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Wednesday, November 26 2008

This article can be filed under the Do-It-Yourself section. I was aware that pipes can freeze during a hard freeze, but I did not know that there is a safe way to thaw frozen pipes without damaging them.

How to Safely and Properly Thaw Frozen Pipes

Winter weather generally means frozen water pipes at one time or another during the season. Frozen pipes aren’t only a big inconvenience, they can cause a lot of damage if left alone or if thawed out in the wrong way. Extensive damage can mean having to spend lot’s of money and calling a professional or crawling up under your home in freezing weather.

Frozen water can place over 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch on the pipes. And, several hundreds of gallons of water can gush from a burst pipe each and every hour. Not only does freezing cause damage to your pipes, it can also result in thousands of dollars of water damage to walls, foundations and other parts of your home.

Water expands as it freezes and pipes will eventually crack and burst with enough expansion. Often small cracks, such as hairline cracks will quickly freeze over when they begin to leak and you may not even realize that a pipe has cracked until the weather gets warm enough for the ice to melt.

The first step to any repair is of course to find the source of the problem. This isn’t always easy when it comes to frozen pipes. If you don’t have water in any of the faucets, then the leak is somewhere between the water meter and where the pipes branch off to different areas of the home.

If the water is frozen off in only one area of the home, it is generally either in the wall or the crawl space. The pipes that are at the greatest risk of freezing are located in the outside walls of your home or in an unheated or uninsulated crawlspace area.

Often you can find the frozen area by the evidence of frost or ice on the pipe. And, if the frozen water in the pipe has already expanded to a critical stage, there may be a bulge in the pipe at the area of the freeze.

If you have a frozen plastic or PVC pipe and it’s in an easily accessible area such as under the sink, you can sometimes simply use a hair dryer to thaw the pipe. Don’t hold the hair dryer in one position, move it around in the area that you think is frozen.

With any type of pipe, you can often just wrap a heating pad around it and keep it turned to a low temperature for plastic and a higher temperature for metal or copper pipes. And, hot rags can even be used to try to thaw the pipe. Soak the rags in hot water around 105* and wrap them around the pipe, each time the rags cool, soak them in the hot water and wrap them back around the pipe.

A heat lamp is an excellent tool to use in thawing frozen pipes. Just make sure that you don’t leave it unattended, it can get hot enough to ignite flammable materials. And, don’t forget to turn the faucet on so that the melting water will have a exit out of the pipe.


Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 07:37 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 25 2008

For the first time, labeling program will include criteria for water use in addition to energy use.

This will allow buyers to make a comparison with other manufacturers and models.

DOE to Increase Energy Star Requirements for Dishwashers

The U.S. Department of Energy’s new criteria for Energy Star-labeled dishwashers, set to take effect in 2009 and 2011, will increase energy efficiency requirements and will address water use for the first time.

According to an announcement, the first phase of the new criteria, which will be implemented on August 11, 2009, will require dishwashers to be at least 48% more efficient than the federal energy efficiency standards (up from 41% currently) to qualify for Energy Star. Labeled dishwashers also must use no more than 5.8 gallons of water per cycle. Following an increase in federal energy efficiency standards in January 2010, Energy Star will raise labeling requirements on July 1, 2011 to 13.5% more efficient than federal standards.

The DOE estimates that the first set of criteria will save the U.S. 71 million kWh of energy and 500 million gallons of water a year; Phase 2 will save more than 95 million kWh and 830 million gallons of water.

An Energy Star spokesperson says approximately 40% of dishwashers will meet the new criteria when it launches next summer; currently about 60% to 70% qualify. The range should remain around 40% to 60% of units over the next few years.


Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 07:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 24 2008

Add some flair and save some time with great products and sound advice

Holiday decorations have come a long way since your parents used to string those old, clumsy light sets on the bushes. Technical innovations and other improvements in holiday decorations have paved the way for easier options if you plan to decorate this season.

Although some of the "old standby items" still make the cut for decorating, there are a number of non-conventional items you should consider to adorn your home. Among some of the "trendier" products you'll see on hardware store shelves:

Rope Lights -
Also known as tube lights, these decorative lights have been around for a few years and just keep getting better. They can take the form of holiday characters like reindeer and Christmas trees, or you can use their unusual yet handy "shapability" to wrap around porch railings and entry columns. Get a little creative with how and where you string them and who knows what you can come up with!

