Remembering Our Friend Glenn Haege
Remembering the heart and soul of “The Handyman Show with Glenn Haege” (which began a 34 year run on Detroit radio on WXYT-AM 1270 in 1983) Haegewas known as a man of boundless knowledge and integrity in the field of home improvement. In 2006 the show found a vast audience on weekend mornings on NewsTalk 760 WJR-AM and prior to his death the show had expanded into 130 radio markets in national syndication.
“I could never say enough words about what a great guy he was,” said Steve Safie, owner of SAS Services, Inc. “He was smart and funny and the whole nine yards.”
This page is dedicated to the memory of our friend Glenn. We are honored to have called him a friend and his trust in us as expressed in Glenn’s column found in the Detroit News and FreePress.
Dear Glenn: I would like a recommendation from you for a contractor who can help me with my wet basement problem. I have water coming into the basement from my basement windows, which are glass block; water from rod holes; and water seeping in from the chimney. I am looking for a reputable contractor with reasonable fees because I am retired and on a fixed income. Any assistance will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Dear Ruth: You should always get multiple estimates, so here are a few companies to get in touch with. One is B-Dry System of Wayne County, (800) 635-8130, www.b-dry.com. Another is Mr. Sponge, (800) 491-4686, www.mrsponge.com. The last is SAS Services, (800) 894-5115, http://www.sasbasementwaterproofing.com. All of the companies have many years of experience in the waterproofing industry.
Dear Glenn: I am trying to help my dad find a reputable contractor to fix a basement crack. My dad’s house is a small ranch that was built in 1960. The crack is high on the north wall near the chimney clean out. It’s only a quarter of an inch in diameter, but he thinks it’s quite deep. It has only leaked once during a driving rain. He wants to fix it before it becomes a bigger problem. Can you suggest someone in the area who can fill this kind of a crack?
Dear Lynn: Here are names of a couple of companies that specialize in crack repair. B-Dry System of Wayne County, (800) 635-8130, www.b-dry.com. Another good company is S.A.S. Services, (800) 894-5115, www.sasbasementwaterproofing.com. They have been fixing basement leaks since 1983.
Dear Glenn: I have been in my house for over 13 years and have never had an issue with water in the basement. With the recent heavy rains (2 inches in a couple of hours), my basement has developed a small leak where, you guessed it, the wall meets the floor. The water will cover an area of about 5 square feet, so at this point it’s not flooding the basement. You always say on your radio shows to make sure the grading is correct. In my case, it seems that if the grading was not done properly I would have had an issue when we got heavy rains in the past 13 years. Note that my gutters are run out (underground) for over 30 feet from the house. In a recent show, you discussed this issue, and said that it might be a problem with the sump system bleeder lines; my sump pump works fine and is also piped out over 50 feet from the house. I want to get this fixed before it becomes a major issue. Bill, Ann Arbor
Dear Bill: Take a deep breath — 2 inches of water in a couple of hours and all you had was a 5 square foot area that was wet. You win. Thirteen years and no wet problems is the standard to look at. Water always wins. You don’t have water winning. Take a look at the roof slope to determine water run-off into downspouts and if the wet side in the basement faces south or west, you’re doing the best without spending thousands. An ultra low temperature Energy Star dehumidifier will help. Set it at 60 degrees humidity.
Dear Glenn: We have CertainTeed shingles from the ’90s. They are disintegrating, so we need a new roof. We’re having Kearns Brothers come and give us an estimate. You always say to get multiple estimates, so who would be another contractor that you would suggest we call?
Dear Kathryn: Kearns Brothers is a Master Elite GAF installing contractor. I would also contact S.A.S. Services, (800) 894-5115, www.sasbasementwaterproofing.com. They have been installing CertainTeed roofs since 1985. Another well established company is Pine Building, (888) 500-7463, www.pinebuilding.com. They are a family-owned and operated company that has been around since 1986.
Dear Glenn: I need help, and I don’t know who to turn to. My house foundation that was built in 1991 has a crack that developed 10 years ago, which I assume was from a hard winter and has enlarged over time. It is about 1 inch wide now and has resulted in uneven floors and doorways. Can you give me some advice on what kind of contractor I should contact for an estimate of work to fix the problems? Judy, via e-mail
Dear Judy: I would call Foundation Systems of Michigan, (877) 379-6424, www.drymich.com, and SAS Construction, (800) 894-5115, www.sasbasementwaterproofing.com. Get written quotes from both. I have written an article on checking out contractors that ran in The Detroit News on Sept. 4. You can read it on my help site, www.masterhandyman.com. Just click on the column archive under Featured Articles in the center of the page, and you can read it and even print it out to save. Use it.
