Wolverine Introduces CarbonMAX – A Safety-Toe for Everyone


Wolverine has safety toe that will make you rethink what foot protection is all about. Introducing the Wolverine CarbonMAX.

The safety-toe is no longer limited in use to construction workers and contractors. Enthusiastic DIYers and homeowners are attempting more and more projects around the house that require proper safety gear. The Wolverine CarbonMAX boots have an athletic design that is built for lasting comfort for everyone from industrial construction crews and mechanics to household handymen and DIYers. This new take on protective footwear will have you forgetting that you’re wearing a safety toe.

After spending a week wearing the new Overman work boot that features the CarbonMAX safety toe, my feet have never felt better. Unlike my old work boots that have a heavy steel toe, the CarbonMAX safety toe is non-existent to a user until they need it, which is the way a safety toe should be. The styling is also great as I can comfortably wear them while doing projects, as well as casually during the week.

The Wolverine CarbonMAX improves on standard boot design by making them:

•  Lighter – to reduce strain on legs and feet
•  Better fit – thinner toe cap provides more room for toes and added comfort
•  Strong construction – meets ASTM standards to protect from falling/rolling objects


It simultaneously creates more comfort thanks to thinner walls for more toe room and minimal weight to fight leg and foot fatigue. Impact-absorbing Wolverine MultiShox® compression pads and flexible Contour Welt™ work together for an athletic feel and all-day comfort.

The Wolverine Overman is one the first boots to incorporate this new safety-toe and it features:

• Full-grain leather upper with reinforced, abrasion-resistant heel and toe
• Wolverine CarbonMax® uses nanotechnology to produce a strong, lighter, more comfortable safety toe
• Individualized, energy-returning Wolverine MultiShox® heel and toe compression pads absorb impacts for all-day comfort
• Removable, full-foot Wolverine Mutishox® footbed cushioning
• Enhanced flexibility from Wolverine Contour Welt™

Buy the Wolverine Overman Work Boot on Amazon.

Timothy Dahl

Damp Garage Solution


My garage is at the bottom of a hill and is tucked into the soil on three sides. I do get some water leakage through the concrete block walls in the spring and during heavy rains. The asphalt floor is always damp despite running a dehumidifier all summer. Do you have any solution short of digging out the floor and starting over properly with a waterproof membrane? What could have been done when the garage was built to prevent all the water problems? Howard L., Toronto – Ontario, Canada

DEAR HOWARD: Your garage is like millions of other structures around the world that are built into sloping ground. Builders have been dealing with water issues in these structures for hundreds of years. I was lucky and majored in geology when I was in college. One of my classes was hydro-geology, the study of ground water. The knowledge I gained in those classes allowed me to build houses and garages that were always bone dry.

Let’s first talk about what’s going on in the soil. Without studying a soil map for your area, I’m going to assume your soil has a high clay content because the land your garage is on has experienced four periods of continental glaciation up there in eastern Canada in the past 2 million years. All that ice was created and melted long before man was around. Isn’t that fascinating?

This garage tucked into a hillside is suffering from dampness and water infiltration. The solution is easy but will take work. Photo Credit: Howard Lee

This garage tucked into a hillside is suffering from dampness and water infiltration. The solution is easy but will take work. Photo Credit: Howard Lee

The deeper you dig into the ground, the more compact the clay is. Water has a very difficult time passing through it so rain and snowmelt that enters the soil tends to pass through the soil downslope along the top of the clay. Most of the water moves through the air spaces in the top soil.

Before your garage was built, the water higher up on the hill just continued down the hill until it connected to a small spring or brook. Your garage is acting like a dam and water prefers to take the path of least resistance. Cracks in the concrete block walls or between the block walls and the floor are easy entry points for the water.

Here’s what your builder should have done to create a dry garage. This same advice can be used for any structure built into a hill. The portion of the concrete block walls below the soil line should have been waterproofed. There are many different products and methods to waterproof a foundation wall. I used a rubberized asphalt spray and stiff insulation boards on the last house I built and it is still keeping the basement dry.

A perforated drain pipe should have been placed alongside or on top of the footing that supports your concrete block walls. This pipe should have extended around the back and along the two sides of your garage. The pipe should have then extended past the front of the garage with the trench having a minimal slope.

Because the hillside is fairly steep, within about ten or fifteen feet, the ends of this pipe on both sides of the ground would surface out of the ground. Any water entering the pipe underground would readily flow out of the ends of the pipe exposed to daylight and then go back into the top soil to continue its journey to Lake Ontario and then to the St. Lawrence River.

