Biowalls represent an emerging green design technology that merges form and function. They are pleasant on the eye, save energy and money, and provide natural fresh air. On the other hand, they might attract unwanted pests or invasive roots. Find out how homeowners can supplement their traditional HVAC system with biowalls.
We’ve all seen whole houses moving down the highway on huge trucks, and it isn’t hard to wonder how such a move is economical or even logistically possible. Utility lines and bridges are in the way while pot holes threaten to weaken the structure, and the whole moving service can cost tens of thousands of dollars, yet many homeowners gladly pay up. Their reasons vary – perhaps they want to save their historic home from an encroaching highway or flood, or maybe they want to move it onto a more valuable piece of land. Or, maybe, they just don’t like the new neighbors. Regardless, it’s quite an involved process, and you can find out more in our new article on house moving.
Playgrounds present a unique set of safety challenges, some of which are obvious while others are not. For instance, soil might be an unsafe ground material, as it can become hard-packed over time. And did you know that girls are more likely to be injured on playground equipment than boys, or that Americans spend more than a billion dollars annually on playground injuries? To find out more, take a look at our new article on playground equipment hazards and inspection.
Around the world, home and business owners are taking advantage of their roof space to grow plants. It may sound bizarre, but consider just how much space is afforded by roofs to grow edible plants, reduce ambient temperature and bring park settings closer to home. Of course, such installations have their hazards; fires and water intrusion into the building, just to name a few. It’s worth checking into, so feel free to read our new article on green roof inspection.
When used as an alternative to running the central heating non-stop in cold weather, the right space heater can be an energy-efficient choice for “spot” heating in the home. Learn about the different types and which options are the best for you by reading Energy-Efficient Space Heaters.
A flooded basement is a huge headache and sometimes an expensive repair. But water damage to a basement can be an insidious process whose true impact may not be obvious until it creates major problems. Read about how to prevent this costly concern in Basic Waterproofing for Basements.
Much has been written about solar panels and other active solar techniques, but comparatively little is said about passive methods. Trombe walls and sunspaces are a few examples of passive solar building design, which requires no pumps, fans or moving parts and is relatively inexpensive and maintenance free. They are designed based on five principles, which are explained in more detail in our new article on passive solar building design.
Trombe walls are used to passively store the heat from the sun so it can be used to warm a building after the sun has set. They’re inexpensive, remarkably simple, and they allow for a reduction of energy bills. To find out more, check out our new article on Trombe walls.
Composting toilets are environmentally friendly toilets that convert human waste into a nutrient-dense fertilizer called humus. To learn more about the different system options, advantages, risks and inspection, check out our new article in composting toilet inspection.
Mold is a fast-growing scourge that can compromise health and ruin homes. If you’ve been the victim of a flood, you know that mold growth can add to your household miseries, especially when it comes to carpeting. But even small amounts of moisture can add up and create problems. Read about Carpet Mold: Identification, Prevention and Removal so that you know how to deal with it.
Foreclosures are bad for everyone, from the lender to the borrower, the real estate market and the entire economy, which is why short sales are becoming increasingly common. A home short sales when the lender permits the borrower to sell their home for less than the lender is owed, thereby accepting a moderate loss. The issue is complex, however, as the borrower might still be held responsible for the remainder of the loan and there are tax consequences as well. Read our new article on short sales to find out more about this interesting way to avoid foreclosure.
Trying to control environmental noises can be a frustrating experience for homeowners. But by understanding what classifications of noises there are and how they travel, homeowners can mitigate both the noise they hear and the noise they generate with some simple yet effective materials and practices. Read about it in Construction Methods and Materials for Noise Control.
Why on earth would you erect a bat house on your property? Bats are helpful mammals, as they eat huge numbers of insects that would otherwise be a nuisance, yet their search for safe roosting grounds is threatened by the clearing of forests for development and lumber. Bat houses can also be used to draw bats away from the attic, where they have been known to take residence and cause problems for building occupants. To find out more about proper placement and construction of bat houses, check out our new article on bat house inspection.
Greywater is wastewater collected from household showers, sinks, tubs and washing machines that would otherwise be sent into the sewage system. It’s a great way to save water, especially during times of drought, but improper handling could impose serious health hazards. To find out more about greywater advantages, risks and inspection be sure to read our new article on greywater inspection.
Many homeowners are starting to harvest their rainwater in response to increasing scarcity of water and other advantages afforded by rainwater catchment systems. They pose unique hazards, however, of which homeowners should be aware. To find out more, check out our new article on rainwater catchment systems.