Category Archives: Water Awareness

More winter blues, the ceiling is falling!

By | Moisture Protection, Water Awareness, Weatherization | No Comments

I got called by a property management company to urgently evaluate a second story apartment that had a leaking ceiling, and likely falling in. The first time pregnant woman was worried about her health and rightfully so. Upon arrival I found a snow covered roof at a low slope. It was 6:00 PM,  36 degrees and raining slightly. I went upstairs and walked into a wall of humidity, I saw that the windows were sweating and they were baking and making spaghetti. The walls were dripping a bit especially up near the ceiling. There was some discoloration on the semigloss…

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
Piano

Cabinet Care and Feeding

By | Finish Carpentry, Understanding your home, Warranty, Water Awareness | No Comments

As part of our commitment to “Creating enthusiastic referrals through the process of remodeling”, we are addressing the delicate subject of caring for your cabinetry. Many client’s often delegate the housekeeping chores to others, assuming that they know what to do. Please use this document as a helpful guide for everyone responsible or involved in caring for your cabinetry to agree upon. The Background Since we use several manufacturers, and that this information is often lost or verbally discussed, I felt obligated to step in. This frustration came to a head during a recent inadvertent catastrophe. My process was simple,…

Read More

Galvanic Corrosion

By | Plumbing, Understanding your home, Water Awareness | No Comments

Today’s topic is a not so uncommon plumbing problem. While remodeling in Boise, we at Levco see all sorts of things. This problem was discovered in the utility room. The effects were carried throughout the daylight basement ceiling. Usually, what people are really referring to when they say electrolysis is galvanic or dissimilar metal corrosion. Galvanic corrosion is caused by self-induced current created by the electrical potential of two dissimilar metals in contact with an electrolyte. The more noble metal attacks the less noble. This occurred on a recent project when two dissimilar metals, copper tube and galvanized steel pipe,…

Read More

Spring Time Made it to Boise

By | Memoirs, Understanding your home, Water Awareness, Weatherization | No Comments

During a brief few hours the other day, I could have  sworn it was spring. There was a real sense of warmth and I could feel the heat radiating on my face. I even caught a whiff of a floral scent from the favorite fruit bearing plum tree that I parked next to. I was able to admire a few daffodils and the forsythia was a brilliant yellow too. It got me thinking about living in a place that experiences all four seasons. Honestly, it seems like winters and summers dominate our part of the country, but growing up in…

Read More

I Just Found Mold in my Home

By | Moisture Protection, Problem Solving, Safe Practices, Understanding your home, Water Awareness | No Comments

Mold, also know as Fungus, has become a huge issue in homes as of late, with concerns coming from the medical as well as the insurance communities. Many misconceptions are floating around, which that have caused panic and hysteria. Usually a trained sense of smell is all that is required to locate a problem, and visible signs all that you need to confirm the diagnosis. The spores can cause a respiratory irritation, and if a preexisting sensitivity or respiratory illness exists, it can exacerbate that problem. But all mold  is not bad, although I often refer to it as the…

Read More

What Does My Insurance Really Cover?

By | Fire Damage, Insurance Work, Lead Safe Work Practices, Understanding your home, Water Awareness | No Comments

At Levco working with insurance companies has become a regular thing. Usually, things go well, but occasionally they go very sideways. We have used our vast experiences to share what we have learned. Here is how we handle insurance claims related to a Flood or Fire. In most cases, the insurance company wants to work with everyone and get your home back together quickly. If they omitted something in their bid that is discovered after the fact, it is normally not a problem. The number one issue Levco has had is related to owners having unrealistic expectations of their insurance…

Read More

I Have Water in My Basement, Now What?

By | Basements, Problem Solving, Understanding your home, Water Awareness | No Comments

Water enters basements in a variety of ways. I wrote an informative article on ways it enters our homes. This article focuses on how to take preventative actions. In Boise, Idaho, we live on the edge of a desert; and we have fairly sandy soil, which is a good thing. Most older homes have never had any moisture proofing needs, and many have basements. The most we are used to seeing is some mineral effervescence from moisture passing through the concrete foundation walls. Other than making paint impossible to stick to, it causes little harm. Over the years it may…

Read More

I Got up on the Wrong Side of the Bed

By | Appliances, Plumbing, Understanding your home, Water Awareness | No Comments

Did you ever have one of those days? I awoke groggy I inadvertently kicked the cat water bowl and tipped over their food. While cursing and cleaning it up I noticed another spot of water near the corner of my refrigerator that was suspicious. Those that live on hardwood floors need to be really careful with water so I investigated. What I saw was a bit of an emergency. Floor cupping and a small amount of water. Could I have spilled some water there? Had an ice cube or two fallen there and not gotten picked up before it melted?…

Read More

What Can’t go Down the Toilet

By | Environmental Awareness, Understanding your home, Water Awareness | No Comments

I was just going about my normal morning routine when I noticed that my wife had left some dried house plant leaves floating in the toilet. This got me thinking, what should not be flushed, and why? I recalled taking this toilet off a few years ago because water was coming from the base, I couldn’t tell what the obstruction was at the flange at the time, but I assumed it was part of the construction debris. It turned out that it, too, was a large leaf. I guess old habits are hard to break. I had also received a…

Read More