1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

May 28, 2008

:149 Smelly Air

Filed under: :149 Smelly Air — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 2:55 am

1:5:10:149 Tip: Room air fresheners can cover-up or mask odors. This may be a bad idea. If your house smells bad, it may be an early warning signal of something being wrong. It is best to search-out and correct the odor problem not cover it up. This is especially true of musty odors, which may be an early indicator of a moisture, decay, rot or mold problem. 

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February 19, 2008

:050 Soil Mats

insulated_crawl_space_1_2.gif www.eere.energy.gov 

Suggested Review – :040, :041, :047, :048, :049

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

1:5:10:050 Tip: Placing a layer of polyethelene plastic on the surface of the soil can reduce crawlspace moisture levels ten fold. The barrier only helps with water vapor.

If you ever have standing water in your crawlspace you need tomorrows 1:5:10:365 tip.

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Additional Information

Adding a soil membrane can go a long way toward keeping moisture from damaging a home. The following video of an installation is from Matt Leech at www.crawlspaceinfo.com

Crawlspaces can be dangerous places. During my career I have inspected over 1000 crawlspaces. Many had conditions that were extremely dangerous. Keeping your crawlspace clean and dry with the soil isolated from the building can go a long way towards making crawlspaces safer.

Here’s a photo from Matt of a completed installation.

If you don’t know how to safely enter and inspect a crawlspace, you should leave it to professionals.

Tomorrow’s post will discuss sump pumps – a necessity if your crawlspace is taking on water.

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February 18, 2008

:049 Wet Crawlspaces

Suggested Review – :040, :041, :047, :048

1:5:10:049 Tip: Wet crawlspaces are more likely to have pest and fungal infestations. The water may also undermine the foundation causing it to slip. All of these can lead to costly repairs under your home. It is best to catch these types of problems early.

Tomorrow I will have information on correcting damp crawlspaces.

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Additional Information

Crawlspaces can be dangerous places. During my career I have inspected over 1000 crawlspaces. Many had conditions that were extremely dangerous.

If you don’t know how to safely enter and inspect a crawlspace, you should leave it to professionals.

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January 10, 2008

:010 Water Damage

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip.

1:5:10:010 Tip: There are many ways that buildings can become water damaged. Few situations will ever be as extreme as when levees broke after hurricane Katrina.

When water damage does occur it is important to get a specialist in water damage involved as quickly as possible to help return the building to a safe and habitable condition and prevent mold growth. Just because materials feel dry to the touch doesn’t mean they are. Moisture meter measurements are the only way to be sure of what is going on below the surface. The time to learn what to do when a pipe breaks or a tree-limb comes crashing through the roof during a rain storm is – before it happens! Of course prevention is best, but accidents still happen.

FEMA tells us that a quarter of buildings that get flooded from disasters are located in areas that were not deemed to be prone to flooding. So if you don’t know what to do when water strikes, you should spend another 5 minutes reviewing some basic information below.

18094new-orleans-la-august-30-2005-neighborhoods-throughout-the-city-are-flooded-as-a-result-of-hurricane-katrina-jocelyn-augustinofema.jpg

New Orleans after Katrina, credit: Jocelyn Augustino –  FEMA

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Additional Information

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification www.iicrc.org is the place to go for flood damage restoration company referrals. They have tips for minimizing post flood damage at http://www.certifiedcleaners.org/water_damage.shtml

http://www.certifiedcleaners.org/ts_storm-damage-restoration.shtml

http://www.certifiedcleaners.org/ts_flood_damage.shtml

Listed companies must promise to abide by the IICRC’s code of ethics and be insured.

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You can read more information about preparing and protecting your home from floods and other extreme weather events in my new book Extreme Weather Hits Home Protecting Your Buildings From Climate Change. Published by New Society Publications. www.extremeweatherhitshome.com

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