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S20 E14: Patch Plaster, Sinking Drywell

In this episode, Heath explains why finish electrical work is his favorite stage of the job; Mauro demonstrates how to repair a crack in plaster; Mark raises a drywell in a driveway that is sinking below grade.

Previous episode: S20 E13 | Next episode: S20 E15

In this episode:

Master electrician Heath Eastman tells us what he loves most about his trade. After the planning and roughing in, Heath explains that he genuinely loves the finished work. He appreciates this stage of the work, from installing electrical outlets and switches to fixtures and lighting because it’s the first time the homeowner gets to see progress.

Next, we meet host Kevin O’Connor and painter Mauro Henrique in the shop for a lesson on patching cracks in plaster and drywall. After explaining to Kevin that his paint job is only as good as the prep work, the two discuss where cracks are most likely to occur before diving into a few repairs.

Mauro first shows Kevin his process for patching large cracks by utilizing fiberglass mesh tape and standard drywall compound. He explains that this method might take a few coats of compound for a flat finish, but sanding in between helps achieve that smooth texture. After the large crack, Mauro works on a thinner one, utilizing a flexible patching compound that doesn’t require any sanding. Once both patches are dry, Mauro paints the surface to hide the repairs.

Next, Kevin meets general contractor Tom Silva in the shop for a lesson on wood joints. With several power tools and jigs on the table, Tom explains how joinery works and some of the most popular methods. He teaches Kevin everything from mitered and lapped joints to dowels, biscuits, floating tenons, and pocket hole joinery, with examples of each type to show how they work. Tom even explains the strengths, weaknesses, and limitations of each type.

Finally, master mason Mark McCullough helps a homeowner with a driveway repair. The homeowner has a drywell in the middle of their driveway, and while it’s still draining well, it’s beginning to sink. After checking out the grade around the drain, Mark and the homeowner dig out the well to see what’s happening.

After finding that some bricks shifted, Mark shows the homeowner the proper way to repair the drywell. The two rebuilt the structure in the ground with new bricks and mortar to give the drywell a sturdy base. Then, after checking to ensure the pitch is still correct, Mark and the homeowner added the original grate ring before pouring crushed stone and asphalt patch over the repaired area. After finally capping it off with the grate cover, the driveway is good as new.

Why Heath Loves Electrical Finish Work

Heath Eastman explains which phase of an electrical project he loves the most.

How to Repair Cracks in Plaster Walls

Painting expert Mauro Henrique shows Kevin O’Connor how to handle cracks in plaster and drywall.

Where to find it?

Mauro shares the best techniques for patching and repairing cracks in plaster walls. His go-to material is a flexible patch compound, Sheetrock® Brand Dust Control Patch and Repair Compound, used explicitly for stress cracks on the wall. Mauro also used fiberglass drywall tape 2”x 150’ (50mm x 45.72m) by Dynamic.

Understanding Wood Joints

General contractor Tom Silva teaches host Kevin O’Connor about the different wood joints, including their strengths and weaknesses.

How to Fix a Sinking Driveway Drainage System

Master mason Mark McCullough helps a homeowner handle a sinking drywell forming a major depression in their driveway.

Where to find it?

Mark raised a drywell in a driveway that sunk below grade. After using a chipping hammer and chisel to break away the sunken asphalt, Mark removed the grate and added gravel. He used EZ Street ready-to-use asphalt and ProMasonry Type S Mortar mix to level out the drywell.

Original Air Date: Jan 13, 2022, Season 20; Ep. 14 23:42

Products and Services from this Episode

  • Patch and repair compound manufacturer: USG
  • Drywall tape manufacturer: Dynamic
  • Asphalt manufacturer: EZ Street
  • Mortar mix manufacturer: ProMasonry