Show Notes: Strong Home, Safe Home
Knowing your home and how you can fix it up, make it strong and make it safer for you and your family is important.
Make your home strong! Because having a strong home makes it a smart home makes it a safe home!
Some other topics we discussed during this week’s show include
- CA Contractors License
- Home weaknesses
- What kind of remodeling client will you be?
- Reduce Home Toxins
- Contractor Scams
Learn more about how to strengthen your home with the Carey Bros!
What Do You Know About the California Contractor’s State License Board?
- License Check
- Find My Licensed Contractor
- Hire a Contractor
- File a Complaint
- Going Solar
- Disaster Help Center
- Owner-Builder Overview
- Report Unlicensed Activity
- CSLB’s Most Wanted
- Laws and Regulations that May Affect You
- Understanding Mechanics Liens
- Small Claims Court
- Civil Judgments
4 Common Sliding Glass Door Weaknesses and How to Secure Them
Did you know that it takes less than one minute for an experienced burglar to break into a home? It’s true, and with nearly eight million property crimes in the United States in 2015, now’s as good a time as any to review your home security plan.
Even if you’ve already taken pains to reinforce or lock your front door and windows, your home could still be vulnerable—especially if you have a sliding glass door. These kinds of doors are often left unsecured, making them a favorite target for burglars. Here’s a look at four common weaknesses that make sliding glass doors easy targets—and what you can do to keep them secure.
1. They have simple latches.
Even if you’re good about locking your sliding glass doors, that may not be enough to deter an experienced thief. Most built-in sliding door locks are really more like simple latches, and would-be burglars can easily bypass them just by jiggling the door a bit.
2. They’re often hidden from view.
3. They show off the goods.
Sliding glass doors are essentially large windows into your home, and they give burglars a front-row seat to view electronics, art, and other valuables.
4. They’re easy to break or dislocate.
While sliding glass doors provide a nice aesthetic and can really brighten up a room, they aren’t as intrinsically secure as a door made of steel or solid wood. If a thief really wants to get in, breaking the glass panels or pushing the doors off their tracks isn’t too difficult to pull off. It takes more work and has more chance of being noticed, but it’s a vulnerability that a determined burglar could exploit.
After examining all the ways your sliding glass door can cause trouble, it may be tempting to board it up or trade it out for a different door altogether—but you don’t have to resort to such drastic measures. It is possible to reinforce your security and make it a lot harder for potential intruders to get in. Take a closer look at the products and solutions listed in this article, and decide which precautions you want to take to improve your sliding glass door security.
What Kind of Remodeling Client Will You Be?
So you want to know what kind of remodeling client you’ll be? Answer the questions of this quiz to discover your personality type and the traits you bring to your home projects!
Is Your House Making You Sick?
Do you have a sick house? Lead paint, pesticides, and pollution can contribute to sick house syndrome. Here are 10 things you can do to keep your house, and you, healthy.
Is your house making you sick?
Don’t be surprised if the answer is yes. Toxins, pesticides, gases, mites, and molds are everywhere, and the more you’re exposed to them, the greater your risk for developing the health problems they can cause.
Every household is different, says Elizabeth Sword, executive director of the Children’s Health Environmental Coalition (CHEC), in Princeton, N.J., but we should all look to the same general sources when trying to determine what hazards we’re facing. Air, food, water, and consumer products are what Sword calls the “organizing principles” of confronting environmental risks.
Falling under those headings are “10 environmental hazards you can live without,” says McLellan:
Long-term exposure to other people’s tobacco smoke (not to mention your own!) increases your risk for lung cancer, respiratory infections, other lung problems, and possibly heart disease. Don’t allow tobacco smoke in your home, McLellan cautions.
Radon is an odorless, invisible gas that can increase the risk of lung cancer, especially for smokers. Testing for radon is not expensive. For more information, call the National Radon Hotline at (800) SOS-RADON.
If your home was built between 1920 and 1978, you may be exposed to asbestos, which was commonly used as a building and insulation material then. Exposure to small amounts of asbestos probably won’t harm you, but breathing high levels of it can increase your risk of cancer and lung disease. Only specially trained and licensed contractors should remove asbestos, but you can identify it yourself. For more information, call the Consumer Product Safety Commission at (800) 638-CPSC, or visit the EPA’s web site at www.epa.gov/opptintr/asbestos/ashome.htm#4.
Many homes built in the U.S. before 1978 contain lead paint, which causes lead poisoning in nearly 900,000 American children each year. If you have a young child at home who is at risk for lead exposure, talk to your physician about having the child’s blood tested for lead levels. And if you live in an older home, consider testing for lead paint. For more information, call the National Lead Information Center at (800) 424-LEAD, or visit the EPA’s web site at www.epa.gov/lead/leadpbed.htm. Another, more contemporary, risk of lead poisoning comes from scented candles. According to the Environmental Illness Society of Canada, some candle makers are still using lead cores in their wicks, which can result in lead particles being emitted into the air of a home. This is particularly dangerous for infants, small children, and pregnant women.
