How to Inspect Your Own House, Part 8: The Furnace

-  Check out this post at the Energy Vanguard blog for more information on that topic: Can You Save Money by Closing HVAC Vents in Unused Rooms?. .  If too many registers are closed off or obstructed, the furnace probably won’t operate properly. Now go around your house and check to make sure the supply registers are open and unobstructed, and make sure there is warm air coming out of them ..More

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How to Inspect Your Own House, Part 6: Plumbing

-  Carefully watch the drain while performing this test.  One of the most common leak locations at bathroom sinks is at the drain stopper; fixing this leak is usually as simple as tightening the nut. .  This test will force a large slug of water through the drain, and will often identify leaks that wouldn’t otherwise be seen. Most homeowners already know about the more obvious leaks under bathroom sinks, but to really test these sinks for leaks, fill the sink with water and then let it drain all at once ..More

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Maintenance Inspections for Homeowners

- If you’d prefer to conduct your own inspection, check out these two blog posts from last year on how to conduct your own inspection:. ..More

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Siding Replacement Wars: James Hardie vs. LP SmartSide in a Battle for Contractors, Builders, and You

-   The result? More than 7 billion square feet of siding sold and over 17 years of dependable performance. LP had just gone through the fiasco of their earlier Oriented Strand Board (OSB) siding product, Inner Seal, which had major problems. They still use OSB product, but all of the wood flakes are coated in zinc borate beforebeing pressed into siding with MDI resins and marine waxes. LP had to settle a class action lawsuit and resolve homeowners’ claims. LP (Louisiana Pacific) SmartSide came into the marketplace in 1997 with barely a blip on the radar.   I’ve not had to deal with one warranty claim on this product.   Obviously, the focus of their next siding panel would be resistance from moisture. . It was plagued with rot and swelling, and once that process started the paint would no longer hold ..More

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How to Prevent Basement Water Intrusion

-  Any such cracks should be repaired. If you already have drain tile installed and you’re still getting water in your basement, check for cracks in your foundation walls that could be allowing bulk water through the cracks, which basically bypasses the drain tile. .   If you’ve checked all this stuff and still can’t figure out the cause of basement water problems, the next step would be to contact a basement water specialist ..More

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