Show Notes: Hot Tips for a Cool Summer
Show Notes from the On The House with The Carey Brothers and Cameron recorded July 7th, 2018.
Learn everything from what size ceiling fan to cool your room to whether you should have a dehumidifer or an air-conditioner. Ever wondered what’s in your water and how to make it better? We discussed it! What about why concrete cracks? We talked about that too! Want fresh, clean smelling sheets even when they aren’t fresh out of the dryer? Find out the recipe we discussed on air here!
Did you miss the live episode? Don’t worry, you can still check it out here!
Nicholas Scott, owner of Rockin Repair and Remodel, visited our studio this morning to discuss his being a certified pro installer of American Standard Walk-In Tubs!
To get in touch, email email@example.com or check out their Facebook page.
Another American Standard Walk-In Tub Install!
We discussed Morris’ new walk in tub preparation and installation. To learn more about the tubs visit their website.
Remarkable Remodeling Finds
A San Jose couple found a note from more than 20 years ago hidden inside their bathroom wall.
It says, “We remodeled this bathroom summer 1995. If you’re reading this, that means you’re remodeling the bathroom again. What’s wrong with the way we did it?”
There’s also a picture of the couple and a pet rabbit that also lived in the house.
The Monneys say they want to keep up the tradition by writing their own time capsule message, too.
What have you found in your walls? Tell us in the comments below to keep the stories going!
Why Concrete Cracks
One of the most common questions received on ConcreteNetwork.Com is about cracks that are developing in newly
poured concrete. The homeowner will question why it is cracking and did they receive a shoddy job.
When installed properly, concrete is one of the most durable and long lasting products you can use around your home. But it is important that concrete contractors follow well-established guidelines with respect to concrete placement. Durable, high strength, and crack resistant concrete does not happen by accident.
Why Concrete Cracks
Reason #1 – Excess water in the mix
Concrete does not require much water to achieve maximum strength. But a wide majority of concrete used in residential work has too much water added to the concrete on the job site. This water is added to make the concrete easier to install. This excess water also greatly reduces the strength of the concrete.
Shrinkage is a main cause of cracking. As concrete hardens and dries it shrinks. This is due to the evaporation of excess mixing water. The wetter or soupier the concrete mix, the greater the shrinkage will be. Concrete slabs can shrink as much as 1/2 inch per 100 feet. This shrinkage causes forces in the concrete which literally pull the slab apart. Cracks are the end result of these forces.
The bottom line is a low water to cement ratio is the number one issue effecting concrete quality– and excess water reduces this ratio.
What you can do about it:
Know the allowable water for the mix the contractor is pouring- or be very sure you have chosen a reputable contractor who will make sure the proper mix is poured. It is more expensive to do it right- it simply takes more manpower to pour stiffer mixes.
Reason #2 – Rapid Drying of the concrete
Also, rapid drying of the slab will significantly increase the possibility of cracking. The chemical reaction, which causes concrete to go from the liquid or plastic state to a solid state, requires water. This chemical reaction, or hydration, continues to occur for days and weeks after you pour the concrete.
You can make sure that the necessary water is available for this reaction by adequately curing the slab.
What you can do about it:
Reason #3– Improper strength concrete poured on the job
Concrete is available in many different strengths. Verify what strength the concrete you are pouring should be poured at.
Talk to the ready mix supplier
Reason #4 – Lack of control joints.
Control joints help concrete crack where you want it to. The joints should be of the depth of the slab and no more than 2-3 times (in feet) of the thickness of the concrete (in inches). So 4″concrete should have joints 8-12′ apart.
Never pour concrete on frozen ground.
The sub grade must be prepared according to your soil conditions. Some flatwork can be poured right on native grade. In other areas 6″of base fill is required along with steel rebar installed in the slab.
Understand what you contractor is doing about each of the above listed items and you will get a good concrete job.
What’s In Your Water? Find Out How To Make Your Water Better
Get better water with these water filtration methods
Particulate filters reduce sediment such as rust particles, dirt and sand. Multi-stage systems often use these as a first stage to keep the particles out of other filters.
Activated carbon filters reduce certain contaminants by chemically bonding with them. These are a common filter types for addressing tastes and odors caused by chlorine. Some activated carbon filters also reduce other contaminants such as lead and mercury.
Reverse osmosis (RO) filtration forces water through a membrane, collecting contaminants larger than the water molecules. While reverse osmosis doesn’t remove chlorine, it reduces other contaminants that carbon filters cannot. Reverse osmosis systems generate several gallons of waste water for every gallon they filter. They can also remove beneficial minerals in addition to contaminants, so some systems are designed to restore these minerals to the water. Reverse osmosis can reduce contaminants such as lead, bacteria, parasites and viruses.
Ion-exchange filtration replaces contaminants ions with additives that are more acceptable. Water softeners use this process to treat hard water, exchanging magnesium and calcium for sodium. Ion exchange also reduces containments such as cadmium, copper and zinc.
Oxidation reduction (redox) filtration converts contaminant molecules — such as those of chlorine — into different molecules that lack the negative effects. This filtration method can reduce things such as chlorine, lead and bacteria.
Ultraviolet (UV) filtration uses UV light to remove some bacteria, viruses and cysts. UV filtration does not remove chemicals.
