Get Your Home Ready for Spring in 5 Easy Steps: […]
In the first installment of this series, we explained that the Boulder building codes of past decades did not require that homes be properly insulated. Fortunately, that is no longer true, and homes today are being built in a way that is better suited for Boulder’s climate. However, some of the older homes in our area are still experiencing the long-term effects of previous home building practices. In this article, we will provide some helpful solutions that will provide you with greater peace of mind and protect your home for many years to come.
Here are some longer-lasting modifications that can be made to your home in order to prevent your pipes from freezing when temperatures drop:
1) Make sure you don’t have any pipes that run through an exterior wall cavity, like under the kitchen sink, where the pipes can run into the cabinets, and then into exterior wall. If there is […]
In our previous post, we discussed some quick short-term solutions that will help you prevent your pipes from freezing. However, even with the best possible preparation, things happen that are outside of your control. In this second installment of our “Frozen Pipes in Boulder” series, we’ll discuss what you should do if you find yourself with pipes that have already frozen.
If your pipes are frozen right now, you will want to turn on a faucet or flush the toilet near the affected area. If you can relieve some pressure near the frozen pipes, this may reduce the chance of the pipe bursting. If you can get the water flowing again, and keep the faucet dripping, this will help.
If you’re still unable to get things flowing, turn off the water main on your home, so that when the ice plug melts, you don’t flood your home as much. Locate your shutoff […]
In past decades, the building codes in Boulder had no special requirements for a home’s insulation. As a result, frozen pipes are a problem that we see commonly in Boulder’s older homes. We sometimes see frozen pipes in newer homes where a carpenter or insulator made a mistake and the builder didn’t catch it before the drywall was installed. Inadequate insulation leaves your pipes vulnerable to freezing when temperatures drop, and the Front Range has more than its share of deep freezes during winter.
With any home maintenance concern, taking the necessary steps to prepare for potential issues can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. In this first installment of our series on frozen pipes, we will offer some helpful tips for preventing this problem before it ever occurs.
If you want to help reduce the chance of your pipes freezing tonight (if it is very cold), […]
As the temperature drops, it’s good to get your home ready before the snow really flies. Here are a few things that you can do to protect your home, and make it more cozy this winter.
Outside of your home:
Clean your gutters before the snow comes. Keeping the gutters and downspouts clear doesn’t take much skill, but it can be dangerous. If you can’t safely do it yourself, hire someone with insurance to do it for you.
If your gutters don’t deposit the water at least 10ft from your foundation, add gutter extensions. If you need help with this, we can help, especially if you want the extensions underground where they are out of the way and out of sight.
By this time of year, most people have already winterized their sprinkler system and evaporative coolers if you have them.
Inside of your home:
Do you have comfort issues, high heating bills or ice damming? […]
Did you know that during the summer (even in Boulder, CO) your attic can reach upwards of 130 degrees? All of that heat can build up in the attic and then radiate into your home through minimal or “code built” insulation. Attics that are poorly vented can become even hotter.
Our suggestion is that you increase your energy efficiency by airsealing your attic with spray foam, followed by insulation with blown-cellulose. This method will help not only keep your attic space cooler during the summer, but may drastically reduce your energy costs by decreasing the amount of heat that seeps from your attic down into your home. Energy-efficient insulation is good news for the environment and good news for your wallet.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 31% of air leakage occurs in floors, walls, and ceilings. As the cool air leaks out of your home, warmer air from the attic […]
Evaporative coolers, also known as swamp coolers, are a great alternative to the traditional air conditioning unit. Not only are they less expensive to install than AC, they are also about four times more energy efficient and give you some needed moisture, which we could all use more of in Boulder County.
An evaporative cooler is a big box that is placed next to your home, or on the roof. A fan forces air through a pad of water-absorbing material, which turns the heat in the outside air into “latent heat” that you don’t feel. The air is cooled through a process of evaporation: a very simple, yet very effective technique.
One distinct difference between an evaporative cooler and a traditional AC unit is that when using an evaporative cooler you leave your window open in the rooms you want to cool. You can adjust how cool a specific room gets by […]
Range hoods are usually not given much thought. However, with the holiday season and an influx of cooking upon us (not to mention pollution!), the fumes from the stove can be dangerous and these hoods are crucial for getting the noxious gas out of your home. The most effective hoods can be pricey, but they’re worth it to keep your home safe.
Gas stoves release gases that are pollutants and many homes with gas stoves are filled with more than the normal amount of nitrogen dioxide. Since homes are not monitored for these fumes often, it may not be obvious. Even electric stoves can create smog by cooking on them, which creates irritants and fine particle pollution. These pollutants can cause lung and heart problems long-term.
New homes are built to not let air in or out, in an effort to be more energy efficient, but this also means that it is […]
The goals of this project are to improve your comfort, reduce energy bills, improve indoor air quality and durability of your home, and reduce potential for freezing pipes in the winter.
How we reach these goals is by controlling moisture and radon from the ground, “conditioning the space”, with insulation and air-sealing, and then providing for all the other important health, safety, and code issues that go along with a sealed crawlspace.
This is considered “best practice” in the energy efficiency industry, and this is how it happens:
First, the client or our team removes any stored items from the crawlspace, and cleans out organic debris that would rot or provide food for mold.
If a client has issues with standing water periodically (or wants one in place for the next flood), we can install either a basic sump pump hole, or a larger system with a perimeter French drain, or a more advanced […]
With all the recent tragic flooding throughout the Boulder, CO and surrounding areas, Eco Handyman would like to offer these helpful hints, and don’t hesitate to call us:303.444.2181
Flooding in crawlspace:
Turn off electrical power to your home if you’re going to be standing or kneeling in water
Save any valuables that may be in this space
Insure that sump-pump is working, and add any additional pumps if you can’t get a water extractor company right away.
If you have a sealed vapor barrier, it will likely rise up with lots of water underneath it, so cut the barrier near the sump-pump to allow pump to draw water off the top of the barrier and from underneath it. Looks can be deceiving, because you may have 2″ of water on top of vapor barrier, but 12″ below the vapor barrier.
Old dirty fiberglass insulation will support mold more than new insulation, because clean fiberglass is not […]