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I have frost in my attic, what causes this and how can I fix it?

Frost development in an attic is the result of heat that is moving up through the insulation into the cold attic. More often than not you may find that the heat is coming from a vent that is pumping warm moist air into the attic. On extremely cold days or days of vast...

I was recently up in my attic and found an old type of wiring I have never seen before. There are glass pieces the wires are threaded through and the wires look smaller then wires we use today. What type of wiring is this and is it safe?

You are looking at an old type of wire called knob and tube. I could be wrong but I don’t believe there are any regulations that say it must be replaced. Having said that I can say insurance companies do not like it as it is a higher risk for fire then our newer lumex...

I live in a 1950’s home with old double hung windows. The windows are painted shut and a few are broken. We have saved and are ready to upgrade the windows but are not sure of the best approach. We have lathe and plaster inside and stucco on the outside.

I have replaced windows like the ones you have described. I wish I had understood the difficulty of the job before I started. Here is my advice to save you time and money. As you describe the wall components I know how fragile they are and how difficult it is to...

I have had a wood stove for twenty years in my old home. I recently moved and the new home has a wood stove as well. I am concerned about the type of chimney and how it is installed. How can I determine if the chimney is rated for a wood stove?

The best way to tell if the chimney is the right type is to look for a label. Usually the installer will buy a package with the stove and matching chimney. The stove label may state which chimney is recommend but not always. The chimney for a wood stove must be rated...

Why should you install to the manufacturers instructions?

  A quick view of this radiant heater might not look like anything is amiss. In this case I noticed the missing heat shield. Knowing the critical importance of this shield to diflect the heat away from the ceiling I decided it would be a good idea to check with...

What is so special about a thermal camera?

  Here is a home that has a hidden block wall that was not fully insulated, without the thermal camera it would have never been detected and the customers heating bill would be high with no explanation. Everything looks normal with the naked eye.                ...

Why is it important to insulate the rim joist.

  Here is a very common problem that is often not easilly fixed. This home has not been insulated along the sill plate where the main floor rests on the basement wall. As you can see from the thermal image there is a lot of heat loss from this area (dark orange...

Whats wrong with my eaves troughs?

  The downspout in this picture is plugged and has been for some time. As a result the eaves trough has been overflowing for some time and has rotted out the soffit. Chances are the outside corner of this home is also moisture ladden. These kinds of issues can...

How do trees affect my roof?

Tree branches rubbing on shingles here are a bad combination. Here is a photo of the results of a few years of the action of the wind in the willows so as to speak. You can see the difference between where the shingles have been worn by branches and where the branches...

Why is my roof sagging?

This photo shows a transition point where two rooflines come together. The resulting valleys that are created here have to be constructed to withstand the extra snow load in these areas. In this case the valleys have sagged considerably and an abnormally heavy...

Why do I have mold?

This is the case of a very severe mold development. Hopfully someone would move towards getting this issue cleaned up before it is allowed to go this far. The problem with mold beyond the obvious look is the effects of mold spores on the body. Most of us have been...

Why do I have Moss on my roof?

Here is a common issue most home buyer will not be aware of until they see the damage coming trough the drywall below. The real issue here is that the wall cladding is too close to the shingles and is absorbing the miosture from the roof. The best practice is to...

What is Vermiculite?

  This bag shows the name of the insulation ZONOLITE also known as Vermiculite that was used in many homes in the Midwest including Lloydminster. Most of this type of insulation in our area is know to contain some asbestos which can be harmful to Humans. ASBESTOS...

Corroded Copper pipe

If your home was built in the 60's you might have copper vent stacks. This is one example of what happens to copper when it has been exposed to sewer gases for 50 years. If you have a smell in your home that you cannot explain and you have copper vent piping, I...

Is it critical that my attic be vented, if so why.

Recently I spent some time in a very wet attic space of a new home. The problem was a lack of adequate venting. Older homes tended to be able to get away with less venting because of the type of construction as there were a lot of drafts throughout the home, newer...

My garage door reverses all the time. Is there a way to correct this?

Yes and it is usually not difficult to adjust. Most likely one of two problems is occurring; the door is either traveling too far causing a binding situation or the down force is set too light. Both of these conditions can usually be corrected by making small...

How far out should my garage heater vent through the wall?

I often see large accumulations of frost under the garage soffit where the heater is vented. It is important that the warm moist air that is coming out of the heater vent is not entering the attic space through the soffit. If the vent is too short, the warm air rises...

How often should I clean or replace my furnace filter?

That depends on your conditions. I always say don't fix it if it isn't broken. Normally I would say the filter should be changed every two to three months. The exception is if you are renovating or have pets and carpets etc. Sometimes the filter needs cleaning in less...

My bathroom does not have a fan, should I install one?

Today’s standards require that a bathroom have a source of ventilation, usually this is a fan but an operable window also qualifies. I always recommend installing a fan in any case. In winter a window will rarely be opened and the added moisture in the room will be...

I am afraid of mold and want to know how to spot it in my home.

Mold is a very large subject and something I can only touch on here. First of all I will say every home has some mold. Secondly mold can produce serious side effects in people but it should not be feared. Sometimes mold is portrayed as a silent killer but this is more...

There are gaps in my hardwood flooring, should I be concerned?

First of all, hardwood flooring is real wood and as such it is not going to be as stable as some other products such as laminate. I always say if it's natural expect it to have flaws. Some people want perfection in their flooring to which I say buy a fake glued up...

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