Water Conservation: Water leak repairs and damage prevention

Last week I met with a customer in Englewood NJ to discuss their roofing project.  While there they showed me their leaking kitchen faucet.  Due to a missing screw on the back of the faucet, the pressure of the water was causing the faucet itself to leak - and not out of the spigget end.  Every time they went to pour themselves a glass of water or wash some dishes their counter top flooded.  A waste of water that threatened to cause some real damage to their cabinets.  After fetching and installing the screw thier faucet issue is no more.  The tip: If you have a leak, repair the faucet before you end up wasting more potable water  - and perhaps needing to repair your entire kitchen. 

Energy: Attic R Values

Last month we completed an insulation project in Secaucus NJ.  When we first performed the home energy assessment, we found that the attic had next to no insulation.  With only up to two inches in some areas with many gaps and voids, we were looking at an R value of about 4.  By air sealing and then installing 12 inches of cellulose insulation throughout the space, we brought that R value over R 38, the 2009 Energy code standard.  This home performance measure will save our customer an estimated 12% total energy savings on its own.  The tip: insulate, insulate, insulate.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ): Mold no more, CO no more

On a project we recently completed in Wayne, NJ our customer had a bit of a mold problem. Finding the cause of these problems can sometimes present some interesting challenges.  In this instance, the problem was two-fold.  The roof leak around their chimney was the primary culprit, however, when open up the walls during the mold remediation phase of the project we found that the ceramic liner from a previously removed natural gas heater was still in place connecting to the main ceramic lined chimney.  What does this mean?  Combustion gas is often moist when venting out your from your home.  In this instance some of the combustion gas from their basement was venting into their wall.  Not ideal.  Combustion gas can often contain elevated levels of CO.  Thankfully this visible mold triggered the remediation and after closing up the opening to the chimney we were able to address the two IAQ issues at once.  The tip: address mold issues when the arise. 

Energy: Another reason for on demand

On demand heaters are the efficient thing to do when considering your hot water heating options.  Many manufacturers are building units that are running at 97% efficiency.  When using any type of fuel, efficiency is key.  They also are quite small.  We recently installed one in our customers home in Ridgewood NJ - in their closet.  This freed up some much needed space in their basement.  We find it is a win win situation when the green choice is practical in more ways than one.  The tip: install high efficiency water heating systems.

Home: Cedar Shakes

A customer of our recently asked us what we think they should do with their aging cedar shake roof.  Significantly covered with moss on the north face, the customer had the choice to tear off all the old cedar and replace with new shingles or have the cedar shakes cleaned up.  This homeowner made the green choice and decided to salvage the roof by replacing the heavily damage north slope and clean the rest of the roof.  This helped maintain the character of the home, but more importantly it kept the cedar shakes out of the landfill.