuff.

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[00:24:26] Caroline Blazovsky: the, the other thing we talk about with concrete block, where you're talking about people often want to seal their block, right?

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[00:24:52] Caroline Blazovsky: And that happens with block because moisture will get into these crevices that Eric is talking about staying in. And then it can escape [00:25:00] and it gets damp and nasty and there's dirt in there and it starts to really stink. So sealing it on both sides is important if you have concrete. But, um, more importantly, it's problematic for lots

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[00:25:11] Eric Goranson: I have gotten my concrete drill, but out in drill a quarter inch hole into that block and have water come out of it. Like I was drilling a hole in a dam that's

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[00:25:23] Eric Goranson: And then it's now coming out the wall. So yeah, nasty water coming out. Six inches out of the wall at the hall, not good. So these are all different types of foundations and, you know, you gotta be really careful with them.

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[00:26:07] Eric Goranson: So Simpsons where you've got OSB plywood with the foam on the inside, but really we're talking about the, the foam block construction where you see. The, they look like Lego blocks and we ever seen a house get built. So what you have is you have these Lego blocks that you put together and they snap together and then you pour concrete inside of them.

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[00:26:41] Caroline Blazovsky: And that's why we're talking about sealing both sides of the block, right? This allows you a way to do that. Where you may not be able to do that with concrete block. So it allows you that, that it's almost a vapor barrier, if you will, on both sides of

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[00:26:55] Eric Goranson: concrete.

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[00:27:25] Eric Goranson: We built my mom's entire house out of that turned out great. They just stuck outside and it is the quietest house I've ever been in. Now you can do additives with that in the concrete that I've seen, where it does not let moisture come through the concrete. So when you order the concrete. They put an ad mix in the middle of that, and it literally stops moisture from coming through that entire thing.

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[00:28:03] Caroline Blazovsky: notice this, like if you ever go, um, Eric knows to tell us to tell you a little bit about us, but I'm a real advocate of going out and seeing new construction and looking at houses and seeing what's going on in the.

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[00:28:24] Eric Goranson: interior. We'll talk about just as soon as around the house returns,[00:29:00]

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[00:29:06] Eric Goranson: Eva novels, bam. And you're listening to

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[00:29:17] Eric Goranson: Welcome back to around the house with Eric G and Caroline B your home improvement stores every weekend. Well, Caroline and I have been talking. Foundations concrete pads, all that stuff today have a way Caroline

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[00:29:37] Eric Goranson: Well, I mean, here's the thing. I, these are all products that I've gotten to use. I've gotten to play around with. Uh, so I have a pretty big experience with that. After building my home, my mom and dad's home out of stuff, they had that built and. It's an interesting way to go. Now. So many people end up having foundation cracks, and a lot of times these get [00:30:00] found only when the house goes up for sale because people are moving in and out of the house or they just ignore it.

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[00:30:20] Intro: Tell them

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[00:30:25] Eric Goranson: Oh my gosh. It's up on around the house.

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[00:31:07] Eric Goranson: Are you kidding me? Oh, I'm going to put a sign on it and that's going to fix it

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[00:31:12] Intro: Well,

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[00:31:46] Eric Goranson: So here's the thing that you can do. You can actually put in carbon fiber to repair a lot of those. So if you've got a concrete wall foundation and you've got a big tree outside that [00:32:00] is pushing up against the foundation, and now you've got that long, horizontal crack going. And maybe that, that wall is bowed 2, 3, 4, 5 inches.

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[00:32:37] Eric Goranson: Even if you're going to do this as a DIY, get that structural repair. Because if this comes up down the road, when you sell the house, you want to be able to go how to an engineer looked at it, bang, you can put that paper on the table and say we fixed it. Here's our repair problem solved. So the key is, is you can use carbon fiber strep strips [00:33:00] with, with a poxy and fix that and repair that.

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[00:33:35] Eric Goranson: And pour on the inside of that wall. Now you're going to lose a foot of your floor space in that basement, but instead of back Jack in the house up, digging out the foundation, putting a new one in, you could actually pour a new footing and foundation on the inside to support that. As well as there's a lot of other metal structural systems out there that you could put in with a steel studs that are actually made out of a structural [00:34:00] steel, not just the steel studs, you go down and build a commercial building with, but these are actually a structural steel wall that you can block off with and build that and still support the house from the inside and still carry the load.

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[00:34:20] Caroline Blazovsky: Any tidbits on what we should be doing to around foundations, right? I'm always a preventative person. So, you know, I've got a bunch of retaining walls going up against my foundation, which isn't good because I know that these retaining walls have gotten quite large and it's created like a rock garden that's pressing up against the foundation.

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[00:34:58] Caroline Blazovsky: Um, so it's important to recognize [00:35:00] that they also can contribute. So anything else, like I say, no, trees, no shrubbery have a good, good perimeter. Anything else that helps with funding?

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[00:35:16] Eric Goranson: So that would be your retaining wall. That would be, I've seen broken foundation walls because people put big tanks of water on the outside to catch the rainwater with, you know, that stuff is always bad. Any kind of weight that you put out there. If you're going to do that, have a, if you're going to have that put a big pat pat out there.

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[00:36:10] Eric Goranson: So if that downspout does not go into a storm drain system, The takes that water at least 10 feet away from the house you are causing foundation damage. End of story.

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[00:36:26] Eric Goranson: transport. No, no, you can't even put gutter extenders on there. You want that to go into a, uh, down into a system?

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[00:36:38] Caroline Blazovsky: gutter. Like in, in my property, we have a gutter, it goes into a gutter extender. It goes under the ground and then it comes out like, I don't know, it's probably 20

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[00:36:58] Eric Goranson: Goes down and that solid [00:37:00] pipe, at least 10 feet away. And then you can transition at that point into a perforated pipe or something like that to let the water go back into the ground system to do that. But if you are going anywhere closer than that, you got to think about the water that comes out of those.

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[00:37:41] Eric Goranson: And it's from your gutter system.

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[00:38:12] Eric Goranson: Every time we'd get a big rainstorm. So they went around and gave homeowners a tax deduction on their bill. To disconnect their storm drains, but they didn't tell people. They actually had to move it out into the yard or do something. They just disconnected it. The city came by and put some concrete in that pipe, blocked it off on a tag on it.

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[00:38:55] Eric Goranson: I have gone into basements where they've done that with the older concrete [00:39:00] here in town. And I could sit there and pick through the foundation till I see. With my bare hands because of the water. All right. Well, we're at a time. I'm Eric G and I'm Caroline B and you've been listening to Around the House

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