Galvanic corrosion is the disintegration of dissimilar metals that come into contact in the presence of an electrolyte. It can easily happen wherever moisture is present in a house, especially in plumbing and water heaters. To find out more, check out our new article on galvanic corrosion.
Electric fences are typically used on residences and farms to keep pets and livestock safe from traffic or the mouths of hungry coyotes. But more can go wrong with these systems than you might expect – dry soil impedes grounding and weakens the fence, an errant spark leaves the fence and starts a fire, or the owner designed it to be far too powerful. Lightning, too, is a major concern with these systems. To find out more about their design and hazards, read our new article on electric fence inspection.
Adding insulation to the home is one of the easiest and important tasks a DIY homeowner can undertake. It enhances a home’s insulative properties all year ’round. There are some important steps to take in preparation of the actual installation, however — whether the insulation is blown in or comes in rolls. Read all about them in Installing Attic Insulation.
Hardwood flooring is attractive and can easily last for decades, but it’s often out of the price range of many homeowners. Read about the lower-cost alternative found in Engineered Wood Flooring, including its versatility, ease of installation and durability.
Homeowners and rental property owners alike appreciate saving money, and many opt for sheet vinyl flooring in their homes. Learn about some simple maintenance tips — as well as telltale signs of improper installation — in Sheet Vinyl Flooring.
Mudjacking might not sound attractive, but it’s a clean, cheap and environmentally friendly way to fix uneven concrete. A slurry of sand, clay, polymers and other materials are pumped beneath the sunken concrete, which is forced to rise back into place before the slurry hardens. The alternative, which involves tearing out and replacing the old concrete, is usually a lot more expensive and cumbersome. To find our more about the process, its advantages and limitations, check out our new article on mudjacking.
Typical wood-frame homes may be less expensive and quicker to construct compared to other types, but their ability to withstand environmental threats can pale in comparison to homes that are constructed using insulated concrete forms for their structural components. Read about the pros and cons of using these two standard construction methods, and why ICFs may come out on top, in Concrete for Exterior and Structural Walls.
A cubic foot of ice weighs more than 50 pounds, which can be pretty dangerous if it slides off a roof. That’s why they invented snow guards to help retain snow and ice on the roof while it gradually and safely melts away. To read about their installation requirements, why they’re needed and how they can actually be counterproductive, take a look at our new article on snow guard inspection.
In an effort to be penny-wise, homeowners may well be pound-foolish by replacing parts to their water heaters rather than replacing the units altogether when they reach the end of their service life. Read about the factors involved in assessing their longevity in Estimating the Lifespan of a Water Heater.
Most people are allergic to the oil found in poison ivy – urushiol – but few people realize just how toxic it can be. 500 people can develop a rash from the amount of urushiol oil required to cover the head of a pin, and inhaled vapors of the oil can cause serious injury or death. And it’s virtually everywhere in the United States in Canada, mostly in the leaves, vines and roots of poison ivy, oak and sumac. To learn how to identify these plants, where they’re found and what you can do to protect yourself and your clients, take a look at our new article on poison ivy, oak and sumac.