July 19, 2020 AsktheBuilder Newsletter
Ahoy Matey! Welcome aboard! You’re a new subscriber, aren’t you? I’m glad you’re here. A hearty welcome to our loyal crew as well! Remember when you had to either swab the deck or were able to lay in the sun on a comfy first-class reclining deckchair? No, this isn’t a newsletter about sailing or boats, silly! This will all make sense in just a moment.
You might have been a subscriber long enough to remember the column I wrote about why low-quality retaining walls tip over so easily. CLICK or TAP HERE if you don’t want that to happen to your new retaining wall.
This Issue’s Music
I really love listening to music, especially as I create this newsletter. I felt this week’s music selection was perfect as it sets the tone for a massive project I’ve just started on the AsktheBuilder.com website. Using that clue, and the introduction paragraph above, can you think about what I might be listening to? I think you’ll enjoy it. CLICK or TAP HERE and see if your little gray cells were right!
I know this sounds crazy, but I love watching certain TV commercials in the hour I spend gazing at the flatscreen before surrendering my body to the four-poster bed.
For example, there’s one where Mike Lindell is hawking his new My Pillow towels. He does a side-by-side test pouring colored water into two towels. As the crap towel fails, he says while pushing it off the counter, “You could use this one for a pool liner.” BWAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA” So funny!!!
One night last week, I saw this very smarmy (my opinion) commercial about the Fuller Brush Full Crystal magic window washing product. I almost fell out of my chair.
I say this because I had the good fortune years ago to interview the presidents of the top two window-washing companies in the USA. These companies wash windows in massive skyscrapers all across the great USA. In other words, they know the absolute BEST way to clean glass.
The next morning, I reached out to Fuller Brush on their website requesting a sample of this purported spray-and-walk-away magic Full Crystal product to test. SO FAR I’ve heard NOTHING.
Normally, a company would be all over a request from a syndicated columnist who might give them some FREE ADVERTISING. When they don’t respond, it sets off the klaxon alarm in my head. CLICK or TAP HERE to hear it. This alert klaxon plays in the background of my cellphone voice mail message.
My question to you is: Have you purchased and used this product? Did you try a side-by-side comparison to see if washing the windows as I describe in this column produces a BETTER result?
Please let me know if you’ve used the Full Crystal product and how it worked for you.
Attic Fans, Phoenix & Your House
Terence wrote to me right after reading last week’s newsletter. CLICK or TAP HERE to read what I said about attic fans. I’ve taken the liberty to HIGHLIGHT some keywords in the email that Terence sent to me. They should put your head on a swivel.
Here’s what Terence wrote:
Love your advice. Phoenix, AZ was 115 yesterday. We have a long-time remodeling contractor who has a radio show and advice website. Here is his advice for Phoenix attics.
5 | Don't hook up a fan to try to cool off your attic
The only thing an attic exhaust fan will do, whether it is solar- or electric-powered, is create negative pressure in the attic. That will cause the air-conditioned cool air inside your home to be drawn up into the attic. Ultimately, you will be increasing your demand for cool air downstairs. And if you use electricity to run the fan, you will be shocked at how much that fan running all the time can add to your bill. A homeowner told us that when he put a power ventilator in an attic on the gable end of his house to get rid of the hot air, his electric bill shot up $100 a month.
This is a fantastic example of the erroneous or FALSE information you might run into on the Internet. It’s clear to me this remodeling contractor didn’t pay attention in high school physics or he was out sick for a few classes.
Allow me to BUST this remodeling contractor’s MYTH.
- Air will come into an attic from the place of LEAST RESISTANCE. If your house has abundant and CLEAN continuous soffit ventilation openings AND a clear pathway from the soffit to the powered attic fan, air will flow into the attic via the soffit, not be sucked through the tiny openings in interior wall top plates. This is one reason why your mouth opening isn't as small as a cocktail straw.
- How much electricity does something in your home have to consume to spend $100 in a month? Here in NH, I pay a staggering 14 cents per kilowatt-hour plus a $30 monthly service fee. Let’s set aside the service fee for sake of discussion. It turns out this statement about $100 would be accurate for me. A standard powered attic fan rated at 8 amps running CONTINUOUSLY for a month would burn up 714,240 watts. It took me just two minutes to do that simple math. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS DO THE MATH for your home using YOUR RATES - Don’t just blindly trust what you read at a website. Always engage your critical-thinking skills and verify what you read or see.
The Titanic Project
I’ve started to publish full transcripts of my 650+ videos to make AsktheBuilder.com ADA compliant. It’s not necessary because my company is so small, but it seems like it’s a good thing to do and I can accomplish multiple goals doing this.
YouTube provides a very rough transcript via voice-recognition software, but there’s no punctuation and there are mistakes in their version of the transcript.
In addition to the accurate transcript I produce, I’ve added helpful RELATED LINKS to each page as well as GREAT PRODUCTS you can buy that I mention in the videos.
Each week, I’ll be listing for you the video pages I’ve transformed. Here are the ones I transformed in the past few days:
Mosquito Eliminator Kudos
Several weeks ago, I shared how I’d deployed a product at the edges of my lot to thwart mosquitoes. The mosquitoes in New Hampshire have the reputation of being the inspiration for the US Navy’s F/A-18 Super Hornets. I had the rare chance to fly in one for an hour so I know this to be true. CLICK or TAP HERE to read about my F/A-18 flying experience. But I digress.
Ed’s a subscriber who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio - my hometown. Oh, how I miss visiting there to get all sorts of prizes, not the least of which would be a Skyline 5-way and an Aglamesis two-step hot-fudge sundae made with mocha-chip ice cream!
Here’s what Ed sent me last week:
I purchased the Mosquito Eradicator that you mentioned in a previous newsletter. It works great.
Thanks for the recommendation.
Indeed it does work well. I did another test myself several days ago just before sunset. Normally, when I’d walk behind my truck where the woods start, I’d be attacked by many mosquitoes. This time only one was flitting about.
CLICK or TAP HERE to pretty much stop mosquitoes at your house!
Wasp and Grasshopper
Speaking of flying things, check out this photo I took while eating lunch out on my deck a few days ago. This wasp had captured a grasshopper and was FLYING AROUND with it like an airplane with a bomb under it! The wasp must have gotten tired and decided to land near me. Pretty cool, eh?
That’s enough for a blistering HOT Sunday here in NH. This could be the HOTTEST day of the season. 94 F is forecast with a dew point of 72 F. I guarantee you I’ll be swimming and cooling off in the refreshing clear water of Loch Winnisquam.
Do It Right, Not Over!
P.S. Is it DRY where you live? If your soil dries out too much, it could cause SEVERE foundation settlement.
CLICK or TAP HERE to see how I made sure that NEVER HAPPENED at my Cincinnati house that was built on top of two thick layers of deep-clay soil created by the last two continental glaciers.