These gases include carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide. They can cause flu-like symptoms, respiratory illnesses, or even death. Don’t use unvented combustion appliances (such as portable kerosene heaters) indoors. Use an exhaust hood over a gas stove. Clean and maintain your chimneys and furnace every year, making sure that they are properly vented. And install a carbon monoxide monitor.
The U.S. has one of the safest water supplies in the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s failsafe. To check the water quality in your area, call the EPA’s Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 246-4791, or visit the web site at www.epa.gov/safewater/dwhealth.html. If you use a private well, test your water every year for nitrates and bacteria. Depending on where you live, you may also want to test for pesticides, organic chemicals, or radon.
Some household products may be dangerous if not used correctly. Choose the least dangerous chemical for the job. Keep household chemicals away from children and pets, and if possible, store them outside the house and away from living spaces.
Try to avoid using chemical pesticides when maintaining your gardens, lawns, and trees. You can get advice from www.epa.gov/oppfead1/Publications/lawncare.pdf. Also, store firewood outside and away from the house to avoid insects, keep food in tight containers, and clean up food spills to minimize insects.
Water-damaged materials frequently grow molds and other organisms that can cause allergies and other illnesses. Visit www.epa/gov/laq/pubs/moldresources.html for more information. To reduce other allergens in the home and fix leaks and moisture problems, don’t use a humidifier unless you follow the manufacturer’s instructions, keep furry animals out of the house (or at least out of the bedroom), wrap your mattresses and pillows in allergy-proof covers. You can also check the web site of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology at http://allergy.mcg.edu/patients/index.html for more tips.
Food must be properly prepared and stored to prevent food poisoning. Keep your refrigerator below 40 F. Refrigerate cooked, perishable food as soon as possible. Wash cutting boards with soap and hot water after each use. Don’t allow raw meat, poultry, or fish to come into contact with food that will not be well cooked. Don’t eat raw or undercooked eggs. You can find more information about food safety at www.extension.lastate.edu/foodsafety/.
Though we may be at higher risk for environmental-related conditions and illnesses than ever before, the good news, says McLellan, is that from a preventive standpoint, much can be done. “If we build, design, and operate our homes in a healthy manner, we can keep a lot of these problems from getting out of hand.”
Recall of the Week
Porter-Cable Table Saws Sold Exclusively at Lowe’s Stores Recalled Due to Fire Hazard
This recall involves Porter-Cable brand 10” table saws with model number PCX362010. The saws have a gray body with black accents and the Porter-Cable logo. The model number and serial number are printed on the table saw’s nameplate, located on the back of the saw body near the bottom. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled table saws and contact Chang Type for a refund. Chang Type has received 61 reports of the table saw motors overheating and causing fires. One consumer reported smoke damage to their home. No injuries have been reported. They were sold at Lowe’s Stores nationwide from June 2016 through September 2018 for between $100 and $180.
3 Common Contractor Scams and How to Avoid Them
Americans spend over $300 billion on home improvements and repairs each year. Unfortunately, some of those dollars are lost to contractor scams. Look out for these 3 scams to safeguard your investment.
Deposit And Dash
Red Flag: Contractor demands a large deposit for the project upfront
The Risk: Contractor takes your deposit and never returns
Sign a comprehensive contract
Don’t pay cash
Don’t pay more than 50 percent upfront
Bait and Switch
Start and Completion Dates
Conditions regarding project delays
Itemized materials list
Procedure to project changes
Red Flag: Contractor offers a shocking low bid and loosely worded contract
The Risk: Contractor is bidding low to win your business and will add expenses later in the absence of a written change order
Get multiple bids on your project
Sign a comprehensive contract
Don’t pay cash
Red Flag: Door to door contractor offers quick, low cost work immediately after a storm
The Risk: Contractor may be unqualified and preform low quality work or quit after one day
Precautions: If you get a solicitation research the company
Get multiple bids on you project
Verify the pro’s qualifications
Sign a comprehensive contract
Don’t pay cash
- CA Contractors License: http://www.cslb.ca.gov/
- Home weaknesses: https://www.safewise.com/blog/overlooking-major-home-security-weakness/
- What kind of remodel client will you be: https://www.houzz.com/magazine/houzz-quiz-what-kind-of-remodeling-client-are-you-stsetivw-vs~87606118
- Reduce Home Toxins: https://www.webmd.com/women/features/reduce-toxins-in-your-home#1
- Recall: https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2019/Porter-Cable-Table-Saws-Sold-Exclusively-at-Lowes-Stores-Recalled-Due-to-Fire-Hazard-Made-by-Chang-Type
- Contractor Scams: https://em.angieslist.com/3-common-contractor-scams/
~ Thank you~
A very special thank you to all of our callers! We live to answer your questions, so keep them coming!
Thank you to our Technical Support:
- Danny Bringer – Chief Engineer
- Carol “Remodeling Babe” Carey – Executive Producer
- Sam Reed – Associate Producer
- Rico Figliolini – Digital Master
Thank you for tuning in to learn how to have a strong home! And check in next week for more cool tips!
“Strong Home, Safe Home” Show Notes for On The House with the Carey Brothers aired August 3, 2019.
Missed our live show? Don’t worry! Because we have a podcast of the show. It’s the same thing we aired on the radio, but ready for you whenever and wherever you are! Check it out here.
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