Wet lumber, also referred to as green lumber is wood used for construction that contains a higher level of moisture that that of kiln dried wood.
Freshly cut trees tend to hold a lot of water in their cells. Water that has collected in these cells is referred to by the term ‘free water’. After the tree has been cut, this ‘free water’ begins to slowly evaporate. It only stops doing this when the level of moisture in the wood reaches the same level of moisture as the environment it’s in. The term for this process is EMC (equilibrium moisture content).
When it comes to wet lumber, it has not had enough time to reach EMC before it is used in construction. The evaporation process is generally prevented because it is usually wrapped in plastic before being stored after processing. When the wood is unwrapped, just before being used for a job, the wood still contains a high level of moisture.
There are some areas where wet lumber will often be used. These are drier and hotter areas. For example, areas in the United States like Arizona and parts of California will use wet lumber due to the fact that the wood will dry out much faster.
Maybe you’re wondering “why use this type of lumber in construction then?” The fact is that wet lumber is usually a cheaper option. Also, due to it being a softer wood, it is less prone to splitting and easier to drive a nail into. There are problems that can also arise from the use of wet lumber. Please feel free to contact us for more information.
As home inspectors, we are trained to look for problems with your potential new home so that you don’t have to worry about whether or not you’ve bought a problem house. There are so many things that you have to think about as it is, like finding a home in a good area, making sure it will fit the family’s needs and wants, and making sure all of this is within budget.
Something many home buyers are unaware of is the importance of having the correct amount of grading (or slope) around the property. Why is this so important? What is the appropriate amount? This brief, but informative video will help you to have a good idea of what proper grading is and why so essential.
Remember, we are here to assist you with all these issues so that you don’t have to feel overwhelmed with everything you need to know. Please contact us with any questions you many have, or if you would like to schedule your home inspection. We are happy to help.
In our previous post, we discussed the use of greywater and its growing popularity as a means of preserving much needed water. As is the case with many things, however, it’s good to weigh up the risks as well as the benefits to using greywater. It’s also important to look at whether it’s a good idea for our personal circumstances.
What can we say of some of the benefits to using Greywater? It is very good for use in irrigation. The benefits to using it to supply water for landscaping can be clearly seen, especially in areas that are prone to drought. Using greywater for irrigating public parks and golf courses is also a money saver for the community.
Installing greywater systems can be done in older homes, as well as new construction homes. some locations will even offer tax incentives for having a greywater system, but this is something you will have to check with your specific area first.
An additional advantage that might not immediately spring to mind, is that using dish water for irrigation can provide added nutrients that help the soil.
What about the risks of using greywater? Though not as hazardous as blackwater, a lot of care should still be taken when it comes to the appropriate handling of greywater, so that any serious health issues that could arise from its misuse are avoided.
Installing greywater systems is not something every plumber is familiar with. Make sure that whoever you hire to install one, has experience with these kinds of systems. This can be very costly not only for the installation but also for maintenance and parts.
It’s imperative that you check with your local town council to see what guidelines they have in place for using greywater. These will be different depending on where you live. For example, some localities might not allow the use of greywater inside the home.
As we have considered briefly, while greywater usage has many benefits, it’s important to consider the risks also, to determine if it is a good option for you and your area.
Do you know the term Greywater? When we do everyday things in the home like bathing, laundry and washing dishes, the used water is referred to as Greywater. While this used water is not drinkable, it can be used for other things like flushing the toilet or even some types of irrigation. Greywater must not to be confused with blackwater, which is harmful as it contains all kinds of hazardous contaminants such as fecal matter.
Areas that are prone to drought could use Greywater, although we all know the benefits of conserving water anywhere we live. Greywater is regularly used in third world countries, however, it is becoming more common to use in western lands as well.
There are differing opinions on the use of Greywater. Some are pro greywater usage because it can be used as a non-potable water source in the home. Then there are those that are anti greywater, as they feel it would be easier to spread disease.
As we can see, there is obviously much to consider when thinking about using greywater in your household, and a lot of good research is required to determine if it would be good for you. In future articles, we will be discussing the various advantages and disadvantages of using greywater. In the meantime, if you feel you would like more information on this or any other home inspection question, please feel free to contact us.
With a new year, often brings a renewed zeal to get fit. Many will go to the gym for this. Is it always safe to use gym equipment though? How can we ensure that we not only get fit, but also stay healthy when using gym equipment?
We only have to consider the type of conditions bacteria need to thrive, such as moisture, heat and little sunshine, to see that a gym is the perfect conditions for it to grow. One study even found that there was a lot more bacteria on gym equipment, than that found on a toilet seat. So, with this horrible fact in mind, what are some ways we can protect ourselves while working out?
We come into contact with most things by touching them with our hands. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before and after you exercise. Try and avoid spreading more germs by not touching your face.
Perhaps you don’t think twice about going barefoot at a gym, especially in a place like a sauna or steam room. But there are many types of communicable conditions that you could get from not wearing shoes in this type of environment. Wear flip flops when you are walking around a changing room etc.
Rules for washing towels at a gym are not as strict as those of a hospital for example. The best way to ensure your towel is free of bacteria, is to take your own towels with you. Have a couple with you, so that you can use one to sit on when using equipment, or especially in a place like a sauna. Use a separate one to wipe yourself down.
