Ever used steel wool as insulation? Neither have we, but some people swear by it. Personally, we wouldn’t recommend it, and neither would your local home inspector. Scroll down to see some of the wildest DIY finds, courtesy of the American Society of Home Inspectors!
Photo Credits: Say Cheese! Curtis Niles Sr., Armored Home Inspections, LLC, Pottstown, PA Santa’s Wallboard. James Med Grubbs, Gerald Hargrove Inspection Services, Augusta, SC Still worked, no batteries included. Stephen Tyler, RTD Home & Building Inspections, Crooksville, OH That oughta do it! James Brock, Boston Home Inspectors, Boston, MA Homeowner says “I cleaned that last week.” Matthew Steger, WIN Home Inspection, Lancaster, PA. To vent or not to vent. John Gamache, Capstone Home Inspection Service, Escondido, CA Toasty attic: problem solved? Bruce Cadger, BC Accurate Inspections, LLC, San Tan Valley, AZ Studor Vent? Never heard of it… Francis Glynn, Reliable Home Inspection Service, Wilmington, DE Steel wool: insulation or fire hazard? Alvin Miller, Hawkeye Home Inspections LLC, Wellman, IA Just a matter of time. Andy Wallace, Nat’l Property Inspections, Los Osos, CA What makes you think this is gonna leak? Lou Prinzi, First Choice Building Inspections Inc, Jacksonville, FL
From Source Article: moneypit.com
LESLIE: Alright. Going to the Great North. We’ve got Gunner in Alaska on the line who needs some help with condensation in paned windows. What’s going on over there?
GUNNER: I had double-pane windows that fogged. I understand that they fogged because the seal breaks. But I had a contractor come up that they advertised on the radio that rather than buy new windows, they had a way of removing that condensation.
What they did is they – on the outside panes they drill a small hole on the bottom and a small hole at the top. And they did a cleaning. I think they even squirted water in there and evacuated it. I didn’t see it done but I’ve seen it on YouTube. And then they put these little plastic plugs there where the holes used to be.
Didn’t really clear up. It almost looked like it got worse, so I called and complained and the contractor said, “Well, in 3 to 12 weeks, it should go away, it should clear up.” And by golly, it did. Which kind of shocked me, because I’m an engineer and all my training says that if you have something open to the outside air, it’s going to have moisture in it. And that’s one reason why it fogged in the first place. And I don’t think they created a vacuum, so I didn’t know how that worked.
TOM: Well, this is the first I’ve heard of that system for condensation in paned windows, Gunner. I’m not familiar with it at all. I would have the same reaction that you would. I would think it’s not the kind of thing that would be my first choice. There are other ways to clear condensation from windows.
I would generally tell people that when you get fogged windows, yeah, the window is slightly less efficient but it doesn’t necessarily mean the window has to be replaced. If you’re concerned about appearance, you want to make sure you want to see clearly through it, I could see where perhaps on a limited basis that you might want to experiment with something like that to clear condensation in paned windows.
But what they’ve done is essentially just cleaned the window, wash the window from the inside out it sounds like. And I would expect that that condensation may come back, giving it a season or two. So this may not be the end of it. But if it’s giving you some temporary relief, then OK.
GUNNER: Yeah. And in fact, they had a guarantee. Their guarantee is that they’d be happy to replace the windows at a discount. But they charge you for the – and when I heard that, I kind of laughed to myself. Said, “Oh, geez, what a way to get into your house, you know?”
TOM: Yeah. Exactly.
GUNNER: But so I – OK. So you kind of agree with me. It’s not black magic.
GUNNER: To me, it’s like black magic. What on Earth happened here? It’s not possible. They talked, “Well, around the perimeter, on the inside, there’s a material that absorbs excess moisture and keeps the window clear.”
Well, some of the new ones were putting new windows out on – I’m with the FAA. We’re putting new windows out in a place called Cold Bay. And they’re triple-paned and I looked at the rim in between the panes and it is serrated as if it’s open to some kind of sponge or some kind of material that might –
TOM: Yeah, you know what that material is called, Gunner?
GUNNER: No, I don’t.
TOM: It’s got a funny name. It’s called “swiggle.”
GUNNER: Swiggle. OK. Well, my windows don’t have that. That’s just a solid strip so that there’s no swiggle, as you put it, as far as I can tell. Because it’s an older home; I think the home was built in like ’85.
TOM: Well, I mean you’re in the part of the country where triple-pane makes sense. The colder it gets, the more that makes economic sense even though those windows are more expensive.
But back to your original question. I think what they’ve done is essentially clear condensation in paned windows. And depending on the dew point, yeah, it’s either going to appear or reappear, depending on how much condensation you get inside those – inside that glass. But I think that, at this point, just understand what you have and that when you can afford it, when you want to budget for it, go ahead and replace the windows.
And remember, you don’t have to do all your windows at the same time. A lot of times, I tell folks they can do them in stages. You can do the north side first and then move to the east side, the west side and the south side, since the cold is the biggest issue in your part of the country. If you lived down south, you’d do the south and the west windows first. OK, Gunner?
GUNNER: OK. Thank you very much.