This pipe should have then been covered with washed rounded gravel the size of golf balls or walnuts. The gravel should have extended up to within 4 inches of the top of where the final grade would be where you have grass growing. Water passing through the soil discovers this gravel, immediately drops down through it to the perforated drain pipe and then exits to daylight never having a chance to enter the garage.

To stop water vapor from coming up through the garage floor, the builder should have put down a plastic vapor retarder or barrier under the concrete or asphalt floor. This plastic sheeting is a common product available at any building supply store.

If you want to permanently solve your water issues you need to dig along the sides of your garage and do all I outlined above. It’s not necessary to put the perforated pipe all the way down to the top of the foundation footing at this point. I’d probably only extend it to 1 foot below the top of the soil at the two front corners of the garage.

You’ll have to use a pressure washer to clean all clay and soil from the concrete block walls once you expose them. Allow them to dry and apply the best waterproofing compound that’s available to you. If you choose to hire a company understand that hot asphalt that’s sprayed on the walls is just damp proofing. Standard hot liquid asphalt is not a waterproofing material. It will do a great job of keeping dampness from the soil from entering the concrete block, but it will not bridge cracks to stop liquid water.

To stop water vapor from coming up through the garage floor I feel the best way is to install a thin concrete overlay over your existing floor. You need to put down the 6-mil vapor barrier first and then pour 1 inch of concrete over your existing floor.

This concrete needs to contain very small pea gravel no larger than 3/8-inch diameter. The mix is like any other concrete, but if you’re doing it yourself I’d probably do a ratio of 3 parts gravel, 2 parts medium sand and 1.5 parts Portland cement. The extra amount of cement will give you a very strong mix that will resist the freezing weather you have up there where you live.

Column 1106


August 23, 2015 AsktheBuilder Newsletter

Welcome if you’re a new subscriber! See the AsktheBuilder.com word just above your name?

Each week that’s a secret link to a past column or video that can help make your wildest home improvement dreams come true. Go click it now. ( <== The link is right here for the online Newsletter.)

The subject line of your email was pretty dire, wasn’t it?

I’m talking about how the end of summer is near. You know that’s the case when pre-season NFL football games are being played.

This means you and I need to get cracking and finish outdoor projects.

I can hear you now, “Tim, I live in sunny south Florida, Phoenix, or Indonesia where it’s always summer.”

Well, that’s good for you but some of us will be dealing with snowblowers in just three months or less!

As for me, the push is on this coming week to make great progress on the last part of the huge re-roofing job at my own home.

It’s turning into a career instead of a summer job. I’m installing a drop-dead gorgeous single-width synthetic slate made by DaVinci Roofscapes.

CLICK HERE to see the amazing products they have. It’s a roofing material that will last generations.

New Garage Door Opener

Yesterday, I spent the better part of four hours installing a new Chamberlain garage door opener that’s WiFi enabled and has a whisper-quiet belt drive.

It’s a very nice opener and it took a while to install because it’s ten inches shorter than the existing Chamberlain opener I had.

I wasn’t expecting that curve ball and it caused me to have to cut new longer angle irons that support the opener from my garage ceiling.

I also then had to break out my ham-radio soldering iron and solder. Because the opener was shorter, I had to add on 1-foot pieces of low voltage wire to the existing wires that connect to the wall control and the sensors at the bottom of the track.

I prefer to solder wires in this situation rather than twist the wires and use wire nuts.

I also discovered the 2 x 10 that the previous owner or garage-door installer put up on the wall above the door needed to be screwed to the wall.

The IDIOT that installed this block of wood just used two NAILS. This block of wood is very important and must be solid. The long metal arm of the opener connects to this block and you don’t want it to move.

I can use my Nexus 4 smart phone to monitor the opener from anywhere on the planet. This means if I need to close or open the door and I’m 2,589 miles away and my phone can connect to the Interweb, I can operate the door.

As Kip sang in his wedding song in the classic movie Napoleon Dynamite, “I love technology!”

CLICK HERE to discover more about this great opener.

Video Product Reviews

In a previous newsletter, I put in the headline something about my Disclosure Policy at my website with respect to product reviews, but I didn’t talk about it.

CLICK HERE now to read my Disclosure Policy.

Once you get back, I’ll fill you in.

Okay, what did you think of that? My guess is you’ve never seen one like it.

Here’s what you need to know, especially if you’re a public relations manager, marketing manager or have anything to do with selling a product or service.

In the past nine months, there’s been a major tectonic shift in the marketplace. It’s huge.

I’ve been approached by several major manufacturers about doing PAID video reviews.

Why would they do this?

Just do a BING.com search and you’ll discover all sorts of reports about the huge growing trend of mobile video consumption. CLICK HERE to read a few.

Here’s the bottom line that you need to know with respect to AsktheBuilder.com and video reviews.

