PLEASE DO NOT MOVE DRYER CLOSER TO REAR WALL. (Part 1)

PLEASE DO NOT MOVE DRYER CLOSER TO REAR WALL. (Part 1)

wall note

I believe that says it all.  But you must ask, why. Well. a quick glimpse behind the dryer reveals all (photo below).

There you can see the plastic flexible duct that will crush if the dryer is pushed any further.

exhaust vent ductIt looks like the home owner has used pipe strapping to hold the flex duct up off the floors so it wont be folded over itself or squished side ways like a ‘slinky’ toy could be.

This ducting is little more than a ‘slinky’ type coil that has been skinned over with plastic, so it is notorious for folding over on itself, sometimes more than once.

Obstructed: When this happens it is no longer a functioning duct and your dryer is going to take a long time to dry the clothes, basically baking them dry.

The other thing these ducts excel at is collecting lint. Sometimes the barely pass any air for years worth of lint in there. All those ribs make it easy for dust and lint to catch onto.

Now factor in the warm moist air and you have all the ingredients for mold proliferation.

Lovely!  But that’s not the most serious problem.

What? You say, could be more important than the dryer not drying the clothes or creating conditions conducive to mold?

Thats easy: fire! 

duct fire

Dryers that can’t vent, overheat and can cause mechanical failures that will produce sparks. That metal drum spins at a high speed.

Then of course thee’s always electrical arcing to set it off. Loose plugs, electrical motor bushings and short faults.

And some dryers are heated with gas. You get the picture.

It should not come as a surprise the fire codes address this problem directly.

In short, they ban the plastic flexible duct use and require that the first 3 feet from the machine be rigid metal ducting. This will be the hottest zone and will tend to collect the greatest concentration of lint.

Home owners need to install the attachment ducts in such a way so as to make the final connection after the dryer is pushed into place.

Wise dryer installers will place removable caps and ‘T’s in appropriate positions to make it possible to open and vacuum lint out of the ducts.

This is something progressive builders will plan for too.

 

So don’t bake your clothes, grow mold or burn your house down for want of a little ducting. Look for part 2 on how to do the duct well.

 

 

Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post

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(AP) The apartment was dirty with mold. Insurance wouldn’t settle. An OMG File.

 The apartment was dirty with mold. Insurance wouldn’t settle.    It was A.P.          An OMG File.

girl wearing mask

I was calling to investigate a ‘mold’ problem that turned out to be dirt, soot in fact.

I asked my client why she thought there was mold. She brought out the air quality test report.

As I was reading it, her daughter came in from the other room. She was home sick from school and wearing a face mask.

She had respiratory problems. My hair stood on end.

“When is her medical appointment?” I asked. “Tomorrow” was the answer.

“So when you go see the doctors bring this air quality report and show them theses two words that I’ve underlined here.” So they did.

I called to follow up a week later and asked how the appointment went. Both the mother and daughter, as well as everyone else who lives in that building (8 people), are being sent to see specialists.

Oh yeah the two words; aspegillius penicillii ………(AP)

This is the plural form of aspergillus penicillium. This is a seriously severe group of molds that are toxic to humans and animals.

So if you have any reports or documents that read as if they were latin, have them explained to you.  A lab technicians report is only data.  It won’t tell you if a condition is serious or what to do about it.

Report interpretation and remedial consulting is a part of our service in the Montreal area.

 

 

Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post

Moldy Shower Caulk… Fixed!

Here is a gerat way to clean up an unsightly condition that is problematic for many homeowners and housekeepers.

Once it is cleaned up keep it from reoccurring by using the exhaust fan while the shower or tub is in use and for up to an hour afterwards (with the door closed). This will ensure that the excess humidity is removed and this eliminates the conducive conditions that allow surface molds to grow there in the first place.

This is a reblog, and I usually disable comments on reblogs. If you would like to leave a comment, click on the link below and leave your comment with the original author who did all the work on this post and deserves your support with your comments.