From Source Article: moneypit.com
Instead of buying organic produce at your local supermarket, why not grow your own? Organic gardening is easier than you may think. You don’t even need much space for your new organic garden – a raised bed or even a container garden can provide a surprising amount of delicious, healthy produce. Of course, you can also grow a traditional long row garden organically.Photo Creditdbreen / Pixabay What Makes an Organic Garden?
It’s a garden “growing in harmony with nature” rather than in conflict with the world around it. Applying chemical agents like herbicides, pesticides, and synthetic fertilizers create chaos in your tiny section of the ecosystem.
By improving your soil naturally, and relying on non-chemical means of removing weeds and preventing pests in your garden, you’re doing your part in keeping the ecosystem healthy and well balanced. According to Horticulture Agent Charlotte Glen, the goal of an organic gardener is “cultivating an ecosystem that sustains and nourishes plants, soil microbes, and beneficial insects rather than simply making plants grow.”Choose Your Garden Spot
Whether it’s a few pots on your balcony or a more traditional garden space, your organic garden needs plenty of sunshine (at least 6 hours a day), access to water, and good drainage. Good soil helps, too.
You’ll enjoy it more (and notice any potential problems sooner) if it’s close by rather than somewhere ‘outback’. This is especially important for an organic garden, where you’re not depending on chemicals to repel invaders.Photo CreditCounselling / Pixabay Decide on a Garden Type
A traditional garden consists of long rows of vegetables. It requires a lot of hard work and compost to get this kind of garden in shape for growing things organically. This type of garden also requires the most work throughout the growing season – thinning, weeding, and watering. It’s also probably best suited to large families or those dedicated to ‘putting food by’ through canning, freezing, or dehydrating.
A raised garden bed provides perfect growing conditions for your organic vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers. Like a container garden, it allows you to control the quality of the soil. It also lets you grow quite a variety of produce for such a small space. If you’re sure you need more space, just add another raised bed.Create The Perfect Soil
Healthy soil produces healthy plants, which are better able to fend off pests and diseases. Many native soils are low in organic matter (humus or compost) and lack the perfect drainage most garden plants crave. So, what can you do to help? Add compost! Unlike chemical fertilizers, compost not only improves drainage and water retention, but it provides plenty of the macro and micro-nutrients healthy plants need to thrive, as well as beneficial nematodes and microbes. It’s also easy to make using kitchen scraps and yard waste.
If you need to purchase compost while your homemade pile is ‘cooking’, choose as wide a variety as you can find. The more different composted materials you add to your garden, the wider the variety of nutrients they’ll provide. A turkey’s diet is much different from a cow’s or earthworm’s and so is the output. Then there are things like composted corn cobs, cocoa shells, cottonseed meal… Kelp and seaweed are great because they provide additional nutrients not found in land-based sources.Photo Creditmayurankushe / Pixabay Plant a ‘Patchwork’ Garden
Planting a patchwork of different plants close together has several benefits in an organic garden. It’ll crowd out weeds and confuse pests. It’s hard for a bean beetle to find a few bean plants when they’re surrounded by carrots, onions, parsley, and even marigolds. What’s a poor pest to do? He’ll go bother someone else’s garden!
This patchwork technique works especially well in raised beds. It lets you harvest a smaller amount of a larger variety of crops and it looks pretty, too! Planting in raised beds also lets you save water. All the water goes directly to your plants instead of to muddy pathways or (shudder!) weeds.
A thick layer of grass clippings or wood shavings around your plants also saves water and keeps your garden looking neat. This organic mulch will also deter those pesky weeds and keep the soil cooler and moister in the heat of summer.Don’t Go Overboard
It’s easy to overplant your new organic garden, especially if it’s your very first garden. If you plant that entire packet of carrot seeds, you could end up with a truckload of carrots! Even Bugs Bunny might be a little intimidated by that harvest! Instead, plant what you think your family will enjoy fresh this year and save the rest of the seeds for next year. Properly stored seeds will last through several growing seasons.
And remember, you don’t have to plant every kind of vegetable or herb the first year. Let everyone in the family pick one or two favorites (as long as they’ll grow in your area) and enjoy your first organic harvest. You can always try a few more varieties next year.Photo CreditThorstenF / Pixabay Avoid Over-Watering Your Organic Garden
Now that you have your garden in full-bloom, the last thing you want to do is over-water it. You want to make sure that your garden is getting enough sun throughout the day, but there are certain times where your garden should be getting water – typically early in the morning or in the evening. Adding a drip irrigation system is a great way to ensure that your organic garden is getting exactly what it needs. If you use a hose sprinkler, pick up a timer that will hook up between your hose and your water spout. With some smart irrigation systems are controlled by your phone and will automatically disperse water at your request.Use Only Organic Pesticides
One of the greatest advantages of growing your own vegetables organically is that they won’t have any of the nasty pesticide residues that plague the ‘dirty dozen’. Not only is this better for your health, but it’s also better for beneficial insects, essential pollinators, and the environment in general. Plus your vegetables and herbs will just naturally taste better without the tinge of chemicals!
For more interesting garden tips, read this article and then get outside and start your very own organic garden! You’ll reap a harvest of fresh air, healthy exercise, and delicious vegetables.
From Source Article: moneypit.com