Deck Ledger Attachment Methods

-  This is typically done using carriage bolts, pictured above.   When through-bolts are used, you’ll either see the head of the bolt or the end of the bolt at the ledger. Through-bolts can be used to attach a ledger to the house when the interior of the rim joist is accessible.  Lag bolts work in a similar manner. ..More

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Unintended Consequences of Adding Insulation

- These changes can tighten the house, effectively eliminating a source of ventilation. I often hear people say “…they build houses too tight. These changes in ventilation rates can have undesirable consequences such as elevated moisture levels in the house, condensation on windows, or mold growth. They “breathe”. This is why most 100-year-old homes don’t have mold or moisture problems. We have to pay close attention to this as we go into a house to perform air sealing measures or add insulation. You gotta let them breathe. . ”  A leaky house may be uncomfortable and may have high utility bills, but is always well ventilated.  When houses are made tighter, they need to breathe through an intentional hole at a controlled rate ..More

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Burning Dryer Transition Ducts

- I tried burning one of the UL Listed foil ducts by filling it up with shredded paper, then lighting the paper.  After heavy white smoke started pouring out the end, it took about 10 seconds for the flames to rip through the side.  That’s the listed version shown in the photo below.  Once the paper caught fire, I accelerated the burn by aiming the blower end of a wet/dry vac at the tube. .  Some people claim that these foil ducts are flammable, but that’s not true; there are two versions of the foil dryer transition ducts – a listed and a non-listed version ..More

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Holmes Inspections: Any Reality?

- The original home inspector gets thrown under the bus as well.  I’d love to know what Mike would have said to the buyers if he had done the original home inspection.  The home did have a crawl space, it just didn’t have any access, and it was too small for most people to actually crawl in to; that doesn’t mean it’s not a crawl space.  Mike concludes the show by saying that if the original home inspector actually knew something about construction,  he would have warned the buyers that there was no crawl space. .   That comment really bugged me.   Here are a few potential warnings: ..More

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Floodsafe® Washing Machine Connectors

- In last week’s blog post about washing machine connectors, I mentioned that I’m not a big fan of the FloodSafe® washing machine connectors.  These are special flexible water supply connectors, aka ‘hoses’, with a mechanism that will completely shut off the flow of water if the hose bursts. .  These connectors are made for faucets, toilets, ice makers, dishwashers, and washing machines, and can be identified by an extra length of metal at the hose inlet ..More

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