Trapped at home? A little BS goes a long way

Building Science, when applied to homes, creates a path toward better health, comfort and efficiency. Good BS sustains the needs of present without compromising those of the future

The most-often neglected maintenance item is also one of the most important

These DIY maintenance projects are often overlooked and worth the investment


Filters: Air and water filters mutate from good to evil when they’re dirty.

Dirty filters reduce flow, damage appliances and broadcast contaminants.



Openable windows with insect screens are a plus. Many are bound with paint, screwed shut or missing screens

Windows let fresh air in only if they’re open.

Contrary to conventional wisdom inside air is 5-20 times more polluted than outside.

While it’s true that The Pollening and Sweaty Summers are closed-window seasons for some nature’s own air conditioning is available year-round. The simple act of opening windows allows natural levels of ozone to bond with and remove contaminants.


Gutters are your first line of defense against a host of moisture-related health concerns including mold and pests.

Gutter guards are a good choice for hard to access roofs as long as they are installed correctly.
Leaf blowers and hand cleaning are good for single story, low-slope roofs.




Shower drain weir removed for cleaning

Traps and Weirs: Disconnect or remove these drains and covers (P-shaped fittings under sinks and metal shower and tub drains) for cleaning.

Avoid using lye-based cleaners. Pick out the big stuff, boil water and combine measured doses of baking soda and vinegar to clear caked-on hair, soap and grease.




Screw fittings allow removal of traps. The too-deep traps pictured likely require cleaning


Dirty Ducts, like dirty filters, broadcast contaminants.

Floor-mounted returns in high traffic areas and kitchens are the worst. Use a vacuum or shop-vac to remove debris.





Turn the gas off to save money and keep cool

“Summerize” your Fireplace and Water Heater:

Dial back summer heat. Remove ashes, shut the damper or seal the hearth opening with a fitted cover.

Turn pilot lights and gas valves OFF. Lower water heater temperature settings (115F instead of 125) to save money and protect frequently washed hands





Orphaned Fourth Wall an ideal pest habitat

The Fourth Wall:  Visible exterior walls at the front, back and driveway sides are usually well maintained. Not so the orphan fourth wall. I’ve found them overgrown, soggy, pest-ridden and unpainted.

Freshen up your Fourth: cut vegetation 2ft away from the wall, roof and A/C units, drain water away and paint or repair windows and siding.







Water from a leaking dishwasher combined with spilled food create a health hazard at this floor-mounted supply air duct

Go Kondo on Buffers: Buffers are those un-conditioned spaces that adjoin conditioned (heated-in-winter) space: attached garages, attics, basements and crawl spaces.

Like fourth walls they are often overlooked.

I’m the first to admit I don’t check mine as often as I should. Look for signs of moisture, prerequisite for pests, rot, mold and termites.




Debris from renovation above is HOME to rats, roaches, termites and mold

Clutter is home paradise for rodents and insects.

Sealing openings between buffers and conditioned space limits the movement of fire, energy and pests.





See Marie Kondo’s and Southface Draftstopping links below

A Covid Reminder
Taylor and I continue to inspect compliant with state guidelines.
We request no one attend the inspection. Report findings are reviewed by phone.

Thanks for your co-operation

Inspector Dan


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