Leader-Telegram publishes can article about how the location of cracks can reveal what is happening to your foundation. Wall cracks appear as the result of overloading, settlement or heaving, which may give you information on what is going on with the foundation. Vertical cracks are often caused by “settlement of the home, soil compacting and soil washing away under the footings.” This occurs when an upward force is next to a downward force, while angle cracks occur when the up force and down force offset each other. This can appear when there is a difference in the soil under the house from one another, which causes the soil to push up. Horizontal cracks can be caused by pressure from the outside, which can be attributed to pressure against the wall, improper backfilling, and surface problems. “Skrinkage cracks appear on the foundationwalls as part of the curing process. These cracks can appear because there was too much moisture in the concrete when it set.” This could be caused by mortar set in cold weather that froze and later expanded before having a chance to cure.
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Mike Holmes from Leader-Post speaks about the current trend is definitely moving towards green products and options. The green movement is still so new that it is hard to know which regulations and certifications are the legitimate ones. This is still so new that the one green move that is full proof is the switch to energy efficiency and durability. Building an energy-efficient home is becoming the standard for homeowners. “It’s a way of thinking that says it’s better to invest in more insulation than a granite countertop. It’s cool to have solar panels, energy-efficient appliances and a green roof. These features are becoming the new eye candy of the modern and contemporary home.” Since energy costs are rising we, as homebuyers and homebuilders, must begin to turn to energy-efficient elements. As we move forward we will begin to see more homeowners choosing renovations that will bring their homes to higher performance levels. There are a few options that don’t require too much restructuring:
- Increase and/or replace old insulation in the attic.
- Always purchase energy star appliances.
- Install a programmable thermostat that can regulate the temperature of your home between day and night.
- Replace old toilets with ones that are low-flow to save 30 to 50 per cent of the water normally used.
- Install a domestic hot-water recovery system that can recapture heat gathered from hot water used during dishes, showers, etc.
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