Keeping as healthy as you can during these winter months is very important. If you have an at home gym, and would like advice on safety in the home, please feel free to contact us
Our daily routine involves electricity of some sort, whether you glance at your alarm clock wash your clothes or use power tools, knowing the basics of how these things function will help you to be safe and take care of the appliances that are in your household.
To begin with, it is good to know how much voltage the appliance you are using needs to function. Most appliances run on either 120 or 220/240 volts. Your washing machine may run at 220 volts so therefore it needs to use one single outlet, whereas something smaller would run at 120 volts and it can share an outlet with something else. Think of it like water going through a pipe, the more water pressure is like more voltage being used. When thinking of voltage, something else to keep in mind is variation in voltage, which is expected in most appliances and can be handled fine with no problem unless you are using electrical equipment that is very sensitive.
Another important principle to understand in electricity is resistance. Resistance is measured in Ohms (Ω), and if you keep with the water in the pipes illustration, it means using a big enough pipe, or conductor, for the current needed. Not only is the size of the wire important, but also the material being used, this is why most metals are used in wiring because electrical current can easily pass through it. Copper is an ideal conductor and has a low resistance rate, and if using an extension cord make sure it is the correct size for the application. Hopefully, these basic explanations can help you to understand the electricity running throughout your house.
The feeling of not wanting to touch a car door or metal object because we know we will get that dreaded static shock is something many of us understand. But while it can be simply irritating most of the time, is there any reason for us to worry about it? Are there any types of situations when static electricity could be more than a simple irritation?
Because of the fact that the current is generally pretty low, a static shock doesn't usually pose a danger. However, static electricity can prove to be a danger under certain conditions and circumstances.
An example of this could be if flammable dust or vapors are detected in a building, it is possible that static electricity in an environment like this, could cause those vapors or dust to set alight, or even explode.
This probably sounds very unrealistic, but static build up from a person operating electronic equipment can actually affect the equipment being used.
A severe injury could happen if someone quickly recoils from a static shock while they are in the middle of doing some kind of task like carrying hot liquid etc.
Ways to prevent static shocks?
Consider getting a humidifier. This is a good choice because it helps to moisten the air. Try placing a few more plants around the home because plants are good natural humidifiers.
Fabric softener is a very good thing to have on hand, as it can help to reduce static. Try diluting a small amount in a spray bottle and giving your carpet a light spritz. It not only helps to reduce static build up on your carpet, but it smells nice too.
Natural fibers prevent static build much better than synthetic, so try wearing natural fabrics. An anti static wrist band is also an option to try.
While the majority of the time static electricity is just an irritation, there are some situations when it could become a problem.
Are you be thinking about moving house in the near future? Will this be the first time you have sold a house?
It can be a rather daunting task to think about all that you need to do to prepare for the sale. In this months blog, we are featuring a brief, but informative video to help you with the home selling process. Included in the video is information on the importance of getting a pre-listing inspection done.
We want to help you find any issues with your home before a potential buyer does. Please feel free to contact us to schedule your pre-listing home inspection.
The home construction process can be both exiting and at the same time, fraught with problems. You may not have as much experience as you'd like when it comes to dealing with lot purchasing and developers. The most important thing is to have as much information at your fingertips as possible, and be thoroughly prepared.
You will no doubt have many questions about the site you are considering building on. Before you even meet with the developer, try to find out as much as you can about how reliable they are, and what kind of reputation they have. You also need to know as much as you can about the area of development, as well as the particular lot you are looking to buy.
We have prepared a small sampling of the questions you will need to ask your developer. While some of them may seem like obvious questions to ask, the fact is that if you are in an environment where you are pressured into signing a contract, you may overlook some of them.
You will want to ask questions such as:
This is a brief list of important questions you will need the answers to before signing a contract. If you would like any assistance in matters like these, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Having uninterrupted electricity in the home is something we've all become so used to, if it shuts off for any length of time, it can totally disrupt our lives. For some people with health problems etc, it could be a serious matter if there is not power. Is it a wise decision then, to buy a portable generator?
There are a good many advantages to having a portable generator. When your power goes out, you can simply switch to the generator.
Some of the benefits to purchasing one are:
They are small enough transport, making them an ideal option for someone who enjoys camping or going to remote locations etc.
You do not usually need a special permit to own and operate one, an there is no type of difficult installation.
A typical generator will run on gasoline.
As with all types of equipment though, there are some things to consider if you decide to buy a portable generator.
If your power is out, it could be very tempting to overload it. This will be prevent it from functioning as it should, and even more important it could cause a fire.
Portable generators are not meant for appliances hard wired for your home. There design is for corded appliances.
Portable generators produce carbon monoxide, which we all know to be lethal, with this in mind, never have one running in the house.
There is a risk of electric shock if water gets onto it while it is running.
As we all know, gasoline is a very flammable liquid, to avoid possible fire, be very careful to not spill any on a hot generator.
In summary, a portable generator is a very beneficial thing to have as long as it is operated with much care.
Dave Graham, Tempest Home Inspection. Calgary Alberta