Dirty bathrooms are a huge turnoff for home buyers.  Mold is another huge turnoff.  Combine the two and the ‘yuck’ factor multiplies.  I think everyone has seen moldy bathroom caulk before, and if you’ve tried cleaning this stuff, you know it’s impossible.

Moldy caulk in shower Moldy caulk in shower close-up

I recently moved in to home with some nasty looking caulk in the shower; that’s my shower pictured above.  I figured I would need to remove all of the moldy caulking and re-caulk my shower walls to get them looking good again, but after doing some online research, I found a cleaning method that worked surprisingly well and wasn’t much work.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to turn this in to a Martha Stewart blog… but I was so happy with the results that I had to share the process.

Gather supplies. I grabbed a small mixing bowl, a jug of bleach, a box of baking soda, a disposable paint brush, a roll of plastic wrap, and a spray bottle.  The plastic wrap (orange handle, green plastic) shown in the photo below is the stuff you use to wrap things together, but you can also use the same plastic wrap you keep in your kitchen.  Oh, and one other thing – while it’s not required for the project, I strongly suggest wearing a respirator.  Those bleach fumes are bad news.  Also, wear old clothes that you wouldn’t mind spilling bleach on.  It might happen.

Cleaning Supplies

Mix up your cleaning solution. The cleaning solution consists of a bleach and baking soda paste.  You make it by mixing bleach and baking soda in a bowl until it’s about the consistency of pancake batter.  The baking soda doesn’t do any cleaning; it’s just a cheap powder that will help make the bleach pasty.  Don’t skimp on the cleaning solution here – go ahead and make way more than you think you’ll need.  Bleach and baking soda are both inexpensive.

Disintegrated paint brush bristlesApply the cleaning solution to the moldy caulk. Use your disposable paint brush to apply the bleach paste on to the moldy caulk.  Again, don’t skimp here; it’s cheap, so cake it on.  I suggest you try to work somewhat quickly though.  The bleach is going to disintegrate the bristles on your disposable paint brush, so you don’t have all day.

Cover the cleaning solution with plastic and wait. Covering the cleaning solution with plastic will help to keep the bleach from drying out.  Now you wait.  If you have a white porcelain kitchen sink or white porcelain whatever-else, spread the extra cleaning paste on it.  You can just let the paste sit for about 10 minutes, and then your sink will look brand new when you rinse the bleach off.  No scrubbing required.

Check on it. After the bleach has been sitting for several hours, it will probably have dried out, despite the plastic covering.  At this point, if the caulking looks as good as new, great!  You’re done.  If you still have moldy caulk, put some bleach in a spray bottle and wet the walls down right above the plastic wrap.  The bleach will run down underneath the plastic and re-saturate the paste.  You can do this as many times as it takes, but even with my super-nasty caulk, I only needed to re-apply the bleach one time.

Now clean up.  At this point, your caulk should look brand new and bleachy fresh, or at least pretty close to it.  Now you can clean up the mess.  Water works just fine.  Click on the before and after photos below for a larger version to see how well this worked.  If I were a better photographer, all of the whites would have looked the same, but oh well… I think you get the point.

Moldy caulk before and after

Moldy caulk before and after closeup

I was amazed that this worked so well.  The entire project probably involved about 20 minutes of work, and required no elbow grease whatsoever.

And now, a word of caution:  do this project at your own risk.  Bleach is powerful stuff.  Read the warning label on the bleach.  It says to use in a well-ventilated area, don’t let it touch your skin, don’t breath the vapors, etc.  Bleach can also cause pits in metal.  I used it on the metal trim ring for my shower faucet and no pitting occured, but other people might not be so lucky.  Also, I’m not kidding about wearing a respirator.

Reuben Saltzman, Structure Tech Home Inspections – EmailMaple Grove Home Inspections

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Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post