Category Archives: Understanding your home

My House is More Humid Than Normal

By | HVAC, Indoor Air Quality, Understanding your home | No Comments

I recently was asked to look at a new development in the summer of a home we recently remodeled. The concern is that it is in the ‘mid to high ’80’s and the house is humid. OUTSIDE HEAT mid to high ’90s INSIDE SET TO: 73deg UPON ARRIVAL: House is 70 deg AC not running. Fan in auto Humidity inside 44% Humidity outside 36% Background information The AC unit was replaced 4 years ago with a 3 ton coil (Inside) 2.5 ton compressor (Outside). We added 650SF to a 1500 SF home and a new furnace that was installed above…

Read More

Joist Hangers Use & Misuse

By | Fixing things, Problem Solving, Understanding your home | No Comments

Joist hangers have been around for around about 59 years, they were developed by Simpson Strongtie for a friend who was looking for a way to secure some boards in a more structurally sound way. Now days there are all kinds for them for all sorts of purposes. There are many things that are intuitive like how to use a saw which reminds me of a joke. The logger and the Salesman A guy was logging on his land using an old crosscut saw to fell trees. A salesman suggested he would love the new chain saw so he left…

Read More

Is My House Toxic?

By | Indoor Air Quality, Problem Solving, Understanding your home | No Comments

I have always enjoyed understanding building science and have dabbled in the realm of an amateur of sorts trying to discover what is causing a home to make a resident feel ill when they are inside of it. Being a former Paramedic, I blend my knowledge into a pretty good problem solver. Yes, your home could make you sick, and even kill you if have faulty systems. The risk goes up the tighter the home is. Have You Ever Considered That Your House Could Be Making You Ill? Do you have any of these symptoms only when you are at…

Read More

French Door Repair

By | Doors, Understanding your home | No Comments

I have a Peach tree French door that has been troublesome for awhile. Having them out of business has been a pain in the butt. They has some proprietary weatherstripping that is no longer available and the parts are getting harder to find. I had to replace the door lock because my dog was landing on the handle repeatedly and it eventually broke the lock internally. I turned the handle from 3:00 position to 12:00 position so he had no leverage so It should be fine. I bought standard weatherstripping and cut off a sliver and it seals well now….

Read More

Roof replacement problems

By | Roofing, Trust, Understanding your home | No Comments

As a part of our work requests we take care of homes that have been inspected for the purposes of resale. In the majority of these homes, we have found that when a roof replacement has been done that the ducts have been left disconnected. The ducts we are talking about are the solar tubes, exhaust ventilation from bathrooms and kitchens as well as dryer vents. Whats the big deal Q: Why are ducts out of the home installed in the first place. A: To vent warm humid air out of the home. Ever heard of the “M” word (Mold)?…

Read More

Maintenance required

By | Understanding your home | No Comments

I had a Honda Accord 30 years ago that had a little red indicator on the analog odometer with a manual reset. That was my first car with this innovative reminder. Who knew it would be the launchpad for a new venture 3 decades later. Idiot Lights are a real thing I remember a time when if the idiot lights came on, it was too late. An indelible impression was made when my best friend Dave chose to ignore the idiot lights on the dash for the last time. Sadly, the Chevy II Nova motor blew up on the freeway…

Read More
Failed Pipe

Hissing sound turns out to be serious

By | Plumbing, Problem Solving, Understanding your home | No Comments

A past client called to report a strange hissing sound emanating from beneath her kitchen area. She said “It sounded like a machine running or air moving”. It seemed like no big deal until she noticed a crack in her drywall in the same general area. That is when I got involved. After lifting the lid on the crawl space it became obvious that she had a leak beneath her floor. Whats that sound? I instantly noticed a high humidity condition on my face and got a sinking feeling about what I was going to discover. I Jumped down into…

Read More

What are you getting for your money?

By | Plumbing, Understanding your home | No Comments

I was talking with my plumber the other day and several cool things jelled when it comes to value. I have known for years that although things look alike they are not. Let’s take anything, cars are a good example.  Why is there such a disparity, they all do the same darn thing. Why not buy the least expensive one? Turns out that folks realized that although they have an engine (in most cases, I drove a Tesla the other day, it had two electric motors) and 4 tires and meet certain requirements, there are so many differences that it…

Read More
Hard water chemistry

How Hard is Your Water?

By | Understanding your home, Water Awareness | No Comments

I was recently asked to look into add water softeners for several clients. Having added them before I thought I would explore a bit about what hard water is and why anyone would want to condition it in the first place. Here is what I found Water naturally has elements and minerals in it . Calcium and Magnesium are two of the biggies, there are other but this Calcium is the one that causes hardness. Hard water is what leaves spots on your glass, it makes scratchy clothes, it makes itchy dry skin, it makes you use lots of soap.Soft…

Read More
Faiucet seat

I can’t turn the HOT water off

By | Plumbing, Problem Solving, Understanding your home | No Comments

OK, so you own your home and you know that there are some fairly simple systems that work together to keep you warm, safe and sound. Electrical. (If you can keep the smoke in the wires everything works out) HVAC. (Why does the AC only fail on the hot days after hours?) Plumbing. (Sewage goes downhill to a treatment plant, and fresh hot and cold water magically appear with the flip of my hand or twist of the wrist Today we talk about what happens when the water you want to stop from coming out of a faucet, wont stop…

Read More