I’m in the process now of negotiating with several companies about doing quite a few paid video reviews.

It’s the future.

Companies are looking for *Influencers* – that’s the fancy name they’re attaching to media folk like me – who have decades of hands-on field experience and understand how to connect using video with their audience.

CLICK HERE to watch one of these videos. This is one about a product I LOVE and use.

Here’s my PROMISE to you:

I’m only going to do paid video reviews for outstanding products. PERIOD.

As I said in my Disclosure Policy, at the end of the day I only have one thing:

My integrity.

I don’t want to sully it in any way and I don’t want to lose your trust.

What do you think of this emerging trend about paid video reviews?

How do you feel about my Disclosure Policy?

New Q & As for You

Here are a few new tips for you.

STOP Brick Wall Leaks With Great Products

Patio Slopes Towards House

Tile over BAD Concrete? You Bet You Can with Magic!

Patio Gravel Base and COMPACTION SECRETS

That’s enough for today.

This is a big week for me on the roof.

Tim Carter
Founder – http://www.AsktheBuilder.com

Do It Right, Not Over!


Mobile Video Consumption Trends

It’s August of 2015.

Each day more and more people are watching and consumping video on their mobile phones and tablets.

I’m one.

Over the past six months I’ve watched countless videos on my Nexus 4 smart phone.

Here’s a short list of articles about this growing trend.

If you’re a marketing manager, you better be hyper-focused on this data.

Media Platform Latest Stats on Mobile Video

Market Wired Ooyala Study

Reelse Mobile Video Study



Tile Over Bad Concrete

Eric M. Sokolowski and his wife, I think, have trouble in Tukwila, Washington.

They have to tile over bad concrete and are stuck on what to do.

Here’s Eric’s full report:

“Hi Tim,

We want to replace the kitchen/foyer tile in our 1993 condo. We already knew the subfloor was some type of soft concrete that we are unfamiliar with we did a test removal of a tile under the oven.

What we discovered was disturbing.  The subfloor appears to be breaking apart and comes off along with the thinset and tile.

You can see the top layer of the concrete stuck to the bottom of the tile. This just adds another step to the process. Photo credit: Eric Sokolowski

You can see the top layer of the concrete stuck to the bottom of the tile. This just adds another step to the process. Photo credit: Eric Sokolowski

We are wondering what the prospects are for being able to remove and replace the outdated ceramic tile or what workarounds may we consider in completing this project.”

You knew I’d have an answer, right? I always do. :-)

Eric, you’ll be able to install new tile.

The first thing to do is to check the integrity of the concrete after you remove the tile. Just take a hammer and a cold chisel and see if the rest of the concrete that’s in place is sound.

I don’t want you to beat on the slab, you just want to see if you can remove more concrete with minimal effort. If so, you need to remove any and all rotten concrete.

Once you have this done, you’ve got two options.

Install a thin layer of self-leveling floor material like this one from Proflex.


Install a thin sand/cement overlay. CLICK HERE to read several of my past columns about concrete overlays and how to do them.

I can tell you I’d opt for the self-leveling underlayment because they work and they’re so much easier to do than a thin overlay. Since you’re working with tile as the finished floor, it’s imperative you get the floor in the same plane and that’s hard for a rookie to do with a thin concrete or sand/cement overlay.

When you get the sacks of the pourable self-leveling material, TEST it first in a small area. You need to understand how to work with the material to get it to flow. Be sure the bad concrete is dust-free and it may be a good idea – assuming the underlayment instructions permit it – to dampen the old concrete. The damp concrete may help increase the bond.

The water could also create problems! So READ the instructions carefully.



Patio Gravel Base

Tan has  been busy tamping in Toronto, Canada.

He’s building a brick patio.

Let him fill you in:

“Hi Tim!

I’m going guild a brick patio in my backyard. I just covered the ground with garden fabric, dumped gravel on top and I compacted it.

Should I put stone dust, compact  and lay bricks over it right away or I need to wait for a few months?”

Here’s my answer:

Tan, you’re good to go and can finish the job now.

I say this assuming a few things.

First, if you had to do any regrading of the soil, I assume you compacted it before going to the next step.

You didn’t need to use garden fabric as I feel that was a waste of money. If your intention was to have it stop weeds, the weeds will grow in the tiny spaces between the brick after you’re all finished.

When you added the gravel, I also assume you put it in about 4 inches thick and compacted it with a vibrating plate compactor machine.

If you hand tamped it, then you probably should have only worked 2 inches at a time.

Adding water during the compaction process really helps if there are sand-sized particles in the gravel.

The same applies for the stone dust. Adding water during that installation process really allows the particles to interlock.