Q&A / 

June 23, 2015 AsktheBuilder Newsletter

Summer's here! It's official.

The summer solstice was a few days ago. Now we're experiencing a solar storm that's messing up my amateur radio bands.

The solar storm, however, is creating some great auroras in the night sky for some in the USA, so if it's clear at night, go out and look north!

I worked on the train this past weekend for the storied Laconia Bike Week, but the traffic was way down.

You may have responded to me about wanting to see my colorful bow tie and my new tattoo.

CLICK HERE to see both!

CLICK HERE for a Walk Through Checklist!


Water Bottle Review

With me working up on my HOT roof, I've sort of become a water bottle expert the past month. I've got all sorts of water bottles around, and have tried them all to slake my unquenchable thirst.

But two days ago, I received some very innovative water bottles from Contigo.

They are the Autospout water bottles.

Here's what I really like about these water bottles:

  • assortment of vivid colors
  • angled straw that gets out the last drop
  • hinged carry clip to snap onto a backpack loops, etc.
  • protective spout cover!
  • button lock prevents accidental opening
  • 100% BPA-free baby

The bottom line is they're innovative - seriously. I thought my Camelback was the cat's meow. It's now just a squeaky mouse.

CLICK HERE to buy these great water bottles.

Portacool Cyclone 1000 Review

Late last summer, I had a chance to test a portable evaporative cooler.

This is a cooler that uses water flowing over a filter to extract heat from the air.

They work great the higher the temperature and the LOWER the humidity of the air. This means they're of little use in Florida or NOLA but can save the day if you're just about anywhere west of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

The first unit that was shipped to me was damaged.

The outer plastic case seemed to me to be made from a low-quality plastic, but I'm no plastics expert.

This is a device you can put outdoors to blow cooler air over you, your family and your friends as you sit on your patio or screened porch.

The woman in the photo would be cooler working in her garden if she had it pointed at her. (Yes, I know it was a photo shoot and you want to see the front of the machine.) 😉

I filled the unit with water, turned it on and in just a few minutes it was blowing cool air.

It's a very basic design as any cooling engineer will tell you. A pump carries water from a reservoir up to a tray where the water then is distributed over a paper filter.

A fan draws hot dry air through this filter and the heat is absorbed into the water. Since evaporation is a natural cooling process, the air coming out of the unit is cooler.

As with anything like this, be sure to read other consumer reviews before you make a purchasing decision.

It's a rather imposing unit so it's like having R2D2 at your Sunday picnic. All that's missing are chirps, buzzes and other electronic sounds!

CLICK HERE to get the specs on the unit or to consider buying it.

The Mystery Link Clue

Scroll back up to the top of this newsletter.

See the word AsktheBuilder.com just above your name and right next to it is the date June 23, 2015? (Not shown in this online column.)

That's a link to this issue's mystery link!

Here's a clue of what you'll discover when you click the above link:

Something is 100 times stronger than something else when you try to stretch it.

CLICK THAT LINK for this issue's mystery column!

Yo! CLICK HERE and see PAST Newsletter Issues!


Asphalt Shingle FAILURE Update

Last issue I told you that I decided to do an investigative report on asphalt shingles - the most popular roofing material in the USA.

I decided to do this because my IKO brand 40-year-guarantee shingles began to disintegrate after just 12 years. They're crumbling, brittle, cupping and losing granules with each drop of rain that falls on them.

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) refuses to answer questions I've submitted.

I received an email from the Certainteed PR rep this morning that they're also declining to answer my questions.

Fortunately, I had a positive conversation with a PR person from Owens Corning last week.

Here's one of the things I pointed to in my questions to the top three manufacturers:

Prior to the 1960's many houses, if not all, had no soffit ventilation and most certainly no ridge ventilation. Most houses just had simplistic triangular small gable-end vents.

Back then, shingles you'd see that did have large patches of exposed mat with no granules were almost always shingles that had far outlived their useful life.

Why is it that many shingle manufacturers are now saying shingle failure is directly related to poor ventilation? Historical facts don't support this claim.

Sometimes you need to go back in time to put things into perspective.

I'm pretty sure I know why modern shingles are failing and we'll see if I can get good answers to my questions.


I was about to send this newsletter when the ARMA rep reached out to me telling me the manufacturer of my shingles wanted to talk with me.

Derek Fee from IKO called me, and to make a long story short, he's coming to my house on Sunday to inspect my defective shingles.

It's going to be interesting to see what happens next.

New Q & A's for You

Cheri's Washed Out Driveway

Truth About Galvanized Nails

Bernadette's Garden Wall Repair

Remove Foundation Waterproofing

That's enough for today.

I hope to have something for you on Friday.

Tim Carter
Founder - www.AsktheBuilder.com

Do It Right, Not Over!


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