Quick Tips// TOOLS, TIPS AND TRICKS OF THE TRADE
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- Problem #1 Rupture Kitchen Countertop- A kitchen countertop that has been installed over a unleveled surface, it was poorly jointed, or when the glue was not allowed to dry. A rupture countertop could also be due to extremely high loads placed with insufficient support below it, or over a small countertop area, specially that small area in front of the sink.
Solution: To solve this, you might want to try to reconnect the countertop surfaces using manufacturer’s recommended adhesive. If the countertop presents cracks over its surface, try to cut the crack slightly wider, enough so it might be stuffed with materials that resemble that of the surface, and then polish and buffer it. This cannot be done in plastic laminate countertop.
If the countertop has been punctuated by a heavy object, you must need to drill the hole, to make it round and stuff it using special adhesive, same color as countertop.
- Problem #2 Crack on the Edge of Fixture or Appliance- This problem normally is causes by a faulty installation without the required support under the countertop. This could occur in front of the stove, sink or in large unsupported areas of kitchen countertops. To prevent this, be sure that the cabinet where the stove will be placed has openings for heat dissipation. Also be sure to check that additional supports have been installed under these areas, and be sure that long unsupported areas have additional reinforcements under the countertop.
- Problem #3 Rupture Backsplash- The backsplash of a countertop could easily be damaged when it is being transported to be installed. To solve this keep the broken part and glued it to the countertop surface. Use manufacturer’s recommended glue and polish the new joint withsand papers.
- Problem #4 Wrong Design- One of the most recurrent problem in kitchen remodeling. Sometimes when the old countertop and kitchen cabinets hasn’t been removed or if you have added walls in the new layout, wrong measurements could bring a lot of problems. Problems such as vertical or horizontal surfaces not flat, short or long countertops, wrong angles or maybe you don’t planned how to get the new countertop into the proposed location, could be a headache if you don’t know how to deal with it. In such cases maybe the only solution is to cut that new countertop into pieces. If you have to do that, be aware that you might need special clamps to adjoin both surfaces, and finish the top joint with some type of glue with the same color as the countertop surface. To install those clamps you might need special wood pieces below the countertop where these clamps will be installed permanently. If you don’t want to use clamps, maybe you could try to glue the surfaces following the previous recommendations.
- When the walls are not vertical or horizontal as they should be; install the countertop as planned and then fill or correct the wall surface with some plaster additive or other product. Be sure to protect the countertop with heavy polyethylene plastic wrap.
- Problem #5 Sink or Water Leakage- When the sink has been installed and not sealed properly all around the joint, water could get to the inside of the kitchen cabinets and water could ruin them. Be sure to check thoroughly that the sink was sealed properly with silicone all around the sink joint and check drainage pipes. Be sure to check dimensions where the hot and water supply lines are located so you can plan ahead and have the right openings for these water pipes. If you have the wrong measurements, carry a router and make oval openings allowing the rough-in to be in place. Be sure to seal around these openings with caulk or foam to keep pests away from the kitchen cabinets.
A French drain is basically a trench filled with gravel, sometimes with a perforated pipe at the bottom of the trench. A geotextile fabric wraps the pipe and gravel so it can act as a sieve where fine sediments will not pass to the area where the gravel is located. A French drain, when properly designed, will reduce hydrostatic pressure exerted uponretaining walls and subgrade walls. This drainage system is an indispensable component of any subgrade waterproofing project.
French Drain Applications
A French drain, carries moisture out to positive drainage areas, reducing moisture conditions and flooding. French drains could be used in:
- Basement Walls
- Parking garages
- Behind retaining walls
- Split level buildings
- Low lying patios
- Areas with high water table
French Drain Recommendations
A French drain systems should not be more than 12 inches wide, between 6 and 8 inches will be ideal, because it will probably last longer and water will be collected and transported better with less obstructions. As a good practice, you can also have at least 2” of gravel around the pipe. Thegeotextile fabric must overlap and should be installed so the pipe is completely covered with it. The pipe installed in the trench must also be installed with the holes on the bottom.
A French drain must be installed properly; otherwise cost will add up and reduce your profit. The drainage system should be installed deep enough, so water will eventually run into the pipe, instead of moving near or into the structure. The usual recommended slope of the perforated pipe for a French drain system is one inch drop per ten feet horizontal run.
How deep does the pipe or French drain must be? Well, that depends on the application of the drain. If a French drain is used to protect a living space, the invert of the bottom shall be placed at least 2 inches below the level of the finish floor. However, for the correct elevation of a French drain, a professional shall be consulted as it involves a deeper analysis on how much water is seeping into the structure.
French Drain Pipe
Not all type of piping is allowed on a French drain. Pipes specified to be used on French drains are normally 6 inches PVC SDR-35 perforated. Sometimes schedule 40 pipes can be found, but are not normally used. If the job or area to be worked is small, you might want to try a four inch pipe. Some experts recommend using smooth wall pipes, while others tend to use corrugated pipes. A perforated pipe is manufactured with two rows of round holes, normally installed facing the bottom of the trench.
French Drain Gravel
French drain gravel should be washed three quarter inch minimum and as large as 1 ½ ” crushed stone. The upper 12 inches over the pipe shall be filled with native soil, to avoid having crushed stone over the perforated pipe that could damage the pipe. It is important to place the gravel around the pipe because they will filter any sediment that the geotextile was not able to remove.
French Drain Geotextile Filter
An important piece of a French drain is the geotextile that cover the pipe. All crushed stone shall be protected and wrapped by a geotextile filter, a long-lasting manufactured material that will protect the pipe. The introduction of a drainage fabric around the aggregate can prevent in-situ soils from being washed into and clogging the drain. These geotextile filter fabric will prevent soil fines from entering the drainage system, extending drain life and increasing performance.
French Drain Alternatives
There is prefabricated drainage systems consist of two parts: a geotextile fabric and a molded plastic core. Geotextile fabrics are attached to the core, providing excellent drainage while preventing the backfill from entering the core channel. These prefab drainage systems can reduce installation costs because they install 50% faster than traditional French drains.