1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

October 29, 2008

:303 Lightning Rods

Filed under: :303 Lightning Rods — Tags: , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:19 am

Take the 1:5:10:365 challange: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:303 EcoTip: A residential lightning protection system is an important consideration for helping to protect your home and family.

  

Source: East Coast Lightning

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 Additional Information:

For additonal information on residential lightning systems check out East Coast Lightning 

According to their website:

A single bolt of lightning can carry over 30 million volts of electricity. Lightning can rip through roofs, explode brick and concrete and ignite fires.

In addition to causing structural damage, a single bolt of lightning can wreak havoc with computers, electronic equipment and appliances.

Every year in the United States the number of homes struck by lightning increases. According to the Insurance Information Institute, residential lightning losses exceed a billion dollars annually and represent close to five percent of all residential insurance claims. 

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September 21, 2008

:265 Preventing Mold

Filed under: :265 Preventing Mold — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:45 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:265 EcoTip: There are no magic chemicals or treatments that will prevent mold growth. The secrete is keep it dry.

The victims of hurricane Ike are now being let back into their areas to begin recovery. Unfortunately enough time has passed that mold prevention won’t be possible so a lot of mold remediation will be needed. Just as with every other disaster of this nature – there will be a lot of claims about various treatments and coatings that can be used to prevent future problems. Unfortunately the claims don’t hold up to scrutiny. Health problems have been linked with dampness in buildings. Mold is only one of many issues that develop when buildings are damp. Using a chemical treatment and ignoring the underlying moisture simply doesn’t work. Keeping the environment dry always prevents organisms from growing – so why waste the money on chemical treatments that may introduce their own problems.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :256, :257, :258, :259, :260, :261, :262, :263, :264

This is the tenth in a series of EcoTips about protecting oneself when remodeling and working around buildings when participating in disaster recovery such as occurred with hurricane Katrina and is going on now with Ike. This information is timely since 2008 is the most active hurricane season since 2005 and many buildings are being damaged.

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September 20, 2008

:264 Paperless Gypsum Board

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:264 EcoTip: DensArmor Plus is a paperless gypsum board product by US Gypsum that will hold up better to residual levels of moisture better than the gypsum board coated with paper. Its coated with fiberglass – so some care during installation needs to be taken, but when it comes to not providing nutrients for mold – this product may be a good choice. Many people think using green board will protect them from mold growth – but it won’t. I’ve seen plenty of mold growing on the surface of green board.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :256, :257, :258, :259, :260, :261, :262, :263

This is the ninth in a series of EcoTips about protecting oneself when remodeling and working around buildings when participating in disaster recovery such as occurred with hurricane Katrina and is going on now with Ike. This information is timely since 2008 is the most active hurricane season since 2005 and many buildings are being damaged.

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September 16, 2008

:260 Flood Contamination

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:260 EcoTip: When catastrophic disasters such as hurricanes Katrina and Ike hit – there are frequently not enough professional resources available to help. This means people need to become knowledgeable in safely and effectively managing their own recovery.

In my book Extreme Weather Hits Home: Protecting Your Buildings From Climate Change  I discuss ways to recognize potential problems and protect your home – but once disaster has struck information published by the Red Cross is a very good primer. 

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :256, :257, :258, :259

This is the fifth in a series of EcoTips about protecting oneself when remodeling and working around buildings when participating in disaster recovery such as occurred with hurricane Katrina and is going on now with Ike. This information is timely since 2008 is the most active hurricane season since 2005 and many buildings are being damaged.

The Red Cross has posted an excellent booklet for flood recovery. It contains a lot of helpful information. You can view it at http://www.redcross.org/static/file_cont333_lang0_150.pdf

Here’s an excerpt about basements that get flooded:

If your basement is flooded, don’t be in too big a hurry to pump it out. Here’s why. Water in the ground outside your home is pushing hard against the outside of your basement walls. But the water inside your basement is pushing right back.

If you drain your basement too quickly, the pressure outside the walls will be greater than the pressure inside the walls—and that may make the walls and floor crack and collapse, causing serious damage. To avoid this situation, follow these steps when you pump the water out of your basement:

Never go into a basement with standing water in it unless you are sure the electricity is off.

After floodwaters are no longer on top of the ground, you can start pumping the water out of the basement. Do not use gasoline-powered pumps or generators indoors because gasoline engines create deadly carbon monoxide exhaust fumes. Pump the water level down two to three feet. Mark the level and wait overnight. Check the water level the next day. When the water stops going back up, pump down another two to three feet and wait overnight. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until all water is pumped out of the basement.