"Snowflake" Lights -
Somewhat new to the decorating scene are shimmering snowflakes that stand alone or come as part of a longer strand. Sold typically as 10-packs, the individual snowflakes are strung together and can be placed in windows, trees and bushes or tacked onto shutters or lattice work for a "snowfall" effect. Longer strands of icicle lights are also available with snowflakes dangling from the bottom row.

Pre-Lit Artificial Christmas Trees -
Somewhat commonplace anymore, these trees can be assembled in less than five minutes and, thanks to improvements in quality, look like the real thing. As far as lighting is concerned, the fiber optic trees are fantastic. Some even have revolving color wheels in the base that continually change the light patterns on the tips of the tree's "needles," creating a shimmer effect.

LED Lights -
Energy-efficient LED lights use up to 90 percent less energy and can last up to 10 years, and are available as white or multi-color light sets or even decorations such as trees and pathway markers and pre-lit wreaths.

Light Clips -
If you've been living without these for the past few years, I commend you on your work ethic, but it doesn't have to be that hard! To take the strain out of stringing the house with lights, light clips allow for hanging lights off gutters and around window frames without nails. There are even clips for hanging lights off of bricks for masonry homes. The clips are inexpensive and can be re-used, and what's more, when it's time to take the lights down off the house (hopefully not in April), the clear clips can be left on for next year. It'll make your job that much easier!


Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 07:25 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, November 20 2008

This article is from the monthly newsletter of our sister website at  

These are helpful suggestions and ideas for going “green”. We hope you enjoy reading this article and please call us at 812-499-9234 if you have any questions.

Home Remodeling: Go Green without Breaking the Bank

If you’re planning any type of remodeling project, keep in mind that it’s easier than ever to go green in the world of home improvement. Not only is it hip to be green but environmentally responsible building practices can save you money in a number of ways, including your energy and water utility bills. Contrary to popular belief, many green building techniques will not significantly increase the cost of your home improvement project.

While some of the most cutting-edge sustainable architecture and design can cost more, many green techniques are more mainstream, costing less than most homeowners might assume. You’ll want to find a contractor who shares your vision for adding green additions to homes and brings ideas to the table to achieve it. can help you find quality contractors for your green remodeling project.

Here are some ways to go green without busting your home improvement budget:

* Increase energy efficiency – New windows reduce energy use. Many window manufacturers are now making ultra-efficient windows that can significantly reduce heat loss in the winter and sun glare that spikes cooling bills in the summer. Equipping your home with the most energy efficient windows you can afford now will let you save on energy bills in the future.

* Reuse materials – Salvaged building materials can help reduce the cost of home remodeling projects on your home and have less impact on the environment than new materials. In many cities, rebuilding centers collect and offer for sale used, but still usable, building materials. Using salvaged building materials will help keep those items out of landfills.

* Conserve water – If you are thinking of changing the landscaping around your home, keep water conservation in mind. Look for hardy plants and grasses that require less water, even if you live in a wet climate. Using these types of plants means you’ll water less, which not only reduces your utility bills, but it’s good for the environment as well


Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 09:02 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, November 20 2008

Sometimes there is good news imbedded in bad news. According to the information below the value of scrap metal is falling to the point that the there is a significant decline in copper and aluminum thefts, and the scrap price of these metals is the reason why.

Scrap Metal Prices Fall, Bringing Down Thefts

EVANSVILLE - Evansville crime data points to a significant decline in copper and aluminum thefts, and the scrap price of these metals is the reason why.

This summer, metal thieves were rampant, ripping aluminum siding off houses, pulling copper downspouts off buildings, and ripping apart air conditioning units to get to the copper coils. At that time, scrap copper and aluminum were selling for between three and four dollars a pound.

But now, along with stock prices and the price of oil, the prices of aluminum and copper are going down. Right now, scrap copper and aluminum is selling for just one dollar per pound.

"I checked with our investigative unit, they say it’s significantly down from when the price of copper was near $4. We had a rash of thefts from homes and businesses during that time. It's significantly decreased from there," says Evansville Police Sergeant, Doug Schneider.

Scrap metal yards across the country are reporting much lower supplies of scrap copper and aluminum. Bad news for their business and thieves, good news for your property.


Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 09:01 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 19 2008

Business and government leaders from Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky will convene in Evansville Nov. 20-21, 2008, to study the new economic model of growth. The 2008 Regional Economic Summit will feature nationally-recognized business experts and economists who will discuss the current economic climate and realities facing a 26-county region and our nation, as well as outline the steps necessary for prosperity, wealth creation and economic vitality in the 21st Century.


President of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank James Bullard will serve as the keynote speaker. Bullard will discuss his view of the current economic environment. Immediately following his presentation, Bullard will conduct media interviews on the first floor of the Centre.

“We’re incredibly fortunate to have a featured speaker of Mr. Bullard’s caliber,” said Old National President & CEO Bob Jones, a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Board of Directors. “His knowledge and perspective pertaining to today’s economy will be extremely beneficial as our region moves forward in working to realize sustainability and growth.”

Dr. James Bullard assumed the presidency of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank on April 1. Dr. Bullard joined the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank in 1990, and rose through the research division to become vice president and deputy director of research for monetary analysis prior to the current appointment. He has published extensively and is widely recognized as a leading authority on economic policy issues. In addition, he represents the Bank on the Federal Open Market Committee, the Federal Reserve’s chief monetary policy body.

“Dr. Bullard joins an accomplished roster of presenters including Rich Karlgaard, publisher of Forbes magazine, as well as experts on the economy, entrepreneurship, work force engagement and numerous other topics of critical interest to business and civic leaders.” said President of Regency Properties and Chairperson Jim McKinney. “This timely event will be a guiding light to our region in its efforts toward enhanced economic growth and prosperity for its citizens.”

Attendees will have the opportunity during the two-day summit to participate in general and break-out sessions dealing with entrepreneurialism, regional collaboration, building stronger economic development strategies and alignment with the emerging world economy. The final summit agenda is being developed in cooperation with regional advisory councils from each state.

Founding sponsors for the 2008 Regional Economic Summit are Old National Bank and Regency Properties. Lead sponsors of the event are the Richland County Development Corporation (Ill.), Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation (Ky.), Northwest Kentucky Forward, Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana and the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana. Supporting sponsors are Vectren, Fifth-Third Bank, Junior Achievement, Western Kentucky Regional Electric Providers, Murray State University, United Companies, Richland County Development Corp. partners, Industrial Contractors, Ohio Valley Financial Group, Duke Energy, Ameren, Methodist Hospital in Henderson, US Bank and the University of Evansville.

For registration information about the 2008 Regional Economic Summit log onto or call 812-463-6102. You may also email Saundra Hadley, event coordinator, at or 812.455.6836 or Lori Stamm, event administrator, at


Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 07:42 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 19 2008

In our continued quest to keep our readers informed on matters which may affect the safety and health of our readers, the article below is very much of significance, as all of us try to provide meals for our families, which at times will are ready made.

Lean Cuisine Chicken Meals Recalled

More Than 879,000 Pounds of Frozen Chicken Meals May Contain Bits of Plastic

Nov. 18, 2008 -- Nestle Prepared Foods Company is recalling 879,565 pounds of frozen Lean Cuisine chicken meals that may contain small pieces of hard blue plastic.
Nestle issued the recall after getting seven consumer complaints, including one report of a minor gum injury that did not require medical attention, Nestle Prepared Foods Company spokeswoman Roz O'Hearn tells WebMD.

The following Lean Cuisine products are being recalled:

  • 9.5-ounce packages of "LEAN CUISINE PESTO CHICKEN WITH BOW TIE PASTA" brand frozen meals. Printed on each side of each package is a production code of "8280595912" as well as a use-by date of "Best Before MAY 2010."
  • 10.5-ounce packages of "LEAN CUISINE CHICKEN MEDITERRANEAN" brand frozen meals. Printed on the side of each package is a production code of "8231595912" or "8241595912" as well as a use-by date of "Best before SEP 2010"; a production code of "8263595912," "8269595911," or "8274595912," as well as a use-by date of "Best before OCT 2010"; or a production code of "8291595912" or "8301595912" as well as a use-by date of "Best before NOV 2010."
  • 12.5-ounce packages of "LEAN CUISINE CHICKEN TUSCAN" brand frozen meals. Printed on the side of each package is a production code of "8234595911" and a use-by date of "Best before SEP 2009"; a production code of "8253595911" or "8269595912" as well as a use-by date of "Best before OCT 2009"; or a production code of "8292595911" or "8296595911" as well as a use-by date of "Best before NOV 2009."

