Updated: May 25

Be Safe ... Not Sorry

Sump pumps should be cleaned and inspected annually. Make sure there are no tree roots growing into the crock or sump. Remove any debris. Verify the discharge line is not obstructed or broken and that the check valve (1 way valve) is working properly and not leaking. Finally, make sure there is a secure and child resistant cover over the sump.

If your house has a sump pump you should install an alternate energy back-up pump. (Battery or water pressure types are available.) If your primary pump fails or the power goes out, your basement, crawl space or lower level could flood. An alternate energy back-up pump could prevent flooding and/or damage.

Thinking about painting your block basement walls? Don’t even think about using regular house paint unless the words scraping, scrubbing, wire brushing and removing paint sound like fun to you.

If you want to paint the walls, they should be clean and dry first. Then use masonry paint

specifically designed for basement or masonry walls.

For those of you who own or are planning to buy a house and are planning to hire a contractor to do some home improvements to your house in the near future, here are some tips from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).

· Work only with licensed and insured contractors.

· Ask for references, and check them out.

· Get more than one estimate.

· Don't be pushed into signing a contract right away.

· Get everything in writing:

o Total cost

o Detailed list of what the project includes

o Time schedule, guarantees, and/or warranties provided

o Payment schedule

o Never, ever sign a contract that includes blanks

Here are some additional suggestions from Technihouse Inspections, Inc. (

· Do not pay the contractor until the work has been completed to your satisfaction.

· Have the work inspected by a certified home inspector.

· If it “sounds too good to be true”, or the price quoted is much lower than the other estimates you received, there is a reason for that.

Remember the contractors that are hired will be in your house and you will be living with them for a while.

Our personal tip to you is to always trust your instinct. Your instinct has probably never failed you, if anything; you have failed your instinct.

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