Get That Hot Air Moving To Beat That Summer Heat
Choose the right ceiling fan for your space
A ceiling fan’s primary purpose is to circulate air in a room. Air conditioners chill air, but ceiling fans push it around, which means they’re useful for both cooling and heating. In a bedroom, a ceiling fan encourages restful sleep without running the air conditioning. On an open or screened porch, a ceiling fan can create a refreshing retreat – just be sure it’s rated for damp or wet locations. Look for outdoor fans with weatherproof fan blades, too. Both types can handle moisture, but damp-rated fans should not come in contact with water. Wet-rated fans are suitable for coastal or rainy areas.
To get the most out of a ceiling fan, you must first select the right size. ENERGY STAR® makes the following recommendations for ceiling fan diameter:
- Rooms up to 75 square feet = 29-36 inch
- Rooms 76-144 square feet = 36-42 inch
- Rooms 144-225 square feet = 44 inch
- Rooms 225-400 square feet = 50-54 inch
Fresh Summer Sheets Anytime! How To Make Homemade Linen Spray
What You Need:
1 1/2 ounces water, preferably distilled
1 1/2 ounces vodka
30 drops of essential oil, such as lavender
Small, dark glass spray bottle
- Combine water and vodka: Measure out the water and vodka and pour both into a small spray bottle. Quick tip: A funnel will make your life so much easier here. Use a dark glass bottle if possible to preserve the essential oils.
- Add essential oil: Add 30 or so drops of your favorite essential oils to the spray bottle. Lavender is commonly used on linens because its soothing and relaxing scent is said to help bring on sleep.
- Shake the bottle: Replace the cap and give the bottle a good shake to disperse the essential oils. Shake the bottle again before each use and then lightly mist sheets or spray into the air.
Beware staining: Be careful to only use lightly colored oils.
Why You Need A Dehumidifier
As the name suggests, a dehumidifier draws humidity out of the air. The way it does this is actually pretty interesting:
Dehumidifiers have five major components:
- Compressor – the compressor uses a refrigerant gas to cool the dehumidifier coils by means of an expanding/compressing cycle.
- Cooling coils
- Reheater – the reheater collects heat generated by the cooling process
When a dehumidifier runs, the fan pulls in air and blows it over the compressors cold coils. This causes moisture (humidity) in the air to condense along the coils, removing it from the air. Moisture from the coils drips into the reservoir, and the reheater brings the air back up to temperature before blowing it back into your home.
Many dehumidifiers have a humidistat, which basically acts as a thermostat for humidity and lets you set your desired comfort level. Setting the humidistat too low will result in your dehumidifier needing to work much harder, and may cause problems with overly dry air in your home. Try to find a good balance between comfort and efficiency.
Air Conditioners vs. Dehumidifiers
If a dehumidifier sounds a lot like an air conditioner, that’s because they’re very similar, and air conditioners will provide some dehumidification. Where they differ is in how they handle both heat and runoff.
Air conditioners absorb heat from the air inside your home and exhaust it outdoors, leaving only the cooled air inside. Dehumidifiers also absorb heat from the air, but they exhaust the warm air back into your home for a net temperature effect of zero.
Air conditioners also drain moisture outside using a condensate line, whereas dehumidifiers drain moisture into a reservoir. Often this reservoir will come with a hose attachment for dedicated drainage.
Should you use an air conditioner and dehumidifier?
While it may seem like they serve the same function, dehumidifiers are distinct from air conditioners for one key reason: since they are smaller and less costly to operate, you can run them all day.
An air conditioner only pulls humidity out of the air while it’s cycled on. And while you could set the thermostat to ON instead of AUTO to have it collect humidity all day, you’d certainly be in for a surprise when you got your power bill in the mail!
A dehumidifier can be used to supplement your air conditioner’s dehumidification, especially if you leave your AC off for most of the day while you’re away from home. Remember that reducing humidity levels in your home isn’t just for keeping you comfortable—it can also protect your home from mold, mildew, and the other damaging effects of humidity.
Summer Safety Tips for Pets
Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful not to over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.
Know the symptoms of overheating in pets, which include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.
Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. Not only can it lead to fatal heat stroke, it is illegal in several states!
Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool—not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals.
Open unscreened windows pose a real danger to pets, who often fall out of them. Keep all unscreened windows or doors in your home closed, and make sure adjustable screens are tightly secured.
Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but never shave your dog: The layers of dogs’ coats protect them from overheating and sunburn. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. And be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals.
When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close to the ground, your pooch’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.
Commonly used rodenticides and lawn and garden insecticides can be harmful to cats and dogs if ingested, so keep them out of reach. Keep citronella candles, tiki torch products and insect coils of out pets’ reach as well. Call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 if you suspect your animal has ingested a poisonous substance.
Remember that food and drink commonly found at barbeques can be poisonous to pets.
Keep alcoholic beverages away from pets, as they can cause intoxication, depression and comas. Similarly, remember that the snacks enjoyed by your human friends should not be a treat for your pet; any change of diet, even for one meal, may give your dog or cat severe digestive ailments. Avoid raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and products with the sweetener xylitol. Please visit our People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets page for more information.