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November 2017 Newsletter

November 1, 2017

Plumbing Inspections
A typical home plumbing system includes three fundamental components: the water supply system, the fixtures and appliances, and the drain system. The plumbing system’s water supply includes piping for fresh water coming in and wastewater going out. The proper flow of water through both systems is an essential part of maintaining a well-functioning home. Assessing the system for its overall condition and visible leaks is part of any home inspection.

Only visible and accessible water supply (and drain) components within a structure are typically subject to inspection because underground or hidden portions of the system that are not readily accessible are specifically excluded. The pipes related to the water and wastewater plumbing must be separate to prevent wastewater from entering the drinking system. Supply pipes are generally made of copper, plastic, brass, galvanized iron or steel, or a combination of materials.


Fire Safety in the Home

Every homeowner should set up an emergency plan for their household. This plan should include a list of emergency shutoffs and other important items in the house to familiarize your household with in the case of an unexpected situation.

You may need to find an expert to help locate, repair or maintain some of these shutoff valves and switches. It will help to locate these items in an emergency if you take the time now to tag them. Take a tour with family members explaining what these items do and how to operate the controls. Here is a list of some items to tag:

  • Main electrical disconnect

  • Water main valve

  • Water heater shutoff

  • Natural gas main

  • Local gas valves

  • Air conditioning disconnect

  • Furnace and air conditioning main switch

  • Emergency release for garage door

  • Fire extinguishers

  • Emergency toolbox

Can you guess what is wrong in this photo?

  1. You can put a cap on the end to catch the water when the TPR valve starts to leak.

  2. A TPR extension pipe must run in a gravity downward flow with no threaded ends to screw a cap on as in this case.

  3. You can use PEX pipe for this.

  4. You can run a TPR extension pipe uphill.

Correct Answer is 2. A TPR extension pipe must run in a gravity downward flow with no threaded ends to screw a cap on as in this case.


Home Air Purifier

Air impurity is caused by two general pollutants: particulates and gases. Smoke, dust mites, insect parts and pollen fall into the particulate category. Gaseous pollutants include gases released as a result of combustion, such as nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide.

There are several ways to clean your home’s air of its potential pollutants:

  • Air filter solutions trap particles as air passes through the filters.

  • Activated carbon air filters are used to eliminate gases and odors from the air.

  • Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) systems use UV light to kill gaseous pollutants.

  • Air ionizers remove particles from the air by releasing negative ions, which change the polarity of airborne particulates.

It’s not possible to control the air quality outdoors; controlling it indoors is another matter. An air purifier is available for nearly every indoor pollutant, and is a common sense decision for homeowners to help ensure a healthy air environment.


Exterior Flashings

Cut a hole in a home, whether for a window, door or skylight and you create a place where water can enter the home, causing rot, mold or other problems. Flashings, made of aluminum, galvanized steel, copper and plastics such as PVC, are meant to cover and protect the seams, preventing water problems.

Flashings may be visible, concealed or partially concealed, but they are integral in ensuring water stays outside on the lawn instead of coming inside on the floor. If traced to their source, many so-called roof leaks are actually flashing failures. When operating as intended, flashings divert water away from: chimneys, windows, doors, valleys, the intersection of various rooflines, skylights and pipes and stacks.


Moisture Issues Inside The Home 

When we turn on our home heating systems each fall, many of us experience condensation, or steam, on windows. Condensation requires a cool surface and moisture in the air. When the temperature of the glass drops below the dew point of the inside air, invisible water vapor in the air condenses on the cool glass.


Over the summer, moisture slowly accumulates in furniture, walls, woodwork, cloth and other surfaces. In the fall, as the exterior temperature drops for the first time, some of this moisture condenses on cold window glass


Most moisture leaks out of your home as your furnace runs and vent fans are used. Eventually, all the materials in your home dry out and moisture stops condensing on the windows. This normally takes a few weeks. Keeping drapery and window treatments away from the glass area allows a good flow of air over the windows and helps reduce condensation quicker.


If condensation continues to form on windows after several weeks, your home may have excessive moisture. Most moisture problems can be solved by limiting sources of moisture and improving ventilation.


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