 

CDC and NIOSH also has lots of good information at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/flood/  

 

 

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September 15, 2008

:259 Water Damage Help

Filed under: :259 Water Damage Help — Tags: , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:37 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:259 EcoTip: Recovering from flood and water damage generally requires experienced help. Unfortunately when disasters occur there are often offers for help that range from well meaning, but uninformed to some that are downright shady. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification offers advice and certification for companies that provide these services.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :256, :257, :258

This is the fourth in a series of EcoTips about protecting oneself when remodeling and working around buildings when participating in disaster recovery such as occurred with hurricane Katrina and is going on now with Ike. This information is timely since 2008 is the most active hurricane season since 2005 and many buildings are being damaged.

From the IICRC web-site:

To make sure you hire certified, trained professionals, the “Industry Guardians” at the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) invite you to visit http://www.certifiedcleaners.org/ or call 1-800-835-4624 to locate qualified experts to handle your cleaning needs.

The IICRC is a nationally accredited, non-profit certification body that works to protect consumers from deceptive and unreliable companies in the cleaning, restoration and inspection industry. IICRC-Certified Firms and Technicians must meet the highest industry standards to maintain their good standing.

IICRC offers water and flood damage tips at http://www.certifiedcleaners.org/ts_tips_advice.shtml you can use their directory search to help find a certified firm. 

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August 5, 2008

:218 Automatic Water Shut-Off

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:218 EcoTip: An automatic water shut-off valve can help reduce or prevent costly water damage.

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 Additional Information:

There are several automatic water shut-off systems available. Both of the units shown below allow you to press a button to shut off the water to your home when you are away.

The FlowLogic automatic water shut-off system monitors water use and shuts off the water when an unusual use occurs. The preset is for 30 minutes of unexpected flow when the home is occupied and 30 seconds of flow when the unit is set to vacation mode.

 

The WaterCop automatic water shut-off system uses remote sensors placed in various locations likely to get wet if a pipe bursts to shut off the water flow.

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April 13, 2008

:104 Roof Types

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:104 EcoTip: A well anchored basic roof is less likely to suffer damage than a complex roof. Hip roofs seem to hold up better than gable roofs.

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Hip Type RoofGable Type Roof

image credit: Restoration Consultants

Additional Information

Suggested Review – :098, :099, :100, :101, :102, :103

Intricate roofs or those with numerous valleys and changes in pitch are more likely to leak when wind-driven rain forces the water under the flashing or roofing materials or when roofing shingles are blown off. The roofing shingles near the roof edge, which faces the worst winds, should be set in special mastic during construction or re-shingling. Don’t run a solid line of mastic, use dabs so if water does get under the shingles, it will be able to drain back out. Try to eliminate or minimize penetrations through the roof with special louvered storm vents instead of the standard types of ventilation vents. Roof overhangs help protect walls against water intrusion much better than zero clearance overhangs.
 

Climate change isn”t only about warming. In my book- Extreme Weather Hits Home: Protecting Your Building From Climate Change, I discuss how to prepare your home for many extreme weather conditions such as high winds.

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February 7, 2008

:038 Emergency Weather Radio

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Source: http://www.weatherradiostore.com/

1:5:10:038 Tip: Purchase a NOAA Emergency Weather Alert Radio.

There are many types of extreme weather emergencies that are being monitored by NOAA with emergency broadcast alerts. An emergency weather radio silently monitors these broadcasts and can be set to automatically come on when an alert is issued in your area allowing your family to brace for the recognized extreme weather event.

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Additional Information

A wide variety of emergency weather alert radios are available from http://www.weatherradiostore.com/ for under $50.00

A note from John Banta: I had originally planned to post this 1:5:10:365 tip on February 26 prior to tornado season beginning, but decided to post early due to the recent spate of tornado deaths in Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Kentucky. Most of the deaths were in rural areas that did not have community sirens. Emergency Weather Radios save lives by making sure that you are wakened and alerted when emergency events are occurring in your vicinity.

Extreme Weather Events appear to be occurring more frequently, intensely and earlier each year. A February tornado has been a rare event in the past, but the monitored weather conditions were such that NOAA was able to predict the increased tornado activity six days in advance, and pinpoint the areas that were hit to provide a few minutes to get to a safer area and not be caught by surprise.

My new book Extreme Weather Hits Home is about preparing our dwellings to better withstand and recover from the extreme weather conditions that are becoming more prevalent.

If you find these 1:5:10:365 Tips helpful –  please tell your friends, and ask your local bookseller and library to get my book.

ewhhsmallcover.jpg

www.extremeweatherhitshome.com

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