Each package also bears the USDA mark of inspection as well as the establishment number "EST P-9018." The frozen chicken meals were produced on Aug. 18, Aug. 21, Aug. 28, Sept. 9, Sept. 19, Sept. 25, Sept. 30, Oct. 6, Oct. 17-18, Oct. 22, and Oct. 27, 2008, and were distributed to retail establishments nationwide, according to the USDA.

Consumers with questions about the recall should call 800-227-6188.

Where did the plastic come from? "We determined that the plastic entered our facility in a single lot of an incoming raw ingredient," O'Hearn says. "We're trying to figure out how to prevent this from happening in the future. But we went into action very quickly on a very small number of complaints."


Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 07:40 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 18 2008
Evansville-based Berry Plastics Corp. has agreed to purchase Erie County Plastics Corp. The Pennsylvania-based molder of plastic packaging and components filed for bankruptcy in September. Berry Plastics was the succesful bidder for most of the assets. Erie Plastics opened in 1960 and launched European operations in 2002. To read the full story on Inside INdiana Business website, go to
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 01:20 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, November 18 2008
Evansville and Vanderburgh County have reached an agreement with AT&T Inc. to install what they call the state's largest city/county fiber-based network. The aim is to provide faster and more efficient communication among emergency responders and other city and county facilities. Information technology departments from the city and county along with AT&T have been working on the design of the project for more than a year. To read the full story from the Inside INdiana Business website, go to
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 01:18 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 18 2008
The Evansville City Council has authorized a nine-year tax abatement for the $11 million redevelopment of a downtown property. Our partners at the Evansville Courier & Press report City Centre Properties has agreed to hire at least five employees in exchange for the abatement. The developer is seeking to build luxury apartments in the McCurdy building, which opened as a hotel in 1917. To read the full article, go to
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 01:16 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 17 2008

Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel is continuing with his efforts to revitalize downtown areas in Evansville. His aim is to salvage abandoned or foreclosed homes and make downtown Evansville a better place to live. New federal funds in the amount of $ 3.6 million dollars have been earmarked and are being made available under this new initiative.

We wish the major all the best with this important program.

Neighborhood Stabilization Program

Federal Dollars will soon be on the way to restore life back to some of Evansville's crumbling neighborhoods. The City received $3.6 million from the "Neighborhood Stabilization Program."

As early as this spring, expect to see more construction to salvaging abandoned or foreclosed homes, as well replacing old ones to restore life to once thriving historic Evansville neighborhoods.

New funds will help homes on the list for "Front Door Pride," the mayor's plan to revitalize Evansville Neighborhoods.

"We are required to spend the money in the areas of greatest need, based on certain criteria that HUD outlined for us. And those things are foreclosure rates, sub prime mortgage rates," says Jane Reel, Evansville Redevelopment Specialist.

With several projects already underway, the City plans to acquire and either reconstruct or tear down at least 75 more homes.

The result they're hoping for: "Sold" signs instead of "For Sale" signs.

"These areas have been in a state of decline for a number of years. We're hoping to turn some of these neighborhoods around, get the property values increasing instead of decreasing, and bring investment back to the areas," says Reel.

For that dream to become a reality: Evansville's Metropolitan Development Department will team up with local housing organizations.

"For too long the inner city has been neglected, there have been bits and pieces and small amounts of money here and there. This is the first time the city is taking a comprehensive approach to a certain neighborhood area," Thomas Poe, Hope of Evansville Executive Director.

That approach is what keeps contractor Bill Badger busy.

"Some of these houses we know have been foreclosed, a couple we know people have abandoned them, the city is jumping right in and calling the contractors to look to see if they need rehabbing or build a new one," says Badger.


Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:44 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 12 2008

From the article below we can see that in any project benefits can be achieved by planning ahead and incorporation “green” construction initiatives. The new Schnucks grocery store in Newburgh has many of the “green” features and the management of Schnucks hopes that they will eventually earn L.E.E.D. certification which is a national program recognizing exceptional green building designs. LEED Professional Accreditation distinguishes building professionals with the knowledge and skills to successfully steward the LEED certification process. LEED Accredited Professionals (LEED APs) have demonstrated a thorough understanding of green building practices and principles and the LEED Rating System. More than 43,000 people have earned the credential since the Professional Accreditation program was launched in 2001.

