Friday, May 22, 2009

Protect Your Home from the damaging effects of water and mold

We’ve ripped out a lot of showers over the years and it is no surprise that many have mold and mildew all around them because water leaks go unchecked. Penetrating water however can create bigger problems than just mold and mildew and most people won’t notice until the floor or shower walls show signs but by then the damage is done.

Understanding the problems that water can create when it penetrates to where it shouldn’t be, we set out to find the best product to use in our shower, steam and even tub installations.

We’ve found a solution.

What we found is a 100% waterproof backerboard system that is manufactured by wedi Gmbh, the worlds leading producer of high quality ultra-lightweight ceramic tile underlayment’s and accessories. wedi has been manufacturing tile underlayment’s since 1983.

For the past three years Cahill has incorporated wedi products in our bathroom remodeling projects with great results. This system is not only a great investment for homeowners to protect against further damage but also allows us greater design possibilities for your bathroom remodel.

The wedi System

The wedi building panel is an ultra lightweight but heavy duty tile ready underlayment, weighing just over 8 pounds. The panels consist of three elements: the core foam, glass fiber mesh, and cementitious coating. The foam, extruded polysty-rene Styrofoam, is the key element of the board. The foam forms a closed cell matrix, providing a dense, lightweight, 100% water-proof core. It is coated with a fiberglass mesh and polymer-modi-fied mortar. The mesh adds to the strength and rigidity of the board and the coating functions as a superior bonding surface.

wedi building panel is produced under the highest of standards, resulting in an underlayment product unmatched in quality. The panels can be utilized in any area traditional tile backerboards are used. In addition, wedi board can be applied to areas where similar products would certainly fail to measure up such as show-ers, steam rooms, radius and curved walls. The wedi system can be put into place with astounding ease and speed, with the resulting installation holding up to the most rigid standards.

wedi fundo system -
the total solution for wet areas

Failures in showers amount to millions of dollars lost to contractors, homeowners, and builders. Water damage leads to mold and mildew issues, which in turn increase warranty cost and the number of unsatisfied homeowners.

The wedi Fundo Shower Pan is a one step waterproofing system that offers a no risk, easy to install alternative. The wedi Fundo pan is composed of a closed cell extruded polystyrene foam, making it 100% waterproof. The pan is coated with a modified cement slurry and fiberglass mesh for strength and rigidity.

The wedi Fundo waterproof shower pan used in conjunction with the wedi building panels on the wall takes away multiple installation steps and materials used in conventional installations. It eliminates pre-sloping, pan liners, mud beds, waterproofing membranes and the weephole drain. It also eliminates risks related to conventional installations such as pan liner cracks, clogged weepholes and mold growth in mud beds.

Creative Advantage

One advantage of this product is the ability to be creative in remodeling designs without taking on new risks of future problems.

We recently had a client, Jeanne of Evanston, who had fallen in love with a steam room she was able to enjoy while she was away at an oasis in Montana. She wanted one in her home, but she lives in a vintage home and her bathroom was a lot smaller than the oasis in Montana. A steam/shower would fit but she really didn’t want to give up her pleasure of also soaking in a tub

Having a steam /shower without giving up the ability to have a tub, in a very tight space was a challenge. The issue was integrating a bathtub with a steam system so water wouldn’t leak. Our bathroom designer Randy Hunt, who has been a fixture at Cahill (pardon the pun) for many years, was able to use the wedi system to seal the tub and steam shower and help Jeanne get the bathroom she wanted and create an oasis in her home.

Give us a call to see how this system can help you get the most out of your home.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency - An Easy $1,500?

Everyone is talking about how you can get your $1,500 credit, and it sounds easy. And the truth is in some cases it is, but in others it's a bit more complicated. If you purchase equipment that qualifies for the tax credit and it is not right for your home it could cost you much more money in the long run. Talk to our experts to find out which products are right for you and your home and which ones qualify for the credit. Call us at 847-864-5225 for a free estimate and consultation.

Beat the Heat Savings!

Save $300 on a new Air Conditioning System Installation
Enjoy the savings now and be prepared for summer.
Lower your bills and increase your comfort.

Offer Expires: 05/31/09
Limit one coupon per service or installation. Not redeemable
with other specials. Please provide coupon at time of service

OPEN SHOWROOM EVENT Saturday and Sunday May 2nd & 3rd

John J. Cahill and the entire Cahill team invite you to this
great event. Meet our experts and check out the great selections
and savings.

Register to win raffle prizes and enjoy tasty refreshments!
Check back here often to see the list of raffle prizes.


Saturday and Sunday, May 2nd &3rd

John J. Cahill, Inc.
1525 Church Street
Evanston, IL

Hours: Saturday 9 - 3 & Sunday 9 - 2

Special Savings for the Bathroom and Kitchen; lav faucets, pedestal sinks, vanities, sinks, medicine/mirror cabinets, countertops, bathtubs, shower/tub faucets, kitchen cabinets, kitchen sinks, kitchen faucets, floor and wall tile, and much more.

From Quality Manufactures;
Kohler - Toto - Crystal Cabinet Works - Sterling - Elkay -
Hans Grohe - Kindred - Mansfield - Robern - Grohe - Weber -
And many more. Installation available on all items.

During "Times Like These," Cahill's Been There

In the 100+ years we've been in business Cahill has seen housing booms and housing busts. We've learned that no matter what the stock market is doing, home improvement projects still need to get done. And we've been there for our customers through it all.

Pick up any newspaper and you will read about how housing starts are down. For us, this situation just means that our suppliers have more inventory and will be looking to move it. Cahill has been able to work with our supply chain and take advantage of opportunities in pricing that we can pass along to our customers. We are not talking about getting deals on discounted or discontinued items. You can get the top-quality products you've come to expect from Cahill...for less.

