1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

November 12, 2008

:317 Prevent Ice Dams

Filed under: :317 Prevent Ice Dams — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:50 am

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

1:5:10:317 EcoTip: Ice dams occur when roof snow melts over warm areas of a roof then refreezes as it runs down into colder areas. The frozen blockage creates a dam that prevents the water from draining from the roof. The water that becomes trapped can then migrate up under the roof shingles and drain into the house causing water damage. This can be especially expensive when the water drains into the wall cavities and isn’t discovered and dried quickly.

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 Additional Information:

Tomorrow’s 1:5:10:365 EcoTip shows you how to predict areas where ice dams are likely to occur.

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September 22, 2008

:266 Finding Moisture Pockets

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

1:5:10:266 EcoTip: Thermal imaging using an infrared camera can help identify materials that are wet after flooding or water intrusion. Depending on the nature of the damage – many materials that look dry may in fact be wet. Capillary action and movement of water vapor can cause secondary damage that goes well beyond where the action water flowed. A thermal imaging scan can quickly help identify areas for investigation with a moisture meter. This can help identify pockets of moisture that might otherwise be missed. 

 

Thermal Image of a wet wall courtesy of Restoration Consultants at www.moistureview.com

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :037, :256, :276, :258, :259, :260, :261, :262, :263, :264, :265

This is the eleventh in a series of EcoTips about 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.

 

John Banta with Fluke thermal imaging camera from www.moistureview.com

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September 19, 2008

:263 Moisture Meters

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

1:5:10:263 EcoTip: Moisture meters typically measure the conductivity of a material. Wet materials are more conductive than dry materials. Whereas your hand can only feel moisture that is present on the surface, these meters usually measure to a depth of half and inch or more. If the wood or material is still wet below the surface – the moisture will migrate into the new building materials and potentially damage them. Insurance typically won’t pay for replacing materials twice after a water damage – so it is important to do it right the first time. Of course that assumes you have flood insurance (:177). Most homeowners policies exclude flooding.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :177, :256, :257, :258, :259, :260, :261, :262

This is the eighth 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 12, 2008

:256 Mold and Water Damage

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

1:5:10:256 EcoTip: With the United States being pummeled by more hurricanes this year than since 2005 – the year of Katrina – it is time to look at some of the lessons learned. A January 20, 2006 CDC report examined the knowledge recovery workers had regarding personal protective equipment and mold. The paper cites evidence that exposure to mold and damp buildings can have adverse health complications.

Over the next several days my tips will focus on this and other lessons learned from Katrina that can be used during any construction activities whether it be due to catastrophic damage such as from tornadoes or hurricanes or a routine home upgrade or repair.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review:

This is the first 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.

According to CDC:

In 2004, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) reviewed the literature regarding health outcomes related to damp indoor spaces (4). In addition to the risk for opportunistic fungal infections in immunocompromised persons, IOM found sufficient evidence for an association between both damp indoor spaces and mold and upper respiratory symptoms (nasal congestion and throat irritation) and lower respiratory symptoms (cough, wheeze, and exacerbation of asthma).

Basic mold awareness training and training regarding cleaning small areas of mold is available on-line at http://www.restcon.com/training.restcon.com/MAT/index.php

For more information about how to protect your home – check out my book – Extreme Weather Hits Home

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August 4, 2008

:217 A/C Condensate Pan

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

1:5:10:217 EcoTip: Air conditioning systems not only cool but help dehumidify air by draining condensed water from their cooling coils. This water is supposed to drain into a condensate pan that is plumbed to dispose it. The pan should be mounted so that it can drain completely to help prevent a build up of organic material and bacteria contamination.

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 Additional Information:

The condensation pan for air conditioners is frequently mounted inside the system where it cannot be easily inspected to be sure it is clean and in good condition. In this case ask your service technician if there is a way they can provide you access to check on the unit between service calls.

The following information from EPA provides some guidance for selecting a new system:

  • Specify the following features for all air handling units:
    • Double-sloped drain pan – A double-sloped pan prevents water from standing and stagnating in the pan.
    • Non-corroding drain pan – Made from stainless steel or plastic. Prevents corrosion that would cause water to leak inside the AHU.
    • Easy access doors – All access doors are hinged and use quick release latches that do not require tools to open. Easy access to filters, drain pans, and cooling coils is imperative.
    • Double wall cabinet – The inner wall protects the insulation from moisture and mechanical damage, increases sound dampening, and is easier to clean.

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    August 2, 2008

    :215 Water Heater Drip Pan

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

    1:5:10:215 EcoTip: To help prevent or reduce water damage from burst water heaters you should have a drip pan underneath them that will ideally drain to the outside. Since the water that flows into it may be very hot, it will need to be constructed of a material that can stand the heat. Metal drain pans may rust through and leaks with a high flow rate such as with a sudden bursting can also cause expensive damage. A water alarm (:214) should be installed to alert you to problems early.

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     Additional Information:

    Suggested Review: :214

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    May 16, 2008

    :137 Plant Stand

    Filed under: :137 Plant Stand — Tags: , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:12 am

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

    1:5:10:137 Tip: Using a plant stand to lift your houseplants above the floor allows air circulation and can help prevent ruining your floors or carpet and keep them from developing mold.

      www.hammertimeforge.com/plant_stands.htm

      www.bredonforge.co.uk/Gardeniron.html

      Down Under Plant Stand

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    I am pleased to announce that the third edition of my co-authored book Prescriptions for a Healthy House: A Practical Guide for Architects, Builders and Homeowners has just been released!

    Modern culture has many benefits but all too frequently convenience and costs are exchanged for health. It’s true for food and it is every bit as true for our shelter. The authors have compiled the most authoritative reference in the field of how to build your home or office to maximize its benefit for your health. I have used this book in the construction of my home and office and highly recommend it. – Dr. Mercola, Founder www.mercola.com world’s most visited natural health site

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