Dear Glenn: I have a question I hope you can answer. I live in Fort Gratiot and have a problem in my basement. I had B-Dry put in their system to solve the problem, and now I have bigger problem that no one seems to be able to solve. I have iron algae, and B-Dry said I had to clean out their system about every six months to remove algae from the system and the sump pump. I cannot do this myself as I am in my 70s and this is a big task. I put Iron Out in all of the ports every three weeks or so, but that is not solving the problem. I was wondering if the stuff they put in fish tanks would help. The house is three years old. Could you please recommend someone that can resolve this problem or at least give some sort of resolution to fix it? I would greatly appreciate any assistance you can offer. Thank you in advance. Kay, Fort Gratiot.
Dear Kay: Two companies that I know have solved this problem many times. Call Steve Safie from SAS Basement Waterproofing, (800) 894-5115, www.sasbasementwaterproofing.com, or Pete Wood from Rooter MD, (800) 766-8376, www.rootermd.com. Both get the job done.
Dear Glenn: I have a bungalow in Royal Oak that was built in the late 1940s. We have a problem with water coming up from the cracks in the floor, as well as along the edge where the wall meets the floor. The basement floor is exposed and unfinished. I looked into a sump pump but was concerned that the water would not flow to a pump due to the fact that the floor was poured over a thin layer of tinder as opposed to gravel. I have adjusted the grade on the outside of the house and extended my downspouts. The problem is isolated to the late winter and early spring when the earth is more saturated. Can you recommend a remedy as well as a reputable company that would do such work? Jeff, Birmingham
Dear Jeff: It sounds like a dewatering system is needed. There are two companies I would call. Steve Safie at SAS Basement Waterproofing, (800) 225-5727; www.sasbasementwaterproofing.com, and Bob Genord at Foundation Systems of Michigan, (877) 379-6424; www.drymich.com.
Dear Glenn: I was listening to your show a few weeks back when you talked about basement leaks and gave a company in Warren that you thought was good. They even did a clean-out access to the weeping tile. Well, I went online and located the info you had and figured I would go back to it later when I had more time. Now I can’t find what I found, so could you help me out? I have only one section of wall in the basement where water comes in and that’s between the wall and the floor in the front of the house almost as far as one can get from the pump. I think I know what needs to be done, but I would rather pay someone to do it correctly the first time. Like I said, I believe this outfit was in Warren. Your show is great, just can’t listen to it often enough to get caught up with the honey-do list. Ken, via e-mail.
Dear Ken: Thanks for listening to the show. SAS Basement Waterproofing, (800) 225-5727, sasbasementwaterproofing.com, is the company in Warren.
Dear Glenn: We moved into this house in Clinton Township, Michigan, in September 2001. After a few years, we noticed water spotting on either side of the wall where our chimney box rises above the roof. The roof has a steep pitch coming down, but as it gets down to the height of the chimney box, the builder built a ridge peak to divide the water to go down around either side of the chimney box. I have had 3 different contractors come out and “fix” the problem. With this overnight driving rain, we got up this morning and found a longer water spot than ever before. I am out of ideas and don’t know who to contact to evaluate the matter. — Jeff, Clinton Township Dear
Jeff: This is a 2-part problem. First, you need to find out where the water is coming from. Call Bob Carey at Infrared Services of Michigan ((810) 329-9033, www.ismichigan.com). He can do an infrared scan of the home to find out where the water is coming from. Once the water entry point is located, then you can call SAS Basement Waterproofing ((800) 225-5727, www.sasbasementwaterproofing.com) to fix the roof.
Dear Glenn: I have a home that was built in 1928. Approximately 15 years ago the chimney was damaged from a tree. I had the tree removed and the chimney rebuilt. About 4 years ago I started getting water damage in the bedroom on the second floor around the chimney. I had contractors look at the problem and the consensus was that I had to have the chimney reflashed and tuck pointed. I spent $2,100 for the repairs and thought I was all set. Less than 6 months later the bedroom ceiling started showing water damage again. I called my contractor out and he said he would return in the spring to revisit the problem. Unfortunately, he passed away during the winter. I just had another contractor out today and without going up on the roof, he is saying that the flashing was done incorrectly and it will need to be redone. I need to know if there is someone in this area that will give me an honest estimate of what needs to be done. Doug, Detroit
Dear Doug: First I would call Infrared Services of Michigan, (810) 329-9033, www.ismichigan.com, and have them come out and shoot the roof with an infrared camera. That way, you will know where the leak is. Then call SAS Construction, (800) 225-5727, www.sasbasementwaterproofing.com, and have them perform the fix.
