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Home Automation – Comfort

Posted: March 12, 2018

These days, home automation is the most popular upgrade that people are implementing in their homes. From automatic doorbells with cameras to apps that turn all your lights out before bedtime, the possibilities are endless. However, what if we could automate comfort, controlling temperature and humidity down to a tenth of a degree and a relative humidity percentage? This is NOT the wave of the fut...


Easter Eggs and Renewable Energy

Posted: March 7, 2018

Easter is fast approaching. If you’re anything like me, you’ve already consumed a small child’s weight in Cadbury mini eggs. I really should stick to the high protein chicken version, but the  Cadbury ones are just irresistible. However, scientists in Japan have found a novel way to fuel something besides the human body with chicken eggs. Japanese scientists are exploring...


Components for Top Roofing Systems

Posted: October 18, 2017

By Chuck Magee, Roof Crafters, LLC It is a common misconception that there's nothing more to a roof than the shingles you see and the felt beneath them. In reality, while these are the most obvious features of a roofing system, there is a far greater structure to be considered to keep your roof and your home protected, safe and comfortable. A complete, quality roofing system that will last fo...


What Causes Water Under Drawers in Refrigerator?

Posted: June 27, 2017

Question: I have a refrigerator over 10 yrs old. Twice a week I have to take the drawers out and wipe the water under them or it will leak on the floor. How do I fix this problem? Answer: The most probable cause is the defrost drain tube is either clogged or frozen close. The easiest way to fix the issue is to remove and clean the refrigerator defrost drain tube. If the refrigerator defrost dra...


Unvented Crawlspace

Posted: May 18, 2017

Many homes here in the gulf south have foundations that are raised and have semi-enclosed crawlspaces. The foundation walls often sport rectangular or decorative cast iron vents, spaced evenly around the perimeter of the house. However, if you are one of the many homeowners who have one of these raised homes with a crawlspace, do you dream of spending loads of time under your home?  Probably ...


Insulate Underneath the Subfloor

Posted: April 6, 2017

According to an LSU AgCenter subfloor study, Insulating Raised Floors in Hot, Humid Climates, the most effective subfloor insulation in our hot, humid climate is rigid poly-iso foam board with all seams and penetrations sealed and polyurathane closed cell sprayfoam. However, because the labor and material costs of installing rigid foam board are so high, it is often a good solution to in...


What should I look for when making a decision on what type of water heater to purchase and install?

Posted: March 7, 2017

Storage tank water heaters are being made to be more efficient than in the past. There are two things to consider when making a decision between a storage unit and a tankless unit. Do you have a problem with not having enough space to fit a storage tank water heater? Also, does your family use large amounts of hot water all at once, such as two adults and three kids all taking showers in the morni...


Buying a Replacement AC System

Posted: January 11, 2017

QUESTION: I am looking for opinions and guidance; I am rebuilding my home after the August floods and trying to make it much tighter, and more energy efficient. One thing I want to do is to put a mini-split in the Master Bedroom. With no kids living in our home anymore, my wife and I spent more time in the Master suite than elsewhere. So, I don't want a big unit running t...


Sweaty Window Woes

Posted: January 9, 2017

Winter has reached Louisiana at last! The mornings are nice and frosty and our windows have started sweating again. So where did all of the “indoor rain” come from? In a word – dewpoint.  Dewpoint is the relationship between temperature and relative humidity that produces condensation. A small amount of condensation on windows is not desirable but okay – usually ...


DRYING WOOD

Posted: September 15, 2016

Drying wood is just as much an art form as it is a science. Drying takes lots of adjusting, monitoring,  and usually takes a very long time. Below are a few guidelines and hints that I have used in the past. Wood is only going to dry if you create an indoor environment that is drier than the moisture content of the wood.   Control/Create the drier interior environment with...


Q&A: Water Damaged Celotex

Posted: September 2, 2016

QUESTION: Does water damaged Celotex have to be removed after flood?  I have tried to do research and finding conflicting information. My home in Louisiana flooded several days ago and I received about 28-30 inches of water. I was able to get back in the home within 36 hours and began using a dehumidifier and several fans after gutting the sheetrock and insulation back to 4 ft. Most of the ...


Q&A: Moisture Content in Insulation

Posted: September 2, 2016

QUESTION: We were impacted by the recent flooding, but the water did not get into our house. It appears that the water got high enough to "wick" into the insulation under the house. In most of the places we've checked the insulation, the insulation is damp on the bottom, but it's dry on the top portion of the insulation. We know something needs to be done, but aren't su...


Q&A: Flooded Sewer Treatment Plant Sprinkler Septic System

Posted: September 2, 2016

QUESTION: I have a sewer treatment plant sprinkler septic system. The aerator was off for an undetermined length of time. Should I have the system pumped out? I have replaced the sump pump in the septic tank, as well as the aerator. ANSWER: If flood waters entered the holding tank, then yes. You should have the contents pumped out since flood waters are polluted and probably kil...


FLOODING: Vapor Barriers and Mold

Posted: September 1, 2016

Q&A WITH PAUL'S HOUSE: QUESTION: My in-laws took approximately 12 inches of water in their single story 3,200 square foot home. The home was gutted as soon as possible. Unfortunately, we only recently noticed, more than two weeks later, that we did not think to remove the vapor barrier strip located on the inside base of all exterior walls. (Just so we are on the same page...


Flood Damaged Fireplaces and Log Sets

Posted: August 24, 2016

By: Paul LaGrange, LaGrange Consulting Depending on the age of your home there is a high likelihood that if you have a fireplace it’s a pre-fabricated metal fireplace box. If not the metal box then it has to be a masonry fireplace. Either way, please follow the guidelines of the manufacturer related either the metal fireplace box, exhaust flue piping, and/or gas log set. See ...