Q&A / 

DEAR TIM: We have a L-shaped basement storage area under our front porch. There's a metal ceiling in this space that supports the concrete porch slab above. There are no cracks in the concrete porch. This space has no ventilation and everything stored in this area becomes damp and then moldy. We installed a small […]

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Barbara rents a house or apartment in Guilford, CT. But she's got a problem with her new furnace. "My landlord just installed a gas furnace. When it is running, cold air is leaking into the bathroom through the ceiling exhaust. When the furnace is at rest, no cold air is coming in. Why? and am […]

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Tom Grote, who lives in Ivoryton, CT, has an unpleasant experience when he starts a fire in his fireplace. It's not a smoking issue, it's a sewer smell. Read what he sent me: "I live in a two-story colonial with a bathroom and fireplace on the first floor. Every time I have a fire in the […]

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DEAR TIM: My head is spinning from all of the conflicting information I'm seeing online about crawl space encapsulation. Should it be done or should I just rely on the traditional vents I have in my foundation? I have a 1,100 square-foot crawl space and the slate floor above is ice cold because there's no […]

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Quick Column Summary: Intake vent for makeup air What height from the ground Be aware of blockages Randy King, who's in need of makeup air in Madison, WI, wrote: "I saw your video on make-up air. I'm installing Skuttle's Model 216-6 (6") damper control and exterior intake vent. The intake vent needs to exit through […]

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Quick Column Summary: Car windows developed film Film comes from plastic off-gassing Will come off with soap and water Streaks mean you did not clean it well Vicki Mead, who resides in Jonesboro, Arkansas, asked me with a tinge of smoker's guilt this question: "First of all:  I don't smoke, so that is not an […]

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Quick Column Summary: How to reduce humidity in basement You may be doing everything right Damproof or waterproof foundations Run a humidifier Tom Donohue, who lives up in Ontario, Canada, has a humid basement. He's not alone. Millions have this issue. "How can I reduce humidity in my basement in the summer. I do not […]

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Quick Column Summary: Roof turbines keep blowing off  Should I just remove them Great roof turbines can take high winds Link to great turbine manufacturer Bill Curtis, who lives in Concho, AZ, emailed me with a fascinating situation: "We have a barn that we installed 8 roof turbines.  Four blew off, mangled.  Company sent 4 […]

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A fresh air intake directly next to water pipes can cause a frozen water pipe. The fresh air is required for today's HVAC systems. By redirecting the make-up air inlet down to the floor, you can provide some pipe freezing protection.

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