Dear Glenn: I live in Sterling Heights and have water coming through a crack in the basement. I want to have it repaired by injection. Who is the best one in the area? I am a longtime listener to your show and have tried to get through on your radio show without success. Bill, Sterling Heights.
Dear Bill: Thanks for listening to the show. SAS Basement Waterproofing, (800) 894-5115, www.sasbasementwaterproofing.com, in Warren has a great reputation. Ask for Wendy.
Dear Glenn: I need some chimney work done. It’s only used as a furnace and hot water heater vent, but when it rains really hard I get a leak around my chimney up in the attic. Can you recommend a good contractor in the Port Huron area? Frank, Port Huron.
Dear Frank: SAS Basement Waterproofing Brick, Cement & Roofing, (800) 894-5115, www.sasbasementwaterproofing.com, would be a good choice for the Port Huron area. They have been repairing chimneys
Dear Glenn: My wife and I recently had our home completely rebuilt. In doing so, we added about 800 square feet. This made the footprint of the house bigger, so we had some poured walls added to our basement. Now we are getting a bit of water in through the “splice.” Unfortunately, due to the tough construction market, my builder is no longer in business, and I am not quite sure where to turn. He was a great builder and did not rob us or skip out on anything he said he would do, but it would be nice to know where to go for some support. Phil, Waterford Township
Dear Phil: Give Steve Safie a call. He is with SAS Basement Waterproofing (800-894-5115, www.sasbasementwaterproof ing.com). SAS has been in business since 1983. They have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and are licensed.
Dear Glenn: My elderly mother’s porch and driveway have sunk to where I’m afraid it is hazardous to her. She may fall. She is on a very limited income, so I was wondering if it is cheaper to have the porch raised. If so, what reputable contractors are available? Leticia, Dearborn Heights.
Dear Leticia: I’d get two quotes. SAS Basement Waterproofing (800-894-5115, www.sasbasementwaterproofing.com), does a great deal of this kind of work and is very repair oriented. A-1 Concrete Leveling (800-538-3514, www.elliottleveling.com) is the leading concrete-lifting company in the area.
Dear Glenn: I hope you can give me some advice. I have water in my basement after a heavy downpour. I’ve been reading about possible causes. I have had the area around the foundation built up with soil to direct the water away. I have had my gutters inspected and repaired. A neighbor applied paint cement at the base of one of the affected walls. None of this has helped. I have three windows in the basement on the north side of my house. There are no window wells around them. The bottoms of the windows are a few inches from the ground and have brick under them. I was wondering about getting the windows replaced with glass block windows. If I do that, should I have window wells built at that time? My house was built in 1960, a brick Cape Cod. Is it time for me to face facts and get estimates from different wet basement companies? Elaine, Southfield.
Dear Elaine: Congratulations. Your analysis of the problem is 100 percent correct. It is time for one or two top professionals to look over the problem. You are right to be concerned about costs but you won’t know what the costs are until you get some free estimates. One word of advice: If only one basement wall leaks, only fix one basement wall. This may cut your immediate costs by 50 to 75 percent. Three basement waterproofing firms I would recommend are Foundation Systems of Michigan (877-379-6424, www.drymich.com), Insta-Dry Waterproofing (800-356-0820, www.instadry.com) and SAS Basement Waterproofing (800-894-5115, SAS Detroit Basement Repair Company).
Dear Glenn: My house is 9 years old, I want to sell — roof is fine but the valleys are in bad shape. Can you recommend a company that will give me an honest appraisal to repair (if possible), and not just try to talk me into a new roof?
Dear Dave: SAS Construction (800-894-5115, www.sasbasement waterproofing.com) is very close to you. Call Steve; he is the owner. I have to tell you that new valleys and old shingles will stick out like a sore thumb. You may want to re-roof or just show prospects the quote.
Dear Glenn : My older home has sprung numerous leaks that have resulted in a flood in the cellar room below it. I thought tuck pointing might be the answer, but one of the two professionals I’ve called was intimidated by the project and suggested I call someone else. The other went right for total demolition and complete rebuilding for $5,000-plus. I think I need some idea as to what questions to ask before I make a decision. Could you please help? Penny, Ferndale.
Dear Penny: SAS Basement Waterproofing (800-894-5115, www.sasbasementwaterproofing.com) wants to help you. Call Steve Safie, he’s the owner. They have had a masonry division in place for more than 20 years.