Newburgh Schnucks is "green" in every aisle
By Chad Sewich 

NEWBURGH, IN (WFIE) - Schnucks hopes to ring-up big sales with its new grocery store in Newburgh. But it's not just dollars that has the company seeing green.

From the green floors made with non-toxic materials to the energy efficient lighting, the new Schnucks store in Newburgh has a green footprint in every aisle.

Ross Hutsel, Schnucks Facility Engineer says, "This store is the evolution of several sustainable design initiatives that we have been putting into place for the last 18 months."

The new store is 20,000 square feet larger than the Schnucks it replaces, but uses the same amount of energy. Along with the flooring, low-volatile paint, adhesives and carpeting were used to improve indoor air quality. Other features include a state of the art energy management system which monitors and adjusts lighting, heating, air conditioning and high energy-consuming monsters like refrigeration cases. Energy efficient LED lighting is used in the freezer department and motion detectors turn lights off in backrooms when not in use.

Hutsel says even the restrooms are green designed. "They use a combination of sensor technology, low flow toilets and devices that reduce consumption significantly."

Customers say they like the green approach. "We've got to cut anyway we can and every little bit helps in what you can do," says Charlotte Dockins.

The green store design is still a work in progress for Schnucks. In the future, they hope to add motion detectors in the frozen food cases and skylights to help reduce energy costs.

Schnucks hopes a new store planned for the Darmstadt area will take the green concept even further in the future.

Schnucks hopes to eventually earn L.E.E.D. certification which is a national program recognizing exceptional green building designs.


Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 09:26 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 12 2008

There is good news in the housing sector for Vanderburgh and Warrick Counties. Both counties have seen an increase in the sale of homes and we can all hope that this will lead to continued improvements in the housing market for the Tri-State. Both the Evansville Area Association of Realtors and the Evansville Association of Appraisers are optimistic that the housing market appears to be improving.

For more information, read the recent article in the Evansville Courier & Press by clicking here.

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:55 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 11 2008

Andrew Harbison, president of HF Refrigeration Inc., will speak about geothermal heating and cooling systems as part of the Sustainable Communities Coalition's Energy and Climate-Oriented (ECO) Series at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Browning Room A at Evansville Central Library.

This lecture should be interesting for home owners who are looking for alternative methods of heating their homes.

For more information, read the recent article in the Evansville Courier & Press by clicking here.

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:27 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, November 06 2008

The Vanderburgh County Solid Waste Management District is sponsoring "Clean Your Files Day" for this coming Friday and Saturday form 9.00AM to 1.00PM at Wesselman Woods Nature Center off Boeke Road. This is a good opportunity to clean out your garage, attic or basement.

For more information, read the article in the Evansville Couirer & Press by clicking here.

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:21 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, November 06 2008

Fireplace and Chimney Maintenance

If you're hosting upcoming holiday parties, you want your home to look its best. If the wood table has watermarks, the dining room chairs are wobbly, or the couch's upholstery is unsightly, consider doing some furniture "TLC."

Easy, minor touch-ups can make your furniture look like new, and your local Ace Hardware store has the products you need to give your furniture a fresh look.

Here are several furniture fix-up suggestions to get your home ready for holiday entertaining:

Repair a Wobbly Chair

If a chair is so wobbly that there's an old paperback jammed under the leg for balance, it's time for a repair. Knock the loose joint apart with a hammer. Then, with sandpaper or steel wool, remove any old glue from both parts that need to be reattached. If the glue is difficult to take off, try adding vinegar to it. Spread wood glue on both surfaces and then, using a wood clamp or tourniquet, apply pressure on the chair joint for 24 hours allowing the glue ample time to dry. Adding a small screw to the joint will assure a tight hold.

Fix a Furniture Spindle

If your chair's spindle is separated from its socket because of playful pets or years of use, you can re-secure it with a little elbow grease. Use a high-speed cutter to thoroughly remove old glue from the rung and inside of the socket. Then coat the end of the spindle and the inside of the socket with carpenter's glue, and wrap silk thread around the end of the spindle. Clamp and let settle overnight.