In order to show off some of the exceptional items we've found for exceptional prices, we invite you to attend our Open Showroom Events this May. Visit our showroom, meet our staff and talk to our experts about how to get your next kitchen, bathroom or other home improvement project done beautifully.

Cahill April Newsletter

Happy Spring from Cahill eNews, the John J. Cahill, Inc. e-newsletter.

Since 1890, we have been providing Chicago's North Shore families with equipment, services and sound advice to keep their homes comfortable and running smoothly.

In this months eNews we invite you to attend our Open Showroom Events to check out some of the latest products and talk to our knowledgeable staff about your next home improvement project.

Thank you for your interest and let us know what you think of the Cahill eNews!

Pat Kelly and The Cahill Team

PS: Summer is coming. Make sure your home cooling system is operating efficiently for comfort and to reduce your energy bills. Also check out SpacePak (the vintage home solution for central air) or more environmentally sound a/c options. Give us a call with any questions at 847.864.5225 or visit our web site at for more info.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Protect Your Basement from Flooding

Most North Shore homes can expect to experience some water in the basement at some point, especially during spring rains. Here are some simple solutions to help waterproof your basement, so you can avoid the headaches of frequent flooding.

Causes of Basement Flooding

Unwanted water can infiltrate your basement in a number of ways. Some common access points are through cracks in your foundation wall, cracks in your floor, over the top of your foundation, through window wells and from floor drains. Prolonged heavy rains can cause water to build up on the outside and under your house and the pressure this creates can force water into your dry space.

Solutions to Keep Your Basement Dry

1. Have you looked at your gutters lately? Clean gutters are essential
Exterior drainage plays a big role in basement flooding. Make sure rain water is diverted away from the foundation. Keep gutters and downspouts free of debris that can cause clogs. Make sure all downspouts extend at least 4 feet away from your home, and keep the first 3 feet of soil next to your foundation sloped away from the house.

2. Water on your basement floor? A sump pump could be the solution!
One of the most cost effective methods to waterproof a basement is to install a sump pit and pump to collect and remove water. The pit should be located in the most vulnerable area of the basement so it can capture water before it becomes a problem. Once in the pit, water can be easily pumped outside.

Sump pump installation process:

A small area of the concrete floor is cut and excavated down 40”.

At the base of the pit 10” of gravel is laid, allowing for water infiltration. Next, an 18” x 30” basin is installed, the area around the pit is filled in with gravel and the surface is patched with concrete to match the existing floor.

Once in place, the sump pump and drain lines are installed from the pit up to an area above the foundation and out through the wall away from the house. To prevent water from backing up into the house, a check valve is installed in the drain lines.

3. Chronic flooding? Drain tiles and a sump pump to the rescue
For homes that are experiencing chronic flooding problems, our experienced team can provide a more involved solution by installing drain tiles with the sump pump system. While almost all new homes are built with drain tile and sump pumps, many of the older homes that populate the Chicago North Shore were built long before these systems were introduced. Drain tile is a perforated piping system that collects water as it tries to enter the home and then funnels the water to the sump pump - where it is safely discharged away from the home. The drain tile is installed in a trench excavated around the interior perimeter of the basement.

4. Water creeping through your floor drain? Time for a Flood Control System
Water coming up through the floor drain is often caused when the city’s main sewer system is being over-taxed. In certain areas, particularly heavy rains can back-up into your system all the way up through your floor drain.

Ways to protect from sewer water back-up:
- Install an Overhead Sewer System

This system makes the height of your sewer line higher than the city main. Your existing waste stack, which exits through the basement floor, is cut into and relocated to exit the through the basement wall. A trench is dug outside the home to tie the new overhead sewer line into the existing one, and the old sewer line is capped. An ejector basin is then installed (similar to the sump basin), that takes any basement plumbing waste and ejects it to the new overhead system.

- Install a Yard Flood Control System

A pre-cast manhole basin that houses a heavy duty ejector pump and a by-pass check valve is installed in your yard. It is along the existing waste line and stops water back-ups and forces it back into the city systems - before it reaches your home. All installation can be done outside of the home.

Accurate Diagnosis. Successful Solutions

Give us a call to determine which solution is best for your home at 847-864-5225. The Cahill team will do an on-site evaluation, present our assessment and provide a free estimate of the work that needs to be done to keep your basement clean and dry.

Welcome to the John J. Cahill, Inc. eNews-blog

Since 1890, we have been providing Chicago’s North Shore families with equipment, services and sound advice to keep their homes comfortable and running smoothly.

Over the years we’ve answered a lot of questions for our clients on topics that range from minor plumbing issues to questions about kitchen and bath design. Now you can get those answers from our expert staff here in our monthly e-newsletter, along with updates on new products, advances in technology, special promotions and much more. Check out how to waterproof your basement in our debut article (see below).

We also know the importance of being there when you need us most. That’s why if you have an emergency, you can contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

Thank you for your interest and we hope you enjoy Cahill eNews-blog!

Pat Kelly and The Cahill Team

PS: The Cahill Team is here for you. If you have any questions or comments or would like one of our expert staff to give you a free estimate on your latest project, please feel free to call us at 847.864.5225 or visit our web site at for more info.


Having the right product, expert installation and proper maintenance gives you a better value for your home improvement investment. Cahill experts can assess your plumbing, heating and cooling needs and work with you on maintenance, repair and installations.

With Cahill you get full kitchen and bathroom design and remodeling services. Call us at 847.864.5225 for your free estimate on any home improvement needs.