House Sleuth

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Michigan Residents: Make Your Contractor Get That Permit There are two types of permits... one for work performed by the home owner, and one for the licensed contractor. If you are thinking of working on the house and ignorning the permit office -- don't. And NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER obtain a home...
Colds, Sniffles, And Indoor Air Quality Just about everyone I know is either dealing with a cold, just got over a cold, or has someone in their house dealing with a cold. So, in honor of those of us on AR fighting off colds, the flu, and other nasty airborne problems, consider these facts from th...
Bacteria In The House We all use refrigerators and freezers to prevent food spoilage. But what happens if the refrigerator isn't clean? Refrigeration slows, but doesn't stop, microbial growth (that's why food can go bad in refrigerators). Since micro-organisms are everywhere (in the soil, air, wa...
Michigan's New Building Codes Come March 9, 2011, Michigan will have a number of new codes for contractors to work under. Specifically, these new codes go into effect: The 2009 Michigan Building Code (covers commercial buildings -- apartments are considered commercial buildings, no matter the siz...
Trusses, Rafters... What the Heck is the Difference? One of the frequent questions I am asked is: what is the difference between trusses and rafters?   Rafters Rafters are sloped framing members running downard from the peak of the roof all the way to the plates of the outside walls. They are the...
Cleaning the Dishwasher When I was a youth, I spent a lot of time at my house washing dishes by hand. So I became a big fan of the dishwasher when I rented my first apartment in college. The love affair with the dishwasher has continued all these years later. But as much as I do love the convenie...
Michigan Well Water and Arsenic Impurities in well water like pesticides, lead and even radon get a lot of press. But something else may be lurking in your Michigan well water... arsenic.   What is Arsenic? Arsenic is a naturally occuring metal, found in rocks and soil, water, air and plants. It ...
EEEKK -- IT'S COMING! Two strange things happened in the wintertime when I was a kid growing up in Michigan. It snowed, occasionally really heavy, and it was often really cold. And this wasn't major news, it was just an inconvenience. Of course, since Sunday, the upcoming snow storm has received ...
Speechless Sunday: Spring Is Near! I used to be a big fan of the winter. I played hockey, loved snow sports, and spent as much time as I could enjoying the great outdoors during the winter. Then I got older. Not a big fan of the cold anymore. I don't really hate it, I just prefer more comfortable...
  Melting The Ice According to the Weather Channel, we have another 8-12 inches due in about 36 hours. So I went to the store today to pick up some more salt. Now, I typically buy rock salt (sodium chloride) because it is the least expensive stuff. This is the same stuff the road crews spread ove...

Jason Channell

The House Sleuth
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