Remove Residue from Wood

Some common residue can be removed without the help of a professional furniture refinisher. Bear in mind, though, that you should always test your remedy in a small, inconspicuous area first just to be sure it doesn't damage the finish. For watermarks and rings caused by cups without coasters, use a wood amalgamator like Howard's Restore-A-Finish or Formby's® Conditioning Furniture Refinisher. Use with #0000 steel wool. The more zeros in the code, the finer the weave is. Drench the wool and squeeze out lightly. Apply pressure with the grain, and your woodwork will look like new again. Finish by wiping clean with a tack cloth.

Cloths referred to as white ring removers also work to remove marks caused by heat and water and even minor scratches and will not remove finish from the wood surface.

If candle wax is the culprit, harden the substance by holding an ice cube wrapped in cloth against it. Then, use a plastic credit card or a dull knife to scrape it off. Rub the wax with an extra-fine steel wool dipped in mineral spirits, wipe dry and set with wax or polish.

Upholding Your Upholstery

Many furniture fabrics carry an upholstery code, usually found on a label under the cushions, which gives specific instructions on the proper methods for cleaning that fabric type. Typically, vacuuming and light brushing to remove dirt and grime is recommended as well as spot cleaning with an upholstery shampoo or mild solvent.

Always patch testing the cleaner on the fabric first to ensure it doesn't shrink or discolor. It's a good idea to treat leather every year or so with a leather oil or conditioner. These products will keep the leather from cracking and remain more pliable to avoid rips and tears.


Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 07:21 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 05 2008

This article can be filed under the Do-It-Yourself section. What is surprising in this article is that the average home generates 7 to 10 gallons of moisture very day. Unless the air in the foundation has a way to escape this moisture will crate problems down the road. Water is one of the most destructive elements in a home. While most homes are built and protected to deal with water on the outside of the home, water and moisture inside the home can become trapped. Most older homes have air holes and cracks that allow some of the moisture to evaporate. But, many newer homes are so well insulated that they’re pretty much air tight and there’s no air circulating to dry up moisture or water. This article has helpful tips of how to install foundation vents for proper air circulation. In the long run this preventive measure will reduce the expenses of having to repair damages caused by trapped water.

How To Install Foundation Vents

Water is one of the most destructive things to your home. While most homes are built and protected to deal with water on the outside of the home, water and moisture inside the home can become trapped. Most older homes have air holes and cracks that allow some of the moisture to evaporate. But, many newer homes are so well insulated that they’re pretty much air tight and there’s no air circulating to dry up moisture or water.

One way to help keep moisture out of your home is by installing vents in the foundation. Your home needs to be able to breather to stay healthy! Around seven to ten gallons of moisture is generated each day inside your home. While moisture can cause rotting and mildew, trapped moisture becomes laden with vapors that can be harmful to your health.

A lot of emphasis is being placed on insulating homes to reduce energy costs. It is true that adding vents to your homes foundation will slightly increase your heating bills. But, it can help prevent costly repairs for moisture damaged wood and also keep your family healthy by reducing mold and mildew.

Moisture gathers inside the home from numerous sources including taking showers, washing clothes and cooking. It can create odors, condensation that forms on windows during cold weather and stale unhealthy air in general.

If your home has a block foundation, you might think that it’s too late to install vents. But, you can easily install vents even into an existing foundation. The general rule for installing vents is to add a one foot square vent for each 150 square feet of your homes floor space. But, if the crawl space has a dirt floor, or if you live in an area that is shaded by lots of trees, you might want to add a few extra for more aeration.

Once you’ve purchased your vents, measure and mark each place on the foundation that you want to add a vent. With a drill and a masonry bit, drill holes close together all along the outline. Be sure to wear safety goggles, the drill will throw bits of masonry into the air.

Take a cold chisel and a hammer and go along the drilled holes to break up and remove the masonry. You want the hole to be as smooth as possible, so once all of the block is removed, use the chisel to chip off any rough edges that remain sticking up. It may take awhile to get it smooth enough for the vent to easily slide into the opening.

You can test the edges by sliding the vent into place to make sure it has a good fit. After you’ve got the hole ready for the vent, use a small trowel and place cement all the way around the inside of the opening. Place the vent into the cement bed and finish up the seal with a coating of cement on the outside surface around the edges.

When you apply cement around the outside of the vent, be careful to not fill the fins on the vent and clog them up. The best type of vents to use are the ones that have adjustable fins. With adjustable fins you can have the option of opening the vents more or less depending on the weather. Open them more if you’re experiencing a rainy spring and then adjust them if you’re having a dry summer.


Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 11:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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