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Archive for March, 2011

How to Nicely Get Rid of Woodpeckers

March 10th, 2011 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

So two weekends ago, we had an unwanted alarm waking us up at 8:00am, and then every morning since then between 7:45 & 8:00am a ninja woodpecker is beating on my house. I say that it’s a ninja because myself and my roomates have all tried waiting on all sides of the house at the same time, to try and get a glimpse of where the woodpecker is…. and we can all hear him but no one can see him!

So I started reading about woodpeckers online and found out there isn’t much that scares them off, apparently, even hawk & owl statues eventually don’t scare off the woodpeckers because they get used to the object being there. But Aluminum Foil nailed to the roof is always moving and shining so the woodpeckers may stay away. Since it sounds inexpensive, and won’t hurt the woodpeckers, I’m going to try it. Here is what I’m currently trying out. I’ll tell you next week if our Ninja Alarm Clock found a new home.

Here is all I used:

Aluminum Foil, Scissors & Duck Tape

I just cut the silver foil into about 1″ strips.

Then I wrapped the top of the strips with aluminum foil to make sure the tops didn’t tear and fly away in the wind.

Then I climbed on the roof and used push pins to get them on the rafters. I used push pins, but I think nails were probably a better idea….. they make the same sized holes.

Now I will just wait & see…….

Have You Checked Your Bath Fan Ventilation?

March 9th, 2011 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

Here in the Northwest – it’s wet. Have you seen orange or yellow dots on the ceiling of your bathroom? That’s a sign that your bathroom fan isn’t circulating the moisture our of the bathroom. If you can’t take one piece of double ply toilet paper and hold it up to your bathroom fan and have it stick – then you don’t have enough CFM’s moving the moisture around in your bathroom for Northwest conditions.

Why does this matter?

Building Science: Moisture Moves from More to Less. When vapor, like the steam coming out from your long hot shower, moves up the bath fan duct work, and reaches cold air, the air can’t hold the water anymore and it turns into condensation – this is also called the dew point. If your bathroom fan doesn’t have enough air flow, or your ductwork isn’t correctly vented to the outside then the condensation will form at your roof and cause problems with wood in the area like rot. Another big problem is mold gathering on insulation in the attic if you have batt insulation.

Let’s talk about problems that you can see… or shall we call them indicators of a larger problem. Have you seen yellow or orange spots forming on your ceiling? Are your towels having a hard time drying? Does your bath mat stay wet for days? These are all indicators that your bath fan isn’t doing its job to the level it needs to.

Your bath fans are very important to the heath of your home. Here is the fiasco that I’m dealing with in my home sweet home:

Another problem with the photo above… what’s the shortest distance between new point? Oh yea – a straight line! So why are these ducts twisted??

Bath fans are worth their weight in gold and you can get ones now that have an occupancy sensors so the fan will turn on & stay on for the appropriate 20 minutes, or longer, after someone leaves the bathroom. Most new bathroom fans are so quiet you can barely hear them. This is for the sole purpose that more people will use them if they aren’t an annoyance, so if you are considering purchasing a bath fan, take a look at this.

I’m one lucky girl. I’m getting a Lifebreath HRV from Central Air to help with my whole house ventilation.

The dual-stream airflow design keeps outgoing stale air separate from incoming fresh air and completely rejuvenates the air throughout the house

The Lifebreath HRV replaces indoor stale air with an identical amount of fresh air. This balanced ventilation is critical to prevent moisture build-up in your home during the heating season which can lead to expensive rot damage and hazardous mold.

The unit I am getting also has an ECM motor which means lots n’ lots of energy efficiency! This is like a bath fan on steroids. I’m so excited!! It’s coming this week – so you will see more coming soon!!! In the meantime – check your bath fan to see if you have enough air circulating.

Re-Purposed Pervious Pavement Patio

March 8th, 2011 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

Other than it being a great tongue twister – this was the BEST project of collaboration so far! One of my work friends owns the best Pervious Pavement company in Oregon and maybe the world (he does projects all over the world). The company’s name is Evolution Paving.

A couple years ago they switched their mixture recipe up a little bit to create an even better product. But they had pallets of samples of the old product that they were going to have to send to the landfill. I was originally asking Scott if he would sell me some pavers – but since they do more commercial pours then residential he didn’t have any. I gladly accepted the samples and here are the pictures from the project! Thanks Scott! I’m so happy your samples found a home where they are incredibly loved & re-purposed!

Scott dropped off the pallets into our driveway. Thanks again Scott! I also filled up two truck loads of this 1/4″minus rock from an event that we had at work. The rock was going to be covered up with dirt because we had to leave the site the way we found and you know I can’t stand to see anything go to waste!

We were short about 9 squares. So instead of trying to match the pervious pavement samples we had (which are so beautiful AND pervious they can’t be matched anyway) We found a rock that was shaped a little like our gorgeous state and Hugh chiseled just a few edges to make it juuuust right.

Then we filled it in with some of the pieces that were broken in the truck from the rock place.

Tah-Dah! Here is a view from the roof:

And from the walkway:

I’ll do another post on the rest of the project later. But I couldn’t wait to show you my pervious patio courtesy of Evolution Paving