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Home Hunter August 18, 2013

Home Hunter August 18, 2013

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Published by Aiken Standard
Home Hunter August 18, 2013
Home Hunter August 18, 2013

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Published by: Aiken Standard on Aug 16, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Sunday, August 18, 2013
Did you know?
The thinnest house in NewYork City, a city knownfor high real estate costsand compact dwellings, islocated in the West Villageneighborhood of Manhattan. Now known as the MillayHouse, a name honoring itsone-time resident, the poetEdna St. Vincent Millay, thehouse was built in 1873 andis a mere 9.5 feet wide. Itis sandwiched into a spacethat once served as a car-riage alley. While MillayHouse certainly is compact,a home in Warsaw, Poland,is only four feet wide and,at its thinnest, is only 29.3inches. The residence, calledthe Keret House, was builtin a crack between two buildings. The entrance isin the rear of the home andfeatures an entry hatch anda foldable, remote control-operated ladder.Radon is a naturally oc-curring radioactive gasthat forms from the naturaldecay of uranium found inmany soils. Colorless and
odorless, radon can signif
-cantly increase a person’srisk of lung cancer. Smokerswho live in homes with highradon levels are especiallysusceptible to lung cancer.Radon can enter a home bymoving up through the soil
 beneath a home and fnd
-ing its way through cracksand holes in the founda-tion. Many people may feelhomes with basements areespecially susceptible toradon, but radon can enter ahome whether the home hasa basement or not. Granitecountertops may emit radon, but not always at levels thatcause cancer. Countertopscan be tested for radon emis-sions, and such testing isinexpensive and quick.Reducing energy consump-tion during the dog daysof summer does not meanyou have to turn off your air conditioner on sultrysummer nights. Closing theshades during the daytimehours can keep sun fromcoming in and heating upyour home, making it easier for your air conditioner tomaintain a cooler tempera-ture. Routinely cleaning theair conditioner’
s flters is an
-other way to reduce energy
consumption, as clean flters
will ensure the unit doesnot have to work as hard tomaintain a cool temperature.
2 |
Sunday, August 18, 2013
Home Hunter 
My basement is wet; now what?
Few things can cause moredamage to a home than water.
Leaks and ooding can causevarious structural insufciencies
and may lead to unsafe condi-tions in a home. Panic often setsin when water enters a home.Some homeowners live in areaswhere a high water table inevi-tably forces groundwater up andinto subterranean living spaces.Others may live close to coastalareas or rivers and streams that
can overow and cause homeooding. Still others who may
not have had a water problem before learn that a heavy rainfall,and perhaps inadequate drainageoutdoors, can cause water dam-age to a home.Compounding these issues isthe fact that very often a home’sutility systems are located out of the way in basements, or these
spaces may be nished to create
additional living space. Water ina basement can be much morethan a nuisance. Water can leadto thousands of dollars in dam-age.Moisture or several inches of water in a basement is nothingto take lightly. Furnaces andwater heaters damaged by water can be costly to replace. Wiresthat come in contact with water can become hazards and cause
an electrical re, and water in
a basement may be a harbinger for bacteria and viruses, creatingunsanitary living conditions inthe home. Mold spores that havedeveloped in a damp basementcan spread to other areas of thehome thanks to a heating andcooling forced air system. And acool, damp spot can be the per-fect habitat for insects.When a basement develops awater problem, it is best to call ina professional. Although it mightnot be cheap, calling a profes-sional can help you to remedythe situation faster than if you try
several methods to x the water 
 problem yourself. When looking
for a waterproong company,
seek recommendations from people you trust. Only do busi-ness with licensed professionalcontractors who are willing togive you a free estimate. Youalso can check out businesses bycontacting consumer advocacygroups. You may be able to readup on their business practices andlearn if there have been any com- plaints lodged against a companyin the past.Hydrostatic pressure, poor foundations and cracks can eachcause water to enter the house.Each situation is different, and
a combination of exterior and
interior changes may need to bemade. In order to alleviate some
water problems, certain modi
-cations must be made. While thefollowing solutions may not beapplicable in each situation, theyare some of the more common
modications plumbers suggestwhen xing ooded basements.
Sump pump: In some cases,the installation of a well anda submersible pump may beall that’s needed to keep base-ments dry. When water riseshigh enough to start the pump,
the sump pump will then expel
the water out through a pipe toa drain or the street. Sometimesa sump pump works in concertwith a French drainage system,which is a channel around the perimeter of the basement thatfunnels water to the sump pumpwell.
Vapor barriers: Vinyl, plasticand paint encapsulation systemsmay be applied to the interior of foundation walls to serve as a barrier system. This prevents wa-ter or condensation from reach-ing the interior of the house. A
vapor barrier may extend below
the foundation to direct water runoff into a drainage system.
• Exterior xes: There are ma
ny ways to address ooding from
outside the home. These includeusing outdoor vapor barriersand paints, having grading is-
sues corrected so water will ow
away from the home, digging of a swale to catch water away from
the basement, exterior drainage
systems, and utilizing specializedrain gutters and downspouts todirect water further away fromthe home during rainstorms.
Plumbing repairs: Sometimeswater issues may be the result of a pipe backup or a faulty appli-ance and not necessarily an out-door water issue. In these cases,repairing the source of the leak may be all that’s needed.
Home Hunter 
Sunday, August 18, 2013
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