Category Archives: Buying/Maintaining a Home

Getting Ready for Winter … Again

Posted by in Buying/Maintaining a Home, Winter Concerns | October 08, 2018

The days are getting shorter.  The leaves are turning colors.  The temperatures are dropping.  The Halloween decorations are starting to go up.  It’s that time of year again.  Winter is approaching. How is your attic ventilation?  Are the screens on… Read More

What Happens When… A Roof Leak is Unseen or Ignored?

Posted by in Buying/Maintaining a Home, The Unusual, What happens when ...? | July 30, 2018

The above condition is not unusual for an industrial facility that has been expanded multiple times.  A low roof area is surrounded by higher roofs and the roof runoff is directed to a trough area along one of the walls. … Read More

What Does a Landslide Look Like? (Revisited)

Posted by in Buying/Maintaining a Home, Foundations, Soil Issues | July 16, 2018

A wood deck set at the crest of the hill overlooking a wooded valley with a river.  Mornings drinking a flavored latte, afternoons sipping a lemonade, or evenings toasting friends with the latest creation of Great Lakes Brewery while gazing… Read More

A Pattern of Condensation in an Attic

Posted by in Attic Ventilation, Buying/Maintaining a Home, Winter Concerns | June 18, 2018

The feature photograph shows a view of the ridge in an attic.  Note the discoloration and biological growth on both slopes.  Notice that the discoloration is worse on the slope left of the ridge than on the slope right of… Read More

Does Ventilation Really Provide a Benefit in an Attic?

Posted by in Apparent Mold/Biological Growth, Attic Ventilation, Buying/Maintaining a Home, Winter Concerns | June 04, 2018

The clear surface on the underside of the roof deck around the three bathroom vent pipes shows that even a little bit of inadvertent air flow is capable of reducing condensation and the risk of apparent mold/biological growth. It doesn’t… Read More

What is Efflorescence?

Posted by in Buying/Maintaining a Home, Water Sources | April 23, 2018

Efflorescence derives from a French word that means “to flower out” (or so I’ve read).   “Flowering out” is a good description because efflorescence is a crystal structure that appears and grows on the surface of concrete, brick, stucco, or natural stone… Read More

Who Says, “You Need to Have a Gutter to Have Ice Damming or Icicles?”

Posted by in Attic Ventilation, Buying/Maintaining a Home, Roof, Water Sources, Winter Concerns | March 12, 2018

See those long, beautiful icicles and the ice dam? But wait – there is no gutter along the rear slope of this dwelling (see Figure 1).  How can there be an ice dam and icicles?  Just lucky, I guess. Note… Read More

Shrinkage Cracking in Concrete

Posted by in Buying/Maintaining a Home, Concrete, Shrinkage | January 30, 2018

Why Does Concrete Crack? There are many causes for cracking in concrete: overload; earth movements (settlement, frost heave, consolidation, soil shrinkage, soil expansion, landslide, etc.); material shrinkage; impact; etc.  This article considers shrinkage. What is shrinkage in concrete? Shrinkage occurs… Read More