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Weekly Maintenance for your Home

August – Week 32

Just like preventative maintenance on your car, if you take care of a few small items around the house every week, you can avoid many emergency breakdowns and expensive repairs.

Condensation

Summer humidity is at its peak, and that water is working against you. The most efficient de-humidifier in your house, is a cold water pipe. It will cool the warm moist air very quickly, drawing the water to the pipe so efficiently that it will drip enough that you might think you have a leaking pipe. This can happen out in the open, or hidden in the walls and can cause both rot and mould.

Cold water pipes in a humid environment must be insulated with a vapour barrier on the warm side of the insulation — the outside of the wrapping. You can do this simply with the foam tubes that go over pipes, but you must seal the seam and both ends with plastic tape to keep the humidity out. You could also wrap pipes with fibreglass insulation but it must end with an air tight plastic vapour barrier. All of this has nothing to do with insulating pipes to keep them from freezing. Pipes that might freeze need to be wrapped only on the cold in winter side and let the household warmth reach the pipe to keep them from freezing. Pipes that drip in the summer need to be kept totally away from the humidity. If you need to protect against both, wrap the pipe with a minimum layer of pipe wrap against the humidity, and add lots of insulation between the pipe and the outside wall to keep it from freezing.

For more information, check "Basement Condensation" in the SEARCH tab above.

Garage

Humidity in the summer is also a major cause of things rusting in a garage, especially the door mechanism. Automatic or manual, this is the time to lubricate everything. Start by wiping both the wheels and the tracks clean with a rag. Use solvent on the rag if it appears to be a bit greasy or sticky. Because of the dusty nature of a garage, I recommend using a silicone spray rather than any oil based lubricant. Don't forget the chain that drives the automatic garage door opener. If the door appears to have a problem moving smoothly, check for binding caused by movement. Caution, garage door springs can be deadly. Don't try releasing the spring unless you are properly equipped and know what you are doing.

For more information on "Garages", check the SEARCH tab above.